Brains! How Social Psychology Makes Us Better Communicators

Brains! How Social Psychology Makes Us Better Communicators

Session Type(s): Training, Professional Development Training

Training Tag(s): Communications

Starts: Thursday, Jul. 13 9:00 AM (Central)

Ends: Thursday, Jul. 13 10:15 AM (Central)

Room: Williford B

Did you know that the right narrative frame has more impact on people’s policy preferences than their political affiliation? Or that visual language makes it more likely that your audience will understand, retain and repeat information? We’ll talk through ways to up your communication game using key concepts from social psychology and neuroscience. Along the way, you’ll learn about framing, effective narratives, building a foundational “message” house, prebunking, social norms, and more—all in service of comms work that is both strategic and authentic to your cause.


Zainab Chaudary

Zainab Chaudary

Zainab Chaudary is the President of Big Canvas and a Senior Advisor at New Heights Communications. She’s spent the last decade crafting communications strategies for progressive, social change organizations.

Her work has shifted public narratives and perceptions, achieved policy wins, built momentum around high profile litigation fights, promoted political thought leadership, and helped foundations innovate to improve how philanthropy serves the world. This cross-sector experience is in service to an overarching goal: to combine informed strategy with an authentic vision of what a truly just and equitable world could be, in order to achieve real change for the people living in that world.

Zainab has placed stories and opinion pieces in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today (among others), facilitated reporter relationships at outlets ranging from CNN to the Wall Street Journal, pitched and prepared clients for television appearances on ABC, MSNBC, and CNN, and created and leveraged multiple viral social media campaigns.

An expert trainer, Zainab has coached and trained spokespeople around the country for organizations like MoveOn, CREDO, the ACLU, Indivisible, and numerous others. She is also deeply invested in developing communications talent amongst people of color and those from diverse backgrounds and elevating them to leadership positions through a responsive DEI framework.

Zainab is a 2022 fellow of Anat Shenker-Osorio’s Global Messaging Programme and an adjunct professor with GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

Other sessions: BAMEMSA (Black, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian) Caucus