Fat Chance Getting Me to Change‏

The Autumnal equinox is almost upon us. I can tell because Phoenix is a city that’s been built on a fairly precise topographical grid. In fall and spring, the sunrise is directly on the centerline of the eastbound street on which I’m driving while heading home from the gym at around 6:15 a.m. Sunglasses hardly cut it and, not owning a welder’s helmet, I just keep my eyes closed. Squinting causes wrinkles. 

This issue is more significant than usual. I continue to waste my nights and weekends scouring the Internet so that you don’t have to, but I’ve just recently been able to carve out the time to pull it together.
From the difficulty of getting people to change and trust components to better presentations and   beliefs vs. truth, I think you’ll find something here that floats your boat.


About That Change Thing

Adapting to change is one of life’s perennial challenges. Making sense of why change is difficult for most of us requires learning a bit about something called the “system justification bias.”  Although it’s a painful reality, it is imperative for us to understand this bias so that we can learn how to deal with it:


Connecting with People

Knowing that we still have six-plus weeks of campaign ads to endure is a little sad. At least the conventions were entertaining.

Politics aside, most pundits tend to agree that Bill Clinton still has the ability to connect with people in a pretty remarkable way.  Want to know how he does it?
In the business of communication, it’s often referred to as “emotional memory”


Killer Presentations

I get more feedback about presentation tips than almost anything else. As such, I’ve made a concerted effort to mine more advice. I think you’ll find at least some of these useful:


And if you’re already good…well, there’s always something new to learn, right?


Rewriting the Presenter’s Presentation

Here’s something that I’ve always suspected. Finally, I have some evidence to back it up. You’re probably familiar with the “inner voice,” right? It’s that voice in your head that you hear when you’re reading one of your favorite books — you hear the characters speaking, adding emotion, tone, etc.  Well, it also happens in boring meetings:


Beliefs vs. Truth

We tend to judge the likelihood of something happening based on the top-of-mind examples and magnitude that we think of. It’s a primary lesson in risk communication and outrage management. That’s why high-profile media coverage of crimes makes us check our locks twice. It’s also why we buy lottery tickets in spite of the fact that, as my buddy Bill says, “Your chances of winning are about the same whether you play or not.”

No B.S. – Trust

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t offer at least one story on the subject of trust and credibility. This is an excerpt from the book No B.S. Trust-Based Marketing. Although it seems that much of what’s written about trust here is from a business application, it’s a short hop to understanding public sector implications:


35 New Words in the Dictionary

And for those of you who think you know everything, here’s 35 things you probably didn’t…even if you’re a muggle:


The Essence of Effective Public Engagement
and the
Art & Social Science of Serious Opposition

I’ll be in Chicago for the five-day IAP2 Public Participation Certificate course at the end of October. This is the foundational class for people in public involvement. The class will be at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in the heart of the Loop. I hope to see you there! 

Understanding and working with public anger, protest and conflict is critical to any public engagement project. You’ll learn about managing this emotion during the two-day Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation (EOP2) class — based on the work of Dr. Peter Sandman, the world’s foremost expert on risk communication. This workshop is hands-on, practical and has never been more relevant.

IAP2 Certificate class scheduled:

  • October 29 – November 2 in Chicago
  • January 21 – 25, 2013 in Arizona

EOP2 class currently scheduled:

  • November 14 &15 in Toronto
  • January 31 & February 1, 2013 in Arizona

We routinely customize the EOP2 class for your agency’s specific issues. Call me if you’d like more information or if you’d like to talk with one of your clients.

For above scheduled U.S. class registrations click on:


For above scheduled Canada class registrations click on:


I’d appreciate it if you’d be kind enough forward this to anyone you think might benefit from one of these workshops or might like to start receiving this newsletter.  (We never SPAM anybody and subscribing/unsubscribing is easy.)

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