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.

101 Meeting Managing Tips

 ‘Managing Meetings’, Tim Hindle, DK Publishing, Essential Managers series, NY, NY, 1998

Despite some pix of people in dated attire and old technology references, the author provides lots of simple tips for managing effective meetings, most of which still work today. A good quick read.

Why I Love Quotes

I regularly use a lot of quotes in my training, speaking and writing. However, I’m adamant about putting the sources in proper context. Few people are so well known that they don’t need any reference, like Jefferson, Mark Twain, Churchill, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., etc. For the rest, we need to answer the question the readers or listeners often have – ‘So … who is that guy?Read More »

Why I Hate ‘You Guys’

A reader asked what I thought about using the phrase you guys’ when talking to a group of people. While there may be nothing wrong with it and lots of people use it, there’s nothing really right with it, either. And you never know when someone in your audience might take offense at it. In contemporary usage, it’s usually gender-neutral, but still a little lame.

So, I try to avoid that phrase when I can. Instead, I try to use ‘you’, all of you’ or even ‘you folks’ as less lame alternatives. And there’s nothing wrong with the traditional ‘ladies and gentlemen’ either.

So, when I’m on top of my game, you guys will not hear me say ‘you guys’

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.

 

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.

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