public speaking advisors

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Hone Your Listening Skills To Boost Your Career

Good listening is crucial to effective communication and career success. However, only about 10% of us listen properly. Most of us don’t know how to listen intelligently, systematically and purposefully.

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Think about your most recent conversations at work. If you remember what you said better than what you heard, you’ve probably developed some pretty bad listening habits. Instead of really listening, you let your mind wander while others were talking. You were thinking about what you were going to say before the others had finished. Poor listening can cause snafus in the office such as missing important appointments, misunderstanding directions, misinterpreting valuable suggestions or addressing the wrong problems.

There is little doubt that disgraceful listening habits have hindered many managerial careers. According to several estimates, about 45% of a manager’s typical day is spent listening. Some managers believe they earn up to 60% […]

Sell Your Point with Stories

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The old saying goes that some pieces of information just “go in one ear, and out the other.” Did you ever wonder why? It could be a number of things: you haven’t had your coffee for the morning, there’s a rock in your shoe, or maybe that the person you’re listening to is saying things that just aren’t memorable to you. But a story could definitely help in making that message stick.

Good salespeople need stories to sell their products or services. For instance, you might be in a meeting and the speaker standing in front of you is talking about logistics. If you’re not in that business, you’re probably thinking to yourself “What on earth is logistics?” The speaker then states that logistics is essentially a courier service for whatever your company’s product is. He says that they will be the best […]

Every King Needs A Court

unnamedExecutives often spend “windshield time” and even scheduled time crafting the words they will use to convey their vision. With so much time spent on what to say, why is it that we often have to repeat ourselves two or three – or ten – times before we get everyone in the office “on board”? I’ll tell you why: it’s not just about what you say; it’s how you say it that makes the difference. Content represents only 7% of what people remember after they have heard you speak. The bulk of what people understand (93% of it, actually) is conveyed through your gestures, the eye contact you make with the crowd, your body language and movement, and your tone of voice. Does your body language and tone of voice “say” what you want it to say; what you intended?

Content is king and […]

How Do I Hold this %&$#! Microphone?!

Last time we started our “Top Tips for Your Next Speaking Engagement”.  This is Part 2 of better microphone usage:

  • Microphones can be handheld or lavaliere—the kind that clip to your clothing.
  • When using a handheld mic, make sure it doesn’t block your face. You want your audience to see AND hear you.
  • Hold the handheld microphone six inches from your mouth so that it picks up your voice clearly, but not close enough that your lips make that “popping sound” or  result in feedback, which hurts your listeners’ ears.
  • Avoid bumping the mic, as it causes feedback.
  • Lavaliere mics can be wired or wireless. If you’re using a lapel or lavaliere microphone, make sure that you place it six inches from your chin.
  • Clip a lavaliere mic to the center of your shirt, blouse, or tie at about the level of the […]

Winning the High-Stakes Presentation

Do you have the skills, knowledge and style to give a high-stakes presentation in front of your target audience? Professional coaching, and more specifically, laser-focused coaching, can make all the difference in the world when it comes to success in public speaking. Accent On Business specializes in providing the training you need to score a win in all your public speaking engagements, including those high-stakes presentations!

The Bottom Line: Re-stating Your Value

Here’s food for thought: when you meet with senior management in your organization, do you know what to say? More importantly, do you know how to say it and when to say it? If not, then you may be selling yourself short when it comes to stating your value to the organization.

For junior executives in particular, learning how to speak to and with upper management is an invaluable skill. In fact, communication skills coaching in this precise area is one of the most frequent requests from Accent On Business clients.

Getting the results you want in the boardroom and similar settings can mean the difference between being “listened to” and just “being heard.” Likewise, senior managers want to know that you are listening to them and that you understand their message.

Consider the example of one of our “executive communication skills” success stories, who we’ll […]

Before You Speak – Get It In Writing

contract-408216_1280Picture this:

There you are…taking the stage with authority and confidence, about to deliver the speech you’ve spent months honing. You made the investment in professional coaching, you discovered your authentic voice, and you rehearsed your presentation from one end to the other and back again. You’ve finally arrived at this auspicious day. As you look out on your audience and prepare to utter the first words of your speech, it hits you….you are officially a professional speaker! But wait…..are you really, or are you just “a speaker?”

“What’s the difference,” you may ask.

That’s easy! A professional speaker uses a contract – always!

Now, it may seem obvious to state such a thing. But frankly, many speakers forget to include this essential communication tool in their speaker’s kit. This is particularly true for individuals who are just getting started in the business of giving public […]

“Becoming the Best at What You Do”

 

award_2743486bHere at Accent On Business, we work with clients from many different professional and personal backgrounds. Whether they are doctors, salespeople, junior executives or administrators, our clients come to us with needs as diverse as they are. Some seek to improve their presentation skills, others are looking to overcome a fear of public speaking, and still others simply want to improve their overall communication skills or create a memorable “elevator speech.” In the end, however, all share a common bond – to be the best they can be at what they do. Recently, one of our regular clients did just that and he wrote us to share news of his achievement.

Tom Barrett, owner of Green Water Infrastructure and an Accent On Business client in 2009, was honored with his industry’s highest recognition. The Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA) bestowed its prestigious Award […]

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