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13 Jul Does virtual presenting level the speaking field?

Last week, I worked with a client who shared with me that her nervousness associated with public speaking was not as much of a problem since the world went virtual.  I was curious about what changed for her or what had helped her.  When working with clients on controlling their nervousness, there are many things to be considered.  A major focus of the help we bring is with thoughts.  The thoughts are what people say to themselves before, during, and after the presentation. We all talk to ourselves.  It’s what we say that has a tremendous impact on how well we can control nervousness.   She said, “Kristen, we are all equal now. Everyone is in the same size box.  No one takes up more space than anyone else on the screen.”  Hearing this brought a smile to my face.  This client has successfully changed her thoughts to be more positive and productive. So whether or not you believe that virtual presenting levels the speaking field, the more important takeaway is that changing the way you think about something and internalize it helps create a more positive outcome.     

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6 Jul Paraprosdokians

We love paraprosdokians, figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  5. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  7. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  9. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.
  10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put “DOCTOR.”
  11. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street…with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  13. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  14. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  15. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  16. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  17. There’s a fine line between cuddling and…holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  18. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
  19. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  20. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  21. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  22. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  23. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  24. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.
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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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29 Jun Lead With Purpose

People are going to change as a result of this time in our lives.  You may even need to change your business model.

Right now, it’s a new day – Every day.  Change is happening so quickly.  Business and life as we know it has changed since just a week ago.  

In times of what we call the FUD Factor –  Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, the companies that communicated and demonstrated that they care about their teams and clients build incredible loyalty long after the crisis has passed.   (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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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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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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5 Jan Topic of the day: Video Cover Letters

 

It’s no secret 2020 was a challenging year in many ways. As most of us look forward to putting this year behind us, many companies may be gearing up for new year hiring as new budgets come into play in early 2021.

This brings up the relatively new idea of a video cover letter. What is a VCL, you ask? It’s just like it sounds, it’s you, talking about you and your skills, and is sent to a hiring authority at a company you wish to work for along with your CV or resume.

What are the upsides of a VCL? From a speech coach’s point of view, there are benefits and risks. For example, if you say that you have excellent communication skills, your VCL should make those evident. A warm smile, a clearly-worded, and articulate script should also be evident. Having a great voice tone, eye contact with the camera, and good posture as well as fresh, clean clothes all can carry the day. (more…)

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