Richard Brundage Brings Communications Savvy to SCCC

Joe Denoyer - October 6, 2021 1:41 pm

Richard Brundage grew up in a Montana ranching community of 3,500 and went on to rub shoulders with television personalities and international diplomats. Now a Kansas resident, Brundage will bring his expertise in communications to Liberal as part of the Seward County Community College Business & Industry fall semester course lineup. 

Brundage describes his course as a one-day preparation for any communication situation imaginable. 

This is for everyone,” he said in a phone interview. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the doctor, the CEO, the spokesperson for a governing body, the way we communicate with each other is the way we celebrate our purpose and who we are.” 

By the way, Brundage added, “you can use this training if you ever have to be on television.”

SCCC’s Director of Business & Industry Norma Jean Dodge learned of Brundage from Seward County Sheriff Gene Ward: Brundage regularly works with the National Law Enforcement Training Center to help officers refine communication skills. 

In every situation, I don’t care if you’re the chief of police or the head of a school system — people already know you’re smart, you have professional skills — they want to know, do you care?” Brundage said. “Good communication answers that question. It is not about the words, it’s about the heart.”

It’s also about understanding how clear, effective messages work. Brundage says most people — even high-ranking officials — tend to focus on the wrong aspects of public speaking. 

When I worked with Daniel Coates, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, he had worked for the State Department for many years and had a full career. He told me, ‘I wish I had participated in this course before I entered public service,’” Brundage recalled. 

Brundage himself stumbled upon the importance of what he teaches.

It happened totally by accident,” he said. “I was doing a program for PBS television and had taken my crew from Washington, D.C. to Anchorage to interview this man who had been named the small business-person of the year. He was a manufacturer of some sort.

When we met him, he told us about his company — he was very proud of it, rightly so, but when we sat him down and hooked him up to the mic, he became a different person. He was sweating, swiveling, doing everything that is wrong when you are in front of the camera.”

Brundage stopped the interview, sent the crew away, and told the interviewee, “‘Let me tell you the things that make me comfortable; it might help you’ He was a quick study, and when we resumed the interview, he was a different person.”

Brundage was invited to present his methods to Anchorage’s Chamber of Commerce members, and thus the Center for Advanced Media Studies, based in Overland Park, was born. He describes his approach as a way of getting back to what people innately know but are trained to discard as they move through life.

When you were born, the moment your eyes focused, you looked at your parents right in the face, and although you weren’t able to articulate words, you decoded body language almost immediately,” he said. “By the time you’re 30, most of us have forgotten that completely, and it gets in the way of effective communication.”

Brundage will share tips for great interviews, improved workplace relationships, and crisis management, including the importance of knowing your personal or institutional brand and creating sound bites that cannot be misinterpreted. His high-energy, highly-reviewed training style is a rare opportunity to learn from a master.

Brundage’s class at SCCC is scheduled for Oct. 13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Fee: $189. To learn more or to enroll, contact Business & Industry at 620-417-1170, or email [email protected].


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