Tag Archives: public speaking

My TED Talk: The Long Life of First Impressions

The importance of interpersonal skills in today’s tech-world cannot be underrated or undervalued, and that’s why I focused my recent TED Talk on them.  Please take a moment to view and learn about “The Long Life of First Impressions”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuG-BHquAHU 
If you like it, please ‘like’ it and share to your social networks, or directly on YouTube. Let’s spread the idea!  Much appreciated!

3 Questions with Communication Expert Ric Phillips | The Jenn Report

Source: 3 Questions with Communication Expert Ric Phillips | The Jenn Report 

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!  🙂

How to Develop & Deliver an Effective Pitch (with Slides)

Ric at TechSoup Canada 2Recently 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.  🙂

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/develop-deliver-effective-pitch-ric-phillips

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.  🙂

https://www.techsoupcanada.ca/en/community/blog/effective-pitches-nonprofits

Thank you so much!

Some People Have Real Difficulty With Public Speaking but Have No Choice!

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!  ;)

Take care,
Coach Ric
Tweets:  http://twitter.com/CommCoach

A Very Busy April Weekend!

Well first off I’d like to congratulate the newest royal married couple, Will and Kate. It was a fantastic wedding, and I wish you the best. As a Communication Coach, I hope that you continue to relate directly to your public, and don’t be afraid to be real in front of the camera, within reason of course!

Next, I have to send a big Good Luck to GSP (Georges St. Pierre), Mark Hominick, Jason MacDonald and the rest of the Canadian contingent who will be representing this great country on the mat and in the ring this Saturday at UFC 129. It is the first time the UFC has held an event in Toronto, and it was the biggest sell-out so far at 55 thousand seats. I’ll be watching and cheering them on. In the octagon, you cannot hide who you are. The truth will reveal itself. Buckle up.

Speaking of representing our great nation, who is going to win the Canadian federal election? May 2nd is the time to vote and support whichever party leader you believe will do the best job. Or, as some people have suggested, you can pick the one who does the least trash-talking and dirty ad campaigns. (That would be why Smilin’ Jack Layton has doubled his numbers in the last 2 weeks – people are sick and tired of the Liberal and Conservative dirty politics!)

I have to toot my own horn here for a second – it was a great honour to be asked to give my expert communication assessment of the federal leaders’ body language (and other non-verbal communications) after their Federal Leaders’ Debate held April 12th. I was interviewed by 1130 News in Vancouver, AM640 Toronto – The John Oakley Show as well as by host Stephen LeDrew on CP24 LeDrew Live TV show shortly after. I told everyone basically the same thing, which is that from a communication point of view, Mr. Harper had the best showing. He was calm, in control, did not get rattled when he was attacked, and he made symmetrical open hand/arm gestures stemming from his navel, which is an area called the ‘truth plane’. It’s a good place to keep your hands when you are trying to win trust.

Mr. Ignatieff used some poor hand gestures and was caught with his hand on his hip, but did use the ‘rule of 3’ well, which is when you use 3 words that are easy to remember. He repeated “jets, jails and corporate tax cuts” often enough that I still remember them! Problem is, if you overuse this technique, it sounds stale.

Mr. Layton used his smile well, in that he looked great deflecting the criticism with a smile and a joke. He has pretty good posture in general and leads with a strong voice. He was smoother that night that I expected, since Jack usually sounds choppy. He did a great job and I’m not surprised his ratings improved after the debate.

Mr. Duceppe has an obvious disadvantage in that English is his second language, but I can tell you that in any language you do not want to be caught reading your notes, which he was a couple of times. When he speaks fast and impromptu he does not sound as good as when he is prepared and calm.

These are just a few of the things that I noted during the debate. Unfortunately the video from the TV show and the audio from the two radio interviews are not available at this time. However here is a link to a short article from the Vancouver news station, should you be interested:
http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/211782–harper-was-debate-winner-in-body-language-expert

Have a great weekend, and if you are Canadian, please vote May 2nd. The future is in our hands.

PS – if you or someone you know needs executive coaching, especially for media, public speaking or presentations, please pass along my website contact info. These days it is extremely important that managers and other executives representing the government or a company are clear and confident in their messages to the public, or to the shareholders.

YorkRegion Article: Newcomers learn accent reduction

I usually do not advertise my competitions’ websites and press releases, but this is a great article that helps explain why some people want/need accent reduction training, and also some of the benefits. I am available to help you modify your accent if you need to improve your speaking.  Just contact me to set up a free consultation.

Here is the article:

YorkRegion Article: Newcomers learn accent reduction

“Should I Get Accent Reduction Lessons?”

This is a very common question I hear from immigrants and overseas workers as we discuss their coaching options.  Though everyone’s case is unique, here is my general advice:

If your (heavy) accent is stopping you from being confident, from making friends and/or from making (more) money, then YES.  Do some accent reduction for your own peace of mind and to become a more confident speaker.

If your accent does not interfere with daily communications, and people are not constantly asking you to repeat yourself or say it again in a different way, then you are probably okay.  You still may choose to modify your accent anyway, but at least you should know that it is not a pressing issue that will halt your career.

How can you modify and reduce your accent?
1.  Watch English movies and TV.  Rent DVDs of shows and sit-coms and play them over and over again, with and without English subtitles.
2.  Listen to the radio and/or sing English songs.  Look up the lyrics online.
3.  Meet native English speakers and practice.
4.  Buy a good pronunciation book, preferably with audio CDs, MP3s, podcast etc.  Choose carefully BrE or AmE.
5.  Attend Toast Masters or another public speaking practice forum.
6.  Attend an ESL class that focuses on pronunciation or lots of speaking practice.
7.  Hire an ESL tutor who has experience teaching the above, or whose voice you want to imitate.  Don’t be shy to ask for details of experience, materials used, references etc.
8.  Hire a professional Communication Coach with a solid background in ESL and accent reduction.
9.  Hire a professional linguist or speech pathologist.
10.  Practice practice practice.