This is the second post in a series from the speaker, teacher, and consultant Joel Schwartzberg, who is covering methods to improve presentation skills at all stages of your career. A slightly different version of this post appeared earlier in the Huffington Post.
A job interview isn’t all that different from a public speech, except that in interviews you get to sit down, listen more than speak, and be the world’s expert on the topic (hint: it’s you). But one thing is true for both interviewing and speech-making: How you say something is just as important as what you say.
The “what” can be coached only so much, but the “how” is completely coachable. Here are some unique, real-world tips I’ve picked up over nearly two decades as a media industry executive, a national champion public speaker, a public speaking instructor, a collegiate speech and debate coach… and a failed Wheel of Fortune contestant. But don’t hold the Wheel thing against me — I just didn’t buy enough vowels. Read More →
Chances are that performance reviews aren’t anyone’s favorite aspect of the modern workplace, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless paperwork. In the Globe and Mail, Marjo Johne makes the case for them, quoting a partner in an accounting firm who says that a review “removes a lot of uncertainty amongst employees about how they are performing at work.” Johne also gets some advice on how smaller companies can do reviews effectively. She also notes that in smaller companies, it’s extra-important to make sure that reviews are constructive, with an emphasis on improvement rather than fault-finding.
Jim Hopkinson, the author of Salary Tutor, is writing a series of post designed to help you negotiate during some of the most important — and stressful — points in your career. A slightly different version of this post appeared on Jim’s website.
The person sitting next to you at work has been acting peculiar. Nothing dramatic . . . after all, you’ve shared the same workspace for years, worked on several successful projects together, and survived a round of layoffs in 2009, coming out fine on the other side.
Kelly Eggers has eight rules for networking effectively. The most important might be the last: follow up with your new contacts. “[Get] in touch — within 24 hours — to say you enjoyed meeting them.” [FINS]
The least creative place you can be is most likely where you’re sitting right now.
Like many people, I spend the majority of my workday in one room, sitting in front of a computer. And while my office may be on the more creative end of the spectrum — filled with all manner of interesting objects — it’s still the least inspiring place I find myself on a regular basis.
Workspaces are places of familiarity, but if you’re looking for inspiration, you actually need the exact opposite: an influx of the unknown and a sprinkling of the completely random. And there’s no better way to finding these experiences than just simply getting out of your environment.
For a year, Skull-A-Day, my daily art project, was my excuse to spend part of every day away from my desk. Sometimes it was just going to another part of my office to make something by hand, but very often it required me to get out of the building entirely and spend a some time really paying attention to the world around me. Read More →
Yesterday Top Gun Allison Hemming spoke to CNN.com about employees announcing that they are quitting in increasingly creative, if not downright showoffy, ways.
The splashiest recent example is Joey DeFrancesco. The 24-year-old’s video of himself quitting his hotel job with the noisy help of his bandmates in the What Cheer? Brigade, a hipster brass band, got nearly 2.5 million views after it was uploaded to YouTube on 12 October.
As Allison said to CNN, “Joey is the hero of all downtrodden workers because he is the embodiment of ‘take this job and shove it.’ He’s living out the fantasies of countless workers who also hate their bosses.”
This Thursday, October 27, The Hired Guns Academy will be hosting “What’s Your Story?,” our popular class on storytelling and elevator pitches. Below, the class’s instructor and creator, Larry Smith, talks about when he first realized that limits and parameters are your friend when it comes to creating a powerful, authentic story about your work life.
I was at a wedding this past weekend. The happy couple kissed. The dancing began. And soon enough it was toast time. One by one friends and family took the microphone to pay tribute to the bride and groom. And one by one those loving tributes turned into rambling disasters — often with no end in sight. “Somebody needs to wrestle the mic from him,” I heard a guest say at one point, in a less-than-hushed tone. Still, everyone was in a good mood and laughed off the hot messes who were doing their best to fete the happy couple.
After all, you’re allowed a certain amount of slack at a wedding. But when you fail to get your story straight when the stakes are higher — at a job interview, for example — the consequences are often much worse.
Sitting in a San Antonio bar with a business partner in 1967, the entrepreneur Herb Kelleher grabbed a (now-legendary) cocktail napkin and sketched out a simple triangle while posing this question: What if we were to create a small, local airline that connected these three cities? With that sketch, the idea for Southwest Airlines was born.
The next time you are trying to generate ideas, brainstorm a solution, or explain a complex idea to someone, why not use a cocktail napkin — or a scrap of paper, or a flipchart or whiteboard — and sketch it out!
Even if you don’t think you can draw, it’s not about artistic ability . . . it’s about getting ideas out of your head and down on paper so they can be shared succinctly with someone else.
Once, a new coaching client of mine, a regional vice president at an international pharmaceuticals company, was wrestling with a costly, complex, and incredibly challenging business dilemma that had been distracting him and keeping him up at night for months.
On my first meeting with him, I solved his problem in less than five minutes –- simply by means of a napkin sketch.
It’s not that I’m so brilliant — in fact, I really didn’t fully understand all the complexities of his situation (that actually might have worked to my advantage) — and I can barely draw. But my napkin sketching ability saved the day. Read More →
We just nabbed exactly our kind of project, a soup-to-nuts redesign of a top TV brand’s website that includes total social media reengineering, and the team will be made up entirely of Hired Guns. Here are the kind of Guns we’re looking for … make the jump for any role that sounds like you!
This week in viral promotions and digital marketing: Take This Lollipop, a creepy, Facebook-soaked video to make you even more worried about online privacy than you were already. Or maybe it’ll just remind you to find a better head shot and update your status once in a while. [More on it from The Next Web and Slate....]
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