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Target Your Audience: 3 Ways to Win at Speaking in Public

This post is written for paid professional speakers but the tips below apply just as well to business presentations.

I’d bet that you could be a pretty good speaker.  You may even be one now.  Say your prayers, practice every day, and repeat motivational self-talk and you’ll get a standing-O every time you speak before a group, right?  Wrong!  The days of giving the same talk to audiences repeatedly and getting laudatory reviews are gone for all but the celebrity orator.  You and I, business presenter or professional speaker, will have to do what every other businessperson is learning the hard way to do in the global economy—customize.  That’s right, each talk must be specifically tailored to the group you’re speaking to. Read More…

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Write to Persuade in Business: Better Business Writing in 5 Easy Steps

One of the best ways to lead, to persuade others to follow, is to master better business writing skills. Business needs to learn the art of persuasion in writing.  Imagine getting to work on a Monday morning after a long weekend.  You had to do your spring cleanup on the yard, pick your sister up at the airport, and to top it all off the baseball game you wanted to watch was blacked out in your area since it was sold out.  You’re looking at a full work week and you want to get off to a good start.  Your in-box is stuffed to the gills, so you begin to wade through it to find what the keepers are.  Someone has written you a letter that begins like this:

“Dear Sir or Madam:  I appreciate the fact that you must have a full business calendar.  If I could have but a few moments…”  This one goes in the circular file as you move on to the next piece of potential trash.

Here’s a question for you.  How would you like the author of that last letter to have been you?  It could be.  Your goal is to make your business writing come alive or, at a minimum, avoid boring him to sleep.  If you have a message, you want it to get read. Read More…

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Channels of Persuasion

Persuasion and listening are funny things.  I was on vacation in Ocean City, MD one summer with my wife and a few friends long before I lived at the beach.  We were golfing along the shore at a course called Eagle’s Landing—a pretty tough little public course.  It was hot and humid.  I was hitting the ball pretty well, but my wife wasn’t having a stellar day.  The temperature, course conditions, and cart path only rule were getting to her, and I had a feeling that I’d better clear out or risk her wrath.  I’d been down the road before of offering advice on her game, even when solicited, and didn’t want to get caught in that quagmire again.  Read More…

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