Communication Tips

Communication Tip #57

“I would have went to the meeting.”

Most of us cringe when we read this, but some do not. (“I would have GONE to the meeting.”)

Some of us–because of lapses in our education, attention in school, or associations afterwards, routinely write or punctuate incorrectly–and we don’t know it.

For that reason, ask someone to proofread your emails for a while. You will become aware of your chronic mistakes and stop making them.

Regardless of your expertise, when composing important emails or documents, have at least one other person read them before you send or publish them.

(My husband read this before I posted it.)

July 29, 2013

Communication Tip #56

Capitalize the first word of every sentence. Also capitalize titles that precede a person’s name. (The bank’s Vice President John Jackson spoke. .bank, the person’s name, and the names of organizations and businesses, which are

The first word of every sentence is capitalized. Proper nouns are always capitalized

Please capitalize your business’ name. It is a proper noun. Proper nouns name particular (specific one-of-a-kind) persons, places and things.

Some businesses and organizations are now designing logos with their names written in all small letters. They are doing it for artsy reasons and possibly to identify with and acquiesce to younger people who choose not to make the effort to capitalize when texting.

In my opinion, that relegates those businesses and organizations to the category of common nouns–the opposite of proper nouns. To me, they come across as cute, faddish, acquiescent, and obviously ignorant of basic English rules. They do not project an image of being strong, capable, and proud of their name.

June 24, 2013

Communication Tip #55

Leave conversations having left great last impressions.

End conversations the way you began:

  • Smile.
  • Give warm, firm handshakes.
  • Use the names of the people to whom you were speaking
  • Tell them how much you:
    • o appreciate meeting them.
    • o value them.
    • o learned about the topics you discussed.

This, from Mike Bechtle’s book Confident Conversations.

June 13, 2013

Communication Tip #54

Last week I had the privilege of giving the commencement address to the students, their families and the staff of National College. I gave them tips for which those who attend my workshops are grateful.

The #1 tip is to smile.

Smiling communicates confidence. It is contagious. It attracts people to you and makes them feel positive– about you, what you say, and themselves: the receivers of what you say. How positive? A smile causes the release of the same amount of endorphins–chemicals that make us feel good–as eating 20,000 chocolate candy bars or receiving the equivalent of nearly $25,000 in cash. That, according to Katerina Nikolas, author of “How Smiling Affects Your Health.”

So, make a positive, confident difference in yourself and the reaction to your products or services: Smile.

May 28, 2013

Communication Tip #53

Here are three words that appear to be better off without their confusing prefixes: unloosen, unthaw, and invaluable. (Yes, unloosen and unthaw are actually in the dictionary! I discovered that today.)

Unloosen means to loosen, unthaw means to thaw and invaluable means valuable–albeit, a notch above valuable, which further complicates this.

What other words come to your mind that, when etymologically broken down, make no sense?

April 22, 2013

Communication Tip #52

Do you want to get your message across and have people glued to your every word? Paraphrase what they say.

They will be laser focused because it is “their” messages, and they want to make sure you paraphrase correctly.  Here’s the other advantage: you have the opportunity to seamlessly interject suggestions. After listening to your paraphrase + inserted suggested, this might be a response:  “I said angry? I meant disappointed. And, on second thought, ‘butthead’ sounds inappropriate. And you may have a point: what I say and do next could affect everyone in the office.”

April 14, 2013

Communication Tip #51

Good morning, Stupid.

Now that I have elicited your attention (and your ire), convince me that words account for only 7% of communication.

In writing, they obviously account for more, even if you resort to adding emoticons :)

How about speaking? If someone says, “Good morning, Stupid” in an affectionate embrace using a tender tone of voice, those loving non-verbals still could not overpower the effect of the innately insulting “Stupid.” We could not dismiss “Stupid” as being a measly 7% of an otherwise affirming communication.

Although tone of voice and body language are crucial, words are more important than we are lead to believe.

We need to choose our words carefully and not depend on non-verbals and emoticons to be our main transmitters.  Comments?

April 8, 2013

Communication Tip #50

We all encounter this embarrassing situation: not being able to recall people’s names.

Here is a solution that works nearly every time: While shaking their hands, say your first and last name. They usually say theirs. If they don’t, I suggest saying, “Remind me of your name.”

I then make a point to say their names several times to let them know I value them and that the next time, I will, indeed, remember.

What works for you?

April 1, 2013

Communication Tip #49

Before approaching others to network, define who you are or who you want to be (bold, engaged, creative, etc.). Become that person not only with prospects but also with your co-workers, spouse, children, and neighbors. That’s congruity, and according to THE CHARGE author Brenden Burchard who devised this exercise, when our actions are congruent, we feel more grounded, responsible and certain.

I define the results as integrity.

We’ll explore congruency and much more at Networking 201 at the Fort Wayne Chamber’s Lunch and Learn this Wednesday. Hope to see you there!

March 18, 2013

Communication Tip #48

You are at a networking event and want to end a conversation and talk to someone else. Here is a professional and positive way do that: “I enjoyed catching up with you / meeting you and especially appreciate learning about______. I look forward to connecting with you again.”

Summarizing a point the other person made not only honors that person, it shows you were laser focused and found what the person said valuable.

This is one of several advanced networking tips I’ll be sharing at “Networking 201″ on March 20th. The Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch and Learn begins at 11:30 and lunch is provided. Contact the Chamber for reservations.

If you are in the area, I’d love to see you there! 

March 11, 2013

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