Author Archives: Phil Stella

Why I Hate ‘two (2)’

I recently got a document from a client asking me to review and comment. It included the phrase ‘… schedule two (2) planning meetings … ‘. I’m not making this up.  I don’t get it – people still think they need to tell readers that the word ‘two’ means 2. Most workplace readers know that and reminding them can be insulting or annoying. It is to me.

Here’s a simple solution. With numerical references ‘zero’ – ‘nine’, write out the words, as in ‘three weeks’ or ‘eight revisions’. For references to ten or greater, use numbers, as in ’20 team members’ or ’11 percent’. But there’s never a good reason to do it two (2) times. Make sense?

Why I Love Letter ‘B’

When a keyboard is connected to a projector to run PowerPoint slides, my favorite is Letter ‘B’. Hitting it causes the screen image to go black. The projector is still on and hitting ‘B’ again shows the last slide up. With a properly designed audience-centric presentation that has specific periods without any slides, ‘B’ makes it easy to avoid having slides up too long or too early.

Simple and easy … see why it’s my favorite letter?

Brief Quote-ables

Now let’s take a brief look a brevity through the ages …

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. Thomas Jefferson, (1743 – 1826), Founding Father and third President.

The fewer the words, the better the prayer.’ Martin Luther, (1483 – 1546), German monk and founder of the Protestant Reformation.

“… brevity is the soul of wit … ‘, William Shakespeare, (1564 – 1616), English poet, playwright and actor.

It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.‘, Friedrich Nietzsche, (1844 – 1900), German philosopher, poet and scholar.

 

A Great Impression Every Time

(Back in May, I lead with ‘Why I Hate Networking … ‘. It didn’t take long for readers to figure out that I really only hate lame, ineffective and unfocused networking. And so should you. Now … let’s get back to simple strategies for maximizing your Networking ROI.)

How do you make a great impression on people every time? The answer is really simple and easy, yet the devil is in the details of execution. Read More »

101 Tips for Presenters

 ‘’Making Presentations’, Tim Hindle, DK Publishing, Essential Managers series, NY, NY, 1998

Despite some pix of people in dated attire and old technology reference, the author provides 101 simple tips for creating and delivering effective presentations. Most still work today. Worth the quick read.

Resistance is Futile

(For your reading pleasure … my most recent piece from the COSE ‘Mind Your Business’ eLetter.)

In his still frightening classic dystopian novel, ‘1984’, George Orwell invented ‘NewSpeak’, the official language of Oceania, used to control communication and thought.

So, let me pay homage to Orwell by inventing ‘CuSpeak’ in his honor, the official language we should always use when speaking to customers and prospects and not nearly as creepy as ‘NewSpeak’. While it’s much harder to learn than ‘SAE’ (Standard American English), it’s much more effective in influencing how they understand and view us. Read More »

More Questions. More Answers.

And the beat goes on … readers continue indicating interest in this concise Q & A format for sharing simple Presentations Best Practices. This month, readers asked about stage fright, handouts vs. slides and eye contact.  Read More »

What’s in a Name?

A business reporter recently about the term ‘Motivational Speaker’. I really enjoyed sharing this load of steaming rant. Hope you do too: Read More »

Why I Love Uncommon Phone Courtesy

Here’s a simple technique that will differentiate you from most other people when you make a simple phone call. It works very well whether you’re following up on meeting someone at a networking event, returning a call or simply asking a question:

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Gitomer Gets Writing

Thought it was time for another helping of one of my favorite authors.

  • ‘Writing becomes persuasive when others are willing to act on, or comment on, what you’ve written.
  • ‘I write like I think. I write like I talk. I want my writing to sound like I’m talking. I write in ‘speak.’’
  • ‘I don’t care about grammar. I write so that the reader can get it. I care about how it wounds when its read and how it looks when you read it.’
  • ‘Write it like you would say it and speak as you write the words down.’

Jeffrey Gitomer, 21st century sales expert, author and speaker