Archive for the ‘First Person PR — Perspectives’ Category

Do you know the secrets to rewarding phone conversations?

Monday, September 17th, 2018

“How many of your business conversations happen on the phone? For many people, it’s most of them. In fact, some of us spend more time talking to people we can’t see than we do in face-to-face interaction.  Your body language shapes what they hear and that shapes how they feel about you,” notes Catherine Johns, speaker, author and former radio personality.
https://catherinejohns.com/

“When people hear your voice, even if they can’t see you, they’re forming impressions of you. It helps to understand the secrets of compelling conversations with unseen others,” adds Johns.

Here are her suggestions.

  • Stand up. Your voice will have a lot more energy in it if you stand while you speak. Even if you do most of your work seated, you’ll project more strength when you stand up for that important phone call.
  • But if you sit, sit up straight. Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor, your bottom squarely in the chair, your spine erect and your shoulders back and down. No hunching over the desk. Sitting like this, you’ll be grounded and your voice will be stronger and more resonant.
  • A headset helps. Holding the phone to your ear makes your arm tired, and a lot of us press our ear to the phone and strain our necks in the process. A speaker phone solves those problems, but the sound is thin and hollow. Use a headset instead. Even the earbuds that have a mic on the cord with give you freedom to move with decent audio quality.
  • Speak from your core. The energy should come from the power center below your navel, not from your throat or your head. With the phone or a mic close to your mouth, there’s no need for big volume. Don’t shout. While you want energy in your voice, you’ll get it from being grounded and relaxing your body.
  • Energize your voice by moving your body.  Use gestures just as you would if you were right there in the room with the person. Your conversational partner can’t see your hands moving, but the gestures animate your voice and they will hear the difference. When you gesture to emphasize a point, for instance, you’ll soundmore emphatic too.
  • And don’t forget your face. Facial expressions reflect your inner state and people can sense your mood even when they can’t see your face. So, don’t pick up the phone with a frown unless you’re about to let someone have it, for good reason. Some people find it helps to have a mirror near their desk – looking at yourself is a reminder to smile.
  • Or theirs. Talking to someone you don’t know? Let’s say you’re making a sales call. Or, it’s the phone screening that precedes an in-person job interview. When the stakes are high, it’s easy to freeze up so you sound stiff and unnatural.  As you prepare for your call, pull up the person’s picture on LinkedIn or the company website. It will give you something to focus on and help you sound as if you’re talking to an actual human.

If you do know the person, visualize them as you place the call. Just make a mental picture – there she is, sitting in her office, seeing your name on Caller I.D. and smiling as she reaches for the phone. See how that sets you up for a warmer conversation?

  • Speak a bit more slowly than you ordinarily do. Enunciate. Remember that visual cues are missing. All they have to go on is your words and the tone of your voice. To make sure they understand everything you say, you may need a slower pace than you would in a face-to-face conversation. This is especially true if one of you is not a native speaker of English, of if you’re covering complex—or controversial –content.
  • Pause to project confidence. A moment of silence enhances understanding and gives your listener a chance to absorb what you’re saying. The pause is also a powerful signal that you’re comfortable and confident. You’re not rushing, you’re not apologizing for taking up their time, and you’re not desperate for this conversation to be over.

 This is especially important when you are desperate for it to be over!

You may have had an experience where you didn’t know how to finish so you just kept talking and eventually it became awkward. It’s better to put a period on it and settle into the silence. Let the other person be the next to speak.

  • Listen more than you talk. You’re brilliant, of course. You have important information to impart and deep insights to share. They’ll be more impressed with all of it if they hear as much of themselves as they hear from you.

On the phone, we can’t see someone’s eyes glaze over. We may not be aware that they’ve tuned out and started checking their email. The way to head that off is to say what you have to say—once. Say it well. Then zip it. And listen.

If you follow Catherine’s suggestions, you’ll have more rewarding phone conversations. And you may be surprised at the opportunities they create.

Want to Change Your Life? Use the Power of Small Groups!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Whatever your age, are you wondering about the next phase of your life? If so, do you wish you had a concrete, practical plan of action and solid support to help you change, maybe even re-invent yourself?

“It may be time to join an existing small group or form a new one yourself,” says Sue Baugh, a veteran small-group leader. “Ideally, your group should be limited to six to eight people to allow everyone time to share. Have a clear focus for the group—such as exploring next steps for your life, taking chances in a new direction, discovering what new ideas and abilities are emerging in you. Then gather like-minded people to share the journey. Besides bringing their experience and expertise to the group, members can also ask questions and offer insights that would never occur to you. Often we can’t see how we might be stopping ourselves–but others can.”

Group Support. Baugh recommends that small groups meet in person and keep a regular schedule—once a month, twice a month, whatever members feel they need. “I’ve found there’s a greater benefit in meeting face to face than in meeting online or over the phone. Being together physically sends the message that you’ve taken the time and trouble to show up for each other. And once you’re together, there’s a kind of spirit and electricity in face-to-face groups that’s missing otherwise.”

Baugh says that small groups often benefit members in ways that go beyond their original purpose. “For instance, author Lynn McTaggart in her book, The Power of Eight, organized small groups to focus healing energy on others. To their surprise, the members found that over time, they were experiencing healing as well! You can’t underestimate the power of a focused group to change the lives of its members.”

To help groups succeed in their goals, Baugh offers the following practical advice.

Guidelines for Successful Groups.

  • Set a clear intention for the group. What would you like to accomplish? Your intention may change over time, but start with a clear focus.
  • Listen carefully to each other. Ask good questions to clarify issues. Active, empathetic listening is a powerful tool in small groups.
  • Be honest and constructive when you give feedback to others. Have faith in them until they have faith in themselves.
  • Be open to moving past your comfort zone. Maybe it’s time to take the limits off your creative self. The group is there to help and support you.
  • Collaborate as a group to find solutions or actions for problems members raise.
  • Celebrate small as well as major successes. Small steps are critical for change.
  • End each meeting with some type of “homework”—a question, a task, a goal—to be completed by the next meeting. This helps build group momentum and keeps the creative juices flowing.

 Finally, Bring Your Commitment. “This is a major factor in a group’s success,” Baugh says. “Commit yourself 100 percent to the group for the time you have agreed to meet. And keep meeting at the appointed time even if only two of you can make it. You are holding the space for other group members. The more you commit to this process, the more creative power it has.”

Gift of Group Experience. A dedicated, focused small group can help you gain a new understanding of who you really are and what you have to offer, no matter what phase of life you are in. As Baugh affirms, “If you feel it’s time to make a real change in your life, I highly recommend you explore the power and rewards of a small group to help you do it.”

#

Sue Baugh, email: sue.baughws@gmail.com

Will you retire from work when you’re 65 or 95?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Some people retire when they’re 65 or 70. Others are not the retiring type and still work in their 90s. Others go back to work after retiring. Or, you might want to volunteer. Your decision will probably depend on your financial resources, your personality, your interests and how rewarding your lifestyle is.

Here are some helpful resources as you consider the next chapter in your life.

Consider your possibilities to see what “works” for you?!

SEO and Keywords – We Can Find You!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

You will find lots of different opinions and suggestions on SEO and which keywords to use to attract your target markets and achieve your goals. If you want to be discovered by the right consumers, here are just a few resources that will help in your SEO keyword research.

Here you go:

There’s more, including KWFinder, Keyword Tool, and SEMrush (whew?!).

Meet the Man Teaching Baby Boomers How to Turn Their Age into an Asset

Monday, January 29th, 2018

“While it’s not a pretty picture for most older workers in the corporate job market, we’ve shown hundreds of boomers how to turn their age from a disadvantage to an asset when running their own businesses,” notes Jeff Williams, CEO of Chicago-based Bizstarters.com, a coaching company that helps boomers start their own businesses. jeff@bizstarters.com

2018 marks Bizstarters’ 30th year guiding boomers find rewarding entrepreneurial opportunities that reflect their experience and preferred lifestyles. “We show our clients that even though corporations may not hire you after 50, they’ll sure buy from you. And so will a wide variety of consumers.”

Jeff Williams’ long-held love of teaching and training, primarily as an unpaid volunteer, led him to conceptualize his first business – a walk-in entrepreneurial training center, located in suburban Chicago. He launched the business right in the middle of the 1990 recession, when a large local population of downsized corporate managers presented an attractive group of entrepreneurial prospects.

In 1999, using the power of the newly established World Wide Web, Williams enlarged his business footprint internationally by launching a new online company, using the company’s current name of Bizstarters.com.

Following an eighteen-year career as an MBA-trained corporate marketing executive, Williams worked at entrepreneurial training centers, taught college courses in writing business plans, and worked with the Private Industry Council, a nonprofit organization that operated employment, education and training programs. The entrepreneurial training program Williams led for the job training agency won a national award for program excellence in 1992 and funding from the U.S. Department of Labor was renewed for seven straight years.

By the time Williams was in his late thirties, he realized from speaking to his friends, college buddies and corporate colleagues that boomers were developing a  perspective on retirement that was very different from that of their parents; Today, many boomers don’t see retiring anywhere near the traditional retirement age. They find that with their skills, experience and talent, they can often replace corporate work with entrepreneurial work. “While it can take more time and effort to grow your income from running your own business compared to a job, I will always trust a group of satisfied customers to stay more loyal to me than any corporate boss I ever had,” Williams emphasizes.

“Our clients have launched a wide variety of businesses, from designing and selling custom jewelry to consulting on health and safety issues with Fortune 500 manufacturers to selling vintage drum sets to serious collectors around the world. There is a demand for almost any type of work skill, life interest or long-enjoyed hobby in the entrepreneurial marketplace today.”

Bizstarters helps boomers launch their entrepreneurial ventures through the company’s Virtual Incubator™ business startup coaching program whose mantra is ‘Do What You Do Best. We’ll Do the Rest.” It reflects a dual-track process, where a coach guides the boomer client through his or her essential marketing and selling decisions, while at the same time a support team executes all essential organizational tasks, ranging from website design to installing and using accounting software.

Williams notes “that the same corporations that don’t seem to want you on their payroll will gladly pay you top dollar for your talent and experience as a freelancer or consultant. Boomers certainly can turn their age into an asset.”

 

 

Public Relations Trends in 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

It’s January, the first month of the year when we often explore new professional opportunities. If you work in public relations you might be developing a PR plan for a client or yourself and would welcome more information.

Check these links for PR possibilities that you might not have considered.

► 20 Insightful PR and Marketing Predictions for 2018

https://www.swordandthescript.com/2017/12/pr-marketing-predictions-2018/

► 10 Bold PR and Marketing Predictions for the Year 2020

https://www.inc.com/steve-cody/10-pr-marketing-tips-for-the-year-2020.html

► 4 Key PR Trends to Watch in 2018

http://www.prnewsonline.com/prnewsblog/4-key-pr-trends-to-watch-in-2018/

► The most important media and PR trends for 2018

https://business.twitter.com/en/blog/most-important-media-PR-trends-2018.html

►Public Relations Today

https://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2018/trends/

► Ask the Experts: Predictions on the Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2018

https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/marketing-trends-for-2018/

Happy New Year.

 

Ready for a career change? Or, are you a new graduate or student looking for career options?

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

“A person may have outgrown or be unhappy in his or her current job but doesn’t know how to find a rewarding new position. On the other hand, a student or new graduate may not understand his or her strengths, or potential opportunities and how to proceed,” notes Marilyn Fettner, President of Fettner Career and Life Counseling. www.fettnercounseling.com

When she first meets with a client, Fettner explains, “We discuss his/her goals and expectations. For example, an experienced person might ask ‘how do I deal with my manager or colleagues’ or ‘how can I qualify for another job or be considered for a promotion.’ From another perspective, a college student or new graduate may want help identifying and focusing on appropriate career possibilities.”

Career Change

There are several reasons people would want a career change. Fettner explains, “For example, a person may have outgrown his or her current job, may not be engaged in the work, or may be stuck in a rut and frustrated. As career counselors, we explore clients’ key interests, personality style, personal values, natural abilities, favorite skills, work-life balance, and workplace environment needs. We also discuss practical factors, such as, their desired commuting time, and budget, compensation, and benefits’ considerations.”

Marilyn Fettner is certified in several counseling areas and helps clients through understanding and applying the results of career tests, assessments, and exercises. Fettner guides clients to explore careers that correspond to their dreams, and then coaches them in developing a practical marketing and job-search plan. “I work with clients to help them identify targeted employers, develop resumes and LinkedIn profiles, explore networking opportunities, conduct interview practice, and get organized to land a new job.”

High School or College Graduates

“When you choose a major, you can benefit from clarification regarding the reality of daily work in careers related to your selected major,” Fettner notes. “Information interviews and job shadowing are very important to help people understand the reality of working in a particular job, and deciding whether or not it’s a good fit for them. I help students and new graduates in the process of finding organizations in relevant fields and reaching out to schedule informational interviews,” says Fettner.

Fettner suggests an important resource to explore careers and clarify career focus: “O*net Online (onetonline.org) is a database for occupations, and includes information such as earnings, projected hiring, and most everything you would want to know about an occupation. Its database describes almost 1,000 occupations covering the U.S. economy. It offers occupation-specific descriptions, and includes groups of similar occupations, along with the skills, tools and software that are needed in the occupations. The O*net Online database also includes information to help people find occupation-related training and jobs. “You’ll learn more about salaries, hiring projections, job growth, and advanced degrees you might need for a career,” says Fettner.

Fettner also helps graduates, as well as career changers, identify professional associations that focus on different industries and professions to help them gain knowledge about careers of interest and make strategic networking contacts.  Additionally, she works with clients on resumes, interviewing practice, as well as challenges they may face in new professional careers.

I feel passionately about helping you achieve satisfaction in your professional and personal life.  With experience in career counseling including assessments, resume writing, executive coaching, and job search, I also bring expertise in life coaching/counseling to help you navigate challenges in both your personal and working life. I offer compassion and empathy, as well as actionable strategies to help you make meaningful positive change. 

 

Holidays…Time to Job Hunt?!

Monday, November 20th, 2017

You probably want to relax and enjoy the holidays, but November through January are considered optimal job hunting months. You’re networking at holiday events, your boss may be more relaxed and open to “promotional” conversations, and many companies are trying to fill positions during this time.

If, while focusing on the holidays, you wouldn’t mind fine-tuning and improving your job hunting strategies and skills, then you might want to read Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 – How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap into the Hidden Job Market Using Social Media and 999 Other Tactics Today. The book is co-authored by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry.

The book introduces you to the “secrets of getting hired.”

“The #1 Secret to Getting Hired. Create an awesome plan – clear and detailed in every way – and follow it.”

“The #2 Secret to Getting Hired.” Levinson and Perry suggest you show an employer that you are worth much more to them (value) than you cost (salary and benefits). As a Guerrilla job hunter you are going to learn how to package and promote yourself as a blue-chip stock – to appear like money in the bank to an employer,” an achievable goal with a Guerrilla Plan.

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, 3.0 explains how to:

  • Build your personal brand and make employers call you.
  • Develop a productive attitude and avoid typical job hunter mistakes.
  • Build a strategy that helps you crack the hidden job market.
  • Develop a competitive edge through research.
  • Create cover letters and resumes that will be read, not tossed.
  • Discover networking that works.
  • Learn how to really use LinkedIn, social media and social networking.
  • Break through and meet the people you want to meet.
  • Learn from ordinary people whose plans resulted in extraordinary results.
  • Understand what to do and say before, during and after an interview.
  • Negotiate with confidence.

You will find even more how-to’s, as well as invaluable resources that you can use now or as New Year’s resolutions.

Happy Holidays!

Are You Ready to Interview Someone for Your Article or Book?

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Interviewing people when you’re writing an article or a book can be very rewarding for you and the person you interview…if you know how to do it.

Before you contact an expert or someone with significant experience in your subject, do as much research about the field and the interviewee as you can. Think of questions you will ask, knowing that you will have more as the interview progresses. The person you interview will also want to know that you’re professional, objective and trustworthy.

Here are a few of the many resources that explain the steps for effective and successful interviews.

Think of all the interviews you have read and appreciated. Knowing how to effectively interview someone for an article, book, case study, or report can lead to new perspectives and opportunities.

 

Networking – Rewarding When You Know What to Do and What Not to Do

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Business networking has been with us forever. While the venues and opportunities grow and change, we learn more about ourselves and how to develop mutually rewarding relationships. Contacts can emerge through referrals and introductions whether face-to-face at meetings and events, or via phone, email, social media, or networking websites.

Here are some resources that will help you achieve rewarding networking results.

10 Tips for Successful Business Networking

 https://www.businessknowhow.com/tips/networking.htm

5 Things You MUST Do During Networking Events

 https://www.workitdaily.com/networking-events-things-must-do/

12 Things Not To Do When Networking

 http://www.careertoolbelt.com/12-things-not-to-do-when-networking/

60+ Social Networking Sites You Need to Know About in 2017

https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-sites/

Many books discuss the business networking process. One of them is Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, 3rd Edition, by Jay Conrad Levinson and Al Lautenslager. Among their many resources and suggestions is to develop “Networking Goals.”

  • Meet 10 new people.
  • Receive eight business cards.
  • Note something of interest on each card.
  • Write a follow-up note to five of these people (or all).
  • Call and set up an appointment after writing to three contacts.
  • Continue the relationship with two of these.

“Notice that nowhere did I mention a goal for how many business cards to pass around. If you attend two networking events a month, you will add four or more people to your network with which you will have ongoing, continual relationships.”

The book also offers encouraging and helpful “Ongoing Networking Tips and Techniques” and “Action Steps.”

Here’s to your networking success.

Sally Chapralis