Commentary

04 Feb BUILDING RAPPORT QUICKLY

Investor meetings are difficult enough because you need to tell your story, what makes you unique, and why you are the right company for them to invest. In reality, though, the most difficult and important part is building the necessary rapport with the investors. Investors need to see a potential business relationship that they can develop. Do you have goals, values, beliefs, and drivers that align? How do you know what those are for your investors? How do you connect in this way? It is not easy. It is one of the reasons our executive communication coaches are brought in to help. It goes beyond process and structure into the psychology of communication and how to apply it. There are three steps you can take to better position yourself to build rapport quickly with investors.
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21 Jan Seven Factors Biotech Companies Should Consider When Using a Public Speaking App

AI, or artificial intelligence, has taken root in biotech. From lab assistants to drug discovery, AI provides a cheap, quick, and more effective process for advancementAnd the AI push is visible within public speaking development, from counting your “uh’s" to determining if you speak with enough passion.   There is no shortage of apps, software, and computer programs that claim to increase your skill as a presenter and public speaker. Many Biotech companies have embraced Artificial Intelligence (AI) apps, software, and programs that offer a "speech coach in your pocket." Should you whip out your credit card and sign up? And if you have joined the AI coaching bandwagon, what do you need to prepare for while using the app? Here are seven critical factors to consider:   1) Technical Difficulties- Utilization of AI for improved communication skills is a reasonably new technology and there are still technical issues to prepare forBlank screens, constant reinstallations, "free plans" with little value, outdated versions that require a help desk to resolve, restricted content, a lack of continued learning opportunities after a certain point, lessons that won't load, and any other tech issue you can imagine.  This puts a damper on progress.   2) Lack of Context - Your app may flag you for pausing too long, but if you are a skilled speaker, you can hesitate for an extended amount of time and investors will wait with bated breath in anticipation of what you will say. The app may tell you your pace was too fast or slow, but again, a speaker telling a funny story or sharing a heartbreaking loss will utilize different pacing speeds to help create excitement, momentum, suspense, or surprise.  
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19 Jan Strategically Authentic Communication 

To be successful in business communication, you must be authentic. Authenticity, though, is not magic. It is strategic. For any communication you have, here are three steps you can follow to be strategically authentic.  Better understand your listeners. The best advice I give to clients is to remember that it’s not about you; it’s about the listeners, so before you speak, ask yourself:
  • To whom are you speaking? What is their title? 
  • How much time do they have for you? 
  • What is your goal for the conversation? What do you think are the roadblocks to getting to your goal? 
  • How does your listener listen – do they want to get to the point or get all the information?  
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07 Jan Three Nuanced Ways to Communicate Confidence

What people want most from communication coaching is the ability to appear, sound, and be confident. We all know when we see a confident communicator and when we don’t. Sometimes a speaker will say they felt confident but they are not perceived that way. Sometimes people will be very self-deprecating about their confidence, and their listeners didn’t see that at all. We are always trying to close the gap between self-perception and reality. It’s important to remember confidence is a  transient condition  even though everyone talks about it as a concrete destination. ALL speakers have felt their confidence come and go.
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17 Dec The Skills You Need to be AGILE

  There is a difference between being an agile HR department and being an AGILE HR department. The ideal, of course, is being an agile AGILE HR department. This is especially true as AGILE becomes a way of doing business in more and more companies. The emphasis in AGILE is on speed and accuracy. At the Bank of Montreal, where AGILE has become popular, the Chief Transformation Officer, Lynne Rogers, says that "speed is the new business currency."
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17 Dec The Cornerstone of Success

If you don’t put in the work, your communication cannot improve. Have you ever heard of the often-quoted business statement “anything worth doing is worth doing badly”?  Whether you have or have not, the question you should ask is, what is this quotation saying to us as professionals? The quote is urging us to do. Very inspirational and successful people generally speak statements like this. The kinds of people we want to emulate. The problem is that statements like this don’t reflect the years of work that went into developing the authenticity to say these statements. If Steve Jobs took a risk, it’s genius. If a middle manager with little to no experience or history at Apple takes that same risk, what a mistake! 
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04 Dec Complimentary webinar for biotech executives going to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Week

Strategies to Quickly Connect and Create Relationships at JPM Week This webinar was held on December 11, 2019. View the recoding here: https://www.speechimprovement.com/relationships-at-jpm/ Maximize your opportunities. In this timely and informative webinar, learn strategies to connect and create valuable relationships throughout the upcoming JP Morgan Healthcare Conference...

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03 Dec Three Lawyers and an Actuary

This week I had the privilege of coaching three lawyers and one actuary — bright people indeed who were preparing to speak at various conferences.  Three of them needed help structuring their presentations. One executive was having trouble relating to his listeners. Yet they all expressed concern over the thing that holds so many people back. If you guessed they all suffer from the fear of speaking, you’re right. There are two types of comments I heard: Physiological: They mentioned faces turning red, shaky hands, and the fact that they struggled to focus.
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19 Nov Is Conversation Dead?

By no means is it shocking to say that teenagers live on their cell phones. As a GenXer, I grew up as a teen that spent hours talking on the telephone. (The thing attached to the wall that had a cord.) I can still hear my mother yelling, “GET OFF THE PHONE NOW! Someone may be trying to call.” Yes, I used a phone to talk. That is no longer the case today. I find my teens watching videos and movies, playing video games, checking the weather, checking social media, and texting. I am the ONLY one that actually calls them to talk. As a parent and a communications coach, I have asked myself, “What has happened to the art of conversation?”
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12 Nov Your Spoken Word Is Not Enough 

When preparing for a presentation, you start by thinking "What do I want to say?" The focus is on ourselves. How will it go? What is best? Think bigger. As a communication coach, I tell my clients all the time "I'm going to tell you something important: it's not about you.” It's about your listener. How one successfully reaches a communication goal is by thinking about what tools will help you effectively get your message across. That means choosing the method that best resonates with your listener. Ask yourself "What tools will help us get from here to there?"
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07 Nov How Word Choice Affects Email Tone

It is universally common to hate email, no matter your industry. Emails offer many forms of indignities; too long, too vague, too much content, forwarded conversations, reply all's, and rapid response expectation. As a coach, I help professionals master all forms of communication, including digital communication. This article will help uncover how poor word choice can create a disconnect with your recipient and negatively affect the tone. The three examples below highlight how easy it is to use the wrong words that create a challenging tone. I'll share the most common offenders when it comes to word choice, and provide alternatives for a more productive result.
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04 Nov How to present as a team

Team presentations are difficult. They are even more so when there is $10 to $50 million in funding on the line. The presentation sets the tone for the next year or years of your business. So, getting it wrong, messing up, or not presenting as a cohesive unit is not an option. The pressure is high, and the stress over getting it wrong is higher. When we coach teams, who are looking for that essential round of VC funding, we find that one of the keys to relieving the pressure is working on the transition between different sections of the presentation and various members of the team. There are three steps to good transitions between people:
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