Tag Archives: fear

“Getting Rid of Weakness in Communication” by Keith Scott

3 Nov

Are you wondering if I can really teach you how to communicate?  Sign up and check me out!

10:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
“Getting Rid of Weakness in Communication”
Led by: SECU, Keith Scott, President /CEO, Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce-Small Business Resource Center

Fall 2013 Business Growth Expo

Network, make connections and learn how to grow your business at our Fall 2013 Business Growth Expo!

  • When: Thursday, November 7, 2013,8:00am-12:00pm Add to my calendar
  • Where: Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn245 Shawan Road Hunt Valley MD 21031
  • Suggested Dress: Business attire


People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it.

29 Oct

TALLspeaking tips before, during, and after your presentation!

  1. Don’t abuse your visuals – Usually your visuals are posters, charts, but never use PowerPoint .  Whatever your visuals may be, keep them simple and don’t put too many words on them. The audience isn’t there to read your slides, they are there to listen to you present.
  2. Look at the audience – If you ever wondered where you should be looking when presenting, the answer is right in front of you. Don’t just single out one person, but instead try to make eye contact with numerous people throughout the room. If you don’t do this then you aren’t engaging the audience, you are just talking to yourself. This can result in an utter lack of attention from your audience.
  3. Show your personality – It doesn’t matter if you are presenting to a corporate crowd or to senior citizens, you need to show some character when presenting. If you don’t do this you’ll probably sound like Agent Smith from the Matrix. Nobody wants to hear him present
  4. Make them laugh – Although you want to educate your audience, you need to make them laugh as well. I learned this from Guy Kawasaki and if you ever hear any of his speeches you’ll understand why. In essence, it keeps the audience alert and they’ll learn more from you than someone who just educates.
Always believe a guy in a bow tie!

Always believe a guy in a bow tie!

  1. Talk to your audience, not at them – People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it. You need to interact with your audience and create a conversation. An easy way to do this is to ask them questions as well as letting them ask you questions.
  2. Be honest – A lot of people present to the audience what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. Make sure you tell the truth even if they don’t want to hear it because they will respect you for that and it will make you more human and authentic.
  3. Don’t over prepare – If you rehearse your presentation too much it will sound like it in a bad way.  Never tape your presentation because you will start to look rehearsed.   Granted, you need to be prepared enough to know what you are going to talk about but make sure your presentation flows naturally instead of sounding memorized. Usually if you ask experienced speakers what you shouldn’t do, they’ll tell you not to rehearse your presentation too much because then it won’t sound natural.
  4. Show some movement – You probably know that you need to show some movement when speaking, but naturally you may forget to do so. Make sure you show some gestures or pace around a bit (not too much) on the stage when speaking. Remember, no one likes watching a stiff. People are more engaged with an animated speaker.
  5. Watch what you say – You usually don’t notice when you say “uhm”, “ah”, or any other useless word frequently, but the audience does. It gets quite irritating; so much that some members of the audience will probably count how many times you say these useless words.  Learn how to eliminate weak language from your everyday use.
  6. Differentiate yourself – If you don’t do something unique compared to all the other presenters the audience has heard, they won’t remember you. You are branding yourself when you speak, so make sure you do something unique and memorable.

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

27 Aug


“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.

I am a proud Introvert and a Public Speaker?

19 Aug

Introverts can be public speakers!

Introverts can be public speakers!

Do you freak out when your cell phone is down to 10 percent and you can’t find a plug to charge anywhere?  You may debate – should I turn it off to save the battery or just hope you get to a place to charge in time?  For me by Friday afternoon my battery is red-lining.  I am desperate for some solitude – to get away from conversation and interaction.  I need that time to put all my thoughts in order and to make sense of the world.

People think that only extroverts can be good public speakers because they gain their energy from people.  They think that introverts can’t stand people and only want to live on a remote island.  That type of talk is rubbish and completely ignorant and irresponsible.   Anyone can be an amazing speaker but they have to know their temperament and limitations with stimulation.  I have learned that I must have some time before a presentation (10-15) minutes to put my thoughts in order and find that inner solitude.  So, my introverted friends – don’t let an emotional condition hold you back from communicating with the world?

Introvert 2

But who asked you, anyway ?

17 Aug

So the life I have made
May seem wrong to you
But, I’ve never been surer
It’s my life to ruin
My own way


 ( JUDGEMENT) A common vocalization from my clients.   The world is teeming with judgement and it is a sickness that we see pronounced at every checkout line.   We demonize judgement but it has helped us evolve and survive in a dangerous world.  We all do it consciously or unconsciously – for some it cripples – the ability to live fully.  It truly sucks the life out of their personality.  Realize that everyone judges you and puts you in a box in the first 5 seconds.  You have been stamped and cataloged.  That is graphic reality.

When you are asked to give a presentation or speak up at a company meeting -you can sway that judgement to the positive by showing the audience that you have broken free of any residue  (judgement anxiety).  When they sense your complete control of your mind their negative thoughts evaporate – you will gain a new respect.  You will be seen as a model of completeness that so many will envy.  This creates desire to hear your message.  This will be you launch to new orbits of communication

Study: Everyone Wants to Be Having the Most Sex

16 Apr

Research done at University of Colorado, Boulder found that people who said they are happier also reported having sex on the reg. No surprise there.
However, when sexual frequency was put as the control, people who simply believed they were having less sex than other people were unhappier than those who believed they were having as much or more than their peers. 

Basically, “having more sex makes us happy, but thinking that we are having more sex than other people makes us even happier,” says Tim Wadsworth, an associate professor of sociology who helmed the study.

When you are presenting in front of a large group envision your presentation in your imagination – think about how you are going to walk up to the microphone, imagine the smells of the room, your feet on the floor.  Take time to imagine the audience smiling, nodding their heads with great interest.   People laughing at your humor and focused on your every word.   You are now the best speaker that the audience has heard in years.  It’s your imagination that will set your mood and allow you to excel.  Of course it’s not as fun as….. 

Sunday Nights Are the Worst for Emotional Eating

10 Apr

It comes as so surprise, then, that most of us decide to reach for the comfort food between 7 and 10 p.m. on Sunday nights, perhaps in a feeble attempt to assuage our fear of the impending Monday morning through cheese puffs, leftover cake, and stale Halloween candy.

What do you do to comfort yourself before doing a group presentation or confronting a problem employee.  Do you have steps to reduce your anxiety and ways to develop a clear communication plan.  Some food for thought?

You should see what kind of confidence I have…….

25 Mar

Public speaking builds confidence.

Self confidence is a strong indicator of success in the workplace. If you can get up in front of a group of strangers and talk, you can easily handle important meetings or social obligations. You will, as you become more comfortable as a in front of groups, find that you stand straighter, make better eye contact and feel less hesitant to initiate conversations with strangers.

Public speaking provides opportunities

Let’s say that you work in a corporate position and have been asked to be part of a project team. When it comes time to present the project, you are the only one willing to step up. As a result, you will be seen as a leader. From that perception will come promotions and other opportunities for advancement. Leadership is valued by employers.

Public speaking makes you articulate.

In everyday speech, we all find ourselves stammering, repeating phrases as we try to put our train of thought back on the rails, and using filler sounds such as “um,” or “you know.” A lot of this behavior is unconscious. But if you were to attend a presentation and the speaker used a lot of fillers or stammered, you would likely question that person’s qualifications for giving the presentation in the first place. Right?

As you build your speaking skills, you eliminate much of the messiness from your speech patterns. Instead of “um,” you pause. You are comfortable with that quiet moment. The effects of this are that you sound more intelligent than the average person, whether you are or not!

Do you change your shoes?

11 Mar

15 Principles of communication Mr. Rogers taught by example:

1. Belief: Mr. Rogers had no doubt that communication and true connections were possible.

Some people give up too quickly: There’s just no communicating with her! Mr. Rogers believed fervently in the power of communication to bring about good results. He demonstrated that by empowering others through how he communicated with them, he could help them to grow.

2. Humility: It would probably be difficult for someone who works with puppets and children to be arrogant.  Arrogance makes others defensive. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I really like him––he’s so arrogant?” True humility keeps communication channels clear.

3. Authority: Despite his humility and his playfulness, Mr. Rogers didn’t behave childishly.

If he had, his young viewers wouldn’t have discerned the secure feeling they had when “visiting” with him. He was Mr. not Fred to his viewers. He knew that leaders inspire confidence in what they say by displaying a measure of authority. Another way he did this was by always wearing a tie, even with his famous sweaters. Visual cues send messages. His appearance and demeanor declared: Perfect combination of warmth and trustworthiness

4. Respect: Mr. Rogers demonstrated courtesy and respect for everyone.

He often told his young viewers: There’s nobody in the world just like you. He believed that every person should be appreciated as a unique individual and valued diversity long before the concept became a priority in corporate, government and educational initiatives.

5. Patience: Did Mr. Rogers ever rush?

It’s hard for me to imagine him frantic, interrupting someone or pushing them to hurry. When interacting with guests or puppets, he patiently listened. His facial expressions and body language assured the listener he was completely in tune with what they were saying.

6. Flexibility: To ensure that his lessons and insights reached each person in his audience, he adjusted his

communication style. Most of us are familiar with how he spoke to the children who watched him and with those on his show. When he addressed adults, he increased the pace of his speech, adjusted his tone of voice and used a wider range of vocabulary. Could he be stern or tough? Just imagine him defending a child.

7. Authenticity: Those close to him said what you saw on television was exactly what you saw in real life.

This doesn’t mean he didn’t adjust his communication style. Communicating with everyone in exactly the same way doesn’t demonstrate authenticity. It shows either a lack of knowledge, self-centeredness or laziness. Being authentic means you have brought your behavior and personality in alignment with your core values. You do what’s right and treat people well whether or not someone’s watching.

8. Purpose: I recently heard someone say that we should set our intentions every day.

Could anyone doubt that Mr. Rogers had the very best intentions? He dedicated his life to caring for children and their families. Lack of clarity about your purpose (the big picture) or your objectives (the smaller details) will lead to fuzzy intentions, which result in fuzzy communication.

9. Honesty: Mr. Rogers said, People long to be in touch with honesty. People sense that we’re honest with them. His integrity extended to the fact that he never used his popularity to exploit the children who watched his show as consumers to buy products. Employees want to be seen as the special people they are and not as a nearly “invisible” means to an end for their organization. Mistrust is one of the biggest enemies of connection and the typical reaction to someone who seems untrustworthy is to stop communicating with them.

10. Openness: Mr. Rogers had many sayings, one of which was: What is mentionable is manageable.

He never hid from difficult issues and managed to write and sing songs about things I wouldn’t dare to mention in this article! When organizations, departments, or individuals open up to discuss problems, they avoid compounding them, which is usually the result of attempts to conceal.

Openness about problems goes a long way toward solving them. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it – before someone else exaggerates it!

11. Appropriateness: Though he openly discussed what needed to be discussed, Mr. Rogers understood that openness doesn’t mean “spilling.”

He practiced what I call selective self-disclosure–not hiding from tough conversations or issues, but not dumping everything on everyone all the time. Soon after he began at PBS, he spoke on the air to parents about how to talk to their children about the assassina tion of Robert Kennedy. He cautioned parents to protect their children from the constant bombardment brought about by television.

He said, There is just so much that a very young child can take without it being overwhelming. A few days after his retirement in 2001, he returned to television to give a similar warning and to help parents to gently and carefully talk to their children about what happened on September 11, 2001.

12. Availability: A complaint I often hear from staff members is that their leaders are not available to them. Mr. Rogers was always available and approachable. He conveyed this, through the television screen, in every one of his 900 episodes––always there, creating a safe, open

place for children to spend time. He was often approached by adults who as children had watched him daily. Many who had difficult childhoods told him that he had been there at just the right moment when they needed him. The lesson for leaders is to give your staff members a sense of safety and security by being there to reassure them, to show appreciation for their contributions, and to support and constructively coach them when they inevitably make mistakes.

13. Persistence: Mr. Rogers used repetition and every available means to communicate his messages.

His organization is called Family Communications. Everyone who wrote to him received a response. He personally answered many letters, and he signed all letters that left his office.

Soon after his death, his website encouraged parents and children to contact Family Communications. The site also offered extensive information for parents to help them explain to their children that he had died, despite the fact they would still see him on television. Persistence reduces chances for confusion.

14. Warmth: Communication is not all about the rational. Much happens in the realm of the emotions.

Miscommunication will be a chronic problem whenever this isn’t recognized. Mr. Rogers both demonstrated and validated feelings. Friends and coworkers say he loved to laugh. He smiled and his smile came through in his voice. He talked with children about their feelings of anger and sadness. A young man told me, I really felt like he was a trusted caring neighbor who had invited me in.

15. Magnetism: There are certain people who draw others to them.

Mr. Rogers was one of these rare individuals. From what we know, he didn’t pull back from others in any way–he either moved toward them or stood receptive to them. His body language, voice, facial expression, eye contact and choice of words conveyed that he accepted, understood and truly wanted to be with his young viewers. This positive energy emanates from everyone who genuinely believes in the best intentions of others and demonstrates that belief through

supportive behavior, action and communication.  My favorite description of Mr. Rogers came from an ABC News reporter. After an interview, he said Fred Rogers was

determinedly gentle and soft-spoken. People often say they are determined to be certain ways or do certain things. When I imagine someone saying that, I picture them with clenched fists and a competitive fire in their eyes. Mr. Rogers showed us all the impact of being, determinedly gentle and soft-spoken.  Fred Rogers said that the air between the TV set and the viewers was sacred. Take time to consider what happens in the air between you and those with whom you’re communicating.

Mr. Rogers had a way of communicating that reached out of the television and placed him right beside the children he spoke to each day. He won’t ever be forgotten, not because he was on television–he would have been unforgettable no

matter where he might have worked. He will be remembered because of the person he was and the way he revealed that in how he acted, how he communicated and how he connected with others.

As many famous people have discovered……

6 Mar


As many famous people have discovered, your
voice can be a powerful tool. But like any tool
you must practice with it to use it well. When
giving a speech, you want the entire audience to
hear you. The following points may help:
• Project your voice and speak up. Voice projection is not
shouting, and you can do it without straining. Speaking from
the back of the throat makes your voice sound weak and
tires it faster; use your diaphragm muscles to make your
voice carry. The diaphragm muscles are between your chest
and stomach. Using them will help you relax and make your
voice sound stronger.
• Try to sound like yourself. Use a conversational tone with
familiar words.
• Speak at a comfortable pace so everyone can hear and understand your entire speech.
• Enunciate (pronounce clearly) all vowels and consonants.
• Don’t slur your words – practice pronouncing the d’s, t’s and
ing’s on the end of words.
• When you’re rehearsing a speech, have someone stand near the
back of the room to give you feedback on your projection and
delivery, as well as content.


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