In high-growth companies, too often the quality of communication suffers amid the frenzy to meet business demands. It's easy NOT to spend the time needed to ensure your message is clear, concise, and compelling. But the price you’ll pay for poor communication is steep. Poor productivity. Bad morale. Low investor confidence. So what can you do to avoid that fate and maintain the momentum you’ve worked so hard to build? Here are 3 communication rules every fast-growth company should follow.
What’s the secret to wildly productive first-time sales meetings or conversations with executives? Thought-provoking questions. Read the blog to find out why—and how to tell if YOUR questions are thought-provoking enough to make customers want to learn more.
Did you know “Communication Skills” was ranked one of the top three (out of 50!) most important skills for good leadership? Great communication is critical to making progress on goals, to job satisfaction, and to avoiding the steep cost of poor communication. Want to move your leadership communication forward? Here are two important tips.
In 2016, training expenditures in the US exceeded $70.6 billion, yet experts say that 90% of new skills are lost within a year if not reinforced. That means organizations without solid training reinforcement programs run the risk of wasting a collective $63.54 billion a year. That's precisely why artificial intelligence (AI) is so exciting—and why Mandel is even more excited to be a part of it. AI is revolutionizing reinforcement, making it possible to confidently generate a healthy return on your communication training investment. Read on to learn how.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Recognition. It makes you feel good. This week in the US, many will pause for a day or two to give thanks and show appreciation for the things and people we care about most. It’s no secret how appreciation benefits the person getting it—but did you know it benefits the person giving it just as much? Discover why recognition is such a powerful tool for improving relationships and wellbeing in life and at work. Learn how to (and how NOT to) express your appreciation to others.
Imagine this scenario. You’re at home and you want to learn something. What do you do? Watch a video on YouTube, Google it, find directions on Waze, ask Alexa, get the news on Twitter. As consumers, we’ve been conditioned to expect a certain experience. So why is it that our experience at work is so vastly different? This week, Mandel Executive Director Kate Day writes about how technology has forever changed learner expectations and what the implications are for businesses. She also has some “from-the-trenches” advice on how learning and development organizations can seize this moment as an opportunity to reimagine the user experience for your employees and, in turn, your customers.
The thing I love most about my generation? We’re always pushing the boundaries to make our world—and work—a better place. But we can only drive the change we want to see if we’re able to share our ideas in ways that others can easily understand and get excited about. Want to be a force for positive change and prove the stereotypes wrong? Focus on building the right skills as early in your career as possible. Here’s how.
Unpredictable schedules. Different locations. On-the-job demands. Has rolling out live training to thousands at once been a challenge? Announcing The Breakthrough Communicator ONLINE — state-of-the-art, high-impact, semi-synchronous, world-class communications training. Now, train 1000+ professionals anytime, anywhere, on any device. Personalized. Social. Hands-on. Effective. Build stronger communication skills — faster and at scale. Read the blog to learn more.
Curiosity makes learning possible. Ultimately, it’s a powerful driver of innovation and progress. So what does it take to make colleagues, customers, and other decision-makers CURIOUS enough to want to learn more? How can you communicate in a way that inspires curiosity for your ideas, your products, and your solutions? Read this week’s blog to find out.
Do you, like me, collaborate with people from all over the world? Then you know that meeting in-person isn't always feasible. But conference calls can feel like an awkward substitute. That's why video is so powerful. When used effectively, video can transform virtual meetings from ineffectual to productive. And everyone loves being on camera, right? Well, not exactly. If the idea of being on camera makes you feel self-conscious, here are some steps you can take to increase your comfort with video calls and vastly improve your virtual communication and relationships.
I sat captivated, along with the rest of the audience, as General Colin Powell told a story about President Ronald Reagan and the squirrels that live around the Oval Office patio. It culminated in a potent lesson about influencing executive decision makers. It grabbed and held attention with just the right dollops of humor sprinkled throughout. It was told artfully and efficiently, in less than two minutes. Not a word wasted. I was watching a masterful storyteller at work and it was an afternoon I'll never forget. Here are the 3 storytelling lessons I learned from General Powell.
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve got a brilliant idea, one you know could deliver huge value. All the data supports it. But when you present it to others...they're just not that interested. Why? It could be that your presentation spoke only to their brains and not to their hearts. Learn how storytelling can help your audience emotionally connect with you and your ideas, making your presentation more memorable and influential.
What does it take to transform smart and skilled subject matter experts into world-class communicators? Consistent practice and application of these three principles. Read the blog to learn what they are. With training and persistence, anyone can become a world-class communicator—someone who is able to move ideas, decisions, projects, relationships, and businesses forward.
What do wildly successful business people have in common? Multiple studies confirm they tend to be exceptional communicators—people who excel at moving information and insight into action. What can you learn from these communication superheroes? In all my years’ experience working in the business communication field, I’ve observed that two behaviors set exceptional communicators apart. Read this week's blog to learn what they are.
The average person’s attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s. That can make grabbing and keeping the attention of busy professionals a challenge of epic proportions. Here are 5 strategies to help you win the attention of an easily distracted audience. (Hint: Providing better information than anyone else isn’t enough.)
Business anxiety is high. Geopolitics. Trade. Cyber security. Uncertainty reigns. One former White House economist suggests we're living in an "age of anxiety." Ready-aim-fire approaches to addressing the disruptive changes ahead won't work. Instead, businesses need to be proactive. How? Equip your people with the skills needed to create clarity from chaos and decisiveness from uncertainty. Learn why clearer thinking and speaking is the antidote to business anxiety and what 3 skills your talent needs to not only survive this new era, but to thrive in it.
I think most of us would agree that nothing good happens when people stop listening to each other. So, how can you be a better listener? It may sound counterintuitive, but to be a good listener you have to learn how to be heard. This week, I want to talk about how not feeling heard sabotages effective listening and what you can do about it.
In my previous post, I talked about what you can do before a presentation to help you feel less nervous about speaking. This week, I want to focus on things you can do to reduce anxiety during your presentation. And, I want to offer an important tip at the end of this post about something you can do if none of these techniques work for you!
Today, decision quality alone is no longer enough to gain and keep a competitive edge: good decisions also need to be made quickly. Too often, the structure and flow of information presented in meetings add complexity and slow down the decision-making process. Busy, distracted decision-makers and team members need more help to make better decisions faster. Here's what you can do to address this challenge.
Could your salespeople be eroding profit margins through excessive discounting? Or through unnecessary product, service, or contractual give-aways? Margin erosion usually stems from the failure to establish differentiated value early in the sales process. Here are 3 tips you can use to turn margin erosion into margin generation.
Often when technical subject matter experts present to customers, they're so passionate about their work that they forget to filter the info they present through the “Why should the customer care?” lens. As a result, customers walk away feeling confused as to what the solution was or how it could benefit them. To successfully influence customer decision-making, assume the role of discussion leader, not data dumper. To help you, here are 3 things the best discussion leaders do exceptionally well.
In my 32 years of experience as a speaking coach, I’ve learned a few things that could be helpful to you as you strive to make your own ideas heard and to improve how you communicate with others—whether it’s making a sales presentation, updating stakeholders on the status of a project, or presenting to the Board of a Fortune 100 company. Here are 6 crucial tips to help you on your journey.
My experience, first as a client of Mandel's who received Train-the-Trainer Certification and now as Mandel’s own senior director of global training services, gives me a unique perspective on why “trainer training” in communication skills can be so powerful. Here are the top 3 benefits I believe companies gain when their own trainers get certified to deliver communication skills training.
Years ago, I had the chance to be coached by a well-respected professional in my field. At the end of the day, I sat poised with pen in hand to capture his wise counsel. Then, he simply said: “Just say less!” In the years since, I've come to fully realize the value of this advice. But, good advice that's simply stated isn't always simple to implement. Which is why I want to offer three suggestions to help you, as you strive to just say less.
When prospective buyers ask sales reps to justify ROI, it's typically NOT because of a lack of data or information about your products and services. Rather, it's because they haven't quite fully bought into your sales messaging or your messenger. Read on to learn what customers are really thinking when they ask for ROI justification, and what your reps can do differently.
In his 30-plus years as a communications coach and trainer, Steve Mandel says there are two concerns Fortune 500 executives raise again and again about how people communicate with them. He shares what those concerns are and how they directly correlate to steps you can take to become a more skilled, confident, and highly competent executive communicator.
Note to our readers: This is an edited version of a blog post originally published on April 3, 2014.
At the front of the room, the session leaders spoke what must have been profound words for the 200 people gathered that day, as nearly every person sat silently, head bowed. No, this wasn't a religious service — it was a global sales meeting. Professionals had gathered from around the world to learn how to execute their company's new go-to-market strategy. And, no one was paying attention. Sadly, this scene is not uncommon in business today. Fortunately, the root causes that drain the ROI out of meetings and training events like these are not only identifiable, they’re preventable. Here are the top 3 reasons audiences are likely to pay more attention to their smartphones than your content — and what you can do about it.
What characteristic do we prize most in the people with whom we interact? Learn how our perception of this trait is influenced by communication skills.
Everyone has had to answer tough questions in their careers. Questions that challenge your ideas and opinions – perhaps even your credibility. How you respond to tough questions can make or break your relationship with listeners. Here's how to handle tough questions, while staying calm, cool, and collected.
Millennials have surpassed Gen X to become the largest segment of the American workforce. Every company seeking to accelerate its performance needs to figure out how to engage and motivate this critical pool of talent. So, what is it Millennials want? And, how will you give it to them?
If you think about it, your organization’s performance depends on its best ideas being turned into profitable innovations. Yet, 87% of executives believe major unexploited opportunities, ones that could make their companies market leaders, are overlooked. Why are so many companies struggling to innovate? (Hint: It's not a creativity problem!)
- Why Do Soft Skills Matter?
- How to Simply Communicate Complex Ideas
- Communication Rules for Fast-Growth Companies
- Your Personal Brand? It's How Others See You
- Questions I Wish I'd Asked (How to Improve Sales Conversations)
- How Much Do People Remember From Your Presentations?
- Two Important Tips for Better Leadership Communications
- Relying on Your Dog? Time to Get Another Opinion
- No Time for Training?
- The Power of "What If" Storytelling