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Whatever you’re doing, stop now and listen to this. It will change your mood and it might even change your life….

As part of my 2021 Christmas greeting/present to colleagues, clients and contacts, I ran a competition asking people to nominate an exceptional piece of communication which they had come across that year. Suggestions went into a hat and I pulled out the winner this week. Thank you and well done Emily Jones for alerting me to this podcast interview with the global phenomenon and inspirational human being Mo Gawdat = https://podcasts.apple.com/jm/podcast/e101-the-happiness-expert-that-made-51-million-people/id1291423644?i=1000538174002

I urge you to listen to this NOW. Yes, it’s a masterclass in the art of communication but, more than that, he offers a practical, simple formula for achieving happiness. If that’s not worth 117 minutes of our life, I don’t know what is.

I hope you find it as compelling as Emily and I did. As you’re listening, look out for some of the techniques he uses to great effect. Much for us to emulate here….

  1. A conversational delivery style and use of language. A reminder that you don’t have to be overly formal or use complex language to communicate big, important ideas. He also has natural warmth in his voice which draws us in and puts us at ease. Even if you don’t have this gift, try smiling when you are ‘audio only’ – it can be heard in the voice
  2. Authenticity, humility and vulnerability. These are valuable tools for all of us but especially so for 21st century leaders
  3. Very few filler words. I like to call them JENGA words (kind of, sort of, y’know, like etc). Very damaging to our credibility because they make us sound hesitant. And very annoying for our audience because they become a distraction from the content
  4. Energy and enthusiasm. This comes across loud and clear even without any visual cues. Of course, he’s talking about a topic he is passionate about. Many of us have to communicate rather more dry material. But if we don’t muster energy and enthusiasm for the content, our audience is already asleep!!!
  5. A comfortable and yet varied pace. If we speak too quickly, our audience can’t keep up and they disengage. If our pace is too regular and monotonous, our audience won’t be stimulated and will disengage. If we use music as a metaphor, we need to be Beethoven’s 5th rather than lift muzak
  6. Raised eyebrow moments. If you’ve been in my training room, you’ll remember this as content which causes an emotional response in our audience – joy, surprise, shock, excitement, fear, delight….. It might be a figure, a quote, a visual, a story, a prop. Plenty of those from Mo, especially in the section on artificial intelligence. Yikes
  7. Packaging – ie how we illustrate our ideas. Notice how brilliantly he brings complex concepts to life in simple, engaging and memorable ways eg happiness and rain.

So, over to you to enjoy Mo and to, hopefully, take from him something of value.

Whether it’s raining or not, I wish you a very Happy New Year.

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