Throughout the month, I’ll be sharing suggestions on how to become a more memorable and engaging communicator. They’ll be based on my first career as a CNN correspondent and anchor and later as an international communications consultant who has worked with thousands of executives, politicians and community thought leaders.
Yesterday as I thought of the first post for this series, I was also preparing to make a “welcome to fall” lasagna for my family. Over the years, I have made many different kinds of lasagne, and this time my husband specifically asked to have one with no meat; heavy on the veggies.
Off I went to the little bottega near our palazzo and found Stefano behind the counter.
“Non ce un problema!” he happily responded when I asked if he would help me gather the proper ingredients. He handed me some fresh basil and ricotta, egg pasta noodles, a jar of pureed tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes.
“It’s easier not to use fresh tomatoes,” he advised.
Stefano also had no problem with my ideas to not put in any carne, or meat, and to increase my veggie load.
“Ma certo! Put in anything you like”
At home, from our already stocked fridge, I selected red peppers, zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Everything got grated or finely chopped and quickly sautéed in olive oil – then tossed in with basil and oregano into the simmering tomato sauce.
I layered the noodles without boiling beforehand (you can do that when they’re egg-based), the sauce and the ricotta and sprinkled the top with torn bits of basil.
Into our ancient oven it went for a quick 20 minutes at 200 Celsius.
And eccolo! It came out warm, tasty, healthy – and a unique for the occasion.
And that reminded me of two communication-related points (yes, here’s the connection)!
The first is that although you may already be an experienced presenter or communicator, there is always room to try something new.
And the second point is precisely the reason you will want to try to continue to adjust your style and your words: your audience. Considering the expectations of your intended audience is really the key to successful communication. Not every person will be happy with a ground veal and pork layered lasagna.
You must change the recipe!
And that, friends, will be the focus for tomorrow. Tips to better engage your audience. Until then, tell me where to send a slice of this lasagna, it’s delicious!
P.S. Uhm, yes, this lasagna is ROUND! Another adaptation I had to make – not for my audience, er, family, but because it turns out our landlord hadn’t stocked us with a rectangular deep-dish pan. No matter!