Archive for the ‘Presentation Tips’ Category

“Hard Truths About Leadership …You Never Stop Learning”

Scott Span, MSOD, CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions, wrote an interesting post for his company blog that got picked up by several other high profile business cites. The title says it all, 5 Hard Truths About Leadership That You Never Stop Learning.

In his truth #2,” Leadership isn’t management,” Span argues that one of the qualities that sets leaders apart is the ability to create a vision of the future and rally people around it. “Leadership,” he says, “connects the big ideas to what matters to the people around them: employees, customers, and stakeholders. Leadership sets direction, builds agreement, influences and motivates others, and inspires commitment.”

And he makes clear you can’t rally the troops around a vision unless you know how to communicate. The problem, he warns, is that “just because you may be in a leadership role doesn’t always mean you are an expert communicator. … Truth is, this is not a skill obtained by title alone. Some leaders have the gift for communication, some can learn, some may just never master the art.”

I would object slightly to that last sentence. While it’s true that not every CEO can become a master communicator, every CEO can learn to do a better job communicating his or her vision.

CEOs and Social Media: How They are Using it, How They Should

CEOs-and-social-mediaSpeaking of how CEOs can communicate better…There is a fascinating post at MBACentral.org. A very cleverly done graphic not only illustrates how top CEOs are using social media, it also offers some very useful guidelines on how they can do it right. Definitely worth a look — even for speechwriters.

Scared to Speak in Public? Try an Open Water Triathlon Swim

banner_openwater_SpringI believe in the power of a great script – I am a speechwriter after all. But I also know a terrific script can’t guarantee a great speech if you’re scared to death to stand in front of an audience. And the fact is, most of us start off feeling pretty scared and have to find ways to calm down, if we want to speak effectively.

Presentation coaches can help. Practice, practice, practice did the trick for me (along with getting in touch with my inner ham.) But the most interesting and unusual cure for sweaty palms has to be the one discovered by Earl Furfine, a serial entrepreneur, IT professional and… endurance racer.

Furfine wrote recently about his first real open-water swim, part of an Olympic distance triathlon. He entered the water nervous about swimming in Atlantic’s waves. About a third of the way through, he caught a glimpse of something swimming by that scared the daylights out of him. He stopped, screamed, but couldn’t find the creature. He resumed swimming BUT THERE IT WAS AGAIN. This time he reached out to grab the beast…and snared his right wrist in his left palm.

The creature was his own hand, obscured by the murky water.

And exactly what does this have to do with speaking? Furfine reports that he used to get very nervous when he had to speak publicly. But now when that happens, he grabs his right hand, the way he did in the water. It makes him smile, and gets him breathing calming again as he heads for the podium.

We can’t all be triathletes, but if we can find a way to remind ourselves that fear of speaking is self-induced, it can help make that fear go away.

Executives: Include Public Speaking in Your Skill Set

FFC big1445168_origMy thanks to the folks at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce for posting my piece in their brand new business blog. As a good writer should, I don’t waste time getting to the point:

Dynamic executives think long and hard about how to improve their skills, so they can both help their organizations succeed and also move forward in their careers. As you weigh the skill sets you need, be sure to include public speaking.
You’ll find the complete post here.

Coming to a Venue Near You: Porro Live

I’m excsmall audienceited to report that I’m taking my show on the road. I’ll be sharing my lively, multi-media presentation, Communicate Better to Boost Your Business: Secrets of a Fortune 500 Speechwriter, with organizations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

First up, I’m speaking to the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Roundtable on February 25. Then in March, I’m doing a lunch talk for Connect 113 in Alexandria, VA. And in April, I’m speaking at the Tower Club to the Rotary Club of Tyson’s Corner.

Watch this space, as there are more to come!