Category Archives: Quickies

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 »

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.

Forget the Cheaters

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.


Phil’s Faves – You Can’t Save Time

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.



Keep an Eye on Them

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?’
Read More »

What does your email address say about you?

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.
Read More »

How Beats How Much

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.

Read More »

Masterful Listening

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.

Read More »

How much should you practice?

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:
Read More »

Pitch Perfect

My good friend and COSE (Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises) colleague Diane Helbig helps sales people perfect their pitches. She advises this structure:

  • ‘Short and to the point
  • Begin with a recap of the prospect’s goals and needs (as you heard them)
  • Introduction of the product or service you are presenting
  • Bulleted list of the benefits of that product or service to the prospect (based on the goals and needs you heard)
  • Cost statement
  • Implementation schedule, if appropriate
  • Request for confirmation from the prospect – as how it sounds to them; does it meet their needs as stated.

Sales is all about the prospect – not about you or your product/service.’

‘Lemonade Stand Selling’, Diane Helbig, Sales Gravy Press, 2009.


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