One of my great kicks in writing The Results Report, is sharing with you insights from some of the best and brightest minds in the business-world. This month is no different. Yet that's only natural, when your bloodline includes Albert Einstein!
Karen Cortell Reisman and I have been friends for decades. When we see each other, our visits are characterized by Karen's friendly smile, warm embrace and easy laughter. She's a speaker, author, President of Speak for Yourself® and a cousin of Einstein! Plus, Karen knows communication strategies, that'll give you powerful competitive advantages. Immediately!
Jeff Blackman: What are guaranteed ways one can become a more effective speaker/presenter?
Karen Cortell Reisman: To become a dynamic speaker in formal and informal situations, use the C-O-D method:
C is for Content: saying something worth saying
O is for Organization: speaking with a strategy
D is for Delivery: presenting with style and without anxiety
JB: You have very specific "fix-it-tips" to help one better "think-on-their-feet" and avoid being flustered in impromptu situations. Like...
KCR: Use the:
• Pros and cons method: Everything has advantages and disadvantages. State the positives and negatives. Then give a summary sentence.
• Past / present / future context: Perhaps your subject can be divided into what happened in the past, where you are now, and where you hope to be in the future. Then give a summary sentence.
• Point-of-view technique: Discuss your topic, issue or opportunity from various points-of-view, i.e., the goals of your customers, your sales team, your marketing or financial departments, your leaders, or even your competitors. Then give a summary sentence.
JB: Whether it's a speech, sales call, or even a voicemail message, you encourage others to "discard predictability." Meaning...
KCR: Predictability is boring. Discarding predictability is creative. For example, even with an outbound voicemail message:
√ Avoid saying, "Wait for the beep..." unless you expect voicemail from another galaxy.
√ Alter, "We'll get back to you as soon as possible..." to, "Please let me know a good time to return your call."
√ Request the caller leaves their email address, and you give them your website address.
√ Keep it short.
And to get creative with a presentation, never start with, "Good morning, my name is... And I'm going to talk about..." Boring! Instead, begin with a compelling story, powerful quote, intriguing question, startling statistic, or fun audience-engagement activity.
JB: Before we speak, it's important to really listen. What are your tips to become an even better listener?
KCR: First, use these six strategies to be an active listener:
4. Ask questions
5. Use good eye contact
6. Maintain a healthy emotional boundary
Next, use the 65/35 Rule.
Take this advice from one of my CEO clients, Judy, who was extremely well-respected by her 300+ team members, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or age. I asked her, "You're a very effective communicator, what's your secret?" She replied, "I listen 65% of the time, and only talk 35%." She then added, "If I do all the talking, I don't learn as much." Information talks. Wisdom listens.
JB: What role does humor play, in a speech, sale or success?
KCR: When you make people laugh, they listen. When they listen, they pay attention. When they pay attention, they remember you and what you've said.
Humor comes from all around you. It's NOT telling jokes—which can offend ethnic groups, a political party, or a gender. I use self-deprecating humor. I'm the best and safest person to poke fun at! Plus it makes me human, approachable and likable.
Humor is finding the funny stuff, and applying it to your speech, meeting, proposal, conversation, work and life.
JB: How does one convey confidence and trust?
KCR: I love movies. So here are three films that show the must-have-attributes for establishing trust and confidence.
1. Lincoln: Show your knowledge and gravitas.
In this movie and life, Abraham Lincoln epitomizes a sense-of-self and intelligence. So must you.
2. Star Wars: May the force be with you.
You don't need to be an extroverted "cheerleader." Yet your listeners/audience—need to know you care. You must have passion for what you say and do.
3. Your favorite James Bond film: Use 007 flair.
Bond always survives, gets the cool gadgets and the beautiful leading-lady! Plus, he has great posture, a warm smile, attentive eye contact, and looks terrific in his outfits. James Bond conveys confidence, by using nonverbal cues with finesse. When you communicate, do it with a Bond brilliance and grace. With knowledge and gravitas, passion and flair!
JB: We're often proud of family members, yet you're especially proud of and grateful to, your cousin Albert Einstein! Tell us about the relationship/history, the "letters" and the lessons.
KCR: Einstein and my grandmother were cousins, lifelong-friends and gossip-buddies. I've used some of his personal quotes in my presentation, Letters From Einstein. When my parents got married, my mother was admittedly nervous to meet dad's side of the family for the first time, which included cousin Albert!
Yet Einstein made mom comfortable during their visit in Princeton. He shuffled over to her and said, "Anne, I want you to relax and be yourself. I'm a normal human being just like everyone else."
The lesson: when you communicate, get results, grow your business, and accelerate your career—relax and be yourself! For more keepers from Karen, please take a peek at: http://www.SpeakForYourself.com