Monthly Archives: October 2008

Communicating Confidently in Business

Hello those of you in Toronto/GTA:

This is the last week that we are taking registrations for the upcoming Nov. 8th effective communication skills workshop, downtown Toronto.

You will learn:

How to Communicate with confidence
The art of small talk and winning first impressions
conflict management
assertiveness in communications

Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Yonge/College.
Free lunch, free 1-hr. coaching session too.

Register now for a 20% discount.

Any Qs, just contact and ask Ric.

Effective Communications Workshop

NOTE: This is the last week to register.

3V Communications Presents:

Communicating Confidently in Business: Learn to Communicate with Charisma and Confidence to Build Your Career Success!
This interactive workshop focuses on building confidence in your communications, people-skills, first impression management and conflict management, plus influence. See website ad for more details and bonuses.

Saturday November 8th 2008, 9-5pm
Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Hotel, 475 Yonge St. (@ College),
Toronto, ON M4Y 1X7
Contact Ric Phillips
ric @ and click on Public Workshops – Toronto

Any Qs? Just ask!

Deals on Training Courses


There is a good company that is based here in Toronto, but they are not limited to the GTA, called Last Minute Training. They help vendors like myself advertise workshops and they help people looking for personal/professional development find courses and workshops. They even help you get deals.

I have been working with this company for a while now, and I think they’ve got a great idea. So if you are interested in any training courses, or you are a vendor and want to advertise your courses, maybe they can help.

Dead Idioms?

Hello all,

Using idioms (expressions) that are up to date and appropriate will help you fit in better in conversations and allow you to understand more discussions in everyday situations. Using an old ‘dead’ idiom can make you sound a bit foolish, or out of touch. Here are a few idioms that use the word ‘dead’:

Dead and buried
If something is dead and buried, it has all long been settled and is not going to be reconsidered.

Dead as a dodo
If something’s dead as a dodo, it is lifeless and dull. The dodo was a bird that lived the island of Mauritius. It couldn’t fly and was hunted to extinction.

Dead as a Doornail
This is used to indicate that something is lifeless.

Dead duck
If something is a dead duck, it is a failure. This can also be used for people.

Dead heat
If a race ends in a dead heat, two or more finish with exactly the same result.

Dead in the water
If something is dead in the water, it isn’t going anywhere or making any progress.

Dead to the world
If somebody’s fast asleep and completely unaware of what if happening around them, he or she’s dead to the world.

Practice integrating these idioms into your everyday speech.

For more idioms just like above, please go to “Everyday English Idioms” by following this link:

Any questions or comments, feel free to post them.

Communication is Needed for Leadership

I wanted to share with you this excerpt from Dan Schabel’s blog, whom I don’t know, as he interviewed an author, speaker and coach that I do follow, Larina Case, PsyD, MBA. This topic focuses on the importance of communication and confidence (my 2 favourite subjects) and leadership skills. For the full blog article, please visit here:

Is everyone capable of being a great leader? Why or why not?

Everyone is capable of being a great leader in some aspect of their life, either leading themselves or others. If you’re going to lead others, you must first be a great leader of yourself—it’s a prerequisite.
In terms of leading others, I think that about one quarter of leadership ability is natural and the rest is learned.
Inherent or inborn characteristics of great leadership include qualities like thought process (great leaders are often “big picture” people rather than data-driven types, which helps them to create and communicate a powerful vision), and the personality traits openness and conscientiousness. Contrary to popular belief, research has not shown the personality trait of extroversion to correlate with great leaders (not all great leaders are extroverts).

Qualities that can be learned if someone has the interest and desire include the emotional intelligence factors that are so important to leadership—things like self awareness, empathy, confidence, communication, influence, and being a catalyst for change.

What are some common characteristics of great leaders?

Great leaders positively influence others. Two of the most important features of influence are empathy and communication. Empathy is the ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Without empathy, people feel that you don’t get them and resist your influence. With empathy, people feel heard and understood and in alignment with you.

When people are empathic, they naturally communicate well. This is because empathic people mirror the body language and emotions of others, which creates a synchronicity.

Communication skills are made up of nonverbal (body language, tone of voice, etc.) and verbal (what you say) behaviors. Your nonverbal are most important, and through training everyone can improve their nonverbal communication.

Once again, to continue reading this blog, just go here:

Essential Top 7 Communication Skills for Entrepreneurs

As a Communication Coach and trainer for 3V, and as a Program Advisor for YEDI, I frequently meet, network with and teach entrepreneurs from both non-profit and for-profit sectors, representing businesses and organizations of various sizes and stages in business. The titles of the workshops I provide may change but the core values requested and delivered do not. The question we must ask ourselves as entrepreneurs is what are the essential communication skills needed for success in business? I want to share with you what I believe, so you can start to develop your talents as quickly as possible, and assess your personal and team communication strengths and weaknesses.

To be a successful entrepreneur you must be able to:

1 – Make a winning first impression – every time. We must network constantly, right? Every person we meet, by chance or by appointment, could be our next client or lead us to a big partnership or deal. We all judge a book by its cover, so it’s important that your first impression is great. If you need to hire an image consultant, do it. If you need to learn the art and science of small talk and first impression management, then hire a coach, attend a workshop or buy a book. We are not allowed to have an ‘off-day’ as so much of our income depends on our first impressions, over and over again, as we build up our database and word-of-mouth referrals.

2 – Speak well in public. For the most part we cannot avoid speaking in public. We have to give presentations to banks, pitch to potential funders, sponsors and investors, chair team meetings, give keynote addresses, lead information seminars, etc. If you are shy or uncomfortable speaking into the microphone, it could damage your company messaging and brand image. A local ‘Toastmasters Club’ might help you to improve quickly, or you might bring on a public speaking or presentations coach to run a seminar. They can often help you with the organization of key speaking points and making influential core messages to help you get more comfortable speaking and presenting.

3 – Persuade, influence and sell. It is funny how many entrepreneurs hate the idea of selling, when in fact we would go nowhere fast without marketing and sales. We like to imagine that salespeople are slimy con-artists, when in reality a really great sales rep is highly interpersonal and very empathetic. They’ve read Dale Carnegie books and studied NLP, and you can too. We have to get over the old stereotypes and realize that picking up some experience and theory in sales and persuasion is truly beneficial to promoting and growing our business.

4 – Handle difficult people smoothly. The fact that we are self-employed does mean in theory that we can pick and choose good clients, but if we can’t handle difficult people, i.e. people who are stubborn, see things differently, hard to sell to or hard to work with etc. then we are going to end up having a very small client base and only a few people we can work with. Learning how to manage conflict and disagreements is essential as you expand. Rule number one: it’s nothing personal. Get over your ego and deal with the core issues and emotions. Turn enemies into friends at every opportunity.

5 – Manage people. The definition of interpersonal skills could be the ability to manage people in a friendly, fair way without alienating them. People management skill is essential and makes you a better manager or leader. Think of a boss you previously had that was great. Now think of one that was terrible. Which job did you want to escape from? Don’t be that boss!

6 – Read people accurately. Observe their eyes, face and body language. Do not ignore your intuition. Ask questions and actually listen for the answer, but even ask yourself if there is more to the story than the surface communication. Quite often there is a lot of ice underneath the water of an iceberg – 90% actually – and in our communications the statistics are often comparable. Listen to what people are saying and at the same time listen for meaning underneath.  Are there emotions, core values and hidden messages behind their words?

7 – Communicate with confidence. If you don’t seem to believe in yourself, your team, your brand, product or service, then why should I? Getting your message out there verbally and in print is important, and you must instill confidence and trust in your soon-to-be customers and partners. Use confident language; let people know your credibility, sell them on how they can avoid ‘pain’ and move towards ‘pleasure’ when they follow you. Display logic to help seal the deal. Most purchases (if not all) are emotional, and logic is used to justify the decision to buy. Be confident and clear, but do not go too far. No one likes a bully, and no one likes over-the-top cockiness. Be calm, cool, confident and in control.

Start thinking of how you rank yourself or your team on these 7 communication issues. Hold a quick meeting to discuss them, and where you can improve. There are more than 7, of course, but this is a good start to getting you focused on the importance of excellent communication in business and will help you grow as an entrepreneur and as an organizational leader.

NLP Certification – From Home


Recently I have had a couple people email and ask me about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) certification.
If you google NLP and then your city name, you will get a much more targeted search. Do you want to study live in a group or at home? What is your budget?

For at-home study, here is the link to a course that is 6 dvds plus manual, plus certification (after test):

Is it the only home-study NLP course? Absolutely not, but I trust the producer both as an expert and as a business man. There is also a bit of a sale going on now too, I gather from the link above.

Here is another website I found that looks good, but I don’t know the cost or the reliability, so buyer beware ok? You can check it out yourself here:

If I can give some advice, I would like to say that anyone interested in NLP should do their homework first and do a bit of background research on NLP, what you think it can do for you, what training courses and certifications are out there for you, and what is a fair price. Some companies will give a certificate fairly fast, but then you have no idea the details of NLP, so what good is that for you? Others want you to study for months and spend lots of money.

Research is the key. Check out a few sites, ask some questions, rely on expert’s opinions (that you know/trust) and then – dive in and enjoy! I certainly am grateful that I learned NLP. I am certified but I am not a master, still, I think it is very useful stuff and my clients seem to enjoy learning about it through my coaching/workshops.

That’s all for now. If any of you out there in “Readerville” have taken a great NLP course and would recommend it, please post a comment here, to share with others.

Ciao 4 now,

ESL Resources? Please go here


As a Communication Coach I work with many different people from many different walks of life, and I have the pleasure here in Toronto of coaching hard-working immigrants who struggle with ESL (English as a Second Language) and English fluency. I just want to remind any of you out there that I have two separate blog categories where I discuss ESL issues and resources.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind my readers that this blog as a whole is not ESL-specific, and focuses on issues under the broad umbrella of “communication” and “communication coaching and training”. I know some of my readers and subscribers are very interested in ESL help as well, so therefore I am now directing your attention the more focused blog categories for speakers of English as a second language.

I hope you enjoy the posts and resources.

All the best,