Articles Tagged ‘Public speaking’

Hit the Floor and Give Me 20! – Is Business Coaching Right For You?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Many of us associate a coach with ear-splitting whistles, rope burns and the occasional awkward moment in the locker room. But a coach in in the corporate world means advancement and development.

According to a July 2011 American Management Association survey, almost half of companies surveyed use coaching to prepare their employees for a promotion or new role. While half of those companies restrict their work to upper management, four of 10 make them available to anyone in the company.

Coaching’s three most common uses, according to the survey, include leadership development, remedial performance improvement, and optimizing strong contributors. Most coaches meet with executives in person or by phone, either every other week or once a month for about a year, though they increasingly are available for emergency consults.

In a Fortune article about coaching earlier this month, Indianapolis-based WellPoint makes coaches available to about one-fourth of senior leadership. A company liaison typically recommends a few coaches, and then the individual chooses the best match. The company views hiring a coach as an investment in people identified as very solid performers.

With a $200 per hour fee common among coaches, is it worth the money? According to the article, companies are still struggling with how to measure its effectiveness. Some use 360-degree-feedback before and after sessions to look for changes in behavior or relationships. Others rely on evaluations from both the subject and his superior.

The clash of high achieving personalities, and yes even egos, sometimes get in the way. It is not uncommon to work with one and then depart for another.

What do you think? How could a coach help you? Would you hire one to play devil’s advocate or help you develop in another way?

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business
(317) 218-5115
ellen@accentonbusiness.net

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Next Presentation

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs is loved and skewered by many. Love him or hate him, that’s what happens when you take chances and share provocative opinions. But few would argue that

Jobs is a masterful presenter. And though he’s naturally talented and gets technology to do some magical things with the wave of his wand, he also practices over and over and over to get it just right. There have been many articles written over the last decade especially take a peak inside this magician’s tophat. I came up with five “Jobsian” tricks you can adapt to make your next presentation a little better without spending hours and hours in front of a mirror.

1. Record your speech using your smartphone’s voice recorder or video camera
Play it back. Take note of lines that sound mumbled or need emphasis. Go over this and make changes immediately. Visually are you smiling? Are you engaging with the audience?

2. Plan in the analog world
We may exist in the digital world, but prepare in the “old world” of pen and paper. Brainstorm, sketch and draw on whiteboards. Graphic designers who work in PowerPoint rarely open the software program as the first step in creating a presentation. They “storyboard” their presentation before transferring their ideas to a digital format.

3. Introduce an antagonist
In every classic story, the hero fights the villain. The same holds true for your presentation. In 1984, the villain was IBM. Before Jobs introduced the famous “1984” Macintosh ad to a group of Apple salespeople, he created a dramatic story around it. “IBM wants it all,” he declared. Creating a villain allows the audience to rally around the hero–your product or your strategy to take on a challenge.

4. Obey the ’10-minute’ rule
Neuroscientists have found that the brain gets tired after 10 minutes. In other words, no matter how engaging the speaker, audiences will tend to tune out after approximately 10 minutes. If your presentation lasts longer than 10 minutes, break up the content with video, demonstrations or audience participation. Don’t give them time to get bored.

5. Make numbers meaningful
Big numbers should be put into context. If 220 million units have been sold to date, place that number into context by saying it represents “X” percent of the market. Break it down even further — and take a jab at the competition — by saying a competitor is “pulling up the rear” with its lower market share. Large numbers must be placed into a context the audience can understand.

Enough about Steve. What about You? What are some weaknesses, or strengths, in your speaking abilities? What have you learned or what’s holding you back from improving?

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business
(317) 218-5115
ellen@accentonbusiness.net

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement

Six Steps to Speaking

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Want more speaking gigs? There are three reasons for not getting enough offers:

1. No one knows you’re out there.
2. Your topics or services are not needed.
3. Buyers don’t believe you’re good enough.

Here’s a great Six Step Strategy for increasing your opportunities to speak:

1. Tell everyone you meet and every person you know that you are a highly and continuously trained speaker on the subject(s) of “x”, and that you are seeking opportunities to speak.

2. Seek out and meet event and meeting planners, large company VPs of HR and Sales, and non-profit organization directors.

3. Speak for free anywhere locally, especially to churches, networking organizations, Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, and other associations. Use this as time to hone your message and your delivery skills.

4. Share your information in articles and blogs on your own website and on the sites of others as a guest writer.

5. Get better at public speaking. Believe in continuous personal and professional development.

6. Seek out and become an active participant in highly practical speaker services.

Ellen Dunnigan
Accent On Business
(317) 218-5115
ellen@accentonbusiness.net

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS
  • FriendFeed
advertisement