Communication Skills Blog from world class speech coaches

06 Aug Top Five Tips for Virtual Facilitators and Moderators

As coronavirus rapidly spreads across the globe, conferences, symposiums, and summits are transitioning from in-person to virtual events. There are pros and cons to this transition. Through our extensive knowledge and understanding of human communication, we've been helping executives who have been placed into virtual conferences learn how to facilitate a virtual event with success.

 

Why does your success as a virtual moderator matter? It matters because you are essentially managing both the event and the participants. It's your job to set a welcoming tone, orchestrate an interesting conversation, handle Q and A, and wrap up the session on time. These are skills that you may not be doing regularly in your current role, and it's essential to learn new tools and techniques to show your expertise. If done well, you will demonstrate leadership qualities that could lead to new opportunities for you and your organization.

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27 May Framing your business narrative during crisis time

Figuring out how to frame a narrative in a crisis is very important. Now, in the midst of this pandemic, if you need to adjust your business narrative, how should you do that?  If your business is to continue, your constituents need to know that your company is still strong and has been able to adapt to changing times. Here is food for thought and some direction for your consideration as you address this issue. Begin by understanding that framing the story is essential.  You should always answer three questions as you build your narrative:
  1. Where are your listeners/constituents naturally on the topic that you need to address?
  2. Where do you need them to be to consider the value of your message?
  3. What story, information, etc. can you use at the beginning, and throughout your narrative to facilitate that?
Take the time to answer these simple questions, and you will be in a significantly better position to effectively and strategically address the important issues in your narrative.  These answers will also help support your need to motivate, influence, and lead in this unprecedented time.
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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.
  Number 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

     
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14 Apr Five Ideas for Encouraging Participation in Virtual Meetings 

Research and experience tell us how important equal and energized group meetings are to morale and productivity.  Yet, clients using virtual audio or video conferencing say that engaging all participants, holding attention, and controlling interruptions and overlapping speakers are significant challenges. Make sure you are incorporating these five essentials in your virtual meetings:  
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01 Apr Dr. Dennis Becker at World Speech Day

Dr. Dennis Becker, founder of The Speech Improvement Company, spoke on March 16 at World Speech Day. The honor of representing North America 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 fifth year and featured a Master Class of speakers from 120+ countries delivering speeches and taking questions from viewers and listeners. This year’s theme was Classical Rhetoric and its Effect on Contemporary Communication. Dennis’ 15-minute live-streamed speech was entitled "Aristotle’s Patterns of Reasoning." He took this 3,000-year-old content and showed its use and value in today's world. Of course, his comfortable and “shirtsleeve" English style benefitted viewers and listeners across the globe.  

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24 Mar Communicating During Crisis (Recorded Webinar)

30-minute recorded webinar

 

Communicating During Crisis

 

Navigating Essential Conversations

 

Watch Now

 
In these unprecedented times, your people are relying on your insight and direction. Effective communication is every leader's best tool and using it appropriately is the key to moving business forward. Your employees, peers, vendors, partners, and others all need clear, concise, and useful information. Our team of Executive Communication Coaches will be joined by renowned crisis expert Dr. Kevin Becker to give you a framework for essential management communication. During this webinar you will learn the three most important things that must be communicated during a time of crisis and proven techniques for putting it all in place immediately.
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24 Mar How Can Disaster Psychology Help Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis?

In recent years, the world has seen a number of significant large-scale disasters; some caused by nature and some caused by humans. For many, the words "disaster" or "crisis" evoke images of buildings in shambles, decimated communities, and families who are homeless and uncertain where their next meal will come from. Until recently, these disasters included only such events as tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and terrorist attacks. These days it is the coronavirus that is bringing us pictures of people wearing masks, being quarantined, schools closing, and so on. This current crisis has wreaked havoc with the stock market and the investments of millions of people. That alone is creating an economic crisis. Indeed, the current financial crisis has been referred to as an "economic tsunami". Undeniably, the current conditions have caused communities to come to a complete standstill. The trauma has been severe for many companies, and leaders worldwide have spoken in terms usually reserved for those occasions when a hurricane or earthquake has occurred. Rallying cries of hope and promises for "a full recovery" can be heard from leaders across the globe. In the United States, since the disaster of 9/11, there has been significant research in the areas of Disaster Psychology and Human Communication which offer important insights into how people operate and what motivates them during times of crisis. For political leaders and business professionals, understanding some important disaster principles and practices can mean the difference between success and failure as the crisis and subsequent economic troubles unfold.
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16 Mar Managing Employees Remotely (Recorded Webinar)

Managing Employees Remotely   Overcoming challenges in communication, motivation, and employee engagement       Watch the Recording Now   The coronavirus is forcing many of us to work and manage remotely. With large numbers of employees working remotely for the first time and reading frightening headlines daily, managers have a whole new set of challenges to...

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10 Mar Running Effective Remote Team Meetings

To curb the spread of coronavirus, organizations are encouraging employees around the globe to work remotely. Setting clear guidelines for how, when, and why teams operate remotely helps form cohesion. How do you create a collaborative agenda with remote meeting attendees, allowing all remote team members to remain engaged during team conference calls? This blog post offers tips based on our experience training companies on how to communicate effectively when using digital platforms and how to collaborate and manage remotely. Admit it, when there is no video aspect to a conference call, it's not unusual for employees to hit mute, (or not), and do a variety of tasks during phone conferences and remote team meetings, such as checking and composing email, scrolling Twitter, eating a sandwich, and (gasp) going to the bathroom?!
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03 Feb Communication Skills for Women Leaders

Without being stereotypical about it, there are some communication characteristics that may be more familiar to women in leadership roles than will resonate with men in similar roles. We see many millennials, of both genders, struggling with these traits as well. But that’s an article for another day! Here a few reminders. Examples include:
  • Placing a question mark at the end of sentences (uptalk)
  • Apologizing when there is no need
  • Diminishing their value by using tentative words such as  little  or  just  while describing accomplishments
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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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