{{ subpage.title }}

Have you ever lead a meeting or a discussion at work? If so, you've probably encountered that person who's not paying attention to what you're saying. He or she might be on the phone, staring off into space, or writing emails on the computer. This behavior is distracting and disrespectful, but how can you stop it from happening? Here are a few ways you can deal with a rude colleague during meetings:

SHOW MORE Show less

Everyone likes to be liked, especially as a leader. You want people to trust you, look up to you, and enjoy your company. You want people to listen to you, share things with you, and ask for your opinion. But what’s the secret to being a likable leader who gets things done? According to Katie Wake, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company, we like people who are smart but humble. So, how can you accomplish this? The answer is simple... don’t pretend to have all of the answers when you don’t. Instead, ask your audience for help. You could be very talented and knowledgeable in one area, but relatively clueless in another. You can’t possibly know everything, but if you ACT like you do, people won’t take you seriously and/or start resenting your authority. Instead of acting like you know the answer when you really don’t, tap into those who CAN provide some solutions. Think about it: when you solve a problem, you feel good about it. You feel proud and accomplished. Solving problems is satisfying, and because it makes you feel good, you want to solve more problems. If you can tap into this need, everyone is happy. The problem gets solved, and your team or audience feels valued and successful. As a result, you’re more appreciated as a leader. “Give your audience something meaty to do,” said Wake. “and then you have them eating out of the palm of your hand.” Being a likable leader isn’t as hard as you might think. Successful leaders don’t act like they know everything when they don’t. Instead, they tap into the people around them for help. They include people in the problems they are trying to solve.

SHOW MORE Show less

Everyone has a reputation as a speaker. Yes, even you. Even if you don’t make a living presenting, you have a reputation as a speaker based on your ability to share a concise and clear message with your audience. But even if you’re not the best presenter, a simple technique can help you improve your speaking ability. Do you find yourself saying “um,” “basically,” or “like” when you talk to others? This is called “weak language,” and it can bring down your presentations and conversations. "Every sound, syllable, or noise that comes out of our mouth either helps our message or hurts our message," said Tim Fortescue, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company. "There's nothing in the middle." So, the one of the most effective things you can do to change your speaking habits for the better is to eliminate this weak language. Obviously, this is easier said than done. However, there’s a little trick you can use that will help you ditch these filler words: pause. Learn how to pause when you’re talking to others. If you can’t think of what to say next, instead of saying “um,” don’t say anything. Take the pause. Relax. Don’t be afraid of the silence. If you want to start incorporating this habit, the first thing to do is identify what your “word” is when you speak. Is it “like’? Or “so”? Or “um”? What is it? Understanding what your “word” is will make you more aware of when you use it. And being aware of when you use that word will allow you to stop, relax, and plan about your next thought. It will allow you to pause. If you can do this for four days, you’ll build better habits and become a better speaker. What's your reputation as a speaker? Want to increase your communication skills? Check out our course "How To Improve Your Communication Skills At Work" to become a better communicator and learn how to work with others more effectively.

SHOW MORE Show less

Think about the last time you had a presentation, led a meeting, or pitched an idea. Was your audience fully engaged? Were people leaning forward, enchanted by your delivery, and completely fascinated at what you were telling them? ...Or were they looking off into space, eyes glazed over, clearly not listening to what you were saying? When you're presenting, part of your job is to captivate your audience. If you want to become a great presenter, you must learn how to condition your audience before you open your mouth. If the people you're speaking to aren't fully engaged, they won't take away the important points you bring up during the presentation. Marie Wedderburn, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company, warns that your audience will mentally step out if you don't grab them from the very beginning. So, if you feel like you could do a better job captivating people with your words, try this: next time you hold a presentation, a pitch, or a meeting, start with a scene. Share something that will captivate your audience. Whether it's a joke, a story, a compelling statistic, or something else, find a "hook" that will grab people's attention and hold it. Your goal, as a presenter, is to condition your audience so everyone is "waiting for you to open your mouth," said Wedderburn. Keep them engaged. Harness their interest. If you can achieve this in the first few seconds of your presentation, meeting, or pitch, you're more likely to hold attention throughout. How will you start your next presentation? What has captivated you in the past? Watch the video above to learn more about this presentation tip.

SHOW MORE Show less

Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to stop saying “um” when you’re speaking. Oh, the innocent old “um.” It creeps into your speech without your knowledge and haunts you when you give a presentation. Filler words like “um” and “like” are communication crutches that we all use once and awhile. Today, we’re going to help you break the habit! There are several things that can trigger filler words like “um” and “like,” including nervousness, lack of confidence, poor speaking habits, and so on. Most of us don’t even hear ourselves saying these words. However, if you’re having a conversation with someone or leading a big presentation, those filler words can be very apparent - even annoying - to others. Accidentally saying “um” and “like” can make others think that you aren’t confident in what you’re saying or can’t articulate your thoughts. Analyze your speaking habits. When do you use filler words the most? What filler words do you use? Why do you feel you need to use them? Do you feel nervous? Do you need a transition word? Do you just need time to formulate a thought? Understanding the when, what, and why will allow you to be more aware of your communication habits. Today, be hyper-aware of what you’re saying to others. Notice when you say “um,” “like,” or other filler words. If you feel like you need to use one of these words, take a pause and formulate your next thought in your head. If you can train yourself to stop saying “um” when you’re speaking, you’ll be a more confident presenter and communicator. What are your tricks for killing filler words? What did you do to stop saying “um” when you’re speaking? Tell us! Related Posts: Give Yourself Decision Deadlines Challenge: Perform One Random Act Of Kindness Today Challenge: Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier

SHOW MORE Show less