Professional Communication

/Professional Communication

Purpose + Audience = My Action

Purpose: What are your purposes in presenting your idea? How is it good for your organization? Why should you be the one to deliver this message to your boss (or other targeted audience)? What do you want from this pitch for yourself and/or your team?

Audience: Knowing what you know about your boss (from the first two steps above), what do you expect from him or her? What are her questions going to be? What will she be concerned about? What amount of detail will he want? When is the best time of day to talk to him? What behaviors does he really admire from his employees? What does he loathe? What are the questions you hope she doesn’t ask – and what are the answers to those tough questions?

My Actions: Knowing your purpose(s) and your audience tells you the behaviors and actions you should display. What will be your actions […]

How to Land Your Dream Job, Position, or Project

partnership-526413_1280Most people spend a great deal of time and effort crafting a stellar message when trying to land their dream job or next great assignment. Professional credentials, experience, power words… these are all details we include in attempts to get the interest of a prospective employer. Not that this isn’t an important piece to the puzzle…it is… but there is more. Would you believe me if I said that if this prospective employer HEARD your pitch when they read it – even if you used exactly the same words – they would rate you above others and would be more likely to hire you?

A new study by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that when employers listened to job qualifications from prospective candidates, they rated the candidates as more competent, thoughtful, and intelligent than when they simply read a […]

Easy Steps to Winning the RFP

The last time your business development team submitted a proposal in response to an RFP to win new work -- was it accepted favorably? Was your company shortlisted for an upcoming interview or presentation to bid on the work? And when your team made their in-person presentation, did you indeed win new work? If so, congratulations – we hope you see that happen many more times next year!

The Power of One Great Question

One great question can elicit useful answers, move a relationship to a higher plane, or propel a business solution. The following tips can make you a more strategic communicator and get you noticed for your thought leadership.

best questions blog pic

  • Ask open-ended questions that stimulate thinking. Typically, these types of questions begin with “How” or “What do you think about…”  Note: too many “why” questions can make one sound confrontational.
  • Ask for the individual’s own ideas. This empowers the  person and makes him/her feel valued
  • Ask Interpretive Questions; “ what do you think about…?”
  • Dig Deeper. Instead of asking a leading question (“You think that was the best decision, don’t you?”), ask a deeper question, “Why do you think that?”
  • Start with what you understand, followed by what remains unclear. “I understand that we’re in a risky economy, but I think I […]

Power Pose

Body language affects how others see us, and it may also affect how we see ourselves. Social psyhcologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power pose” — standing in a posture of confidence for 2 minutes — can raise testosterone levels (your hormone that generates confidence), and lower cortisol levels (your stress hormone), and positively impact our performance and success.

Team Presentations

Companies present in teams often to garner high dollar sales.  In some ways, team and solo presentations are alike. Both rely on the same fundamentals—setting objectives, preparing, structuring, and then presenting with the right skills and techniques. But the similarities pretty much end there, and the recognition that you’re now part of a team becomes all-important. To be successful, a team presentation must come off as just that: a team presentation.

The team leader leads the team in deciding on the specific outcome(s) to be achieved. Most important, the team leader should guide, not dictate. The leader’s job really is to facilitate the process of deciding objectives and key messages. What response does the team want from its audience? If the team is successful, what will the audience remember about the team/company?  And what will happen because of the presentation?

The leader is also responsible for determining […]

2017-06-15T21:06:19+00:00By |Categories: Professional Communication|Comments Off on Team Presentations

Voice Conservation – Fighting the Winter Chill

Coughing from a cold can be very harmful to the voice. A "silent cough" technique can be easily taught to prevent the trauma from coughing.

Lizards Can’t Be Leaders

Have you noticed that lizards are never leaders?  Other reptiles or animals do not follow the lizard.  Lizards don’t even follow other lizards.  Instead, lizards seem to dart around following only their own genetic instincts for survival.  It’s impossible to be a lizard and a leader at the same time.

Each of us has a lizard brain.  A fight-or-flight, instinctual part of our brain called the amygdala.  It is part of the limbic system, a system known for being all about emotion, instinct, and decision-making, based on our feelings.  The amygdala portion of our limbic system kicks into high gear when we are stressed, overloaded, angry, and fearful.  An activated amygdala shuts down our brain’s center for higher thinking, the neocortex.  The amygdala hijacks our abilities to be rational, to think strategically, to see and hear all arguments about […]

What our clients are saying about us

Occasionally, I have a client ask for the chance to write about how we’ve helped him or her with their business communication skills.  This week, Curt Gosman from Now Courier shares his thoughts…

“I had been working with a client for about a month, providing nearly daily cost analysis of their in-house delivery vs contracting with us, when suddenly communication from them stopped and I became concerned.  After a couple of long weeks, I inquired and found there had been a personnel change, which of course would mean starting over from scratch.  Not sure what to do, I consulted with Ellen Dunnigan, my business communication advisor, who gave me the confidence and advice to contact the CFO.  Reluctantly, I called and was directed to a decision maker who was only slightly aware of their total company logistics need — yet at that very moment, was having a specific and pressing need […]

Email Communications: 10 Tips on making a memorable first impression

Practice these tips and I promise you’ll feel that your message was better received and understood. Not only that, increase your efficiency on making it through your inbox. Be Heard. Get Results.

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