Apr 06, 2016
Mar 17, 2016
Mar 01, 2016
On Saturday, Warren Buffett released his much anticipated 2015 letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders. After the release, Fortune noted with some surprise that, despite the market’s rocky year and Buffett’s history of offering reassuring communication in such times, the CEO remained “silent on stocks” in this year’s letter.
Jan 28, 2016
Influencing investor sentiment: Do companies communicate differently whether they meet or miss earnings?
Congratulations! Your company beat the consensus estimates this quarter. Should your investor relations team encourage executives to exude confidence when delivering results on the earnings call? Or perhaps you didn’t perform as well as expected, missing estimates instead. How far will confidence get you in increasing investor sentiment when results fall short? Can you salvage the miss by showing optimism about the future?
Apr 03, 2015
March Madness finals are upon us. The NCAA college basketball tournament, which started with 68 teams, has come down to the final four. This weekend, the Kentucky Wildcats will face off against the Wisconsin Badgers, while the Michigan State Spartans take on the Duke Blue Devils.
Mar 12, 2015
What’s your favorite TED Talk? TED – a nonprofit dedicated to spreading ideas - is known for its captivating and often awe-inspiring presentations called TED Talks. In our world, they’re also known for bringing the art of public speaking to a new level. Every year, TED holds a week-long conference where 50+ speakers deliver fascinating speeches centered on a single theme.
This year the theme is “Truth and Dare.” During the week of March 16th, speakers will “seek to challenge and reshape our core beliefs about today’s reality.” We are especially excited about the talks from Monica Lewinsky and Reverend Jeffrey Brown.
Jan 29, 2015
Research has proven that in order for leaders to inspire their audiences, they must be engaging, authentic, and persuasive. Last January, we decided to test this concept by analyzing inspirational locker room speeches from the head coaches of the NFL teams that were facing off in the Super Bowl. We found the language of Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, to be 32.7% more inspirational than the language of John Fox, head coach of the Denver Broncos, which may have helped spur Carroll’s team to a 43 – 8 victory.
Similarly, in June, we analyzed the language of the team captains from the NBA Finals, Tim Duncan and LeBron James, to measure their use of inspirational messages. We also measured the confidence they displayed in their language before the final game. As with the analysis from the Super Bowl, we found that Tim Duncan’s language included higher levels of engagement and authenticity, which may have helped inspire the Spurs to edge out the Heat in 5 games.
In anticipation of this year’s Super Bowl, we again measured the language from the Seattle Seahawks head coach, Pete Carroll, and compared it to the language used by the New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick. We took Mr. Carroll’s responses from a January 23rd press conference and compared it to the responses from Mr. Belichick’s January 22nd press conference. We then benchmarked both speakers against Mr. Carroll’s average from our 2014 analysis as well as our database containing over 100,000 pieces of content.
Dec 08, 2014
The 2014 Toastmasters Public Speaking World Champion vs. leading CEOs: Who is the better communicator?
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that helps its members improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Every year, the organization holds an international competition in which experienced public speakers present their speeches to a panel of Toastmasters judges. The final contestants must progress to the top by winning their local club, area, district and semifinal competitions based on their speech content, organization, voice quality and gestures.
This year, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi of Sri Lanka won the competition with his entry, I See Something. In this motivational speech, Mr. Hettiarachchi describes how the important people in his life saw something in him, inspiring him to go from a kid who had recently been arrested to an adult with a successful career.
What is it about his speech that won him the championship? And how does he compare to chief executives giving keynote presentations in the corporate world?
In order to answer these questions, we used our communication analytics to objectively analyze Mr. Hettiarachchi’s speech. We then compared his results to speeches from the hundreds of CEOs in our communications database.