Category Archives: Bits & Pieces

Whatever your profession, you also need to be a professional communicator. ETC is pleased to share these essential Bits & Pieces to help you polish those skills.

Little Things

‘The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’, Malcom Gladwell, Time Warner Audiobooks, 2005.

My final rerun of this amazing author’s in-depth analyses, this time the tipping points in business and society. Another gem read by the author with a new afterword.

Networking Defined

A reader recently asked me to define ‘Networking’. So, here is one of my favorite ‘Phil’s Faves’ you would hear often in one of my Networking Strategies workshops:

‘Networking is simply the exchange of ideas, information or resources. It’s all about information. John Naisbitt first defined networking that way in ‘MegaTrends’ over 30 years ago.

* As a result of that shared information, we can learn something to help us do our jobs better, faster, cheaper or smarter.

* We can also learn something to help us grow our businesses or find new clients.

* Sometimes, that exchange of information can also lead to developing new mutually beneficial business relationships. However, those relationships are a result of the information sharing and not necessarily the primary reason for networking.’

So …  what’s your definition of networking?



No Thanks? … No Thanks!

I recently engaged in an on-line discussion group for professional speakers in which someone asked if it was appropriate for speakers to thank the audience. While my response was aimed at my fellow speakers, some of the points have value for routine workplace presenters as well. Read More »

The Power of Three

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” – Dale Carnegie: 20th century American writer, lecturer and self-improvement expert

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience – Alexander Gregg: famous 19th century American Episcopal Bishop

“Speech is power: power to persuade, to convert, to compel.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson: 19th century American essayist, poet and champion of individualism

Random Eye Contact

In my Presentation Skill training and coaching engagements, I regularly recommend holding eye contact on one person at a time for 8 – 10 seconds or to complete a thought. Then, moving to a new person in silence in a random pattern. After reading one of my articles on this topic, a reader asked why I recommend that technique. Read More »

Battling Giants

‘David and Goliath – Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants’, Malcom Gladwell, Hachette Audio, 2013

My latest audio ‘second helping’ of this amazing author. This time, he explores in detail the myths about advantages and disadvantages.


Less is More

“No one ever complains about a speech being too short!”   Ira Hayes: Native American US Marine who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II

“No one can remember more than three points.”  Philip Crosby: 20th century businessman, author and quality management expert

“Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. ”  Robert Greenleaf: 20th century author, consultant and founder of the ‘Servant Leadership’ movement

“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”  Dorothy Sarnoff: 20th century opera singer, actress, author and acclaimed speech coach


‘Blink’, Malcom Gladwell, Time Warner Audiobooks, 2005.

Another audio ‘second helping’ of this amazing author’s in-depth analysis of the art and science of making snap decisions, or‘thin-slicing’, in the blink of an eye

My Best Advice

I recently responded to a LinkedIn entrepreneur group discussion question asking for the best advice we’d been given about starting our own businesses.  So, here are three of ‘Phil’s Faves’ – advice I regularly share in my workshops and coaching engagements that I learned from a combination of input from colleagues and expert authors:

  • Do what you love and love what you do. All the rest is just details.
  • Plan your work, then work your plan.
  • Your customers are not always right, but they are always your Customers. So, take good care of them by meeting their reasonable expectations and make a profit doing it.

Take Pause

” The most precious things in speech are the pauses.”   Sir Ralph Richardson, famed 20th century English stage and film actor

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”   Martin Farquhar Tupper, 19th century English writer and poet

‘The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain

(Wish I had said that … actually, I have.  A ‘Phil’s Faves’ often heard in my presentation skill workshops and executive coaching engagements is ‘Harness the Power of the Pause!’. And, … you can quote me.)

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