Where It All Begins: Your Listeners

You can’t pass go, you can’t collect $200 (let alone $20,000 or $200,000 for your next initiative) if you haven’t gone through the first step:

That’s right. Rephrase your agenda to meet theirs, instead.

Since our goal is to influence others and to persuade them to take action, we can’t talk all about ourselves.

We must step back and ask ourselves some key questions about the audience. This is a critical first step in the process even – or especially – if you know your listener(s) well – for example, your team, your boss, or a key client. While you may have worked with them for years, and understand how they think about and approach a situation, that doesn’t mean that their same opinions, thoughts, and goals translate directly to another subject.

What should you say?

All depends on who’s listening.

 

Crisis Communication: Power of Your Voice

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Upspeak: Destroyer of Credibility

Invisible question marks – ending sentences on a higher pitch is a plague that has seeped from middle school girls into our business communications. Maybe even to yours. Taylor Mali’s Def Poetry Jam explains: I’ve witnessed upspeak at the highest levels of Fortune 100 companies, and I’ve heard it used … Continue reading

A Real MVP

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Commencement Speech: How to Rock It

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Establishing Executive Presence

The phrase “executive presence” is not new, but it’s gaining traction. I heard it referenced in seven meetings with executives from seven different companies last week, alone. What does it mean? It’s a way to describe confidence. Not to be confused with arrogance, demonstrating executive presence means showing that we … Continue reading

Influence with a Point of View

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Sneeze Season: How to Present When You’re Sick

A few weeks back I had to fend off cold/migraine as I gutted my way through a lengthy presentation. It would have been nice to reschedule. Sometimes that’s just not possible. You, too, may find yourself having to battle your symptoms while presenting. Beyond “drink lots of fluids,” here are … Continue reading

Green Means Go

Do you remember the movie Gone in 60 Seconds? Even if you remember it as a bad movie, it’s a good reminder about how quickly we can lose our audience. The first 30-60 seconds of our presentations, speeches or reports are always the hardest part. Physiologically, it’s when our hearts … Continue reading

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

I’ve heard over 100 presentations on philanthropy and giving. I spend a lot of time recording people speaking on video. Luckily, many of us are motivated to give back, and we want to urge others to do the same. This is not a complaint – instead, there is a great … Continue reading