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Effective Communication: You Get One Shot at Professional Credibility

It's easy to get caught in the trap of giving your audience what they want. The trouble is that big, strategic decisions are ripe with complexity and uncertainty. It takes a long time and many presentations have to be made. What works with one audience may look like (and be) a different story. Real or perceived, you get one shot at professional credibility.

Complexity & Uncertainty

Elevated complexity and uncertainty are associated with big decisions. Big decisions take time to resolve and pass through many audiences.

Decision Makers

Decision makers allocate resources. Those resources are normally time or money, but the commitment is irrevocable in the sense that another allocation must be performed to reverse it.

Technical Professionals

Technically trained professionals are trusted advisors. Our role is neither to persuade nor manipulate the decision makers.


This perspective is to do whatever it takes to please the audience. What is done for short-term gain ruins long-term credibility.


Some professionals manipulate to get what they want or get what they think is best for the situation. The consequences of manipulation is blown credibility.

Structured Approaches

Your credibility is shot if you are perceived to tell different stories to different audiences. A structured approach, like FINESSE, is needed for effective communication for big decisions.

Overcoming the Problem

Effective communication is challenging when complexity and uncertainty are elevated. Decision makers want the best information possible.


Regardless of intent, you get one shot at professional credibility.


Founded by JD Solomon, Communicating with FINESSE is a not-for-profit community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective communicators and facilitators. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.


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