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"public speaking"

Two Most Powerful Communication Techniques

The Two Greatest Communication Techniques Known In The Universe

I have spent a good deal of energy developing my ability to communicate with others. I have spoken to thousands of people (sometimes at once), conducted countless one-on-one meetings for purposes that range from pastoral counseling to sales appointments, and I am a father and husband. Much of my life has been – as has yours – spent communicating with others.

I would like to offer to you today, what I consider to be the two greatest tools for successful and effective communication.

1. Listening – the saying had been offered “You have two ears and one mouth so you should listen twice as much as you talk.” Am I listening? Here’s an exercise I find helpful. After you have had a conversation with someone, write down everything you can remember about them and what they said. It might surprise you how little you heard. The art of suspending internal commentary in preparation for speaking in order to hear what is being said – is an art often underdeveloped. Try listening and then repeating what you are hearing for confirmation.

2. Questions – there is a lost skill among us; the ability to ask a quality question. Ask people about themselves, what they would like to achieve, why they are here, what their goals are or just what they plan to do today. Ask them, “Where are you from?” Ask it just that way and listen to the amazing differences in responses. Some people will tell you where they were born. Others will talk about where they live, and still others will tell you where they were just moments earlier.

Your turn!  What helps you succeed in communication?

3 Offensive Public Speaking Tips

After one of my earliest public presentations (I was, as they say, still 'wet behind the ears') ended, many people filed by and spoke words of appreciation and encouragement to me. After almost everyone else had left an elderly lady walked over to me and gave me some words of advice I have never forgotten.

“Young man,” she said, “You need a good job for a beginner. I have some advice for you, if you want it.”

I felt a little slighted, but told her I would welcome her feedback.

“Well,” she continued,” Remember these three things: 1. Stand up so they can see you. 2. Speak up so they can hear you, and 3. Once you have said what you came to say, Shut Up. You did OK on the first two, but you kept talking too long tonight. Leave us a little room for thinking”

Then she hugged me and shuffled off.

I eventually got over the injury she inflicted on my pride, but I have never gotten over her words. Time and again I have returned to those words.

1. Stand Up – there are numerous skills that the public speaker needs to master in order for our appearance to assist in our communication.  We need to be seen as  a part of the message we are communicating.
2. Speak Up – clearly spoken, well chosen words projected to the back of the room will always command attention.
3. Shut Up – Every day presentation should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The end should be as precise as the beginning and must always leave room for people to draw their own conclusions and do their own thinking.

Good advice for all of us who speak in public. What are your early lessons in public speaking?

Socially Rude and The New Family Christmas Photo

Over at Netchicks Marketing blog, the new standard in family Christmas photos has been revealed!

I laughed and then I had one of those "things that make you go HUM moments." The blog post asks if smart phones are making us socially dumb. Good question. As I read, I realized that for many of us the word 'social' is being dramatically realigned to refer to...well...the stuff we do with our heads down into our smart phones.

Then I had a few more thoughts.

The presence of mobile devices has changed the way we interact. Is it "bad" or making us dumb? I read an interesting book last year The Shallows, by Nicolas Carr that suggests the problem is larger than mobile devices and dangerously close to causing a rewiring of our brains. Carr is a bit over zealous in his claims, but it's a good read and contains some great research.

As a public speaker, I would contend that the speaking environment has been dramatically changed by mobile devices and Social Media. Speakers once depending on word, vocal inflection and gestures to all work together in a precisely developed symphony of presentation that required rapt attention of the audience. We can no longer be assured that people are, at any given moment actually listening or watching us. What to do? We can strive to embrace the change and adapt to it - there are some interesting possibilities available - 

1. using other's Social clout to market your ideas and brand by inviting people to interact via Social Media
2. adopting a social vernacular to engage users. "This is tweet worthy"
3. providing short (less than 140 characters) points and quotes
4. letting people know when you need them to stop, look and listen
5. keep Social handles and hash tags visible throughout the presentation

Like it or not, Social Media and mobile devices are a means of communicating information, and what is a good presentation if not information that is educational, motivational and fun to share?

All of that said, we do need to balance our use of these devices and media and have a low tolerance for what we experience as rude behavior in social situations.

What do you consider rude smart phone behavior?

Tar Heel Chapter PRSA - Connecting to Success! Presentation.

After an exciting dinner with the group of speakers lined up to share the stage tomorrow at the Annual PRSA NC Tar Heel Chapter Seminar - Connecting To Success, I'm even more honored to be a part of this year's presenters.

Here's our schedule for tomorrow:

Tonight I truly enjoyed meeting Mike Foley, Robert T. Youngblood, and Jennifer Curtis. Tomorrow will be a fantastic day - I can just FEEL it.

Wish me "Break A Leg!" 

More later...

Delta Scared Me - Clockwork Orange Style

I flew Delta this past week and now I'm afraid of Lincoln , esurance and Fairfield. Here's how it happened.

Delta Airlines Flight Safety Video

During the take-off taxi, we were shown 3 advertisements prior to the safety video - Lincoln, esurance and Fairfield Inn. I get that. Airlines aren't able to make enough money on the ticket prices, so a little advertising revenue here and there is necessary. Then, right after take-off, but before the "you may now use your portable electronic devices" announcement, the video screens fired up again and showed us the same three ads. I tried to turn off the screen glaring at me from the headrest of the seat in front of me, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I was a captive audience. Then it occurred to me - I was living a "Clockwork Orange" moment (if you are too young to know the movie reference, leave this post now and go watch the film. It's historically significant... well to my history, anyway.)

1971 A Clockwork Orange

Here's the rub, take-off is one of the most tense moments in the flying experience. Anyone who has given any thought to the process knows that if something goes wrong during those first few minutes of take-off - it is bad (we're talking THE END bad). So, if you want to program me to associate stress with your product or brand, show it to me when I'm at one of the most stressful moments of my travels. I had this same experience on my return flight as, well. Same timing. Same brands.

Thanks Delta. Thanks Lincoln, esurance and Fairfield. I now can't drive a Lincoln, insured by esurance to my meeting at the Fairfield without a nagging feeling that I might crash and die.

*Note - the limo that took me from the airport to the resort and back was - you guessed it - a Lincoln. I'm scarred for life.

10 Tips for Delivering a #TweetWorthy Presentation

Are you planning a presentation where Twitter users are likely to be present? Give some thought to what might make your presentation #TweetWorthy.

Here are 10 tips to make your next presentation Tweet Worthy

1. Show the event hash tag throughout the presentation. #ET11, #LWSSept, #BEMedu, etc.
2. Include simple numbered points of information that are stated concisely. Remember, your audience only has 140 characters.
3. Use a short hash tag specific to your presentation even if the event already has one. This will allow users to search for the tweets specific to your presentation in the midst of the Social chatter around a larger event.
4. Make sure your Twitter ID is clearly visible throughout the presentation. I know you're famous, but don't expect tweeple to remember your ID. Here's mine @WilliamsKim
5. Give clear, concise statistics. People will tweet about percentages and numbers.
6. Mention other tweeple attending the event. Heck, even offer a space for people to display their ID. White board anyone?
7. Give permission. Simply tell people "I welcome the use of Social Media during my presentation."
8. Remind people that tweeting is encouraged. Use "You can tweet me on that" instead of "quote me" when emphasizing a critical point. Statements like, "I need to remember to tweet that later," and "That will tweet" can remind folks to keep tweeting.
9. If you mention a person, brand or product during your presentation, display their twitter ID along with the brand, logo, website, etc. You'll be surprised what will happen if people tweet about you talking about other tweeple. Isn't that right @ExactTarget ?
10. Mention attendees, brands and companies on your own Social platforms prior to and after your presentation. Engaging others a a great way to build favor for future presentations - and face it, its the Socially Acceptable thing to do!

So, what do you think? Other ideas? Feel free to use the little buttons below to share with others...I like that sort of thing.

Internet Summit - Raleigh, NC 2011 #isum11

I'm headed to the annual Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC this week. I was going to write a post about it, but I met Jess via some of the Social Media buzz going on about it, and since she has done such a nice job with posting about it already, I'll refer you to her for the details and expectation settings around the Internet Summit 2011.

Be sure and tell her I said hello - we bloggers like all that connectivity stuff, you know!?

Feel free to follow the online chatter on twitter via #ISUM2011 or get all the details at the O-FFICIAL website -

AHA Moment

The folks over at Mutual of Omaha's Aha Moment Tour came through Winston-Salem, NC a couple of weeks ago. I shared an aha moment of my own.

Find my aha moment here: Kim E Williams' aha moment.

Be sure and click through the rest of the Winston-Salem videos. There are some amazing stories.

Thanks to Jessica, Ben, Natalie and Gary for capturing our community on video.

How to Be Interviewed - Seth Godin

You most likely already know Seth Godin, but if you don't click over to Seth's Blog and bookmark it (or grab his RSS feed). Besides having my all time favorite surname (reference my past clerical background), Mr. 'God-in' shares prolifically his interesting and helpful information. Today I ran across his simple and paradigm shifting correction to what I would call the  "I hate bad interviewers" whine. Seth offers a short and direct list of truths that EVERY presenter should know.

My biggest take a ways are: 1. The burden for a good interview is yours. Prepare and plan. 2. Stick to your interesting and exciting stuff. 3. Always remember it is about you so it's up to you to make it a success.

So, read it for yourself - he says it much better anyway!: How to Be Interviewed

Note: Image is directly from Seth's blog (click to follow) and I'm hoping he doesn't mind me stealing it... #justsaying

Public Speaking at A Conference for Conference Centers

So, I'm thinking that when a Conference is planned and run by an association of Conference Centers at one of the member's locations - it will be one well done affair!

I'll let you know. I'm off today to attend and present at the IACC Americas Conference in Leesburg, Va. 

More to come... or follow #IACC2011 on Twitter for details real time.