Archive for May, 2014

How Effective is Your Presentation?

Are you giving the presentation that you intend to give?

Tiger in High Heels

International Innovator of the Year

There are actually three presentations within each presentation.

  1. The one you think you gave.
  2. The one your audience thinks you gave.
  3. The one you actually gave.

This scenario of three presentations exists in every conversation as well.  A face-to-face conversation is the same as a speech to room full of attendees.  The only difference is the size of the audience.

Prepare as if You Care

A young man whose employer is one of my corporate coaching clients rather casually said, “I don’t write out what I am going to say.  I prefer to have the slides and just wing what I say.”  What is the problem with that approach?

According to The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, slides should be sparsely used.  The ideal slide would have a picture or at the absolute maximum five words.  The problem with massive amounts of text on a slide is threefold.

  1. The font will be too small for anyone in the audience to read.
  2. If the audience is squinting to read the slide, they are not listening to you.
  3. If the audience can read your entire message on the slide, who do they need you?

Underpreparing for meetings will probably hurt your credibility.  Your message may ramble or sound “canned.”  Delivering a message as if you are reading a script can sound so impersonal that it actually insults the intelligence of the audience.  Using a monotone voice, looking over the heads of the audience or at the floor indicates a lack of interest for the subject and the audience.  If you don’t care about the subject or the audience, why should they care about you or your message?

Preparation is key.  This does not mean to memorize every word, but know what you are going to say and deliver the message with clarity and conviction.  “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and the world will come for miles to watch you burn.” John Wesley

Deliver with Enthusiasm

Your enthusiasm will transmit to the audience enticing them to join you.  Words are important but a genuine heart-felt delivery is far more effective than the words.  You have heard the expression that “your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear your words.”  Do not give a performance; deliver a sincere enthusiastic message.

Does Your Body Betray You?

Part of your delivery is body language.  If your body language conflicts with the words you are saying, you will confuse the audience or appear inauthentic.  Audiences sense your confidence, your enthusiasm and your belief in your message.  You may be saying the right words, but if your body language is betraying you, you will lose credibility.

Notice your body language in how you are facing or not facing your audience.  Are you including all of your audience in your presentation?  Do you look at all four corners of the room, center, front and back?

Strong Voice

Record your voice during a presentation and listen to yourself.  Are you speeding up, slowing down, mumbling or sounding stressed?  Pushing your voice out of its normal range – too high, too low or thin and weak – will diminish your credibility and your effectiveness.

Prepare, deliver with enthusiasm, coordinate your body with your words and speak with a clear convincing voice.  When you incorporate these elements with a concise message, you will deliver a powerful presentation.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to:  www.Elaine4Success.comwww.Elaine4Success.com/Contact

Leadership is Empowering Others

Think with passion

Focus on clarity

Empower others with your thoughts and actions.  Regardless of your economic status, educational status or career, everyone responds favorably to kind words.  Empowering others benefits both the giver and the receiver.

 

Toastmasters is a speaker’s organization.  Picture a new speaker hesitantly rising and making the eternally long walk from their chair to the podium for their ice breaker speech.  Walking those eight to ten feet feels like a marathon distance.  Facing the group for the first time as the spotlight centers on them causes every internal butterfly to fly in a different direction.  Butterflies rarely settle into formation for the ice breaker speech.  Gripping the podium with a death grip and hiding behind it with notes shaking has been known to happen to more than one newbie.  Four to six minutes may feel like a lifetime.  The custom is to give a standing ovation after an ice breaker.

 

Watching this new speaker emerge and stand confidently and relaxed in front of the group during future speeches thrills both the speaker and the audience.  Empowering someone to learn a new skill and progress rewards the entire membership.  Feedback after each speech, evaluation, emphasizes all of the strong points and encourages slight areas on improvement.  Empowering someone to build on their strengths and develop new skills rewards the evaluator as well as the speaker.

 

Butterflies gradually learn to fly in formation.  Leadership is empowering others.  As a leader you have the opportunity to guide and empower others to develop current talents to new heights.  The greatest joy for a leader is seeing others grow and blossom.

 

True leadership can be related to the size of the empowerment desired.  A brief word feels like a helicopter, just a touch and go.  It comes and goes in a flash.  Investing a little more time and effort feel like a STOL port, a short take off and landing runway.  Major ventures require a runway similar to the size required for a 747.  Mentoring and empowering someone from infancy to maturity in a sport or career requires a 747 runway.

 

Empowerment can be a 20 yard sprint, a 5K run or a marathon.  Whether you choose to invest your time and effort for a brief start and stop, 3.1 miles or 26 miles all depends upon the impact you desire to provide.

 

Empowerment, like inspiration, motivation or education, must find a willing receiver.  Our job as leaders is to provide the empowerment.  The employee’s role is to be open minded enough to receive the encouragement and take action.

 

A college professor one told a young student, “You can have ten years experience or one year’s experience ten times.”  The professor, like the mentor or evaluators in a Toastmasters club, provides the encouragement and empowerment along with suggestions for growth and improvement.  The student must also be willing to receive and take action.  Without receiving and taking action, the words are leaves blowing in the wind.

 

Effective leadership is empowerment.  Few things warm the heart of a leader more than seeing someone respond in a positive way to growth potential.

 

Examine your leadership skills and practices.  Are you a helicopter, a small private plane or a 747?  What is the scope of your mentorship?  How long a runway do you require to launch your program?  Leadership is empowering.

 

Select your candidates carefully.  Select those who will be receptive to growing to their potential.  Empower those who are ready, willing and eager to accept the challenge.

 

Leadership is empowering a willing student to reach beyond their current comfort zone and achieve more than they dared to dream was possible for them.

 

Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation.  Go to  www.Elaine4Success.comwww.Elaine4Success.com/Contact

Customer Service is Key to Long-Term Success

Top Fortune 100 companies are obsessed with delivering outstanding customer service.

What does it take to consistently deliver outstanding customer service?

Words create memories - good or bad

Words create memories – good or bad

Who is responsible?

Of course it is the customer service department, but it is also every employee.  The company reputation is derived from the impressions generated by every employee.  You never know who is listening.

Difficult to Build and Quick to Lose

It takes time and concentrated effort to build a solid reputation.  Unfortunately, that stellar reputation can be damaged far more quickly than it can be built.

In the “pre internet” days of the 1980s and before, it was commonly accepted that one happy customer told 3 and an unhappy customer told 10.  Now with a few keystrokes, an unhappy customer can tell hundreds.

Remaining diligent about customer service is extremely important.

Starbucks is an excellent company.  Yet even the best can stumble.

May 1, 2014 I received an email directly from Starbucks reminding me that my Starbucks card ending 6279 has a balance remaining.  After searching my cards and being unable to locate that one, I search Starbucks.com.  Still unable to locate the card, I called customer service.

The woman who answered the customer service line first told me that the card did not exist.  When I explained about the email from Starbucks (addressed to the current and correct email address) she requested to put me on hold.  She came back and said the card did not exist.  I calmly read her the short but specific email.  She requested to put me on hold again.  When she returned, she verified the exact balance remaining on the card and that the card was registered to me.

Now we’re making progress, or so I thought.  She next stated, “That card was closed in 2006.  You have a balance on the card but since the card is closed, you can’t use the balance.”

“May I ask why I received an email only a few days ago reminding me that I had a balance on the card?”  She replied, “Yes, you do have a balance on the card, but you can’t use the money.  The card is closed.”

Excellent customer service would have been to honor the balance since the reminder notice had indeed come from Starbucks and was the accurate amount.  (Truthfully, it was less than $20.)

Bad customer service was to acknowledge the card number and balance remaining as mine and then decline to honor it.  She did not even apologize for an email having been sent by Starbucks regarding the un-used balance. She matter-of-factly stated.  Yes that was your card and that is the balance remaining but there is nothing I can do.  The card is closed.  “Anything else I can do to help you today?”

Guard Your Customer Service Reputation

If you make a mistake, and we all do, acknowledge it and make it right with the customer to the best of your ability.

The old Dale Carnegie “How to Win Friends and Influence People” concept is still valid today.

Excellent customer service does win friends and influence people.  Bad customer service influences people to do business elsewhere.

It takes twice as much money to win a new customer as to retain a current customer.

It takes time and effort to build a good reputation.  Enough careless disregard for customers and the reputation can plummet.  I’m certain I am not the only one who received that “balance remaining” email.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com

 

 

Difficult to Build and Quick to Lose

It takes time and concentrated effort to build a solid reputation.  Unfortunately, that stellar reputation can be damaged far more quickly than it can be built.

In the “pre internet” days of the 1980s and before, it was commonly accepted that one happy customer told 3 and an unhappy customer told 10.  Now with a few keystrokes, an unhappy customer can tell hundreds. 

Remaining diligent about customer service is extremely important.

Starbucks is an excellent company.  Yet even the best can stumble. 

May 1, 2014 I received an email directly from Starbucks reminding me that my Starbucks card ending 6279 has a balance remaining.  After searching my cards and being unable to locate that one, I search Starbucks.com.  Still unable to locate the card, I called customer service.

The woman who answered the customer service line first told me that the card did not exist.  When I explained about the email from Starbucks (addressed to the current and correct email address) she requested to put me on hold.  She came back and said the card did not exist.  I calmly read her the short but specific email.  She requested to put me on hold again.  When she returned, she verified the exact balance remaining on the card and that the card was registered to me.

Now we’re making progress, or so I thought.  She next stated, “That card was closed in 2006.  You have a balance on the card but since the card is closed, you can’t use the balance.” 

“May I ask why I received an email only a few days ago reminding me that I had a balance on the card?”  She replied, “Yes, you do have a balance on the card, but you can’t use the money.  The card is closed.” 

Excellent customer service would have been to honor the balance since the reminder notice had indeed come from Starbucks and was the accurate amount.  (Truthfully, it was less than $20.)

Bad customer service was to acknowledge the card number and balance remaining as mine and then decline to honor it.  She did not even apologize for an email having been sent by Starbucks regarding the un-used balance. She matter-of-factly stated.  Yes that was your card and that is the balance remaining but there is nothing I can do.  The card is closed.  “Anything else I can do to help you today?”

Guard Your Customer Service Reputation

If you make a mistake, and we all do, acknowledge it and make it right with the customer to the best of your ability.

The old Dale Carnegie “How to Win Friends and Influence People” concept is still valid today. 

Excellent customer service does win friends and influence people.  Bad customer service influences people to do business elsewhere.

It takes twice as much money to win a new customer as to retain a current customer. 

It takes time and effort to build a good reputation.  Enough careless disregard for customers and the reputation can plummet.  I’m certain I am not the only one who received that “balance remaining” email.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com

Sports Car vs Entrepreneur

As a “gear head” sports car enthusiast with more wanna-be than genuine technical knowledge, I invite you to make Baby.sma comparison with an entrepreneur; I do know entrepreneurialism.

Sports Car

My sports car is pure white with red leather interior.  She has smoked gray T-tops which she never wears unless in a dire emergency.  (She prefers to only go out on pretty sunny days.)  She is vintage; don’t ever call her “old.”  It feels like her nose arrives a half a block before I do.  She has a delightful purr due to the dual glass packs.

She is a 1980 Corvette Stingray with 32,142 miles on the odometer (Yes, the odometer is legitimate.  It has not been adjusted.)

The Steamboat cops named her the first day I drove her in to town.  They stopped me immediately and said, “Baby, oh Baby!”  Baby became her name.

How does a sports car resemble an entrepreneur?

Speed – Just like an entrepreneur, when the situation demands speed, both a sports car and an entrepreneur can respond with instant acceleration.  Not only instant acceleration but sustained speed as long as is required to accomplish the task.

Cornering – With an unexpected change in the economy or the desires of the marketplace, an entrepreneur can rapidly adjust and turn a sharp corner or a complete U-turn if necessary.  With unpredictable or fickle marketplace desires, the entrepreneur can navigate smoothly and rapidly through a series of “S” curves which would make a normal person dizzy.

Showmanship – From the flare and pizzazz of a web site, sales brochure or stage performance, an entrepreneur can deliver the message with style.  An entrepreneur knows how to dress the part, deliver the message and entice the audience to enjoy every minute of the presentation.

If you have ever examined a sports car on display at a car show, you know that a speck of dust or a fingerprint would not dare come near the engine, the body, or even the inside of the glove compartment.  They have a spit-shine which would make a military officer turn green in jealousy and yet sports cars are a close equal with an entrepreneur in full sales display mode.

Engine – An entrepreneur’s organization is fine-tuned from the janitor who keeps the establishment clean and perfectly maintained to the CEO who serves as visionary and conductor of the entire company.  Ideally the marketing department coordinates with the sales department and both of them work closely with manufacturing and shipping.  In a perfect world, every department coordinates and cooperates with every other department.

For a sports car to run perfectly, every mechanical part must work with every other part.  Can you imagine if the tires decided to have a dispute with the axels?

Every department, just like every part must work smoothly with every other segment.

Complete Package – Just as a finely tuned sports car is a complete package from under the hood to the perfectly polished exterior, so is a well-managed and efficiently operated entrepreneur’s organization.

Are you seeking more success in your life and career?  Inquire about hiring Elaine Love as a business and communications professional – business coach, presentations coach/trainer and content writer.  Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/about or www.Elaine4Success.com

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
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