(972) 490.8676
The Best Networking Tip guaranteed to increase your impact

The Best Networking Tip guaranteed to increase your impact

The Set Up

I’m at my physical therapy (PT) appointment due to a recent knee surgery. More to the point, I’m lying on a work-out table on my side facing another PT patient lifting my bent knee up and down with a band on my thigh. He’s on his stomach stretching out his upper back. We’re quite the duo.

A selfie of Karen and fellow PT patient at Physical Therapy class.

Selfie of Karen & Chris @ our Physical Therapy appointments last week.

I say, “I overheard you work with finance companies in the insurance industry. Tell me more.” I continue my exercises, he continues his stretches, and we discover we have some clients in common.

At the close of this PT session he asks, “Do you have a card?”

“No” as I patted my empty gym short pockets. I say, “Let’s take a selfie and I’ll text it to you with my name and you text me back with your info.” (See said selfie here!)

The Close

Once we did this text exchange he said, “That’s a great idea. I’m going to do this selfie technique from now on.”

“Perfect!”, I respond. “It’s better than a business card. I now have your mobile number which is the ticket to finding you into perpetuity. Your email may change, your job and location may change… but you’ll never change your mobile number.”

Are business cards irrelevant?

No. Your card still serves a purpose. And your business card probably includes your cell phone. But, now you have the person’s pic and a text chat already happening.

The benefit for you

If you really want to stay connected to the person you’ve just networked with, take a selfie together, put your name on the text, and also add the contact’s name (spelled correctly), just in case your target does not follow through with the return text. Now you have the most critical info to stay in touch.

Take this networking idea all the way to the bank.


© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Photo ©:  Selfie taken by Karen @ Carrell Clinic Physical Therapy Center

Speaker Anxiety – reduce by handling The Energy Zappers

Speaker Anxiety – reduce by handling The Energy Zappers

A recent scenario: “I’m paralyzed by speaker anxiety”, said my billion dollar investment firm CEO, during one of our 1:1 meetings. He continued, “I’m lost.” I replied, “I’ll help you get found.”

We talked. We strategized. “Here’s one way to move from speaker anxiety to speaker comfort zone”, I said. “You can learn to understand and handle The Zappers.”

For all of you (and there are plenty of you) who have a smidgen to lots of speaker nerves, read on ➜

Who are “The Energy Zappers”?

The Energy Zappers are those people in your audience (of one to many) that are disengaged. You know the one(s)! They’re distracted. They may even be sleeping, heaven forbid.

Two Energy Zapper situations & how to handle them

Everyone is disengaged.

➜ Example: During a full-day limited-attendance workshop with a tech client I saw that the entire group of 15 began to text. It looked like they were texting each other. In this instance I read the room and stopped to ask what was going on. They said, “A server has gone down.” I said, “Let’s take a break now and try to solve this issue.” They did. Phew.

🎤 Tip – If everyone is disengaged you have a problem. Either find out what’s going on, or call us later to work on your content, organization and delivery.

A few are disengaged.

➜ Example: You’ve got lots of Energy Givers in your audience. They give you good eye contact. They nod. They even take notes! BUT there are those few that are on their mobiles, or nodding off, or multi-tasking while pretending to listen to you.

🎤 Tip – Remember Karen’s Speak For Yourself® Zen Phrase:

“You don’t know what emotional baggage your listeners bring to your table.”

Repeat this phrase to yourself when confronted with Energy Zappers. Please remind yourself that this disengagement is not your fault even though you might take it personally. How do you know what’s going on in their lives? They might be on a chemo regimen. They might have allergies and taking Benadryl. They might be dealing with any manner of personal issues. You don’t know! So don’t get sucked into a mental game of trying to rouse them from drowsy purgatory. Instead, concentrate on the rest of your room.

Back to my CEO client. I told him, “I taught college classes early on in my career. I got better at it, semester by semester, and my student evaluations let me know exactly how they felt about my teaching! Fortunately as time went on the evaluations improved. In fact I might have 3 negative vs. 75 positive reviews. Guess which reviews I fixated on?” He replied, “the three bad ones.” “That’s correct,” I said.

When you speak – remember my zen phrase and try not to react the way I did with my college evaluations. You’ll reduce your speaker anxiety by leaning into the positive energy and ignoring The Zappers!

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Photo ©:  123RF Stock Photo

6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

Emerging leaders beware: are you undermining your own authority without realizing it?

Here are 6 ways to exude confidence and appear to be a leader, according to U.S. News & World Report writer Alison Green.

🎤  Get in synch, up front, with your direct report.

Have alignment with your supervisor on issues facing your team and company. You will lose authority if your boss reverses what you are doing and saying.

🎤  Know how to answer questions when you don’t know the answer.

You will not know how to handle every situation that crosses your path. To respond with confidence in these scenarios learn to use time as your negotiating factor. Example: “You’ve raised some valid concerns and you’ve given me lots to think about. I’ll get back to you on Friday.” Note: follow up when you say you’ll follow up.

🎤  Reduce your verbal clutter.

Fillers like “um,” “you know,” and “I think,” dilute your point, make you look nervous and decreases your gravitas. Try to erase this clutter by being aware of what fillers you use and wearing your imaginary Verbal Clutter Hat. Hint: practice this de-cluttering technique in less stressful situations and the habit will carry over into your work life.

🎤  Be aware of your tone of voice.

Don’t end sentences with a question mark unless they’re questions! This bad habit, called “upspeak”, negates your authority. Also, use declarative sentences. These are simple statements providing information or stating facts. Your tone of voice implies authority vs sounding hesitant and unsure.

🎤  Use the Power of the Pause.

Sounds easy but it’s not! You rush to fill in the spaces. You might chatter nervously or do a quick laugh/giggle at the end of your sentences. Both belie your sense of authority. State your thoughts and then stop. When answering questions you can pause to formulate your thoughts before responding. Become comfortable with silence.

🎤  Be straightforward.

Say what you want to say, even in difficult or awkward conversations. You will appear more confident and authoritative by being direct. Addressing issues is part of your job.

PowerPoint Power Tips (hint – stop doing what you always do!)

PowerPoint Power Tips (hint – stop doing what you always do!)

Audiences rebel against PowerPoint

Have you ever gone to sleep at night saying to yourself, “Darn! I wish I had seen one more PowerPoint deck today.” ?

Have you ever gone to sleep saying to yourself, “Darn! I wish I had been more inspired today.”* ?

You, all of you, from CEO to Sales to Personnel to Purchasing, you are killing us with your PowerPoint.

That’s because bullets kill.

Five Main PowerPoint Offenders

  • Too many graphics on one slide.
  • Too many topics.
  • Too many bullets & too many sentences (which are worse than bullets).
  • Too many details.
  • Too many dissolves, spins or other cheesy transitions.

Every Main Offender on this list starts with “too many” because you are over-stuffing each slide. We do not know where to look first. In the midst of our confusion, we stop listening to you in hopes of being entertained by something on your slide.

Boredom + lethargy sets in and we shift over to what we really want to do – a sneaky wild round of Candy Crush Saga.

So, what’s a great slide look like?


Effective slides incorporate these three commandments

  1. Thou Must use good, clear (not copyrighted by someone else) pictures that support your message.
  2. Thou Must think ‘Less is More’ when putting your slides together. At the very least, can you please take one busy slide with many points and divide it into several slides so that each one has only one point/slide?
  3. Thou Must remember YOU are the presenter, NOT your slide deck. Don’t hide behind your PowerPoint deck – literally (you’re standing in the dark or hidden by your computer) and figuratively (you’re reading your slides and adding nothing else).

On the other hand, keep doing what you always do and Speak For Yourself® & Associates will remain busy cleaning it up for you!

Any exceptions?

PowerPoint can serve as a report for the judge, or a financial record for a publicly held company. Depending on the industry and the speech function the PPT must include all the data.

For most presentations PPT needs to be streamlined. OR put the detailed charts and graphs as an appendix.

*FYI, inspiration comes from stories that reinforce your message that can be supported by great visuals.

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Photo ©:  123RF Stock Photo


Silencing The Noise – how to communicate in a crisis

Silencing The Noise – how to communicate in a crisis

You now know that Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been diagnosed with cancer and she’s in the early stages of chemotherapy treatment.

The British Royal Family, according to the NYT, “focused so much on privacy they created the information vacuum that resulted in all this white noise and nonsense.”

Catherine silenced the noise.

Communication vacuums

A communication vacuum happens when a gap is allowed between what a person thinks others know and what they actually know.

Ed Pike writes in Leadership Wizdom, “Leaving a vacuum in communication invites your team to fill it with their worst possible nightmares or scenarios. Every nuance that you did not realize that you had made can be converted into a skyscraper sized monster.”

How to handle business communication vacuums

1️⃣  Be aware ➜  As leaders you must be proactive about how you communicate information. Are you leaving gaps?

2️⃣  Be timely ➜  Consider if you can pre-empt and get ahead of the storm. Tell what you know, and what you DON’T know – along with when you hope to share more info.

3️⃣  Be transparent ➜ Why? Uncertainty paralyzes your team and their performance. Fill the vacuum with as much info as you can to give your team predictability and a feeling of control.

With eloquence and gravitas Catherine, Princess of Wales, cleaned up the “dirt” in this vacuum frenzy.

How to Really Know a Person – Part 2

How to Really Know a Person – Part 2

Last week’s blog shared three ways we sabotage personal and professional relationships by being Diminishers, according to David Brooks, the author of How To Know a Person – The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen.

Today I’ll share some constructive steps that make it easier to see other people in all their fullness. Brooks call this an Illuminator’s outlook.

Illuminators: How to really see another person

➜ Receptivity – overcoming insecurities and self-preoccupation & opening yourself up to the experience of another.

Brooks says, “It means you resist the urge to project your own viewpoint; you do not ask, ‘How would I feel if I were in your shoes?’ Instead, you are patiently ready for what the other person is offering.” This art of patience and empathy is a practice to strive for.

➜ Active curiosity – having an explorer’s heart.

Keep asking questions with a genuine interest of wanting to know more about others. Studies show that life is better when you’re curious.

➜ Tenderness – deep emotional concern about another being.

Think Mister Rogers as he interacted with children. Think Ted Lasso as he relates to his players. Believe!

➜ A holistic attitude – trying to see the “all” of a person.

How often do we mis-see people by seeing only a piece of them? Brooks comments, “Some doctors mis-see their patients when they see only their bodies. Some employees mis-see workers when they see only their productivity.” Our goal is to resist every urge to simplify in this way of perceiving others.

Being an Illuminator is an ideal. We can all try our best to illuminate others without imposing cliché character types. Think about how this outlook can elevate your work and personal relationships.

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Pin It on Pinterest