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    Don't Start Your Speech By Telling a Joke

    Don't Start Your Speech By Telling a Joke
    A popular assumption implies that a speaker should start his or her speech by telling a joke, to get listeners in an upbeat mood and grab attention instantly. Like many widespread assumptions, this one is wrong. Here are five good reasons not to start your speech by telling a joke. FIRST: Your joke could offend the audience. After all, don’t most ...
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    Are Your Collateral Materials Doing More Harm Than Good?

    Are Your Collateral Materials Doing More Harm Than Good?
    Marty was well into his conversation with a prospect that he cold called minutes ago. The conversation was going great and the prospect was responsive up until the point where Marty was going to conduct his needs analysis to determine if there's a fit. The prospect then asked the fatal question, "Marty, I'm in a bit of a rush now. Can ...
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    Presentations that Move Right to the Sale

    Presentations that Move Right to the Sale
    If you've ever seen figure skating, you know what a pleasure it is to follow the skaters on the ice because they move so gracefully from one step into the next, seemingly without effort. They don't move in a jerky, disjointed fashion; if they did, you wouldn't want to watch them. Much the same can be said of winning sales presentations. ...
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    Seven Guidelines for Gesturing When You Speak

    Seven Guidelines for Gesturing When You Speak
    When I coach executives who want to become more effective speakers, or when I direct a presentation skills seminar, there’s one question I hear repeatedly: "How should I gesture when I give a speech?" Usually, the questioner goes on to say: "I feel awkward enough just trying to remember my speech. Then the tension escalates when I realize that my audience ...
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    7 Tips to Make a Strong First Impression

    7 Tips to Make a Strong First Impression
    We have all heard this warning: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Also, psychologists, writers, and seminar leaders caution that we only have from seven to seventeen seconds of interacting with strangers before they form an opinion of us. With this widely acknowledged pressure to “make our case” instantly, here are my seven tips for ...
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    10 Tips for Getting Your Business Letters Read

    10 Tips for Getting Your Business Letters Read
    Since many of us rely so heavily on E-mail, business letters have become special once again. Yet your prospects won't read just any letter. Try these ten tips to increase readability: FIRST: Use simple, contemporary language. Readers dislike a stilted approach. Eliminate "heretofore," "henceforth," "concomitant with," "pursuant to" and similar words dressed in tuxedos. Use water cooler language, not boardroom lingo. ...
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    Handle Stage Fright: Make the Right Choice

    Handle Stage Fright: Make the Right Choice
    Every time I direct a seminar on Presentation Skills for corporations, government agencies, banks, hospitals and other groups, I begin by talking about Stage Fright—because I know that’s the number one concern speakers feel. Among the tips I share about stage fright, this may be the most helpful one: Make the right choice. You see, speakers have three choices when they ...