Ben Decker and Kelly Decker are leading experts in the field of business communication. They consult on messaging, cultivate executive presence among the leadership of Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, and regularly deliver keynotes to large audiences.
Together, they run Decker Communications, a global firm that trains and coaches tens of thousands of executives a year. Their new book, Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action, shares real-world stories and tips from the C-Suite that apply to us all.
In this conversation, they discuss their book.
Geetesh: Tell us more about the differences between a communicator and a connector, and how you explain such concepts in your book, Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action?
Ben: We're all communicators. Every time we open our mouths to tell someone something, we are communicating. Whether we're interacting with the man behind the counter at the deli, the woman in the corner office, or our kids as we are getting ready for swim practice, we are communicating all day, every day. Our book is about how you can use these moments of communication not to just inform others, but to influence and inspire.
Kelly: Communication is a contact sport -- you must connect to make an impact. In our book, we reveal a new tool called the Communicator's RoadmapTM to help identify and guide effective communication for many different types of experiences. A central part of the Communicator's Roadmap is the vertical axis of emotional connection. This measures the rapport that we build with others, our likability, our warmth…all marks of influential and inspiring communicators. To connect, we show care, warmth (often with a smile) and demonstrate interest with our behaviors.
Geetesh: What motivated you to write Communicate to Influence: How to Inspire Your Audience to Action? Also can you share some thoughts about how your book can help in-person presenters, webinar hosts, conference call speakers, or anyone else who needs to present messages get further?
Ben: We noticed that people routinely tell themselves 5 White Lies about Communication (check 'em out here). Everyone is guilty of telling him/herself one of the white lies. We regularly work at the executive level of Fortune 500 companies, and we see that top leaders often make the same mistakes as their mid-level managers.
The reason we wrote the book was to share the key tools for influential and inspiring communication more broadly and with a wider audience. A lot of the methodologies and principles from the book, we (and most of our team at Decker Communications) practice and regularly teach as part of our training and executive coaching sessions. It’s practically in our DNA.
Kelly:Your job as the leader is to communicate how their role -- whatever it is -- fits into the bigger vision. All the time. Relentlessly. Transfer it to all levels of your organization. Inspire your team by connecting the dots about what impact they have, how they contribute to the vision.
Whether we're trying to influence or inspire, we forget that we have to connect with our audience -- each audience -- each time. Communication is not just for the bright lights and the big stage. People pigeonhole the application of communication, thinking it's just for board meetings or town halls. In actuality, the same principles apply to every scenario: webinars, conference calls, in-person meetings, and every other facet of our personal lives. Think about three things:
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 | April 2015 | May 2015 | June 2015 | July 2015 | August 2015 | September 2015 | October 2015 | November 2015 | December 2015 | January 2016 | February 2016 | March 2016 | April 2016 | May 2016 | June 2016 | July 2016 | August 2016 | September 2016 | October 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | January 2017 | February 2017 |
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.