TSIC Blog

30 Jun Executive presence: what is it, why do you need it, and how do you build it?

During these last 467 days, we’ve had to make significant adjustments to the way we convey our presence and confidence. As we moved into a virtual world, executive presence was created, focusing on how we look and sound on camera.  So, the question is, how do we build a relationship with somebody that you’re only meeting from the waist up? How do you establish that executive presence in a way that can build trust and rapport?  In this medium, accepting its limitations and advantages, one aspect of projecting executive presence is the ability to inspire confidence. This means inspiring confidence in our peers as capable and reliable colleagues. In our junior folks, it’s inspiring confidence as a leader that they want to follow. And, importantly among senior leaders, inspiring confidence instills that you have the potential for great achievements.  (more…)

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22 Jun Are cell phones hurting the next generation? 

A recent article on CNN was about government-run camps to treat teen internet addiction in South Korea. After reading the article, I thought what a fantastic idea. I wonder how many parents think their kids are addicted to their cell phones. The South Koreans may be on to something.  

According to South Korea’s government, in 2018, 98% of South Korean teens used a cell phone.  The article mentioned a 16-year who, after spending 13 hours straight on her cellphone, signed herself up for the camp. Her phone gave her continuous entertainment, and when she got bored, she moved on to the next video or game. She felt detached from reality when on her phone. Her grades were slipping, and she fought with her dad about her phone usage daily.   (more…)

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15 Jun Are some organizations shirking their responsibilities regarding public speaking coaching and professional development opportunities?

As a speech coach, I readily admit that it is hard for me to remain unbiased about the question above. ALL of us, speech coaches included, should be on a never-ending quest to improve our public speaking, presentation skills, and ability to connect with listeners virtually and in person.

That is a utopian view, I know. Based in our Kerala, India office, I do see a disturbing trend about the support and development of speakers and presenters. Simply put, some companies seem to be pushing employees to accept conference speaking opportunities but don’t seem to be willing to foot the bill for their coaching and professional development. (more…)

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9 Jun Three Tips for Using a Teleprompter in a Business Presentation 

 As more and more events become hybrid or completely virtual, the ability to use a teleprompter with ease will enhance the quality of your presentation. Of course, the opposite is also true; fumbling with your script on a screen can make you look panicked, low energy, and under-prepared. 

Being a great presenter means you have developed mastery with all the tools at your disposal. When used well, you may utilize a teleprompter at your next event and vow to never go back to improvising your content using only your memory, bullet point notes, or a slide deck as a reference. Teleprompters, when used correctly, should make you look polished, confident, and natural. But once you know you’ll have access to a teleprompter, this is no reason to slack off and slide into the room 20 minutes before the event. Good results with a teleprompter take practice and patience.   (more…)

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18 May THE BASIS OF BIAS AND ATTITUDES 

Until the community of police and the communities of color are willing and able to get to the bottom of the biases and attitudes that control behavior, any change will be prolonged and painful.  Each person in these communities and others must understand that their behaviors, whether verbal or physical, come from a place in each of us, filled with the attitudes and beliefs that we carry everywhere we go.  There are no human exceptions to this fact.   It’s as simple as  A B C.  Attitudes Become Communication.  We all have them.  We all talk and act the way we do because of them.   Sometimes we are readily aware that what we are doing or saying comes from something we believe in.  Sometimes we are not overtly aware of why we say or do the things we do.   Until each of us can understand what attitudes we carry with us and where they come from, there will be no peace or understanding.  A detente will exist and will only erupt again and again. (more…)

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11 May The Rudest Things You Can Do During A Work Zoom Meeting 

I don’t consider myself a rude person, and I make great efforts at being polite, self-aware, and apolitical at work. But after reading this article, “The Rudest Things You Can Do During a Work Zoom Meeting,” you may realize, like I did, you’re a bit of a boor online. Fortunately I work with a bunch of great speech coaches here at The Speech Improvement Company, so there’s hope! Now that I’m enlightened, I’m reaching out to all those I’ve offended during my countless and often endless Zoom meetings: I plead ignorance and ask you to give me one more chance.


The Rudest Things You Can Do During A Work Zoom Meeting 

Caroline Bologna, HuffPost Work/Life 

Etiquette experts share faux pas to avoid in virtual meetings.  At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely used Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other video communications platforms a fair amount. This technology has been particularly prevalent in professional settings as many of us continue to work from home. 

But despite all the Zoom experience we’ve gained over the past year, it’s still not uncommon to witness unprofessional or just plain rude behavior in video meetings. From gossiping in chat to appearing in PJs from bed, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the etiquette department. 

 <Read full article> 

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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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15 Apr Five Strategies to Demonstrate Gravitas

Gravitas was one of the ancient Roman virtues that denoted “seriousness.” Also translated as weight, dignity, and importance, it conveys a sense of responsibility and commitment to the task. In our modern society, gravitas indicates polish, grace in manner, and dignity in outward appearance. I’m guessing that speaking while on mute would not be considered speaking with grace and dignity!  

In executive communication coaching, gravitas is often mentioned. Executives with gravitas are considered to have ‘weight,’ ‘authority,’ and ‘executive presence.’ They’re taken seriously and thought to have leadership qualities. As an Executive Communication Coach, I often observe people speaking with sentences that fade away or using a flat inflection. They do this purposefully with the mistaken idea that you must always be serious or low energy to have gravitas. We’ve come a long way from Roman times, where seriousness was the primary way to demonstrate gravitas. These inaccurate stereotypes can diminish your ability to demonstrate leadership and authority in your current role.   (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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