• open panel

Four Techniques for Drawing Business Stories Out of Others – Part 4

I spent six years in the world of recruiting and learned behavioral interviewing questions back then.  The idea behind behavioral interviewing is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so ask the interviewee to tell you about their past experience related to important aspects of the job you’re interviewing them for.

Behavior based interview questions start with phrases like…

Tell me about a time when…

Can you give me a specific example of how you…

Describe a problem you’ve encountered with…

I know …

Read More
 

Four Techniques for Drawing Business Stories Out of Others – Part 3

When I first entered the world of professional speaking, I was taught by some wise mentors to interview a sample of future audience members.  Later I learned of other professional speakers who send out surveys to collect information about their audiences rather than conduct interviews.

I stuck with what I learned first, the person-to-person interviews, probably because I learned it first.

Then, I was doing interviews – for a magazine article not a speech – and wanted to interviewed two subject matter experts (SMEs).  I …

Read More
 

Four Techniques for Drawing Business Stories Out of Others – Part 2


The Catalyst Story
 

In the last post, we talked about the Business Story Producer which is a method to get people to start sharing business stories.  As part of the steps, you, as the person facilitating the group, should tell a Catalyst Story to activate the business story sharing.

 

Rather than mechanically running through the steps, let’s start with a Catalyst Story, then break down what makes for a good Catalyst Story.

 

My first professional experience was as an ensign in the Navy.  For those …

Read More
 

Four Techniques for Drawing Business Stories Out of Others – Part 1

Lately I’ve become obsessed with drawing stories out of other people’s lives.  Specifically, I want to help draw business stories out of organizational leaders and subject matter experts so they can use them in presentations and for training others.

I haven’t really found much written on the topic of pulling business stories out of other people – if you know of some good resources, please add descriptions or links to them in the comments below.

In an effort to see what people were doing, I approached a few colleagues I …

Read More
 

The Dirty Little Secret – Beta Blockers and the Fear of Public Speaking

The woman before me was a competent, intelligent, and normally confident person.  But the thought of public speaking, particularly to a group of executives in her company, drove her to take drastic measures.
1 – She hired me to coach her
2 – She spoke to her best friend who happened to be a physician about prescribing a med to decrease her anxiety
She shared with me what her doctor said — beta blockers are the dirty little secret that no one talks about.
Beta Blockers – Last …

Read More
 

Nervous about Presenting?

Early in my work coaching executives, one VP said to me, “I hate public speaking.  What I’m hoping is that you can help me get over my fear of public speaking.”

I was honest with her.  “There are things we can do together to make you feel more comfortable and confident.  But unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.  I can’t promise that you’ll ‘get over’ being nervous.”
No Magic Pixie Dust
A 2001 Gallup poll reported that 40% of Americans have a fear of public speaking.  …

Read More
 

Microphones

If you’re presenting in a relatively large room and you’re availed of the opportunity to use a microphone, use it.  Even if you think you’re loud enough, having your voice amplified makes the experience better for your audience.  Use the microphone for them.

If you’re not accustomed to using a microphone here are a few tips.

 
Lavaliere Microphones
I recommend the lavaliere microphone as it allows you as the presenter to move out from behind the lectern while leaving your hands free for a clicker and natural hand gestures.

Women …

Read More
 

Is It Ever OK to Cry When You’re Presenting? It Depends.

I watched a TED Talk recently in which the speaker, Dr. Peter Attia, choked up.  His throat caught as he appeared to be fighting back tears.  The emotions which surfaced were a mixture of regret, remorse and shame.  He came across as sincere and committed to the topic of this talk – challenging the way we think about diabetes and obesity.

Here’s his TED Talk.

 Is It Ever OK to Cry When You’re Presenting?  It Depends
While this ultimately has to be a question that each presenter must answer for his or herself, here are some rules …

Read More
 

Public Speaker Values – Kelly Vandever’s Personal Beliefs of What Makes a Good Trainer

I attended a couple of training programs lately as part of my own professional development.  I had vastly different reactions to the instructors who facilitated the different classes.

Instructor # 1 was exceptional – a role model, someone I’d want to get to know better and keep in touch with, and learn from.  She was just that good.

Instructor # 2 – drove me up the wall and across the ceiling.  The longer the class went on, the more frustrated I became.

As I reflect …

Read More
 

Presentation Challenge – How Do You Represent Data in a Meaningful Way

There are 2.5 million children in South Africa who are orphaned, living in child-head households.

Wait, what?  Child-head households?  I’ve heard of single parent household, child-head households, you mean…

That’s right a child, usually a teen ager, has to assume the head of the household because the parents are gone, typically, they’ve died of aids.

 

That was the conversation I had with my friend Lisa Calhoun with Ambassador Connections who has accepted a call to work with South African orphans over the next two years.  The idea of child-head households shook …

Read More