get "STAND OUT: 10 Ways to Open Your Presentation" (PDF)

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10 Ways to Stand Out as seen on CNBC"We've posted over 100 of Paul's tips on CNBC.com. They can't be terrible."

Allen R. Wastler, (former) Managing Editor, CNBC.com


We never give our email list to anyone. Ever.

get "STAND OUT: 10 Ways to Open Your Presentation" (PDF)

+ Paul's fast tips (twice/month)

10 Ways to Stand Out as seen on CNBC"We've posted over 100 of Paul's tips on CNBC.com. They can't be terrible."

Allen R. Wastler, (former) Managing Editor, CNBC.com


We never give our email list to anyone. Ever.

Workshops, Webinars & Keynotes

Speaking to inform & inspire

When you’re preparing an important message.

Your Point?

Say It Concisely

Consider your audience.

They’re bombarded with information all day long.  After all, it’s the information age.

What they lack is time.

So whether you’re explaining your company, your services, or your PowerPoint slides, less is more.

Practice now for those critical moments when everything depends on your ability to say it fast.

You’ll learn

  • how to focus your message
  • different ways to simplify complicated info.
  • options, if your audience wants more
  • how to deliver a 30 second elevator speech that floors them

It’s not what you say. It’s what they remember.  Say less; get them to remember more.

And if you’d like 1-1 coaching . . . (details)

Dynamic Speaking

Sharpen Your Design, Delivery & Presence

The premise:  Overloaded with info, your audience has no reason to pay attention—and 10,000 reasons not to.

Our purpose:  Learn & practice the best techniques to increase your impact.

Objectives:

  • Design:  Create a clear, concise, compelling message that works.
  • Delivery:  Capture & hold your audience’s attention.
  • Presence:  Project confidence, even when you’re not feeling it.

This is a skill-building workshop, limited to a small group to ensure individual attention, video-taped practice, feedback & coaching.

You’ll practice the nuts and bolts of designing and delivering an effective talk, including:

  • 15 tips for your next presentation
  • how to use vocal variety, body language and executive presence to make your message stick
  • 10 ways to open your presentation, and why the 1st minute is critical
  • how to structure any presentation, using 3 key questions & 3 powerful techniques
  • what to know about an audience—before they arrive
  • how to create a “what and why” purpose statement; why you need one
  • 5 options for handling difficult-to-handle questions
  • formula for a fast story—and why stories, analogies & examples work
  • how to think on your feet
  • 5 ways to project confidence, even when you’re not feeling it

And much more. Increase your competence & confidence every time you speak.

This is one of our favorite workshops—you’ll see immediate before-and-after improvements!

And if you’d like 1-1 coaching . . . (details)

When Leaders Speak

Get heard. Get remembered. Get results.

Based on Paul’s latest book, You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World .

The premise 

  • Your organization can’t afford all the meetings, presentations—and even emails—that lack focus.
  • Your communication skills can make or break your career.

Our purpose 

  • Get heard, get remembered & get results—every time you speak.

Objectives 

  • Sharpen your message with 1) focus, 2) variety, and 3) presence.

1) Focus—because attention spans are short, and getting shorter.

  • Understand what your audience is really thinking:  they’ve got 3 key questions
  • Quickly design any message (formal or informal) using 3 powerful techniques
  • Give the right amount of detail to the right audiences

2) Variety—because predictable doesn’t work.

  • Learn 10 ways to capture attention in the first 30 seconds
  • Tell fast, compelling, business-relevant stories
  • Engage others with smart, thought-provoking questions

3) Presence—because part of the message is you.

  • Assess yourself on 10 dimensions of presence
  • Increase your presence and your impact
  • Look confident, even when you don’t feel it; avoid 4 common confidence mistakes

Target audience

Executives and professionals who need to inform, influence and inspire others.  Every day

Presence

10 Actions to Increase Your Impact

You listen to certain people at work, but not to others, and often it’s just because of their presence.

But what exactly is presence?

Presence sounds like an all-or-nothing thing—as if you either have it, or you don’t. It also sounds almost mystical.

Let’s demystify it.

In this fast-paced, interactive program, we’ll focus on identifying and practicing key actions to develop your presence and boost your reputation.

Objectives:

  • Make presence actionable
  • Discover three key themes and 10 critical actions that drive others’ perceptions of your presence
  • Assess your strengths and opportunities to improve
  • Practice specific skills and get feedback
  • Recognize the message you’re sending (often without realizing it)
  • Practice the language of commitment
  • Develop a smart plan to act with presence

The purpose:

Increase your impact at work.

Stories that Work

Capture Attention & Make Your Point

“That’s just dumb,” said the Marketing VP.

I was at a conference table with several managers; two were in a heated fight.

They were arguing about the wording on a PowerPoint slide.   Bullet #3, slide #27.

“Can I offer an opinion?” I asked.  They had invited me to this meeting, after all, to consult.

“The wording of bullet #3,” I said, “doesn’t matter.  You’ve got 62 slides in this deck.  No one will remember any of these bullets.”

That stopped the fight.  They no longer hated each other.  Now they hated me . . .

Well, that’s the problem with PP slides:  they’re easily forgotten.  Not so with stories.

Stories capture attention.  Your audience sees things, feels things, and most importantly, remembers things.

The purpose of this workshop is to sharpen your skill at both designing and delivering effective stories for a business audience.

You’ll learn

  • where to find stories
  • how to skillfully move between facts and stories
  • 7 ways to analyze a story and make it better
  • how to hook the audience with your opening
  • the importance of being concise (especially for a business audience)
  • how to tell the leadership story
  • how to describe an accomplishment without bragging
  • how to deepen commitment to key organizational values
  • when not to use stories

And much more. Learn how to capture an audience’s attention, make your point – and be remembered.

And if you’d like 1-1 coaching . . . (details)

Sharpen Your Emails

To Get Results

“I stopped reading your email after the first few lines,” a manager was told, after he asked about the lack of response.

Are your emails getting through? Are they getting results?

Every email you send competes with hundreds of other emails in the other person’s inbox—why should anyone open and read yours?

Also, every email creates a positive, or not-so-positive, impression about you. When you send high-impact messages, you boost your reputation.

In this interactive program, you’ll work on an upcoming email—we’ll help you edit it—while learning the best tactics to get the best results.

You’ll learn how to

  • Capture attention with your subject line
  • Get right to the point
  • Use less words
  • Adapt your tone and style
  • Write for results
  • Avoid the worst mistakes

The purpose:

Make your emails (and you) stand out.

Speaking to change behavior

When you’re facing a high-stakes encounter.

Challenging Conversations

Increase Your POWER™ 

It’s tempting to avoid difficult conversations at work. They feel risky. But there’s often a risk in not having these conversations:

  • Poor performance goes uncorrected (the other person may not even know there’s a problem).
  • At meetings, people withhold their ideas, and their true opinions.
  • Agreements that are reached lack real buy-in.
  • Problems are allowed to go on, and on, and on.

The issue then, is how to conduct these conversations with skill.

In this program, you’ll learn:

  • A practical, easy-to-remember, 5-step methodology to effectively manage these conversations, from beginning to end.
  • 3 questions you can use to prepare for the conversation that will dramatically improve your success (prep time: less than 5 minutes).
  • How to open the conversation by immediately engaging the other person.
  • 3 skills to improve your listening.
  • How to explain your perspective—in a way that gets heard.
  • 4 techniques to boost your resolve and confidence.
  • 5 different ways to deal with conflict so that you don’t get stuck with one style.

And you’ll have the chance to practice these skills, and jumpstart your next challenging conversation. These conversations will always be challenging.  But this workshop will increase your competence, confidence—and POWER.

Conflict & Collaboration

Resolve Conflict—Prevent it—Create it!

Not every conflict has a win-win solution. Nor is every conflict bad. Sometimes lack of conflict is a problem, especially when it means that colleagues aren’t comfortable expressing divergent views. Still, we often get stuck in conflicts that could be easily prevented or quickly resolved.

In this program you’ll learn:

  • 5 different styles for dealing with conflict—and which style is yours
  • how to vary your approach and avoid getting trapped by a habitual response
  • a simple technique to prevent conflict
  • when the smartest strategy is avoidance
  • how to manage your emotions
  • why conflict often seems personal, and usually isn’t
  • do’s and don’ts for reaching group consensus
  • practical skills to resolve (many) conflicts

Conflict may be an inevitable part of our professional and personal life, but the effects of conflict—decreased productivity, increased stress—are not inevitable. Take control: learn how to master conflict!

Maximum Motivation

The Techniques that Work

Suppose you could double everyone’s motivation—imagine the results you’d achieve. Where does motivation come from, anyway? From outside the person—or inside? The answer is both. The purpose of this workshop is to discover how to motivate anyone—including yourself.

You’ll learn:

  • a systematic, start-to-finish, approach to motivation
  • why consequences matter, and the 3 consequences that matter most
  • best practices for setting expectations, coaching, and providing feedback
  • how to flex your motivational style
  • 4 ways to communicate direction—each one has a different motivational outcome
  • why there’s not one motivator that works for everyone —there are 8
  • how to interview a job applicant—or associate—and quickly determine his/her motivational profile
  • how to identify and leverage strengths—your own, and other’s
  • 3 ways that high performers think—and how to train others to think like high performers
  • how to ignite your own energy and motivation

As a leader, you need exceptional results. And employee engagement is key. Here are the techniques that work.

Bulletproof Feedback

Give—and Receive—Feedback that Improves Performance

Feedback is a powerful motivational tool to change or reinforce another person’s behavior. It’s free, fast, and long-lasting. Unfortunately, many managers never get feedback on their feedback skills, so this tool is often poorly applied or never used.

In this program, you’ll learn:

  • do’s and don’ts for giving exceptional feedback
  • how to structure the conversation, from start to finish, to ensure impact
  • 6 common biases, and the one thing you must do to avoid all 6
  • the difference between suggestions and criticisms—and why this difference is “critical”
  • how to be specific—and when not to be
  • 3 techniques for making hard-to-hear feedback easier to hear (without diluting the message)
  • the ACE technique™ for handling pushback or resistance

The best leaders give lots of feedback, and in a way that gets results – without anyone getting hurt. (We also offer—and highly recommend—a companion version of this program for employees on how to participate in the feedback discussion).

Smart Questions

Get the Answers that Matter

Socrates was the wisest person in Greece, even though he professed to know nothing. But he knew how to ask questions. Whether you’re talking with a client, coaching an employee, or teaching philosophy in the streets of Athens, good questions are invaluable. Discover how to ask the right ones.

You’ll learn:

  • best practices for asking questions – what to do, what to avoid
  • why, according to Barbara Walters, asking the 2nd question is much harder than asking the 1st
  • different types of questions, and why it’s important to know the difference
  • 3 questions to ask yourself when stressed
  • how to use questions to make your next presentation more engaging
  • 2 questions to quickly define any problem
  • how to coach your employees with questions – and the best question nobody ever asks
  • how to determine someone’s motivational profile in a few minutes
  • your options when asked a question
  • when not to ask questions

Speaking to energize yourself

When you want more powerful thinking (what you tell yourself).

Resilience @ Work

Increase Your Energy & Effectiveness by Thinking Differently

Based on Paul’s book, Naked at Work (and Other Fears): How to Stay Sane When Your Job Drives You Crazy. “Human beings have a biological tendency to think crooked,” according to Dr. Albert Ellis (a world-renowned psychologist). Fortunately, thinking is a learned skill. In this program you’ll learn practical techniques to sharpen your effectiveness by thinking differently.

Learn how to:

  • stay energized and motivated, despite setbacks
  • challenge your assumptions
  • deal differently with challenging people
  • create purpose and meaning for yourself and others
  • stay focused on work when you’re at the office, and let it go when you’re away
  • quickly get new perspectives on old problems
  • relax in a minute or less

Change how you think about thinking—and how you think about work—while increasing your effectiveness.

10-Speed Thinking

Sharpen Your Thinking & Speed Your Results

Consider this analogy:  If you had a 10-speed bicycle, you’d out-perform someone with a one-speed bike.  You might not use all 10 speeds, but you could always switch gears when you got stuck. In this program, you’ll practice 10 ways to think – as well as several ways not to think—about a current challenge you’re facing. We’ll begin by clearly defining the specific business result you’d like to achieve—it could be resolving a problem, advancing an opportunity, or creating an innovation. Then, through a variety of different exercises—carefully balanced between group work and individual reflection—you’ll practice a series of breakthrough techniques to accelerate your result. In addition to gaining new ideas about your specific situation, you’ll also learn practical techniques that you can apply to any situation.

Learn how to:

  • think in new and innovative ways
  • get more ideas—faster
  • balance detail with a big picture perspective
  • avoid false starts and wasted time by recognizing common thinking traps
  • make smarter business decisions
  • improve team thinking
  • let ideas incubate by deliberately not thinking about a problem
  • recharge your brainpower throughout the day

Although success at work depends on the ability to think, the one thing we rarely think about is our thinking. Use this workshop to advance a specific challenge, while learning, in general, how to be even smarter at work.

7 PowerPoint Mistakes (a fast tip)

1) Too many slides; too few slides.

How many should you use? I usually say ten, only because it’s a finite number and it’s less than 1,000.

A better answer: It depends.  Read more.

Try Paul’s twice monthly tips + get “STAND OUT: 10 Ways to Open Your Presentation” PDF

We never share our email list. Ever.