Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Best Way to Excel Communication Skills!

Effective Communication Skills Training Course:
Learn the Art of Excellent Communications for Business or Pleasure!

Communicate with more confidence and clarity. Increase personal and professional development. Take home a certificate!

Toronto Sheraton Hotel – June 7th and 8th

Day one focuses on advanced interpersonal skills, e.g. small talk, first impression management, NLP, building rapport, body language etc.

Day two focuses on professional communications, e.g. telephone and email etiquette, running great meetings, public speaking and presentations etc.


  • You get 2 days of fantastic, interactive and dynamic communication training for business and pleasure
  • You get loads of materials and books to take home
  • You get 20% off regular room rates at Sheraton Hotel, should you choose to stay there
  • You get a beautiful Certificate of Completion showing that you care about your personal and professional development, and have taken steps towards gaining excellent communications
  • You get a complimentary coaching session to get your personal communications assessed

What are you waiting for?

For more info and/or to register please visit and take advantage of our current ‘early bird’ special rate – Must register before April 30th!

I look forward to meeting you and taking you to the next level of confident communications. Any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

(UPDATED NOTE:  we/3V used to offer public workshops but now focus on corporate team training workshops instead, FYI) – Ric April 2015


Allow me to introduce myself. I am a certified Coach who specializes in Communications and Confidence. I have found that the two go hand-in-hand, and that the more confident you become, the better communicator you become, and vise versa.

I have a website and blog set up for communication coaching and training but this blog will also focus on the issue of what is confidence and how do we get it, as it’s an extremely important part of higher level communications.

My goal is to increase your confident levels, whether that is by you reading my blog posts, ebooks, and reports, or by doing interactive exercises like confidence evaluators, or by hiring me to help you achieve your confidence goals. Whatever works for you!

Also please note that anyone interested in becoming a Certified Confidence Coach should please contact me directly to discuss the training course.

All the best to you and your confidence!


Are You Afraid of Phoning?

Have you ever had the chance to call someone, but you didn’t? Maybe you sent an email instead, or maybe you said to yourself “Oh, I don’t need to call, he/she knows what I am thinking.” It is strange but true, many people, not just ESL students and immigrants, have a fear of phoning (in English).

It is easy for me to tell you “don’t be shy” but I realize that every time you speak to someone in English, you feel you are being judged in proficiency, and even in intelligence. I have been working with non-native English speakers since 1994 and I can also tell you that when I was teaching at a teacher’s college in rural China (Tongren, Guizhou) from 1998-2000 I also felt people were judging my intelligence by how I spoke Chinese to them.

However I took a lesson from the Spanish speakers of the world – they are never shy to try to speak English! Yes I know the Spanish alphabet and language are closer to English than some others, especially Asian languages, but I want to make a short point here – don’t be shy! That’s right, the more you try, the further you progress. There is no sense waiting until your English is ‘perfect’ because you are only hurting yourself. So the next time you have an opportunity to call someone, just try. Here are some quick tips to help:

1 – prepare unknown vocabulary ahead of time so that you can not only speak more precise words but you can listen more effectively.  Learn ISV – industry-specific vocabulary – to help.  For example, before calling to order a pizza, study the online menu or brochure to make sure you know the meaning and proper pronunciation of the main parts of the conversation, like delivery, fees, toppings etc.

2 – ask the other speaker to speak slowly if you are not catching everything right away.  

3 – Ask the speaker to speak up if their volume is hard to hear. 

4 – remember are all human and there are millions of people calling everyday who are not native speakers, so you are not the only one!  🙂 

Is a Fear of Phoning Killing Relationships?

A couple weekends ago I was involved in a training course in downtown Toronto and had to be at a particular hotel for the event both Saturday and Sunday slightly before 9am. Saturday morning I left my home late and decided to take a taxi, to ensure I was not late for the event (first impression management 101 – don’t be late!). I got a very nice cab driver, originally from Ethiopia, and we had a pleasant talk along the way. Like a good businessman he asked if I was going to need a taxi for Sunday’s trip downtown, to which I replied yes. So we agreed that he would pick me up in front of my home at 8:30am, and that he would call me so that I would know when he had arrived. I gave him my business card which has my address and phone numbers (including cell) on it and we left with a handshake, smile and a solid plan.

The next morning it was 8:40 am and I still had not received his call. Not at my residence and not on my cell. I decided to go to the street to see if he was there. He was not. So I had no choice but to walk a bit to the main intersection and catch a new cab. I did so, and as I was getting into a new cab at 8:43am I thought I saw out of the corner of my eye the cab from yesterday, whizzing down my street, I suppose looking for me.

I got in my new cab and arrived on time downtown. All the time I wondered why he didn’t just simply call me, at home or on my cell, just to tell me he was on his way, or that he would be 5 minutes late. I would have waited for an extra five, even though he should have been prompt, as he knew I had a deadline.

The fact is many people have a fear of calling. Whether you are an immigrant or visitor not sure of your English proficiency, or a native speaker who somehow feels embarrassed, many of us do not call when we should.

I have talked to many ESL students and immigrants here in Toronto over the years, and it is really interesting to ask them a simple question – have you ever ordered a pizza by yourself? The answer is quite often no. Interesting when we know they have the English ability and vocabulary, but they lack confidence in their communications.

In my coaching and training we deal with the issue of how and when to call and how to make it appropriate for the situation. Hopefully when we recognize that a business or personal relationship can be damaged or even lost over a simple phone call or lack thereof, it will help us get over that feeling that it could be embarrassing, and make us realize that a quick phone call, like to tell someone that you will be late, can really go a long way in showing respect and empathy for others. This improves how others view you and in turn, how they treat you.

Effective Communication Skills Certificate Training Course

The Art of Excellent Communication for Business or Pleasure

(June 7th & 8th, 2008 – Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel)

  • Are you lacking clarity and confidence in your communications?
  • Do you have trouble understanding people’s true meaning behind the words?
  • Does your true intended message get conveyed, or are people getting confused by what you say and write?


Raise both your personal and professional communication skills to the top 10% of the world – and that is where you will find the most successful people in business and in life. Want to join them?

If you really want to be successful in your personal and professional life, you need excellent communication skills. Nothing less will do, and there is no getting around that fact.

3V Communications is now offering a 2-day weekend certification course on the art of excellent communication for business or pleasure. Here is a short list of things greatly improved after completing this unique and powerful training course:

Interviews, promotions, team management, teaching, coaching, training others, networking, presentations and speeches, conflict management, forming new friendships, dating (on-line or in-person), charisma and raising your personal confidence to a brand new level. Take a look at our agenda:

Day One: (Inter)personal Communications

By the end of Saturday you will:

  • Use the 3V effect of communication to control your ‘vibe’
  • Understand the process of (mis-) communication
  • Generate small talk easily – know what to say to anyone
  • Create winning first impressions – every time
  • Sky-rocket charisma and leadership qualities
  • Have stress-free, enjoyable networking and social functions
  • Have real active listening skills with true empathy
  • Apply the fundamentals of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
  • Understand someone else’s view of the world
  • Speak with the 3 language modalities – and use them to communicate with different types of people
  • Build rapport quickly on all communication levels
  • Have a body language and face-reading presentation and practice


Day Two: Professional Communications

By the end of Sunday you will:

  • Incorporate the 3Ps of effective communication
  • Use emails with efficiency and with proper email etiquette
  • Excel your telephone rapport
  • Re-think and manage conflict
  • Use the key fundamentals of sales psychology
  • Run smooth, productive and inclusive meetings
  • Give and receive negative feedback in a positive way
  • Advance your public speaking and presentations, including:
  • Deal with the fear of public speaking
  • Organize a winning presentation or speech
  • Use speaking techniques used by the pros
  • Understand the art of persuasion and influence
  • Avoid bad PowerPoint presentations
  • Be a CERTIFIED Excellent Communicator! (great for professional or personal development…)


Materials will be provided and you can count on a fun, informative and interactive course. This program is $800.00 (plus G.S.T.), but you can take advantage of our “early-bird” special now and only pay $649.00. This early-bird special will expire at the end of this month, April, so “get it while it’s hot!”

Registering now will also entitle you to one complimentary coaching session (one hour, in person or over the phone) after completion of the course. This too is a limited time offer, so go ahead and sign up below.

Registration is limited to the first 20 people who complete their payments. Registering online is safe and easy – use PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, or any other option offered. Please visit my website to register:


Details: This certificate course will be held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel (123 Queen St. W.) on June 7th and 8th.

I look forward to meeting you and taking you to the next level of confident communications. Any questions please do not hesitate to call or email me:


Ric Phillips, B.A.

President & Trainer

ric @

416.429.7935 (messages can be left)

(Ric Phillips has been training others in communications since 1997. He holds a degree is Sociology/Psychology, is a certified coach and NLP practitioner with the CCF – Certified Coaches Federation, and is a member of HRPAO – Human Resources Professionals Assoc. of Ontario. For more details of Ric, his media appearances and this company, please visit the ‘About Us’ page.)

Identify Yourself Sooner Than Later

I recently received a phone call from a nice man looking at maybe doing a joint-venture and/or sharing space for workshops and seminars. Although it was a pleasant-enough conversation I would like to remind him and everyone else out there that you must identify yourself at the beginning of your phone call! He confirmed who I was, and then immediately went into his pitch, or reason for calling. It was a little amusing to me at first, but finally after 5 minutes or more chatting I asked “So what is your name?” To which he gave me only his first name. I then was forced to ask the second obvious question “What organization do you represent?” To which he gave me the name and website. So how do you think I felt about his credibility and/or business experience?

This little anecdote serves as a reminder to all of us to always, at the beginning, identify your name (preferably full name with a pause in the middle between your first and last name) and your title if relevant, and finally your company or organization. This sets the right tone for the conversation and avoids confusion. Besides, don’t you want people to know who you are???

Hey, Learn Some English Idioms!

English Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions with a meaning that cannot be derived from the literal translations of the individual words. English Idioms are used in everyday life, work, school, the arts, business, activities, events and sports.

When you use idioms appropriately, it makes your English sound more fluent and more in line with what a native English speaker talks like on a daily basis. In short – you sound better, feel better and fit in faster.

Example 1:

We use the idiom “behind the times” to describe someone who is old-fashioned and has methods, practices, technology or even ideas that are regarded as out-dated.

(A) Some of my clients are so “Behind the times”

(B) Mine too, they have to call their trades in rather than use the web-broker.

Example 2:

When someone does something “behind your back”, the action, event or task was performed without telling you.

(A) Did Fred tell you he was taking the car?

(B) No, he took the car behind my back. I didn’t even know it was gone.

Example 3:

When you “make a beeline” for a place or object or location, you head there directly and quickly without allowing distractions. Many people think that bees fly directly to flowers without any delays so a “beeline” is named after this characteristic.

(A) Did you see Ross make a beeline for those cookies?

(B) Yeah, he walked straight up to the dessert table and helped himself to the chocolate chips.

These examples are taken directly (with permission) from an English Idioms Blog. If you would like to find more idioms, please visit the blog directly at:

English Idioms Blog URL

Which English is Best for You?

The thing about English is that there are always going to be different accents, different key words chosen to be stressed, different spelling rules and even grammar arguments.

But which English is best for you?

Frankly it depends on two things: personal choice and location.

Regarding personal choice, some people who learn English as a second language may prefer British English or American English etc. over others, and continuously work on making that accent perfect over time. No problem.

Others see the value in adapting to the host country or new country that you now live in, as that will make others more comfortable with you, and in turn you will communicate faster with them. This is what I preach to my clients and students.

The other thing to remember about location is not just your location but the location of the listener. So for example, even though I am a 100% native Canadian English speaker, I may choose to adapt my language, words etc. to suit my conversation partner.

It could be an important business deal or a first contact on a possible international partnership. So in these cases it is okay for me or anyone to try to make the listener feel comfortable. Please note that I would never ‘fake’ an accent to try to get a business deal done or in an attempt to make someone like me!  But i may use some of their words and phrases to assist the communications.  Make sense? I welcome your thoughts.

Do Not Abuse Voicemail

One thing I am sure we all hate is getting home after a long day’s work and checking phone messages, only to find out that half of the messages or more are from telemarketers. They leave a lovely message describing in painful detail all of the advantages of using their system, or buying their product, or selling our house with them, or hiring their moving company trucks…the list goes on. Thank you for wasting my time night after night!

Similarly, we come into work in the morning or after lunch and we have a bunch of voicemails that are long, drawn out, unclear and basically require us to listen through them all just to turn around and contact the offender to find out what they really want. Then, when we check our email, there is a repeat message emailed to us! Wow – what a fantastic example of time-wasting.

If you are wondering why companies still employ telemarketers by the way, even though we all hate them, the reason is simple – it pays well to do so. Statistics state that 10% of an average company’s profits come from telesales. If you think that 10% is not much, please remember that for big companies, that means $100,000.00 or $1,000,000.00 or much more a year! Plus if we add the extra cost-saver of using outsourced overseas companies, we can see why companies still employ this headache-causing but effective marketing strategy.

So what can we do? Well how about answering the phone and telling them about your day for 15 minutes? That would cost their company money! However I know it is not the fault of the telemarketer, so why give them a hard time right? Maybe they need that job.

To return to my title point, please do not abuse people’s voicemail. This goes for personal and professional calls.

Before you actually dial the person’s number, make sure you can say in just a few sentences what you want that person to do next. Do not ramble on and on, and do not let them hear you thinking and breathing and checking your papers or your PC.

Call them and leave a nice ‘clean’ message that takes less than 30 seconds. We are all busy and checking email and phone messages are big time-consumers. Necessary evils, yes, but we need to respect our time and the time of others.

Here are some examples:

Hi John, sorry I’ve missed you. Give me a call back please after 4pm on my office number or after 7pm on my cell. I think we need to discuss the ABC report. Thanks.

Hello Mom, it’s me. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong, I just want to know if you can call me back in the next few hours to discuss our upcoming day-trip to the park. I have some questions as to our agenda. Thanks, love you!

Hi Rob, this is Rachel at 123 Solutions Inc. I received your email attachment and just had a couple questions about it. Please give me a call back at this number … to discuss. Otherwise we can do this over email. Thanks and looking forward to working together.

Voicemail messages are best used to initiate contact only. Save the details for email or actually speaking to someone – live. Details are best used either in conversation, so both parties can write important information down and ask real-time questions to avoid misunderstanding, etc. or in an email that is written like a report or guide to a project.

If you can implement this simple strategy of leaving a short, simple and clear message on one main topic, you will do two things. You will encourage others to contact you to discuss the details (assuming they want to) and you will save them time, which they like. You will not waste their time like telemarketers often do and therefore you are training others to respect your time, as you respect theirs. It becomes a two-way street to more efficient communications.

Finally, I would also just like to remind everyone to ‘book-end’ your voicemails when you are contacting a new person for the first time. This means leaving your name and number clearly at the beginning and ending of your voice message. It takes a few seconds more, but it gives the listener two chances to write down your information. Then they do not have to listen to your message a second or third time and they can call you back faster. 🙂