conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Posts Tagged ‘voice

Giving Voice to Change

leave a comment »

Check my guest post on the MedAxiom blog


[Click to read]

Third in a series.

Written by kirkistan

August 7, 2015 at 10:24 am

We’re not good with multiple voices

with 4 comments

But if top-down communication isn’t working,

People find their voice.

People find their voice.


Image Credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

April 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

Boss No Like Social Media

leave a comment »

Mashable reports that employers are not all hep on giving more social media freedom to employees.

tweet that

It seems the spread of negative information is their persistent nightmare fear.  There are all sorts of main courses and sides to this tasty debate, but one thing a boss might consider is taking a longer-term look at the issue. Yes, we all know how easy it is to waste hours on Facebook. And many of us are starting to assume Facebook will give way to something else, George Tannenbaum thinks it will happen by 2017. I expect a rising Facebook backlash. But whether a backlash happens broadly, something will rise in its place. That’s because once people realize they have a voice, there is no going back.

But a longer look at giving many people a voice recognizes at least two facts:

  1. The era of sovereign control over you employee’s voices is over. Despite what Vladimir Putin thinks and does, what you allow or forbid workers to say at the workplace matters less and less when you don’t control the technology residing in a pocket. And conversations about your work are already in progress, whether you know it or not.
  2. Reasons and a few simple parameters beat “No” every time. All anyone wants is an explanation. It’s a grown-up thing to explain the reasons behind a choice that affects others. An explanation moves a team in the right direction. Even an explanation like my friend offered a two-year old visitor at his party. The toddler wanted to pick up a little poodle who had no intention of being picked up by the toddler:  “You know what, Jenny? This is a Wiggly Dog. And no one can pick up a Wiggly Dog.”

Even if you have to make up a new category of canine, it’s worth an explanation. Of course, an explanation invites questions. Simply put: bosses need to get used to hearing voices. May as well start planning for it.


Image Credit: via Retronaut

Written by kirkistan

June 13, 2012 at 5:00 am

Getting Voice Right

leave a comment »

Speaking for Someone Else is Always a Collaboration

Speaking in someone else’s voice is not really possible, though copywriters are often called on to do just this. The process—when done well—is more like hearing the client’s messages and collaborating to expand and deepen those messages. If the goal was just getting the words right and getting the message out clearly, strong editing would suffice. But the strategic copywriter often contributes substantive content. Helping the original ideas along by serving as a conversation partner to the client, to help them process through the message and its ramifications. The resulting content can prove stronger than the original content, though the danger is that it can sound like a committee wrote it. But a strong copywriter owns the process and follows through with a singular voice.

A singular, compelling voice.

These old Miller High Life commercials help make that point. These were filmed in the 90’s, directed by Errol Morris through Wieden+Kennedy. The retro male voice is just over the edge to make you laugh, but there is a bit of truth in the way the Americana is presented. The voice-over is perfect—and a perfect throw-back to 1950s and 1960s. That’s where Miller wanted the target audience to dwell for 30 seconds—with that slight whiff of what a man once was. Or at least what the Miller/Wieden+Kennedy collaboration thought might produce spending behaviors. And they succeeded: throughout the set there is the slightest hint of something you sorta remember—something your dad’s friends said. Or maybe your grandfather’s friends.

You’ll find a bunch of Errol Morris-directed Miller commercials here, but “Broken Window” (below) does a good job of capturing our grown up fear of the Other.


Image Credit: via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

May 21, 2012 at 5:00 am

%d bloggers like this: