Best (and Worst) Week Day 2: Great Communicators of 2011

Posted on January 4, 2012


In yesterday’s post I introduced you to Fast Company’s “The Best And Worst Of Everything In 2011: A Mega, Meta Mashup,” which lists the best “Best Of” lists that look back on 2011. They were so kind to narrow down the expansive number of “Best of” lists that I was inspired to trim even it even further by writing about my favorite entries.

For example, The Decker Blog, written by Ben and Kelly Decker of Decker Communications, has a fantastic post about the best and worst communicators of 2011 that is chock full of relevant thoughts for hosts. Here are a few that stood out to me:

Chris Christie: Decker points out that Christie is real. He may be painfully direct but he is sincere and unique and that mixture is helping him get things done in New Jersey. A great reminder to be honest and real with your listeners. It’s what they expect and what they will respect.

Lady Gaga:  “She personifies originality and pushing the edge, and we all need to do a little more of that,” writes Decker and he’s absolutely right. While you may not look good in a meat dress, standing out from a sea of boring is more important than ever.

Morgan Spurlock: Decker points out that Spurlock “puts himself in the middle of his documentaries,” but that his pervasive “grab-a-beer-with-me approachability,” keeps fans coming back to see his movies. A great reminder that you are the star of the show but the show is not about you. Be the voice of the listener much like Spurlock when he takes on topics like fast food or sponsorship.

Andy Rooney: You can’t really talk about the best communicators of 2011 without a nod to one of the greats we lost. Decker observes that, general crankiness aside, Rooney had a unique style, “His energy, forward lean, facial mannerisms and bushy eyebrows made him someone we enjoyed watching and listening to. He made every time we saw and heard him a unique communication experience, and we will miss his witty insights.” Stop and consider that for a moment. Maybe if you look for ways to make your show a “unique communication experience” for your listeners you’ll have a career that lasts as long as Andy Rooney’s did.

Finally, if you want to put your job as a host in perspective as you start into 2012, take three minutes to watch Andy Rooney’s final 60 minutes commentary about how he could complain about everything, except the life he got to lead.