Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Communication, Featured
There's an old saying that you should listen twice as much as you speak. This assumes you are really listening. Most people, when not talking, are thinking about what they will say next. This is not listening. To be an effective listener, try these tips: Focus on what is being said: Put your focus on the conversation. Try to visualize what is being said. Pick out key ideas as they are presented.Take a minute: When it is your turn to talk, if you need to think about what you want to say take a breath. Pause. You can say something like, "That's very interesting," or "let me think about that for a moment," before jumping in.Don't push your point of view: Obviously you will have your own opinions and point…
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When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Are you an expert in your field? If not, why should I use your product or service? Customers expect the best and you give the impression that you can't give it, they will go elsewhere. You need to project the image that you are an expert. That requires using the right words, especially since more and more customer interactions take place through writing (email, live chat, even Twitter). Start the conversation by establishing a personal rapport. Show the customer that you’re listening to their problem or complaint, and then shift to a take-charge attitude, using confident, assertive language. Research shows that customer satisfaction is higher when you avoid deferential words (“afraid,” “mistake”) and use dominant language instead (“must,” “confirm,” “action”). In addition, customers will see you as more helpful if…
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Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Communication, Featured
If you have been to a networking event, you have probably seen Joe Businesscard. Joe runs around the event giving out his card and collecting as many as possible. He's playing a numbers game. Getting in front of as many people as possible, without actually getting to know anyone or interacting with them. At a networking event I was at a financial advisor came with a friend of his. Instead of talking to people at the cocktail hour that preceded the event, he spoke with his friend. When the event started, he decided to leave, telling people there weren't enough people for him. Had he stayed, he would have learned that two of the attendees were venture capitalists and two others were on corporate boards of directors. These were exactly…
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One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

Communication, Featured
You're making a pitch. You have prepared and practiced. You know your information backwards and forwards. As you speak, you do one thing and suddenly you have no credibility. What did you just say? "Uh." That was it. You could have substituted "um" but the result is the same. Say it once and you can probably recover. Repeat it and your toast. You might not even be aware you're saying it, which makes it harder to stop. The problem is that while it may not be noticeable to you as a speaker, it stands out to your audience, especially if you say it often. How often do people say it. One politician gave a three minute speech and said it over 100 times. His approval rating was terrible. He had…
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Get Away From The Edges

Get Away From The Edges

Communication, Featured
When you walk into a room, one thing you should notice is where people are standing in a room. At the edges are people who are more tentative. They appear unsure of themselves. Seasoned networkers tend to be closer to the center of the room. The best networkers not only don't stay at the edges, they actively bring people in from the edges. The idea of networking is to interact. To do this effectively, you need to get in the thick of things. Pull yourself away from the edges. The more you do this, the easier it gets.
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Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Communication, Featured
Advertising platforms are getting better at targeting audiences, but when it comes to search and social media organic beats paid every time. To be clear, organic search and social means SEO and content marketing rather than paid ads. While paid ads have their place in any marketing campaign, there are several reasons for you to focus more on organic. Ad blockers: Ad blockers are becoming more prevalent. Some browsers are building them into the software. With fewer ads being seen, you need to work around these.The ignore factor: Especially in search results, people are being conditioned to skip the ads at the top of the results and go right to the organic search. When you get to the top of search organically you have more credibility than if you bought…
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Keep Your Presentation from Being Forgettable

Keep Your Presentation from Being Forgettable

Communication, Featured
Advice on giving good presentations tends to focus on structure and style, but there’s something even more important to consider: getting your audience to remember your talk. Here’s how to make sure they remember what you say: Follow the right sequence. Audiences remember the beginning and end of a talk most easily; they have more trouble remembering the middle. Get your most important point out right away and reinforce it at the end.Draw connections.Making connections among the key points in your talk helps your audience remember them. The more connections you draw, the more chunks of information people will be able to recall later.Make the audience work. Audiences commit things to memory when they have to do a little work to understand them. Ask people questions, let them vote on something, and…
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Pump Yourself Up Before A Presentation

Pump Yourself Up Before A Presentation

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Giving a talk in front of an audience can be stressful, and our bodies react to that stress in different ways. If you’re someone who gets jittery and anxious, or whose energy levels flatline, try an exertion ritual before your next presentation. The ritual is just what it sounds like: You exert yourself in order to get your heart moving, feel in touch with your body, and boost your energy. You might do a brief workout before heading to the venue, dance in your hotel room, or even jump up and down backstage. An exertion ritual can amp you up while also reducing your levels of stress hormones. It can be especially helpful if you’re presenting at a high-energy event like a sales conference, or if you feel ambivalent about…
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Focus On The Benefit

Focus On The Benefit

Communication, Featured
It's an old chestnut in advertising. Focus on the benefit, not the features. Even though the idea is well known, most of us find it difficult to do. We get caught up in all the neat things our products and services do. Your audience wants to know what is in it for them. They want to know how they benefit. Change can create uncertainty, instability, and stress. To get people on board, whether it's for a change in your business or to try a new product or service, it’s helpful to clearly articulate what the benefit is to your audience. Start by crafting a narrative that explains the big picture: why is this good for them in the short and long term. Be consistent with this narrative; all of your…
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The Power Of Possibility

The Power Of Possibility

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
As the holiday season comes to a close, I want you to think about the feeling you had when you held your holiday gift. I don't mean after you opened it. What were you feeling as you held the still wrapped gift. When you looked at it without knowing what it was, what did you feel? There's an excitement. It could be anything. This is the power of possibility. How can you use the power of possibility in your business? The best example of its use was Steve Jobs in his Apple product unveilings. Everything was kept very close to the vest. Viewers waited with bated breath as he uttered the words, "One more thing." The anticipation was palpable. Can you generate that feeling in your customers? While most of…
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