Executive Rewind: All Atwitter about Twitter

Perception and speculation are the engines of Wall Street.

The only acceptable direction, especially in the publicly-held world of stocks, is UP! Anything less and the investor knives come out. The idea of “critical mass” isn’t permitted. Creative market and revenue growth are rewarded. Usually.

For instance, Twitter (TWTR). In a recent article in The Guardian, it’s pointed out that in the final quarter of 2015 “revenue was up 90% and losses were down by 27%…this looks about par for the course: the company is on track to break even and reach eventual profit. Yet the technology babblesphere is full of fevered speculation about whether Twitter ‘has a future’. And the stock market, ever attentive to hysteria, marked the shares down accordingly.”

Twitter had to  reassure its investors. And that fell on COO Adam Bain, the man with day-to-day responsibility running the company.

“A massive set of determination at the company to prove the outside world wrong!” A very strong, positive message, both to the investment community and to the Twitter team. Bain easily could’ve become defensive, and that would’ve weakened his case. Instead, he opted to be positive and consistent, saying we’ve proved them wrong before, we’ll do it again!

And check his body language in the above segment. Engaged, positive, expressive. Those non-verbals are powerful validators for his messaging.

While Bain immediately got to his main point in that segment, here’s his response on slow revenue growth. As you watch and listen, think about how he could’ve first summarized his answer quickly and succinctly and persuasively, leaving a strong, positive impression.

Bain should’ve prefaced his answer like this: “Our big brand advertisers are our major revenue sources, the low hanging fruit, and those opportunities are growing along with ad budgets.” Then launch into the details about the big clients and how you’re growing the “direct inquiry” business.

There is a program that coaches and prepares you on specific techniques for developing and delivering messages on your terms, and from your perspective; answering questions responsively without being impaled by an opposing agenda.