As I was listening to CBC radio while driving to a media training engagement a few weeks ago, a featured story inspired me to consider that perhaps, as an industry, we should start using “no comment” as part of our professional lexicon.
Immediately after having that thought, I was aghast. I have been a member of this industry since June 14, 1982. During the past 33 years, I can never remember a time in which I would not have cringed if I heard any spokesperson say “no comment” when asked a question by a journalist.
Successful Sales Leader Creates Conversation, Not Slides
A few years ago, as vice-president of sales for a national leasing company, Paul Turner made a couple of observations while attending the meetings his sales force was conducting. First, the attention span of prospects was limited. Second, this seemed to occur when the sales force started delivering their PowerPoint presentations.
This led him to an important realization. ”I realized that if you can't keep the attention of prospects and customers, you're probably not going to be successful in the sales business," he says.
In a crisis, it is difficult to know whether or not information should be released. With privacy legislation lurking in the background, and lawyers often heavily involved, it can be easier to hide behind a shroud of secrecy than be transparent. But my advice to my clients when they are facing a crisis has always been: “When in doubt, let the information out."
A perfect case in point is a recent article in the Toronto Star that reported Toronto’s student transportation fleet has been in 1,157 collisions with 20 injuries during the past five years. To make matters worse, nearly 80 per cent of those accidents were deemed preventable — which simply means they did not need to occur at all.
It is common knowledge that Steve Jobs set an extremely high standard for the presentations he delivered. But how did he do it? How was he able to give presentations that not only provided valuable information, but also potentially allowed people to apply that information and teach it to others?
The YouTube video below is a clear demonstration of how and why Steve Jobs was so successful. And there are lessons here from which every presenter — and indeed every leader — can learn.