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I have this afternoon come out of a truly inspiring session at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference in Washington. I had the great privilege to meet Marco Greenberg who spoke about the work he has done on publicising the story of Ian Burkhart. Ian is using ground breaking technology, called NeuroLife, to bypass a spinal injury that left him with quadriplegia and he is regaining the use of his arms - amazing, uplifting and insightful story.

Marco gave us a brief and fascinating look into exciting world of bionic technology, exploring the cutting edge ways in which humans are integrating computers into their bodies. Ian Burkhart, his client is one of world's foremost pioneers in this realm. Although paralyzed from the chest down, when he is hooked up to the computer, and the computer is connected to a special sleeve wrapped around his forearm, he can use his hands to pick up and put things down. The technology reanimates his arm and allows him to control it with his mind, similar to the way he moved before his accident.

For me this was by far the best session of the conference and it was such a shame that it wasn't a key note address because I believe everyone would have got so much out of hearing Marco's insights.

Getting 8 billion impressions on a story is impressive, especially when you think that there are only 7.5 billion people on the planet.

If one of my students presented me that as an objective, I would have told them to make the objective SMART, (namely ...achievable and realistic!) I stand corrected - it is possible to get this amount of coverage with the right story and the right approach. Well done Marco and Ian.

If you'd like to learn about Ian's story you can check out his website www.ianburkhart.com
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What a great honour to be asked to give a keynote address at the Public Relations Institute of Ireland's Annual Conference held on Thursday 20th October in the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.

Fantastic to hear great case studies and examples of best practice from colleagues across the industry.

Laoise O'Murchu, Keynote Address: Leading from within: the secret to business communication.
If you would like to get a flavour of the event and the atmosphere on the day watch the video below.

Laoise O Murchu PRII conference 16 - YouTube
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I had the honour of presenting at the World Conference of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in New York last week.

The theme of my session was 'How to change behaviors, attitudes and outcomes'. More specifically, it outlined how the key to behaviour change lies in understanding that people are 80 percent emotional and 20 percent rational. My session demonstrated how to drive performance and change behavior by connecting with employees on an emotional level. It outlined how to make employees feel good about themselves, and how to transform their thinking and attitudes. Here is the connection to the presentation for those of you who have requested a copy.



Thank you to IABC for inviting me to present. It was a privilege to speak along side such high profile speakers as former Marvel CEO, Peter Cuneo, Edelman PR’s Richard Edelman, Duarte Inc.’s Nancy Duarte, and Shelly Lazarus from Ogilvy & Mather.

About IABC
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves more than 14,000 members in 70 countries. For more information, visit iabc.com.

The opening reception for the conference which was held in the Rockefeller Centre outdoor arena - very impressive - well done IABC, well done New York!  
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The IABC World Conference is an annual feast for communicators. It offers a mix of exceptional and visionary keynote speakers through to small expert workshops. I was delighted to once again be invited to speak at the world conference, this year in San Francisco.

As always it was a fantastic chance to meet with leading communication experts from around the world, to pick up insights, socialize and make new friends.

With almost 2000 delegates from all over the world and many exceptional speakers the most difficult challenge was to decide what sessions to go too. Too many sessions, too little time. A good complaint.

Firstly we kicked off with Sally Hogshead’s opening session on the science of fascination. Her tests and presentation had everyone buzzing and was a conversation kicker for the welcome reception that evening. Her insights into how to capture people's attention and land that project were inspiring.

Storytelling was a recurring theme, and according to Subhamoy Das, stories are the scaffoldings of business communications, but also of life. “We all live our lives through stories. We make sense of our world and our place in it through stories!”

My personal best pick of the conference was Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP (and author of Winners Dream: A journey from corner store to corner office). An exceptional communicator he told his life story and gave some key tips for communicators:
If you want to be relevant don’t come in with questions. Don’t waste time. Come in with ideas and solutions.
Avoid long emails “All this corporate sneaky stuff has gotta go”.
Go direct, pick up the phone.
Be a catalyst for making vision and strategy come to life. Think about what matters most.

We also had a very insightful crisis communications session with some of the leading communicators who worked through the Boston Marathon Bombings. We heard from the communicator in the medical centre, who cared for the injured, the communications manager for the police department and the personal perspective of a communicator who was there as a participant at the event.

My own session was entitled 'Risk, resilience and psychology give us a new communication toolkit'. It focused on how we can use proven risk tools alongside cognitive and behavioral psychology to provide leaders and communicators with a new way of problem solving and effectively communicating.

It was an honour to speak at the event and to once again meet such cutting edge communicators.

Great company from IABC France Claudia Vaccarone and from IABC Slovenia Jasna Suhadolc 

Couldn't travel this far and not see the Golden Gate Bridge!  


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What an honour - I've been invited to participate in a webinar series along-side my communication idols. Below is the information on the webinar series from the IABC website.
The Best of Show webinar series is a global virtual learning experience that takes highly rated sessions from the World Conference and brings them directly to you. IABC are building on the success of the 2015 event and offering you a chance to draw from some of the best presentations at the conference and preview the kind of high-quality learning you can expect at the 2016 event in New Orleans.

Choose from five outstanding webinar sessions—or get a discount and sign up for all five! The elite among our conference presenters are prepared to share their new ideas, best practices and innovative thinking with a global audience of thousands. Plus, these sessions are tailored to your specific needs. Sessions have been matched to IABC’s Global Standard and career paths, giving you the opportunity to map your learning to IABC’s Career Roadmap.

Purchase sessions individually at US$125 members/US$175 non-members or get all five at a 25% discount! 2015 World Conference attendees get a 50% discount.

For more information or to register for webinars, visit the World Conference website.
Cutting through the Content Clutter:
Create communications that people will actually pay attention to . . . and act on!
Steve Crescenzo — 4 November 2015, 4-5 p.m. PST / 7-8 p.m. EST





Risk, resilience and psychology give us a new communication toolkit
Laoise O’ Murchu, Ph.D. — 16 November at 9-10 a.m. PST/ 12-1 p.m. EST





Use stories, ceremonies and symbols to turn your idea into a movement
Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez — 30 November 2015, 9-10 a.m. PST / 12-1 p.m. EST




Saving lives: A different approach to safety communication
Shaun Jones — 21 October 2015, 4-5 p.m. PST / 7-8 p.m. EST








Lift your ideas off the page or screen: Master the art of display copy
Ann Wylie — 12 October at 9-10 a.m. PDT / 12-1:00 p.m. EDT




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I am just back from speaking at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference in Toronto where I had the pleasure of meeting a fantastic group of professional communicators.

Over this week I hope to post a number of key leanings and interesting information that was shared and discussed at the conference.

The first key note speaker was Mike Walsh a leading digital futurist and authority on building businesses for the 21st century. Rather than focusing on the distant future, Mike takes an anthropological approach - scanning the near horizon for emerging technologies and disruptive shifts in human behavior, and then translating these into pragmatic plans for business transformation.

One of the interesting anecdotes Mike shared was the list of words General Motors instructed their staff not to avoid using. The list included the following 68 words:

annihilate, apocalyptic, asphyxiating, bad, Band-Aid, big time, brakes like an “X” car, cataclysmic, catastrophic, Challenger, chaotic, Cobain, condemns, Corvair-like, crippling, critical, dangerous, deathtrap, debilitating, decapitating, defect, defecti ve, detonate, disemboweling, enfeebling, evil, eviscerated, explode, failed, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, Hobbling, Horrific, impaling, inferno, Kevorkianesque, lacerating, life-threatening, maiming, malicious, mangling, maniacal, mutilating, never, potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem, rolling sarcophagus (tomb or coffin), safety, safety related, serious, spontaneous combustion, startling, suffocating, suicidal, terrifying, Titanic, unstable, widow-maker, words or phrases with a biblical connotation, you’re toast

The list appeared first in training presentations for GM staff in 2008 and GM state their culture has changed significantly since then!! We certainly hope so! 

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