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Archive for March, 2013

28
Mar

Make a Good Impression with Your 30-Second Introduction

The 30-second introduction is critical for making a good impression. Whether you are at a networking event, interviewing for a new position or making a sales pitch, you need to maximize each second of this important speech. It should capture your audience’s attention, which means it needs to be crafted for each situation and event. Your standard 30-second elevator pitch will not work all the time and needs to be customized. Decide what you hope to accomplish. For example, if you are putting together an introduction to pitch your professional services, make sure your introduction helps establish your credibility and expertise.

An impressive 30-second introduction should flow naturally enough to feel comfortable; however, it should never be done off-the-cuff. Instead, take the time to prepare a proper introduction that covers each of the main points you want your audience to focus on. Once you have planned out your introduction, practice it as often as you can until it sounds natural. A great way to perfect your 30-second introduction is to practice it on friends and coworkers who can provide helpful feedback.

When making your introduction, remember that your body language speaks volumes. Stand up straight, use good eye contact and remember to smile. In addition to paying attention to your own body language, be on the lookout for cues from others that may indicate you need to adjust your technique.

The best 30-second introduction will always lead to further dialogue. The right introduction will help you establish a connection with the other person or audience, build rapport and lead to a deeper discussion.

14
Mar

Use Positive, Not Negative, Language

Communication in the workplace is the key to resolving conflicts, negotiating contracts and establishing professional relationships. When you use positive language, your words can inspire others and increase morale; however, negative language can build resentment and lead to a loss of motivation that will hinder productivity. To ensure that your language always has a motivational effect upon others, try the following tips for using positive language.

  • Pay Attention
    The first step toward using more positive language is to notice the way you communicate in your everyday conversations. Focus on how and when you tend to use negative language and then come up with creative solutions for being more positive. For example, don’t say what cannot be done; instead, say what can be done.
  • Observe Others
    Have you ever noticed how a motivational speaker uses language? Perhaps you know someone who always seems to know exactly what to say to smooth things over. Pay attention to these people as they speak to learn how to positively manipulate language. Many times, these people simply rearrange a sentence so that it begins with an action statement. When you notice someone speaking positively, take note of it so that you can emulate this technique in your conversations.
  • Master the Five-Second Pause
    In a heated conversation, people tend to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. More often than not, this first thought is a negative statement. There is usually no need to provide an instant reply in most conversations. Instead, take a few seconds to plan out your response. If the conversation is especially important, it may be a good idea to wait until the next day to offer a response.

Whether you are making a presentation or writing an email, it is important to remember the powerful effect that the language you use has on others and choose your words with care and consideration.

7
Mar

Avoiding Productivity Pitfalls

Being positively productive is an important goal to strive for in the workplace. While most people have the best intentions of finishing a project, sneaky interruptions will pop up and distract you from your current task. This is especially true in an increasingly technological environment. While emails, instant messages and online searches smooth the pathways for communication, they also contribute to more frequent interruptions. 

Ringing phones, coworkers stopping by to chat and meetings are all hazards of working in a busy office environment. While you may not be able to stop every interruption that comes your way, there are a few polite ways to let people know that you are busy. First, set your phone to voice mail, so calls will be redirected while you are working. Then, place a notice on your door or cubicle to warn others that you need some time to finish a project. You may still not be able to avoid that meeting; however, leaving a reminder about where you left off on your work can help you get back on track after the meeting.

With any task that requires a great deal of thought, it is easy to become distracted. This is especially true when working on a computer because emails and other instant communications can create a sense of urgency that takes you away from your work. Focus on the particular item you are working on at the moment and refuse to be sidetracked until you accomplish your objective for that item. Set aside a time each day when you respond to phone calls and emails.

Proactively managing interruptions and reducing distractions can improve your ability to focus and get things done.