Communication with Confidence

Tools to help fight the Recession

By on Aug 8, 2012 in Helpful Hints

The recession is starting to bite. It’s more important than ever to ensure that businesses and their staff are good communicators. Effective communication materially contributes to the survival chances of businesses. Consumers are watching ever more carefully how and where they spend their dollars discretionary and otherwise. A business’s ability to effectively communicate the benefits and ‘the fit’ of their products and services becomes more critical than ever as the competition increases for the available dollars. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that business people often overlook how well their staff communicate both inside, and more importantly, outside the business. Trained sales staff and marketers aside, it’s just as important that other staff members can promote the business fluently and correctly. Think back to the last time you met somebody new for the first time. The second or third question you’re likely to be asked is, “What do you do and/or where do you work?” The well organised amongst us will normally have a small ‘sound bite’ of a reply that answers both questions. To have an effective reply ready is admirable but that’s not the point. Once we say who we work for, in the mind of the questioner, we then become that firm or organisation. We are it and how we react, how we handle any questions about it, does effect how the questioner will think about our firm. Obviously if we make a good impression that view will be positive. Equally, being hesitant, disconcerted or lacking in confidence can create the opposite effect. When times are tough can we afford to take the risk that one of our staff, on or off the job, may inadvertently turn off a potential sale? Foster an understanding within your firm of the qualities and positive aspects of it, its successes and the quality of its products. This is the key. It ensures that, when asked, staff will have something positive to say about your firm This knowledge is easily provided through staff magazines, team briefs, blogs, bulletin boards and the like. The question is not how we do it, the question is do we make the time and resources available to do it? But...

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How to put more “Ooomph!” into your presentations:

By on Aug 8, 2012 in Helpful Hints

The Dozen ‘P’s of Public Speaking   Preparation – research, write, and rehearse – rehearse, rehearse, rehearse Pace – this should vary – if we speak at one pace we become boring Pitch – this is the key to vocal variety; low, middle, and high – in both tone and volume Pause – one of the best ways to avoid those “uuumhs” and “aarhs” (and to take a breath) Presentation (personal) – always remember that “You are your best visual aid” Period (time) – to go beyond you allotted time is to steal what you have no right to Pan – the audience with your eyes, engaging its members for 2-3 seconds each Project – your voice using your diaphragm Pronounce – your words clearly – good articulation aids understanding Passion – give your speech everything you have – be enthusiastic, it’s contagious Personality – be yourself, bring your own uniqueness to your speech Participate – focus all your attention on your audience and stay ‘tuned in’ to...

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Overcoming Nervousness

By on Aug 8, 2012 in Helpful Hints

Just recently I did a training presentation for one of the large Harcourts real estate franchises. At the end of the hour and a half session their training manager asked me if there were any tips or suggestions on how to overcome nervousness. I mentioned a couple of things but, as you do, I thought about them afterwards and realized I’d ‘undercooked’ my reply. So I thought I’d share with you my view on the five things we should know about overcoming nervousness. The first is that when we are talking or presenting our focus should always be on the other person or our audience. As I’m fond of saying, “It’s not about us, it’s about them”. We concentrate on how we can best assist them, on the best solutions or ideas we have for them and how we intend to deliver our message – for them. What that does is to take our attention away from ourselves. We stop thinking about us and about how we feel and think about our audience instead. That takes the pressure off us. It reduces our anxiety about our own performance as we focus on our message. The second key is practice. I believe in the five ‘P’s. “Plenty of practice prevents pathetic performance.” The more we practice, in our minds, in front of the mirror or our family and friends the better. We can also use video, CD or tape (audio) to hear and see how we are doing. The feedback can really assist improve our presentation. All these increase our familiarity with our material. The more familiar it is the less daunting presenting it becomes. Practice is a powerful tool to reduce fear. The third is an understanding that nervousness is normal. In fact it’s not only normal, it’s essential. Nervousness is a form of fear. It’s the release mechanism for the adrenalin that gives us that edge which contributes to producing our best. Just as in our primordial past when we were faced with danger, that menacing sabre-tooth tiger, the adrenalin kicked in to assist us fight or flee. In our case it’s less dramatic but equally effective. It assists rather than hinders us. So we acknowledge the nervousness...

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