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Category Archives for Personal Communication Skills

How to Maximize the Power of Your Social Network With A Cup Of Coffee

As you build your social network always think of how you can help the people you connect with.

Change your mindset from how much effort it takes to build your social network to one that inspires you to connect people who have like minds. People who have the authority and ability to make a significant impact on the lives of others are the people you want to be around.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with the person you met on a social network like Twitter or LinkedIn as you will be amazed at the story they have that can change your life. Your online social network can be enhanced and strengthened when you meet your contact in a face-to-face environment. Your authentic self will shine when your online persona matches who you are in the offline environment. One of my favorite quotes is “You can run but you can’t hide” and is very true in this day and age.

An example of how I maximized my social network connections by making introductions to two people who inspire me. Ann Sieg and Tom Gonser are two entreprenuers with a similar vision. They are both working to help entrepreneurs gain exposure for their business and have a heart to help the economy to grow by creating solid and engaging communities.

In the picture below you will see the masters at work in a local coffee shop. A conversation that was probably taken to a new level because of the personal interaction verses a quick telephone call. I’m blessed to have the gift to connect people and it all started with a phone call.

Marketing Masterminds

Ann Sieg and Tom Gonser

 

I would love to hear how you are connecting and inspiring people in your social network too. Please leave a comment on my Facebook page too.

Business Card Design for Effective Networking

Even with all the technological advances that have come about in the past few decades, the business card is still a powerful way to communicate and network.

Elements of Good Business Card Design

The main thing you want to accomplish with your business card design is to stand out. If one attends many networking events they know just how many business cards people acquire. 
Because a business card is a reminder of who one is, they will want to stand out among all the rest. One way to stand out is to change the shape of the card. There is no law that says that
business cards have to be 3" x 2." with the corners at sharp right angles. By simply rounding the corners it will make quite a difference. Another way to stand out are the elements that you put on the card. A humorous picture goes a long ways to eliciting a smile and reaction from those that receive the card. A funny tagline always makes a business card memorable. 

Even changing your professional title can help. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should use something other than president or CEO. Be creative, even self-deprecating. Consider Yahoo, a large billion-dollar company and the founders refer to themselves as Chief Yahoo. Still, there are professions where comical or whimsical business cards are not well-suited. In cases like lawyers or morticians, the best tip for good business card design is to go minimal. Use plain text and offer as little as possible. Some business professionals could get away with just a name and phone number.  For more information place only the name and title on the front, then put additional information on the back. This is a good way to get an initial impression from a minimal design, while still offering plenty of information about one's business.

Always Leave Room For Notes

A person should have plenty of room on their card to personalize it.  Good networkers know to always personalize a business card with a note of some sort, like providing their cellphone
number.  Handwriting something turns a business card into a personal note which has a higher value.  Again the personalized business card will stand out among any others a person may
get.

Of course, if a person is not using the back of their business card it is all the room they will need. On the other hand should someone decide to use the front and back, there should be
plenty of room somewhere to write a note. Just make sure that the note space has a white or very light background to contrast against the ink of the pen for maximum readability.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Design

Before shipping off business cards design to the printer you want to make sure and check just how effective the design of your card is. The best way to measure effectiveness is to print them out on your home or office printer. Then show the design to friends, colleagues, and family to get an opinion. However, what you really want to look for is for their initial reaction. If they do not react to your card you probably want to go back and re-work your design. After all, with the people that you meet you want to get their attention and remember you, the business card should be helping you do that.

Networking Is Like Swimming

By TARA SCHMAKEL, The ONCE Timid Networker

It’s spring and you’re heading to the pool for the first time of the season. It’s finally warm out. No, it’s downright hot! All you can think about is getting cool in the pool! You know it will be refreshing, you will be with friends or family that you have been looking forward to spending time with and you may even lose that glow in the dark look that you’ve been sporting all winter! You’re ready to get in, but before you do, you test the waters with your toe… IT’S FREEZING. You know that you want to get in, but you can’t just “jump in” like everyone is hollering out to you. So you go back on the deck to psych yourself up!

To a lot of people networking is just like getting into that pool for the first time. It’s too cold and instead of just jumping in, they retreat for another time or until they are ready.

So what can a person do to ease into networking? Three things will help:

1. Think positive– If you think the pool is too cold, it will be. If you think the event will be intimidating, it will be. Tell yourself how great it will be and how good it will feel to have the sense of accomplishment! Just like you psych yourself to get into the pool, you can psych yourself for the event!

2. Dress for success– There are certain items of clothing that are suitable for swimming. It would be challenging to go for a dip if you were wearing a snowmobile suit. It could actually hinder your progress and weigh you down and you could even drown. If you are wearing something inappropriate for networking, you can also take a dive. Dressing according to your business is always a good idea, but many find it helpful to dress it up a notch. They find that little extra, gives them confidence, not to mention an edge over their competition. Also, don’t forget your smile. The most important accessory you could put on!

3. Be prepared– To swim in a pool, you need to have the water ready. To network at an event, you need to have your words ready. Practice what to say when someone asks you what you do. Memorize a phrase or two that will just roll off your tongue. Once you are comfortable and a person is truly interested in what you do, you will find it easy to speak from the heart. You will also find it helpful to have business cards and your calendar along!

By practicing these tips and making them your own, it will become easier to attend a function, just like easing into the pool a little at a time. However, you may find you reach a certain level of comfort that you decide to just go all the way in. Whether you become numb to the effects of your mind or just reach a level of comfort, the result will be refreshing and satisfying and you may even build some relationships and get some business!

Tara Schmakel
The Workroom at Tara’s – I’ve had the entrepreneurial spirit since I was 6 when I started my first business. My methods have changed but my enthusiasm has remained child like. However being a person who felt easily intimidated and shy I was hindered. I have been the recipiant of so much assistance and belief from others and I want to give back. This blog is my story, my ups and downs and lessons learned not just by me, but also others who have felt the same. If I can give to one person what others have given me, then I have succeeded.

Personal Success Factors and You

As I was exploring my success library I am amazed at how frequently I have devoured great books on marketing, personal development and business development. Reading and surrounding yourself with positive, action taking and result focused materials really increases your Personal Success Factors. Here are a few of my recommendations. What are your favorites?

10 Tips For Effective Prospecting

prospecting tips for business buildingWhen you are starting a home business, you must be accountable and engaged in your daily action plan. 10 tips for effective prospecting of your home business will pave the way for executive level income opportunities are:

Smile when you talk on the phone:

You will be amazed to see how smiling can bring about a change in your business prospects. It makes a great difference to your voice also.

Show enthusiasm:

Your prospect will be a lot more interested in your business proposal or strategy, if you are excited about it. People want to be a part of excitement and enthusiasm.

Be polite:

Even if you feel that you would not want to work with someone, it is necessary to be polite and end the call before moving over to someone else.

Make more calls:

Always challenge yourself with a new vigor to dial the phone and make more calls than you did the day before. It enhances your prospects.

Practice before you call:

Before you make a call, practice on the phone. Make the conversation sound normal and easy.

Do not waste your time on prospects missing appointments:

If a prospect misses an appointment more than once, be sure to take the hint and move on. Do not waste your time.

Talk less and listen more:

It is advisable to listen to the demands of the prospect carefully; it helps you decide on what you can offer.

Never quit:

You should stay put with your business proposal. Don’t let rejections dishearten you. Face it and be calm.

Take the advantage of 3-way calls:

It will give more credibility to your business proposal, if the prospect gets to hear about your proposal from someone else. So, keep the options open for it.

Make daily plans:

It is favorable to chalk out your business plans and adhere to them strictly. It will prove to be one of the great ideas for wealth management also.

You should take prospecting seriously. For money making home business, you need to maintain effective prospecting. Prospecting has to be practiced daily.

For a good marketing prospect to develop, you need to engage in a 4-step process, which includes seeking people who might be interested in your business, moving on with the ones who will listen to your proposal, a good approach to inform your prospect and let the recruiting or retailing system do the work for those who are willing to listen to your business plans.

Out of the 10 tips for effective prospecting the two major keys to success for a home business are sheer hard work and a wonderful attitude. Yes, to achieve success it is vital to put in that extra effort and at the same time also maintain the positive attitude that is required to attain financial freedom.

10 Ways To Improve Communication

There is so much to know about proper communication. You can watch talk shows; listen to radio programs; attend clubs dedicated to public speaking; listen to ordinary conversations, however, certain rules still apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it’s your mouth that’s doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to start learning to be an effective communicator is to know the person closest to you: yourself.
1. What you know.
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective communicator you need to implement what you’ve learned. My stint as guest at every Toastmasters’ meeting I went to taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to keep up and share what we know.
2. Listening.
It’s just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.
3. Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re saying the right word properly and if they’re unsure about it then make a joke out of it. I promise you it’ll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well.
4. Eye Contact
There’s a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It’s important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.
5. Kidding around
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you’ll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they’ll feel that you’re just as approachable, and as human to those who listen.
6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You’ll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are.
7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas of your pitch. And while you’re at it you can spruce up as well.
8. With a smile
A smile says it all much like eye contact. There’s no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it’s a wake. You can better express what you’re saying when you smile.
9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they’re at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.
10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work.
And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish in edgewise, but I’ve learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.
Are you communicating effectively

Are you communicating effectively

There is so much to know about proper communication. You can watch talk shows; listen to radio programs; attend clubs dedicated to public speaking; listen to ordinary conversations, however, certain rules still apply when it comes to interaction through words. It may sound tedious, I know, but even though it’s your mouth that’s doing the work, your brain works twice as hard to churn out a lot of things you know. So what better way to start learning to be an effective communicator is to know the person closest to you: yourself.

1. What you know
Education is all about learning the basics, but to be an effective communicator you need to implement what you’ve learned. My stint as guest at every Toastmasters’ meeting I went to taught me that we all have our limitations, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to keep up and share what we know.
2. Listening
It’s just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction.
3. Humility
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we tend to slur our words, stutter, and probably mispronounce certain words even though we know what it means, but rarely use it only to impress listeners. So in a group, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re saying the right word properly and if they’re unsure about it then make a joke out of it. I promise you it’ll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it as well.
4. Eye Contact
There’s a lot to say when it comes to directing your attention to your audience with an eye-catching gaze. It’s important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering, even though he or she may be gorgeous.
5. Kidding around
A little bit of humor can do wonders to lift the tension, or worse boredom when making your speech. That way, you’ll get the attention of the majority of the crowd and they’ll feel that you’re just as approachable, and as human to those who listen.
6. Be like the rest of them
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You’ll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what people make them as they are.
7. Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. I know I do! Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help correct the stress areas of your pitch. And while you’re at it you can spruce up as well.
8. With a smile
A smile says it all much like eye contact. There’s no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering, unless it’s a wake. You can better express what you’re saying when you smile.
9. A Role Model
There must be at least one or two people in your life you have listened to when they’re at a public gathering or maybe at church. Sure they read their lines, but taking a mental note of how they emphasize what they say can help you once you take center stage.
10. Preparation
Make the best out of preparation rather than just scribbling notes and often in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards, while other resort to being a little more silly as they look at their notes written on the palm of their hand (not for clammy hands, please). Just be comfortable with what you know since you enjoy your work.
And that about wraps it up. These suggestions are rather amateurish in edgewise, but I’ve learned to empower myself when it comes to public or private speaking and it never hurts to be with people to listen how they make conversations and meetings far more enjoyable as well as educational.

Some Helpful Public Speaking Tips

Speaker

Public Speaking

If the idea of getting up in front of a large crowd makes you feel ill, then
you may need to use public speaking tips as a way to calm your nerves and
learn how to overcome stress. These simple, but effective, suggestions will
help make giving speeches an easier thing. While we certainly cannot claim
that they will cure your nervousness (this is not magic, after all), we can
guarantee that using these public speaking tips will make the burden less of
one. While you may still hate having to give a speech, you will better know
how to handle yourself during one. And that can make all the difference.

Some helpful public speaking tips:

One: know your material. The worst thing you can do is show up unprepared.
Of all public speaking tips, this is the one you have to remember. Even if
you are not naturally gifted with speech-making and even if you cannot
manage more than a mono toned voice, you can still convey a message if you
know your material. It does not matter how charming you are or how witty you
can be; you need to know the information. Come prepared.

Two: know your audience. What sort of occasion is this? A wedding
reception? A business presentation? Understand who you are speaking with so
you can form something appropriate. You can turn any fact into something
suitable, if you just take the time to think about what the audience will
best respond to.

Three: practice. This should be among the most obvious of public
speaking tips. Just showing up to improvise is not a smart choice. Some
people can manage to do this; they thrive on spontaneity and pressure. Most,
however, do not. You should practice, reciting your speech and knowing
everything about it. It should be a second nature to you, not something you
wing at the last second.

Four: remember to move. Standing behind a lectern, clutching at its sides,
does not inspire confidence. Feel free to move about the area, use hand
gestures and connect with your audience through body language. It can
instantly send a message of conviction and confidence, even if you are a
complete mess inwardly. This will also keep you from unconsciously shuffling
papers or tapping your feet, nervous habits that will distract the audience.

Five: fake it. For the last of our public speaking tips, we encourage you
to fake ease. Even if you hate speeches, even if you are nothing more than
stress and panic, fake confidence. Smile, nod, make eye contact: do
everything you have to for a positive message. While this is not always
easy, it is necessary. You do not have to charm your audience, but you do
have to make them listen. Confidence will do that. Of course, it helps if
you believe in what you are saying but, even then, you may need to pretend.
Do everything you can to look casual. If this means you have to study body
language and mimic it, do so. If you have to practice for hours at a time to
learn every word so you won’t have to worry about forgetting your place, do
so. When it doubt, smile and fake how nervous you are.

With these public speaking tips, you can make the transition from an awkward
speaker to, at least, a more capable one.