MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-January 2018 Edition

January 11, 2018

BOTH EARS BEFORE TONGUE—In World War II, the motto was “Loose Lips Sink Ships”. Hold your tongue and don’t babble info that could be helpful to the enemy. In 2018 communication, especially in media, consists of a great deal of talking at each other with no listening to what the other person is saying. Why is that dynamic growing? I believe it’s because very few understand and practice effective listening techniques. To be an effective communicator you have to be a good-to-great listener. You have to be PREPARED to listen and relax. You have to stop talking and focus on what is being asked or discussed. PATIENCE to listen without interrupting (often abused these days). If you’re listening intently you’ll pick up verbal and non-verbal cues about the communicator. Do his/her facial expressions change? If so for what reason? Does her/his volume rise and/or fall when making a point? If so for what reason? How about hand gestures and other body language?

If so for what reason? Sounds like a lot to remember but it’s not. You still watch TV interviews where the guest hasn’t been listening and can’t wait to disgorge the ‘key message’ he/she has memorized after spending time with a media ‘pro’. If you want to get better at talking try listening first. Then before you put your tongue in gear, take a few seconds to decide what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Today’s media is overloaded with guests who don’t listen to questions and hosts who don’t listen to answers.

“FIRE AND FURY” DOES WONDERS FOR A CANADIAN—Michael Wolff’s best seller, Fire and Fury, which gives some insights into the Trump White House, has brought smiles and maybe $$$ to Randall Hansen. The Washington Post uncovered the U. of Toronto faculty member excited about Wolff’s success because it’s translated, in a smaller way, to Hansen. In 2009 Hansen published “Fire and Fury:The Allied Bombing of Germany: 1942-45.

Sales have s l o w e d down over the years until…. Yes, Hansen looked up sales of his “Fire and Fury” on Amazon and found manymanymany copies being sold. His tome even landed on three different Amazon best-seller lists. Reviews? Of course. One reader said “I can’t see anything about President Trump.” Hansen says he’ll reach out to Wolff and thank him when Wolff catches his breath.

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