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Rock Your Unglamorous Work!

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things I secretly love (well, not so secret now that you’re reading this) is when I’m in a public gathering and for whatever reason, someone asks the military veterans in the room to stand and be recognized.

OH MY GOD, I LOVE TO STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED AS A VET! Yes, I’m extremely proud that I served my country…but I also dig that I’m one of the few…and sometimes the only…woman who’s standing. The look …

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Your message should be heard and seen

by Tom Nixon

There is a magical, left-brain/right-brain effect that using words plus images can have on your communication efforts. The words and logic appeal to our need to have the facts and to reason our decisions. At the same time images can build passion, emotion and feelings.

Effective salespeople know the value of appealing to emotions while at the same time helping their clients justify their decisions with logic. That is why you must sit in a new car in the showroom (and …

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Beware the Laser Pointer

by Bob Goodyear

“I feel like a dog.”

Have you ever watched a dog, maybe YOUR dog, chase that wiggly red dot of light from a laser pointer? Isn’t that great fun? Have you ever wondered what the dog is thinking after a while when it can’t ever catch the dot? I think I may have an idea about how a dog might feel after attending a technical presentation given by a product manager.

The presenter had a wireless presentation remote. It’s a best practice that presenters should have a …

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The Gulps and the Good of Seeking Feedback

by Claudia Brogan

It is highly tempting to live inside a little bubble about how we’re doing when delivering our presentations. It is just so appealing to use a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to how things are going, so we just leave well enough alone.

I happen to believe that we can each keep getting better each time we speak: as we polish our skills and practice our delivery, we can strengthen and fine-tune our abilities as a speaker. Tempting as it may be to stay in our comfort zone, …

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Give Your Employees Permission to Speak – Then Prepare to Be Amazed!

by Kelly Vandever

I’m passionate about giving employees permission to speak and engaging your staff to speak up. I’m passionate because I’ve seen the impact on employees and on business results.

Here’s the story of how I came to believe so strongly in giving employees permission to speak.

 
The Problem: Processing Travel Claims
At my second duty station, we processed all the travel claims of military personnel who transferred to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for a permanent assignment. We also processed travel claims for those who had to …

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Rock Star

by Tom Nixon

This slide could be a call-out to a valued employee at your next staff meeting — recognizing her hard work and bravery above and beyond.

In this case it is my wife, Shirley, the Rock Star, during our recent trip to Havasu Falls at the Grand Canyon. She is standing on a rock ledge overlooking a straight drop of at least a million feet (I was much too anxious to get that close).

A simple slide like this shown to your employees says so much more …

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Simplify the Complex

by Bob Goodyear

In today’s world, information is more readily available to everyone than at any other time in history. A simple search on the internet can find everything from a great chocolate chip cookie recipe to the mapping of the human genome. This ability is a great thing for all of us.

As speakers, many times we want to include everything we know into our presentation and we make it very complex. There is a speakers’ maxim that we need to follow though to be more effective. …

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An Invasion Heading Toward Us

by Claudia Brogan

Watch out, grab your sturdy helmet, prepare to take action: there is an invasion coming. And it’s affecting public speakers and presenters nearly as frequently as newscasters and pundits.

Yes, that’s right. There is indeed an invasion going on. And I like to call it The Invasion of Over-Used and Unneeded Phrases.

Beware. These phrases and tired words can sometimes sneak into your presentations when you least expect them. Perhaps this might happen to us during our speeches, when we’re trying to sound well-educated and intellectual. Or …

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The Leadership Balancing Act – Professional vs. Personal

 

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things that makes leadership difficult is that it’s not a matter of “do these three things and you’ll be a great leader.” Leadership is very nuanced. Leadership is adjusting to dichotomies that both need to be true. Leadership is a balancing act.

Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at what that balancing act looks like for leaders and give you some thoughts on how you might deal with the gray that comes from your leadership role.

The first of these topics…maintaining a …

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To be an Expert or a Master

 

by Tom Nixon

World-class speaker and business consultant Alan Weiss has said, “Give Me a Double Axis Chart and I Can Rule the World.” That may be overstated a bit but when done carefully these charts can be immensely valuable.

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart represents a core component of my “How to Do PowerPoint Right” Workshop. It is a build slide with each component revealed as I …

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