Monthly Archives: June 2008

FYI – In Japan

Do you know this shorthand? FYI?
It means “For Your Information.”

It’s a great way to save time and space in text mail and email.
We even can use it in actual speech!
E.g. “John, I’ll see you at 6pm for dinner, and FYI, it’s your turn to pick up the tab!”  (Pay the bill).

I am currently in Japan right now, enjoying my time in Tokyo, Yokohama, and soon Shizuoka and Kyoto.
I’ll post again soon.

Thanks for reading!

In Japan

Hello everyone,

I will be here in Japan until July 9th. Some work, some relaxation.
I am in Tokyo and Yokohama right now and soon I will visit Shizuoka and then Kyoto.

I will put together a post/newsletter soon about communication issues here in J-town.

For now, sorry that I have not posted for a while. Jet-lag is brutal.


Confidence is Competence!

They are twins. They are the flip side of a coin. As you build up your belief in yourself to do something you gain the nerve to do it. Once you do it or attempt to do it you start to notice what you are doing right, that it wasn’t as bad as you had imagined it, and that maybe next time will be even better.

As you feel more competent at the activity you start to believe more in your ability to improve and maybe even get good at it. This gives you more confidence, even if it is mostly visualization at the beginning. So I could go on with this email but I think you can see my point. The confidence leads to taking more chances and doing things better, so that increases competence, and the increased competence increases your confidence. It will radiate out of you.

Dale Carnegie said it best: Do the thing that you are afraid of. That is the one sure way of conquering your fear! (He was talking about public speaking, but it can be related to many things).

Until next time!

Simplify Your English ok?

Today’s mini-lesson is simple. Be simpler.
Is simple a bad thing? No. (See? A simple answer!)

As a communication and career coach I have seen resumes and cover letters that are too ‘wordy’ and absolutely unclear. This little advice is not just for resumes and CVs, it is also for presentations, speeches, meetings, etc. or just plain conversation.

If you are using ESL – English as a second language – then you are already probably a little nervous about what you say and how you say it. Let me give you some good advice that you can smile with: simplify your language and communications. Do not over-complicate it all. We do not think a person is stupid just because they use simple, easy-to-use English. We often choose the simplest form of speech as it is the most direct and quickest. However if you are using too many big words and are over-polite and too formal etc. we then might think that you are not very comfortable in our world of casual no-nonsense ‘direct’ language.

Think about it. Simplify your thoughts before writing out a ‘thick’ resume or letter. Organize your words using common language before you speak.

Simple is best.

Isn’t that good news?

The Rule of 75%

I had a fantastic time training the wonderful, energetic group of participants over the last weekend, at our 3V communication course. The first day focused on interpersonal skills and the second more on professional skills and public speaking.

Anyway, unfortunately due to my over-zealousness to try to give the group all of my best information, the afternoon of the second day ended up seeming a bit rushed. I had packed too much information into the course and workbooks, and although they can read it at home as many times as they like to help digest it, it still felt bad to rush material and examples. Not something I wanted to do.

So it reminds me today of the 75% rule of public speaking and presentations. Only prepare for 75% of the time allotted. That way you have time to slow down, relax, field questions, and even digress a little if necessary. You know story-telling is a natural digression and can dramatically increase audience listening and participation too. Every one likes a good (and hopefully relevant) story!

So in closing today’s brief post I am reminded of a great Japanese saying: “Saru mo ki kara ochiru.” What is the translation? “Sometimes even monkeys fall out of trees!” (Hey I fell out of the tree, but I don’t think I broke anything!)

Until next time.