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Am I The Only One Who Can Hear This??

So I can’t stand these phrases or words that have kind of worked their way into our everyday speech, because at the end of the day, we all just want to communicate clearly? I remember specifically the first time whenever I heard each one of these annoying little speech crutches.

Can you count the number of issues I have with those two opening sentences? Let me …Read More

6 Business Writing Skills to Take You from Good to Great

Face-to-face and phone communication is fading from our everyday communications and has swiftly been replaced by writing. We work and live online and communicate via writing – Facebook and other social media, performance reviews and sales proposals, reports and recommendations – and modern communication is conducted in great part via the written word. It stands to reason that great business writings skills will give you …Read More

5 Ways to Increase Your Likeability Factor as a Leader


Even though as a leader your goals may not specifically be to increase your own personal likeability, there is a correlation between how much an individual is liked and how successful they are. Most significantly, your likeability increases your ability to influence and connect with others. Here are some avenues to increase your own personal likeability factor.


Put others at ease. If someone mispronounces a …Read More

3 Stupid Things an Effective Leader Should Never Say

As part of your effective leadership skills practice, be mindful of what not to say. These phrases are to be avoided at all costs — and here’s why.


“Don’t take this personally.” How else could someone possibly take that comment, delivered before a critique of her own work? If the work of a particular department needs addressing, then address the department (not one individual), and …Read More

Public Speaking Tips – 7 Effective Ways to Lead Your Audience from Point A to Point B

Transitions within a presentation are pivotal moments, opportunities to guide your audience to a new idea or avenues to lose their attention or break their stream of thought. A polished presenter is well aware of the importance of smooth transitions.


Using “first” or “next” to lead into your next point does not offer a connection of the topics in your listeners’ mind. Rather, to bring continuity …Read More

Improving Your Business Writing: Kick the “To Be” Habit

The assignment still gives me sweaty palms: Mrs. McCullough, 7th grade English teacher, made our class write an entire 5-page essay without any form of the verb “to be.”

That’s right, no is, are, was, were, will be, shall be, can be, could be, will be, would be, has been, have been in any form could appear in that paper.  Actually, she shouldn’t have to bear …Read More

Writing a Winning Sales Proposal Is Like Building a Grand House

Like any good sales consultant worth a paycheck, you’re responsive, right? So when a client says, “Get me a proposal and let’s see if we can do business,” you’re ready to pull a document together and get it out the door.

I’ve watched salespeople scurry through a sales-fail that goes something like this:

––Grab a similar proposal that they or someone sent out recently and do a …Read More

How to Open Closed Minds

Social Security reform, Medicare reform, The Affordable Care Act, the entitlement society, international spying, stem-cell research, global warming, the energy policy:   It seems that everyone has an opinion about these issues, and few want to change it.
A reader wrote to me recently from Pakistan:  “How can we open closed minds?  I have a person who does not want to listen to any arguments or …Read More

10 Communication Resolutions for the New Year

Many people start a new year by focusing on makeovers:  New exercise program.  Better eating habits.  More organized work space.  Improved strategic planning.  Paying off debt.  Whatever your list looks like, I’m guessing that one item doesn’t appear there:  “Add new communication tools.”

Why?  Two reasons:  1) Most people consider themselves better-than-average communicators. 2)  As one strategist recently mentioned, “Many executives themselves don’t really understand the …Read More

Communicating Holiday Messages to Your Loved Ones

Do you simply say, “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” “Happy Holidays,” or  maybe just “Have a safe trip and a wonderful weekend with your family and friends” when it comes to an emotional time during the holidays, . . . at the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, . . . or at the milestone of some achievement like graduation?

At sentimental seasons and situations, many people …Read More