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.

Learn from the Experts

I really love a finished speaker. I really truly do. I don’t mean one who’s polished. I just mean one who’s through.’ – Richard Goodwin, 20th century American author and presidential speechwriter.

When you say all you have to say and come to a grammatically correct end, sit down. – Winston Churchill, 20th century British Prime Minister during WW II.

Those who draw the distinction between education and entertainment don’t know the first thing about either. Marshall McLuhan, 20th century Canadian communication author, philosopher and college professor.

How Good is Your Greeting?

What kind of first impression do your customers and prospects get of your business when they get your voice mail greeting? Is it enthusiastic and professional? More important, is it concise and helpful?   Or, does you greeting sound more like this one? Read More »

Good Slides Make Bad Handouts

A client recently engaged me to create and deliver a workshop for an employee group. During our planning discussion, I recommend not using slides, given the audience, content and objective to create a more lively and engaging discussion. Slides tend to create the opposite impression. Read More »

More on Confidence

‘Present with Confidence – Fear No More’ by Micki Holliday, National Press Publications, 2000.

A quick refresher of basic presentation tactics and strategies.

Speak with Confidence!

Presenting with confidence is critical to your career and business success. It’s that simple. And these contemporary expert professional speakers and authors really get the importance of confidence:

  • ‘Your ability to speak confidently on your feet will impress people and open more doors than you can imagine.’  Brian Tracy, author of ‘The Psychology of Selling’.
  • ‘Not being able to communicate with confidence and skill can barricade the door to success. Susan RoAne, author of ‘How to Work the Room’’.
  • ‘Speaking before a group stresses many otherwise capable people, and as a result their anxiety cripples their careers.’ Dianna Booher, author of’ ‘Speak with Confidence’.
  • ‘If you can’t speak confidently before groups, you’re going nowhere.’ Sherron Bienvenu, Ph.D., author of ‘The Presentation Skills Workshop’.

Just Say ‘No’ to Note Cards

Given my commitment to Life Long Learning, I regularly review presentation skill-oriented books to keep what I share with my clients current and relevant. I recently encountered two different authors who recommended using 3×5 inch note cards for preparing speaker notes. Whoa! Couldn’t disagree more. So, please allow me to respectfully disagree and rerun one of my favorite rants. Read More »

Beat Your Nerves

‘The Confident Speaker – Beat Your Nerves and Communicate at Your Best in Any Situation’ by Harrison Monarth and Larina Kase, McGraw Hill, 2007.

Very thorough detail about managing Presentation Anxiety and basic skills with lots of suggestions and techniques.

Speak with Passion!

‘Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.’ – D. H. Lawrence, early 20th century British novelist, poet and playwright.

‘You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.’ – John Ford, 20th century American Academy Award winning film director.

‘Speak when you are angry – and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.’ – Laurence J. Peter, 20th century Canadian author and educator.

‘I understand a fury in your words, but not the words.’ – William Penn, 17th century English philosopher, entrepreneur and founder of Pennsylvania.

Get My Point?

A reader just asked me what I thought of using a laser pointer with his slides. I started the conversation with ‘Don’t let the technology tail wag the presenter dog’. The rest of my comments:
One major downside of using this tool is the need to look at the screen when using it. I’ve already ranted about avoiding turning your back on the audience to read a slide to them. Using the laser pointer has the same effect – loss of eye contact and connection.
Read More »

Handouts vs. Slides

A client recently asked for some advice about a common practice with handouts. He noted that presenters often give audience members hard copies of their slides so they can take notes or use as a handout. My comments:
Read More »

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