How to Use Notes When Public Speaking Without Losing Your Audience

As a professional speaker and speaking coach, I rarely refer to notes while I’m actually speaking, and that’s for three reasons: First, it’s my job to know my content inside and out. Second, because my presentations are interactive, I have multiple opportunities to check my notes while my audience is doing an activity or having a discussion.…Continue reading How to Use Notes When Public Speaking Without Losing Your Audience

How to Deal With a Negative Person on Your Team

We’ve all worked with that person. Which person? The negative one who complains about everything, from looming deadlines and long commute times to the carb-heavy snacks and the slow elevator. The one who sighs when you ask her to do something even slightly outside of her job description. The one who names everyone else as the reason…Continue reading How to Deal With a Negative Person on Your Team

Always Imagining the Worst Possible Outcome? Here’s How to Stop

After you email an expensive proposal to your price-sensitive client, or leave a message for your boss request for vacation time during the busy season, or ask for a raise or promotion (or both) after your last performance review, you have to wait patiently to hear back. And if you’re anything like I am, waiting for information…Continue reading Always Imagining the Worst Possible Outcome? Here’s How to Stop

15 Questions That Can Dramatically Improve Any Relationship at Work

We all feel challenged at one time or another by colleagues, managers, clients, or customers. When we don’t take into account differences in expectations, communication styles, and priorities, we can set our relationships up to be plagued by hurt feelings and chronic frustration. In her book, Make Difficult People Disappear: How to Deal with Stressful Behavior and Eliminate…Continue reading 15 Questions That Can Dramatically Improve Any Relationship at Work

3 Questions That Will Quickly Uncover Your Employees’ Motivation

Every time I teach workshops for managers, I hear one question over and over: “How can I motivate my employees?” It’s an important question. Motivated employees are more likely to think creatively, go above and beyond, hold themselves and others accountable for results, work autonomously, want to learn and grow, feel personally connected to the company, and ultimately…Continue reading 3 Questions That Will Quickly Uncover Your Employees’ Motivation

3 Ways Leaders Can Help Middle Managers Get Better at Feedback

Giving and receiving developmental feedback from anyone is challenging. And for middle managers, this can be especially tricky. Why? First of all, many middle managers wrestle with the transition from peer to supervisor. They worry that their former colleagues may not see them as having earned their new authority, or that these colleagues resent them for having been promoted (especially…Continue reading 3 Ways Leaders Can Help Middle Managers Get Better at Feedback

Don’t Worry, Nothing Will Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong

The other day in my (Ellen’s) Jazzercise class, the instructor suddenly had a problem to confront: One of the songs in her 60-minute set of routines had been suddenly sucked up into “the cloud” and would no longer play on her iPhone. What were her choices? Try for a sing-along? Do a lot of whistling?…Continue reading Don’t Worry, Nothing Will Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong . . . Go Wrong

Why ‘Emotional Impact’ Should Be One of Your Team’s Most Important Metrics

For many leaders and teams, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a core indicator of success. KPIs serve as the foundation for performance evaluations, compensation, promotions, and can even point to the health (or lack thereof) of the company overall. At their best, KPIs can facilitate clear, relevant, timely communication for you and your teams about what outcomes matter most,…Continue reading Why ‘Emotional Impact’ Should Be One of Your Team’s Most Important Metrics

The Best Public Speakers Do This 1 Thing Regularly (and You Should Too)

For many people, making presentations is fraught with a fear of being judged (which, let’s face it, you are), concerns about being caught unprepared, and the risk of ruining your reputation. As British judge Sir George Jessel once remarked, “The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops…until you stand up to…Continue reading The Best Public Speakers Do This 1 Thing Regularly (and You Should Too)

The 1 Thing You Must Do When Stress at Work Takes Its Toll

“I can’t believe I’m feeling anxious for my team meeting, and for no good reason!” “My heart is pounding thinking about this sales call. When will I get a grip?” “I always freak out during presentations. I’m such a wimp!” Do any of these sound familiar? If you struggle with anxiety at work, chances are, you’re…Continue reading The 1 Thing You Must Do When Stress at Work Takes Its Toll