Posts

Lead by Communication

Lead by Communication

Lead by Communication

Nishani Pigera

A great leader is not someone who merely makes him/herself heard. A great leader is someone with the exceptional skill of inspiring followers to believe in his/her vision, values and ideals with the use of effective communication.

History bears ample examples that, from constructive leaderships which developed nations into world economic power houses to destructive leaderships that lead troupes to wage wars against other nations were all driven by one factor; skillful communication that convinced people to join the force, be it labor or the military.

A closer look at the legendary leaders from the past like Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher, to present day leaders like Barak Obama will show you that they all have one quality in common, which is their exceptional ability to address their audience in a manner that is inspiring and resounding. It is no secret that even the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler captivated millions of people in over 5,000 of his persuasive speeches, and to date, is remembered as one of the world’s most influential orators. Read more

Reverberation 16 team

Reverberation 2016: The Wave Of Celebration

Reverberation 2016, a wave of celebration hit us all with beautiful memories! 4th November 2016 was probably just an ordinary Friday for a lot of people.  But, it was a weekend with a lot of memories, especially for a group of students in this small town called Vellore at this college called VIT University.

Read more

brand guidelines

The Toastmasters brand and some guidelines to follow

Ask any designer or the VP-PR of your club about their most dreaded moment in Toastmasters and this would clearly win hands down. Yes, we are talking about the brand violations, the single sore point which has given countless designers grief and agony in the past. Having seen the confusion and lack of clarity on what is allowed and what can be called a “violation”, we at the District 82 Social Media Team have put together a primer you can readily reference for any brand related queries.

Read more

Humour-Blog-Poster-870x490

What makes humor tick?

Humour exists not just for its own sake.

It can be thought of as the brahmastra that helps in making any speech powerful. The genius of the device is such that it can be used to convey any feeling, be it love, hate, anger, grief, jealousy, disgust, cynicism, and so on, and ironically, it can also be used in bringing down the impact of those very feelings, when deployed in a different way.

All the same when used well, it can work wonders by effectively communicating any subject. Case in point: Comedian John Oliver’s weekly show “The Last Week Tonight”.  While Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert established the style and foundation for satire and  sarcasm laced examination of “serious” subjects, it was John Oliver,  in this author’s opinion, who popularized it so much that his show is considered  a serious contender in the  category of mainstream journalism despite the anchor’s vehement insistence that it’s just a  comedy show. Oliver’s brand of humour  takes the form of sarcasm,  slapstick, innuendo and self-deprecation,  many a time. But it also  succeeds in telling the story of the day. It manages to  CONVEY. That’s a near perfect demonstration of what humour can do to any kind of  messaging.   

What makes humour work? For the sake of brevity, let’s examine the most important  components in a speech that gets humour working.   

  1. Conflict For any story to work, it has to stay within the boundaries of logic, even if its  basic premise is as unearthly as possible.  Conflict, a.k.a the second act, gets the audience’s’ interest and keeps them guessing until resolution, i.e. the climax.  A humorous speech or  story works along the similar lines. Even if the idea  is to  make the audiences laugh, a humorist should also get  them to  care. Once the laughter dies out, they should still be interested in  knowing  what  happens to the story.    
  2. Characterisation A corollary to the previous point, great characters help in making a story  interesting.  Great characterizations make humour a lot more situational. Those situations  can be made more relatable with the use of localisms, and cultural references easily  identifiable to the audience. It’s here that a humorist strikes the chord.    

While writing this piece, I was wondering if I should make it humorous for the reader, just as  a way of presenting the purpose of the article in a subtextual  manner. And that’s when I remembered another cardinal rule ­ No humour is better than bad humour. Bad humour,  short of getting a  few laughs, can create  controversies. Nothing leaves a worse aftertaste  than forced or misplaced humour.   

Unless an individual is very skilled, including humour in speeches takes serious thought and  preparation. When it’s done right,  it’s an excellent tool  to have in one’s communication arsenal.  

This article was first published on the Deccan Chronicle VIT’s blog section.

Visit: http://reverberation16.com

 

storytelling

The art of storytelling

As a new Research Scientist in a large firm – Joe had a task of publishing a monthly memo to all the employees updating R&D activities every month – and any key idea or point that R&D wanted to communicate. Joe did this boring task for many years – a report even fellow research scientists won’t be enthused to read. One day he struck an idea – he created a character as the research scientist and also named him.

Read more

featured image

How Toastmasters helped me communicate in a foreign country

When I received my offer to pursue a Master’s Degree at the Australian National University, I was elated! It was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Though I cleared all the hurdles between leaving Infosys to joining the ANU, there was a catch – I had never interacted with an Australian before! In fact, I had very limited interaction with anyone foreign to India. A couple of Americans (who happened to be my clients/on-site coordinators) and a few tourists here. These were the only foreign nationals I had ever interacted with.

Read more