Showing posts from June, 2017

Speaking: How to Tell Stories Without Memorizing Words

One of the secrets of effective speaking is to be able to tell stories that make your point. Stories are much easier to follow, they have greater impact and they are more memorable to the audience. Ask someone in the audience later which parts of your talk they remember and it will always be the stories.

But stories can be undermined by clumsy delivery, so they are weakened if you fumble for words or -- eqully bad -- recite from a memorized script. By far the best way to tell any story is to tell it from the heart, remembering just the story and not the exact words. It might look like this comes naturally to some speakers but it is always the result of years of practice and a deliberate effort to master the art.

Anyone can learn to tell stories compellingly. Part of the problem is simply having enough speaking experience, and if you feel that you don't have enough the answer is to speak more often. There really is no alternative. You can't learn to speak by reading a book or …

Five Ways to Get More LinkedIn Connection Requests Accepted

Though I try to keep up with incoming LinkedIn connection requests there is still a backlog in my pending list. Some are probably spammers and some are just people who have no idea who I am, but there are probably some genuine requests in the list. Looking through the pending requests I realize that many of them would have been accepted immediately if the sender had made it clearer who they were or how our paths crossed. There are, in fact, five handy techniques anyone -- me included -- can use to make it more likely that connection requests are accepted immediately;

Personalize the connection message. By far the best way to get a connection request accepted is to personalize the message, clarifying why you want to connect and how you thought of the person. LinkedIn changes the interface regularly but at present the only place you have this option is when you send a connection request from the person's profile, not from search results. You should in any case always look at someone…

Speaking: Three Reasons to Use a Microphone

Watch behind the scenes at any event long enough and sooner or later you'll hear a speaker refuse the microphone, saying "That's ok, I can manage without it."  Perhaps they can 'manage', but they should still use the microphone for reasons that might not be so obvious.

People can't hear you. Maybe you could manage to make yourself heard at the back of the room, but this is in fairly ideal circumstances where everyone is quiet, the acoustics are good and you are using full power all the time. Reality is different. Even people standing still in silence still make noise. There are other noise sources, too, like air conditioner fans and equipment cooling fans -- maybe also traffic noise from the street outside. You might also start with a bold clear voice, but most likely you will not sustain it for the entire speech. And don't try asking people if they can hear you. Nobody ever says that they can't hear you. They might even say that they can, but the…