Tag Archives: Towson

“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

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/event/83641#eventDetails

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.

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?

“This guy loves Jesus and I love this guy” New Feature – Sunday Night You Tube Speech Star

8 Sep

 

Listen for it “take a chill pill”  –  this Pastor is my pick for the Sunday Night You Tube Speech Star!  He has the guts to tell his congregation that I am going to lose some of you (members) and tells his audience that maybe you have some issues.  Telling them we love to judge other peoples faults because it keeps it off us.  He has moved past judgement – it does not affect his voice or tone because he is in the “zone” of authenticity.  Listen to his rhythm  and how it’s weaved with humor, in a way that isn’t offensive but catches the audience off guard.  He is using his words to expose hypocrisy in teachings – that is why he is using dramatic body language – because it reduces the tension in the room by using his body as the grounding agent.  He uses his eyes as lasers to direct his message to key members  and his pauses let the message peculate in a highly effective way!

What is your comfort level? Leave a comment for me!

29 Aug

What is your comfort level?

What is your comfort level?

  • Level 1: Pressured and Petrified: People in this category display the greatest signs of nervousness—visible blushing, perspiration, quivering voice, or shaking hands. They are extremely uncomfortable and can barely get their words out. These individuals generally have little experience speaking to groups, but because of a recent promotion or increased job responsibilities, they are now expected to speak. They have little desire to speak in public, but are now required to do so. Their capacity for comfort is generally quite low. As such, they have a great opportunity for personal and professional growth!
  • Level 2: Hurried and Harried: These people deal with their fear and discomfort by racing through their material for one specific purpose—to get through it! They are usually familiar with their subject matter but rarely practice. They like to wing it. Many even believe that their “practice” happens while they are giving their presentation. As a result of their lack of preparation, they “hurry” through their presentation, talking too fast, shifting their weight, avoiding eye contact, and showing other physical signs of discomfort.  The good news for this group is that with a few simple changes they can quickly improve and become more comfortable and competent.
  • Level 3: Surprised and Startled: These people have situational nervousness. They are fine in their regular day-to-day presentations, but if asked to perform out of their routine, they experience anxiety and discomfort. However, they typically don’t show their nervousness. In fact, their audience barely picks up on it, but the speaker still carries the burden of anxiety. These speakers take the time to practice and are generally more prepared than most, but unusual situations cause them to revisit earlier bouts of nerves and agitation. They are often the managers who comfortably lead staff or division meetings, but when asked to speak at an all-hands meeting or at a conference, they become anxious. The good news for these speakers is that they already know how to be comfortable in front of one type of audience, so it’s just a matter of learning how to apply their skills to a new venue to be comfortable in every new situation they encounter.
  • Level 4: Eager and Enthusiastic: These are the people who love to speak and do so with ease, taking every opportunity and stepping up at a moment’s notice. They enjoy the adrenalin rush that speaking provides and ride it to peak performance. They may be executives, product evangelists, salespeople, senior leaders, marketing directors, and corporate trainers. They have already built a substantial capacity for comfort—and there is still room to grow.

“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.

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