Influence Blog :: Speaking

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  • The One to Watch: What You Can Learn From Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors

    This quick read pinpoints why Mary Barra's presence is influential and what you can learn from her growth. Senior executive advisor Connie Dieken demystifies how Barra sharpened her presence and gained gravitas to deliver messages that reverberate around the globe.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Worst Speech Ever Delivered?

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

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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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  • 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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  • 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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