Tips for a Winning Welcome Speech

We work with a lot of executives at The Pincus Group who are called upon to deliver welcome speeches at industry conferences and major events. Usually, we’re working with these executives on honing key note speeches or business presentations. During that coaching, they’ll often casually mention the welcome speech they’ve been asked to deliver but usually consider it a far lower priority.

Here’s why that’s a mistake. Don’t minimize the opportunity you have in that welcome speech to make a first impression with your audience that will shape their views of you and the entire conference. In his book “Blink”Malcolm Gladwell explores the power of what’s known in psychology as “thin slicing”, the ability we all have to make sense of situations on the “thinnest slice” of experience. Gladwell details fascinating examples of that phenomenon at work, but anyone who engages in public speaking needs to understand the opportunity it presents. [Read more…]

Business Writing — An Opportunity, Not A Chore

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” E.L. Doctorow, novelist

For nearly three years, I’ve been traveling around the country teaching a course called “Clear Writing Through Critical Thinking.” So it was gratifying to pick up a USA Today article that cited a survey by the Social Science Research Council concluding a liberal arts education can “provide a leg up in a down economy.” It turns out that recent college grads who  scored highest on a standardized test to measure skills most associated with a liberal arts education, were much more likely to be better off financially than those who scored lowest. [Read more…]

There’s Money To Be Made Via Productive Business Communications

Experts in the dismal science of economics can argue about the timing, but the rest of us know one thing: This economy is on the mend. Still, I’m not sure that companies are falling all over themselves to hire at a rate that will get us back to pre-Great Recession levels. It seems that what I said in this blog more than four years ago still holds true: Many businesses emerging from the severe downturn have gotten leaner in order to survive.

How can they make that happen? There are, of course, economies in shop floor scheduling, parts ordering, distribution, and all the other factors that go into being competitive. But for my part, as a communications trainer, there’s another way to view productivity, particularly in white-collar office work. It’s about writing so efficiently that — internal or external — it goes out with a minimum of fuss (editing). Here are three crucial writing guidelines: [Read more…]

Presentations and Practice: The Way to Carnegie Hall

You know that old exchange: “Excuse me. How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer? “Practice, practice, practice.”

Everyone who communicates formally with others knows they need to practice before ‘game day’. “Practice”, however, doesn’t include a cursory read-through of the material to yourself. You’re going to present out loud, right? Then practice that way! [Read more…]

TPG to Provide Tennessee Valley Authority Media Training

For immediate release
Contact: Stephanie Lockwood • • 301.938.6990

Washington, DC – The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government and providing electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states, has awarded a contract to the Pincus Group for media training, communications training and consulting. TPG in partnership with Zayas Hendrick MediaWorks LLC, will provide training for designated TVA personnel to prepare them for a variety of public communications.

“We’re very much looking forward to working with TVA’s executives and managers” said Aileen Pincus, TPG President “and we’re especially gratified to work with our partners at Zayas Hendrick on this tailored program to benefit TVA’s media and public communications.”

Zayas Hendrick MediaWorks is a leading Washington DC firm providing video production, instructional design and training.

The TVA, which was established in 1933 by an act of Congress, is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no taxpayer funds. Its mission is to help lead the Tennessee Valley region and the nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future, relying more on nuclear power and energy efficiency and relying less on coal.

TPG provides world-class media training, crisis communications, speech and presentation coaching for public and private sector executives in the US, Europe and throughout the Middle East. For more information contact or visit our website at