Commentary

4 May The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive

I read an interesting and informative blog post that’s generated a lot of discussions at The Speech Improvement Company.  

Asynchronous Communication: The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive,” appears on the website of Doist, an up-and-coming maker of software-based productivity tools. 

The article delves into the productivity of remote workers and how different modes of communication affect it. It includes the following definitions:  (more…)

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22 Apr Visuals in the Virtual World – A Quick Tip 

Using visuals during presentations is helpful for listeners to connect with your message.  They are used to emphasize and clarify speaking points.  Has this changed in the virtual world?  The short answer is NO.  Presenters need to be cautious of having their listeners disconnect from them and their message due to visuals.  Whether you are in person or virtual, disconnecting happens. Still, presenters compete for their listeners’ attention with so many more distractions in a virtual world.  Why is the dog barking, who is ringing my door, why is my child texting me are just a few examples of what listeners are thinking now that they are working from home.   (more…)

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6 Apr Having “the Talk” with Clients 

As a coach, we meet all kinds of people who want to become better public speakers and communicators. Most of them are keen to learn, try new things, and some need a little friendly push now and then to keep going.  

But what happens when the client refuses to communicate or shuts down? Some signs of trouble with the client could include missing appointments with no notice, not doing practice or assignments between meetings, or if they do meet, they have very little to say.  (more…)

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30 Mar The trials and tribulations of working from home are many

At first, I thought this is great!  I will work from home! I will be able to cook dinner and spend some quality time with my family.  Well, its been two weeks, and I have learned a great deal.  Working from home is hard, especially when your spouse or significant other is also attempting to do it as well.  My bedroom has become my office since my husband took over our entire kitchen /dining room.  What I didn’t anticipate was having to establish perimeters for each of us.  If I had thoroughly thought this thru, then I would have suggested the following: (more…)

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Free Webinar: Controlling Nervousness Before Speaking – April 14, 2021

Learn how to control nervousness associated with public speaking with this free, 30-minute webinar hosted by The Speech Improvement Company.

Whether you call it ’nervousness” or “anxiety’ or “fear of speaking,” it is a widespread experience for many people worldwide; you are not alone. The good news is that it can be controlled. This complimentary webinar will discuss the ‘real causes’ of this experience and some tools and techniques to control the nervousness.

Wed, April 14, 2021

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Register Here

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22 Mar Why Listening is Difficult

It’s often been said that humans have two ears and one mouth in order to listen twice as much as we speak.  Interestingly, almost all research points to the veracity of this statement.   

Related: Listening: Our Most Used Communications Skill | MU Extension 

We do listen much more than we speak. Yet, it is rare to find an institution of learning from  K – 12 and beyond that provides any programs or even classes in listening.  This truism is a national shame for those who design curriculum.  (more…)

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10 Mar Dr. Dennis Becker @ World Speech Day

Dr. Dennis Becker, founder of The Speech Improvement Company, was chosen to represent North America at World Speech Day scheduled for March 15, 2021. The honor  was given to him in recognition of his stature as a worldwide expert in human communication.

World Speech Day is a day to celebrate speeches and speechmaking that change the world – socially, politically, in the arts, business, and religion. This is their sixth year and feature a Master Class of speakers from 100+ countries delivering speeches and taking questions from viewers and listeners.

Dennis’ planned, 15-minute live-streamed speech is entitled “What has a Worldwide Pandemic Done to Public Speaking?” His comfortable and “shirtsleeve” English style will benefit viewers and listeners across the globe.

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30 Dec Five New Ways to Combat Remote Team Loneliness During Coronavirus

Studies show that loneliness is becoming an increasingly common physical and mental health concern for which remote workers are acutely at risk. With coronavirus forcing employees into 100% work from home (WFH) guidelines, and in some cases, complete shelter in place restrictions, workplace loneliness is at an all-time high.  

Understandably, employees who are used to seeing each other every day are especially feeling this disconnect. And, with coffee shops and restaurants closed, remote employees who were always 100% remote no longer have their routines those routines. 

Employees converting to a remote role are afraid that they won’t get the social stimulation they need to stay motivated and engaged at work. Working from home can lead to endless distractions. Work productivity can be sluggish and fragmented. At most companies, the work they did has slipped away, or they are unable to generate new sales or profits. All of this adds up to be a strain and a sense of isolation. 

As an Executive Communication Coach who specializes in Effective Remote Communication at The Speech Improvement Company, I am offering a few of our newest tips to help conquer remote work loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.  

1. Bet on the weather. This idea is fun and costs nothing to roll out. To be clear, gambling at most places of work is illegal, so it’s best to keep this a light and fun activity with no actual money at stake. (Think a March Madness type pool but renamed March Sadness!) Perhaps the winner can gather donations to their favorite charity or bragging rights for six months. Maybe they get a paid day off on their birthday. Any prize helps it feel more exciting. To bet on the weather, it can be elaborate or straightforward. Commit to a few cities to bet on, commit to how you will bet – by temperature, by an icon on an app, by weather activity (rain, thunder, fog, partly sunny), or any parameter you like. This could be a one-time event on a Friday afternoon meeting or a weekly event. Even with prizes that have no monetary value, you are creating a new sense of fun and friendly competition.  

2. Set up a remote lunch meeting with a surprise guest. Have one person on the team volunteer to bring in a special guest to a lunchtime meeting – their pet, child, friend, neighbor, or anyone who would be willing to pop on the video call for a few minutes. If they can access the meeting link remotely, anyone in the world can be your Surprise Guest, like your parents or spin class instructor and, is a fantastic way to get to know your team members and shake up the monotony of meetings. 

3. Plan a company-wide talent show on a Friday afternoon. Invite anyone and everyone who would like to take part – your spouse, partner, dog, bunny, child, or yourself. Let family members in your home tune in as well. After all the performances are complete, use a poll or chat feature to determine the top three winners of the talent show. Winners will receive a prize with no monetary value like a royal background on the next four video calls, or a crown mailed to them that was handmade by a fellow team member.

4. Send a handwritten letter to a team member. When permission has been given, list all team members’ names and home addresses alphabetically in an Excel document. Everyone writes a handwritten letter to the person under them on the list. If this is not appropriate in your organization because home addresses are private, handwrite the letter, take a picture of it, and send it electronically via email or IM. While the idea of pen pals has long been forgotten, the concept of receiving a handwritten note is still a lot of fun.

5. Host a weekly live edition of “Lifestyles of the Bored and Quarantined.” Have one team member walk around their house for 10 minutes before a team call to give their team a virtual tour. What they share is up to them, but ideas include pets, plants, kids, favorite rooms of the house, the backyard, or wildlife. These meetings are a fantastic no-cost way to get to know each other more and create stronger remote team bonds. 

These WFH ideas are fresh off the press and just in time for the continued social isolation and mandatory work from home policies. We expect all team meetings will be remote meetings for at least a few more weeks, possibly much longer. Use these tips to combat loneliness, strengthen your remote team bond, and have a sense of playfulness during this time of fear and the unknown. Rememberyou can depend on your team to help get you through these times, even if you are not in the same office, city, or country. 

While this post offers fun and playful ideas, remote work loneliness can be serious and upsetting. We encourage you to talk to someone about it – a boss, teammate, spouse, or friend online. When you open up and share what you’re feeling, you give someone the chance to support you, and, in return, you hear how others might be feeling as well. Once you’ve talked to someone about your feelings, you can more effectively support each other and get the emotional support you need to keep plugging away.  

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14 May Ten Things Professionals like about Zooming

Inquiring Communication Coach: What do you like about Zooming?

I conducted a non-scientific poll of my business clients to learn:

 

 

 

Top  10  Things Professionals Like About Zoom

  1. You can wear your PJ bottoms (just watch the camera shot).
  2. You can look at yourself all day, for better or worse.
  3. You don’t have to smell fish cooking in the microwave.
  4. You get to use your own bathroom.
  5. You can squeeze your stress ball without anyone knowing.
  6. You get to see an occasional baby, kid, cat, dog, or gerbil.
  7. You may get to hug someone between meetings—Awww!
  8. You can wear your most comfy decade old shoes.
  9. You can make coffee your way.
  10.  Write anything YOU like (if you do) about Zooming in the comments below.

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30 Apr Attend our Workshop: Thinking on Your Feet

90-minute, online, interactive workshop

Thinking on Your Feet

Thursday, May 21, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

$99 per seat

 

 

THINKING ON YOUR FEET is always a strong indicator of confidence and competence. Next to controlling nervousness, it’s our most requested training topic!

Two things will happen during this 90-minute workshop:

First, you will learn specific techniques that will help you strengthen your ability to think on your feet and express your thoughts with clarity and confidence. We will teach and demonstrate these techniques in a simple and practical manner.

Second, you will practice the techniques in breakout groups. The number of participants will be limited to ensure that every participant will have ample opportunity to practice.

Yes, we are doing all this online! It promises to be an enjoyable and productive learning experience…and you’re invited!

Register Here

(more…)
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