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?
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
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
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.
A reader recently asked a question about using speaker notes when delivering a presentation - ‘I need to use reading glasses to see my notes and that makes it difficult to focus in on audience members’ eyes. Now what?’
My Answer – Simply create actual speaker notes instead of a copy of your outline, or worse, a verbatim text. Notes should be short and simple with a few key words. Increase the font size to 18 point and make the text bold. You ought to be able to easily see them without your cheaters. Try to make the type large enough so you can even leave them on the table in front of you and still easily see them.
Some of my favorite often-heard comments from over 30 years of facilitating Time Management workshops:
- You can’t save time – you can only spend it. So, spend it wisely.
- Don’t say ‘I don’t have time.‘, because you do have time. Instead say ‘I don’t want to spend the time … ‘.
- You’re in charge of how you spend your time – no one else is.
- Start each day with a ‘To Do’ List – plan your work, then work your plan.
- If you paid yourself $1,000/hour, would you get your money’s worth from each task on your list? If not – dump them.
- Ask yourself ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do this thing today … or ever?‘ Then, act accordingly.
Nothing says more about your credibility, power and confidence as a presenter than what you do – and don’t do – with your eyes. Here’ are my responses to two very interesting recent reader questions about eye contact.
Question – ‘What if I look at someone in the audience who isn’t looking back at me? Then what do I do?’
Sales guru and successful business coach Diane Helbig offers this advice about what your email address says about you and your business, from her book, ‘Lemonade Stand Selling’.
‘If you want to be taken seriously, you MUST have an email address where the domain name is not aol, gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. Your domain name should be your company name, tag line or something that directly relates to your business.
How you practice is often more important than how much. Last month’s ‘Communicate Confidently’ eLetter article on practicing presentations generated several reader questions. Here’s a summary of some of the comments I offered in my email responses:
- Practicing out loud, standing up, working with the slides is the most productive method. Pretend you’re talking to the audience.
Some masterful Listening Tips from ‘Communicate or Die’:
- ‘Listen without a point of view. Avoid immediate free-association to your own experience put your tendency to evaluate on hold.