(click for all of Ira's posts)
(click for all of Duane's posts)
(click for all of our posts from guest authors)
- Body Language and Gestures,
- Career Development,
- Customer Service,
- Elevator Speech or Mission Statement,
- Human Behavior,
- Marketing Communications,
- Messaging and Content Development,
- Networking and Relationship Building,
- Professional Speaking,
- Sales or Outreach,
- Series - Presentation Reviews,
- Social Media,
- Tip of the Week,
- Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship,
Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr youtube.com/user/IraKoretskySpeaker
Happy Lunar New Year or Happy Chinese New Year or Gong Xi Fa Cai. The Chief Storyteller® team wishes you a healthy and prosperous 2016.
Have you ever seen a stage without a podium? Likely not. And like all moths drawn to the light, most speakers are drawn to the podium. Instead, you should avoid them. Podiums:
- Create a physical and psychological barrier between you and your audience
- Force you to remain in one spot - behind the podium
- Block most of your body and therefore block your body language
- Are hand-arm magnets, with most speakers leaning and holding onto the sides of the podium
- Minimize your ability to move around, minimizing your ability to connect with your audience
In advance of your next presentation or training day, coordinate with the event planning team to a) remove/move the podium and b) have a lavaliere (preferred) or hand-held microphone available for you.
In honor of Dr. King and celebration of his holiday, here is one of our favorite quotes.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Polish-born British novelist, Joseph Conrad said, “He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, in the right word.”
Words are power. They stir emotions. They cause people to make choices. That’s exactly what you want to do—get your target audiences to act.
Magazines and newspapers write between the 8th and 10th grade levels. Why so simple? To ensure EVERYONE understands the message and content, as quickly as possible.
Reducing jargon and sentence/word complexity are key to enhancing engagement with your stakeholders.
Here are some suggestions to increase your messaging impact:
- Reduce jargon and acronyms
- Use shorter words
- Keep your sentences short. Keep them to a maximum of 15 words
- Use the free Readability Tools included with Microsoft Word®. Target 50 and above for the Flesch Reading Ease and target 10th grade or lower for the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
- Ask the opinions of people outside your organization and industry. Do they REALLY understand your messages? And appreciate them?
- Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Edit ruthlessly
Experiences are enduring. Experiences are shared by people in writing, in social media, in person, in email, etc. How do your audiences respond and share your messages?
Thom came to us as a successful 30-something ready for his next sales managerial role. After the meeting, he was pumped. He had all these great ideas to transform his ho-hum cover letter, resume, LinkedIn, etc. into exciting, tell me more experiences, stories, and bullets.
In fact, he was so excited and enthusiastic he wanted to send out the next version of his resume the very next day. We were scheduled to meet next week to review his updated materials after he spends time revising and obtaining feedback from his network and mentors.
After suggesting he send his resume to us for a quick review, he politely declined. We politely insisted. We knew he didn’t get anyone else’s feedback and certainly no one else did a quality check (e.g., spelling, grammar, format, white space, word choice, dashes consistency, etc.).
Thom emailed it. Among several things (see quality check items), this is what he had under his current position.
- Developed and executed the sales department. Supported a multi-national team of 12 sales professionals across five technical product lines.
We are embarrassed (a little) that we laughed loudly. After a quick telephone call to point out Thom’s mistake, he just didn’t see it. “What was wrong with what I wrote?” We had him delete the second sentence and just look at “Developed and executed the sales department.” He laughed. He asked that we not turn him into the police for murder (smile). Now he was convinced NOT to send it out until he obtained more feedback and at least two people helped with a quality review and we looked at it as well.
Whether it is brand new content on your website, a new YouTube video, a revised brochure, an updated LinkedIn® profile, and certainly your resume, please, please have some "outsiders" review the item. While a mistake isn't going to land you in jail, it may cost you a prospect? a client? or that job opportunity?