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5 Clues & 1 Question @ Rockstar Communicating Learned from Alex Trebek

by | Jan 5, 2021 | 4 comments

jeopardyAlex Trebek’s final episodes of “Jeopardy!” air this week.

How did this “Jeopardy!” host and trivia master achieve fame and fans for over 3 decades … and what can you learn from this Canadian American TV personality about being a great communicator?

Professionalism. Regarding Trebek’s last week of shows, “He was in enormous pain. He was 10 days away from passing away. And you will not sense any of that in these episodes. He is strong, he sounds great, he’s funny, and he’s amazing,” executive producer Mike Richards told NBC’s “Today” on Monday.

Audience. Our blog often talks about the importance of knowing who your target market is and figuring out how to reach your ‘tribe’. Use Trebek as a model. His MO for treating TV guests and his millions of fans – respect, gravitas and humility.

Persistence. “Do not cancel. I will be there,” he says to Richards despite a recent surgery and weekly chemo.

Courage. “I think a normal person would have said, ‘I’m not gonna show up’ a year and a half before those final episodes,” Richards says.

Perspective. Alex offers impartial truths during his daily hit quiz show monologues no matter what havoc du jour has occurred.

The keeper of all questions dies 10 days after these tapings.

Here is ‘Communication & Leadership’ for 500:

  • Exude professionalism.
  • Know your audience and meet their needs.
  • Maintain perspective.
  • Have courage.
  • Be persistent.

The question is: “How does a rockstar communicator embrace Alex Trebek’s legacy as you begin 2021?”


© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

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Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker


  1. Michael

    What is “Rest In Peace”, Alex?

  2. Harry Hall

    Well done, Karen.

    My wife and I saw a special on him about two days after his passing. During a break in shows, he took questions from the audience.

    Someone asked, “Who would be your number one pick to follow you as host on Jeopardy?”

    “Betty White.”

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Hi Harry! What a fun factoid. Betty White – another great communicator.

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