Tag Archives: communication

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER…

27 Oct

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER videotape yourself  doing a presentation because it will kill your communication skills.  Shocked that a speech coach would give that advise?

Never Tape Yourself

Never be a copy!

Many of my clients ask – should I tape myself giving a presentation or do you ever tape clients giving a presentation? I think that taping yourself is one of the worst things you can do for your communication skills!  Why?  When you tape yourself you are creating a visual script for your presentation and we know that scripts can be deadly boring and lack emotion/passion.  When you watch yourself you automatically start scripting your body language and voice so that your final presentation is basically you working to remember what you did on tape.  That kills the spirit of the speech and is a major disservice to your audience.    There is nothing as refreshing as a presentation that has the flavor of an original.

Be original

Let me see you pose for employment….hmmmm

17 Oct

A study published last year, led by Amy J.C. Cuddy, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, required participants to strike power poses for several minutes before beginning a mock job interview. Those who did so got better reviews and were more likely to be hired—even though evaluators never saw them in the poses.

So break old body-language habits and start power posing! –

“May I ask who is calling”? “Can I have dressing on the side”?

26 Sep

“May I ask who is calling”  – I hear this all the time on the other end of the phone line or while waiting in reception areas?   This is weak, meek and confusing language for the listener because who ever says no.  So it’s couched as a question but truly it is a demand.  Plus, why would you ask “may” of course you can say “who is calling” and there is truly no need to ask permission.

Its similar to when you hear people order  at a restaurant and they say “can I have a salad with dressing on the side”?  It’s not rocket science or a mathematical equation to just pour dressing into a small cup.   In addition of course you can have your food any way you want included burnt to a crisp – you are the one paying for the service.  We need to eliminate this weak/meek language from our everyday conversations so we sound strong and confident.

Demand the f****** room

24 Sep

Are you demanding the room!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you demanding the room!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Demand the f****** room

First impressions  really do make a difference, so the way you enter a room sets the tone for the presentation.

Do you look put together, polished and poised? Or do you look haggard and like you spent the entire night stressing over your presentation or worse, up all night producing a hastily written speech?

This point is about more than just style; you also need to walk in with confidence.

Demanding the f****** room is about walking in like you own the place, head up, shoulders back and with a strut.  Looking confident will help you feel confident.

falling down the escalator…….. this afternoon

21 Sep

Heading down the Charles Street Metro escalator this afternoon I noticed a guy with a cane,neck brace, lack of balance and blind.    He was heading down the escalator behind me and frankly I thought at the end he would fly forward toward the hard concrete.  I was not in the mood after being drenched in the rain to deal with this but we must always watch our own humanity.  So I waited at the bottom of the escalator to make sure he was sturdy on his feet and asked him if he was ok.  Then I started to walk off but he was still communicating to me.  Nothing verbal, no sounds – yet he was communicating that he was in a dangerous position.

If I just left him he would most likely head toward the next set of escalators and suffer a bad fall.   He wanted to use the metro to cross to the other side and escape the rain.  I could have told him that it’s dangerous but he was not the type of person to project reason.  So, I had to communicate a message to him without listening to his feedback.  I told him that without a guide this was far too dangerous and that he would be going with me back up the escalator.  This was classic one-way communication.

As we started up the escalator he decided to give me a commuication challenge via body language.   He leaned back and dared me to catch him – I was not totally successful but did manage to get him back on his feet with my arm tightly around his shoulder and told him with direct language don’t do that again.  As we got back to the top of the stairs and away from the metro I told him to go straight and use his cane to feel his steps.  I watched him briefly before I departed.

There are times when communication must be direct and democracy in decision making terminated.  When we see and can hear the screams for help and assistance we must communicate action and responsibility.  There isn’t time to discuss the merits of a decision – it is action that forges safety and progress.  In this situation I nullified this individuals own free- will and silenced his verbal debate for the greater good.    How can this type of communication be applied in your life?

At 6’9, Keith Scott is used to turning heads when he walks into a room.

11 Sep

BeansTalk from Beanstalk Apparel

  • Tall Tuesday: Keith Scott, founder of TALLspeaking

    At 6’9, Keith Scott is used to turning heads when he walks into a room. Keith has a strong presence in the Baltimore business community as the CEO and President of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Resource Center, and he is the founder of TALLspeaking, a personal coaching service that helps clients overcome their fear of public speaking and address personal anxieties to achieve success.

    Many people fear speaking in a large group or in front of a crowd. This fear often prevents great ideas or creative solutions from becoming reality because people shy away from presenting ideas or speaking up. Realizing that often the silent or quieter participants have great solutions and the prominent speakers gain attention, Keith wanted to help those ideas and solutions be heard.

    Inspired by his father’s tenacity, resourceful people around him and the desire to help others achieve personal success, Keith brought Tallspeaking to life in 2010. Keith works with clients to address personal barriers, overcome shyness, engage with a crowd, build a great first impression and gain the confidence to reach personal goals. He takes a positive approach to public speaking and feels that it is a thrill to have the honor to speak in front of people and communicate a message that can inspire.

    “Height has the advantage of gaining attention and declaring a brand that makes you feel, and look super confident” Keith says.

    Height advantage or not, conquering anxiety and gaining confidence in yourself will build your own natural presence. Everyone offers something great, and everyone has different obstacles to overcome.

    Being tall provides a natural presence, but Keith is no stranger to the qualms of the tall experience. Comments and stares are abundant, and trying to find clothing that fits can be a challenge but Keith’s positive attitude and calm nature makes him approachable and releatable. His communication expertise and natural confidence allow him to really get to know his clients and work with them to overcome barriers.

    Keith continues to build TALLspeaking with the goal of reaching an international audience.

    Words of wisdom from Keith: “Most things take less time than you think, it will be there tomorrow and after you’re dead”.

“You know she is making me angry”!

3 Sep

"She is making me angry"!

“She is making me angry”!

“You know she is going to make me angry” ” I mean she doesn’t mean too but she is making me upset”  -overheard from a cell phone conversation this afternoon while walking to lunch.    Playing  that line in my mind “she is making me angry” over and over to discover it’s woven  with communication and public speaking.    Permission – yes that is what this woman was doing in her mind – she was giving her mind permission to be angry.     She has said “I can no longer hold up the walls while the flood of anger seeps”.

Do you let anxiety and fear from the eyes of the audience seep past your walls?  You are in control of your reactions and your responses to outside stimuli.   If you were in the middle of a desert  giving your presentation you would likely be comfortable and calm with your material.  Yet, when you are in a room full of eyes do you let them pierce your confidence and cause you to breath heavy, sweat, and stumble over words?  If so, you have let them win, you have let them enter your mind.   Do you want to learn how to fight back?

“Every time I go on a sales call the guys interrupt me”!

27 Aug

Caveman

“Every time I go on a sales call and bring team members they keep interrupting my presentation”    

“I start out with an introduction and as soon as I stumble over a word or have a long pause they jump in and I end up sitting there looking stupid”

“It’s so frustrating that I dread going on sales appointments and even get anxious the night before”

This is a story familiar to many people especially woman who are working in  male – dominated fields such as engineering or contracting.  The women are typically in sales/relationship roles within the company and the men are in the technical area.   The men who are called upon as so called “Subject Experts”  have social skills that resemble neanderthal society.

The fact is you can’t not be the spark of evolution – meaning your not going to change them.  They lack social skills and understanding of common civics in a social setting.   If they have not learned these basic kindergarten skills then your complaining to them will be wasted breath.

So what do you do?

First you have to know that you are the communication expert in the room because you know the secret sauce of a sales relationship.  Use this to your advantage in being the moderator of the discussion not just the starter.  Similar to an anchor reporter talking with 4-5 people during a table discussion.    You must assert control and in many incidents you must cut off  a person.

You may be concerned how this looks to the client who is deciding  if they want to actually do business with you? That client wants you to be confident!   They are going to do business if they trust you to get required results.  If your team takes advantage of you in the sales meeting – what does that say to the future buyer?  It makes you look weak and ineffective.

Interested in learning how to take control – let’s talk further.

This Weeks – TALLspeaking Communication Star – Mike Shelah

21 Aug

This Weeks TALLspeaking Communication Star

This Weeks TALLspeaking Communication Star

I spotted this weeks TALLspeaking Communication Star at Toastmasters at the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.
Meet Mike Shelah who  is a Senior Account Executive with Earthlink Business.
Now on to our Q&A….
What do you enjoy about Public Speaking?
It’s entertainment. I have fun sharing my experiences and knowledge with others
Do you get nervous?
Sure. The first time I had to present to a group I thought I was going to pass out. Once I begin the nervousness quickly disappears.
Do you use notes or memorize or go off the cuff?
Depending on the situation, I have applied all three. In sales it is important to speak concisely without knowing what you will need to say in advance. There are times when ceremony dictates a specific script to be memorized and incorporated or presented verbatim. Notes allow you to convey a message freely while assuring you touch all the key topics
What do you tell the person who is fearful of Public Speaking?
It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let that stop you from being great. You are speaking publicly because someone values what you have to say and wants to hear it.
How do you know that you are connecting with the audience?
Engagement is about reaction (laughter, applause, affirmations) and body language

When I go to networking events people are always in cliques!

14 Aug

In networking you have to break-in!

In networking you have to break-in!

The other day a woman in the audience asked me  this question  “When I go to networking events it seems that everyone is in their own cliques – how do I break in”  The key phrase was break-in because that is exactly what you have to do.  Networking events are competitive and physical events that require a high amount of energy, motivation,and attitude.

Let me break it down – you are putting 50-100 ego driven people in a room who all have self interest and personal motivation as their main drivers.  You can’t walk in thinking that people are going to automatically respond to you and welcome you like a hallmark card.  That is not reality.  You are going to have to show why you deserve to be paid attention too and sometimes that means you have to push your way into a clique.  You have to show that you have the confidence and presence to be taken as a serious contender.

You have to push your way in to the group and then follow that up with conversation that grabs attention that makes people want to listen to you.  How do you get good at it – practice, practice, practice

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