Executive Access: How to Get Heard

Developed in response to intense client demand, our Executive Access series of short programs provides you with immediate, actionable insights in an accessible format. The next program in the series is How to Get Heard: 8 Traits of Effective Messengers taught by Steve Martin, Royal Society nominated author and the faculty director of the Behavioral Science in Business program at Columbia Business School Executive Education.

How to Get Heard: 8 Traits of Effective Messengers

Date: June 25, 2021
Time: 12–3 p.m. ET (Calculate your timezone.)
Fee: $450
Format: 3 hours, live online

This program earns 1/2 a certificate credit. Learn more.
Participants of our Executive Access series also receive a $450 credit towards any future multi-day executive education program.

Program Overview

If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of having your ideas and proposals fall on deaf ears only for them to be enthusiastically embraced when someone else presents them, then this immersive three-hour virtual program is for you.

This program explores the fascinating, often surprising, yet highly applicable psychology that underpins why people listen to us. And why they may not. You will discover the eight traits of effective messengers and explore situations where certain messengers are likely to be heard and others ignored, even when they are saying the same thing. You will learn how to improve not just your own messenger effectiveness but how to increase your team’s chances of being heard. You will also discover when your position, expertise, and evidence can help (or hinder) your chances of getting your message across.

Using a mix of short, on-point lectures and group breakouts as well as the chance to profile your own messenger traits, this highly engaging program will give you new insights and immediately applicable actions to increase the chances of getting heard.

Learning Outcomes

✓ Discover and explain the eight scientifically researched traits of effective messengers

✓ Specify the contexts and situations where hard messenger traits are likely to be listened to more and those where soft messenger traits are preferred

✓ Understand your preferred messenger profile

✓ Identify opportunities where you can increase your messenger effectiveness and understand specifically what you should do to maximize your impact


1. Taylor Swift, Football, and Nuclear Attacks

  • Who do we really listen to?
  • What are ‘Halos’ and why are they helpful?

2. Who Do You ‘Listen’ To?: Breakout Session #1

  • What makes a good Messenger?
  • Traits, features, and signals

3. The Messenger Is the Message

  • What matters most: merits, medium, or messengers?
  • Thin slicing and the 100 milliseconds rule

4. Hard Messengers, Followed by Breakout Session #2

  • How to get recognized. Why introductions matter. When and why dominance thrives. And although history matters, why recency keeps score.

5. Soft Messengers, Followed by Breakout Session # 3

  • The ten billion dollar mistake. Why people confuse truth and trust. And how to build your charisma.

6. Your Messenger Plan. What’s Your Next Step?


» Download the program schedule here.


Steve Martin
Author and Influence Researcher
Faculty Director, Behavioral Science in Business
Columbia Business School Executive Education

Steve Martin is co-author of Messengers: Who We Listen to, Who We Don’t and Why and the million-copy selling New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Businessweek bestseller Yes! Secrets from the Science of Persuasion. His work applying behavioral science to business and public policy has been featured in the national and international press including BBC TV & Radio, The Times, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and Time magazine. His popular business columns are read by 2.1 million people every month and include his monthly ‘Persuasion’ column in the British Airways in-flight magazine. Based in London, UK, Martin is a guest lecturer on executive programs at Harvard and the London School of Economics. He is also chair of the Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists.


Please contact our Learning Solutions team at [email protected].