Category Archives: Blog

Boost Your Resiliency

Are you or your colleagues feeling stressed? Would it be helpful to get a booster dose of Resilience Skills? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Over the past 6 months we have noticed an increase in the number of inquiries about Resilience Training – from health care workers, to large companies, to branches of government – it seems that everyone could do with a booster dose of resiliency. Ask us about how a One Day Resilience Training Session can help your team grow attitudes, skills and knowledge that impact your resilience at home and at work.

How to Deliver a Stand-Out Presentation While Seated

Do you make more presentations sitting down versus standing up? Wonder how to highlight key points while seated? Not sure what to do with your vocals when delivering over phone or computer? These questions are frequently asked of our expert Presentation Facilitators when we work with companies to grow their teams’ public speaking skills.

These days, many professionals deliver presentations via webinars, phone calls, or in small meeting rooms where sitting down makes more sense. So how do the stand-up delivery skills work in these sit-in situations? Turns out that all the speaking skills that are traditionally used in a stand-up forum are transferable to a seated speaking engagement, with some adjustments. For example, eye contact is just as important sitting down as standing up; even more so when you are in a small intimate meeting space. So use your eyes to connect briefly with each person around the room. Similarly, gestures are important for stressing key points, and changing the pacing of your verbal remarks. While your gestures may be smaller in a boardroom versus a ballroom, the same principles of delivery are important to consider. Think about your timing, your gesture zone, and your placement of your hands; keeping your gestures above a meeting room table is key to ensuring people “see” your message.

What about your vocals? Think you can forget about varying your pitch, your pace, your projection or your passion? Definitely not; a boring, monotone presentation is killer especially if you are speaking via teleconference. So remember the importance of varying your vocals, changing your pitch, adjusting your projection and emphasizing key words while seated. It will be the difference between a mediocre presentation and a great one!

Bottom line, if you deliver presentations seated or standing up, it is extremely valuable to learn how to use expert performance skills such as eye contact, vocals, body language and gestures. Check out our Powerful Presentations training course for a good overview of speaking skills that deliver – whether you’re sitting down or standing up!

How to Boost Your Resiliency

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work? Too many projects on your To-Do List? Or, are you feeling out of step with your workload and home tasks?

It’s easy to discover that the juggling act we often call “Work-Life Balance” gets out of wack. It may be that there are a lot of stresses in one or more areas of your life that are getting you down. Professionals who work full time and run a family or home life often report feeling stressed keeping it all together.

Do you need a jump-start for your Resiliency? Here are three tips that can help you feel better at work or at home.

  1. Focus on your Successes. Remember to take stock of all that you are accomplishing. This might be itemizing a list of actions or tasks you have taken toward a goal. Or even something simple like cleaning off your desk so you feel more organized. It is better to count your successes than your failures; you’ll feel more capable to move forward in a positive way.
  2. Find some Supporters. Surround yourself with friends and colleagues that you trust, and with whom you feel nurtured. Spend some time with them over lunch or coffee break to get a boost of their energy. Depending on the situation, ask them to let you chat for a few minutes about what’s stressful in your life, then brainstorm a few supportive steps in the right direction.
  3. Change your Scenery. If you are feeling overworked, or overwhelmed staring at your computer screen, get out for a walk. Pick a green park or waterfront trail; somewhere that you can be in nature. Take this opportunity to shift focus, breathe and appreciate the beauty of nature. Taking a 30 minute walk can change up your internal landscape enough that you will return to work with a renewed perspective.

It’s easy to find yourself feeling dissatisfied, or stressed or overwhelmed at work. Most of us experience these ups and downs from time to time. The real question though, is what are you going to do about it? Try these three tips to shake up the situation so that you can reclaim your innate resiliency at work, and at home.

Boost Communication Skills for a profitable New Year

Ready to grow your professional skills as we hit another New Year? A quick survey of top professionals in the communications field identified that three skills can help you to to grow your professional mastery, no matter the industry. These three skills include:

  1. Improve your Presence
  2. Improve your Presentations
  3. Improve your Listening

All three of these skills include a combination of self-awareness and relationship awareness, cornerstones of EQ otherwise known as emotional intelligence. They also involve communication skills. No matter what industry you work in it helps if you can improve how you relate and interact with others. You can build these three skills by reading books, taking an onsite training course and setting attainable goals. Focus on improving your communication skills as you head into the new year and you and your career will benefit. Learn more by looking at the many free tools and onsite courses offered through Bold New Directions.

How To Grab Your Audience’s Attention From The Start & Improve Engagement

As a presenter or public speaker, the first minute of your remarks is the most important.  It’s the time to grab your audience’s attention, establish credibility, and let them know what to expect. Your introduction is one of the most critical elements of your talk and it can literally make or break your presentation.  Experienced speakers know that a well-crafted opening is worth its weight in gold. How can you make your opening remarks stand out from the crowd?  Try these three strategies below.

 

Get the Audience’s Attention

Say something interesting right away. Don’t waste time focusing on housekeeping details, off-color jokes or even your name; instead get the audience’s attention immediately.  Here are a few speaker strategies that can help:

  • Share a compelling statistic.

Statistics that point out an important issue help you captivate audience attention.  They make an impact and persuade the audience to listen.  Statistics can also help people understand the magnitude of the problem or opportunity at hand.

  • Provide a powerful quote.

Think about some of the great leaders of the world and see if there is a quote that relates to your topic.  There are some amazing quotes that are compelling and speak to an audience.  Choose a quote that is relevant to your topic and provides meaning about what you are going to say.

  • Make an outrageous statement.

A good hook is one that gets the audience engaged and makes them want to hear more.  You can make an outrageous or provocative claim such as, “Everyone in this room has one thing in common…we are all dying.”  While you may not agree with the comment, it certainly engages the audience and gets them to listen to your next remarks.

 

Weave a Compelling Story

Now that you have your audience’s attention, make your intro even more compelling by sharing a real-life story.  Storytelling is an extremely compelling tool for a public speaker.  Most people are interested in the experiences of others; and want to learn about humankind.  Stories teach us lessons and remind us of our own lives.  You can tell a personal story that will give audience an idea of your own experience with the topic. You can also share a story about a third party to convey a point. Storytelling is a powerful way to captivate listeners and convey a message about your topic.

 

Use Props or Visual Aids

We are all familiar with the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  That’s because images grab our interest, create imagery and evoke emotions.  They are also wonderful tools to make an important point. You can use a short video clip or series of images.  You can also use a prop such as a shovel, clock, arm-chair or shopping bag – as long as you can tie it to your topic.  I have seen speakers use sneakers, back-packs and chewing gum to connect stories and inject humor into their remarks.  Think about what props could be symbolic to your story-line and weave them into your next presentation.

 

Summary

Making use of all of these devices will not only help you create a compelling introduction but will allow you to entertain people throughout your remarks.  And that’s a great way to create a compelling presentation.