Straight or subtle: both work in the correct context

Do you remember Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger?

He is the command pilot who, after an accelerated interface incident involving a flock of Canada Geese and his Airbus A320 just after take off from New York, steered the stricken aircraft to a safe landing in the Hudson River. Six minutes after the strike, the plane plus 155 souls on board landed in the drink. Not one person died; some got their feet wet.

The crystal clear communication between crew, tower and within the cockpit, is a master class in concise clarity.

Seva NovgorodsevCompare and contrast with another master communicator, Seva Novgorodsev, a BBC DJ of whom you are unlikely to have heard.

Seva recently hung-up his headphones for the last time and it is worth noting that in his 38 years of broadcasting to Russia and its satellites, he almost certainly had almost as much influence as Ronald Reagan in helping to bring down the Soviet empire.

Unlike Sully he used pop music, gentle ridicule and teasing to get his message across. He had the time available and the patience to wait for the inevitable result.

Two great communicators; fantastic lessons to be learned from each, the main one being that messages and delivery methods must be audience driven and circumstance specific.

Bespoke, as they say in Savile Row, is always best and lasts longest.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 10 November 2015.