Speak Like a CEO by Oliver Aust

How to Build a Brand in 15 Minutes

Published 30 days ago • 2 min read

This week: The technique to answer any question / How to build a brand in 15 minutes / The Anthology of Balaji.

The Technique to Answer Any Question

We've all been there – facing a tough question from a client, investor, boss, or team member that threatens to derail the conversation from your main message.

When I work with my CEO clients, some ask me how they can control the questions they get.

That’s understandable because they feel out of control facing scrutiny on stages, in interviews and in townhall meetings.

The thing is, we can’t control the questions we get. But we do control the answers.

The good news is, there's a simple three-step technique called "ABC Bridging" that allows you to answer the question directly – while smoothly transitioning the conversation back to your key points.

Here's how it works:

Step 1: Answer (keep it short)

Start by giving a brief, direct answer to the question. Some examples:

  • "I agree..."
  • "That's correct..."
  • "That's not correct..."
  • "I don't have the answer right now..."
  • "I don't see it that way..."
  • "I'm not the right person..."

Step 2: Bridge

Now transition with a bridging phrase that allows you to regain control of the narrative:

  • "...and what's even more important..."
  • "...but what I can tell you is..."
  • "...and what I believe happened is..."
  • "...and regardless of that..."

Step 3: Communicate

Finally, insert your key message or the story you want to convey to the person asking the question.

The ABC Bridging technique serves two crucial purposes – you answer the question and steer the discussion back to your core points in a natural way.

By mastering this method, you'll be able to handle even the toughest questions with poise and gravitas. You'll come across as knowledgeable, well-prepared, and in command of the situation.

Sidenote: Like any technique, use it in the right context and don’t overdo it.


Every Great Leader is a Great Communicator

If you are an ambitious founder or CEO, you may qualify for 1:1 communication coaching by me.

I have helped hundreds of business leaders and founders turn communication from a weakness into their superpower. Schedule a call to get on the waiting list for coaching with me in Q2, if you are ready to grow into the leader you are meant to be.


Build a Brand in 15 Minutes

A brand is not a logo or a misspelled word. “It's the perception someone has about a company.”

In this week’s actionable episode of the Speak Like a CEO podcast, branding expert Howie Chan breaks down his step-by-step process for building a powerful brand.

To put the process to a test, we do it on the show – in just 15 minutes.

We discuss how you can define your brand's "organizing idea", identify what makes you truly differentiated and relevant, understand what you're really selling beyond your products or services, and craft messaging that unlocks customer problems.

Howie also shares what the biggest traps are in branding, how brands get diluted, and how brands serve as a shortcut for customer decisions.

Whether you're launching a startup or revamping an existing business, this is a master class in strategic brand-building.

Listen on Spotify and Apple:


Guide to Building the Future

If you're looking for a mind-expanding read that will get you thinking deeply about the future of technology and society, check out "The

Anthology of Balaji: A Guide to Technology, Truth, and Building the Future," curated by Eric Jorgenson.

This anthology compiles the brilliant writings and ideas of Balaji Srinivasan. You'll gain an intimate look into Balaji's forward-looking worldview on harnessing cutting-edge technologies, building a business, the media, social media, and much more.

Add it to your reading list – and check out this post on my top 18 quotes from the book. His one-line take on the future: “more upside, more downside.”

Have an inspired weekend!



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