Bad Habits to Avoid When Communicating

healthy-habits-office-notes-21588360Whether you are talking to a friend, a colleague or a group of people, these habits below should be avoided to ensure proper and good communication. These habits are:

1. Gossip
Though we are all guilty of this habit from time to time, it’s best to try to avoid it as much as possible. After all, don’t great minds discuss ideas while average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people? How do you want to be known as?

2. Judging
When you know you are being judged, it’s kind of hard to listen to that person judging you, right? So have an honest dialogue instead.

3. Negativity
Isn’t it hard to listen to someone who is a negative thinker and always sees the bad side of things? So be positive instead.

4. Complaining
Complaining is also similar to being negative. If you always complain, people won’t find you approachable.

5. Excuses
Instead of making excuses and blaming others, take responsibility for your own actions and failures.

6. Exaggeration 
Exaggeration is like lying. And lying is wrong.

7. Dogmatism
Don’t confuse facts with opinions.

To know more about this, please head to: 7 things good communicators must not do


7 Things to Avoid In Communication

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????If you want your presentation to be effective, it would help if you can avoid doing these seven things:

1. Gossip – Just remember this: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

2. Judging – Don’t let your being judgmental get in the way of honest talk. When you judge people, they won’t be able to hear what you have to say.

3. Negativity – Isn’t it hard to converse with someone who always sees the negative in things? Negativity will just keep us from seeing what’s possible in the seemingly impossible.

4. Complaining – Be mindful of your words and actions. Don’t fall into the downward spiral of complaining and always being negative. Be hopeful and positive instead.

5. Excuses – Take full responsibility for your mistakes and avoid blaming others. By apologizing and admitting defeat instead when you know you have done something wrong, you will be seen as courageous.

6. Exaggeration – Getting the habit of exaggerating things is tantamount to lying. Avoid it at all costs.

7. Dogmatism – Know the difference between opinion and facts.

For more insights about this, please head to: 7 things good communicators must not do

Tips on How to Adapt to Your Presentation

adaptWhen you present or speak in front of your audience, are you able to tell if your they are interested and engaged? How do you know if they are listening well to you or how do you gauge if they see you as credible enough? Being able to analyze your audience right then and there will also help you adapt on the spot to your presentations. Here’s what you do. Follow N.E.A.R.:

  • Notice emotions – Open yourself up so you can experience your audience’s emotions. Be more aware.
  • Examine – Notice their body language. Are they sleepy? Uh-oh! You are not exciting enough. Are they leaning forward? Good!
  • Ask – Ask them questions to keep them engaged or ask them to do some physical activities to keep them alert.
  • Request feedback -Always have a Q&A portion at the end of your presentation so you’ll know if they were able to digest your speech or presentation.

To know more on how you can determine your audience’s reactions and be able to adapt on the spot during your presentation, please visit this link:  HOW DO YOU ADAPT YOUR PRESENTATION ON-THE-SPOT?


Malala Yousafzai’s Speech Considered to be the Best Speech of 2013

Malala YousafzaiMalala Yousafzai is a young 16 year old lady who addressed the United Nation with a speech considered to be the best speech of 2013. Unfortunately, she was shot in the head in Pakistan less than a year ago because of her outspoken nature and because she wanted to learn. This inspired the world to create an  inspirational advocate for global education.

Malala Yousafzai is touted to be a great global communicator and below are just 6 of the lessons we can all learn from her speech.

  • Practice – She was not “winging it.” She practiced the speech countless times and it showed.
  • Preparation – Malala knew this was her opportunity to deliver a powerful message, and prepared with that in mind.
  • Message Development – There was no mistaking what Malala’s message was. It was not buried in facts, details or statistics. It was relevant, actionable, repeatable, enduring and relevant. (The RARER method)
  • Call to Action – In fact, several direct calls to action. “We call upon ..” was the beginning of six sentences.
  • Pausing – there was no dis-fluency in Malala’s address. None. Why? Malala employed strategic pausing that helped to root out dis-fluency, and also added to the power of her delivery. Key pauses were employed throughout.
  • “Chunking” – Malala was delivering from a written document (I am unsure if it was a prepared text, or notes), but only spoke while looking down once. Instead, she looked down at her written document, captured a “chunk” of what came next, paused, looked up, and delivered it.

To find out more about Malala’s speech and the lessons we can learn from her speech, please head to:  12 Lessons from the Best Speech of 2013: Malala and Public Speaking 


Words You Should Never Use When Starting a Sentence

stopThese words listed below are stop words that can sound pretty catchy at first but have the potential of being annoying when done over and over especially when delivering a speech or presentation. So take note of these and try to eradicate them from your vocabulary.

1. So…

2. OK. So…

3. Alright, so…

4. Alright…

5. OK.

6. No offense, but…

7. I think…

8. I feel…

9. Ahem…

10. Just…

Do you have any other stop words you would like to add to this list?

For more insight on this matter, please head to: OK, SO NEVER START A SENTENCE WITH THESE 10 WORDS…

Improve Your Eye Contact When Presenting: 12 Tips

1163675863Ew2y53Eye contact is essential in communication. We do it daily and naturally when conversing with family and friends. But the moment we speak in front of a large crwod, we seem to forget how. Below are 12 tips you can use to make sure that you maintain good and proper eye contact when speaking in front of many people.

  1. Prepare better.
  2. Avoid eye crutches.
  3. Warm up early to the audience.
  4. Keep the lights on.
  5. Ensure clear sight lines.
  6. Get closer to audience members.
  7. Express emotion with your eyes.
  8. Ensure eye contact as you deliver all critical lines.
  9. Avoid ping-pong.
  10. Sustain eye contact with someone for a few seconds, then move on.
  11. Connect with your audience’s eyes, if possible.
  12. Focus on the audience member during Q&A.

To find out more details on how you can do these tips and produce more and better eye contact, please head to:  Simple Secrets to Improve Your Eye Contact



5 Useful Preparation Tips Before Presenting

preparation-fashion-show-28880544Every presentation opportunity is an important one so make sure that you prepare well. Here are 5 things that you can do to make sure that you are able to give your best every single time:

Step 1)  Know your stuff… no really. When you know your stuff, you own your presentation and your audience knows it. It’s also true otherwise.

Step 2)  Never rush the set-up. Doing so will just leave you frazzled and more anxious and this will show on your presentation.

Step 3)  Get comfortable in the setting. If this was a play, it would be the final costume rehearsal. Go through your speech in the actual space or room that you will be using when you do your presentation.

Step 4)  Take a walk. Half an hour before your presentation, go for a walk. This will reduce your anxiety and the oxygen will do your brain some good.

Step 5)  Get relational. Talk to some of your audience before the presentation starts. Seeing that you are relaxed and comfortable around them will increase your credibility in the eyes of your audience.

For more insight about this, please head to:  A 5 Step Pre-presentation Game Plan

How to give a better speech – 3 Tips

female-speaker-28119342You’ve probably heard of these tips before but when it comes to public speaking, it’s always good to learn from the experience of the more seasoned ones. Below are three tried and tested tips you can apply to your next speech, presentation or public speaking stint:

Start Strong:

You have to control how you want to get introduced. First impressions do last and how you come across your audience when you get introduced can color the way your audiences see you when you give your talk.

Your Style Says A Lot About You:

Balance the way you want to project yourself as a professional credible speaker. You’d want to be true to your personal style but at the same time project a trustworthy personality on stage.

It’s Homework Time:

Know your audience so you’d know what they want to learn from you.

For more insight on this matter, please head to:  3 Tips To Transform Your Next Speech Into An Experience For Your Audience


How to Have Meaningful Communication. Here are Four Tips!

134791117748nvYmAre you just new to presentations and public speaking? The moment you found out that you were going to present in front of a live audience, what did you think? You most probably thought about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. To make things easier for you, just follow these 4 simple and doable principles of communication:

1. Add value – Give your audience something new, something they still haven’t heard before, something they don’t know. You can do a little research and ask your target audience what is it they would like to learn about. Match your topic to their level of knowledge.

2. Be relevant – Your topic should resonate with your audience’s background and level of skills so it can be more meaningful for them.

3. Be accurate – Know your subject well but only give important details that your audience will find useful. Less is more.

4. Be clear and organized – You can do this by using stories, analogies, graphics and other visual aides.

To know more about how to have meaningful communication, please head to: Use the 4 principles of meaningful communication


11 Great Books for Communicators

I’d like to post here these ten amazing books that can help us think, create, & communicate better in 2012. These books are read and reread by Garr Reynolds and perhaps we could learn a lot from these books as well.

Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long.


Design For How People Learn.


100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People.


Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers.


Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity.


Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers.


Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design.


Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work.


White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design.


The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life 

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition).

Find out more about these books as recommended by Garr Reynolds here:

10 great books to help you think, create, & communicate better in 2012