Speaking is an art. Unlike a typical art form, however, most don’t practice this one or try to get better at it. When I say practice I’m not talking about having better pronunciation or enunciation, I’m talking about practicing the ability to communicate effectively. As an Account Executive, I spend a lot of my time speaking to clients and if I can’t communicate the status of a deliverable effectively, I mismanage expectations.
Ah, work-life balance. It's kind of like parenting or finding true love -- everyone has an opinion about it. "There's no such thing as work-life balance, only work-life blend." "There's no such thing as work-life balance, only LIFE!" "You can only spend X number of hours a day doing work, without ruining your personal life." "If you're not committing X number of hours to work, is it even worth doing or being passionate about?"
I don’t know how it happened, but I sneezed and somehow we’re now weeks away from the end of yet another quarter -- and not just any quarter. The second quarter. Which means we’re almost halfway through the entire year. WHAT?! While I’d love to say that I’ve got all my ducks in a row, and all of my plans to "crush my goals" or whatever are going along swimmingly, I would be lying. Here’s the thing though. Now that the finish line is in sight, I’ve noticed a lot of people saying, “I don’t have time for this, I don’t have time for that” -- myself included, I’m not immune -- in a way that makes me wonder if that’s really the case. Do we really not have enough time?
One of our long-time listeners, Frances Bowman, reached out to us awhile back with a request -- to talk more about how to give good feedback to creative marketing pros like us.
Those of you that know me, know that I’m a passionate fan of great communication in all its forms—be it presenting to small groups or speaking to a thousand people for a conference keynote. And having been to 9 different speaking events in the last month, I’ve been reminded of a few skills and principles that few people do, but can make all the difference when trying to make a lasting impact on audience and listeners.
At this very moment, somewhere around the world, there is a presenter standing in front of his (or her) audience that is swallowing the sad reality that he has failed to deliver the message he hoped to achieve. Maybe he was boring. Maybe his content stunk. Or maybe he just choked. For those of you that know me, you might also know I used to be deathly afraid of public speaking. In fact, when I was 16, I was actually committed to never speaking in public.
As some of you know, I don't very much consider myself to be a writer. Yeah, sure, I'm on the path of becoming one (hopefully ;-) ) but it's not something that has come quickly for me. On the other hand, ever since I was about 17 I've seen myself as a speaker. In fact, the one place I feel most comfortable in this world is when I'm on stage having a discussion with an audience. I say 'discussion' because, just like I write, I believe in the art of conversation, in all it's forms. For me, communication simply ain't happening if it's only a one-way street.