Top 5 Best 2022 Communication Habits

Top 5 Best 2022 Communication Habits

With 4 days left of this year it’s time to devour our best-of list – guaranteed to boost your communication skills even more in ’23.

◉ Find the humor. Even during drama-filled situations – funny stuff happens. Use this material in your conversations/presentations.

◉ Ask questions. You will be forced to listen more and you’ll learn more than if you’re doing all the talking.

◉ Read more. Fiction or non-fiction – you’ll gain insights and become even more articulate. Even a trashy novel can provide examples of how to use dialog, plot development, what makes for a good or dumb story.

◉ Reflect on your positive communication experiences in ’22. You do a great job of remembering in exquisite detail when you think you’ve failed at running that meeting, or facilitating the board discussion, or giving a speech to your shareholders. Think back on when you rocked on your platform(s). Not only will this make you feel great – but it has a positive rollover effect on your future gigs.

◉ Write more. I began writing this weekly blog years ago – kicking and screaming. I did not want to add this task into my weekly regimen. Now I realize it’s been one of my best communication habits. Writing makes you a better communicator. I am forced to observe with purpose… all the time… constantly mining for good info and stories. My friends live in fear of when they’ll be quoted here!

🥂 🎉   Thank YOU for being blog post readers and happy / healthy new year!  🥂 🎉

#communication #SpeakForYourself #KarenCortellReisman #Top5CommunicationHabits

photo credit: Robin Sachs Photography

What… no socks?

What… no socks?

Details matter.

Picture you’re on a set for a commercial shoot. It’s a “video village” collection of director’s chairs and monitors. 36 professionals from makeup, hair and wardrobe to teleprompter & script editors to ad agency folks to the photography team to the director hover over their respective domains of production.

Such was the background for my week of coaching the talent on set for this large tech company.

The action starts. The talent begins to share his message. And… then… everything comes to a dead halt.

The ankle reveal.

The two producers, zooming in from Seoul, say, “We don’t like the talent’s ankles.”

They go on to comment, “The focus needs to be on his face and his content, and we are distracted by the half-inch of revealed ankles between his loafers and the European cut pants.”

What’s this have to do with you?

You’re probably not doing video shoots with 36-people production crews, BUT you are communicating as a leader all the time… AND DETAILS MATTER.

Little details that create big outcomes.

  • Your gestures – are you fiddling with your cuticles, wringing your hands, or pushing your hair repetitively behind your ears?
  • Your stance – are you swaying, standing more on one leg and then the other, pacing, doing a meaningless fox trot movement, or slouching?
  • Your eye contact – are you just looking at the power people in the room, staring out over the tops of audiences’ heads, or doing the eye dart maneuver?
  • Your setting/background in-person or virtually  – are you fighting for your audience’s flea-sized brain cells due to distractions behind you?

The rest of the commercial.

Our video production stops for 55 minutes! Big discussions are held between the wardrobe people, the ad agency people, the on-set director, and the producers in Seoul.

My talent puts on a pair of socks.

Production continues.

Guess what? It was the right move. Your gaze never goes down to the guy’s feet (even though you never realize that his ankles cause a distraction).

Don’t get me started on how much time it took to select the pillows on the background couch.

Details matter.

#communication  #KarenCortellReisman  #SpeakForYourself  #DetailsMatter

Small Talk Desert

Small Talk Desert

Are we in a conversational crisis?

Even before the pandemic the emphasis has been on digital communication. During the pandemic you may have experienced minimal conversation especially in person.

Now you might be feeling the pain of resuming small talk back in the office.


Jim and I meet in-person with our financial advisor group after two years of periodic virtual meetings. I find myself saying, just seconds after sitting down, “Ok, what’s our plan? Do we need to review, reframe, revisit…?”

Tommy replies with a smile, “First… how are you? What’s going on with your work and family?”

Oh… that’s right … I forget the chatting part of our visit.

What is the value of small talk?

According to Fast Company, “From the polite chitchat among coworkers that eases the start of a stressful meeting to building powerful bridges at networking events, small talk has always been an important ‘social lubricator’ that builds trust and relationships across cultures—even more so for early-career professionals after graduation.”

Is small talk a waste of time?

You might say “yes”. Covid created a time warp. Namely – 30 minutes is the new hour. You’re busy, stressed and want results… now. You only have so much Attention Economy.

And yet.

Small talk is not a waste of time.

Think about an interaction you’ve had with a barista. Smiling, making eye contact and exchanging a few sentences while ordering your Venti Chai has been found to boost happiness and feelings of belonging.

A quick chat with someone you barely know can uplift your mood or avert feelings of loneliness.

A few brief interactions help gauge the mood of a room and the tone of a discussion.

Professionally, small talk presents opportunities to get to know and hear your clients. You may learn something new about the customer that you can then use in later conversation, or one interaction may turn into someone signing a deal with your company.

Most of all … according to psychologist Susan Pinker, social interaction (including small talk) is the #1 secret to living a longer life.

So, how are you? What’s going on with your family and friends these days?


#communication    #SpeakForYourself     #KarenCortellReisman   #SmallTalkDesert

Photo Copyright: preserver


What’s your top priority when giving a speech?

What’s your top priority when giving a speech?

The Options

Your multiple choice answers include:

  1. Gain the audience’s attention
  2. Establish rapport with your listeners
  3. Add “credibility sprinkles” to increase your “trust index”
  4. Tell your team your ROI – what’s in it for them

Hard to choose. All of the above are crucial for your success as a presenter.

But… one other item goes at the very top.

Karen with Carol Kozloski @ BNSF Railway Workshop

Thank you, BNSF Railway and Carol Kozloski, for modeling that Top Priority Item when I presented my workshop to your BNSF Railway team.

The Answer

Safety. Safety comes first above all other matters. For the first 10 minutes, BEFORE I was introduced, Carol shared safety protocol precautions.

The Protocol

1st – Carol shared where the exits were and where we would go if we were to be evacuated.

2nd – Carol appointed a CPR certified attendee that would be ready to provide CPR if necessary.

3rd – Carol appointed someone else to be the 911 phone caller if needed. NOTE: if you don’t appoint this one person, then everyone might be calling 911 creating more chaos.

4th – Later on, in our ½ day program, the CPR appointee had to leave and another person was designated.

The Outcome

Fortunately we did not need to use these safety measures. But I’ve never felt safer.

Emergencies I’ve experienced during other speaking engagements:

  • An audience member faints, falling on the floor needing medical assistance.
  • Fire alarms going off.
  • Power outages.

Your responsibility as the presenter

My client showed the way for a safe and successful morning. However, in my 25+ years of speaking all over the place, this was my first time to observe excellent safety precautions shared in advance.

Your responsibility as the speaker/leader (when you don’t have the brilliance of my BNSF Railway client) is to coordinate with your meeting organizer (if there is one) OR do your own Safety Protocol Plan prior to your event using the list above. Because YOU are the one on the stage with the mic.

#communication  #SpeakForYourself  #KarenCortellReisman  #PresenterSafetyProtocols

The Cost of Poor Communication

The Cost of Poor Communication

▪️ A study published by David Grossman in The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) titled “The Cost of Poor Communication” reported that a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees.

▪️ Another stunning piece of data from SHRM: Debra Hamilton asserted, in her article “Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money,” that miscommunication costs even smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year.

These findings were reported BEFORE the pandemic. Can you imagine what these numbers might be now?

While worldwide surveys confirm the importance of good communication, SHRM shares that most companies are deficient in their communication skills.

Speak For Yourself® take-aways on communication & leadership

  • The inability to communicate your understanding of your business will leave you unable to leverage your knowledge for the effectiveness of your organization.
  • Those with strong communication skills will be strategically positioned to have a greater and more visible impact.
  • All aspects of running an organization, from staffing to training to implementing policies to making more money, require effective communication.
  • “Effective communication” means appearing approachable and conversational while you present info logically – with good “Velcro” – using open body language, and channeling your nervous energy into positive energy.

How can poor communication cost you?

  1. You could land your company in court (worst case scenario!).
  2. You could make your company unable to recruit key talent.
  3. You WILL cost the company money.

What can you do?

▪️ Increase your value by improving communication skills across your company.

▪️ And we’d be happy to work with you!

#Communication  #SpeakForYourself  #KarenCortellReisman  #CostOfPoorCommunication



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