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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

4 Tedious Conversation Topics to Avoid

4 Tedious Conversation Topics to Avoid

Roman sculpture of a face with a water spiget placed where the mouth is.

Know when to turn your faucet on and off!

Your Speak For Yourself® guide

Conversation topics that can best be handled with Zen minimalism

Don’t be the one that shares too much detail on subjects with limited interest to others.

🎤  Tedious Topic #1: Your driving mishaps

🤯  You have a wreck. Or you almost have a wreck. You delve into the details. “I was in the left lane on Northwest Highway, going west, and this other guy who is two lanes over veers into my lane…” Stop right there! We are already lost trying to figure out where you are.

✅  Try to pare down the details and say, “I’m shaken by an almost wreck last week. I got lucky.”

🎤  Tedious Topic #2: Your technology hassles

🤯  Technology – you can’t live without it, and sometimes you can’t live with it! Your Wi-Fi goes away, your calendar doesn’t sync, you get to the last step and the system doesn’t accept your zip code. I won’t even mention worse tech nightmares. Stuff happens. And the less you tell us the better. It’s horrible for you and boring for us.

✅  Try saying, “I’m having tech issues. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s been a bad Monday morning!”

🎤  Tedious Topic #3: Your medical challenges

🤯  “First I had a twinge of pain on the back of my left knee. It hurt whenever I took a step. Then …” Stop!  “I take xxx for high cholesterol, yyy for high blood pressure and zzz for insomnia, and my test results were …”  Stop! Too much info!

✅  Try being very broad and make sure you have empathy for the other person’s situation. Say, “It’s been a rough time but it’s temporary. It makes me even more aware of your strength in dealing with your [fill in the blank] chronic issue.”  Or, “I have good days and bad days. I’m taking this one day at a time. Thanks for asking.”

🎤  Tedious Topic #4: Your vacations

💤   Do not give us a day-by-day rundown of your itinerary, meals and adventures. It’s boring.

✅  Try picking one story of something that went wrong! While that sounds counterintuitive, we love to hear how you handled a travel snafu. We can relate and it helps us figure out how to handle calamities on the road or at home. Plus, good stories include conflict.


Only go into detail if your listener keeps asking questions. Their interest stems from having similar experiences. They had a wreck in the exact same place as you. They have a very similar medical experience or they’re going to the same vacation destination. Or they are your beloved family and friends who really care. Talk away.


  • You and I have made all of these errors… sharing too much detail/pain/aggravations on these topics.
  • Why? We want you to share in our pain and joy.
  • Try the Zen approach going forward. I will too.

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

Photo taken by Karen in Rome, Italy

Attention Crisis – Best communication antidotes to get heard above the noise

Attention Crisis – Best communication antidotes to get heard above the noise

I planned to write this blog an hour ago. But Cyber Monday got in the way. I’m distracted by a great deal!

Welcome to your world.

Did you know that your attention span now trades on the open market?

Graham Burnett, Alyssa Loh and Peter Schmidt write in the New York Times,

“Increasingly powerful systems seek to ensure that our attention is never truly ours… We are witnessing the dark side of our new technological lives … Vast quantities of high-pressure media content are pumped into our faces.”

You know this because you too are distracted by emails, breaking news and discounts.

This guest opinion NYT essay goes on to share, “You are lucky these days to get 47 seconds of focused attention on a discrete task.”

How do you get heard above the noise when you only have 47 seconds?

  • Be unique from the get go. Do not begin a meeting, presentation or even a Linked In post with generic pleasantries. Start with a startling statement, a story, a quote, or a solution to a problem targeted to your listeners.
  • Tell good stories – in a speech, at your holiday party table, or in the hallways at your next conference.
  • Schedule carefully. Place your presentation mid-morning if possible. Caffeine has been injected and your digital life is under control.
  • Insert breaks – if you’re talking for more than 90 minutes.
  • Mix it up. If you’re giving a presentation of any length keep your content moving and include your audience in nonthreatening ways.
  • Be organized. Tangents will kill you.
  • Use humor. Carefully. I’m not a fan of jokes because you might alienate others. Use self-deprecating humor. One time my computer blew up. Another time someone stole it. Painful then, funny now … and lessons abound. (Always bring a backup and put your info/ppt in the cloud.)
  • Bribe often! I always throw snickers into the group to bring home the point that we need to snicker/chuckle more. Take your work seriously, take yourself a little less seriously.

Catching a small piece of chocolate – perfect attention crisis antidote!

The #1 best phrase people who’re good at small talk use

The #1 best phrase people who’re good at small talk use

You’re headed into this holiday season. You’ll probably encounter extended family and friends. Your conversations will start with small talk, defined as “polite and standard conversation about unimportant things.”

While small talk might seem trivial, it can net big benefits – around the holiday table and in your various business settings.

This initial type of conversation can help drive richer connections by finding common interests while also demonstrating empathy. At the very least you’ll gain more insights about the other person.

How do you do this?

According to Matt Abrahams, author of “Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You’re Put on the Spot“, use this power phrase: “Tell me more.”

“Support responses” vs “Shift responses”

Abrahams defines these two types of responses. “Tell me more” is a support response. You are supporting what the other person says. You are inviting the other person to keep expressing themselves. You are winning the gold medal of active listening.

“Shift responses” create the opposite outcome. You shift away from the other person and hook back to your own agenda. In essence, you hijack the conversation.

Example: “We really had a rough travel day! Got stuck in Chicago for 3 hours and missed the connection at DFW.”

Support response: “Tell me more.”

Shift response: “You think that was bad, one time we were going to JFK but landed in Philadelphia because JFK flooded!”

You might have a great story about your JFK/Philly calamity but you’ve shut down the other person.

Other “support responses”

In addition to the best response, “tell me more”, other support responses include asking more questions about the details of the event or the emotions around the event. “What happened next?”  or  “Did that make you go crazy?”  or “How did you handle that?”

When to use “shift responses”

You don’t want to sound like you’re doing a legal deposition either! There does come a time to share your own anecdotes and experiences.  Give and take conversations create more meaningful encounters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, as you head into the holiday season remember that information talks and wisdom listens. Use more “support responses”.

I am grateful for your support of this blog!

source: CNBC: https://apple.news/Ayem5YVoMQE2jk2m-SMYvjQ

How to Remember Names – 4.5 Strategies

How to Remember Names – 4.5 Strategies

What’s the most important word to gain your listeners’ attention?

Their name – spelled the way they like it spelled and pronounced the way they like it pronounced.

You exclaim, “I’m horrible at remembering names!” My answer, “You don’t have a Name Recall Chromosome. It’s not in your DNA. To remember names takes energy.”

On a recent fun expedition cruise to the Galapagos Islands I was reminded of this name recall skill set. Juan Carlos, one of the naturalist tour guides, met me on Day One. On Day Two he said, “Good morning Karen. Ready to go on the lava hike?” While excited about the hike, I was beyond impressed that he remembered not only my name, but everyone’s on the boat. That’s 100 people!

Juan Carlos – Galapagos Islands Nature Guide

Here are the 3 name recall strategies used by Juan Carlos with 1.5 bonus tips from me.

1 Takes100% concentration

2 Repeat the name

3 Associate the name with some facial or physical feature of the person

Juan Carlos said, “Karen – it’s a matter of will. I just tell myself, ‘I’m going to learn these names.’” I responded, “You’re right. I tell my clients that name recall is an active vs. passive event.”

My 1.5 Bonus Tips:

1 Don’t introduce yourself to new folks up front, OR ask them their names at the beginning of the conversation. Why? You will have a better chance of recalling their names IF you know some factoids about them. After some introductory conversation THEN share your names.

1.5 Throw them a bone. How many times are you in a conversation and don’t remember their names but you’ve been introduced too many times already. You can’t ask again! In reverse, you might realize that the person you’re talking to is in the same quandary with YOU. So, give them the gift of saying your name in the conversation. Like, “Just the other day Jim said to me, ‘Karen – you should write another book.” You’ve just shared your name and your partner’s name. If the listener is paying attention – they now have The Most Important Word to gain traction. Done.

#Communication   #KarenCortellReisman   #speakforyourself   #NameRecallTips

© 123RF Stock Photo

3 Master communication lessons from Barbara Walters

3 Master communication lessons from Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters won 12 Emmys

The trailblazer of interviewing, who won 12 Emmy awards over a 5-decade career, teaches us 3 master lessons on how to leverage any conversation to your advantage.


“Barbara Walters’s superpower was fairness”, writes Matt Zoller Seitz (critic & writer for Vulture and New York). He continues, “Her subjects trusted her to give them as fair a shake as she could, even if she disapproved of what they did, said, or stood for.”

She exemplified an open mind and the ability to listen to the nuance of any situation.

Relaxed ambiance

“Barbara Walters, in my estimation, really has the quality of reaching through to the person,” Mike Wallace said. “She will put the person sufficiently at ease and it’s a remarkable gift.”

Looking at her interviews from every U.S. president and first lady from the Nixons to the Obamas to a wide range of celebrities and sports figures she creates rapport through her content and delivery.

They said yes to her when they wouldn’t say yes to anyone else because they liked the atmosphere Walters created onscreen.


Trust requires these three components working together: trust in yourself, trust in the process, and do your homework.

Walters nails this triad. And THEN she goes after the tough questions!

Excerpt from a Walters’ interview, “You’re a New York Times best-selling author, you’re an accomplished and celebrated concert pianist, and a three-time Academy Award–winning actor. Why the porn?’”

Bonus Strategy:

Ok – she also plays into the subject’s ego. She usually gave three compliments, and then went in for the kill.

Barbara Walters, who died recently at the age of 93, left a legacy about how to set the stage for a meaningful dialogue.

#communication   #speakforyourself   #KarenCortellReisman   #BarbaraWalters

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