Competition Composure

As of late, I seem to be doing much coaching work for those in pitch competitions or those in speaking competitions. And, I just completed a round of competitions myself. Whether the prize is a check or a trophy, there is an extra caveat on the line for us speakers. When the ante is upped, there is most always additional nervousness.

I agree with Mark Twain when he said that “There are two types of speakers – those that are nervous and those that are liars.” When you care enough to do a good job at anything, nerves come into play. It’s competition composure. Here are some things that I have found that work for me: Continue reading “Competition Composure”

Slow Down, you’re talking too fast.

I was working with this amazing client recently on an upcoming presentation. His talk was about living through the near poverty upbringing of his family of origin; about his laser sharp focus to graduate from college, with unbelievable odds – a first for his family; and about finding love and building a new family along the way. His story was powerful, emotional, and motivational. He told it beautifully with great sequencing and strong meaning. And he told it too fast. Every single word was delivered at breakneck speed. The challenge in working with this speaker was not lack of content, nor structure of that content but the unbelievable fast paced delivery of his story.

Maybe you fall into this category. You are an energetic person, an external processor who is stimulated and inspired by new things, new ideas. Your pace of delivery is fast because “you’ve always been this way” or perhaps you are time starved or perhaps there are so many interruptions to your day that you must a la carte each task and move on to the next one. Continue reading “Slow Down, you’re talking too fast.”

New Kid On The Block

Recently I was asked to attend a large women’s business function in another city in which I knew no one expect the person who invited me. The person that invited me was very involved in the organization and had duties to perform on that day. So, I was on my own.

To top it off, there was no food nor drink to be served. So, my usual networking skills couldn’t happen over the shrimp bowl because there was none.

Now, I’m an extrovert but when I entered the room there was an immediate – bam! – of energy. Lots of laughter and people talking to each other. I was immediately thrown back to a middle school feeling of everybody has somebody to talk to except me. Fortunately, this lasted about two seconds and I came to my senses.

Continue reading “New Kid On The Block”

Walk This Way For A Great Sales Experience

One of the things I do not like to do (which is probably illegal for my gender) is to go shoe shopping. After years of performing in my earlier days, dance lessons, decades of proudly walking incorrectly in high heels and two-foot surgeries, my feet are not only not pretty but pretty beat up. I prefer to wear my beat up old black dress shoes for “business” days; and beat up old blue shoes for “casual” days.

Continue reading “Walk This Way For A Great Sales Experience”

Paint Deck Power

After 15 years with bright peach walls in a corner bedroom of our house for our oldest daughter (now an adult and with her own daughter), it was time for a re-paint. With my paint fan deck in hand, I had selected a subtle blue color called – blue bonnet. It would take our citrusy fresh walls and transform them into soft beach waves of comfort. A good transition. My husband was happy about the transition (white walls are his favorite color so it was a closer match than the previous peach) and even happier because I had hired a painter to do the job.

I had made an early morning stop at my local paint store to pick up a quart of paint and I don’t care how early you are, someone is always earlier. In this case there were a half dozen more early birds than me. A young woman was waiting next to me when my turn was up. My order was filled and I was paying for my paint when a gentleman behind the counter said to this woman, still waiting, “I appreciate your patience in waiting. I’ll bet you thought we forgot about you however, we had a problem with the pigment and we were trying to figure it out.”

Wow! What a dynamite way to acknowledge the customer, the problem, and the possible solution! I am not sure if this guy had on the job training, behind the scenes training, or good training from his parents but wow! So, my question for you is – how do your words convey excellent customer service?

Hello World!

Welcome world! Happy to be back in conversation with you on my new blog. Every now and then I’ll be writing about my travels, my experiences and memorable stories that I want to share with you that are fun, cool or just plain neat.
Glad to have you aboard.