One Big Thing: How To Get Your Message Heard

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When you speak before a group, preach a sermon, or make a presentation in the office, there’s one mistake people make over and over:  too much information. They try to cover too many points, and as a result, the presentation simply bogs down in useless detail. One important principle in speaking or presenting is unity. As the title of one of my books suggests,

The Destructive Power of Being Sincerely Wrong

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Being wrong is one thing.  Being over-confident in your wrongness is something else entirely.  On my blog, on film sets, and in meetings, I often  encounter people who are spectacularly wrong, and yet enormously confident. It happens to the best of people. In the New Testament book of Matthew chapter 16, Jesus was foretelling His future to the disciples. It was far darker than they expected, and Peter tried to correct Him: 

Your Biggest Email Mistake

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Email drives us all nuts, but the fact is, it’s not going away anytime soon. So if we’re trying to get an important message across, it’s important our emails connect and make an impact. My advice?  Keep them short and to the point.  Alexis Kleinman wrote a terrific story in The Huffington Post on how to write shorter emails that makes a lot of sense. Here’s a short summary of her story. Read it, because it will dramatically impact your effectiveness online. Here’s her 3 key ideas:

Know Your Audience: It Matters More Than You Think

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Whenever Christian websites like The Christian Post or Charisma News post my articles on leadership or media, I usually get criticism from some Christians who wonder if I’m even a believer. Responses like “You don’t need leadership principles, all you need is the Word of God.” Or, “Talking about sharing our faith through the media is ridiculous. It’s ungodly to evangelize through a channel owned by nonbelievers.” On and on. There are plenty of “armchair experts” out there who are more than happy to criticize (usually anonymously.) But knowing your audience matters, and the “843 Acres” online devotional had some interesting thoughts on that issue:

Are You Washed in the Blood? Communicating in a Language and Style the Culture Understands

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In my books I write frequently about making sure that in our scripts and programming, we stop the “Christian Lingo” and speak in a language and style the culture understands.  As an example, a few years ago I received this e-mail from a media executive that brilliantly illustrates the point:

Amazon Drones, Audacious Plans, and the Amazing Power of Buzz

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During the last week, the media has been obsessed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement that within 4-5 years he wants to start delivering products directly to our homes via drones. It’s a wild idea, and yet Bezos has proven himself on so many levels, the idea can’t be discounted. More important, when it comes to getting your big ideas noticed, there’s some valuable lessons to be learned from the announcement:

Like Why Don’t We Make Inspiring Speeches Anymore?

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My wife Kathleen and I visited the amazing exhibit on President Abraham Lincoln at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here in California this weekend. Done in partnership with Dreamworks Studios, it was an incredibly unique and eclectic collection of Lincoln memorabilia from numerous private collections. During the tour, I was reading one of Lincoln’s personal letters with a group of young men in their twenties. After reading Lincoln’s letter this is

The Influence Lab is Here!

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You’re one of the first to see our new nonprofit initiative called “The Influence Lab.” As you scroll through the website, you’ll see what it’s about, but essentially, our goal is to radically re-think global missions in the digital age. The truth is, the vast mission effort is still based on a 200 year old model. But in an age where other countries send more missionaries to the US than the US sends out, our goal isn’t to send people from here, it’s to

When it Comes to Influence: What Are You Signaling?

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In too many cases, a leader’s influence is short circuited because of something under the radar – an attitude, behavior, or the way they dress. It’s called “signaling” – or sending a “signal” contrary to what you’re actually saying. Recently, Dan Ariely wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal: