About Thomas Barritt

Tom Barritt is Partner and Managing Director of Ketchum’s Communications Training Network, a team of executive media coaches. He has helped executives shape stories that get noticed for more than three decades.

Author Archive | Thomas Barritt

Harnessing the Power of “I”

Stories by first-person narrators always grabbed me. The audacious Huckleberry Finn. World-weary Ishmael of Moby Dick. Ambitious Pip in Great Expectations. Bookish Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Sherlock Holmes’s meticulous biographer, Dr. Watson. The resolute Jane Eyre.

A first-person narrator creates a sense of intimacy. We identify with the narrator and imagine ourselves in the story. You feel as if you are there, walking with the narrator. You see the world through their eyes. Thoughts, fears, opinions, and biases are palpable. Their perspective sticks with you. A first-person narrator sheds all anonymity and fully owns the story. 

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Truth or Fiction? Surviving a Summer of Alternative Facts

Some variation of “To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” has been a tenet of both theistic and democratic law since the inception of each. The repercussions of lying used to make kindergarten students tremble in their Buster Brown shoes, but lately has been open to a host of creative interpretations. Frankly, whether you’re a politician, a sports figure, a press secretary or an actor, we’re all getting a little too comfortable playing fast and loose with the facts. 

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Put on a Happy Face

Before the emoji there was the facial expression. And while there’s no denying the emoji is on trend with the global obsession over social media, the facial expression still ranks as the most powerful tool on the planet to convey ideas and emotions and connect a speaker to an audience.

I’m paying a lot more attention to people’s faces these days. What insights and personality traits are conveyed through facial expressions? What can I learn if I really look closely when a person is speaking to me? How does the face reflect the emotional element of a speaker’s stump speech? What does the face reveal that artfully crafted words often attempt to conceal? 

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Tips to Keep Your Story Sharp in an Excessively Talkative World

Once upon a time, you might have known a small handful of people who were afflicted with the gift of gab. Perhaps it was Aunt Gloria who was famous for monopolizing holiday dinner conversation, your loquacious neighbor Kathy who verbally assaulted you as you lugged in the groceries, or Tony the dry cleaner who just couldn’t let you get away without sharing his life story.

The problem has multiplied. With 24-hour cable TV news, marathon political debates, a proliferation of pitchmen, and mobile phones in the hands of every pedestrian on Earth, the chatter is never-ending.

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