Tag: humor


The Limits of Razzle-Dazzle

Company X has a problem.  Their Leader–recognized as trend-setting, dynamo by people in the upper-ranks of his industry–can come across as wooden, even defensive, when making a presentation before large audiences.

This Leader will soon be facing a very large and critical audience–the global meeting of the major investors in his company’s far-flung empire.  The case has to be made that these investors need to reach into their pockets and pony-up for a fresh wave of modernization.  To make this case, the Leader needs to get off the operational details and shift the thinking of his stakeholders to see startling possibilities.

He needs to be spellbinding.  But he isn’t. Read

Finance Perspectives Practices Public Affairs

Goldman Sachs and the Perils of Personality

Does Goldman Sachs have a God problem? A God complex? An ungodly headache?

Goldman, once a venerable institution known for keeping close counsel, is now a lightning rod for populist criticism of the financial sector. And its latest public relations efforts don’t seem to be helping.

The bank’s very success – turning a profit in excess of $3 billion last quarter – is exacerbating the problem. Americans are in no mood to celebrate Wall Street success. With deepening bonus pools and bulked up compensation packages, Goldman isn’t winning any friends. Read

Services Writing

Joke’s on You!


Making people laugh seems like an easy way to break the ice, but using humor in a speech is not for everyone – and it can certainly be a challenge to write. Perhaps that’s why speech-writing guide Joan Detz devotes an entire chapter to humor in her famous book How to Write and Give a Speech.

A cautionary tale: Just this week National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones began a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy with a somewhat off-color joke. His “funny anecdote” that he used to start the speech is now all over the Internet, raising concerns that he relied on anti-Semitic stereotypes for a laugh. Read