Everything I need to know about communications I learned from “House of Cards”

  • Power from the people
    This man will eat your soul.


  • If you can’t tell it as a story, it’s probably not worth telling. If you want people to remember it, tell it as a story.
  • Writing and speaking are like packing for vacation: you only need half of what you think you need, whether that’s clothing or words.
  • 95% of communication isn’t words: it’s delivery. Delivery is body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, pauses and prosody.
  • Everything sounds better in a French accent.
  • If you can’t answer the question “what’s in it for me,” don’t expect anyone to care.
  • It usually takes four “why?”s before you reach the real “why?”
  • The best verbal defense is to ask a question. Often the first person to make a statement in a debate loses. If you can’t ask a question, restate your case. Answering a question is the last resort.
  • Never answer the question that was asked. Answer the question you wish was asked.
  • 98% of speeches are forgettable.
  • “Power is the ability to make others do what you would have them do.” If you want people to do what you would have them do, they have to want to do it or believe they want to do it.
  • If you can make someone feel important, they will listen to whatever you have to say.
  • Everyone’s got a story. If you listen long enough to find out someone’s story, you can begin to understand what they want. If you can understand what they want, you can get what you need.
  • No revolution has ever been started on principles: they’ve all started with a group of people with no other options.
  • PowerPoint is the 9 a.m. Sunday sermon of communication. Believing a slideshow will improve your presentation is like believing a crutch will improve your 100-metre dash.
  • It’s easier to get rid of cancer than a reputation as a bullshitter.

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