“Your presentation really spoke to me!” said Jo, an attendee at a speech I gave a few days ago in Carlsbad, CA on How To Communicate Like Duct Tape.
Jo continued, “At the cocktail party last night I asked Peggy about her family. I was being polite. For 15 minutes Peggy talked about her children.”
What’s wrong with this scenario?
Peggy has committed three communication fatal errors!
Networking Nightmare #1: Peggy’s conversation is one-sided. It’s a solid 15 minutes of The Peggy’s Family Show. Jo says nothing.
Networking Nightmare #2: Peggy is boring. She’s providing a grocery list of data about her kids.
Networking Nightmare #3 (the biggest issue here): Jo does not have children and Peggy’s monologue creates a vacuum empty feeling for Jo.
How to avoid these networking nightmares
Networking Rule #1: Know Thy Audience.
In the presentation Jo resonated with – I spoke about nailing down the demographics of whom you’re speaking to. Her experience with Peggy shows the nuance of how vital it is to put yourself in the shoes of the listener… as you talk. If YOUR conversation has NOTHING to do with the recipient, then switch topics.
Networking Rule #2: Be Compelling.
Don’t do a grocery list, aka data dump, on your kids, last vacation or upcoming business venture. A compelling presentation is never just about the data. Come prepared to share a fun story about one child/grandchild, or one mishap from your vacation, or one testimonial story from your latest startup.
Networking Rule #3: Listen More.
Try to be 50-50 with your conversations. Ask questions. Find something in common with your chat buddy. Be a giver and a taker.
Self-disclosure here – I have to work on Rule #3. I’m aware, especially with Robin and Judy – my work-out and walking buddies, that I can dominate the conversation. I always have tons of stories to share! So… these rules also apply to your interactions with dear friends/colleagues and not just at networking opportunities.
You can avoid alienating others!
Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and thanks Robin and Judy for listening to all her stories across time!
What to learn how to cook filet mignon? There’s an app for that. Looking for good places to go mountain biking? Yep. There’s an app for that, too. There are apps for every iphone/ipad user. Here are 3 excellent iphone and ipad apps for public speakers:
Speaker APP 1 – mPrompt: mPrompt is a “teleprompter” app that allows you to use your iphone (or ipad) screen as a teleprompter. You can download and edit the speeches directly to the app and change fonts and colors of words to remind you to emphasize certain points. The speed of text flow is also customizable. It can be used with an LCD projector or on its own! At a low price of just $1.99, this app is perfect for those who want to regulate speech flow and speed.
Speaker APP 2 – Infonet Presenter: Infonet presenter is an all in one presentation displayer that can download many types of files. It is perfect for organizing a presentation, copy and pasting photos and videos, and the slides can be used as a whiteboard. This app is perfect for teachers and presenters trying to educate through this medium (appadvice.com)
Speaker APP 3 – KeyNote: Every Keynote speaker should own this app! It is the single most comprehensive and elegant slide presentation creator in the App store. The app comes with built in start-up slides for slide that feature clear, crisp designs. This app makes flawless charts and is compatible with other similar apps. The sophisticated design and animated transitions will have your audiences enthralled.
Today is the first of a series of blogs taking on the evolution of social media. My first challenge was HootSuite, a website that acts as a hub for your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog, etc.
HootSuite is certainly user-friendly. It allows you to keep tabs inside your HootSuite window of each media site. You can post a status update to all of your sites simultaneously simply by checking a box next to each social media outlet where you want your message to be posted.
In the Twitter section, you can see your own home feed, mentions, and direct messages in three separate windows. This makes it easy to retweet others’ thoughts, respond to any tweets directed at you, or simply post your own new tweets. This is the most convenient part of HootSuite.
However, there are a series of drawbacks that reveal themselves in HootSuite immediately. Your updates are limited to 140 characters, which, while effective for posting to Twitter, isn’t ideal for blog posts or longer plans. Also, in Facebook and LinkedIn pages, you can only see news feeds and post your own updates. You don’t have the same versatility that you do on the actual website for these media.
For those of you interested in giving HootSuite a try, visit http://help.hootsuite.com or http://learn.hootsuite.com. This will help you set up your own HootSuite account as well as give you a chance to enroll in “HootSuite University”, a step by step guide to hone your skills and utilize HootSuite to its full potential.
Next week, be on the lookout for my take on TweetDeck, HootSuite’s big competitor. Other thoughts on HootSuite? Comment here!
Marlene Jones is an author, editor, and screenwriter. She is an award-winning photographer and writes for the Chicago Examiner Online.
Karen Cortell Reisman is an author, motivational speaker, and cousin to Albert Einstein. She is a communications expert and executive public speaking coach who has coached thousands of people. In her one-woman show, Letters from Albert Einstein, she brings wisdom and insight from personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein, to audiences around the country. This is Part Two of my interview with Karen. Be sure to read Part One to hear the story behind personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein.
Karen, you are an executive public speaking coach and have coached thousands of people, I understand. What are some tips on public speaking that you can share with our readers?
I have. I have critiqued over 7,000 presentations at this point in my career. Here’s a sentence that I like to share with my clients and audiences. A compelling presentation is not just about the facts… A compelling message has to include great content, strategized organization, and a comfortable delivery. It has to have a story. There you go back to my Einstein keynote. It’s a story that I weave in that’s memorable, and I make it applicable…to the listener. So, Marlene, you just can’t tell a story for a story’s sake. It’s got to relate. And you have to figure out how to make the stories relate to what you’re trying to accomplish.
You are a communications expert and write articles about such things as ‘Communication Pet Peeves.’ Many people want to use facebook, twitter, and other social media sites to promote their business, but are not always sure what approach to take. What are some ways we can improve our communication on social media sites?
When it comes to social media sites, be clever…be brief…Maybe the third one is to be branded. So be clever. I don’t want to hear anything to do with the fact that you’ve just eaten a peach. Or you stubbed your toe…How can you say it without blatant self-advertisement? I somehow incorporate what I do in my status update. So. To give you an example, I spoke in Washington, DC recently. A bad status update would be to say, ‘Gosh it was great to speak in Washington, DC recently. Had a wonderful time.’ That’s a little boring…What I did say was, ‘When I was in Washington, D.C. giving a speech, I got the chance to go on all the monuments…and it never ceases to amaze me the freedoms we have in America.’ You see the difference? That’s authentic. So much more interesting…
Some people want to use social media to forge stronger business relationships. What are some tips you can give to help people build trust on social media sites?
Be clever, be brief, be branded…the fourth one would be authentic…(and) be consistent. I don’t want a status update every five minutes, but probably a couple of times a week. And even though I think it is going into la la land, it really isn’t. I run into people… and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I enjoyed hearing about your business trip to China.’ And it floors me when I realize people are really reading this information…make it fun, clever, neat.
This is Part Two of my interview with Karen. Be sure to read Part One to hear the story behind personal letters from her cousin, Albert Einstein.
Contact me at marleneExaminer@me.com if you would like to share your story about how social media has affected your life or your success.
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