The Business of Language

February 9th, 2011

Since the time of Aristotle language has been appreciated, studied and regarded as a vibrant element of culture. Everyone from playwrights to company presidents to prime ministers use language to persuade. They know that they must find a way to evoke strong emotions in their listeners to be effective. For its not the words we use but the stories we tell that bring people up from their seats in a theater, creating with innovation in business and to the streets demanding action in the political arena. This week we talk about metaphors and storytelling and look beyond the economic news to see how we are impacted by government policy and corporate decisions.

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James Geary

James Geary is an author and journalist based in London. He worked for Time Magazine for more than a decade, during which time he wrote about everything from neuroscience to European politics, was founding editor of, and ultimately served as Europe editor, responsible for the European edition of the magazine. He is also the editor of Ode Magazine and the N.Y. Times best selling author of The World in a Phrase, The History of Aphorisms. This latest book is I is an Other: The Secret Life of a Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way we See the World. You can find out what’s on James mind at his “All Aphorisms, All the Time” blog. You can also see him at this TED presentation.

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[audio: Words_57_pt1.mp3]

Beyond the News with Michael Mandel

Michael Mandel is the CEO of South Mountain Economics. He was formerly the chief economist at BusinessWeek, responsible for formulating BusinessWeek’s coverage of economic policy. Mandel is the author of several books, including “Rational Exuberance”, “The Coming Internet Depression”, and “The High Risk Society”.

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[audio: Words_57_pt2.mp3]

Rod Thorn – Director of Communication, Pepsi Beverages Company

As a playwright and author Rod tells his own stories, and as a corporate communicator he helps many of the world’s most well-known companies tell theirs. Whether the goal is to elicit a response from an audience, or to help a company achieve its objectives, he believes in the power of stories. he also believe in the less-glamorous side of storytelling: building a team, gathering data, managing a budget — whatever it takes to get the story told.

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[audio: Words_57_pt3.mp3]

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