The Different Levels of Knowledge Translation and Why They Matter to Academics Who Want to Make an Impact
At a recent research conference, I enjoyed networking with scientists and social scientists from a wide range backgrounds, all of them domains far beyond my knowledge base. As I sidled from one conversation to the next, I got glimpses into fields as diverse as psychiatry, pediatrics, molecular genetics, social services, biomedical engineering, kinesiology, biology, transportation engineering, and occupational health.
As someone who loves to learn, I was in my element. Yet I’ll confess there we…
How to Make Your Startup Communications Antifragile
As a coach, I often wish that I could tell clients how “easy” it is to craft persuasive communications that respect the integrity of complex ideas while winning over the audience. But the truth is that using language and visuals to convey thought is challenging work, even using AI as your helper.
Building any communication product—such as pitch deck, a cold email, a website, a one-pager, or a blog series—is like constructing any physical product, such a chair or a house. Try to cut corners, and…
Awkward Cousins: Scholarship and Marketing as Related Disciplines
Most scholars I know grimace when they think about promoting their ideas outside academia. Indeed, that used to be my reaction until I recognized that publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals is a lot like positioning a new product or service in the marketplace.
On the surface, scholarship and marketing seem like radically different activities—but only on the surface. Once you acknowledge, with author Daniel Pink, that selling ideas is a fundamentally human endeavor, then the similarities …
More Than a Meme: The Real Meaning of "Only Connect!"
“That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet,” wrote Shakespeare. So why, after three years of marketing my communication consulting services as “Clarity Studio” would I bother changing the brand name to “Clarity Connect”?
Because you—my clients, collaborators, and colleagues—showed me I should.
Over the past three years, as I’ve served clients across multiple industries, it’s become clearer and clearer that work I’m privileged to do goes beyond providing “creative servi…
What Story Do You Need to Subvert to Make Your Bold Idea Heard?
When we’re pitching a novel idea, most of us behave as Lockeans, whether or not we recognize our connection with the seventeenth-century philosopher. Faced with an audience of nonexperts, we tend to ascribe to Locke’s belief that the people we’re pitching to are tabulae rasae, blank slates.
Consequently, we do all we can to engrave our novel story onto those empty surfaces. We go to great pains to educate our audience, filling them up with technical details. We emanate enthusiasm and confidenc…
How to elevate your content from mundane to positional
“Thought leadership” has become such an overworn word that I cringe as I type it.
When I cast my mind to “thought leaders,” I think of people whose thinking has changed the course of history: philosophers, scientists, social activists, artists.
And yet we live in an age when marketing gurus encourage every coach, consultant, and CEO to aspire to “thought leadership.” How many cerebral giants can the world really sustain? How much thought-power can the Internet handle before its circuits burn u…
Why the Old English Concept of Kindness Holds the Key to Effective Business Communication
As fascinating as I find the scholarship on persuasion and consumer behavior, I’ve learned far more about psychology from novelists than from social scientists.
The great American writer Henry James stands out among these timeless mentors, and a quote from him sums up much of my personal theory of communication:
“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”
In this statement, the simplicity of the language speaks vo…
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a T-Shaped Founder?
One of the hidden treasures of Toronto’s public library system is the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, tucked away in an unassuming building on the south edge of the University of Toronto campus. As a doctoral student, I savored the time I spent there, combing through stacks of century-old picture books and calling those hours of sheer delight “research” into Victorian culture.
A hundred years from now, I wonder what children’s books in the Osborne Collection will say about today’s…
How to Use History to Sell Innovation
Dip into any field of art—literature, painting, music, dance—and you’ll quickly discover that the concept of “originality” is problematic.
Was Shakespeare the most original playwright of his time, or just the cleverest borrower of plots and characters? Was Picasso an iconoclast, or by so obviously defying the “rules” did he also show them reverence?
When I was immersed in the world of literary scholarship, much of my thinking was shaped by theories of “intertextuality.” Intertextuality ackno…
Two Hidden Reasons Pitch Decks Fail to Deliver
Every piece of external communication you produce serves as an ambassador for your startup, from a short email confirming a meeting to grant applications and social media posts. Among all these delegates you send out into the world to convey your value proposition, the pitch deck bears an overwhelming burden.
We tend to expect a pitch deck to accomplish amazing things. We assume that, in just a dozen or so slides, it will intrigue the audience, argue a complete business case, outline a comprehe…
- Writing (1)
- Scientific Language (2)
- Business Writing (4)
- Effective Writing (1)
- Clarity in Writing (1)
- Written Communication (1)
- Persuasive Communication (5)
- Customer Awareness (1)
- Writing Process (17)
- Effective Communication (1)
- Knowledge Translation (7)
- Writing Coaching (1)
- Blogging (2)
- Writing Voice (4)
- Proposals (3)
- Cover Letters (1)
- Team Writing (2)
- Getting writing help (1)
- Messaging Strategy (6)
- Web Copy (4)
- Ideation (1)
- Visionary Writing (2)
- Writing Persuasively (3)
- Learning Design (1)
- Visual Communication (1)
- Grant Applications (1)
- Pitching (3)
- Framing (1)
- Entrepreneurship Skills (2)