Give People a Break When They’re Trying to Change

Hands by Penny MathewsIf you’ve ever had a bad habit or some type of behavior you’ve wanted to change, you know that it’s not easy. But what I’ve found from both personal experience and from talking to others is that making the change isn’t the hardest part – it’s convincing the people around you that you’re trying to change and blocking out their negative feedback.

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A Fast Way to Improve Your Articulation

It’s amazing how sometimes you can find a good resource in the oddest places. I recently came across a children’s book that I found especially challenging to read out loud as it was full of tongue twisters. But before I get into that, let’s talk a little bit about tongue twisters.

Tongue twisters are short poems or rhymes loaded with words that have similar sounds. Sometimes the words all begin with similar sounds (alliteration), sometimes there’s a repetition of words that contain or end in similar sounds (consonance) and in some cases there are words spelled the same way but have different pronunciations (homographs). Some examples of tongue twisters include:

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How to Answer the Strengths and Weaknesses Job Interview Question

meetingOne of the most common and most challenging job interview questions is “can you tell me your strengths and weaknesses?” In some cases, they may ask you to list a certain number of each (usually two or three but I’ve heard as many as five) which means that you’ll want to put some added thought into it. But no need to panic, this question is a lot easier to answer than you may think – provided you’re ready for it.

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If You Only Listen to One PowerPoint Tip…

projectorThese days, many meeting rooms have built-in projectors and/or screens. Some even have built-in computers so the need to lug a laptop with you has essentially been eliminated. Let’s face it, a USB drive will fit even the largest of presentations and can fit on your keychain – plus it won’t hurt your back. But even though all this is there to make your life easy, it can also work against you. Unless you test your presentation on the exact equipment that you’ll be running it on, you’re running a huge risk.

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Are You Taking Your Job Search Seriously?

desk_1Last night I attended a networking event and the topic of job searching came up. If you’ve attended networking events recently, you’ve probably noticed the same thing that I did: many (if not most) of the people that attend networking events are looking for work.

I shared a story from a speed networking event that I attended a while back. It struck me as odd how so many people looking for work didn’t think to bring business cards or resumes to the event. Others last night shared similar experiences so it got me wondering: are people taking their job search seriously?

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Joe Wilson: Unprofessional or Brilliant?

Last night during President Obama’s speech, Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina shouted “You lie!” in the middle of it. When I first heard about it, I kind of laughed to myself as I thought about how other countries have more spirited debates during these types of speeches. But then I thought a bit more about it and I felt that Rep. Wilson was, politics aside, both unprofessional and disrespectful. As I read the reactions later today, I started to believe that it was a bad idea for him to do that because his actions made him and his party look bad, and gave the other side ammunition and motivation that could change the momentum of the debate. But then as I sat down to write about it, I realized that Rep. Wilson’s outburst could only be described with one word: Brilliant.

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Public Speaking Success: Are You a Smug Speaker?

In one of my “Overcome Your Fear of Public Speakingclasses, an attendee asked me why so many speakers come across as smug. I hadn’t really thought about this so I opened the discussion up to the rest of the class and was shocked by what I heard – many speakers come across as condescending, arrogant, cocky and yes, smug.

I listened to stories about people that call themselves corporate trainers taking the attitude that they were not only the smartest person in the room, but the only intelligent person in the room. Anyone that asked for clarification simply “didn’t get it.” Others shared tales of speakers confidently contradicting themselves or speakers arguing with audience members that questioned them.

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