Tuesday, December 15, 2015

VIP (Very Important Presentation) Day!


A couple of weeks ago I met for four hours with a client to help her put together a presentation she's been struggling with. She had tons of great stuff in her head (and in MANY various PowerPoint iterations)  Been there?

The first hour was spent getting everything out of her head and onto flip charts (see photo) Then we reorder the information until we had a cohesive outline:  Attention Getter, Introduction, 3 sections of the body and conclusion.

From there we fleshed out bits and pieces of what more could go into each section and added that to the flip charts. We also pasted up parts from the PowerPoint she'd already had. By the end of our four hours, I had typed up a rough draft of her speech on PowerPoint slides so that she can work on them on her own -  fleshing out more and adding design elements. As part of her VIP  package, we will have one more hour together to walk through the presentation and polish any non-verbal skills (body language and vocal tone) and anything else that needs work.
It was a fun day and the time flew by. My client was grateful to have feedback and insight to help her create a complete, cohesive presentation out of all her great ideas and information. 
An athlete or musician may have all the raw material to excel in their field but a talented coach knows how to bring out the best in them and help them shine and succeed. I love doing a similar thing  for my clients.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

7 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd

With tons of holiday parties to attend and maybe some new contacts to follow up with in the new year, what can you do to make sure you're winning people over? Most of us know it can take only 2 seconds to make a first impression. And that almost 90% of that impression is made through your nonverbal communication - body language and vocal tone. But did you know that it can take up to 12 visits to undo a negative first impression! There's a lot of advice out there about how to network but here are 7 tips you may not be doing. 

It Feels Good to DO GOOD!



A few weeks ago I was walking down a busy NYC street near my house and two people at two different times stopped me and asked for directions. I knew exactly where they were trying to get to and guided them on their way. Afterward, it stuck me how “high” I felt. I could literally feel the endorphin (feel-good hormone) flooding through my brain. I smiled broadly, walked a little taller and felt this incredible sense of pride just because I was able to tell a tourist where Union Square was!

That made me think about what it must feel like to help people on a regular basis. I guess I was particularly sensitive to “do-good” feelings because in the past few months the universe has been sending a lot of opportunities my way that involve non-profit organizations. I signed a contract to work for the Girls Scouts USA, been asked to speak at a meetup group for Nonprofit Executive Directors (NED), do a keynote address for National Philanthropy Day in Hudson, NY and work with a large accounting firm that is focusing on consulting for non-profits.
There’s so much bad news being shared all the time. I want to:
  1. a) Focus on individuals and organizations who are committed to doing good.
  2. b) Stress how important it is for those who are “doing good”, to polish their presentation and communication skills so that those good deeds are heard loud and clear. 
Think about it, What good would it have done the people on the street if I knew exactly where Union Square was but was unable to:

1) convey through my presence and body language that I was trustworthy
2) convey in my vocal tone and facial expression that I was confident in my answer. And
3) Explain and describe how to get there in a way that they could understand.

Okay so helping someone find their way around NYC is not going to change the world but some of the projects that the 10 Girls Scouts I worked with just might. And if you’re interested in helping anyone, be it in the corporate world or in the nonprofit world, please realize that sometimes it’s important to get better at speaking well so you can do even more good.