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If you present to investors or other small group meetings, watch Dr. Ethan Becker show you how to use Apple’s new SideCar technology to help improve human connections!
7 Oct Know Your Listeners
Knowing your listeners is key to preparing an effective presentation. Nothing puts listeners into a speaker’s pocket better than a speech that zeroes in on their specific needs. Your listeners will be more likely to respond positively if they feel that your research has helped you prepare specifically for them.
Answers to the following 10 questions will provide you with most of the information you need to know about your listeners before you speak. This will help you target your message, focus and streamline your presentation, customize materials, and reduce your anxiety.
Technical and business presentations can be difficult for both speakers and listeners. Using a theme sentence will be very helpful. A theme is the most important idea or bit of information that you want your listeners to take away. If they forget everything else, what is the one thing you want them to remember? That is your theme.
Today’s motivated and driven employees know they need continual training to keep up with and thrive within a competitive and fast-paced corporate world. That training may require an approval process, whether it’s a boss, decision-maker, or others.
In Brendon Burchard’s book High-Performance Habits, he explains in Habit Four, “Get Insanely Good at Key Skills (Progressive Mastery). Determine the five major skills you need to develop over the next three years to grow into the person you hope to become. Then set out to develop those skills with obsessive focus. The most important thing is to always be developing the critical skills to your future success.”
Effective communication and soft skills are at the top of the list in most industries on desired traits of top performers. In Jeb Blount’s book Fanatical Prospecting, he explains that when it comes to personal branding, there is no better methodology than speaking in public. He shares, “Public speaking is a powerful method for meeting people and developing business relationships because it creates an environment where prospects seek you out.” (more…)
The role of a biotech CEO involves effective communication between leaders, managers, board members, and shareholders. Because Boards advise and direct management teams on crucial decisions, CEOs must communicate the vision, metrics, and progress of the organization.
This blog, based on our extensive research, explains that there are only three ways to persuade someone of something. Part 1 will share the first tool and be sure to read Part 2 and Part 3 in this series to learn the other two persuasion techniques.
We have developed valuable insight into how relationships, presentations, and handling questions can affect your communication success and effectiveness with your Board and shareholders. CEOs must be able to pivot and show their dependability. The key to your success: The ability to persuade with personal credibility. (more…)
In the communication field, there is a lot of buzz about Google’s Project Aristotle, a meticulous, in-depth study of what differentiates high-functioning team meetings from others.
With all due respect for the yearlong study of over one hundred Google teams, we communication coaches have been helping teams and leaders foster productive meetings for years!
Google’s key findings, which we back with our experiences 100%, reveal that high-performing teams:
- Support an atmosphere of psychological safety and comfort;
- Enable equal participation from all group members over time;
- Show sensitivity to nuances of non-verbal behavior and tone, and often share personal as well as professional information.
Fear of speaking means more than sweaty palms and a shaky voice. Your concerns can prevent upward mobility in your field, cause you to lose funding, and unfortunately, stunt the growth of your company.
Your specific fears when speaking in public will be different from your colleagues. Sometimes it means you don’t speak up as often in team meetings, or you become flustered when you speak publicly. For others, a fear of speaking can be more subtle, such as speaking too quickly or a lack of articulation.
“We cannot afford to be afraid to speak to each other” explains Dr. Dennis Becker, founder of The Speech Improvement Company. Whether in a meeting with a colleague or an important presentation for investors, we need to control our fear of speaking.
If you know you have a mild, moderate, or debilitating fear of speaking, the following four tools will help you relax when you are speaking in front of a group. Dr. Dennis Becker has honed what we call “The Silver Square” approach to Fear of Speaking after more than 55 years as a speech and communication coach. It involves four equal sides, and preparation in each area will help you create a positive speaking experience every time.
- Quickly building rapport
- Connect you and your information with positive feelings
- Lower your listener’s defenses creating a more receptive mindset
Studies have shown that humor can also increase the retention of information and help you be more persuasive. Ineffectively using humor can backfire and make your listeners think you are incompetent, lack judgment, and other adverse outcomes. Humor is a high risk when used effectively, and the rewards are enormous! Studies also show that those who can naturally use humor are perceived as more confident and intelligent than those that don’t.
If you would like to add more humor to your presentations, start by observing humorous moments in professional settings. Notice whether everyone reacted or only a few. Think about why it was funny. Often it is about the content of the moment. Observational humor usually works well in professional settings. By acknowledging a shared experience that you can apply a metaphor to will bond people in laughter. For example, “It’s easier to get a snowsuit on my toddler than to use our coffee machine.” The first experience is one that most can relate to outside of work.
Humor humanizes and makes work more enjoyable. It’s best to get a trusted ally to review humor you plan to use in a presentation to ensure its effective and not offensive. Remember a little goes a LONG WAY. Do not try to add humor to every point of your presentation, only where it comes up naturally and easily. A good speech coach can help you develop this skill, which will take you to the next level of effectiveness in your presentations.
One of the statements most often spoken by anyone faced with a big presentation is “I need to practice.” For life science startup CEOs and leadership teams, this is in many cases, a topic of conversation. “I need to practice.” “We need to practice.” “We need to schedule practice.” “This presentation is critical because it influences our funding.” It is common to think practice is easy, but it is not. It is not easy to schedule; it is not easy to do as a team; it is not easy … period. While this is good for people like me because it is part of what we offer, it is time to demystify practice. I will outline five best practices of practice…so you can practice better!
Strategize and write
The first step to good practice is to take the time to purposefully consider, structure, and write what is going to be said. The biggest problem for most people is they believe their “story” is easy to tell and easy to understand. It is not. Without consideration and strategic writing, your message will be confusing to listeners. Remember, the goal is to write something that is for your listeners, NOT you.
Readout loud and consider
One of the most significant issues with most presentations is that the nonverbal presentation is not considered. Before you practice your presentation, you should read it out loud to yourself and others. Consider how you want to sound. What needs emphasis? What is important? How do you want to say that? Make notes of these things in your presentation. Nonverbal communication is not something that happens; it requires planning as well when communication is essential.
Schedule and commit to a realistic time (more…)