Whether you’re talking in a formal setting, or you’re chatting with your colleagues at a charity event, here are two quick ways to offend your listeners.
The First Way to Offend Others: Telling jokes. Yes, jokes can be funny and your listeners might laugh. Or not. Jokes are defined as a narrative with a funny punch line. The issue is the punch line. Some group gets punched – such as a political party, a gender, a religion, an ethnicity, or even a college. Your listeners comprise all of the above! Jokes can and do alienate the punched entity. Why take this chance?
The Second Way to Offend Others: Using funny stuff you have seen online. If you have read it online, so have 50,000 of your best buddies. You offend the originator (this is the other person’s intellectual property aka copyright infringement), and you bore your listeners.
I love to make my listeners laugh. Humor is a great way to make your message stick. When well-crafted humor can ease tension, add levity and create good will. Read our last blog on the secret to effective humor.
Reporters at Hebrew University of Jerusalem press conference.
Last week, in Jerusalem, I spoke at the “EINSTEIN 140th BIRTHDAY PRESS CONFERENCE—In His Own Words: New Documents Revealed”.
Media coverage spread across the globe from Reuters to The Newcastle Herald—Australia to The Shanghai Daily to World Israel News to The Guardian—Nigeria.
These 106 various articles discussed the unveiling of new manuscript pages and personal letters composed by Albert Einstein purchased by Hebrew University of Jerusalem which was co-founded by the famous scientist.
Q: Why was I speaking at this press conference along with Hebrew University’s Archives’ Academic Director Professor Hanoch Gutfreund and Dr. Roni Grosz, curator of the Einstein Archives?!
A: As the granddaughter of Einstein’s cousin, Lina Kocherthaler, I shared personal experiences of growing up and being related to Einstein.
Q: What does this have to do with YOU?
A: Everything! You may or may not be giving international press conferences; but, you are a leader in your profession and my simple formula (easier to understand than Einstein’s!) shows how to be heard above the noisy market place.
Your Strategic Formula to Get Above the Noise:
Show Up. Speak Up. Follow Up.
Answering questions during our press conference.
Show Up – You and your organization need to show up – physically and digitally. The market place will not come to you. Network, attend your association gatherings, be a part of your space in person and online.
For me, I was invited to a dinner in Dallas honoring Einstein’s legacy about two years ago. I showed up.
Speak Up – Once you show up, you must speak up. Many of my C-Suite clients hire us to work on how to speak up effectively. It’s not that easy! Do you have the skill set to “say a few words about X” when asked? Mark Twain once said, “It takes me about two weeks to prepare for a good impromptu speech.” Be ready to talk about your services, brand, or latest initiative; with clarity and charisma.
At that Einstein event in Dallas, I was asked to “Say a few words about Einstein and my relation to him.” Thankfully, I was ready and I had a great time sharing just under 4 minutes of info and stories.
Follow Up – Once you’ve shown up and spoken up, it’s time to follow up. Next steps to getting heard above the noise won’t happen without you taking ownership of this endeavor. Follow up with an email, a personal thank you note, a phone call, a gift, a personal introduction to someone else that might benefit the other person/group, or a positive comment on social media.
After speaking at the Dallas event, follow up included emails with one of the attendees, Elan Divon, from Montreal. He then invited me to speak at a spectacular event hosted by the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University held in Montreal. After this exciting weekend in Canada I followed up with Hanoch (fellow speaker at last week’s press conference) who attended this Montreal event. You get the point. From that connection I was asked to speak at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
You might think that my family legacy guarantees getting heard above the noise. And, admittedly, this Einstein connection opens doors. BUT without using our Strategic Formula these doors would have closed.
Show up. Speak up. Follow up.
Ps: A special thank you to Elan Divon, Ram Semo, Hanoch Gutfreund and my new friends at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for asking me to speak and for being great hosts in Montreal and Jerusalem.
You, all of you, from CEO to Sales to Personnel to Purchasing, you are killing us with your PowerPoint.
That’s because bullets kill.
The Five Main Offenders:
Too many graphics on one slide.
Too many topics.
Too many bullets & too many sentences (which are worse than bullets).
Too many cheesy images.
Too many dissolves, spins or other 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.
Audiences are rebelling against PowerPoint. No one goes to sleep at night wishing they had seen another PowerPoint presentation. But, your listeners might end the day wishing they had been more inspired. Inspiration comes from solid stories that reinforce your message that can be supported by great visuals.
So, what’s a great slide look like? It’s VISUAL.
Effective slides incorporate these three commandments:
Thou Must use good, clear (not copyrighted by someone else) pictures that support your message.
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 slide has only one point/slide?
Thou Must remember YOU are the presenter, NOT your slide deck.
On the other hand, keep doing what you always do and our Speak For Yourself® Company will remain busy cleaning it up for you!
President Obama gives his State of the Union tonight. It’s only appropriate for Speak For Yourself® to present a State of the Union as well. In this 2014 year you can look forward to:
Speak For Yourself® Added Programs:
DEAL MAKERS AND DEAL BREAKERS — The HEART of Persuasion and Negotiation
Learn how to bring your “A-game” to every deal, every time.
The goal of this strategic workshop is to equip you to enter a negotiation with an appropriate upper hand. You will learn how to negotiate like a seasoned master.
MONETIZE & PROTECT YOUR COPYRIGHTS AND TRADEMARKS — Corral Your CA$H Cow
This session will saddle you up to better protect, manage and fatten your cash cow, and help you avoid rustling others’ cash cows (unlawfully using others’ intellectual property).
Speak For Yourself® Added Learning Tool:
180 Rule for Powerful Presentations – Karen’s newest book!
What if there was a way to tap into your existing tendencies, not only to avoid giving a presentation, but to embrace your skills and strengths so your voice is heard and valued throughout your organization or project?
The 180 Rule is the vehicle to connect us to an innovative methodology that successfully leverages a natural phenomenon inherent in us all. Since the late 1940’s, studies have been conducted that explore a fascinating behavioral trait called the Negativity Bias.
Using these findings as a foundation, The 180 Rule for Powerful Presentations applies a process that allows you to present powerfully from the lectern, at a meeting, in your volunteer opportunity, or as president of an organization.
Order Online as an eBook or Print-at-home book at AMAZON.COM
Speak For Yourself® Added Webinars:
Watch for announcements of these 29-minute webinars that will be given throughout the year. Webinars will include:
CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF SPEAKING
Whether you own your company or you just started on the ground level, fear of public speaking can debilitate your visibility, your positioning, your gravitas. Learn how to channel your negatives (fear) to positives so you can speak with confidence every time.
LEAD AN EFFECTIVE MEETING
Want to be a sought after leader? Want people to come to your meetings without multitasking? Learn how to promote, organize, and run a meeting that gets your job done.
By now I know you’ve given me around 15 standing ovations. I am smiling and waving back to you, especially since there will be no rebuttal speech from some other organization! Even if there was a rebuttal presentation – we at Speak For Yourself could handle it!