and all the BS fit to read!

Three Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Business Writing – Dr. Bill Lampton

Three Unconventional Ways to Improve Your Business Writing – Dr. Bill Lampton

Mar 6, 2012

Your typical business week could include a variety of writing activities. Among them: -your resume -progress report on a key project -job description – assignments for your team – proposal for a merger or acquisition – news release -article for a trade magazine -pitching an angel investor   Whatever the writing task, you remain on the lookout for ways to become more effective with your written messages. Why? Because better writing would improve your credibility, reduce confusion, prevent conflict, stimulate team work, boost productivity, and ultimately generate more profit. You are familiar with the standard recommendations for honing your writing skills: write several drafts, have a colleague or friend offer feedback on your draft, put your draft aside until the next day when you can read it more objectively, and hire an editor. Now look at three unconventional writing improvement methods you may not have considered.   FIRST: Read articles and books by the most popular business writers They didn’t become best-selling authors by luck or accident. Study their writing styles. Note how frequently they document their instruction by citing case histories and relevant data. Learn how they take financial material that could be dull in the hands of a less imaginative writer, and make the information interesting through profiles of well-known business moguls. Jot down samples of their creative and often humorous play on words passages. Reading a half dozen highly acclaimed business books per year will introduce you to writing strategies you weren’t familiar with in the business arena. SECOND: Watch spellbinding movies Next time you cue up a dramatic movie for your evening entertainment, keep pen and paper nearby so you can make notes about the film’s methods for holding your attention. Maybe after a few minutes you will jot down “lively dialogue.” Later on, think of how you could include that script strategy in your business writing. For instance, suppose your company had interviewed a candidate for a sales management position. Hours later, you send this memo to the CEO: “Marilyn and I disagreed about the candidate we interviewed this morning for the sales management position. I thought he would be a good leader, but she felt his style was...

SELF-DEFENSE STRATEGIES OF POLITICAL SPEAKERS

SELF-DEFENSE STRATEGIES OF POLITICAL SPEAKERS

Jan 18, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE STRATEGIES OF POLITICAL SPEAKERS Bill Lampton, Ph.D. World wide, we constantly see and hear prominent politicians in action—in speeches, debates, press conferences, and interviews. Yes, we get tired of their repetitive appearances, dominating radio, television, and even the Internet. However, the communication strategies they use to get votes and gain support for their programs are worth analyzing. Let’s look at what politicians do to defend themselves when their viewpoints and statements incite their opponents and the media. Tactic One: “My remarks were taken out of context.” When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that he enjoyed firing people who did not give him good service, he fostered widespread criticism. Pundits said Romney could not identify with those who had suffered the pain of lost jobs, and that he had even whimsically referred to himself as “out of a job,” although most well informed people know he is wealthy enough not to need a job anyway. Romney and his aides asserted that “I like to fire people” was just part of his statement, since he went on to say: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me a good service that I need, I want to say, ‘I’m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.'” Tactic Two: “Circumstances have changed since I first spoke about this issue.” In 2010, Colin Powell– former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—said that he was willing to back repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He explained: “In the almost seventeen years since the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed.” Tactic Three: “I have matured in my thinking.” During his inaugural speech as Governor of Alabama in 1962, George Wallace said defiantly, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”  But eight years later—to the dismay of those who had elected him on that platform–Wallace said he had experienced a religious conversion, leading him to apologize to civil rights leaders for...

HOW PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS CONTROL THEIR STAGE FRIGHT

HOW PROFESSIONAL SPEAKERS CONTROL THEIR STAGE FRIGHT

Aug 15, 2011

When you watch professional speakers in action, several questions might come to mind: How do they rely on notes so rarely? Do they have photographic memories? How do they give the same material repeatedly, yet keep their initial enthusiasm?   However, the question you’ll be most likely to ask is: Do professional speakers experience stage fright, just like business and civic leaders do when they face audiences—and if so, how do they control their stage fright, and speak with such obvious confidence and poise?   Here’s how several highly respected professionals responded to that question.   Terry Brock, based inOrlando,Florida, advises: “Focus on the audience. This is the most important step. If I focus on them and their needs, I do much better. If I think about myself I don’t do as well.”   Terry’s advice is absolutely on target. Thinking mostly about yourself in the speaking situation means that every potential distraction will lower your confidence level. When an audience member yawns or checks her watch, you’ll assume you are failing to connect with everybody. Yet focusing on the audience allows you to put distractions in proper perspective. A couple of people fidgeted—so what? You’ll recapture their attention as you speak passionately about your topic, which totally consumes you from your first sentence onward.   Philip Van Hooser ofPrinceton,Kentucky, arrives early “to mix and mingle,” so he will “make connections with the audience members before I take the stage.”   Think about that approach. Which is easier—talking to strangers, or talking to acquaintances? Almost unanimously, we prefer speaking to somebody we have met. As Van Hooser puts it, we have made a connection. So whenever you can get there a half hour ahead to introduce yourself to participants as they enter the building, you will reduce your anxiety. When you stand to speak, you will have a dozen or so people who know you already and await your message eagerly. Port Washington,Wisconsin’s Joan Stewart says, “I tell myself that if I’m nervous, I’m supposed to be. Johnny Carson revealed during numerous interviews that almost every night before he was introduced, he was a bundle of nerves and had terrible stage fright.”   In...

Thursday Morning 6AM Replay and on Demand

Thursday Morning 6AM Replay and on Demand

Jun 27, 2011

  Damon Ladd-Thomas and Dr. Bill Lampton Together Again!   Tomorrow at 6AM for the Replay or CLICK HERE for on Demand Replay of the entire show. This Tuesday at 9AM on the Voice of Brenau, 89.1. Listen Live via the Web. http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbcx/ppr/index.shtml Replay 6AM on Thursday     Listen Live From This Link. http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbcx/ppr/index.shtml   Dr. Bill Lampton: http://thecompletecommunicator.com/ “Speech Coach for Champions” Championship Communication P.O. Box 908267 Gainesville, GA 30501-0920 Call: 678-316-4300   http://www.commlampton.com/coaching.htm The Complete Story of the last show featuring Damon. http://thecompletecommunicator.com/?p=1582...

Cracking the Code: Successful Leadership starts with Great Followership

Cracking the Code: Successful Leadership starts with Great Followership

Jan 12, 2011

For decades, experts have said that leadership is intangible and unmeasurable. But great leadership is clearly measurable. Leaders are determined by their followers. No followers. No leader. In business, leadership occurs at all levels—from the executive suite to the shop floor—and at every level in between. Influential leaders, no matter what title they have or role they play, are those with willing followers. Leadership is getting wholehearted followers for a given course of action. Unfortunately, many potential leaders ignore followership and focus instead on being more engaging, convincing, or interesting. Or, sometimes, they rely on their positional power and end up, not with committed followers, but with agreements at best, compliance at worst, and marginal business results. Whole-hearted implies leaders have engaged their followers emotionally and intellectually—both in the heart and head. Whole-hearted also implies that the follower decides whether or not to give his or her commitment. Most people start their leadership interactions by establishing a common goal. Leaders understand the difference between goals and strategies. Goals are outcome-oriented, starting with the end in mind. Strategies are plans for reaching a goal. The first step starts with the conversation you have with a potential follower. Here you express that goal, and you include three critical elements to make it a common goal: 1) a confident statement of the goal which has value or benefit to the potential followers; 2) an invitation for followers to look at or listen to the goal and strategy; and 3) an acknowledgment that the potential followers are decision-makers. Take this conversation opener as an example: “I believe we can reach our target of expense reduction by making a few changes to our process. Let’s discuss this approach, and you decide if it is something you can support.” In this statement you see the decision elements at work. By stating your confidence when you put forth an idea for others to decide on and treating followers as decision-makers, you have a greater chance of being heard with an open mind and gaining credibility. Unfortunately, planning and logic alone can’t guarantee that a plan or strategy will result in commitment. Commitments are wholehearted decisions, and that means engaging the heart...

Grief and Today’s Economy

Grief and Today’s Economy

Jan 3, 2011

Technically, grief is the intense emotion suffering cause by a loss. However, grief is relative to the worst loss one has experienced. If you are among those who have suffered the death of a child, spouse, parent or grandparent, you know an intense level of grief that is almost indescribable. However there are many among us today who are dealing grief due to a different kind of loss and for them it may be the most intense loss they have experienced. Over the last three decades we have experienced unprecedented economic growth not only in the United States but around the globe. More than half of the US population has little or no recollection of the economic problems associated with the early 70’s. The current meltdown of the global economy is creating the same type of intense emotions normally only associated with the loss of a loved one. Sadness, fear, anger, guilt, apathy and why me are now as common as openness, interest, enthusiasm and commitment and these emotions are not only appearing in our global workforce but also in their families. With almost 10% of the United States workers currently unemployed it is easy to understand why they might be encountering the negative emotions of grief. Often overlooked is the impact on the remaining 90% that are still working. Consider the toll the global recession taking on the survivors. Sadness It is easy to assume that those still receiving a paycheck are grateful and happy and yet when their co-workers are furloughed or downsized they have lost an important relationship and experience a certain level of sadness. Even if their company has managed to keep its workforce intact most of us know a neighbor or a family member who is unemployed and that makes them sad. Fear Rejoice, you did not receive the pink slip this month. That might be understandable but is it realistic? Even if there was a sense of relief, it was momentary and quickly replaced the fear that I will be next. No one knows how or where this economic crisis will end or turn around. So the fear that you could be next is real and intense for...