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Showing posts from January, 2013

Speaking Smart

     Whether you're in front of a large crowd as a presenter, a small group in a staff meeting at work, or one on one with an acquaintance, what you say shapes how they view you.  Here are a few pitfalls.  If your story, presentation or conversation has no meat, no real substance most of the time, you will be viewed as superficial.  They'll think, Well here comes this dude.  I'd better get ready to hear a whole bunch about nothing.  If your train of thought is akin to getting lost in the woods with no compass, then others will think, Do I really have enough time to listen to this woman shift her focus ten times before she gets to her point?  If your word choices are inaccurate and misplaced, people may think you lack a certain level of competence, intelligence, and/or credibility.  You may not.  But you certainly come across that way.  If it's not reflective of who you really are, then you have to represent yourself differently.  So how do you present yourself as a smar

Who Wants to Listen to You?

     Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, and they were talking a lot but saying nothing?  At least nothing you wanted to hear.  The content was superficial, the attempt at humor was weak, and fumbling around for the right words was distracting.  You've been there--trying desperately to make a way of escape.  Don't get me wrong.  Shooting the breeze is cool.  I'm all for it.  Nobody's in any particular rush.  The scene is laid back.  Maybe you want to engage in mindless conversation because you've been thinking too hard and too long all day at work.  So a little friendly banter or casual discussion is perfectly acceptable.      However.  When you find that nearly all of the conversations you have with certain people lack substance and are downright boring, then you search for ways to avoid or skirt them.  Especially when you're short on time.  You go in another direction at work.  You immediately start constructing excuses in social settings.  You

How to Speak So Others Hear You

     I was coaching a director once who had one of her supervisors quit abruptly.  She complained that the supervisor hardly did what she'd asked her to anyway so "good riddance".  She met with me to try to brainstorm some ideas around how to engage employees better.  As she spoke for about five to eight minutes uninterrupted, I noticed something that might lend itself to the reason why the supervisor rarely did what was asked of her and quite possibly why she left.  The director's comments went like this:  "I've been thinking about some things that I think will help my team...I'm not quite sure if they'll buy it, but...well before I tell you that, I was thinking...I just want to have you as a sounding board.  Sometimes it's so difficult to get it all out...let me know if you agree with this...I haven't tried it yet, frank in your feedback because I want to make know what I'm saying?"  In short, the answer was &quo