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Research Methodology / Tips for writing a strong methodology
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:48:38 AM »
Tips for writing a strong methodology

Remember that your aim is not just to describe your methods, but to show how and why you applied them and to demonstrate that your research was rigorously conducted.

Focus on your objectives and research questions
The methodology section should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions. Throughout the section, relate your choices back to the central purpose of your dissertation.

Cite relevant sources
Your methodology can be strengthened by reference to existing research in the field, either to:

Confirm that you followed established practices for this type of research
Discuss how you evaluated different methodologies and decided on your approach
Show that you took a novel methodological approach to address a gap in the literature
Our free citation generators can help you to create MLA citations and APA citations.

Write for your audience

Consider how much information you need to give, and don’t go into unnecessary detail. If you are using methods that are standard for your discipline, you probably don’t need to give lots of background or justification. But if you take an approach that is less common in your field, you might need to explain and justify your methodological choices.

In either case, your methodology should be a clear, well-structured text that makes an argument for your approach, not just a list of technical details and procedures.

Discuss obstacles

If you encountered difficulties in collecting or analyzing data, explain how you dealt with them. Show how you minimized the impact of any unexpected obstacles. Pre-empt any major critiques of your approach and demonstrate that you made the research as rigorous as possible.


Research Methodology / How to write a research methodology
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:47:30 AM »
How to write a research methodology

In your thesis or dissertation, you will have to discuss the methods you used to do your research. The methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of the research. It should include:

The type of research you did
How you collected your data
How you analyzed your data
Any tools or materials you used in the research
Your rationale for choosing these methods
The methodology section should generally be written in the past tense.

Academic style guides in your field may also provide detailed guidelines on what to include for different types of studies. For example, there are specific guidelines for writing an APA methods section.

Step 1: Explain your methodological approach
Begin by introducing your overall approach to the research.

What research problem or question did you investigate? For example, did you aim to systematically describe the characteristics of something, to explore an under-researched topic, or to establish a cause-and-effect relationship? And what type of data did you need to achieve this aim?

Did you need quantitative data (expressed in numbers) or qualitative data (expressed in words)?
Did you need to collect primary data yourself, or did you use secondary data that was collected by someone else?
Did you gather experimental data by controlling and manipulating variables, or descriptive data by gathering observations without intervening?
Depending on your discipline and approach, you might also begin with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology.

Why is this the most suitable approach to answering your research questions?
Is this a standard methodology in your field or does it require justification?
Were there any ethical or philosophical considerations?
What are the criteria for validity and reliability in this type of research?
In a quantitative experimental study, you might aim to produce generalizable knowledge about the causes of a phenomenon. Valid research requires a carefully designed study under controlled conditions that can be replicated by other researchers.
In a qualitative ethnography, you might aim to produce contextual real-world knowledge about the behaviors, social structures and shared beliefs of a specific group of people. As this methodology is less controlled and more interpretive, you will need to reflect on your position as researcher, taking into account how your participation and perception might have influenced the results.
Step 2: Describe your methods of data collection
Once you have introduced your overall methodological approach, you should give full details of your data collection methods.

Quantitative methods
In quantitative research, for valid generalizable results, you should describe your methods in enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.

Explain how you operationalized concepts and measured your variables; your sampling method or inclusion/exclusion criteria; and any tools, procedures and materials you used to gather data.

Describe where, when and how the survey was conducted.

How did you design the questions and what form did they take (e.g. multiple choice, Likert scale)?
What sampling method did you use to select participants?
Did you conduct surveys by phone, mail, online or in person, and how long did participants have to respond?
What was the sample size and response rate?
You might want to include the full questionnaire as an appendix so that your reader can see exactly what data was collected.

Give full details of the tools, techniques and procedures you used to conduct the experiment.

How did you design the experiment?
How did you recruit participants?
How did you manipulate and measure the variables?
What tools or technologies did you use in the experiment?
In experimental research, it is especially important to give enough detail for another researcher to reproduce your results.

 Existing data
Explain how you gathered and selected material (such as publications or archival data) for inclusion in your analysis.

Where did you source the material?
How was the data originally produced?
What criteria did you use to select material (e.g. date range)?
Quantitative methods example
The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions that were measured on a 7-point Likert scale. The aim was to conduct the survey with 350 customers of Company X on the company premises in The Hague from 4-8 July 2017 between 11:00 and 15:00. A customer was defined as a person who had purchased a product from Company X on the day of questioning. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously, and 408 customers responded. Because not all surveys were fully completed, 371 survey results were included in the analysis.
Qualitative methods
In qualitative research, since methods are often more flexible and subjective, it’s important to reflect on the approach you took and explain the choices you made.

Discuss the criteria you used to select participants or sources, the context in which the research was conducted, and the role you played in collecting the data (e.g. were you an active participant or a passive observer?)

 Interviews or focus groups
Describe where, when and how the interviews were conducted.

How did you find and select participants?
How many people took part?
What form did the interviews take (structured, semi-structured, unstructured)?
How long were the interviews and how were they recorded?
 Participant observation
Describe where, when and how you conducted the observation or ethnography.

What group or community did you observe and how did you gain access to them?
How long did you spend conducting the research and where was it located?
What role did you play in the community?
How did you record your data (e.g. audiovisual recordings, note-taking)?
 Existing data
Explain how you selected case study materials (such as texts or images) for the focus of your analysis.

What type of materials did you analyze?
How did you collect and select them?
Qualitative methods example
In order to gain a better insight into the possibilities for improvement of the product range, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 returning customers from the main target group of Company X. A returning customer was defined as someone who usually bought products at least twice a week from Company X. The surveys were used to select participants who belonged to the target group (20-45 years old). Interviews were conducted in a small office next to the cash register, and lasted approximately 20 minutes each. Answers were recorded by note-taking, and seven interviews were also filmed with consent. One interviewee preferred not to be filmed

Step 3: Describe your methods of analysis
Next, you should indicate how you processed and analyzed the data. Avoid going into too much detail—you should not start presenting or discussing any of your results at this stage.

Quantitative methods
In quantitative research, your analysis will be based on numbers. In the methods section you might include:

How you prepared the data before analyzing it (e.g. checking for missing data, removing outliers, transforming variables)
Which software you used to analyze the data (e.g. SPSS, Stata or R)
Which statistical tests you used (e.g. two-tailed t-test, simple linear regression)
Quantitative methods example
Before analysis the gathered data was prepared. The dataset was checked for missing data and outliers. For this the “outlier labeling rule” was used. All values outside the calculated range were considered outliers (Hoaglin & Iglewicz, 1987). The data was then analyzed using statistical software SPSS.
Qualitative methods
In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images and observations (often involving some form of textual analysis). Specific methods might include:

Content analysis: categorizing and discussing the meaning of words, phrases and sentences
Thematic analysis: coding and closely examining the data to identify broad themes and patterns
Discourse analysis: studying communication and meaning in relation to their social context
Qualitative methods example
The interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis was conducted. This involved coding all the data before identifying and reviewing six key themes. Each theme was examined to gain an understanding of participants’ perceptions and motivations.
Step 4: Evaluate and justify your methodological choices
Your methodology should make the case for why you chose these particular methods, especially if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. Discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.

You can acknowledge limitations or weaknesses in the approach you chose, but justify why these were outweighed by the strengths.

Lab-based experiments can’t always accurately simulate real-life situations and behaviors, but they are effective for testing causal relationships between variables.
Unstructured interviews usually produce results that cannot be generalized beyond the sample group, but they provide a more in-depth understanding of participants’ perceptions, motivations and emotions.


Research Methodology / How do I choose a research methodology?
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:45:00 AM »
How do I choose a research methodology?
As you’ve probably picked up by now, your research aims and objectives have a major influence on the research methodology. So, the starting point for developing your research methodology is to take a step back and look at the big picture of your research, before you make methodology decisions. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether your research is exploratory or confirmatory in nature.

If your research aims and objectives are primarily exploratory in nature, your research will likely be qualitative and therefore you might consider qualitative data collection methods (e.g. interviews) and analysis methods (e.g. qualitative content analysis).

Conversely, if your research aims and objective are looking to measure or test something (i.e. they’re confirmatory), then your research will quite likely be quantitative in nature, and you might consider quantitative data collection methods (e.g. surveys) and analyses (e.g. statistical analysis).

Designing your research and working out your methodology is a large topic, which we’ll cover in other posts. For now, however, the key takeaway is that you should always start with your research aims and objectives. Every methodology decision will flow from that.


Research Methodology / What are the main data analysis methods?
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:44:32 AM »
What are the main data analysis methods?

Data analysis methods can be grouped according to whether the research is qualitative or quantitative.

Popular data analysis methods in qualitative research include:

  • Qualitative content analysis
    Discourse analysis
    Narrative analysis
    Grounded theory
Qualitative data analysis all begins with data coding, after which one (or more) analysis technique is applied.

Popular data analysis methods in quantitative research include:

Descriptive statistics (e.g. means, medians, modes)
Inferential statistics (e.g. correlation, regression, structural equation modelling)
Again, the choice of which data collection method to use depends on your overall research aims and objectives, as well as practicalities and resource constraints.


Research Methodology / What are the main data collection methods?
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:42:25 AM »
What are the main data collection methods?

There are many different options in terms of how you go about collecting data for your study. However, these options can be grouped into the following types:

  • Interviews (which can be unstructured, semi-structured or structured)
    Focus groups and group interviews
    Surveys (online or physical surveys)
    Documents and records
    Case studies
The choice of which data collection method to use depends on your overall research aims and objectives, as well as practicalities and resource constraints. For example, if your research is exploratory in nature, qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups would likely be a good fit. Conversely, if your research aims to measure specific variables or test hypotheses, large-scale surveys that produce large volumes of numerical data would likely be a better fit.


Research Methodology / What are the main sampling design approaches?
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:41:10 AM »
What are the main sampling design approaches?

As we mentioned earlier, sampling design is about deciding who you’re going to collect your data from (i.e. your sample). There are many sample options, but the two main categories of sampling design are probability sampling and non-probability sampling.

Probability sampling means that you use a completely random sample from the group of people you’re interested in (this group is called the “population”). By using a completely random sample, the results of your study will be generalisable to the entire population. In other words, you can expect the same results across the entire group, without having to collect data from the entire group (which is often not possible for large groups).

Non-probability sampling, on the other hand, doesn’t use a random sample. For example, it might involve using a convenience sample, which means you’d interview or survey people that you have access to (perhaps your friends, family or work colleagues), rather than a truly random sample (which might be difficult to achieve due to resource constraints). With non-probability sampling, the results are typically not generalisable.


What are qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method methodologies?

Qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods are different types of methodologies, distinguished by whether they focus on words, numbers or both. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but its a good starting point for understandings. Let’s take a closer look.

Qualitative research refers to research which focuses on collecting and analysing words (written or spoken) and textual data, whereas quantitative research focuses on measurement and testing using numerical data. Qualitative analysis can also focus on other “softer” data points, such as body language or visual elements.

It’s quite common for a qualitative methodology to be used when the research aims and objectives are exploratory in nature. For example, a qualitative methodology might be used to understand peoples’ perceptions about an event that took place, or a candidate running for president.

Contrasted to this, a quantitative methodology is typically used when the research aims and objectives are confirmatory in nature. For example, a quantitative methodology might be used to measure the relationship between two variables (e.g. personality type and likelihood to commit a crime) or to test a set of hypotheses.

As you’ve probably guessed, the mixed-method methodology attempts to combine the best of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to integrate perspectives and create a rich picture.


Research Methodology / What (Exactly) Is Research Methodology?
« on: June 02, 2021, 10:36:11 AM »
What is research methodology?
Research methodology simply refers to the practical “how” of any given piece of research. More specifically, it’s about how a researcher systematically designs a study to ensure valid and reliable results that address the research aims and objectives.

 For example, how did the researcher go about deciding:

What data to collect (and what data to ignore)
Who to collect it from (in research, this is called “sampling design”)
How to collect it (this is called “data collection methods”)
How to analyse it (this is called “data analysis methods”)
In a dissertation, thesis, academic journal article (or pretty much any formal piece of research), you’ll find a research methodology chapter (or section) which covers the aspects mentioned above. Importantly, a good methodology chapter in a dissertation or thesis explains not just what methodological choices were made, but also explains why they were made.

In other words, the methodology chapter should justify the design choices, by showing that the chosen methods and techniques are the best fit for the research aims and objectives, and will provide valid and reliable results. A good research methodology provides scientifically sound findings, whereas a poor methodology doesn’t.



Jayson DeMers
Founder and CEO, AudienceBloom

Your success as an entrepreneur is determined in large part by your ability to communicate. You can be the best at what you do, but if you’re not communicating effectively with clients, staff and the market, then you’re missing opportunities.

There are many different ways to look at communication in the small-business world -- from the individual formats such as writing and speaking, to different contexts such as client communication and employee management. But I’d like to take a closer look at a handful of overarching themes that transcend specific situations. Mastery of these different communications skills ensures that you’ll be effective at every level.

1. Listen deeply
Are you a good listener? Studies suggest that our daily communication breakdown is as follows:
9 percent writing
16 percent reading
30 percent speaking
45 percent listening
Yet, most of us are terrible listeners. The reasons vary, from being distracted by our own internal monologues to superimposing meaning on what’s being said before we allow others to finish. Instead, try this: focus on the person speaking, and verbally play back a summary of what was said to make sure you understand, before proceeding to build on the conversation with additional points.
Solid listening skills help you more effectively serve clients, make sales and manage employees because you’re picking up on and connecting to people’s most urgent concerns.
2. Interpret non-verbal cues
You’ve heard the refrains on the importance of body language. Sit up straight, think about your facial expressions and remember to lean forward when listening to show interest. But how good is your ability to interpret others’ non-verbal cues? It turns out that it’s essential.

One study from UCLA suggests that as much as 55 percent of the meaning in face-to-face interactions is conveyed non-verbally. Don’t just practice awareness of your own body language. Analyze specific cues -- such as posture, expressions and gestures -- being made by others when they’re speaking.
3. Manage expectations
“Under-promise and over-deliver” might be the most on-point summary of managing expectations ever devised. As an entrepreneur, you have many people asking for significant accomplishments from you in short time periods with limited resources (or so it often feels!). The easiest way to alleviate pressure as an entrepreneur is to manage expectations.
Be clear about deliverables, timeframes and results. If issues arise, communicate clearly and frequently. It’s always better to commit to less than raise people’s expectations and fail to follow through.
4. Productive pushback
Conflict management is an essential part of being an entrepreneur. The Washington Business Journal reported that managers spend between 25 to 40 percent of their days resolving conflicts. A major component of successfully resolving conflicts is your ability to productively push back.
Whether you’re dealing with scope creep in a client case or dealing with management challenges, the ability to communicate under pressure is a key entrepreneurial skill. Pushback should always be polite, productive and non-personal. Focus on clarity and resolution.
5. Be concise
Whether it’s statistics on how little time people spend focused on a single issue (according to one source, eight seconds) or simply the need to get more done in less time, concise communication wins out. Even the technological context supports this. As screens get smaller, we have to say more in fewer words.
Develop the ability to get to the point in a sharp and focused manner and communicate that across mediums. Find ways to cut the fat off your verbal and written communications and notice whether it gets you better results.
6. Confidently state your value and differentiation
Branding and selling are all about being able to confidently communicate both your points of value and what makes you different than anyone else on the market. The same skills are essential to helping you motivate yourself on a daily basis, hire the right employees, and ultimately even connect with friends and partners.
Spend time getting clear about the value you bring to the table and your unique selling points, and build your ability to confidently share that in different contexts. Practice boiling that proposition down to no more than two to three sentences.
7. Know your why
Most people focus on what to say and how to say it. How can I sound smart? How can I deliver this speech for maximum impact? But it’s more important to know why you’re communicating. What do you want people to take away? What action should they take after you interact?
Every communication should have a call to action, even if that call to action is to leave with a positive feeling about your or your brand. Ask yourself why you’re communicating before you write, pick up the phone or step into your next meeting and make sure your tone, word choice and delivery are in service to that goal.
Developing the soft skills needed to succeed as an entrepreneur takes time. Focusing on your communication skills -- from reading body language to summing up your value in a few sentences -- is one of the most powerful things you can do to advance your career and success.
Work to find the gaps in your communications arsenal and then mindfully practice until each of your skills is up to par.


Faculty Sections / 15 Ways to Lead With Effective Communication
« on: July 13, 2019, 03:15:01 PM »

Josh Steimle

Speaker, writer and entrepreneur

Too many entrepreneurs become estranged from their teams, turn off partners, and lose deals, all because they lack basic communication skills. Often this lack of skill gets passed down to teams and the problems are perpetuated through the organization.

Does your employer know how to communicate? Do you?
As important as these skills are, somehow they don’t teach this stuff in schools. Now, according to Simon Sinek, when our educational system and parents create graduates who lack basic social graces, it falls on employers to make up the difference.

But what if you’re an entrepreneur with no one to help you build the soft skills? Or an employee trying to advance with no mentor in sight?

The journey starts with these 15 tips to build your workforce communication skills, offered from working entrepreneurs, speakers, authors and coaches. The first one is mine.

1. Ask more than one person to do it, and nobody will.

In psychology it’s called the bystander effect.
When someone else is present, before I act I’ll stop to consider if my actions are socially appropriate. I run a marketing agency, and when I ask a group of people in my agency to do something, as in “Hey, will somebody who was copied on this email take care of XYZ task?” It’s much less effective than asking a single person to take responsibility.
Being a passive bystander is virtually hard-wired. This is why individuals who take emergency training are directed, when someone gets hurt, to point at someone and say “You in the red shirt, call 9-1-1!” Rather than, “Someone call 9-1-1!”
2. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
Leonard Kim is the founder of Influence Tree, and says that meaning what you say is hard. “In order to do this, you have to show compassion and empathy, and talk to the other party like they matter to you. Because guess what? They do.”
Your actions after you speak are just as important, because if you didn’t follow through on what you said in the past, people won’t trust you really mean what you say in the future.
3. Use simple global communication.
More than ever we’re doing business across cultures, and simple language is key, says Jan Smejkal, the China & APAC Community Director of Startup Grind. “If you are building a business in a country where the knowledge of English is relatively low, and where the cultural differences might cause additional difficulties, focus on:
Using simple language to deliver the message. (Note, simple does not mean simple minded.)
Avoiding sarcasm, which can easily be misunderstood.
Getting the right partner and employees who will help you bridge the language and culture gaps.”
Related: Going Global? Don't Let Your Business Get Lost
4. Don’t rely on your device.
“A real conversation is almost always more valuable than a digital one,” says Carl Woolston of “Don't be afraid to pick up the phone or set up a real meeting.  Relationships are about connection, and connection is an investment.”
5. Study your body language.
Robyn D. Shulman of EdNews Daily says: “Your body language can have greater power than words.”
Here are four places she says to get awareness:
Eye contact -- pay attention and check if your listener is checked-in (or out).
Posture -- get relaxed and open.
Your arms -- decide what you’ll do with them.
Vocal tone -- sound warm and approachable.
6. Keep quiet.
Joseph Lazukin, Founder of calls this expert positioning.
“If you're not the expert,” he says, “don't insert yourself into conversations and discussions where your untested advice may backfire and discredit you from future relationships and opportunities.”

“The power of listening and of being a quick study in the presence of others when communicating in a private or group setting is often underestimated,” he says, “but remains easily one of the most powerful traits for advancement and growth you can possess.”
7. Listen to listen.
“We are trained to listen to reply,” says Virginia Phillips, author, speaker and coach at Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. “But if you can listen to gather data about another person’s situation, perspective, and personality, you can apply a greater level of emotional intelligence and increase your chances to influence the conversation and the individual.”
8. Simplify, simplify.
Murray Galbraith is CEO at Myriad, a landmark tech and innovation event based in Queensland, Australia. He says to do the hard work of streamlining your communication before you deliver it.
“Filter your message down to its core elements before attempting to communicate it to others. Reducing cognitive load is the greatest gift you can give a modern professional, and they'll be far more likely to acknowledge -- and ideally, accept -- the value you're offering.”

9. Boost your emotional IQ.

Cydni Tetro is a high profile tech entrepreneur and co-founder of the Women Tech Council. She says the best communicators have an emotional IQ, or the ability to understand and influence the emotions of ourselves and others. “Learn to read people and situations so you can navigate the complexities to find positive outcomes,” she says.
10. Be willing to say no.
“Unfortunately, most of us want to be liked by others so we tend to agree, even if the right thing is to disagree, or more importantly, to say "no,”  says David Politis, a marketing and communications professional.
How do you say "no?"
“Be nice about it,” says Politis. “Explain why you’re saying 'no,' while providing an alternate solution at the same time.”
11. Talk with people -- not at people.
Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk Internet Marketing says “we all find ourselves falling into this trap, and as a marketer I have to try to stop myself AND clients from tumbling in regularly.”
Business owners often tell people what the owner wants them to know, without interacting to understand what the other person wants. Rattling off technical specs, or cluttering pages meant to be helpful with what they want to sell, as opposed to focusing on what the visitor is looking for…This is one of the biggest obstacles in communication I see on a regular basis.”
12. Be concise.
Whether you’re writing or speaking, author Josh Bernoff says that fewer words are better. For example: “Put the key conclusion or ‘ask’ in the first two sentences.”
13. Add value.
“You should look for a way to add value every time you communicate,” says Jeremy L. Knauff, CEO at Spartan Media. “That creates more impact and makes your message memorable.”
A handy tip for how to practice adding value? Before opening your mouth, ask yourself “What value will the person I’m speaking to get from what I’m about to say?”
14. Be consistent.
“When you’re consistent in your words, tone, and all other forms of communication you begin to create a personal brand,” says Daniel Marlin, an entrepreneur and marketer from Cape Town, South Africa. “You're influencing somebody to work with you, trust you, remember you.”
15. Be honest.
“Integrity in communication is being the same person with the same opinion all of the time, no matter who's asking, says Cheryl Snapp Conner, CEO and Founder of Snapp Conner PR. “You should be 100 percent honest; always. It is possible to be both honest and tactful, and this is a trait you should hone.”


Karima Mariama
Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport

Silver-tongued orators are like world-class magicians. They float onto the stage with enviable swagger. They use choice material, and their compelling delivery keeps audiences rapt. They know that to touch the heart is to affect change; to stir the imagination is to inspire action.
But they also know something that others don't: Effective communication is an attainable and deliberately acquired skill set -- one that can be learned and practiced over time. Too many people mistakenly believe that good communication skills are written into a person’s DNA. While it’s true that individual attributes can make these abilities easier to acquire, there is nothing that the world’s best communicators have that you can’t acquire through hard work.
Ask any impressive orator and they will tell you that the real magic is anchored in the precision work they do behind the scenes. And as author and former presidential speech writer James C. Humes writes, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” Those who master the art can convince others to help them move mountains.
If you’d like to improve your ability to communicate and gain greater influence as a leader, take the time to cultivate the cardinal skills.
Smoke out original thought.
Citing tired platitudes and bumper sticker slogans might win you a few "cool points" in social media circles, but they will only take you so far if you're truly striving to effectuate change. People loathe hearing the same old ideas, over and over again. Smart leaders know that stretching their creative capacity is required to increase industry clout and deliver meaningful messages that matter.
Make no mistake, to become a more effective communicator, you must 'smoke out' original thought. Rather than conforming to the status quo, make a conscious decision to abandon overdone and clichéd material. When a disruptive idea rears its peculiar head, instead of immediately dismissing it, meditate on it to see where it takes you. The most inspiring and provocative ideas usually evolve this way.
And as for those who say that you shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel? Anyone who has ever sat through multiple renditions of Three Ways to Become a Servant Leader will tell you that it’s high time that someone, somewhere did.
Prepare an impactful delivery.
Once you’ve developed a fresh idea, it’s time to work on organizing your message and polishing your delivery. How will you launch a stunning opening and closing line? How will you organize your material succinctly, so that it is both moving and memorable (perhaps tweetable and repeatable)? Should you use humor? Persuasion? What kind of compelling details should be included? Would a story be appropriate? Remember that your delivery also includes your vocal and non-verbal communication (body language), which are critical to the success of your overall message.
Winston Churchill practiced one hour for every minute of talk-time. A polished delivery is not about cobbling together the "perfect words" and then memorizing them like a robot. It is all about the way you competently and confidently convey your message in real-time. Take the time to internalize the subject matter and work on the mechanics until you own them. The delivery should feel so natural that you hardly have to think about it. Note that while practicing your message aloud, you may realize that the content needs to be tweaked. Welcome these edits. You're on you way to chiseling out the heart of your message so that it falls nicely on the ear.
It's often a good idea to send your draft material to someone you trust (even a subject matter expert) for honest, constructive feedback. Once you've honed the content, practice it in front of someone with a good eye and ear for impeccable delivery. Whatever you do, don't become defensive. Throw your ego out the door and apply what you learn to sharpen your saw.
Use active listening to your advantage.
George Bernard Shaw coined the famous phrase, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Poor listening skills create roadblocks to communication, especially when the single-minded goal of the speaker is to be heard. Anytime you are engaging an audience, there should be continuous cycle of give and take, which includes listening and learning, as well as offering tangible value.
A speaker communicates best while he or she listens actively, which helps them to respond more organically to the needs of the audience, while simultaneously expanding their understanding of the nuanced dialogue taking place. However, if you’ve convinced yourself that you’re the only person in the room with something interesting or valuable to say, then you'll miss key opportunities to clarify, provide relevant examples and challenge the audience to dig deeper to extract greater meaning.
Real communication involves purposeful exchanges between all interested parties. If you’re doing all the talking, you’re not maximizing opportunities to create reciprocal understanding or expand the reach of your thought leadership.
Develop rapport by engaging in real dialogue.
Most people know when they’re being "talked at" rather than "talked to." And being "talked at" almost always turns people off. Leaders who engage in dynamic, interactive dialogues -- rather than defaulting to stale monologues -- establish trust, develop rapport and experience greater empathy from their audiences.
We've all sat through lackluster, canned presentations hardly salvaged by the PowerPoint slides that consumed them. And when they're read verbatim, with little to no emotion, it's a miserable experience for all. If you’re not focused on building rapport and having an organic conversation with the audience you're attempting to sway, then you’re squandering your efforts and wasting everyone's time.
In a trust economy where honored relationships form the basis for developing and maintaining business, treating communication as a perfunctory exercise will only result in a gratuitous diminishment of credibility. Remember, connecting with your audience (whether that be an audience of one or 1,000) will always mean taking the time to engage them, exposing your humanity and jettisoning the unfortunate behaviors so commonly associated with an aloof and ill-prepared presenter.
Check in with surgical follow-up.
Part of mastering the four skills mentioned so far necessarily includes following up with your audience, in real-time. Even the most accomplished communicators observe this critical step. How do you do that in a speech? You check in with your audience to make sure that they "got" what you intended to give.
One way to do this is to emphasize the main points of the presentation by strategically reintroducing them at the end. By no means does this suggest regurgitating a mundane list, though. Be creative! For example, you might offer several calls to action, complemented by an expansion of each point.
Another way to accomplish this is by eliciting feedback and answering audience questions, especially when a live Q&A session is part of the engagement. This allows the audience to flesh out any unanswered questions, resolve any misunderstandings and walk away with greater value. If a Q&A session is not possible (and even still in most cases), offer a mechanism that allows the audience to provide anonymous, but targeted feedback. You'll want to know what worked and what didn't.
After the engagement, review and assess the evaluations. Use the constructive feedback to improve your next performance and surgically remove from it anything that isn't useful. The more evaluations you receive and analyze over time, the better you'll get with your scalpel.
Are you ready to benefit from the golden touch of a silver tongue? If you work to master the above skill set, you'll be well on your way!


If there’s one thing you can count on in modern life, one truism that will never let you down, it is this: You want more Gs. That’s true in the thousands-of-dollars sense, and it’s definitely true in the better-mobile-networks sense.
And from a media perspective, better networks tend to produce, or at least emphasize, different types of content. The first iPhone allowed only 2G data, which had roughly the throughput of passing a manila folder with one sticky note inside, and publishers stuck to the relatively basic webpages they were serving their still-partially-dialup desktop audiences. Then 3G came along and enabled the boom in podcasts: downloading shows over the air solved the usability problems attached to transferring MP3s via cable and dock, and podcast episodes were just big enough to be annoying over 2G but still small enough to not choke 3G. Then 4G and LTE made mobile video tolerable and gave us the first janky glimpses of AR and VR.

As you’ve probably heard, 5G’s around the corner, if that corner is “mainstream use is still at least a year away,” and it’s expected to be at least 20× the speed of 4G. So it makes sense that forward-looking publishers are planning ahead for what it might bring.

Among those is The New York Times, which has described some of its plans in a Medium post. Here are Aharon Wasserman, Serena Parr and Joseph Kenol:

To explore what kind of storytelling opportunities 5G might enable, this year we’ve launched a 5G Journalism Lab. We’ve partnered with Verizon, which is providing us with early access to 5G networking and equipment for us to experiment with.
We believe 5G’s speed and lack of latency could spark a revolution in digital journalism in two key areas: how we gather the news and how we deliver it. In the short term, having access to 5G will help The Times enhance our ability to capture and produce rich media in breaking news situations. Over time, as our readers start to use 5G devices, we will be able to further optimize the way our journalism is delivered and experienced.
The Times’ vision for what 5G will do to journalism is still a bit vague, but the 5G Lab’s work includes both internal-to-the-Times uses and the provision of news to an audience with 5G in their pockets:

— Better and more reliable data connections for its journalists in the field, including “exploring how 5G can help our journalists automatically stream media — HD photos, videos and audio, and even 3D models — back to the newsroom in real-time, as they are captured.”

— More and better AR and VR immersive experiences within stories, allowing readers “to explore new environments that are captured in 3D.”

Those are fine areas to explore, but it’s safe to say the most significant impacts 5G will have are probably ones publishers can’t anticipate today. The reality will almost certainly be weirder than we think. So just as a brainstorming exercise, here are a few possibilities that come to my mind.

Always-streaming reporters. Think of what Twitter has done to reporters: turned them from “people who report and write stories that are edited and published online every so often” to “people who are constantly sharing links, commenting on events, live-tweeting press conferences, giving granular updates, asking for help, and having human conversations, all in public and in real time.” It’s a big shift! And it’s one that, let’s be honest, is primarily driven by technology; there was no giant market demand or particular financial incentive for us to become tweeting machines. We did it because the technology — from phones in our pocket to the creation of app stores to Twitter’s underlying instantiation of the social graph and 140-character genius — was easy enough, convenient enough, and rewarding enough to hand over a share of our day.

Twitter is still overwhelmingly text, because that’s the format it incentivizes and that’s easiest to produce. What happens when 5G does that for streaming video or even AR? Could 5G’d reporters become livestreamers by default? For high-value segments of publishing, could access to a reporter’s livestream become part of a premium package? (“Join the $500-a-month tier of and get exclusive access to Michael Barbaro’s livestream as he records The Daily every evening.”) I’d imagine that the most traditional news organizations would also be the most hesitant to do something like this — but why wouldn’t celebrities and athletes want to play in a space that sells both exclusivity and intimacy? And if they do it, why wouldn’t some digital-native outfit like BuzzFeed?

If that sounds implausible, imagine pitching this to a bunch of journalists 10 years ago: “How’d you like to publish 50 little messages a day, some about your beat, some about whatever’s on your mind, mostly from your phone, all while getting yelled at by random Nazis?” And yet Twitter lives.

There’s nothing unique about 5G that would allow this; you can livestream now. But you could also watch videos on your 2G O.G. iPhone; you just didn’t do much of it until fast data became ubiquitous. New technologies often establish new norms as much as they enable new products.

A new kind of rewrite. Let’s say that newsrooms aren’t sure about their reporters streaming out to the public. What about them streaming back to the newsroom?

The age-old tradition of rewrite involved a bunch of reporters working on a story, then sending feeds of what they found to one person back at the office, who’d charged with assembling those raw materials into a final coherent story.

Except those raw materials aren’t all that raw; they’re semi-processed ore that has already gone through the notebooks and minds of the reporters involved. What if the story needs a key stat that a reporter has in her notebook but didn’t include in the feed? What if something important that happened at that city council meeting that the reporter didn’t notice?

When high-throughput video streaming from our Apple Spectacles becomes normal — with the processing offloaded to our iPhones and the data streaming over 5G — reporters might be expected to stream their day back to the newsroom, where a rewrite reporter might work with (or at least have access to) those truly raw feeds. Need a quote from the mayor? You know the city hall reporter was talking to him this morning, and you know what the mayor looks like — ask the computer-vision/video-search app on your computer to look for the mayor’s face in the reporter’s stream and pull out everything he said. Did the cops reporter mention an interesting police report about James Smith at the watercooler? If she ever saw the report, it’s in her stream and OCR’d; just search her stream for “James Smith,” limited to video streamed from the police department, and it’ll pop up.

These sorts of things may seem far-fetched. (Not to mention a little authoritarian; reporters aren’t used to the sort of employer surveillance that, say, Amazon delivery drivers face.) But advances in machine learning, computer vision, and other segments of AI will make finding that needle in a haystack as easy as a Google search before long. And what it’ll need is a lot of haystacks — the raw material that will make up an incredibly rich archive of a city. Reporters will be their miners.

Remember George Allen, the former Virginia governor and senator who lots of people thought would be the GOP nominee for president in 2008? In 2006, his Senate reelection campaign got derailed when a tracker for his opponent recorded Allen calling him a racial slur. If that tracker, S. R. Sidarth, hadn’t been filming, it’s entirely possible that Allen would have won reelection and changed the 2008 presidential race. And the reason he was filming is that video technology — the cost to observe and record, essentially — had dropped so much by 2006 that giving a camera to a college kid and asking him to follow Allen around made financial and logistical sense it wouldn’t have 20 years earlier. Ubiquitous data creates new use cases that sporadic data doesn’t.

The Newsroom of Things. If ingestable streams of real-world experiences become the currency of the realm, well, do they all need to be attached to reporters? Early experiments with sensor journalism have sometimes run into roadblocks caused by the cost of connecting lots of little devices to the network; 5G should make that easier in the long run. Writing about traffic on the downtown loop? Put up a few sensors that can monitor and stream the flow of vehicles 24/7 to figure out where the roadblocks are. Is Little League big in your town? Put up a camera at the local diamond that can livestream games to your readers and automatically generate game stories. Are water board meetings boring 95 percent of the time but highly newsworthy the other 5? Put a camera in the meeting room to stream it and to watch for those rare bursts of importance.

A lot of these ideas rely on AI improvements as much as far better networks — but those will improve in tandem. The more raw data there is to analyze, the more tools will be built to analyze it.

More competition for people’s attention from everything else using 5G. A sad but inevitable outcome for those of us who care about a broadly informed public. At every stage of the Internet’s development, technology that has made it easier to distribute information has brought benefits to news organizations. But it’s brought many more benefits to everyone else. That’s true both for those who previously had little access to publishing — think bloggers and emergent social media successes — and for those who will use those technologies for entertainment purposes. When all you had access to in daily print was a newspaper, the front page was guaranteed to feature news. When all you had access to was your local broadcast TV stations, roughly 1/5 of the available content was news of some sort.

When cable TV came along, the news junkies could watch CNN — but it was also easier to avoid news altogether. Every technological gain from the web or smartphones was also available to game builders, fake news merchants, meme makers, and your racist Uncle Ted. Nothing wrong with entertainment! But it’s worth noting that the near-instantaneous delivery of huge amounts of video and spatial data is much more likely to benefit Hollywood, game makers, and others who will create amazing immersive experiences than it will journalists.


“Watergate” is a general term used to describe a complex web of political scandals between 1972 and 1974. The word specifically refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C.


Watergate has entered the political lexicon as a term synonymous with corruption and scandal, yet the Watergate Hotel is one of Washington’s plushest hotels. Even today, it is home to former Senator Bob Dole and was once the place where Monica Lewinsky laid low. It was here that the Watergate Burglars broke into the Democratic Party’s National Committee offices on June 17, 1972. If it had not been for the alert actions of Frank Wills, a security guard, the scandal may never have erupted. MORE

The story of Watergate has an intriguing historical and political background, arising out of political events of the 1960s such as Vietnam, and the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1970. But the chronology of the scandal really begins during 1972, when the burglars were arrested. By 1973, Nixon had been re-elected, but the storm clouds were building. By early 1974, the nation was consumed by Watergate. MORE


Richard Milhous Nixon is one of the most fascinating political figures of the 20th Century. His long political career began in 1947 when he was elected to the House of Representatives. By 1952, Nixon had been chosen as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate, but not before he was embroiled in a scandal that led to the infamous Checkers Speech.

Nixon served as Vice-President for eight years, then lost the 1960 election to John F. Kennedy. He recovered from political defeat to be chosen again as the Republican Party’s candidate at the 1968 election. Following a year of turmoil, including two political assassinations, Nixon became the nation’s 37th President on January 20, 1969. Later that year, he delivered his ‘Silent Majority’ speech on the Vietnam War, articulating his belief that the bulk of the American people supported his policies and programs. He was vindicated by winning a landslide re-election. He was sworn in for a second term in Janury 1973. MORE


Nixon made three major speeches on the Watergate scandal during 1973 and 1974. The first was on April 30, 1973, in which he announced the departure of Dean, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. A more defiant speech was delivered on August 15, 1973. Perhaps the politically most difficult speech was the one on April 29, 1974, in which Nixon released partial transcripts of the White House tapes. MORE

Initial investigations of Watergate were heavily influenced by the media, particularly the work of two reporters from the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, along with their mysterious informant, Deep Throat.

Political investigations began in February 1973 when the Senate established a Committee to investigate the Watergate scandal. The public hearings of the Committee were sensational, including the evidence of John Dean, Nixon’s former White House Counsel. The Committee also uncovered the existence of the secret White House tape recordings, sparking a major political and legal battle between the Congress and the President.

In 1974, the House of Representatives authorised the Judiciary Committee to consider impeachment proceedings against Nixon. The work of this Committee was again the spotlight a quarter of a century later when Bill Clinton was impeached. MORE

Nixon’s last days in office came in late July and early August, 1974. The House Judiciary Committee voted to accept three of four proposed Articles of Impeachment, with some Republicans voting with Democrats to recommend impeachment of the President.

The final blow came with the decision by the Supreme Court to order Nixon to release more White House tapes. One of these became known as the ‘smoking gun’ tape when it revealed that Nixon had participated in the Watergate cover-up as far back as June 23, 1972. Around the country, there were calls for Nixon to resign.

At 9pm on the evening of August 8, 1974, Nixon delivered a nationally televised resignation speech. The next morning, he made his final remarks to the White House staff before sending his resignation letter to the Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger. MORE

Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States when Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. He was the first Vice-President and the first President to ascend to both positions without being elected. Regarded on all sides of politics as a decent man, Ford will be remembered for his controversial pardon of Richard Nixon. MORE


Watergate had profound consequences in the United States. There was a long list of convictions and other casualties. For example, the aftermath of Watergate ushered in changes in campaign finance reform and a more aggressive attitude by the media. By the time the 25th anniversary of Watergate occurred in 1997, a vast library of books and films existed. Watergate’s influence was felt in the Clinton Impeachment of 1998-99.

Nixon died in 1994 and was eulogised by the political establishment, although he was still a figure of controversy.

The investigations into Watergate that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon are a case study in the operation of the American Constitution and political values.


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