• Losing it Live: Michael Bay’s Meltdown

    You can now witness your worst nightmare if you deliver presentations: embarrassing yourself on stage. In this case, it happened to famed film director Michael Bay – ironically, a man who directs others to deliver their best performances on camera. After an introduction exalting his superhuman status, Bay strode on stage at a Samsung event in Las Vegas. His role? Simple. To promote the company's new curved TV by reading a few prepared lines from a teleprompter. Instead, he threw everyone a curve ball by reading the wrong lines. Bay blew it and he knew it. Humiliated by his faux pas, he fled from the stage. Awkward, right?

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  • What Influence Lists Get Wrong

    GQ Magazine has released its list of the "25 Least Influential People." Here's the problem: The list measures the wrong thing. Before you say, "Lighten up, Connie," please consider that I get it. While I've spent the past decade as an executive coach, my previous career was in – gasp – journalism. I understand that the "Least Influential" list is meant to be provocative, even profane, to win attention in a media-saturated world. Being GQ, the list is clever and targets the interests of its male audience. But even writer Drew Magary concedes that the premise of his list is dead wrong. For example as he notes about his #6 pick, foam finger-toting Miley Cyrus, "What's sad is that it totally worked."

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  • Do You Have a Leadership Presence Problem? Dr. King, a Queen ... and YOU

    Dr. Martin Luther King's gravitas was cemented 50 years ago. The queen of comfort food, Paula Deen, became persona non grata in many business circles this year. I was thinking about the parallel this morning, beyond the obvious racial context. There's a leadership lesson here that's crucial to YOUR ability to have a positive, lasting impact on others. Forget the fame factor. Set aside the race aspect. This is deeply personal.

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  • How to Stay Cool Under Presentation Pressure: A Lesson from Golfer Jason Dufner

    He's so chill that he has a zoned-out meme. A photo of golfer Jason Dufner slumped against a classroom wall caught fire in March. His golf game caught up this month when he won the PGA Championship – his laid-back style still on display. How did Dufner stay so cool under intense pressure to win a major championship? More important, what can YOU learn from Dufner's transformation from a guy struggling to retain his PGA Tour card to a champion hoisting the coveted Wanamaker Trophy?

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  • Narcissistic Nation: Why Egotists Are NOT the Real Deal

    The news is full of people who are full of themselves: Mayoral wanna-be and serial sexter Anthony Weiner, San Diego mayor and alleged serial pervert Bob Filner, sports legend and alleged performance enhancer Alex Rodriguez ... and former bus driver-turned abuser Ariel Castro. A bus driver? We've come to expect narcissism from high profile politicians and athletes, but a former school bus driver from a run-down home?

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  • Real Versus Fake

    Who's the real deal and who's not? The mismatch between what people want us to believe and what we learn to be true can be disappointing. We are living in an almost excessively “faux” world. This post explores why it matters to you in the business world.

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  • The World Demands Perfection, Yet Craves Authenticity

    Think about the paradoxes in your life. You want to exude executive presence—yet still be genuine. You want to hone your speaking and influence skills—but not appear manipulative. You want to inspire top performance from others—yet not drive away top talent with your demands. You want to be—and to be seen as—the real deal. How do you balance the polarities of perfection and authenticity to lead at your peak level?

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  • ‘Just be yourself’ is inadequate advice

    "Just be yourself." As a piece of advice, it’s common—even clichéd. But it’s far more demanding than it sounds, isn’t it? If you’re a leader, you’re on the receiving end of relentless and often conflicting advice about how to present yourself to the world. Perhaps you’re urged to be active on social media in order to...

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  • Influencing Your Team’s Culture

    As a leader, you shape the culture of your team. You have the opportunity – and responsibility – to transform a collection of individuals into a high-performing group. As much as you may want to, you know that you can’t mandate teamwork. Plotters and schemers can undermine your efforts, unraveling not just your team’s performance, but your customer relationships as well. The reality is that every organization is inherently a political entity. Some team members will vie for attention, resources, and positions. That’s why culture is crucial – and why it begins with you.

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  • The Swig Heard ‘Round the World

    Senator Marco Rubio chugged a tiny bottle of water during his State of the Union Republic response and instantly became comic fodder. In a swig heard 'round the world, he demonstrated why every executive must learn how to effectively communicate when Teleprompted. Lesson one: Always have water within arm's length – not off-camera. Here are a few other crucial tips I learned to master the prompter from my twenty years as a news anchor.

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  • How to Influence Fellow Senior Leaders

    Membership on a senior leadership team gives you immense cachet. You’re in a circle of highly visible, powerful leaders. Your role is complex. You simultaneously manage your own business unit, function, or division while serving on a senior team that creates the organization’s future. To boot, you may be vying with those peers for a higher spot in the succession plan. As an executive coach, I’ve noticed that many of you are grappling with some loaded questions: Do I have influence with my peers? How do I add value? And how do I handle the conflicts that arise when strong-willed leaders butt heads? Here are a few ideas to ponder:

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  • Enough. Stop Interrupting Me!

    Much has been made of the interruptions during the recent Vice Presidential debate. I believe it’s indicative of “communication interruptus” that’s been breaking out everywhere – from boardrooms and meeting rooms to lunch rooms and chat rooms. We’re living in an impatient, impulsive, instant gratification world. Interrupting, interjecting, and talking over others has become the new norm. Seems everybody wants to get a word in edgewise.sn't it frustrating to be plowed over by someone who thinks the only voice worth listening to is his own? I'd like to offer a few reasons why more people are cutting you off, how to prevent it, and how to handle a relentless, habitual interrupter.

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  • The Successful Executive Apology - Learning from Apple CEO Tim Cook

    You're the Chief Executive and your company is mired in a major public outcry. Let's call it the "Map Flap." Hiccups in your mapping software have marred your newest product release, which was first heralded by a frenzy of excitement worldwide. While you may not be Tim Cook leading Apple Inc. through an uproar, the old saying "There but for the grace of God, go I" may come to mind. Every executive can learn from Cook's corporate contrition. An effective executive apology can influence others, mitigate damage and maybe even bolster your credibility in the long run. The trick is to understand the art of the apology and follow the right steps. Here are three steps to generate goodwill through contrition...

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  • Leader, Teleprompted: Why Executives Must Master the Machine

    As an executive, you're called upon to deliver important messages to your organization and the marketplace. People look to you to set the tone in public speaking. You want to come across as a strong leader, but natural. To complicate matters, your busy schedule doesn't allow a minute to spare. That's why you need to master the Teleprompter. Man and the machine are converging in today's media-centric world. If you're a leader, you're now a broadcaster. Or at least a narrowcaster with consequences. Soon, you'll be called upon to record crisp messages for both your organization's intranet and the broader Internet.

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  • Gabby Giffords Communicates Pure Joy

    I want to share this quick video with you because it's influence in its purest form. Pure joy. Pure triumph. Pure heart. Gabby Giffords proudly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance makes me smile and tear up simultaneously. This should influence you to never give up.

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  • How to Manage Presentation Anxiety and Radically Improve Your Outcome

    As you watched the London Olympics, you may have wondered, "Why does one athlete reach her golden goal while another with equal talent falters?" Sports psychologists tell us the athlete who hauls in the hardware has learned to manage her anxiety. Same with influential leaders and presenters. After a decade of coaching executives, I've learned the key is to manage your anxiety, not try to control it. Managing and controlling are two different mindsets. If you manage your anxiety, you'll stay focused, which radically reduces your stress and improves the outcome. If you try to control it, you give the anxiety too much power. Trying to control your nerves while delivering a presentation makes you vulnerable because...

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  • 5 Ways the Fab Five Can Make Your Team More Influential

    The U.S. women's gymnastics team soared, flipped and vaulted their way to the top of the medal stand at the London Olympics. They delivered the most resounding win in modern gymnastics and marked the first time a U.S. women's team has clinched gold outside of the United States. What you may not know is that these five teenagers also provided a winning template for any group who delivers presentations. Think about the last group presentation you attended. I’ll bet it felt disjointed and sloppy. There was overlap or, even worse....

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  • What Does the Perfect Presentation Feel Like? Take a Lesson From Lochte

    By now, you've heard about Olympian Ryan Lochte's face off with Michael Phelps in the 400-meter medley. You've heard how he dominated the race to win the gold. But you may be wondering, "What does a sports rivalry have to do with my presentation skills?" Everything. When you present, you are up against a competitor who's been on your tail for years. A competitor who can get inside your head and bring you down. You are competing against – YOU. Is it finally time to conquer your own demon? Let's take a lesson from Lochte with three tips you can apply right now...

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  • Top Influencer: Teen Alters Seventeen Magazine

    Girl power, meet your new heroine. A young teen from Maine, ticked off by flagrant Photoshopping in magazines, has spun her criticism into a crusade. As a result, she’s led an influential, industry-altering crusade. 14 –year old Julia Bluhm started a petition on Change.org against altered photos in Seventeen magazine. Within days, her petition had more than 84,000 supporters. Within a month, Julia and her mom were invited to New York to meet with Seventeen’s editor in chief. Within reason, a commitment to change is now in place.

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  • Top Influencer:  Mark Zuckerberg’s Girlfriend

    She's a smart cookie. Medical student Priscilla Chan inspired her famously private boyfriend, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, to lead a public health revolution. Over dinnertime chat, Priscilla shared stories of how patients she interacted with that day were impacted by organ donations. Those who failed to find donors were dying. Those lucky enough to be on the receiving end of donations lived. Priscilla lit up like a firecracker when she shared stories about lives saved. "Why don't more people donate?" she wondered, "If only people knew about the critical shortage of organs for people who are desperately in need." That's where dinner talk turned to into action.

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  • Influencer of the Week: E.L James is Tickled Pink

    Let's set aside the color featured in her saucy book trilogy for a moment. The shade that's dominating the New York Times bestseller list. Literary sensation E.L. James is tickled pink. The author of Fifty Shades of Grey is simultaneously revving the engines of women and upending the publishing world. Originally a self-published author – and a first-timer, at that – James is stunned that she's influencing the way books are bought and sold. In a statement to the BBC, James calls it "an extraordinary and wholly unexpected adventure." Fifty Shades began as a free e-book, allowing for discrete buying for those who didn't want others to know they were reading erotica. After eager book club members started recommending it, the trilogy exploded and went viral. (Not to be confused with the naughty acts she writes about, of course.)

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  • Influencer of the Week: Ashley Judd’s Conversation

    I proudly select a Harvard scholar as my Influencer of the Week. A scholar who serves as a global ambassador for YouthAIDS. A dedicated individual who has testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. One who has presented to the National Press Club. A scholar who's also been lambasted by that very press this week for - wait for it - a puffy face. Ashley Judd has taken it on the chin. Make that the cheeks. If you haven't heard of the controversy, just type "Ashley Judd" into Google search and see the viral frenzy surrounding her "puffy face." You'll read elegantly descriptive words like "cow" and "pig." Who's oinking now? Ashley.

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  • Influencer of the Week: Apple’s New CEO Tim Cook

    “Just do what’s right,” Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs reportedly advised Tim Cook, his successor as CEO of Apple Inc. That’s how shift happens. Cook proved his inner boldness this week in a major shift with the late Jobs’ philosophy. He announced the company’s new dividend and buyback plan, essentially bringing sexy back to the musty old dividend. The quarterly check, one seen as taboo for tech companies, is now cool again.

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  • Influencer of the Week: The Kony Clip

    You could hardly miss it this week. The film Kony 2012 is a triumph of marketing. It's a viral video sensation with 76 million YouTube hits and counting since its release just days ago. The Kony film shines a light on the plight of child warfare and atrocities committed by Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. Filmmaker Jason Russell created a narrative that juxtaposes video of his young son in California with the plight of the hopeless children of Uganda. But what accounts for its influence over so many, so fast? Here's how. Russell tapped into Twitter, Facebook, high schools, colleges, and Hollywood to make it happen. While there are no silly cat tricks, there are....

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  • Influencer of the Week: Chardon’s One Heartbeat

    A tiny town is having a huge impact, schooling the world in how to respond to a nightmare in real time, with real grace, with one heartbeat. Welcome to Chardon, Ohio. Population five thousand, give or take a few. Today there are three fewer, taken out by gunfire in the high school cafeteria. The shots rang out minutes after last Monday opening bell, when a 17 year old approached his fellow students sitting at a cafeteria table and shot them in the head from behind. He killed three and injured two others. What's remarkable about this city is its focus. Despite the sirens, SWAT teams, satellite trucks, and helicopters, they've concentrated on what matters: Relationships. Consoling. Healing.

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  • Influencer of the Week: J.C. Penney’s Oscar Hijacking

    The Oscar's Red Carpet was the center of the universe Sunday night, featuring wildly expensive couture and jewels, taut bodies and sometimes tauter faces. But turns out, fashion's biggest night was hijacked by J.C Penney. Yes, J.C. Penney. The boring one. The 110-year-old retailer used Hollywood's hottest night to reveal its own facelift. The company, now led by former Apple Inc. executive Ron Johnson, unveiled five clever ads during the Oscar telecast, featuring spokeswoman Ellen DeGeneres.

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  • Influencer of the Week: Jeremy Lin

    He's a point guard who's making a point, loud and clear. The New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin proves it's time to ditch two stereotypes: that Asian Americans aren't NBA material – and that brainy Harvard graduates aren't either. Lin's sudden ascent from undrafted benchwarmer to global superstar is crushing records. If you're a person whose talents have been unrecognized or under-appreciated, here are a few tips to help you make the impact you know you're capable of....

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  • Influencer of the Week: Your Voice

    In a week that's featured the return of Adele's powerfully emotional voice, the silencing of Whitney Houston's soaring vocals, and the imminent finale of Glen Campbell's crooning to Alzheimer's disease, I feel compelled to share this this truth: Use your voice. It's the center of your influence. Ever lost your voice? I've been silenced by a case of full blown laryngitis this week and am under doctor's orders to stay completely silent for 48 hours. No talking. No whispering. Not so much as a gentle throat clearing. You'd be surprised at how much you learn about your ability to influence when you're suddenly silent – and what others imply by your stillness.

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  • Influencer of the Week: Cancer-Conquering Super Bowl Sensation

    The All American linebacker with the crazy face paint – that's how Mark Herzlich was defined during his stellar football career at Boston College. Then came cancer. Doctors hoped to redefine the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year as Mark Herzlich, cancer survivor. Finished with football, yet alive and well. But Mark disagreed. He had a goal. Always ambitious, he was still determined to become Mark Herzlich, NFL linebacker.

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  • Influencer of the Week: The Tarmac Tiff Photo-Op

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's tarmac tiff with President Obama influenced a major book bump. Who knew that her Scorpions for Breakfast tome even existed before the photo-op transformed it into a best-seller? Apparently not many. Brewer's book rocketed from No. 343,000 up to No. 7 in Amazon book rankings as a result of tarmac time. That's an astonishing literary leap. She transformed a digit on her right hand into a handy digital sales tool.

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  • Influencer of the Week: The Wikipedia Blackout

    Wikipedia went dark for a day and illuminated the world on how to influence boldly in the 21st century. The site's massive one-day protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) stopped something, alright. It stopped the Hollywood-inspired bill in its tracks. The political sponsors quickly turned tail after a tribe of Wikipedia-influenced constituents weighed in. In Wikipedia's words, its supporters "shut down Congress's switchboards and melted their servers." According to the website, 162 million sets of eyeballs viewed...

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  • The Worst Influencers Alive: The 10 Least Influential People of 2011

    2011 was a bonfire of the vanities of leaders losing their influence. From sex scandals and financial fiascos to arrogance and morality missteps, the year was packed with one powerful public demise after another. Why did these leaders fall so hard? They confused influence with manipulation. Influence is a balanced approach to changing hearts, minds and results, while manipulation is fueled by a self-centered agenda. Followers quickly turn on leaders when they feel they're being played. Here are my picks for the "Worst Influencers Alive in 2011"...

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  • The Top Influencers Alive: 10 Breakout Influencers of 2011

    2011 separated the influencers from the manipulators. One by one, once-admired leaders from the athletic office to the corner suite to Wall Street toppled like dominoes. Turns out they lacked influence. Why? Because they misjudged what influence really means. My list of the "Top Influencers Alive" may surprise you.That's my point. Despite conventional wisdom, influence and persuasion are not the same animal. After decades of advising top leaders, I've concluded that persuasion is a self-centered skill – it's manipulation fueled by a personal agenda run amok. Influence is a balanced approach to change hearts, minds and results. There are three dimensions of a true influencer. Do you measure up?

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  • Are You Boring or Fascinating?

    Do you feel boring? Or fascinating? I promise that no matter how run-of-the-mill you may feel most days, you possess a leadership quality that others find fascinating. I see this unfold every day in my executive coaching practice. Every leader has a unique asset, an inner strength that defines their executive presence.

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  • How to Prevent Brain Freeze in Public Speaking

    It was the silence heard around the world: Rick Perry's brain freeze. Perry's mental cramp during the GOP presidential debate stole the show and was quickly hailed as one of the worst memory meltdowns in history. It was a cringe-inducing 53 seconds as Perry scrambled to recall the name of the third federal agency he'd shut down, to no avail.

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  • The Magnetic Power of Being Real

    Here's a thoroughly unexpected, powerful lesson in how to be more influential. Ever fumbled around learning how to use a gadget - and taught the world an important life lesson in the process?

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  • How to Be a Global Influencer (Even When Language is a Barrier)

    Increasingly, leaders like you are facing language barriers, both within your global organizations and in front of audiences in presentations. With that in mind, I'd like to share three quick lessons that I have learned.

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  • What Your Executive Presence is - and is Not

    In this edition of "Connie off the Cuff," Connie shares the truth behind what your Executive Presence is - and is not.

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  • Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence

    Tim Sanders is a confidence guru. A New York Times bestselling author, riveting keynote speaker and former Yahoo executive, Tim has written a compelling new book called Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence that's loaded with insights on how to develop unshakable confidence in a shaky world.

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  • Reconsider Confidence - It's Not What You Think

    Confidence is more critical now than ever in the economy we're facing today. It's essential to cultivate it so you can seize opportunities and avoid pitfalls. But it's not just recent graduates who crave confidence - every C-suite executive whom I've had the privilege to coach wants a booster shot to help them be more influential and make things happen.

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  • Speak from Your Heart, not Just Your Head

    In this quick 2 minute "Connie off the Cuff" video recorded behind the scenes of a keynote speech in Phoenix, you'll discover the one thing you need to deliver a presentation.

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  • Courage Not Caution

    Here are some some off-the-cuff thoughts on courage and critisism from her own personal experiences.

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  • Do You Resonate?

    You've been tapped to give a presentation. Quick - what are you feeling? Has a sense of dread washed over you?

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  • Les McKeown: Are Passion & Authenticity Over-Rated?

    Les McKeown doesn't buy into the common belief that passion and authenticity can make you influential. It's not that he's a contrarian - but this über-successful business author and serial entrepreneur pinpoints another, more specific reason for why leaders influence others.

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  • Presentation Rock Star - Benjamin Zander

    Benjamin Zander says his job is to awaken the possibilities in others. He's a motivational speaker. And, oh, yes - he's also the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic.

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  • Stand Out Like a Shell on the Beach

    Strolling along a white sandy beach on a working vacation with my teenage daughter in the Bahamas this week, we spent our mornings searching for shells.

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  • Carol Roth on ‘Be Bold - Ask Yourself Tough Questions’

    Carol Roth is a leader you should know. Think of her as Suze Orman, one generation removed; she's a financial braintrust who leapfrogged from working class to privileged status through sheer determination and wicked smarts.

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  • Dr. Nick Morgan on Authenticity and Charisma

    Are you an authentic, charismatic leader? Do you need to exude these qualities in order to lead effectively?

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  • Are You an Authentic Presenter?

    Experienced an authentic, impactful moment recently? Two families witnessed one this past weekend when my son, Spencer, proposed to his soul mate, Christine.

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  • Presentation Rock Stars - Schuyler St. Leger

    Pint-sized presenter Schuyler St. Leger nailed it. At the age of 10, he's already mastering audience-centered speaking.

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  • Are you Influential - or Just Popular?

    Interesting question, isn't it? When you were in high school, influence and popularity were one and the same.

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  • The Fastest, Most Profitable Way to Gain Influence

    It struck me recently that you may associate influence with two things: money or charisma. You may think you need one or both to be a convincing leader who influences others and makes things happen.

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  • In-flight Influence?

    When you hear "flight" and "fateful seat" in the same sentence, what comes to mind? An accident, perhaps? Allow me to explain.

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  • Presentation Rock Stars: Powerful Stroke of Insight

    An astounding thing happened to this quirky brain researcher - she suffered a massive stroke and studied herself as her brain functions shut down, one by one. In this remarkable TED Talk presentation, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor reenacts exactly how it feels when your brain fails you.

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  • Can You Make Things Happen - No Matter What?

    What if you could: Overcome resistance and influence negative people who won't budge? Bypass those frustrating systems and roadblocks that give you headaches every day?

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  • The Tone Gap: How to Prevent an E-mail Disaster

    Ever received an e-mail response that struck you as the communication equivalent of Whac-A-Mole? Maybe you got a curt "see below" when you sent a question to a peer in an e-mail chain. You felt clobbered by your peer's abrupt, dismissive tone.

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  • She Influenced a Discerning Audience

    I recently intereviewed Dr. Condoleezza Rice in front of a live audience gathered for a book signing of her newly-released memoir, "Extraordinary, Ordinary People."

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  • The Influence Maker's Tip of the Day

    Great communicators aim to gain commitment, not just compliance. That's a key difference between being influential and being a manipulator.

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  • Fired for Poor Public Speaking?

    Donald Trump is my new wingman. Alright, I'll be his wingman since he's a lot richer than I am. Let me explain.

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  • The Fire Hydrant Habit: Does Your Communication Sabotage Your Power?

    Consider the fire hydrant's purpose. Your neighborhood fire plug lets firefighters tap into the municipal water system to extinguish a fire. They attach a hose to the cast iron hydrant, screw open a valve and whoosh, out comes a powerful flow of water. Simple enough.

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  • Worst Speech Ever Delivered?

    Have a presentation to deliver? Don't follow Phil Davison's lead as a public speaker.

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  • Stop Selling Yourself Short - Be a Confident Communicator

    Being a confident communicator who influences others is a choice you make each and every day.

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  • Witness LeBron’s Deceptive Body Language

    LeBron James and Dan Gilbert both damaged their global presence with their communications this week. LeBron's theatrics were a narcissistic nightmare. Gilbert's knee-jerk open letter was widely interpreted as an example of a sore loser.

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  • Witness the “Opportunity Communicator”

    We are all witnesses, indeed. We're all sick of witnessing the LeBron-aThon.

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  • Gaining Confidence in Front of a Room

    You might be surprised at how many executives say they lack confidence in front of audiences and want to gain the skill.

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  • How to Conquer Criticism

    Goldman Sachs executives were skewered on Capitol Hill this week. They were sach-ed. The men faced blistering cross examination by the Senate on the firm's mortgage market and its role in the country's financial collapse.

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  • How to Communicate with An Interrupter

    It appeared to be an ambush worthy of the Kayne West Seal of Approval. Recently, an Academy Award winner was rudely interrupted mid-acceptance by a woman who appeared to big foot her way into his big moment.

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  • How to Communicate With an Egomaniac

    The world's most famous athlete and a two-time presidential contender both torpedoed their careers with their self-destructive narcissism. Tiger Woods referred to his ego- maniacal state as a "sense of entitlement" in his televised mea culpa. John Edwards outed himself as a narcissist in an ABC interview after he was caught cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.

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  • Was Tiger's Talk A Good Recovery Shot?

    Time is of the essence when you owe someone an apology in the Internet age. As we all know, Tiger Woods certainly didn't rush to retract. By waiting 80 days to speak publicly, many people are convinced that he's arrogant and that he doesn't care.

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  • What Every Communicator Can Learn From ... Michael Jackson

    Did you read the headlines? "Jackson Kids Steal the Show!" the news articles proclaimed, calling the appearance of Michael Jackson's two eldest children the most memorable moment of the 52nd annual Grammy Awards Show.

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  • Did This CEO Hit the Sweet Spot?

    Kraft Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld is scrambling to persuade shareholders that her company's $17 billion bid to buy British candymaker Cadbury is good for both companies. Her pursuit has drawn poor reactions from both Cadbury's shareholders and Kraft's biggest shareholder, Warren Buffett.

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  • The “Stone Cold” SmackDown at NBC

    I spent many years anchoring the late news for an NBC-owned station, so I'm keenly aware of why general managers at NBC affiliates across America banded together, morphed into "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and wrestled the network to the ground.

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  • 10 Radically Different Resolutions for 2010

    Top 10 Communi-lutions to Improve How People Respond to You In Our Distraction-Driven Decade

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  • Did Balloon Boy Take You for a Ride?

    The balloon boy's dad, Richard Heene, thought he'd convinced America that his eccentric family should have its own reality show.

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  • Did Letterman Communicate Effectively to Influence the Public?

    How you communicate a message has a direct impact on your ability to influence opinions.

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  • How to Apologize Effectively

    There sure are a lot of high profile apologies floating around this week - Kayne West, Serena Williams, Rep. Joe Wilson. Which brings me to you.

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  • Rude Tube: Public Speaking Interruptions

    What a week for high profile heckling. Let's recap:

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  • How to Hijack Your Own Influence during Q&A

    You've been leading a high priority mission for months. You've pushed. Prodded. You've influenced internally because you believe it's the most vital issue facing your organization. Your team has invested sweat equity and they're counting on you to make it happen publicly.

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  • The Less is More Lesson

    You heard about the married politician caught trysting with his girlfriend in Argentina. On the day he was caught returning from his fun in the sun, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford held a hasty, free association press conference at the statehouse to drop the bomb.

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  • Jon & Kate Plus….You.

    Nearly 10 million people tuned in for a record-shattering season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8 this week. I'll tie this to you in the workplace in a moment -- I promise there's a business communication connection.

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  • Is Your Voice Undermining Your Success?

    The difference between winning and losing may come down to how people perceive the sound of your voice.

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  • Credibility Smackdown

    You're a smart person. The axe is falling on leaders everywhere and you want to come across as valuable and indispensable, right? Here's a quick cautionary tale to bullet-proof your credibility, straight from your TV.

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  • The 10 Worst E-Mail Habits: Send & Sensibility

    Let's say you get 100 e-mails a day. (Everybody wants to "keep you in the loop.") Do you realize how much of your time that's eating up? At 3 minutes a piece, it takes you 5 hours to read and respond.

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  • Conquer Criticism: Tips to Overcome It

    We're living in a harsh, harsh world. I'm sure you've noticed that you can now get a daily dose of cheap shots here on the Internet. Follow the comment section after most web entries and you'll find boatloads of hyper-critical, snarky comments.

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  • Are You a Communicator-in-Chief?

    Out with the old, in with the new. As we say goodbye to George Bush and his colorful, sometimes mangled communications, (can you say misunderestimated?) we usher in a new era of oratory.

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  • Do You Share Credit or Hog It?

    News reports throughout the weekend referred to Jett Travolta as "the son of John Travolta" and called the boy's death "The John Travolta Tragedy." The boy's mother was an afterthought in the news reports, if she was even mentioned at all.

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  • Leaders Who Can’t Communicate…Aren’t Leaders

    Game over. Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner moved swiftly to fire his front office following the final, crushing loss of the season. He cut general manager Phil Savage loose by phone after Sunday's defeat, and then sacked coach Romeo Crennel the next morning.

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  • Relentless Rudeness at the Register

    I feel sorry for cashiers these days. Not just because their work flow soars during the holiday rush, but because they're on the receiving end of non-stop rude encounters. One by one, customers are now yakking away on cell phones during check-out.

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  • A Tale of Two Leaders: The Saint and The Sinner

    Today is Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich 52nd birthday. The gift to his state? His arrest. Wiretaps show he's a profanely arrogant, self-absorbed man with a supreme sense of entitlement.

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  • National Security and the Phone Book

    As I watched President-Elect Obama's news conference announcing his national security team nominees this morning, it reminded me of why I sat on a phone book behind the anchor desk.

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  • Do You Trigger Presentation-Induced Comas?

    It's Thanksgiving evening. You're stuffed. Bloated. Lethargic. In a turkey coma.

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  • Are You a Communi-Faker?

    When I picked up my 15 year old daughter from an activity this week, I saw her standing there, waiting for me, tapping away at her cell phone. "Who were you texting?" I asked cheerfully as she slid into the car. "No one," she replied, "I was just faking it."

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  • 3 Habits Led Obama to the White House

    Like you, I've paid close attention to Barack Obama. As a communication coach, I've specifically zeroed in on his ability to get his points across and move people to action.

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  • Are You The Chosen One?

    You thought this day would never come, but it's finally here. Election day. You've chosen the leader who makes the most sense to you. But now, let's focus on your leadership.

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  • The Plumber Parable: Why Storytelling Matters

    I can read your mind. Not another story about Joe the Plumber, you're thinking. Good news. This isn't about Joe, the nation's newest household name invoked again and again during the final presidential debate. It's about you and your ability to make a point that people actually remember, repeat and respond to.

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  • Top 5 Bad Vibes That Undercut Your Message

    How do you undercut your message without opening your mouth? Leadership means managing your energy level as well as your words in order to influence peoples' decisions, behaviors and actions. Want to trigger a positive response? Radiate positive energy when your mouth is shut. Want a negative reaction? You'll soon learn how to spread bad vibes.

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  • How to Communicate with an Egomaniac

    By now you've probably heard that politician John Edwards diagnosed himself as a narcissist when he was caught cheating on his wife. Chances are you're dealing with a narcissist in the workplace, too.

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  • How to Breeze Through Q&A

    Whew! Your presentation is over. After your closing slide, you're ready to exhale except for one thing... you still have to face Q&A.

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  • Make Your Point Like Warren Buffet

    One of the world's richest men is a master storyteller. Coincidence? Not a chance.

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  • Rethinking Your Presentation Skills

    Ever been 10 minutes into a presentation when a sinking feeling washes over you that at no one is listening? What went wrong?

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