Posts Tagged ‘smartCEO’

For CEO Job Security, You Need a Vision…from smartCEO

smartceo_logoWith CEO firings peaking in 2014, top executives have to be thinking about how best to protect their jobs. In my latest Thought Leadership post for smartCEO, I point out how critically important to CEO job security is the ability to communicate a clear vision. You’ll  find the article here.

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.

Research Before You Write! …. from smartCEO

smartceo_logoYou can pretty much sum up my January smartCEO Thought Leadership Piece in six words: A great speech starts with research.

Why? Because a generic, one-size-fits-all speech is guaranteed to bomb.

To engage an audience, your speech must be tailored to a specific time, place and set of listeners. You’ll find some suggestions on how to do that here.

“Start Strong or Die” Thought Leadership from smartCEO

smartceo_logoIn my latest article on smartCEO, I offer some tips on how to avoid this presentation nightmare.

You’ve just been introduced to an expectant audience as the CEO of a dynamic company. Your listeners looks up at you standing at the podium. You see their friendly faces, waiting for your words. And then you start the presentation.

Before long you see the tell-tale signs that you’re losing them: glum expressions, shifting in the seats, the furtive glances at cell phones. Then you get nervous and start to show it. Before long, it’s clear the presentation you had such high hopes for has turned into a lost opportunity to engage an important audience.

You’ll find the complete article here.

 

Thought Leadership on CEO Presentations from “smartCEO”

 

smartceo_logoYes, I’m now officially a “Thought Leader,” at least on smartCEO the web and magazine community for business leaders. You can read my first post on how great CEOs can give great presentations here. And you’ll find a ton of other useful information for CEOs on the site and in the pages, too.