Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Analogies: Your Best Friend

by Narmeen Iqbal & Robyn Hatcher

According to Dictionary.com, an analogy is: “a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects”.

They are also your best friend when giving presentations and communicating with people. Analogies help listeners grasp concepts and ideas more easily. They help listeners mentally visualize the connection between one form of reasoning by interpreting it through another form of reasoning.

An excellent example of the use of analogy by a Marketing Professor at Indian Institute of Management (IIM). I compares marketing concepts to meeting a gorgeous girl at a party.  Like many effective analogies, this analogy uses a touch of humor. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

7 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd

What can you do to make sure you're winning people over in the new year? It can take only 2 seconds to make a first impression. And almost 90% of that impression is made through your nonverbal communication. But did you know that it can take up to 12 visits to undo a negative first impression! Here are 7 tips to make yours a good one. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Ask, Don't Tell Leadership

"The wise man doesn't give us the right answers, he poses the right questions." Claude Levi-Strauss

For years I've been leading a four-session training course, covering communication styles, giving and receiving feedback, time-management and people management, aimed at helping newly appointed leaders in a government agency develop effective leadership skills. 

In one session, participants mentioned how often direct reports come to them in crises wanting to be told what to do. The decisions made are sometimes life and death. So when direct reports came to the new leaders for help, they usually told them what to do and in some cases did it for them. Even though doing so was frustrating and distracting, the new leaders felt that “helping” their direct reports saved time and avoided trouble. But does it really? Or does it create dependent workers who don't learn to think for themselves and don't learn to trust their own decisions?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Ditch the Elevator Pitch and Embrace the Intro-mercial!

Words are powerful! 

When you think of a pitch, you think of someone throwing something at you or selling something to you. 

That’s why I coined the phrase Intro-mercial, a cross between an introduction and a commercial.  An Intro-mercial is short, concise description of yourself, your business, product, or service which will ENGAGE a listener and encourage them to take further action.

  Five Ingredients for a Tempting Intro-mercial*

 1.     Engage – Get their attention and their interest. DON’T START WITH YOUR NAME
a.       Ask questions,If you could design the perfect widget, what would it be like?”Do you ever have trouble finding the perfect widget?”
b.       State a statistic, “8 out of 10 people who buy widgets replace them within one year.”
c.        Tell a story “I bought my first widget in college and ever since then I’ve imagined improving their quality.”
d.      Use a relevant quote: “To widget or not to widget, that is the question.”
2.  Inform – Tell them what problem you solve; what need you fill. AND/OR what your mission, goal. or objective is.
3.    Assure – Tell them your experience/some results you have produced (examples, numbers).
4.    Seduce  Tell them what’s in it for themHow can you improve people’s bottom line,  save them time, money, or both? AND/ OR How can you make their lives better, easier, more enjoyable, or more successful?
          5.  Invite (optional) - Tell them exactly what you’re looking for and/or need. 

Click Here to watch Haiku Deck on Ditching Your Elevator Pitch!

Top Tips for Powerful Communication

1    60 to 80% of communication is nonverbal. Your visual and vocal message needs to be consistent with the words you are saying. If they are not, we tend to believe the visual and vocal over the verbal.

2      It takes two seconds to make a first impression, so you have to grab someone's attention fast!  

3     The tone and inflection of your voice is responsible for 38% of your message. Habits like – Up speaking, Drop speaking, and Whatevering weakens your message and make you sound less than confident.

4     PAUSE.  Give space in between your powerful points so people have time to absorb.  You can pause for up to four seconds,

5.      Gesturing is essential! Forget that old rule about not moving around.  Gesturing keeps people involved and improves audience retention. Move your hands in upward vs. downward directions.

Remember to think about what’s in it for them. People take action based on logic and emotion. Emotional appeals tend to have the most impact. When trying to engage your listener, connect your appeal to an emotional need your listener may have and think about what you have to offer them. Logic influences thinking, emotion influences decisions” 

Choose words that have power, impact, and imagery and compel the listener to ask you for more. 12 Most Persuasive words according to a YALE study: You, Money, Save, New, Results, Help, Easy, Safety, Love, Proven, Guarantee, Discovery.
 Learn to Speak YOU! – There is no one-size-fits all way. Discover and polish your unique communication style, something I call ActorType*, and cultivate an intro-mercial that is authentic to that style. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” - Judy Garland

 To take my ActorType assessment quiz, go to my website: www.SpeakEtc.com