Team in Training — for Communication

I’m guilty of waiting to floss until the day before my dentist appointment. Last minute rush to fix what needs to be fixed. I’ve spent the last few weeks at different company kickoffs, product rollouts and industry conferences to do a quick “floss” before they go live. But as my hygienist says to me, “That’s not ideal.”

It’s #3 on our list of the Five White Lies about Communication—“I don’t need to prep. I can wing it.” As leaders, our calendars are often booked back-to-back-to-back and it’s tempting to cross off all the small to-dos instead of focusing on the bigger issues. But it’s important to take the time to be intentional about things that make you better because you will see results.

I write this blog before the summer rollout of any kickoff, national sales meeting or company all hands. If your big meeting is in June, the time to start is now so that you can cascade your message to others whose plans might depend on it. Hundreds of people will either do or won’t do what you’re putting forward. How important is that to you?

Have you ever known someone who signed up for a marathon the day before because they think they can give it a go? It seems crazy, but it’s exactly what we do when we wait until the last minute to prepare for a high-stakes meeting.

In contrast, many prepare for a marathon or other big race with help of an organization like Team In Training, which provides a training program, timeline, coach and a supportive set of peers who all have the same goal in mind. In exchange, trainees fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

When you train for your communication—the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society won’t be the one receiving the benefit—but your audience will. Possibly more importantly, you, your cause and your influence will win if you train for your next big communication.

Are We Defensive In How We Communicate?

When is being on your heels a good thing? And by that, I mean, being defensive. We’ve all seen it before in sports, most recently in the Super Bowl. One team is up, and then there’s a momentum shift and the tide turns. I’ve had sleepless nights while coaching my 4th … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2016

What a year. The Olympics. A Presidential Election. So much noise this year – a colossal communications cacophony. What, then, stood out? The moments. With such a divisive political, economic and social landscape this year, we found that people heard what they wanted to hear, and we also felt it … Continue reading

The Top Ten Best (and Worst) Communicators of 2015

From the power of care and rapport to the sexy baby voice, what can we learn from the new breed leadership sweeping through business, pop culture, politics and sports? Each of the people on the 20th annual list of Top Ten Best and Worst Communicators of 2015 can teach us … Continue reading

The 5 White Lies about Communication

All too often, business communication sucks. Why? We’re not willing to look ourselves in the mirror when we’re not cutting it. We tell ourselves little white lies to make us feel like, “Hey, it’s not so bad.” But if you really want to be a better communicator, then it’s time … Continue reading

The Audience Only Gets What You Give Them

The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” was actually a Captain Kirk mask, painted white, due to low budget. Did you know that? I sure didn’t – I was so darn focused on how frightening he was. (Although after reading this fact on an airplane, I couldn’t … Continue reading

How to Rock an Acceptance Speech

Every time you speak, you create an experience for your listeners – whether they are your colleagues, kids, PTA or soccer team. In the case of Oscar acceptance speeches, it is no different. What is said and how it’s said combine to create either a this-is-a-great-time-for-a-bathroom-break or a riveting, tear-jerking, … Continue reading

The Life of the Panel

So many of our clients inquire about how to lead a panel, how to be a part of a panel, and/or how to be a moderator. We’re always looking for examples, and when you can – follow the example of a rock star. When Bill Clinton was late to a … Continue reading

What Do I Do with My Hands?

You’re standing at the front of a room of people. All eyes are on you. You know your content – phew. But there’s a nagging question that jumps to mind… (cue the video, below) We don’t advocate the politician gesture, and we’re not out to make everyone in business into a … Continue reading

Lightening Up!

True or False: To be taken seriously, you have to be serious? False. People buy on emotion and justify with fact. Whether we’re presenting at a quarterly business review (QBR), in front of your board or simply touching base in a one-on-one meeting, we have to be light! But don’t just take … Continue reading