Monthly Archives: September 2008

Communicating Confidently in Business – Workshop

3V Communications Presents
An effective communication skills full-day interactive workshop:
Communicating Confidently in Business

Learn to Communicate with Charisma and Confidence to build your Career Success!

November 8th, 2008 – Downtown Toronto Hotel

• Are you unsure if you are being heard and respected at work?
• Do you feel a little insecure or shy sometimes, and feel it is holding you back?
• Do you have difficulty handling stressful situations, arguments or workplace conflict? Do you have trouble saying no?
• Having trouble standing out but still fitting in?
• Are people not listening to you and your ideas, and do you wonder how you can change that?

After this course you will 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. Confident communicators are given more responsibility at work, are given promotions and raises more often, and become great business leaders. When you can communicate clearly and confidently, but still do it in a friendly, non-offensive way, you are headed for upper management or other leadership roles.

By the end of Saturday you will be able to:
Understand the importance of first impression management, and create a winning first impression that leaves others wanting to know more about you

Generate small talk easily – so you can enjoy stress-free conversations while you network, turn strangers into friends and build strong teams at work

Increase personal charisma and confidence – real leadership qualities vital in today’s competitive markets

Speak clearly with confident language, tonality and gestures

Use the fundamentals of sales psychology to persuade and influence others, and find out how to implement Aristotle’s 3 keys to persuasion while speaking in public

Manage conflict in a less-stressful way, so you can disagree and say no without offending others or getting into arguments

Be assertive without being aggressive, because nobody respects a bully!

you get a full day (9-5) of interactive and dynamic communication training – essential soft skills for today’s world of business

Catered Lunch and two Coffee breaks

Certificate of Completion – showing that you care about your personal and professional development, and have taken steps towards gaining excellent communications and building confidence for success

One Complimentary coaching session to get your personal communications assessed after the workshop is completed

$100 voucher, good towards any one-to-one coaching program or future workshop

Referral program – Do you have a friend or co-worker who would be interested in attending? You are eligible to receive a $50.00 thank you for everyone you send us who signs up and completes the workshop. Our way of thanking you for recommending us to new people

Early-bird special price – regular price is $299 for the day (plus g.s.t.), but we are currently offering an early-bird special price (see website) until October 6th.

Discounted room rate – if interested in staying at the Courtyard by Marriott downtown hotel please contact Ric directly to arrange it

By now, I trust you can see the benefits of developing the knowledge and skills to communicate confidently in business – so what are you waiting for?

To register, click here now. Or if this is not highlighted, just follow this link:
Location: This event will be held at Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Hotel, 475 Yonge Street (@ College St.). For a Google map location, click on the address above on my website,

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:

Your coach and trainer,
Ric Phillips

Body Language – Is It Really Useful?

“Do you know about body language?”

Ask someone this and they will probably say “oh yes. I should make eye contact but not stare at someone too long, I should not cross my arms because it looks closed, and I should not slouch at meetings, etc.”

Okay, that information EVERYONE knows. But I have to tell you, as a student and teacher of body language, there is a lot more going on than just that. Let me ask you these questions:

Can you tell what is going on with a man and a woman in just one photograph?

Can you predict accurately who is a leader and who is not?

Are you trained to pay attention to things others do not see?

What do you think of Obama and McCain’s body language? Have you thought about what each man is trying to project?

Communication is made up of 2 parts – verbal and non-verbal. Obviously body language falls under the latter. As we learned from the 3 Vs of communication, 55% of all our communication is visual, which is our body language, gestures, attire and accessories. (The other 2 Vs are verbal and vocal, remember?)
If you are interested in improving your ability to read people accurately then I suggest you consider the study of body language.

Today I have a great body language analysis quiz for you! Take a look at these photos of Obama and McCain, Nikky Hilton, Tom Arnold, Bruce Springsteen, Pam Anderson, Sir Richard Branson, and other people and see if you can interpret their relationships and projected messages before reading what the expert, Kevin Hogan, has revealed.

I am a big fan of Kevin Hogan. Who is he? He teaches influence, NLP, persuasion, sales, personal performance etc. in addition to body language. He has a great weekly newsletter, lots of books in the bookstore plus several at-home study programs. Click the above link, go down about half-way to find the photos of the famous people, and start reading their body language! Have fun!

That’s it for today. Thank you so much to those of you that responded to my poll regarding our upcoming Toronto workshops. I am planning the next one for October as you read this. I will tell you about it in the next newsletter, and give you a chance to take advantage of an ‘early-bird’ special if you so choose.

Thanks again and have fun with your body language quiz! Here is the link to it again:

All the best,


PS – Tomorrow I will post some other Kevin Hogan program links to my blog, just in case you are interested to know more about his home-study courses in different areas. I believe he is having a sale right now on some products, when you click through the links.

Bye for now,


Repeat Key Phrases to Help Accent

One of the things to remember when you are looking to speak English better, is that English is just one part of language, and language is just one part of communication.

A quick way to build rapport with your listener is to take a technique from NLP and mimic or reflect back their favourite words or expressions. This way, even if you ‘have an accent’ it won’t be as important as the fact that you are connecting with the person on their level and making them feel comfortable by using one of their own favourite words/expressions.

This is also a good thing to remember when you are trying to decide if you should sway your English accent towards British or American. The actual answer is – it depends. It depends where you live or who you work with. I am not suggesting you have 2 distinct ‘fake’ voices, one that sounds like James Bond and another that sounds like George W.  I am suggesting that you listen to and imitate the people around you, especially if you are an immigrant. This will help you bridge the gap and increase fluency or at least a sense of fluency until your English improves a bit more.

There is more I could say on this subject but for now the take-away point is to listen to the people around you for their key words and expressions and then repeat them sometimes. Do not be an annoying parrot though.  About 3:1 should suffice.

Waiter or Slave?

As I was flipping through the channels this morning, sipping my coffee, I came across the Rachael Ray show. On it were a couple of ladies who authored a book about the experiences of waiters and how to get good service. I watched for a couple of minutes, enough for them to expose their top 4 tips:

1 – Don’t snap your fingers at the server – they are not dogs

2 – Don’t ask any personal question that you wouldn’t ask your doctor, for example where do you live, are you married, etc.

3 – Don’t touch them or grope them

4 – Don’t ask for a complicated menu item switch, for example asking them to substitute a sauce used on chicken to be used on pork, or side dishes, etc.

Who knew that was the way to get excellent service???
So what you are telling me is that if I treat my server with normal human respect, and don’t treat them like a slave or sex object, and don’t ask for an unwritten menu item switch, that I will most likely have a good experience at the restaurant? Hmm….

Listen I know I am being sarcastic in the above response. The sarcasm is not directed at the show nor the two lovely ladies who authored the book. The sarcasm is aimed at the people who actually still need to be told these 4 tips. Wake up! Grow up! Develop some empathy and communication skills please!

All of us have either worked in ‘the industry’ or know someone who has. There are so many stories out there of waiters and waitresses getting revenge on their customers who are rude or have a superiority complex. Wait-staff and cooks have been known to spit in food, switch pate for cat food; eat food from your plate, water-down drinks, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on. Why on earth would you invite the chance of this happening to you?

Today’s lesson is simple: treat everyone with respect and common courtesy, regardless of your or their position in society or at work. That in itself will open more doors than you can possibly imagine.

To those of you reading this who did not need this lesson, I thank you for your patience. However I believe you too have seen people who still ‘don’t get it’. Perhaps we need to give them a lesson on appropriate social communication skills?

What Workshop Topic Most Interests You?

Hello everyone!

I hope you are keeping well and are not feeling any sort of ‘Monday blues’. I think I am fortunate as an entrepreneur and consultant in that I never feel any particular strain on Mondays. To me, Monday is just as good as Friday! (Are some of you hating me now? Sorry, I will keep it to myself then!)

Well the summer seems to be over and everyone is back to work and back to school. Holidays seem to be over as well and people are re-focused on their personal and professional development. Therefore it is time for me to set up a couple of public workshops before the cold Canadian winter comes. I wonder if you would like to help me choose the next topic?

I have just set up a poll on my website, under the tab that reads “Next Public Workshop”. There is a 2-second survey that is simply one question: “Which workshops would you be most interested in attending?” If you have 2 seconds right now, I would really appreciate knowing what workshop(s) you would like to see run in Toronto in the next few months.

Even if you do not live in Toronto, but you have an opinion on what topic you think you would enjoy in a workshop, please still take the poll and let me know. I am by no means limited to running workshops and seminars in Toronto. As a matter of fact I enjoy visiting new places to work! (Imagine that, getting paid to travel and do something you love….hmm…life of a coach eh? Yes it can be quite rewarding at times!)

Okay, enough of me and my chosen lifestyle. Let me hear from you. Here is the direct link to my website where you will find the poll.

If you cannot decide on just one topic, that is fine. You can simply vote again!

Thank you all very, very much for your interest and support. I will be sending out a regular newsletter next time with great communication advice. As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to get in touch with me.

All the best and – oh yes – Happy Monday!

Ric Phillips

Refocusing After Setbacks

How many times have you started a diet, a new way of thinking, or tried something new and then a setback occurs and you just go back to the way you were?

Don’t worry, you are not the only one!

Setbacks and difficulties occur all of the time – they are a natural activity of life.

There are two ways of facing difficulties.

You either change or alter the difficulty or you can alter yourself to be able to deal with it.

Deal with difficulties correctly and it will enhance your confidence; deal with them incorrectly and they can do some serious damage to your self worth.

Your response to issues and difficulties

When you are faced with any setback your ability to deal with it can be turned around into a position of strength by asking yourself positive empowering questions.

There is an unwritten rule that says:

Ask your mind a stupid question and you will get a stupid answer!

So, if after setback you ask yourself something like:

“Why does this always happen to me, I never have any luck?”

Your mind will probably come out with:

“Because you are useless and good things do not happen to you!”

Sound familiar?

Instead, if you ask yourself a positive empowering question like:

“What did I learn from this setback for next time?”

your mind will kick into solution mode and help.

Here are some rules and things to think about when setbacks do occur:

• Acknowledge that it has happened. Don’t hide from it. These things happen. So what?

• What positive empowering questions can you ask yourself?
What is good about this situation?
How can I make the most of this situation?
What can I learn from it?
What are the facts about this problem?
How can we make it a successful outcome?

• Acknowledge that setbacks occur to everyone and you are not being singled out

• View them as a challenge to overcome rather than an issue or problem

Think about the negative dis-empowering thoughts that you think of on a regular basis after a setback. Not too helpful, right?

Now, what new empowering questions could you ask yourself to get some better answers?

Write these down now and make them a habit. Re-program your brain!  Build inner strength and communicate with confidence!

Blogs & Newsletters – How Often is Enough?

I am unsure why some companies and organizations send me an email or newsletter almost everyday, and even up to several times a day. I really can’t understand their thinking on this. It really bothers me, and usually leads me to unsubscribe. Is my case so different from yours? Probably not.

We are all busy, and we all know (or at least today we can admit) that a lot of time and productivity is wasted on checking emails and reading other people’s opinions. If it is good advice or a helpful resource, that is fine. It will actually add to our efficiency and productivity at work or at school. But when I have to sift through junk all day just to find the gems, it gets a bit trying. I have patience, and will not unsubscribe in the first month, just to see if I am learning valuable information and if it is worth the daily intrusion. But after a while, or on the wrong day when I have just simply reached my limit, I hit the lovely ‘unsubscribe’ button. Simple solution.

As a business person who manages 3 blogs and a newsletter system I am all too aware of not wanting to bother my clients and readers too often. Actually, the truth is, I really should blog more often, as that is what a blog is for – daily thoughts. A blogger like Perez Hilton, who focuses on Hollywood, young starlets, and whomever is currently in the media, blogs several times a day actually. But that is not my goal. My goal is to print short and medium length articles of interest to my readers, under the categories of communication, ESL and confidence. I also want to let readers know of any workshops or valuable resources out there for them. For example, I am now in the process of building a new website which will be a great place for communication resources. That way if you find that you need something like an ebook, website, coach, free articles etc. you can simply visit one site that has it all. I hope you enjoy it.

My newsletters are sent out twice a month. I think I will continue that pattern, as it seems to be working well. I haven’t had anyone write to complain yet! And yes, today I have decided to blog more often, for those of you that want advice more than two times a month.

Want to help me?

If you have a question or particular subject you want me to discuss, just send me an email or leave a comment on one of the blogs. Thank you for helping me serve you better.