Articles

I have chosen to put actual content on this page.  Substance.  The articles in this section are what I teach my clients.  They aren’t click-bait or blogs with just enough of a tease to make you want to hire me.  I encourage you to share these articles widely.  If you want to really develop the skills described in these articles, then you can hire me.  Until then, keep coming back, as I will continue to post content as time allows.

Am I the only one who finds the term ‘personal brand’ slightly distasteful? How to use communication to build your reputation with integrity

I am occasionally asked to speak to groups about personal branding.  I understand why, as I teach executive presence, leadership and communications.  But I’m not overly comfortable with the term.  It feels less than genuine, smacks of crass self-promotion.  It feels fake and Machiavellian.  Typical advice for building your personal brand would include: make yourself Read more

Posted in Personal Branding | Comments Off on Am I the only one who finds the term ‘personal brand’ slightly distasteful? How to use communication to build your reputation with integrity

I know it when I see it: The Skinny on Executive Presence

Whenever I get a request for executive coaching, one of the top objectives of the client is invariably to develop ‘Executive Presence’.  My response is always, “Great, that’s what I do.  What do you mean by executive presence?”  And the response is typically along the lines of, “I don’t know what it is, but I Read more

Posted in Executive Presence | Comments Off on I know it when I see it: The Skinny on Executive Presence

Sorry I was on mute, could you repeat the question? How to bring more life to your conference calls

We’ve all been on a conference call and heard someone apologize for being on mute and ask to have the question repeated.  This baffles me.  There is nothing associated with being on mute that impedes an individual’s ability to hear a question.  So, what are they really saying?  That they weren’t listening.  Why?  Because the Read more

Posted in Conference Calls | Comments Off on Sorry I was on mute, could you repeat the question? How to bring more life to your conference calls

Optimizing language utilization to increase engagement, strategic alignment and drive results. Is language smothering the life out of your organization?

One of the greatest obstacles to effective communications is boredom. We have a stunning capacity to render perfectly interesting ideas excruciatingly boring through our choice of words.  Language carries an extraordinary amount of power.  The life of your ideas is embodied in the words you choose. Quite often, the language we use will be the Read more

Posted in Language | Comments Off on Optimizing language utilization to increase engagement, strategic alignment and drive results. Is language smothering the life out of your organization?

If listening is so important, why is it so rare?

A number of years ago I was conducting a seminar for around 80 or 90 people and in the middle of my talk, I decided to ask them a simple question: “How many of you can think of someone in your professional lives, past or present, who you would characterize as being an excellent listener?”  Read more

Posted in Listening Skills | Comments Off on If listening is so important, why is it so rare?

I fought the slide and the slide won. Using horizontal and vertical logic to make your presentations more effective

Many years ago, I was working with a client on how best to use Power Point.  I suggested that she put a single idea at the top of the slide, rather than a subject header.  She responded that she had already been taught this approach, but that the instructor she learned it from had gone Read more

Posted in PowerPoint | Comments Off on I fought the slide and the slide won. Using horizontal and vertical logic to make your presentations more effective

I am an introvert and I am not shy. How to excel in situations that reward extroversion

I landed my first professional acting gig at age 18.  When I was 24, I started coaching executives on presentation skills.  I deliver dozens of speeches, workshops and training sessions every year.  My entire career has been about speaking to people, often from centre stage with big bright lights shining on me.  I’m also a Read more

Posted in Introvert vs Extrovert | Comments Off on I am an introvert and I am not shy. How to excel in situations that reward extroversion

I must apologize for the length of this article, but I didn’t have time to be brief, or: How to be more succinct.

The title of this piece is a slight alteration of a famous Blaise Pascal quote, but the sentiment remains the same.  Clarity is the basis of brevity and clarity requires the time to properly formulate your thoughts.  Alongside developing executive presence, becoming more succinct is one of my clients’ top objectives.  Typically, the client is Read more

Posted in Being Succinct | Comments Off on I must apologize for the length of this article, but I didn’t have time to be brief, or: How to be more succinct.

It’s going to be hard to execute on the strategy if no one can remember it. A guide to effectively communicating strategy

I have spent the past 23 years as an executive communications consultant.  I have a fairly niche market wherein I provide coaching and training to help people communicate more effectively.  I help my clients articulate their points with clarity and I use my background in theatre to help them speak with presence.  The by-product of Read more

Posted in Communicating Strategy | Comments Off on It’s going to be hard to execute on the strategy if no one can remember it. A guide to effectively communicating strategy

If I talk for long enough, maybe they’ll forget what the question was. Turning Q&As into leadership opportunities

I was sitting across the table from the President and CEO of a large financial institution.  I had been hired to help him improve his ability to respond to analyst questions during earnings calls.  I was a bit nervous, because you never know exactly how a CEO is going to respond to direct criticism.  They Read more

Posted in Answering Questions | Comments Off on If I talk for long enough, maybe they’ll forget what the question was. Turning Q&As into leadership opportunities