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Clear, Concise Messaging on Conference Agenda

05-14-24 WR McCormack WEBSITE
05-14-24 WR McCormack WEBSITE
Washington Report

A communications expert who has helped Special Forces leaders craft tight and to-the-point messages for years is on the agenda for this summer's NGAUS conference.

Joseph McCormack, the author of Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, will speak at a business session and a company-grade officer professional development session at the 146th General Conference & Exhibition, Aug. 23-26, in Detroit.

"In an era of information overload, brevity is the best weapon," he writes. "Less is more, and excess will be what divides, depletes and defeats us."

Brief is on the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s January 2024 reading list.

"One key skill that can always be improved upon is our ability to communicate concisely," Gen. CQ Brown Jr. said. "In Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less, we can learn to better communicate in today’s professional environment where there are increasing demands for our time and attention."

McCormack's addition to the association's annual conference is part of its effort to add "other voices" to this year's agenda.

Defense leaders and elected officials have also been invited to speak. So have President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who are respectively the presumptive 2024 Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.

Retired Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn, the NGAUS president, personally invited McCormack. McGinn became acquainted with McCormack's expertise while serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander of the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.

McGinn attended a presentation by McCormack — who was working with the DIA at the time — and then purchased a copy of Brief.

"The tools he provided really opened my eyes and changed the way I communicate for the better," McGinn said. "He will be a great addition to our conference."

Teaching concise communications has long been the focus of McCormack's work.

McCormack established the Brief Lab for military and corporate leaders in 2013 after years of working with Army Special Operations Command at Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg), North Carolina.

He wrote Noise: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus in 2019. The book addresses the effects of "information overload, digital devices and nonstop distractions."

More information about McCormack — including complimentary chapters of his books — is available at www.josephmccormack.com.

For more information about the 146th General Conference & Exhibition, please visit www.ngaus.org/events/146th-general-conference-exhibition.

— By John Goheen