Category Archives: Quickies

Score with Holiday Cards

Recently, Carol Roth, nationally known PR and Marketing expert, published my contribution to her ‘4th Quarter Business Marketing Tips’ blog as item #14: Read More »

Why I Love ‘Ignites Asia’

Regular readers may recall that I often contribute content to publications of other organizations like COSE and various national blogs whose writers contact me for comments or input. I can now add ‘international’ to my resume, thanks to Selena Li and her Hong Kong-based publication ‘Ignites Asia’.

She was working on a workplace feature story on how employees can tell their bosses they are overworked without sounding whining. Our interview resulted in some of my comments being included in her piece. So, thanks for the international exposure, Selena.

 

 

Why I Love ‘Escalator Speeches’

Elevator Speeches – your simple answer to the often-asked question ‘What do you do?’ – are sometimes maligned and often done poorly. But, they’re still a fact of life when you network.

So, that’s why I love Escalator Speeches. Assume you’re on the down escalator as someone passes by you going up on the other side.. You only have a few seconds to communicate, so you must be focused and concise.

Mine is ‘I empower business leaders to take away their pain from workplace communication.’ Short, simple and likely to generate some questions when the other person turns around and follows me back down.

Crafting something that concise is a lot of work, I admit. But, it’s well worth the time and effort if you want to make the Varsity Networking Team.

Why I hate ‘Quote-Unquote … ‘

How often do you hear people use this phrase in conversation, in presentations or even on TV? It’s both incorrect and lame. Remember that ‘un’ means ‘not’ – it doesn’t mean ‘no longer’ or ‘end’ in this context.

You might hear ‘And then John said ‘quote-unquote’ – ‘that won’t work here at all!’. If the intent is to repeat exactly what John said, the correct form is ‘And then John said ‘quote’ – that won’t work here at all’ – ‘end quote’, ‘close quote ‘ or ‘unquote’.’

And if you ever even think of using ‘air quotes’ or ‘air bunnies’ to add visual punch to your quote reference, punch yourself first before someone else does.

 

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?

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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