Articles & News
Questions are an essential part of meetings. When questions are asked, there is interest; that’s a good thing. Questions can be a test not only for your knowledge of the content but your confidence in what you are representing.
The 3 techniques below will help you prepare for inevitable questions.
1) Restate– In restating the question you are NOT adding any new information or changing the meaning. This is really important. Changing the meaning does not always mean words, many times it’s done with tone and inflection. Also restating DOES NOT mean using the same words and ‘parroting’ the information. When this technique is done well the listener repeats the essence of the message with no judgment, emotion or opinion implied, in other words – a neutral tone. It’s much easier said than done. It can be most challenging in an emotionally loaded conversation which is also where it is the most powerful and effective. The main resistance people have to restating comes from the fear that they may be seen as agreeing when they do not. Do not let this stop you from using this effective technique, as it is even more powerful when you do not agree with the other person’s statement.
2) Disclaiming– Many times people are fearful to give an answer because they want to have the right answer. “I don’t know, but I will find out” won’t really get you very far in business communication especially when it’s used more than once. Learning how to frame your answer can help. There are phrases which act as a disclaimer so you can offer insight or at least the limited information you do have. (more…)
Think about your upcoming biotech investor presentation. Chances are you have pored over the slide deck but spent little time thinking about how you will share the content. Few issues are more important to preclinical–stage biotech companies than maintaining a continuous flow of capital.
If you plan to advance the development of your product with capital, you need to attract and maintain investor interest, which involves continuously pitching venture capitalists and investors. The best biotech presentations possess this combination of speaking skills:
Integrate a succinct themed presentation with punctuated gestures.
Before you dismiss the idea of gestures as being unnecessary for investor presentations, we will share the latest research on how to create persuasive messaging combined with gestures to help secure the capital you need for continued growth.
As an organization prepares for an investor presentation, little time is typically allocated to analysis and creation of the primary theme. Biotech CEOs can get caught in the weeds, providing too much detail. As a result, investors begin to lose interest in the presentation. Biotech CEOs must craft a presentation that has a memorable theme that is different from the competition.
In our research at The Speech Improvement Company, with hundreds of our Biotech and Life Sciences clients, we were struck by our observations that Biotech CEO’s have difficulty drilling down to a single theme for their product during an investor pitch. What became clear was the difficulty in distilling data into one core theme. If you can condense your entire presentation into one sentence with a strong primary theme, you are on the right track. (more…)
One of the most important presentations is the presentation to secure funding. It can be challenging to be persuasive with intense competition for the same resources.
Follow these steps to more successfully navigate those conversations. (more…)
I often caution people on their use of email. Of course it’s fast and convenient, but an important message or request may be diluted for that very reason: you chose a fast, convenient (for you) method to deliver it. If being heard is important, a phone call is far better. And meeting face-to-face gives you the most successful vehicle for delivering your message. A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and reported in the Harvard Business Review quantifies it. They claim face-to-face is 34 times more effective than email when asking someone to do something for you. The report can be read here.
The research concludes “it’s worth considering whether you could be a more effective communicator by having conversations in person. It is often more convenient and comfortable to use text-based communication than to approach someone in-person, but if you overestimate the effectiveness of such media, you may regularly—and unknowingly—choose inferior means of influence.”
Taking the time to be 34x more effective is worth considering when I write my next email.
Becoming a persuasive presenter is one of the most sought-after skills in business today.
Eye contact is generally considered to be the most important visual re-enforcer a speaker has. Listeners like to be looked at. This is particularly true in persuasive business speaking. The American business culture relies heavily on the “look ’em straight in the eye” approach.
Yesterday, my client, a VP in financial services, said it was a waste of time to go to his office. No one was there, and besides, the majority of meetings he led were remote. He shared that in the “olden days,” bonds were formed by walking around, schmoozing at your desk, or shockingly, even having lunch together!
Technology had changed things forever, and it was up to us to create new strategies for connection in a remote world. (more…)
24 May Future Generations
Angst surrounding communication is universal. Speaking formally before large groups can cause great anxiety, so much so, even the most accomplished professionals often shy away from attempting to try it. But how about one-on-one conversations and speaking with those closest to us?
As we approach the third decade of the new millennium, do you see effective communication increasing or waning? Are our “circles of support” growing or do we reach out to a more limited group of family, friends, and neighbors? (more…)
I recently attended an event in Austin called Philanthropitch, a social impact fast-pitch competition. Nonprofits step onto the stage to gain access to capital and build awareness amongst new donors and volunteers. That night Philanthropitch gave away $110,000.00. No pressure, right?
I felt that every presenter did an excellent job which is a tremendous achievement. If you’d like to learn more about how to thrive in a pitch competition, you need a plan and preferably a trusted and reputable speech coach to support you. (more…)
A listener from on the road asked Ethan while he was in Kuala Lumpur, how can he get his managers to stop being so territorial and be more like team players! (more…)
Very recently, Rebecca Robbins, a San Francisco Correspondent, shared a report about an organization that wanted to take a different approach at an upcoming scientific gathering. Planners decided to only invite female speakers to the microbiome conference at the University of California, San Diego, thus igniting a major controversy.
As a woman, mother, and corporate executive, it is my opinion that women-only events don’t make sense. Now, before you throw a laptop at me, hear me out. I’ve been thinking deeply about this subject, especially with March being Women’s History Month, and International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019.
It seems clear that the event at the microbiome conference was not meant as a hateful strike against men but rather as a one-off, a way to make a splash and try something new. (more…)
There are amazing similarities between parenting kids and leading and managing our people at work. Being mindful of this just might help you become more resilient as you groom your employees to operate at high proficiency. Being aware might also give YOU extra energy in the process. Because like raising kids, managing people can be extremely exhausting (yet some of the most rewarding work ever!). (more…)
A Chinese proverb says, “Tell me something, I’ll forget; show me, I’ll remember; involve me, I’ll understand.”
According to recent studies, when people participate in a presentation, the material becomes at least three times more memorable for them than if they merely listened to a lecture.
Sometimes you risk losing listeners altogether if you don’t go out of your way to involve members.
18 Feb How to be Persuasive
One of the topics our team of speech coaches cover most often is persuasion. Many people believe persuasion is about saying “I am right and you are wrong.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Persuasion is about presenting your thoughts and ideas in a compelling way that makes others listen to them. So, if I have persuaded you to read on <ahem>, here are three important considerations to be persuasive:(more…)
Managers and leaders are often massively challenged in how to quickly align cross-functional and multicultural teams in today’s mobile and ever changing global economy. A solid conflict management approach – having the knowledge, a reliable process and a system in place that people can follow – is crucial to not allow emotions to become overwhelming.To do so successfully requires a high level of interpersonal communication skills which are acquired through in-depth self-development, reflection, training, coaching, experience and practice. These interpersonal skills and awareness may not have been acquired on an equal scale as technical knowledge in the process of professional development.(more…)