Be clear, confident and successful! Don’t let a lack of high-level communication skills hold you back.
Advises Ric Phillips, a Communication Coach since 2006. His clients include professionals and politicians.
A few years ago, I met Ric Phillips at a local networking group and found him friendly and easy to talk to.
Recently, I asked him 3 Business Communication 101 questions. Here’s what he had to say:
1) In this digital age, what are the essential business communication skills?
Ric Phillips: There are several essential communication skills needed for a successful business relationship, but specifically considering the digital age, I would say:
1 – The ability to build rapport in person and over the internet and phone. Business requires not just human interaction, but humans to like each other. We are not motivated to work with someone or buy something from someone whom we dislike.
2 – Sense the tone. Especially considering texts, emails and VOIP calls, we need to be able to understand not only what is truly being said and meant, but how to ensure our communications going out have a minimal chance of being misinterpreted as snobby, sarcastic or demanding, to name a few potential threats.
3 – Public speaking and presenting… (Please continue reading by clicking the link above (Source link below photo) or https://thejennreport.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/3-questions-with-communication-expert-ric-phillips/ to get to Jenn’s full blog post and finish the article. Feel free to comment and share! 🙂
Recently I gave a short seminar at TechSoup, located in the CSI (Centre for Social Innovation) building here in Toronto. TechSoup had asked me to speak about developing and delivering an effective pitch, with a slide deck. Their target audience is non-profits who want or need to build their technical skills to help improve efficiencies in their organization. The seminar had a small live audience and it was live-streamed as well.
Just as I teach my clients, I broke my talk into three main chunks: pitch structure, slide guide and public speaking & body language tips. I wrote a brief article on my LinkedIn profile going over the key takeaways, so please click this link to see the article, and then like and share (either here or there) if you found it useful. Thank you. 🙂
And if you desire more info on pitching and presentations, please see my brand new ebook called “3V Podium Power: Next Level Public Speaking, Presenting, Pitching & PowerPoint Repair!” located on this site here in the ‘store’.
UPDATE: TechSoup did a great recap of my seminar, and have also included the slide deck I used in case you want to see them (but the 2 videos I used are not included, fyi). Please click here to see their summary and my slides. Please share this info here, there, or anywhere. 🙂
Thank you so much!
|Is it a good thing to centre your hands while speaking?|
Hello fellow communicators!
Do you often wonder how you could improve the results of your meetings and presentations in the boardroom? Do you wish you could read the body language and non-verbal communications of business people across the table from you during negotiations? Well a global company called FIRMEX believes these are valuable skills to learn and partnered up with “yours truly” to create a couple of no-cost body language videos. Please watch and enjoy these vital and easy-to-apply tips to modify your non-verbal communication and gestures, as well as become more attuned to others in business. Body language isn’t everything, but it’s a very large part of effective business communication! Click the link below to see the video on Firmex’s blog:
I hope you enjoy the tips and more importantly put them to good use immediately!
Please enjoy this ‘clip’, and then ask yourself if you were going into a big meeting, interview, giving a talk or PowerPoint, what would your body language convey? Do you think about it beforehand or just ‘go with the flow?’ I think you know that my advice would be to actually ‘plan’ your vibe that you are sending, just like Musashi did, many years ago. Here it is, found on page 27:
“I always stress form and balance. If you are lax in your stances and positioning, then you will be unable to perform your technique effectively. Focus your concentration on only one thing – making the “hit.” Narrow your eyes slightly and ever so subtly flare your nostrils. Always fight with your spine erect and unbent. Keep your shoulders relaxed and lowered. Tighten your abdominal muscles and root yourself into the ground. Make yourself bigger in your mind than you are as a manner of intimidating the enemy. Slowly work your way toward the enemy until you are ready to strike. Then do so with utmost conviction, quickness, and power. Keep your weapons ready at all times. You should practice the proper stances and movements prior to using any fighting technique and in this manner establish your own sense of being through your particular art. How often have you witnessed so-called experts with no form or balance?”
I salute those that are striving to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. It’s not always an easy thing to do, especially if one was born introverted, with a learning challenge of some kind, is not a native speaker of the working language or simply was never used to or trained in how to handle “the spotlight.”
These days advancing your public speaking and presentation skill-set almost isn’t an option. In business a successful person needs great communication skills, now more than ever. In the old days there were those that were comfortable speaking, usually from sales and marketing departments for example, that were asked to do most of the public speaking and meeting running. Technical folks could sit in the back of the room silently, or just keep working away on their computer. Not so these days.
Many of my clients are technically brilliant people, who have achieved a high measure of success in their own right. But they have been asked (or told) by upper management or have learned through experience that to be truly successful these days one must attempt to master the soft skills as well as the hard skills. Job security seems to depend on adaptability and duo skill-set performance now.
These days I’m doing a lot of ‘Podium Power’ coaching. Clients range from doctors and lawyers to accountants and managers at various levels in the company. Some are immigrants with the additional challenge of having English as a second language. Some have speech impediments, get bad stage fright, or have Asperger’s syndrome/autism. I strive to teach them the finer points of how to quickly and efficiently improve their 3Vs (verbal, vocal, visual) of public speaking, presentations and PowerPoint, staying within my areas of expertise.
I just wanted to say that I really appreciate and applaud those that are struggling to learn a new way of communication that is out of their comfort zone, or that pushes them past their old, comfortable one. It takes courage, dedication and maybe even a little kick in the butt to take up the task of improving public speaking communication skills, but I believe it is good to challenge oneself and I also believe it will pay off handsomely in today’s business world, as well as with our social communications. Let’s be honest, they need some work these days too, right? Everyone is constantly staring at their smart phones and tablets, rarely looking up as they mumble? But that’s a topic for another day!
Here are a list of the qualities and characteristics of a good public speaker/presenter.
Make sure you include these points when you have to speak in public.
1. They talk to us as though we are having a conversation
2. They speak our language
3. They look as though they are enjoying themselves.
4. They inspire us to find out more about the subject
5. They tell stories/use the human-interest angle
6. Someone who conjures up pictures in our mind
7. They don’t talk for hours
8. They let us know where we are going
9. They look at us – not their notes
10. They stress important points and pause to allow ideas to sink in
11. The talk appears well prepared but has an air of spontaneity
By Sean McPheat – included in his ‘ConfidenceWorld’ program.
(Communication Strategies from David Greenberg’s Simply
Speaking, Inc.® ‘Forget Your Title, We’re All in Sales!’®
Topic: How to Introduce a Speaker and How to Be Introduced
The speaker introduction is an often overlooked, but vitally
important part of setting the stage for a successful presentation.
When you accept an invitation to speak it is usually in your best
interest to provide the person introducing you with your own
introduction. I suggest using a double-spaced, large font,
bulleted list of facts you want the introducer. Send your
introduction a few days before the presentation to give your
introducer time to practice. Most introducers will be glad you
volunteered to take care of this important detail.
Think of it as a “sin” to poorly introduce a speaker and use the
“SIN” formula to ensure your introductions are effective:
S = Subject
State the subject or title of the presentation.
I = Importance
State why the subject is important to the audience, and
state why the speaker is important (the speaker’s credentials).
N = Name
State the speaker’s name (spell it phonetically in your notes).
Here’s an example:
“Our next presenter will tell us about an exciting new tool that
can make each of our jobs easier! This afternoon, we will explore
the advantages of replacing our old accounting software system.”
“This presentation will be important to each of you because each
of you uses the accounting system, to either enter data or generate
reports. We know you’ll want to be part of the decision-making
“Our presenter is highly qualified to recommend a new system. He
is a Certified Public Accountant. He has been with our company for
ten years, and has worked with our current accounting system for
five of those years. He knows first-hand how we operate, and he has
spent the last three months reviewing our needs and speaking with
several accounting software manufacturers.”
“Help me welcome Division Manager Stan Czachowski.”
(Spelled phonetically in notes “Cha-how-ski”)
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.