professional communication advisors

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Speak Like an Executive

executive summaryPresenting to busy company leaders and clients requires us to shift our style of speaking from “details and conclusion” to “executive summary”. In a traditional Executive Summary in a business case, business plan, or white paper, the writer presents the key findings (or the conclusion or the “ask”) in the very first line of the document, followed by the salient facts and details — only the salient details. This is also the perfect guideline for your spoken word with busy executives.

Busy company leaders and client executives have little time and patience for details — and, really, they don’t need all of the details because those details are typically your job, and they count on you for that. Executives won’t and can’t take the time for a long presentation from you, full of details and reasoning followed by […]

Turn Up Your Influence with Science-Based Executive Presence [Infographic]

Ever wondered why some people get chosen or promoted over others despite the same level of work, preparation, or intelligence?

According to Deborah Gruenfeld of Stanford University, people make judgements about our competence within milliseconds. How do you prove yourself as competent and professional in that sliver of time?

It turns out there’s much you can control in how people experience you, even as you pass them in a hallway or stand in line for coffee. Scores of scientific studies have consistently pointed to three elements of “Executive Presence.”

3 Core Elements of Executive Presence

In short, Executive Presence hinges on three factors: Style, Substance and Character, accounting for more than 25% of the likelihood you’ll secure a prime assignment or leadership position.

  • Style: Includes how you look, how you carry yourself, how you sit at the table, your gestures, movement, and how you sound; in essence how you say what you […]

You Need to Be Heard!

Marley's Rental & StagingWhen was the last time that you went to an event that didn’t have technology? No microphones, no speakers, no event lighting, no stage, no screens? It was a pretty long time ago, right? Now, we don’t consider an event a success without the proper technology, or at least a microphone! We can’t even go to church without coming into contact with some type of event technology that looks professional and amplifies the messages of the speakers and performers.

A couple of weeks ago, we spent time with Markey’s Rental and Staging – an onsite event technology provider based right here in Indianapolis. Did you know they have a 30,000 square foot warehouse? It houses many different types of event technology – from microphones to lights to speakers to stages and scaffolds – Markey’s has a variety of all […]

Top Six Communication Skills for Negotiation

Negotiation is how we form partnerships and strategically place ourselves and our businesses in the right direction for growth and success. Because negotiation skills are important in every aspect of business, Accent On Business has a few tips on how to effectively communicate and negotiate with potential partners, clients, and colleagues while improving your executive presence.

Stories Add Spark

Recently we met with a new client, an insurance and benefits broker, who does important and serious work in lowering the cost of insurance by helping companies establish wellness programs. The broker needed to describe their unique selling proposition such that the target customer would want to switch insurance brokers. They were keen on telling target customers that the company would pay less for their insurance plans if the company’s employees were healthier as a group.

Don’t Cry Uncle!

WinterAccording to the Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, to cry (or say) uncle means to admit defeat and/or plead for mercy, especially in an informal physical contest of some kind.

It’s cited as an American phrase that came about in the early 1900’s attributed to bullying on the playground; however, there are also two other theories as to its true origin: Ancient Rome and 19th Century England.

The Roman theory suggests children who were in the throes of battle with a childhood bully were commanded to say “Patrue, mi Patruissimo” or “Uncle, my best Uncle” in order to be freed.  Uncles at that time were given the same level of respect and regard as fathers were, and therefore the cry “uncle” was a way for the victim to grant the victor high status.  The English theory states that it came from a joke regarding a […]

Not Your Average Piece of Toast!

toastThe number one question I’m asked when I’m discussing my role as a speech and communications advisor for Accent On Business is this;
“Oh! You are just like Toastmasters aren’t you?”

Sigh.

No, we’re not just like Toastmasters.  I don’t have anything negative to say about the organization, they provide opportunities to practice giving speeches in public and that’s a good thing!  However, we are so much more.

The next question inevitably is “But you teach public speaking right?”

That’s correct! Let me tell you what makes us different and uniquely qualified to assist you with what you need.  Our experts are nationally certified speech language pathologists, professors of story and rhetoric, veterans of communication in corporations, and scientists in mind and heart.  We’re focused on the expectations of the audience and the professional presence of the speaker. We’re concerned about the speaker’s well-being and […]

13 Tips for Hosting Perfect Panels

So you’re going to moderate a panel, congratulations! Your job is easy, right? Just show up and read the questions and smile a lot, right? Hold on, not so fast, the success of this event rests squarely on your shoulders.

Changing What Your Customers Think of You

Recently, the CEO of an IT company approached one of his disgruntled customers with a simple message: “I know you’re unhappy with our customer service over the past few months. I imagine you’ve developed some rather negative beliefs about us and I’m here to find out exactly what those beliefs are, so we can change them.” After the surprised customer delivered a detailed description of her beliefs and the experiences that had created them, the CEO surprised her again by saying, “These are not beliefs we want you to hold, so we’re going to create a whole new set of experiences for you—experiences that will lead to brand new beliefs about us.”

For the next several minutes the CEO discussed the new experiences that he and his organization were going to create in a determined effort to change the customer’s beliefs. For example, they would acknowledge the customer’s request for service […]

5 Big Deal Selling Tips

five image croppedThink back to the last time you had to make a big purchase, for example a new car. There were some obvious factors to consider such as price, quality, safety, and gas mileage and then you decided which minivan or Ferrari made you feel the best.

Then you paid attention to the salesperson. Which one did you like the best and trust the most?

Whether you’re selling a new product or your business is trying to promote a new service, the quality of the product is a given. It’s not just about the actual product anymore. It’s often about how “trustable” and likable you are. This speaks to your professional presence and public speaking skills.

People are more likely to buy a product from someone who is likeable and someone who demonstrated that down the road, when something does go wrong, it will […]

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