messaging-skills

May 18, 2017

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. 

May 04, 2017

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.

April 20, 2017
Securing an initial conversation with decision makers is tougher than ever. When you do finally get someone's attention or time, the first 60 seconds of your interaction are critical. Which is precisely why it's so important to think before you speak. To get the results you want, you must be intentional about how you engineer the first minute of your conversation. Read the blog to learn more.
April 06, 2017

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.

March 23, 2017

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.)

February 23, 2017

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.


February 09, 2017
In this attention-anemic world, we humans are rapidly losing the ability to listen. One thing we've learned from the thousands of people who attend Mandel workshops every year is that most people have 3 damaging habits that disrupt their ability to express themselves—and also impede their ability to listen to others. This week's blog explores how to break those bad habits and replace them with ones that can help you become a truly great listener.
January 26, 2017

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.

January 12, 2017
What do unproductive meetings have in common? Poor or delayed decisions and decisions made too slowly. In meetings where you must share information to support critical business decisions, what can you do to get better results faster? In our experience, high-performers approach meetings differently. Here are 3 high-performer strategies you can use right now to get better results.
December 01, 2016

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.

August 04, 2016

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.

July 07, 2016

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.

June 09, 2016

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.

May 12, 2016
When you’re talking to colleagues and customers, what does YOUR word cloud look like? Too often, clouds are filled with crutch words like, “ums” and “ahs” and “you knows.” The good news? People can change the shape of their word clouds using an underrated, yet powerful, communication skill: the ability to say nothing at all. Using the “power of the pause” will make you a more effective communicator. Read on to learn more.
April 14, 2016
What do business meeting attendees have in common with parole board officers? Both suffer from decision fatigue. The consequences? Productivity plummets. Decisions get delayed. Bad choices get made. Outcomes can be disastrous. How can you improve decision quality and productivity? Help your meeting leaders and attendees overcome decision fatigue with these three proven approaches.
March 31, 2016
Is your organization stuck running mediocre meetings that fail to move the needle on important projects and business goals? You're not alone. Distraction and disengagement have reached epidemic proportions and it's killing the "Return on Meeting Time" of companies everywhere. What's the antidote? A common meeting communications framework. Here's why...
March 17, 2016
Did you know that nearly a third of Americans surveyed said they'd rather clean the bathroom than try to solve a math problem? It’s no wonder presenting technical data can be a huge challenge. Next time you have to present numbers to a number-phobic audience, don't panic. Here are three tips to help you keep listeners engaged in what you have to say…instead of daydreaming about cleaning the bathroom.
 
March 03, 2016
Over many years of attending, speaking at, and preparing speakers for user conferences, I've learned there are three all-too-common deadly failures that conference speakers make. Learn what those 3 killer fails are, so you can avoid them.
February 18, 2016
The decision makers whose attention you're trying to get are too distracted to hear a word you're saying. The implication: having a great business idea is no longer enough. You’ve got to be able to present it in a way that GRABS attention and KEEPS it. Your ability to do that boils down to whether you can accomplish these 3 things quickly…
December 23, 2015
The scientists and staff at Polar Bears International are dedicated to polar bear conservation. And, they face many of the same challenges business presenters do: they need to present complex data in ways anyone can understand and they need to suggest solutions that others will buy into and adopt. They asked Mandel for advice on how to do that. Here are three tips we shared with them...
December 03, 2015
I had the pleasure of having Thanksgiving dinner with Steve Faber, the writer of two highly regarded films, Wedding Crashers and We’re the Millers, along with a number of other popular screen and literary works. Over turkey and stuffing, we talked about the SECRET to GREAT storytelling. Today, I'm sharing it with you.
November 26, 2015
Expressing thanks not only makes you feel good, it makes the recipient of your thanks feel seen, heard, and valued. Saying "Thank you" is a small act with a potentially big impact. It can help you build rapport and make your future interactions with people, both, more memorable and rewarding. In business, this can be especially helpful. Today, I thought it fitting to share a few tips for making a “thank you” as meaningful as possible.
November 12, 2015

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.

October 29, 2015

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.

October 01, 2015

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?

September 17, 2015

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!)

September 03, 2015
You may not need to be a presentation rock star. But, in order to be successful in your career, you do need to be credible. Here are three things that every credible presenter does well.
August 20, 2015
Innovation can be challenging, because organizations — and the people in them — are almost hard-wired to resist change. If you want your ideas to get adopted, here are three things you should know before presenting them.
August 06, 2015
Want better presentation results? Plan strategically, not tactically. Instead of recycling slides from older decks and making them fit your presentation, start with who your audience is and what you want to accomplish. Here's how.
June 25, 2015
Web meetings and conference calls can be boring. Disruptive. Irritating, even. They can make you feel like you’re being deprived of time that you could be spending doing “real" work. Do they have to be unproductive and awkward? Definitely not! Here are 8 things you can do to take the pain out of your virtual meetings.
March 27, 2015
It's just business - nothing personal." How often have you heard someone use that phrase to justify a decision based on the bottom line, even when that decision created pain and problems for employees or customers? It's called the "It's just business trap," and it can sabotage your organizations ability to succeed. Here's how to avoid it.
February 26, 2015
I’ll be the first to admit that the proper use of acronyms can benefit listeners. First and foremost among the benefits is increased memorability. But, overusing acronyms unconsciously can be damaging and abusive to listeners. Here are 3 keys to using acronyms effectively in your communications. And, don't miss the fun and illuminating Mental Floss video on what many of our most-loved acronyms and initials really stand for.
January 23, 2015
While thrilled to record for Harvard ManageMentor®, I was equally stressed over how to make it happen. I lost a lot of sleep pondering, “How do I create content for a 3-minute video that’s both compelling and useful?” From those sleepless nights, I developed these three guidelines you can use to take the anxiety out of creating and recording short, high-quality video content.
November 26, 2014
Expressing thanks not only makes you feel good, it makes the recipient of your thanks feel seen, heard, and valued. Saying "Thank you" is a small act with a potentially big impact. It can help you build rapport and make your future interactions with people, both, more memorable and rewarding. In business, this can be especially helpful. Today, I thought it fitting to share a few tips for making a “thank you” as meaningful as possible.
November 20, 2014
When you present to senior executives, you expect scrutiny. You know they'll be evaluating whether what you have to say is of value to them. But, there's something else they're looking for from you.... And, it's further proof that when the stakes are high, both what you say AND how you say it can make all the difference.
November 06, 2014
Many people feel like they're being sent into the proverbial lion’s den when they have to present to senior executives. While there's reason to be wary, take a lesson from Androcles: Find the thorn and pull it out. Here's how to turn scary lions into career-building advocates.
October 23, 2014
Success or failure happens in just the first two minutes of any presentation. When you're laying your most innovative ideas on the line, here's how to stand out and win the attention and respect of your audience.
October 09, 2014
When it comes to creating PowerPoint® slides, less is more. Why, then, are so many presentations too long? Because presenters make the same mistake I once did. This week, I'll tell you about my experience and give you a simple recipe for creating short slide decks that help you get your message heard.
September 11, 2014
By necessity, entrepreneurs understand something that other professionals can take a lifetime to learn. Learn this lesson early, and it could make the difference between career success and failure.
April 24, 2014
Employee-contributed innovation happens at every level of your organization. Are the best ideas being heard within your organization?
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