As you read this, the chances are you’re not quite having the end-of-2020 seasonal break that you were expecting this time a year ago, 6 months ago or even 6 days ago.

You may even feel as surprised and bewildered as an Australian koala stuck up a Christmas Tree.

Already I can hear you thinking: “Michael, that’s a ridiculous comparison. Koalas don’t get stuck up Christmas Trees!”

“But oh yes they do!” – as was once yelled at Christmas pantomimes before they were sadly afflicted by Coronavirus.



Here’s the story of a family in Adelaide who discovered that a koala had found her way into their house.

She’d mistaken their Christmas tree for the traditional gum tree where the marsupials normally hang out.

But thanks to the family’s compassionate response and Australia’s Koala Rescue Hotline, the story has a happy ending.

On this video below you can watch how a koala –  characteristically drowsy because of a toxin in the gum leaves which they munch – can move with impressive speed when placed beneath right kind of tree.






Just as koalas need gum trees, businesses need get their communications right – especially in challenging Corona times.

It’s one thing to provide your normal goods and/or services, but if you don’t effectively tell people about what you can offer in tough times it’s bad for sales.

Because Coronavirus has prompted so many changes for so many businesses this year, it’s fair to say that communications have become more important than ever.

It will be the same in 2021 – with all-the-more information to spread about how your organisation is responding to future Coronavirus-related changes!

Happily, the expected impact of the Anti-Covid-19 Vaccine should mean you eventually have many positive things to communicate about in 2021 – with customers, prospects, staff, suppliers, officials, journalists and more.

Michael Dodd Communications can help by boosting you and your team’s ability to communicate – internally and externally.

This is aimed at helping you increase performance, profitability, engagement and shareholder value.

Communications-boosting programmes can help you work out what best to say when you have important announcements to make –  and/or when you need to give great answers to tough questions and do media interviews.

There’s more on Clever Corona Communications sessions at:

So let’s have a look at what we can learn from selected high-profile Corona Times communicators over this concluding troubled year.




A combination of (arguably) effective policy on Coronavirus – and (indisputably) excellent communications – helped ensure that one national leader has been re-elected this year as the head of a relatively small country.



Meanwhile a combination of an (unarguably) crazy and erratic approach to Coronavirus – and (indisputably) irresponsible and narcissistic communications – helped ensure that one world leader is being thrown out as head of a relatively large country.



So communications style and substance really matters!




Those who have been on “Give Great Answers To Tough Questions” sessions – online or face-to-face – may remember that the First Golden Formula for giving great answers is “A B C D E”.

To remind you of some great answers and great communication – and some abysmal answers and abysmal communication – here’s the “A B C D E” of some highly visible 2020 communicators….

is for Ardern, as in the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

She’s a master of empathising with her audience members – and connecting with them in a warm, persuasive manner.

Here’s an example of Jacinda Ardern casually but effectively conveying vital Covid-19 messages to her population after bedding down her toddler for the night.

Note the way she smiles warmly at the camera – even though the video was recorded during a very tough time in the New Zealand lockdown.

Admire how personable she is when slipping in key messages such as the importance of phoning up and helping out senior citizens while not getting dangerously close.



B is for Boris, as in the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

When he communicates well, he sometimes does it very very well.

But when he communicates badly he can send bafflingly mixed messages – such as his latest confusing pronouncements over what Christmas 2020 socialising is allowed.

Nonetheless when the Prime Minister survived Coronavirus this year, he created a magnificent video recording after leaving hospital.

Watch how he underlined the credibility of his message by referring to specific nurses from New Zealand and Portugal – who he thanked for saving his life.

It was a high impact Boris performance – the closest thing he’s done yet to match Sir Winston Churchill’s long-remembered “Fight them on the beaches” speech.


C is for Captain Tom – or Colonel Tom Moore – ex-soldier and fund-raiser

He was promoted after walking 100 laps his back garden and inspiring massive donations for Britain’s National Health Service charities in the process.

Sir Tom, as he quickly became, and his family team did an excellent job of capturing hearts, minds and financial support by ensuring that his personal back story – involving World War 2 service in India and Burma – was deployed to support his appeal for funds.

In this interview with CNN, note how Sir Tom makes a succinct point in response to every question – and how he helpfully puts in a reference to “American dollars” to ensure it’s all-the-more relevant to the US audience.

If a 99-year-old can learn do this so effectively just before he turned 100, you – too – can be trained to do it!


D is for Donald, as in the outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump

While he sometimes displays effective communication skills such as his ability to activate those who think like he does, he’s increasingly ending up in situations where his messages are not supported by facts.

You can only persuade reasonable people if your messages – and the supportive evidence you provide – are in harmony.

Here’s Donald Trump giving a speech claiming that he won the US election, which conflicts – as you have probably noticed – with what has actually happened and further tarnished his credibility in the process.


E is for Everybody who reads this E-zine/Doddblog

It’s highly likely that you and your colleagues are somewhere on the scale between the less-than-perfect communication skills of Donald Trump and the star communication skills of Jacinda Ardern.

Michael Dodd Communications training sessions seek to guide participants away from the Donald end and towards the Jacinda end of the spectrum.

If you need to boost the communications skills of yourself and/or your team, you can do so in traditional face-to-face learning sessions and – for large audiences – at online and face-to-face conferences when it’s deemed safe to do so.

Alternatively you can book online sessions run through Zoom, Teams or other internet platforms so communications skills can be enhanced from homes and offices.



At the start of 2020, there was a plan for a series of four face-to-face sessions of “Give Great Answers To Tough Questions” with business leaders in New York.


Alas “you-know-what” intervened and hit the Big Apple particularly hard.

But as they say on New York’s Broadway stages: “The Show Must Go On”.

And go on it did.

So the sessions – organised by the American business leaders’ organisation Compel CEOs – have gone ahead thanks to the wonders of Zoom.

Compel CEOs works across age ranges, and the latest session has been with the members of the so-called “Next Generation” of business leaders who’ve been learning to give great answers on their way to the top.

If you examine this picture closely, you’ll see that – for the first time ever – a Michael Dodd Communications session has been conducted with a (perfectly behaved) baby as part of the mix!



It shows that you’re never too young to learn how to give great answers to blowtorch-on-the-belly questions!

There’s more on Great Answers sessions, for people of all ages, at:



Whether you have a star or an angel on top of your Christmas Tree –  or whether you prefer a live koala – have an awesome seasonal celebration wherever you are!



And with the help of the new Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines, here’s to a Corona-free 2021 with ever-improving communications throughout!

Keep smiling,