Posts Tagged ‘Communications’

Stand Up & Stick Out!

October 14, 2015

Whether you like him or not, everyone knows the name Donald TrumpDonald Trump, host of the television series "The Celebrity Apprentice," mugs for photographers at the NBC 2015 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) He’s ‘that guy’ running for President that speaks his mind regardless of being politically correct. He’s unpredictable, bombastic, entertaining and arrogant.

AND……..he’s the candidate people talk about the most.

In the highly competitive entertainment industry, artists are vying for attention from the media, fans, recording labels, agents and producers. When they make it big, the next challenge is how to stay on top to avoid being forgotten. Lady Gaga appears in outrageous costumes, uses unique props to perform  and constantly finds innovative ways to make her entrance on stage.

In today’s marketplace with more companies competing for the same customer and more candidates looking to fill the same job, how do YOU stand out from the crowd?

Innovation. Do something different. Learn new ways of working, marketing, communicating. In this digital age we live in, calling people has become SO seventies. Reach out and touch someone – really. A personal phone call can make or break a deal because it’s simply being human.

As a keynote speaker I was talking to a company at their annual conference who said they have “Thank you Thursdays”. Employees hand write thank you notes to five people every week. Sometimes it’s to customers in appreciation of their business, sometimes it’s to coworkers for helping out with a project. Do you remember the last thank you note you received? 

Stand up and stick out. It will get you noticed by potential customers and bosses…….in a good way

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News Flash: Your Emails Are Offending Everybody

April 22, 2013

We motivational speakers are continually writing, researching and building our brand. This blog from Fast Company is useful advice for everyone…

We miscommunicate plenty when we’re talking face to face. And on the faceless Internet, it only gets worse. Here are 3 guidelines to help you out.                                                                                                angry man  

If you’ve ever found yourself pacing around your room trying to decide whether to end a text message or email with an exclamation point or a period (or maybe no punctuation–edgy!), then you are intimately familiar with the scarcity of signaling in virtual communications.

We feel even more clueless about communication online than in person because of the paucity of contextual information available. Take work, for example: If you are having an all-hands meeting, hiearchy will be represented by the way people order themselves (CEO in the center, interns on the roof). These signals are not available during a conference call–which is probably why you hardly ever hear the folks lurking via phone pop in with a question.

So we need to supply some kind of signal. Here’s how:

1. Speak the same language: Even if you are all culturally identical (most firms replicate themselves, after all) , there will still be a modicum of diversity in your language patterns.  

HBR writer Keith Ferrazzi says that being down with your Myers-Briggs types can help us learn each other’s languages. Another option is to try to meet people in person and just listen to them, and use that context later in written missives.

2. Give ’em more signs: “Nothing is ever obvious,” Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote for Fast Company, “unless you made it obvious.” To that end, spell things out: Instead of leaning on generalities like “circle back to me,” actually provide precise instructions of the next step.

 3. Respond quickly: Even if only to say that you’ll reply later, shoot a note over now. Ferrazzi says that since we have little clues for context–aside from that time stamp–waiting a long time to reply can make people feel like you don’t value your relationship with them, which sucks. So be prompt.

Why Professional Admins Are Like This Cat

April 2, 2013

April 21 – 27th is Administrative Professionals  Week. cat  

Employers everywhere will take their office administrators to lunch and/or give them a gift to make them feel happy about their work and appreciated for what they do.  Admins are usually women and they’re usually at the bottom of the proverbial pecking order in the corporate world.
 
As a Houston based motivational speaker  that travels across the country, I’ve given many inspirational speeches at appreciation events to thousands of professional administrators and they all share a common thread: they are very organized.
 
They can find a needle in a haystack ‘coz they filed it. They know where everything is and when stuff is supposed to happen. They often have multiple bosses which means multiple headaches.
 
Every single manager I’ve met describes admins as “the backbone of the business”.
 
It takes courage to be all things to all people the way admins have to perform on a daily basis. Kinda sorta like mothers. Perhaps that’s why admins are usually women?

It takes backbone to be disciplined, efficient and organized.

A-a-a-n-d …..sitting on a huge horse is not for fraidy cats. 

Fearless.
Courageous.
Meeeow!

New Norm for the New Year

January 23, 2013
 
From left: Craig Beskid Exec.Dir. EHCMA,
Mark Byrd Shell Oil, yours truly, Todd Monette LyondellBasell & John Parkinson PetroLogistics

Recently I spoke to a group of engineers that made up the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) at their annual awards banquet.

My topic: “Extraordinary is the New Norm!” covers the five principles it takes to be the best on the job in today’s economy:
1.   PASSION
      Engage & motivate  employees
2.  PERSEVERANCE
Overcome challenges & consistently deliver more value
3.  ATTITUDE
      Be willing to learn from each generation & stay likeable
4.  PEOPLE
      Develop a strong team culture through servant leadership
5.  FOCUS
      Keep goals in mind but be open to innovative ideas       

The challenge at this awards event? Keeping them awake after an open bar and steak dinner.  
 C’mon, we’re talking engineers here! 

They booked this Houston piano playing, funny speaker for three reasons:

  • liven up their meeting 
  • give ’em a message they can use  
  • make everyone feel glad they came
Mission accomplished – thanks to key audience members being great sports (Chevron guys rock & Dupont men rule!) Gotta luv ’em!
 
SINCE 2008 THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY has taken numerous kicks in the proverbial err, wallet. The AIG scandal was the final straw. Budgets tightened and professional speakers were canceled as organizations were scrutinized to justify the expense.snooze

Now people are tired of dry facts ‘n’ stats industry speakers that amount to one big snooze fest.
With the popularity of the Ted Talks and audiences demanding an EXPERIENCE versus simply attending, 2013 will herald major changes for meetings and conferences.
  • Got funny?  
  • Got content?  
  • Got a singing dog?
Extraordinary: The New Norm for the New Year.

 

The Power of Passion

July 2, 2012

As a professional keynote speaker I’m used to being on a stage motivating people to be the best in their field by raising their work performance level. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s fulfilling and I absolutely LOVE what I do. Put me on a stage in front of thousands of adults and I’m right at home.

BUT……… put me in front of 100  kids and I’m terrified.

Last week I walked my talk of stepping outside your comfort zone to be  successful  in today’s world….I was asked to speak to Landrum Middle School by the Brilliant Lecture Series who recently bought George Clooney to Houston to talk about his humanitarian work as well as his life (pant, pant, he’s so-o-o hot!)

The children, aged 10 – 13 years old, were mostly Hispanic from under-privileged homes. More scary. My entire Spanish vocabulary consists of: “Another margerita please”. How to connect with this group?

Anticipation is often worse than realization…

Since I’m an Aussie living in Houston I talk kinda sorta funny (although I think you all LISTEN funny). After asking if anyone had learnt about Australia I was amazed how much these  kids knew and how eager they were to participate in my presentation. When I played the piano to emphasize my point about doing whatever it takes to realize your dream, they were mesmerized – and I was relieved.

Music is a universal language and passion is a powerful tool to influence others. I am passionate about speaking, motivating,  inspiring and uplifting people and these delightful children totally got it.

What are YOU passionate about? Passion is contagious. People that are passionate about their work/product/life are more attractive to employers/buyers/everyone.

Passion pays.

Woo hoo!