When you’re smilin’

Your mom probably told you this– along with “stand up straight,” but smiling is a good thing. Singers know that if their pitch is off or flat, they add a slight smile and the pitch improves.

If your speaking voice feels flat or dull, generate a genuine smile to positively affect your tone and demeanor. When you smile at your audience, their mirror neurons fire and initiate brain activities that evoke warm feelings. It’s an efficient way of getting an audience to experience empathy or pleasant emotions. Of course, only smile at the appropriate times in your presentation, but make it happen early for the best effect.

Smiling also enhances likeability. Recently, we conducted trainings at Realogy in New Jersey. Participants were so witty and engaged that we laughed constantly. The benefit? We liked one another immediately, and they had an impressive level of achievement. Plus, we all left feeling refreshed and satisfied.

 

Crafting the Perfect Opening

How you open your speech is critical to any presentation. I recommend you deliver a compelling opening and closing without the agenda slide, PowerPoint, or video. This is where the audience gets to know you. Be selfish. Connect without standing behind a lectern or having...

Above All, Know Your Intention

Intention is a powerful device that forces us to focus, make difficult decisions, and edit our content. I’ve found Intention to be one of the most difficult concepts for our clients to initially grasp. However, when implemented, Intention can have an incredible impact on your...

The New Definition of Professionalism

Women often believe they need to assume an overly authoritative and professional demeanor to be taken seriously. The problem is that audiences can interpret this as patronizing or chilly, and perceive you as having a superior attitude. The last thing you want is a negative...

The Importance of Being an Authentic and Genuine Speaker

Many women are reluctant to speak if they haven’t reached the top of their field or don’t have a mission. They also tend to have an aversion to the idea of “selling.” But the old-fashioned way of selling doesn’t work for anyone. The best way...

Buddhist Monkzzz

For many years, humans have been fighting stress with exercise, diet and drugs. Still, we live in stressful times, and work exacerbates the pressure. But should we emulate Buddhist monks, clad in saffron robes, rice bowl in hand, counting their breaths? Daniel Kaufer, associate professor of integrative...

Speaking with Emotion

At a recent workshop, a participant was overcome with emotion when speaking about her father and how they started working together. She apologized. Yet the authenticity she displayed made her content come alive and captured the attention of everyone in the room. When we have the...

Out Loud

One of the biggest mistakes of a speaker is rehearsing their presentation in their heads and not out loud. We've had clients say they froze when they delivered their speech, because the sound of their voice was different than when they rehearsed it. You simply can not...

Why not be an Expert?

Too many women avoid public speaking because they tell me they're not an "Expert." The truth is experts tend to be boring to listen to, can drone on too long and fail to engage an audience. They educate rather than persuade. Add to that, we don't do...

Too Much or Too Little

Every time I conduct a training or coach an individual, the issue always comes up about how much detail to include. Whether you're delivering an elevator speech (self introduction), pitching for new business, or speaking on your topic area, you need to decide what is relevant...

Welcome Comerica and CPA Dynamic Women!

Last Friday I spoke on storytelling to women professionals at Comerica in Irvine. Then I traveled to Beverly Hills to address CPAs at the CalCPA Women's Leadership Forum. The theme of this keynote was workplace communication, but I focused specifically on the communication issues that hold women...