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If you’re like me, you’ve experienced heavy Zoom fatigue in the last 16 months. During this ongoing pandemic, it’s earned its slang term, right alongside “Quarantine” (the drink you make with whatever you can find in your fridge or freezer), “Blursday” (an unspecified day because of lockdown’s disorientating effect on time), “zoom bombing” (hijacking a Zoom video call). “WFH” (working from home) and “quaranteams” (online teams created during lockdown). (more…)
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.
6 Jul Paraprosdokians
We love paraprosdokians, figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.
- Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
- The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
- Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
- If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
- War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
- Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
- They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
- I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.
- In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put “DOCTOR.”
- I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
- 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.
- Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
- A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
- You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
- Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
- There’s a fine line between cuddling and…holding someone down so they can’t get away.
- I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
- You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
- To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
- Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
- Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
- I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
I want to share some advice based on my experience coaching over 200 conference speakers, moderators, and panelists to prepare for their upcoming presentations. Some of the conference speakers I’ve helped just took an initial, free consultation, which is great, others wanted additional, in-depth help for a particularly important event. Some have become valued clients and friends. Regardless of seniority (C-level executives, managers, or individual contributors) or industry such as financial services, fintech, healthcare, biotech, manufacturing, and retail, a few common truths have emerged:
Value – Delivering a message that truly provides value sounds obvious but is difficult without the right focus. Most clients I work with believe they are providing value. Often, that’s not the case. You should explicitly state what the value is to your listeners at the beginning of your presentation. In fact, it should be one clear sentence that says, “this is important to you because…” Also, remember value is not what you think is worthwhile, it’s putting yourself in your listeners’ shoes and deciding what would be valuable to them.
Connection – Connecting with the listeners is easier than you think. Most of my clients believe it’s an innate skill – either they are compelling or not. Not true! Being compelling begins with making sure you are talking to your listeners. If they want you to get to the point, be concise. If they want you to be detailed, start at the beginning and be sure to connect the dots. I often teach a bit about the basics of human reasoning and how communication needs to be inductive or deductive. In either case, I stress that when you speak, it’s not about you! You have important information to present, but if you don’t present it with their perspective in mind, you can forget about being compelling. In fact, it’s possible you won’t be heard at all.
Being Effective – Thinking on your feet and handling challenging questions or unwelcome surprises is an important skill. The good news is, it is easy when you’re well-prepared. You can be ready for the unexpected, whether it’s a last-minute change in the schedule, technical glitches, or dealing with a difficult person. Three steps to good preparate are: 1) have a method to think through upcoming interactions; 2) categorize and catalogue examples and experiences for use; and 3) make this a part of your daily life. When you anticipate and prepare for questions and concerns before you go onto a stage, turn on your camera, or walk into a meeting, you’ll know the right answers and you can focus on the context for your response. If you prepare properly, you will have a critical skill that all effective, persuasive speakers have mastered.
These are only three of the common topics I typically cover, even if it’s a single 30-minute session. Most conference speakers also benefit from tips on dealing with nervousness and practice strategies because like any skill, consistent practice is what gets you to the next level.
I want to help those in need and have learned that in just 30 minutes, we can together take significant steps to make you the best speaker you can be.