Influence Blog :: Communication Skills

read more about the latest in Communication Skills

  • ‘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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Top 8 Communication Skills for '08

    Connie shares her Top 8 Communication Skills of '08 to help you reach your highest performance.

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