High-Heeled Success® News You Can Use - September, 2015

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September, 2015  

September Newsletter

Speaking With Confidence

Speaking with Confidence

Kay Fittes, September, 2015

Do you shudder at the thought of presenting in front of a group?  Or, maybe you’re comfortable in front of a group, but feel your skills could use some polishing?

Polished communication skills should be the basis and core from which all of your talents and other work skills flow.  Without the ability to clearly communicate, your prospects for individual and business success are low.

Excellent communication skills portray as good leadership skills, and in most businesses are a necessary element and large consideration for promotion.

Could you use help in this area?  Discover six useful tactics to improve your communication confidence!   Click here to find out how!

September Workshop
Register Now!

Kay’s Consulting Corner

Kay Fittes

Each month in this section, Kay offers actionable career consulting tips.

Successful Outcomes!

In this month’s lead article, there are tactics for speaking with confidence when giving a formal presentation.  Meetings are another presentation opportunity.  Here are some tactics to consider in preparing for successful meeting outcomes.

Pick one thing you’d like to change about your meeting behavior.  It could be the way you interact with people during a meeting, your communication style, or your level of preparedness.  All of these behaviors make a huge impact on others’ impression of you, whether you realize it or not.  Here are components to consider evaluating and possibly changing before your next meeting if they pertain to you.

  1. Meetings involve listening well and waiting for the right time to speak.  Are you an active listener, or are you just waiting for someone to finish so you can make your next point?  Make a conscious effort to really listen during the next meeting before you bring your contribution.

    When it is your turn to speak, what are your voice characteristics?  Characteristics include things like pitch, tone, speed, and volume.  A good practice is to hit the middle mark in each of these areas.  Of those I mentioned, pitch and tone are the most important to master.  Too high in pitch, or too shrill can either irritate, or come across as inexperienced or trying too hard to get a point across.  Rather, speak in a more even pitch combined with a tone that is professional, but at the same time not too stiff.  The important thing with tone, especially in meetings with upper management, is to not sound condescending or disrespectful.  Replay your last meeting in your mind, to see where you could improve in these areas.

  2. End procrastination now!  We all do it to some extent, but it can be your worst enemy and causes unnecessary stress.  The main reason people procrastinate is because they think the task ahead is too large to tackle (like putting together a presentation), or that they lack the necessary skills or knowledge to complete the task.  Fear can also play a role, but it usually pertains to the first two reasons.  We also like to make deals with ourselves to justify our procrastination; “I’ll just do X for 5 more minutes, then I’ll get started.”  We all have our pet excuses.

    When I can’t get going on a project, I employ what I’ve termed “10 terrible minutes”.  Tell yourself that you’ll get through the first 10 minutes of the project or task, and set a timer if necessary.  Using this approach typically generates one of two outcomes; either you continue working and complete or nearly finish the job, or you take it to a certain point where you realize what help you need to complete the task.  Both scenarios are winning solutions to procrastination.  So, reduce your stress and increase your productivity and preparedness by starting “10 terrible minutes” next time procrastination comes calling.

  3. Prepare, prepare, prepare.  Imagine yourself in your next meeting or event, how you would like it to flow, and the desired outcome.  In order to achieve your goals, a little preparation is necessary.

    For meetings, review the entire agenda (or at least know the topics) and play out in your mind how you think each item will unfold.  Develop responses to anticipated objections or comments, or do a little research on the subject to ask your own well-informed, thought-provoking questions.  After you’ve played out these scenarios, then ask yourself ‘so what?’, or ‘now what?’  Bring the conclusion of the meeting into the next phase of business development, or suggest which direction you think the project at hand should head.  This applies to all levels of business meetings and even networking events.

    Preparing for a networking event takes a little more introspection.  Make sure your elevator pitch is current.  Have you developed any new skills or accomplished major projects in the last 18 months?  Review your calendar over the past year for completed projects.  Even if you didn’t acquire a new skill, your work may have positively impacted your company or client, which merits a snippet about your ability to drive results.  For example, ‘my work over the past year generated ten thousand dollars in additional revenue’.

Beyond your pitch, consider your desired outcomes from the event.  Is it to find a partner to help with some aspect of your work, someone who can introduce you to a new connection, or finding a few new clients?  Attend the event with boldness, and be prepared to articulate exactly what you want to those you meet.

Close the event by asking at least one or two people for a follow up phone call or meeting to ultimately reach the goal of why you attended the networking session.

Ready to Take Your Career to the Next Level?

Register now and receive a reward!

Refer a Friend Promo

Spread the news and reap rewards.  Receive cash in hand, or credit toward ‘High-Heeled Success™ Steps for Dynamic Delivery’ on September 19, or a future workshop registration.

  • 1 – 2 people $25
  • 3 – 4 people $45
  • 5 or more     $65

*Your referral should put your name in the comments box when they register online, or provide your name if they call the office at 513-561-4288 to register.  Cash incentives awarded during workshop.

Client Case Study – Nicole Keating

Nicole Keating

Kay made a big splash in my world when I attended her public speaking engagement on Powerful Presentations.  Speaking engagements and presentations are essential success builders in Financial Services, so I was eager to refresh my skills and, well…learn more about Kay’s obviously successful approach.  Navigating today’s competitive marketing conditions is a perpetual challenge, so I made my reservation and took a colleague with me.

A hundred or so business women settled in around the yummy breakfast buffet, and the room came alive with shop talk and get-to-know-you conversations.  Kay was introduced, and the rest you’ll just have to see for yourself!  Her dynamic, contagious style combined with a wealth of proven, original strategies kept us entertained and inspired throughout the day.

I hired Kay as a Career Coach almost immediately.  After my 20 years of Fortune 500 Company sales training, I was slightly jaded and thought I had seen just about everything.  But Kay is in a class of her own.  Unique, engaging and effective.  Her coaching has been invaluable to my current challenge of rebuilding the Financial Services Practice I had to shut down four years ago.

If you’re in need of a career strategy review, tune-up, or trouble-shooting coach, you owe it to yourself to give Kay a call.  Her flexibility in tailoring a coaching package to fit your needs is quite rare today.  Better yet, attend her upcoming September workshop, I hope to see you there!

Nicole D. Keating | Estate & Business Analysis
Long Term Care Planning Specialist
MassMutual - The Innova Financial Group
C 513.888.0242 | M: 513.698.1335 |
7755 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati OH, 45236

Mass Mutual Top Places to Work

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