Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 4

Your non verbal communication says a lot even when you are not speaking. This is very important to keep in mind when conducting a workshop or presentation as your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

This is part four of this series on Perfecting Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops. We have covered six other non-verbal techniques: eye contact, head nodding, body movement, posture, proximity and vocal quality.

To read more about these techniques be sure to read our previous posts.

In this final post, we will address the techniques of smile and humor.

Technique #7 – Smile

Say “cheese”! Remember to smile so that both your mouth and your eyes are smiling! When smiling with both your mouth and your eyes, you will look relaxed, and it is then that people will genuinely respond. When you feel relaxed, you will be sending a cue to your participants that they too can feel relaxed.

When someone smiles, they send a powerful message of:

· Happiness
· Friendliness
· Warmth
· Likability
· Affiliation

If you smile frequently, you will be perceived as more likable, friendly, warm and approachable. Smiling is often contagious and participants will react favorably and learn more.

Technique #8 – Humor

Humor is often overlooked as an effective tool for learning. Laughter actually releases stress and tension for both the facilitator and the participants. Develop the ability to laugh at yourself and encourage participants to do the same. It fosters a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.

Obviously, adequate knowledge of the subject matter is crucial to your success; however, it’s not the only crucial element. Creating a climate that facilitates learning and retention requires good nonverbal and verbal skills. To improve your nonverbal skills, record your speaking on video tape. Then ask others for suggestions on refinement.

By being aware of these simple facilitation do’s and don’ts, you will improve your skills as a facilitator.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 3

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, what you are saying when you are not speaking actually says volumes. You set the tone for your workshop or presentation and your participants will respond largely from your non-verbal cues.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Last time we talked about posture and body movement. This time we will talk about two other important non-verbal techniques, and those are proximity and vocal quality.

Technique #5 – Proximity:

Cultural norms will likely determine a comfortable distance for interaction between people. Look for indications of discomfort when someone feels their personal space has been invaded. Some of these indications include:

· Rocking
· Leg swinging
· Tapping
· Averting gaze.

Typically, in large college classes space invasion is not a problem. In fact, there is usually too much distance. To counteract this, move around the classroom to increase interaction with your students. Increasing proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak.

Technique #6 – Vocal Quality:

This aspect of nonverbal communication includes many elements, including:

· Tone
· Pitch
· Rhythm
· Timbre
· Loudness
· Inflection

For maximum teaching effectiveness, learn to vary these elements of your voice. One of the major turn offs for participants in a learning program is a teacher with very monotonous speech. Those who have to listen to such a person perceive them as incredibly boring and dull. Participants consistently report they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to someone who has not learned to modulate their voice.

Stay tuned for next time when we will talk about the two final techniques, smile and humor.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 2

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, non-verbal communication speaks volumes. It can affect how participants conduct themselves, and how you act also sets the tone for your workshop or presentation.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Last time we talked about two of the eight primary non-verbal techniques that facilitators need to be aware of – eye contact and head nodding. This time we will talk about techniques 3 & 4:

Technique #3 – Posture

Posture is critical when you’re facilitating a training program. There are many aspects to posture, but the most important is how you use your arms.

Here are some things not to do with your arms when facilitating a training program.

· Do not fold your arms as it represents a “closed” posture and lack of confidence.

· Do not place your arms on your hips as this represents superior power and authority.

· Do not do the wounded arm – when one arm is clamped on the other arm but that arm is hanging loose.  This is another form of a “closed” posture.

· Do not put your hands in your pockets as you may start playing with whatever is in your pockets.

The best thing to do with your arms is to use them to express your points in a more animated fashion, but use them with purpose. When you are not using your arms, keep them hanging comfortably at your sides. This may seem awkward at first, but will become more natural as you do it more.

Technique #4 – Body Movement

In addition to your arms, you also want to avoid distracting body movements. When you are facilitating, body movement can be very powerful. You must pay attention not to take away from your facilitation with distractions such as walking too much or pacing around the room. Another distracting gesture is to rock back and forth when you’re standing still. All of these will take away from your effectiveness because people will start paying attention to what you are doing rather than what you are saying. Be sure you are moving with purpose.

You also communicate a variety of messages by the way you walk and talk, or stand and sit. Standing erect and leaning forward slightly can send a message to participants that you are approachable, receptive and friendly. If you speak with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling, this indicates a level of disinterest whether you intent it or not. These movements should be avoided. Interpersonal closeness results when you and your students face each other.

Stay tuned next time when we talk about the ever important aspect of proximity and vocal quality.

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Perfect Your Non-Verbal Communication in Workshops – Part 1

When conducting a workshop or giving a presentation, non-verbal communication speaks volumes. In fact, it can dramatically affect how participants conduct themselves in return. Your non-verbal communication sets the tone for your workshop or presentation because what you do often speaks more loudly than what you say, and therefore you want to be aware of the non-verbal cues you are giving, and the tone you are setting.

The proper use of non-verbal communication techniques can really go a long way towards encouraging people to participate in a program. Here are two of the eight primary non-verbal techniques that facilitators need to be aware of when conducting a training program or giving a presentation:

Technique #1 – Eye Contact

We all know that a good leader makes eye contact with people when they are speaking. The same goes for learning environments like workshops. Eye contact is one of the most important elements of interpersonal communication. Eye contact helps control the flow of communication, and it also signals the level of interest in others.

Furthermore, eye contact increases the speaker’s credibility. Teachers who make eye contact convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility.

With this in mind, you will want to make eye contact with every participant in the workshop and connect with them and make them feel valued and important. Some theories suggest that you can pick out a few people and just speak to them, but as a facilitator in a learning program,  you need to make eye contact with everyone in your workshop.

A powerful technique for making eye contact with everyone in the room is to use the “Lighthouse Technique.”  Think about the lighthouse as a sweeping flash of light that holds your attention.  Same is true with eye contact.  If you sweep the audience with your eyes, staying 2-3 seconds on each person, your audience will feel that you are speaking to him/her personally and ensure their attention.

Technique #2 – Head Nodding

Failing to make gestures while speaking can give people the impression that you are boring, stiff and inanimate. A lively teaching style works to capture a participant’s attention; makes the material more interesting; facilitates learning; and includes a sense of entertainment.

Nodding your head, a key gesture, will communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening. Nodding your head shows that you are understanding what somebody is saying. By showing this understanding, you affirm participants which helps them to feel safe and open up. Also, by not interrupting and allowing some silence, gives them time to formulate their thoughts and get to the point they really want to make. By nodding your head, you are encouraging participants to speak and feel valued.

Stay tuned next time for Part 2 where we will look at techniques 3 & 4.

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Tips for Creating a Client Attracting Website Fast

Many people spend months on their website and this
substantially delays their ability to build their business.

I have an important message for you.

YOUR WEBSITE SHOULDN’T TAKE MONTHS TO COMPLETE

If you remember, in the past I’ve suggested that you need
these pages to get started:
- a home page
- an about me page
- a service page
- and a contact me page.

Four pages to get your website up and running.
put everything aside and commit to getting it done.

If your website is complete,
take time this week to review it and make updates.
Perhaps you need to update your special offer,
your home page message, or even review it
for typos and grammatical errors.

If you don’t have a website, make this a priority.

Although a website will typically NOT get you business,
it definitely will legitimize you as a business owner.
It is also a powerful tool for collecting names of prospects
who are interested in your special offer.

I’ve seen the development of a website
hold people back more than enything else.
They are waiting for the perfect look,
and the perfect message.

Do not wait!  The quest for perfection will keep you stuck.
Get your site up, and you can change it later.
In fact, you will change it later.  Guaranteed.

Your website can be as simple as a home page,
an about me page, and a generic services page.
And make sure you clearly have a way for your visitors to reach you.
Later you can add an FAQ (frequently asked questions),
a resource page, events page, etc.

Here are a 5 important tips for creating your web site:

1. Make your home page be about your market,
NOT about who you are.  Also, a short homepage
is better than a long one.
YAY, that makes it easier for you!

What goes on your home web page:

- What are their problems?

- What are the ramifications of those problems?

- How are you the one to save the day?

- How are your products and services the answer to their problems?

Do this in 250 words or less.

DO NOT PUT TOO MUCH INFORMATION ON YOUR HOME PAGE.
LESS IS MORE.

2. Remember to have your website reflect the
brand you created in recent weeks. Simple, clean,
colors and images that reflect your brand.

3.  Have a compelling free gift and an opt-in box
for people to give you you their contact information.  Do
not give your special offer away without getting your visitors’
contact information.

4. Have a professional photo of yourself on your home page.  With the rise of internet business and skeptical buyers, people feel more comfortable if your site is warm and inviting, speaks to their needs, and shows them who they are entrusting their contact information to.

5. Your other pages – About me, Services and Contact.  To start, stick with the basics – an about me page, a services page and a contact me page.  Get the basics complete for now and then you can add later on.  Remember your goal is to connect with your visitors, establish credibility, show them that you understand them and can meet their needs, and invite them to engage with you further.  Keep your site simple, and keep it about your visitor (remember they’re thinking, WIIFM – what’s in it for me).

Again, your website will change and evolve over time.
Guaranteed.  Do not overcomplicate the process of creating
your web site. Get something going so you have something
to tweak as your message and business solidifies.

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4 Steps to Creating Predictable Income in Your Business

Imagine if you could plan and predict your income every month. That would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it?

Out of all the things you can do in your business, planning your income is the one thing that will give you more confidence, enjoyment and peace of mind, than anything else.

Here’s a simple strategy to create consistent and predictable income in your business:

1. Identify your target market’s 3 greatest problems.

Create tips, solutions, resources or other education-based information that you can send to your prospects and clients to address these needs. This can be delivered in various mediums such as the written word using articles or success tips, audio, or short instructional videos.

2. Develop a communication schedule to send out these tips, solutions and resources.

What topics will you address and when? What tip or solution will you send and on what dates?

3. When you deliver the information, promote an upcoming teleseminar or webinar where you will be discussing the topic in greater detail.

Addressing a need, providing tips and other valuable resources to solve that need, and then offering an opportunity for them to come and learn more in a teleseminar or webinar,
is a very compelling offer for your prospects.

4. On the teleseminar or webinar, have a specific program, product or service to promote.

What do you want them to do next? Have a complimentary session with you? Sign up for a program? Buy a product? Come to an event? Have a well thought out
plan for what you want your attendees to do next.

By doing this on a consistent basis and tracking your results, you will be able to plan and predict your income every single month.

It’s Time To Simplify

I think I ‘follow’ too many people.
Do you ever feel that way?

I get so overwhelmed and think that
if I get another email about how to make money on the internet
or how to market my business I will scream.

And lately I’ve seen people that don’t even
specialize in business building strategies
teaching people how to grow their businesses!

All of this is enough to make me crazy.
And I’m a marketer and LOVE marketing!
I can imagine how people who hate marketing feel
because they know they need to do it to grow.

So here’s what I think.
IT’S TIME TO SIMPLIFY.

I have a simple marketing philosophy,
that has helped me grow a very large list fast,
and create a very nice income.
Simply put, that’s what we want -
a large list and a nice income. :-)

Guess what?
You need just three things to do it:
1. Someone to talk to
2. Something to say
3. Something to sell

Who is your ideal market? Where are they? How can you reach them so you can talk to them?

What does your target market care about most?
What problems are they having and what solutions can you provide?

What do you have to sell?  What programs, products, or services
that SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM do you offer?

If you have these three things,
you have ALL you need
to be successful in your business.
If you don’t have all these,
it’s time to get them.

If you would like a free weekly action plan to help you move forward in your business one step at a time, go to: www.takeonestepforwardtosuccess.com

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7 Steps to Moving from Idea to Action

When I first started my own business, I was excited!
I had spent 15 years in corporate America and had “escaped”.
I was still sane, not all my hair had turned grey, and now I
had the chance to pursue my dream to be a professional coach,
and help people realize their own dreams.

Business started out better than I had expected. I was making
great contacts, connecting with people, getting clients, and business
was growing fast! With all the momentum and excitement of a
growing business, I started coming up with many great ideas on
products I could develop, workshops I could teach, and articles
I could write. Daily and weekly the ideas would come fast and
furious, and they were brilliant! I would literally feel overwhelmed
with excitement of ALL the things I could do!

But as the days and weeks went by, I noticed that the ideas were
coming, but the action was NOT. It was exciting, but then I realized
that this flood of brilliance was actually paralyzing me. How could
so many ideas containing so much opportunity be paralyzing me?

The ideas were so creative and forthcoming, but I couldn’t decide what
to do first, nor focus long enough to develop and implement a plan.
I started to feel scattered and was becoming less productive.

It wasn’t until I explored this further that I realized this is a
common phenomenon with new entrepreneurs. It’s a phenomenon I
call “Idea Overload.” The bottom line is, while our never ending
well of ideas could be an incredible asset, many entrepreneurs end up wasting so much time in the idea generation phase, they never end up getting anything done. Soon they are falling further and further behind.

To help get control of my “Idea Overload,” and use my ideas to grow my business, I developed 7 Steps of Moving From Idea to Action. They are:

  1. Keep an idea journal – Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. This will free up your mind to receive new ideas and allow you to focus on the ones that are most important. It will also take away the fear you may forget those ideas because now they are documented for when you are ready to pursue them.
  2. Accept that you DO NOT have to act on all your ideas NOW – You will then be able to release the stress of that urgent feeling to act immediately because you KNOW your ideas will be there when you are ready.
  3. Get clear on your “what” and “why” - You have to be clear on what you want in your business and why. This will open your mind to bring new ideas that tie to these goals. When you can tie your ideas to your bigger goals, you can focus in on what you should pursue.
  4. Prioritize – Choose one or two ideas that best align with your “what and why” and stick with them. Don’t panic! Your other ideas are still there and you can pursue them once you have accomplished the others first.
  5. Make a plan and GET TO IT - Don’t wait for your plan to be perfect to take action. In fact DON’T ALLOW for it to be perfect before you start. It’s going to change anyway! Yes, it’s important to have some idea of where you are going, but only to act as a guide. If you wait for it to be perfect, you will be stalled in the planning phase and won’t move into the action phase. This is the key! Get to it RIGHT AWAY! The longer you wait, the less likely you will act!

  6. Schedule time in your calendar and do something everyday – Commit to doing something toward your ideas everyday. It is imperative to put it in your calendar, in INK, and treat it as a high priority item.
  7. Expect obstacles and DON’T GIVE UP – We all know that anything worth having is going to have its challenges. Challenges, however, can be the killer of action. When we hit a road block, the frustration and additional effort to overcome the road block could be the one thing that stalls us. Resolve to expect challenges, meet them as they come, and don’t give up.

These 7 steps will shatter your “Idea Overload” and take you from inaction to action. Make up your mind to do something with your brilliant ideas!

When you act upon your ideas, you’ll gain confidence, inner security, self reliance, and a willingness to take action again when future occasions arise. When “Idea Overload” overcomes you and you don’t act, you lose confidence and will be less inclined to take future risks when opportunities arise. Activity feeds one, inactivity feeds the other.

NOW is the magic word of success. Resolve to go out and do something with your ideas TODAY.

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How to Create Valuable Content in 30 Minutes or Less

For some people content creation is a welcomed task.
For others it creates panic and doubt.

But in our business, content is a necessity.

You will not be able to build your business
to the level you desire without your ability to
deliver free and paid tips, strategies, how to’s,
and other resources to address your target
market’s needs.

This is non-negotiable.

Content is used for four primary purposes:
- to grow your list
- to nurture relationships
- to convert prospects to paying clients
- to generate income through the delivery of your
products, programs and services.

You will want to have an abundance of content
that you can deliver in various forms
(written, audio, video) to serve these four purposes.

If you struggle with content creation,here are
a few simple strategies to EASILY create tips,
tricks, strategies and how to’s for your
prospects and clients.

1. Start small.
To build your “content creation muscle”,
write something as simple as a “tip” -
a 150-350 word ‘mini article’ that offers
value in the form of strategies, resources,
tips and how to’s that adress your target
market’s needs, interests and wants.
Tips can also be thought provoking
and inspirational.

2. Think of a question that your ideal client
would ask you about their biggest problems
and answer that question.

3. Think of one particular person who is a client
or prospect and write as though you are talking
to them.

4. Answer in a conversational tone.
Write the way you speak. If this is a struggle
for you, try recording your answer and then
transcribe it.

5. Keep it tight. The problem usually isn’t that
we don’t have enough to say, it usually is that
we have too much to say.
Once we get on a roll, the information
keeps coming and coming. We do not
know where to stop. We end up with
too much information and get confused
about what to keep in, and what to
put in another ‘tip’.

Before you write your tip,
think of one, two or three points to share
to answer the question. Then make only
one or two comments about those points.
This is will allow you to keep your tip focused
and tight, and keep you from running away
with too much content.

Following these few simple strategies will help you
to build your “content creation muscle” so
creating new content becomes an easy task.

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Do You Have A Brand For Your Business?

One of my clients is setting out to create a brand for her business, and that got me thinking about the importance of having a clearly identifiable brand for all businesses.

As we were working through the process of designing her brand it was amazing to see it come alive through two important elements.

The first element was what she wanted people to ‘feel’ about her business.
The second element was how that feeling or perception would ‘look’
in colors, images and words.

Many business owners do not intentionally create a brand for themselves.
Often it is something that just “happens” without much thought
or strategy – and sometimes that is good, and sometimes not so good.
Not intentionally creating a brand can lead to mixed messages,
inconsistency and buyer confusion.

Confused buyers do not buy.

A brand is both a ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that you want your business to be
recognized by.  At the heart of your brand, is the ‘feel’.
It is what you want to be known for – what you want people to think
of when they think of your business.  And then the ‘look’ pulls it
all together in the form of logos, colors, words and images.

Very importantly, your brand needs to resonate with your target market.
It needs to attract them, speak to their needs, and communicate both visually
and in the written word that you are the right solution for them.

Answer these questions when creating your brand:

If you do not have a name yet, think about what company name is a
reflection of your target market’s greatest needs?

What promises are you making to your ideal clients?

What is the mood and personality of your business?

What colors, words, images and shapes reflect your company’s personality?

Use this information for creating your logo, working with your web designer to design the best look and feel for your web site, and with your copywriter when designing the perfect message for attracting your target market.