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Michael Maslansky

CEO, maslansky + partners; Author, The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics and Foremost Communications & Research Strategist

Travels From:
New York
Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

We live in a post-trust era, where the public is more skeptical than ever of institutions, their motives and their messages. In this environment, the rules for communicators have changed.

Michael uses experience from more than a decade of research into the art and science of persuasion to counsel Fortune 500 corporations, industry associations, and non-profits on how to communicate credibly in this challenging environment. Clients turn to Michael to understand the public mood, challenge conventional wisdom and transform not just what they say to key audiences – but how they say it.

Bio

We live in a post-trust era, where the public is more skeptical than ever of institutions, their motives and their messages. In this environment, the rules for communicators have changed.

Michael uses experience from more than a decade of research into the art and science of persuasion to counsel Fortune 500 corporations, industry associations, and non-profits on how to communicate credibly in this challenging environment. Clients turn to Michael to understand the public mood, challenge conventional wisdom and transform not just what they say to key audiences – but how they say it.

Clients that have sought Michael’s counsel include AT&T, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, MetLife, and Toyota. He has also worked with a wide range of industry associations including the Financial Services Roundtable, PhRMA, the Personal Care Products Council, the Direct Marketing Association, and the New Orleans tourism industry.

Michael shares with clients his in-depth understanding of hot-button issues in banking and financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, corporate social responsibility and non-profits, technology and consumer products, and litigation and politics. Over the years, he has helped Fortune 500 companies position and differentiate their brands and products during good times and protect their reputations during crisis.

Michael’s book, The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics reviews the communication challenges that companies, and industries face today and offers proven tools for building trust and credibility with consumers, regulators and the general public.

Michael is a frequent commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and Current TV. He has conducted hundreds of research projects in over 20 countries using his firm’s trademarked polling and focus group methodology, lauded by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, “60 Minutes,” “Nightline” and PBS’s “Frontline,” among others.

Prior to maslansky, Michael founded MarketResearch.com, a leading market intelligence company where he served as president and board director. Michael is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and also serves on a number of advisory boards. Previously, he was a mergers& acquisitions attorney with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Speech Topics

In today’s skeptical environment, it is not enough to have a good story to tell, you need to be able to tell a good story.


How can you communicate effectively in an environment where consumers have more control, technology has more impact and the media is everywhere, all the time?  How do you manage your reputation?  Create internal alignment?  Sell products in a crowded space?  Address critics, regulators and the media?


From the CEO to the communications department to the customer service representative, it is more important than ever to find the right language and to learn the new lessons of communicating in a Post-Trust Era.


Michael Maslansky has done more than a decade’s worth of research into what it takes to communicate with a skeptical public.  His insightful analysis helps you to understand why many communicators fail.  And his usable principles for credible communication will help you make every communication more effective.


He’ll share insights into new words and new techniques for your organization, whether in times of crisis, in advertising and public relations campaigns, or with investors.


Unlike the prognosticators, the pundits, and the talking heads, Maslansky doesn’t just preach, he practices. He’s advised dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs, association and foundation executives and scores of others on the new rules of communications. In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains with real-world examples why you need to:



  • Forget fact sheets and statistics

  • Tell, don’t sell

  • Focus on your audience’s right brain

  • Keep your friends close and your critics closer


And most importantly, he’ll show you why finding the right language is more important than ever.


Why do some leaders fail even when they have the right strategy? Why do others face a barrage of criticism when they are taking the right actions? Why do some organizations respond to the need for change while others do not?


For many companies, leadership and effective communications are increasingly intertwined. It is not enough to have a good story to tell…leaders must also be able to tell a good story.


Based on more than a decade’s worth of research, Michael Maslansky helps organizations understand why communication is a more important part of effective leadership than ever before. And he helps you learn and use the tools of effective communicators. Rather than being limited to a few charismatic leaders, Michael explains why effective and credible communication can be learned and mastered by understanding key communication principles.


In this keynote, Michael presents examples of leaders who have succeeded and failed based on their ability to effectively communicate. He provides audiences with


“the Four Rs of Leadership” – tested communication principles that help leaders navigate in times of crisis, change, opportunity and growth. And most importantly, he leaves audiences with actionable tools and techniques that they can put to use immediately to improve the way they communicate – and lead – in challenging times.


For an increasing number of organizations, change is no longer the exception…it’s the rule.


Leadership faces an increasingly challenging environment that requires it to operate nimbly and respond rapidly the changing market. For employees this means seemingly constant change. And for most employees, change is a scary, painful, exhausting process.


So why do some organizations succeed in this process, while others suffer real damage in terms of bad morale, higher turnover and poor results? Why do some leaders lose credibility while others gain a following? Why do some employees reject change while others embrace it?


The answer in situation after situation is effective communication. Organizations that understand what to say, how to say it and why it matters to get the language right succeed. While those who devalue communication, speak at their employees instead of with them, or who fail to understand their employee’s point of view, fail.


Based on more than a decade’s worth of research, Michael Maslansky helps companies of all sizes and across all industry verticals understand their employees’ concerns, and use the tools of effective communication to ensure internal changes go as smoothly as possible.


In this keynote, Michael presents real world examples of how businesses have succeeded or failed at selling in change based on their ability to effectively communicate to their employee base. Relying on deep communication expertise and a wealth of proprietary research he provides audiences with a tailored set of communication principles they can directly apply to the work they do every day.


In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains:



  • The principles for effectively communicating change

  • Why “educating” your employees about change isn’t the answer

  • How to win support when you deliver bad news


Whether you starting a change initiative, undergoing a restructuring or merger, or just managing through challenging times, this presentation can give you a deeper understanding of how to keep your employees engaged in the midst of change.


Why do some technology firms struggle to capture the C-suite’s attention? Why do others see their market share decrease even as their products improve? Why do leading innovators still get seen as laggards? When you have a good story to tell, why is it sometimes hard to tell a good story?


Technology companies today face a vast array of communication challenges. While the rate of innovation is at an all-time high, so is competition. And while firms can increasingly point to game-changing technologies, audience skepticism is deeper than ever. In this environment, what you say and how you say it matters: it is more important than ever to find the right language to connect and credibly communicate with potential customers.


Based on more than a decade’s worth of research, Michael Maslansky helps technology firms understand and use the tools of effective communication to not only reach them, but drive them to action. Through his work with some the world’s leading tech companies, Michael has identified messaging approaches – as well as the exact words and phrases – that can help ensure adoption and lead to greater market share.


In this keynote, Michael presents real world examples of how tech firms have succeeded or failed based on their ability to effectively communicate. Relying on deep industry knowledge and a wealth of proprietary research, he provides audiences with a tailored set of communication principals they can directly apply to the work they do every day.


In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains:



  • The principles for effectively communicating about new IT products and services

  • How to overcome concerns about security and reliability

  • The right language for communicating about the cloud

  • How the consumerization of IT requires you to change your message

  • How to more effectively sell end-to-end solutions in an integrated world


Whether you are a senior executive, salesperson or marketer or anyone who has to communicate about your product or service, this presentation can give you a deeper understanding of your audience and what it takes to sell your product, service or new idea.


With every front page story about a failed bank, a risky investment or a botched IPO, the reputation of the financial services industry takes another hit. In this toxic environment, it is harder than ever for banks, credit card companies, insurance companies or other financial services businesses to communicate any type of positive message.


The public, your customers, even your employees are skeptical of what you say. And critics and the media often have bigger megaphones and a more credible voice.


For financial services firms to connect and communicate with this skeptical public, the right language is more important than ever.


Based on more than a decade’s worth of research with leading banks, credit companies, insurance companies, asset managers and broker-dealers into how consumers and the public perceive financial services companies, Michael provides actionable principles for credible communication that will help you make every communication more effective.


In this keynote, Michael presents real world examples of how financial services firms have succeeded or failed based on their ability to effectively communicate to external and internal audiences. Relying on deep industry knowledge and a wealth of proprietary research, he provides audiences with a tailored set of communication principles they can directly apply to the work they do every day.


In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains:



  • Why underlying attitudes toward the value of the financial services industry make it harder to make economic and job-creation claims

  • What it takes to rebuild trust in this new environment

  • Why TARP and other dead horses still matter, even if you don’t want them to.

  • Why the contradictions between what you say and what you do can make it impossible to rebuild trust.

  • Why the old rules of selling need to be replaced with the new approach of “strategic telling.”

  • Why four principles of communication can make every message more credible and help you turn skeptics into supporters.


Whether you are a senior executive, salesperson or marketer or anyone who has to communicate about your product or service, this presentation can give you a deeper understanding of your audience and what it takes to sell your product, service or new idea.


The energy industry is filled with countless myths and misconceptions. Utilities are monopolies that can do what they want. Renewables are free. EMF causes cancer. These are just a few of the perceptions that customers have today.


These perceptions are frustrating to industry but cannot be ignored, because they create intractable obstacles to effectively communicating with ratepayers. But the answer is not to fight misconception with facts and figures…and in today’s environment, doing the right thing is simply not enough.


In this keynote, Michael helps you understand how the public thinks, why it matters and how to build more effective approaches to communications.


His keynote is built around real world examples of how energy companies have succeeded or failed based on their ability to effectively communicate with customers, communities, and regulators. Relying on deep industry knowledge and a wealth of proprietary research he provides audiences with a tailored set of communication principals they can directly apply to the work they do every day.


In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains:



  • What it takes to rebuild trust in this new environment.

  • Why four principles of communication can make every message more credible and help you turn skeptics into supporters.

  • Why facts and figures don’t matter, and how to create a more effective narrative for your company.

  • How to more effectively communicate about rate cases, renewables, new generation and transmission and other important issues.


Whether you are trying to manage your reputation, improve customer satisfaction, deal with critics and the media, or shift public opinion on important issues, this keynote will help you better understand your audience and give you tools to communicate more effectively.


Few industries face as much change as the healthcare industry. Regardless of the fate of ObamaCare, the world is changing. Healthcare is continuing to go retail and members and patients are expecting more and more from insurers and from pharma and medical device companies.


And yet today’s healthcare consumer is already extremely skeptical – they don’t trust big companies, they don’t trust the FDA and, increasingly, they demonstrate their lack of faith in physicians by coming to them with a WebMD print-out and a request for a prescription.


In this environment, effective communication can be source of great opportunity and a place of great peril. And it is more important than ever to get the language right to communicate with members, patients, physicians and other stakeholders.


In this keynote, Michael presents real world examples of how health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and other players in the health care industry have failed or succeeded based on the language they use. Relying on deep communication expertise and a wealth of proprietary research he provides audiences with a tailored set of communication principals they can directly apply to the work they do every day.


In an entertaining, highly relevant and engaging interactive presentation, Maslansky explains:



  • What it takes to rebuild trust in this new environment.

  • Why four principles of communication can make every message more credible and help you turn skeptics into supporters.

  • Why facts and figures don’t matter, and how to create a more effective narrative for your company.

  • How to more effectively communicate about Medicare, prescription drugs, health care exchanges and the risks and benefits of a medication.


Whether you are trying to manage your reputation, improve customer satisfaction, deal with critics and the media, or shift public opinion on important issues, this keynote will help you better understand your audience and give you tools to communicate more effectively.


To be truly successful in changing the way you communicate, it is essential to go from learning to doing.


As a companion to a keynote presentation, Michael will develop and facilitate workshops or training sessions customized to your audience. These sessions build on the principles and lessons communicated in the Michael’s keynotes to create hands-on exercises that ensure that every attendee leaves the conference or meeting with new skills they can apply immediately.


Sessions can include small team break-outs, persona development, role playing, stakeholder mapping and other exercises. While each workshop or training session is customized to the specific topic, some examples of previous topics include:



  • “Message Strategies for Key Business Challenges” (Executive Meetings and Leadership Conferences)

  • “Communicating Change in Your Organization” (Executive Meetings and Leadership Conferences)

  • “Building Your Personal Value Proposition” (Financial Advisor and Sales Meetings)

  • “Anticipating and Overcoming Objections” (Financial Advisors and salespeople)

  • “Elevator pitching” (Executive meetings and Sales Training)


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