Focus on Your Breath to Sound More Persuasive

Focus on Your Breath to Sound More Persuasive

Communication, Featured
Breathing plays a big role in how you sound. The ability to harness your breath is critical when you’re speaking up in a meeting or giving a speech or presentation. To speak with more confidence and power, focus on your breath. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your arms up over your head. Breathe in deeply. As you exhale, slowly lower your arms down to your sides. Make sure your shoulders are back, not hunched. This is the best posture for speaking: you are standing tall, owning your full height, and resonating confidence. Put one hand on your belly button and one hand on your chest. Breathe deeply and notice which hand moves. Keep your chest steady and breathe into your stomach. Then exhale slowly, and speak “on…
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Motivate People By Changing One Word

Motivate People By Changing One Word

Communication, Featured
If you’re trying to motivate someone make the decision to act, it’s important to show that you’re focused on their needs, not yours. Pronouns can help. They’re small, but potent, signals that communicate a speaker’s focus of attention. The key to helping people make the decision can be as simple as using "we" instead of "I" when you communicate. When people feel insecure, they are more likely to focus their thoughts and behaviors inward and use more first-person singular pronouns (e.g., “I,” “my,” “me”) when speaking. By contrast, first-person plural and second-person pronouns (such as “we,” “us,” or “you”) are used when considering the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others. So try using “we” more often when speaking to your team. It will show that you are more focused on…
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Losing Your Audience During a Presentation? Try This

Losing Your Audience During a Presentation? Try This

Communication, Featured
You can tell when an audience has stopped listening to a presentation. Phones come out, people slouch in their seats, maybe someone dozes off. If you notice this happening during your talk, try a few techniques to grab people’s attention. Move around the room. It keeps audience members guessing where you’ll go next, which means their eyes are trained on you.Lower your voice, or even pause. Speaking in a monotone isn’t very engaging, of course, and neither is always speaking at the same volume. To regain attention, try speaking softly so that people need to focus in order to follow along, or using a well-timed pause to create suspense around what’s coming next. Speak faster or slower. When you change speeds, people take note: What’s different here? Why does this part sound distinct? And that means…
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Manage the Endless Stream of Email by Setting Boundaries

Manage the Endless Stream of Email by Setting Boundaries

Communication, Featured, Process
One of the reasons email is so hard to manage is that sending it is easy. We can fill up each other’s inboxes by just clicking a button — which is why it’s important to set boundaries around email. Harvard Business Review recommends trying three things: Use autoreplies. When you need time to focus on work, your email autoreply can tell people that you’re unavailable and when you’ll get back to them. Whether you’ll reply in a day or a week, let people know what to expect. (And in the meantime, give yourself permission to ignore messages that can wait.)Set guidelines for your team. Tell people how and when you prefer to communicate, and ask colleagues and clients about their preferences as well. Don’t forget to revisit this discussion when people join…
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No You Are Not ‘The Same’

No You Are Not ‘The Same’

Communication, Featured
In a recent conversation a sales manager told me that his product was the same as all his competitors. I was appalled. Having used his product and his competitors' products I knew this was not true. If you are the same, you have a commodity and the only factor that matters is cost. For a commodity, if you're not the lowest cost provider, you're out of business. You have to stress what makes you and your product or service different. That includes ease of use, how it ties in to other products, do you combine different services, or personalization of a product. You need to focus on what is different about your product, not what is the same. If you don't have a differentiating factor, ask yourself why someone should…
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How Much Time Are You Wasting ‘Communicating’?

How Much Time Are You Wasting ‘Communicating’?

Communication, Featured
Clear communications is important to your success. The more transparent you are and the more your various audiences understand, the better off everyone is. There is a point of diminishing returns. How much time are you wasting in your quest to be transparent? Recently I sat through a webinar detailing the changes that were occurring between my company and one of our business partners. I disconnected after 45 minutes. In that time approximately 10 minutes of valuable information was imparted. That information was repeated several times. Not only was most of the webinar wanted time, the information could have been imparted in an email. Webinars are hardly the only culprit of time wasting. How often have you had an exchange of emails going back and forth many times when the…
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Why You Should Have A ‘Personal’ Professional Website

Why You Should Have A ‘Personal’ Professional Website

Communication, Featured
The nature of work is changing. The world where you went to work after school and stayed with a company for your entire life are long gone. As more companies use consultants instead of employees, you have to treat your career as a business, and that includes how you market yourself. Having a website at yourname.com or yournamedescriptor.com gives you a place to showcase your abilities that you control. When you make a professional Facebook page, Facebook controls how many people see it, and what you can post. They can even take down your page if they decide you don't meet their standards. With your own personal site, you have control. Even if you are a small business owner, you should a website separate from your business site. The business…
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Marketing Doesn’t Take Place In A Vacuum

Marketing Doesn’t Take Place In A Vacuum

Communication, Featured
One of the most fundamental mistakes that companies (large and small) make in their marketing is the way they divide up the responsibility. Websites and SEO are managed by I.T. departments, advertising is handled by a marketing person, social media is handled by anyone who uses it in their personal life. By not coordinating marketing channels properly you lose much of the value you are trying to create. Each channel needs to work with the others. SEO is greatly affected by social media. Social media channels should be bringing traffic to your website and vice versa. Advertising should continue the branding of the website and other digital channels. Here are some steps to make the coordination simpler: Create a branding manual. Write down what colors, taglines, keywords, and messages can…
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Staying Connected is Key to Your Startup’s Survival — Here’s How to Nail Internal Comms

Staying Connected is Key to Your Startup’s Survival — Here’s How to Nail Internal Comms

Communication, Featured
When it comes to communications, founders are often laser-focused on the outward-facing victories, like securing a splashy podcast spot or landing the coveted cover story. But while earning external press helps to add a coat of polish to your brand, it’s the day-to-day work of internal comms that keeps the engine running. When teams are in sync, it fortifies every aspect of company and product-building. Making sure that everyone understands what’s going on, the role that they play and how to prioritize helps your company speed toward its goals. It’s also the secret to employee engagement: When an employee feels bought in, informed and listened to, you’re far more likely to hold on to your best talent. On the flip side, when the internal communication lines are faulty, instability threatens the entire company. Neglecting to seek perspectives…
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How Leaders Can Make Better Use of Feedback

How Leaders Can Make Better Use of Feedback

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Do you get real value out of feedback? Sometimes leaders aren’t sure how to move from receiving it to using it to grow. To put your feedback into practice, Harvard Business Review recommends that you take the following steps. First, talk it through with someone who is trustworthy, curious — and not in a position to evaluate your performance. Ask them to listen carefully and help you sort through your thoughts. Next, draft a development plan. It should include a summary of the feedback, questions you have about it, the steps you’ll take to improve, and the help you’ll need. Then share this plan with the people who gave you the feedback, and use the opportunity to ask your questions. Don’t debate or get defensive. Next, revise your plan with…
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