You’ve Been Invited to Present, Now What? Part 2: Three Big Questions You Need to Ask About the Room Before You Present

You’ve accepted the invitation to speak, you’ve done the research on your audience, and you’ve just finalized your content. All done, right? Not necessarily.

While you have completed the bulk of the work for preparing to present, two things which are often overlooked are the setup of the room and technical logistics. The layout of the room and the technical components can have a huge impact on how smoothly your presentation goes. Everything from not being heard because of a poor microphone, to not being seen well because a huge support beam is blocking the view of part of the stage, will instantly cause your audience to tune out.    Read more

You’ve Been Invited to Present, Now What? Part 1: Four things you should know about your audience before giving a speech

Being invited to speak or present is an incredible professional compliment and opportunity. While the content of your speech is of course key, so is being relatable to your audience in an engaging way. A one-size-fits-all speech is never as effective as one tailored to your audience. Engaging your audience is extremely hard to do if you do not do your research. You wouldn’t present on a topic you know nothing about, so why should you treat your audience any differently? While it isn’t realistic to believe that you can know everything about your audience members beforehand, here are four general questions you should ask the event host before developing your content so you can plan a presentation that will better connect with your audience:

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Web Conferences, Meetings and Interviews

Web Conferences, Meetings and Interviews

How to look and sound your best in the virtual world

As seen in Commpro.bizTechnology has fueled the “connected” employee and has empowered the workforce to transition from physical to remote offices without skipping a beat. Even though instant communication such as email and internal messaging systems is the new way of “walking to someone’s cube,” for quick exchanges of information, talking “face-to-face” via WebEx and Skype has become a lot more common for more in-depth discussions and even job interviews.

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Fear of public speaking?

Seven easy steps to help get you on the road to recovery

Recently I’ve come across several articles about communication skills in early education settings. One that stood out to me was by Erik Palmer in EdWeek titled “Why Schools Need to Do a Better Job of Teaching Speaking Skills,”  which surmised that if there was more of an emphasis on oral communication skills during formal education years (K-12), the fear of public speaking would be lessened as an adult. The second article by Stacey Roshan, titled “How One Teacher Champions Student Reflection with Technology and Public Speaking” appears in EdSurge. Roshan discusses how Zaption, the video-based, interactive learning tool, can be used to help students improve public speaking skills.

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Speaking from a position of power when you are the lowest person on the totem pole

Whenever I have a client who struggles with confidence, I encourage them to watch a wonderful TED talk about “Power Posing.” Amy Cuddy gives scientific reasoning about how certain postures can impact the perception others have of you, and how you feel about yourself in a blog post from last week, I outlined what type of skills we should be investing into our junior staff. I would include using Cuddy’s Power Posing techniques to enhance those skills.

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Investing in your team: why communication skills will pay big dividends

With all eyes on the unsettling news from Wall Street these days, decisions on where to invest to get the greatest return on your investment have become complicated. To invest your money wisely, analysts generally recommend doing research then investing in companies that show promise in order to get the most return on your investment.

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What’s The difference? How to rock a TV and radio interview

As seen in Commpro.bizRegardless if you’re live on the radio or on TV, everything you say must be engaging and dynamic. However, the devil is in the details of the delivery. For instance, when you are being interviewed on radio, your vocal inflections and tone play a more crucial role, as it is the only way to connect with the audience.

Radio interviews slightly differ in terms of format. For instance, don’t get caught-off guard by the spirit of the “shock jock.” Given that radio needs content to capture the audience – think Howard Stern – the radio host might feel more empowered to go rogue to attract listeners. As the interviewee, it’s best to be on your toes and prepared for off the cuff questions.

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How’s that New Year’s Resolution Going?

Did you know that only 8% of the American population will stick with their New Year’s resolution for the entire year? New Year’s resolutions have become the motivation for goal setting and typically include dieting & exercising more or dropping a bad habit like smoking. But what about setting a professional development goal like learning a new skill or overcoming a fear like public speaking?

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How to deal with a “frienemy” in the media – Media training

Before the Iowa caucus, the news was peppered with Donald Trump’s decision not to participate in the last republican debate. His reason: He said the reporter chosen to moderate the show had been unfair to him with her questions in a previous debate.

While there is much discussion as to whether his “no show” decision will hurt his campaign, the incident begs a question in the larger context of public relations and media relations: How do you handle an interview with a reporter you believe is using “gotcha journalism” tactics?

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Don’t try to MacGyver your way out of a crisis

Remember MacGyver? If that does not ring a bell with you, here is MacGyver 101: Angus MacGyver was a secret agent known for his uncanny abilities to heroically overcome crises’ by “winging it” and always return unscathed the following week.

In the real world, companies and organizations can find themselves in a crisis situation at any moment, but that is not the time to pull a MacGyver and “wing it.” Protecting and saving an organization’s reputation is a delicate, communication balancing act that requires preparation and skill. The most essential item when planning for a crisis is a well-thought-out crisis communication plan that can be put into place quickly.

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