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#12: Brad Phillips — How to handle tough questions from donors, employees and the media

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If you’ve ever struggled to find the right words to say when confronted with a tough question from a donor, team member or journalist, this episode is for you.

On today’s show we hear from Brad Phillips, the CEO of Throughline Group, a public speaking and media training company. Brad has trained thousands of media spokespersons and public speakers including a presidential candidate, members of Congress, Olympic athletes, top CEOs, directors of nonprofit organizations and heads of government agencies. 

In this episode you’ll get a crash course in fielding challenging questions and answering them with authenticity.  Brad will help you understand how tough or even antagonistic questions can create opportunities for you to share your values with the world and build trust in times of crisis. 

If you’re looking for the skills to represent your organization well, even in the hardest circumstances, you’ll learn a lot from our conversation with Brad.

You’ll learn:

  •  [7:48] – Why authenticity is the only currency that matters right now
  • [9:49] – The consequences of not communicating in a way that shows genuine care
  • [12:23] – Being put on the spot can be uncomfortable and can expose our insecurities which leads to defensiveness. How can we counteract fear that causes us to be defensive?
  • [16:00] – Authenticity in the age of COVID; how Andrew Cuomo has handled the media during the crisis
  • [19:45] – Three practical ways we can prepare for hard conversations: Purpose, Process and Commitment.
  • [24:30] – What is “bridging”? and why it may be the most indispensable tool you have right now
  • [30:15] – How to apply the bridging technique with a practical example
  • [36:09] – How we communicate can be more important than the exact words we use.
  • [37:43] – What to do when you wish you had answered a question differently

You can find more information about Brad and the Throughline Group at

or on Twitter:

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