Toastmaster or Terrorist?

bombImagine walking into a conference room and finding a strange device. The device has a timer attached to it and three lights – red, yellow and green. You’ve never seen such a device before so you wonder what it is. Could it be a bomb?

Well a few days ago at a corporate building for Chase Banks in Columbus, Ohio, such a device was found and it caused quite a scare. Thousands of people evacuated the building while police investigated. What was this device? Well if you’re familiar with Toastmasters, you may recognize it as a set of timing lights for speeches. In fact, an employee of Chase hooked up the device to use to time a presentation. Who would have thought that someone simply trying to time a presentation could have caused such chaos?

Are Your Services Priced Correctly?

Last week I received an email from a speaker that we’ll call “Ken” (obviously not his real name). After a few tips and quotes about public speaking, Ken had a very nice looking coupon. The coupon had attractive fonts, good use of color and even had a professionally taken picture of Ken. But the thing that caught my attention was the large text that read “all services 80% off.”

Why People Don’t Like You

despairNone of us like the feeling of being rejected but it’s even more difficult to swallow when something like friendship, which has a relatively low social risk, is rejected. With much of our social interactions moving on-line and the anonymity of the internet, this type of rejection is becoming especially common. But it being common doesn’t necessarily lower the impact it has on our self-esteem.

It’s the Audience, Stupid

bored audienceWhy do so many speakers insist on using their audience as a form of group therapy for their own personal issues? I’ve seen speakers (including those that were paid to give their talk) use their presentation (I don’t dare call it training) to enact revenge, guilt the audience into cheering for them and to get things off their chests. Why?

Giving a speech is not about you – it’s about the audience. Someone has invited you to share your knowledge, wisdom or experience to their audience. They’re not interested in hearing about the guy that flipped you off in traffic, the cab driver that ran four lights on your trip from the airport or something idiotic that your Senator did (unless that’s the purpose of your speech).

How to Get Your Emailed Resume Read

attachOne of the local papers had an article about how to increase the odds of your emailed resume being read and acted upon. I thought this topic would be a good follow up to my post on how to get your resume read. While I thought the advice was generally good, I had a few comments and some additional advice I’d like to share. The first three points are those from the newspaper with my comments added.

1. Use the Right Attachment Format

The Trouble with Hearsay

I once overheard a conversation where someone was communicating negative feedback. The only thing was the person giving the feedback allegedly wasn’t the one who felt that way – he had overheard someone else and wanted to share the criticism with the person it was directed towards. The person who received the feedback, which was a bit on the harsh side, replied back with “she’s my friend, she’d never say something like that about me or anyone else.”

You Can’t Win by Sitting in the Crowd

I was watching a concert for the band Journey with their new singer (okay, he’s been there for two years now) and it got me thinking about how he wound up in that role. Arnel Pineda played in various bands in the Philippines for about 25 years when one of the members of Journey saw his videos on Youtube. At the time, Journey was looking for a new singer and they flew Arnel out to San Francisco to audition.

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