Dunn’s inspiration originates from her sister, a special-education school teacher at an elementary school. Dunn’s sister observes, ““Some need a box of tissues, or they want to talk about a problem on the bus, and I’ll just listen.”
You might think that this question works best with school-aged children. But Dunn says, “It struck me that this question could be just as effective for adults.”
How often do you vent to a trusted colleague, friend or family member and all you want is to be heard, or maybe even hugged? In fact the last thing you want is advice!
The next time you are in the position to listen to your friend, family member or colleague think about these 3 “H” options: Helped. Heard. Hugged.
➜ By asking them this one question: “Do you want to be helped, heard or hugged?” you will then know how to navigate the conversation.
My best bet: you’ll be a great listener without providing any solutions unless solicited.
Whether you’re pumped or dreading your presentation, you, the speaker, must answer these 3 questions in order to engage your audience.
🎯 Question #1 to create buy-in ➜
Do you know what you’re talking about?
You answer, “Of course!” But, does your audience know that you know?
Tip: Share your credibility through stories. We call this “credibility sprinkles”.
Ex: “When I spoke to 900 home inspectors in California at their annual association meeting I asked them what ‘BS’ stood for and they shouted out ‘better service!’”
🎯 Question #2 to maintain buy-in ➜
Do you care about what you’re talking about?
You do not need to be a raging extrovert. In fact, introverts make great speakers.
Tip: You show your passion for your subject through your nonverbal actions.
Do: Smile, have good posture, exhibit effective eye contact.
🎯 Question #3 to go beyond buy-in ➜
Do you really know who you’re talking to?
Tip: Gather your intel.
Find out: Where is their pain? What makes them tick? What are they good at? Who competes with them? Where can they improve? What defines success for them? How knowledgeable are they about your topic? Experience range?
🎯 Your audiences are distracted, tired or deadline driven. AKA: Overwhelmed. Do them a favor. Nail these answers in order to share your value.
“You’ve run a very popular and expensive restaurant – that has your name on the door – for over 16 years… and it’s a competitive market here in Dallas. What do you attribute your success to?” asks the Dallas Morning News food editor to Dean Fearing.
Dean replies, “There are 3 components. First, consistency. We serve great food every day. Second, personability. I decided that I’d greet our customers at every table on a daily basis. I’ve done this from day one. Third, a great wait staff. We have a wonderful team at Fearing’s Restaurant.”
The parallels between Fearing’s top rated restaurant and 5-star communication skills
Consistency. Just like the expectations you have for a fine meal when entering a fine dining establishment, your team/board/stake holders expect you to communicate compelling content with clarity and confidence on a consistent basis.
Personability. You do business with people you know, like and trust. Let’s drill down on the word “like”. Be likeable, like Dean Fearing. Communicate with respect, listen with genuine interest and create an atmosphere of good will.
Leadership. Whether you run a billion dollar organization or you’re a solopreneur, you and your company represent and communicate your brand.
Once a year my daughter and I have an all-day spa date and one year we went to the Ritz Carlton. We began our day having lunch at their restaurant, Fearing’s. As we ate our delicious lunch, guess who came over to chat? Chef Fearing.
We are back with our annual selection of the best Super Bowl Commercial.
For starters, the Roman numerals for this year’s Super Bowl are LVII. Remove the “L” and you’re left with “VII” that = 7. And THAT is what a 30-second commercial costs these days: 7 million bucks (before adding in talent and production dollars)!
Drum Roll…. This year Breaking Good PopCorners commercial wins.
Use this list of strategies for your next board presentation, zoom meeting or project review all modeled in this commercial.
Self-deprecating humor. Laugh at yourself – it makes you more approachable. We will then want to listen to you. Our beloved Breaking Bad characters, Walter, Jesse and Tuco make fun of themselves and the original show throughout this ad.
Good story arc. Many of the ads tried too hard and became disjointed. You could not figure out what they were selling till the last second. Our Breaking Good ad reveals the product up front and the PopCorners take center stage.
Clear CTA. Eat PopCorners. In other commercials you had to really search for the product relevance & Call to Action.
Logical support material. Rather than have gratuitous celebrity placement our commercial gives us a great throwback to the Breaking Bad main characters and their van… which moves this story forward.
Strong finish. And they’re air popped, not fried. Now in seven flavors.
Real takeaways for you – find the humor, move your story forward with logic, add good support material that makes sense and create a clear message/solution. Finally, don’t get stuck in a van in the desert near Albuquerque.
“Keep in mind that simple does not mean effortless,” states Eric Kim, a NYT cooking columnist & bestselling author of Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home, in his article The Secret to a Better Green Salad.
Eric Kim’s comment has broader implications.
He’s also sharing the secret to a better speech! Simplicity is defined as the quality of being easy to understand.
You watch a presenter and you think, “That looks easy.” You might even believe, “I can do that too.” And… you can. We’ve worked with many professionals on how to present material in a way that looks easy while also being impactful.
Your recipe to appear effortless as a speaker ➜
Practice out loud (not in your head) to a live human being (not a dog). You think I’m kidding about the dog? Articles suggest that it’s easier to rehearse to Buttercup, your bull dog. No… it’s distracting, but I digress.
Know – exactly – how you will start and how you will conclude. Be able to say your beginning and ending even if I woke you up in the middle of the night to do this exercise.
Understand the nuances of your audience. Speak directly to their interests and concerns.
Use good stories, examples, metaphors and humor that make your message sticky. We call that “Velcro”.
Time your remarks and stick to your time limit given.
Be able to solve their issues or move their conversation forward. Otherwise – don’t do the presentation.
Have a clear message with a “return on investment” for your audience. This is your Presentation Currency 💰. You are selling the commodity called “time”. Is it worth their time to listen to you?
The secret to a better green salad ➜
I start with the best ingredient: organic lettuce grown by Jim Reisman @ our Star Ranch . For the rest of the recipe follow Eric Kim @ericjoonho !
Kathy and Ross Petras, brother-and-sister co-authors of “Awkord Moments” share some wise adds and deletes to your often-used phrases that will increase your executive presence.
Phrases NOT to say!
“For what it’s worth.” Replace with nothing. If it’s not worth saying you would not say it at all. Please.
“If you know what I mean.” Replace with nothing. You already know what you mean because you are saying what you mean!
“In my opinion.” Replace with nothing. It is your opinion!
“Needless to say.” Self-explanatory here. Stop saying this phrase!
Phrases that need a quick fix
❌ Weak: “I think this would”
✅ Strong: “I believe this would”
➜ Tip – Changing “think” to “believe” is a tiny tweak with a huge payoff.
❌ Weak: “I just wanted to touch base”
✅ Strong: “I wanted to touch base”
➜ Tip – delete the word “just”. Sounds apologetic.
❌ Weak: “Sorry”
✅ Strong: “Excuse me”
➜ Tip – Save apologies for when you need to own up for something you’ve done wrong. Use “excuse me” when your grocery cart runs into someone else’s cart, ETC. Kathy and Ross Petras ask, “Why say ‘Sorry to bother you,’ when a simple ‘Excuse me’ is shorter, snappier and less self-deprecating?”
Swap or delete these phrases to convey more executive presence, for what it’s worth.