Career advice for communicators: The good, the bad, and the ambiguous

Pros share the worst advice they received in college—along with the best. For one thing, silence may be golden in negotiations, but always ask for the deal.

If you follow the worst advice Matt Eventoff ever heard in college, you’ll envision all your listeners out there naked. But trust him, this won’t keep your messaging on point.

“Imagining everyone sitting there with no clothes on may take your mind off your nerves,” says Eventoff, a communications strategist with Princeton Public Speaking, “but also may make you so uncomfortable that your mind is distracted from your message.”

Inspired by a recent blog post, Ragan.com polled communicators on the best and worst advice they received in college. With the help of Ragan’s social media director, Samantha Hosenkamp, I amassed a trove of scientific data via LinkedIn, Facebook, and Help a Reporter Out.

The conclusion: Wise mentors are still nudging students in every which direction, and the laws of probability suggest that some of their tips are bound to be right every once in a while.

Andy Rooney, visionary

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