The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

Russell Crowe – earthy & unpretentious

Of all the voices of male motion picture actors, Russell Crowe’s earthy, unpretentious voice is the one that grips you, viscerally – and doesn’t let you go until he stops speaking.

You’ll experience that grip in a 53:30 minute interview of Crowe by Charlie Rose.

Here are other thoughts about, and what resonated with me about, the interview:

-I’ve shared this thought before but it’s worth repeating. Like many other great communicators, Crowe is all of one piece. His inner evaluation fits his outer evaluation. That’s why he comes across as genuine. This is no artifice.

-Watch the 20:19 > 21:56 segment as Crowe (the director) talks about how he takes a cast through his preparation regimen and platform for creating a film. The regimen is a ten day physical, emotional and intellectual ‘boot camp’.

What struck me about the boot camp was its depth and breadth, and how Crowe in the camp created a standard of performance to rise to.

Consider your last major pitch for business. How did your preparation with your pitch team compare with Crowe’s boot camp? Did you create a standard for the pitch team to rise to?

Now I’m not suggesting that you have your team do gun shooting practice for every pitch. But considering that many pitches are ‘winged’, the extra effort you put in could mean the difference between winning the pitch and placing second.

A good mantra to repeat during your pitch preparation is:

‘What else could we do, that our competitors won’t do?’

-Crowe uses a turn of phrase when comparing directing a movie to gazing at the night sky. Namely, ‘The more you look at it, the more you can see.’

-For South Sydney National Rugby League supporters, as well as for vignettes about media tycoon Kerry Packer watch at the 36:48 > 44:00 minute segment.

-Crowe tears up when discussing his body of work. Watch the 51:37 > 52:00 minute segment which ends with ‘I do my very best everyday’.

Here is the LINK to the clip.


Own the Conversation

I think we all can agree that there is a degree of pretension in corporate life. Executives who take themselves too seriously. Executives who couch their real thoughts behind a veneer. Who, in effect, watch themselves as they speak to make sure they’re making the ‘right’ impression.

Obviously you need to be aware of the politics in your organisation and know what behaviours get rewarded and what behaviours get punished.

Still, with Crowe as an exemplar, for the next seven days, aim to lighten-up in one of your interactions. Speak with out pretension. Reflect on the impact of doing that on the other person- and on how it made you feel.


p.s Check out this post Learning from John Wayne’s body language.

#You might want to trial my Confident Personal Communication video learning programme because it will give you practical techniques to ‘Own the Conversation’.

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