Connect! How to Inspire, Influence & Energise Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Simon Lancaster

Published by Tim Levey on 14 June 2023

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One of the world’s top speechwriters, Simon Lancaster, suggests that the secret of brilliant communication is all about making connections.

What made me read this?

One of my friends works with Bonnier Publishers in London and gave me a copy to read. I hadn’t read many Business books lately, so it made sense to then prepare this review.

Best quote

“We all need dreams. The promise of better times tomorrow helps us get through today. So, if you’re in a position of leadership, you have a responsibility to make sure you are presenting to people some dreams of the future, and making sure that your dreams are aligned with their own dreams. If you do so you will be meeting one of their deepest needs, and in return they will give you what you need. But you should also make sure that you have some dreams for yourself – that’s assuming you want to get the best out of yourself.”

What’s the Big Idea?

You can immediately access people’s deepest instincts and emotions by connecting the personal to the universal, the past to the present, and the mundane to the meaningful. It’s through connecting with others that we can create huge movements to tackle the problems in the world which really matter to us, whether that be fighting poverty, saving the environment, or promoting equality.

Key learning 1 – Inspire

Many business talks by leadership accidentally follow a “Beginning, Muddle, End” format. The best talks, whether in business or on the political stage, follow the structure of MY STORY – OUR STORY – WHAT’S NEXT. Since reading this I’ve seen others put the plan into practice and it works!

Key learning 2 – Influence

Changing nothing more than a metaphor in some text can generate a different reaction. That makes the metaphor the “nuclear bomb of communication”. As Home Secretary, Sajid Javid argued that crime should be treated like a virus. This led people to invest in youth centres. A bit later, Boris Johnson announced that he wanted to “cut the head off the snake” of organised crime in Britain, which generated a different response. Use metaphors, but beware big businesses where different departments use different metaphors and confuse their customers.

Key learning 3 – Energise

What connects 1) Vidi. Vidi. Vici. 2) Government of the people, by the people and for the people. 3) Beanz Meanz Heinz? They all follow the “rule of three”. Three point arguments are always better than four point arguments, so go for ‘cleaner, greener and cheaper’ rather than ‘cleaner, greener, better and cheaper’.

To explore these ideas at a deeper level and better connect with your colleagues and audience, you can get your own copy of this book here.

If you would like to discuss the ideas in this book further, you can reach out to Tim Levey here. You can also join over 8000 businesses and individuals who receive our complimentary e-bulletins by signing up here.

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