On 11 May 2020, Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand PM addressed her nation regarding an update on the COVID-19 situation.

A day later, on the 12th of May 2020, the Indian PM Narendra Modi did the same for his country.

Even though I didn’t watch either of them live, I did view recordings of both their addresses and even went through the transcript in detail.

Narendra Modi addressed the nation in Hindi. Since am well familiar with the language, I viewed the recording in Hindi and reviewed the transcripts in both Hindi and English. Jacinda Ardern’s was obviously in English, so no confusion there.

As a communication professional, I love analyzing the speeches world leaders or company executives make. At times I learn a lot from how they communicate around an issue or matter, and at times I critically evaluate what they missed and what they could have done better.

The following blog post is a mix of both. It is a critical look into analyzing leadership communication by two well-respected world leaders.

It’s not always that we get different world leaders to talk about the same concern. But in this scenario when we do, it makes it easier to compare their communication effectiveness, especially in crisis periods.

It brings about a more balanced critique and ensures that we are not comparing apples to oranges.

I’ll be evaluating the whole of their address on a 50 point scale – 10 factors, evaluated against a score of 5. These factors have been taken into consideration based on the context of the existing crisis.

  1. First words
  2. Empathy
  3. Acknowledgment (of present scenario)
  4. Connecting with people
  5. Information
  6. Clarity
  7. Future actions
  8. Tone of voice
  9. Jargons (lack of)
  10. Call to action
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An elevator pitch is not an announcement. Neither is it a sales call.

It does not end with the 30 seconds of self-immersive diarrhoea that you might be blurting out.

It also isn’t about who you are or what you are doing.

An elevator pitch is all about being a conversation. What you are going to do, what you are building, what your vision is. A conversation that should be interesting enough to be taken outside the elevator.

An elevator pitch will never land you a job or a partnership or a client in the time the elevator takes to reach the ground floor. But it should augment the interest and curiosity in the other person to be able to carry the conversation forth after the doors of the elevator open.

Elevator Pitch
Consider it like a pick-up line someone uses on Tinder (minus the cheesiness). It does not directly land you in a relationship, but rather leads to the first date to begin with.

Instead of rambling a few sentences in a single breath, mould your elevator pitch as a genuine conversation which peaks the curiosity of the listener.

Be it in your personal environment or at work, how many times have you said – I am busy/I am held up/can I make time for this later?

Of course am not asking you for the number. Its more of a rhetorical question.

Just think of all the times you have answered to someone with one of the above responses. Or something similar on those lines basically implying that “I don’t think what you’re asking me right now is of priority to me at this moment. And instead of truthfully agreeing that I don’t want to do it, I am going to pretend that I have a lot to do and am busy“.

Yes, people can be busy. You, me, my non-existent billionaire best friend, my existent girlfriend – everyone can be busy. But being busy is all about setting priorities. If its not important for you (albeit even temporarily), you’ll always find ways to be busy rather than actually take time out for that.Continue reading

So you’re at work and its a slow day.
All the work allotted to you has been done and you’re just sitting there. What do you do?
Do you open YouTube and start watching those cat videos you’ve already watched 974 times? Do you start reading on your Kindle? Do you scroll through Facebook thinking about how everyone else is having an amazing life while you’re stuck in your office with nothing to do?
The right answer – None.
The thing to remember – What you do during this time firmly defines your work ethic.
Are you enterprising enough to find work for yourself? Can you use this time to build a better relationship with your colleagues and contribute further to the team by helping them out?
Can you take a look at all the systems and processes in your workplace and identify any issues with it such that you can suggest a better alternative? Often, in the fast-paced work environment people just blindly follow the systems in place and might not always be able to retrospect on the efficiency of these systems. Can you bring a new perspective to this?
Obviously, am not against taking a breather at work when things get hectic. Everyone needs some time off to let go of the steam. But what do you do with the time when you have continuous slow days?

Zero Fox

In my first proper job (with a world-class university) after coming to Australia, I assisted in designing a new framework for events within the Faculty I was working in. I also redesigned their whole intranet website and created a Google site for internal communications. None of this I was asked to do, but all this I did during the free time I would get at work.
In my second role, I designed detailed documentation for the implementation of a new facilities management system and also created a statistical document to understand the efficiency of a new system the team was planning to implement. None of this I was asked to do, but all this I did during the free time I would get at work.
And I recently started my third role last week. And am already working, in my “slow time”, on something which I believe would be of use to the team. This too, I wasn’t asked to do.
Putting your free/slow time at work for something professionally beneficial does reap its rewards. It not only keeps your mind working effectively but also showcases your skills and reflects your strong work ethics and commitment to work.
And the best proof I have for that is my present and previous jobs. The second job I got on reference from my manager at the first one, and the present job I got after a strong recommendation from multiple senior managers.

So, what are you doing in your free time at work?

Artwork Courtesy: https://lingvistov.com/

If you know me well, you also know the fact that I take my writing very seriously.

And if you don’t know me well, please do understand that I take my writing very seriously.

So, after writing professionally for years (since 2009 to be exact), if someone tells me that I have a grammatical error or if my content is plagiarised, it does give me a heart attack, and, to an extent, hurts my self-inflated balloon-sized ego.

And there’s where this story leads to.Continue reading