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Greater Impact Blog

So often, in an effort to respond to a situation immediately, we hastily send out an email, answer a question or make a call that lacks thought.

As a result, the recipient either misunderstands the communication, doesn’t get the full context, or is unnecessarily annoyed.

Had we just taken a couple of minutes to craft our message, think about our response, or plan the call, we could have been so much more effective and in the end, the problem or situation would have been dealt with much more efficiently.

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Events

Networking for a Cause

Nadia is happy to co-host this networking event, along with SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.

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Having A Greater Impact Every Time You Communicate

Are You Communicating with MORE HASTE AND LESS SPEED?

So often, in an effort to respond to a situation immediately, we hastily send out an email, answer a question or make a call that lacks thought.

As a result, the recipient either misunderstands the communication, doesn’t get the full context, or is unnecessarily annoyed.

Had we just taken a couple of minutes to craft our message, think about our response, or plan the call, we could have been so much more effective and in the end, the problem or situation would have been dealt with much more efficiently.

My mantra is simple. Practice conscious, thoughtful communication and you will save so much time!

Here is another technique, and a great mnemonic by the way! STOP, CHALLENGE & CHOOSE.

STOP:  Don’t respond in seconds. Take a minute. A slow deep breath and exhale might help.

CHALLENGE: Re-read the communication and double check that you are not misinterpreting anything or making assumptions.

CHOOSE: Choose your words carefully. As in email, the recipient can’t hear your tone, so how you phrase something is critical. If you are responding via phone or in person, be aware of the words you use, but focus equally on your tone, vocal inflection, and overall demeanor.

Think about how much time we waste because of misunderstandings, lack of clarity and overall hasty communication! In the end, a couple of moments of thought can make your personal and professional life not only more pleasant, but far more efficient.

 

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

The Greater Impact of Your Facial Expressions

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In a recent workshop on Leadership Presence, one of the participants shared that  her manager often asked her if something was upsetting her.

She was mystified, because as far as she was concerned she had been fully engaged and positive in the meetings. When she asked why he thought that, he said she often looked upset.  That was when she realized that  her look of concentration and thoughtfulness was in fact being interpreted as consternation.

So, the question is what exactly does your facial expression say about YOU? You will often hear me say, that your “Brand” is how you show up in other people’s minds, and the fact is your facial expression plays a big part in that.

As you know, you don’t need to be speaking to communicate. Nonverbal language is Para-language and the look on your face truly does speak a thousand words. Behavioral therapist, Dr Albert Mehrabian famously said that 93% of the overall way we are perceived comes from our non-verbal communication. This includes our voice and vocal intonation, but in large part it is our body language and facial expression.

With this in mind, it would be very helpful to become very conscious of your facial expression at all times.

Are you sitting in meetings frowning, looking distracted or  are you looking engaged, with a relaxed demeanor? I am not suggesting your grin or even smile, but I am suggesting that you consciously try to relax your facial muscles, look engaged and ensure that your face reflects interest and positivity.  I am also not saying  you should hide your emotions, but I am saying that the  power of your facial expression to impact the overall way you are perceived should not be underestimated!

 

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The Greater Impact of Your Presentation Skills

When striving to make a more significant impact on your audience, whether you’re speaking in front of a large audience or simply speaking up in a meeting, having a solid grasp of presentation skills is extremely important. 

Who is the audience?

Understanding your audience is critical to if you’re going to have the maximum impact and master your presentation skills. The first thing you determine is who you audience is — in terms of demographics, position level, and role in decision-making. And most importantly, you have to understand why they need to hear what you’re saying and how they’ll benefit from your message. Very simply put, you need to know who your audience is and what’s in it for them. So often, speakers focus on themselves and their message without really having a solid grasp of why and how it impacts their audience, and what their audience’s needs and challenges are.

Also critical is asking what level of understanding your audience has in regard to your subject matter. Are they familiar with it, or is it completely new? How much do you need to explain? For example, if you’re using acronyms, you need to know if your audience is familiar with them, or if they need to be explained.

What do you wand your audience to THINK, FEEL, and DO?

When crafting your message, it’s necessary to ask yourself, what is the goal and purpose of this particular presentation? Once you know who your audience is, the next step is to determine what you want them to THINK about the information they’re receiving, what you want them to FEEL on an emotional level (motivated, confident, excited), and finally, what action do you want them to take? What do you want them to DO?

Sometimes there’s a very clear action, like investing dollars in your proposal, and sometimes the do is less tangible. It may simply be that you’re looking for them to support your ideas. But whatever the scenario is, you need to craft a message with absolute clarity so you have the goal and intention in mind.

Conviction

Mastering your presentation skills comes down to two primary aspects of presenting, the verbal and the non-verbal. Your delivery is as important as your message. Are you aware of your body language and eye contact? Do you have effective visuals? Are you delivering information with a sense of passion and conviction? Your level of energy is tangible, and if you aren’t excited or you don’t feel that the information you’re delivering is important, neither will your audience.

Supporting your ideas with proof

Mastering presentation skills requires you to gather the best possible proof that your idea or plan is viable. For example, if you are trying to persuade your audience that your new pay roll system is going to work better for the business, you need to ask yourself if you have provided proof that similar plans have worked in the past. Are you giving concrete examples of why transitioning from the current system to your system makes sense?

You can be passionate and excited about your proposals and ideas, but if you do not have the facts to back them up, your argument will be far less persuasive. On the other hand, providing the data will demonstrate that you are prepared, and will establish you as an authority whom your audience can trust. When it comes to presentation skills, you can’t underestimate the significance of bringing solid evidence to the table.

Illustrating with stories

Facts are important when it comes to establishing credibility. But they are not the only aspect of a successful presentation. Getting your audience invested emotionally is crucial, as well.

The ability to tell a story well is an important component of mastering your presentation skills. When you’re telling a story in a presentation, think of it as your best PAL. Make your POINT, give an ANECDOTE, and emphasize the LEARNING for the audience. A story is powerful because it evokes emotion and creates a picture in your audience’s mind. So constantly be on the lookout for good stories that help illustrate your point. And when you’re choosing a story, be sure to be aware of the exactly what kind of emotional reaction you want your audience to have.

Ending with a bang

When building your presentation skills, you want to make sure that you’re considering how you end your talk. In order to make the most memorable impact, you need to have a powerful conclusion, to ensure that your audience leaves with the right impression.

So often, speakers make the mistake of ending with a Q & A. It is so much more powerful to end using the following three steps:

  1. 1. A quick and brief summary of what you’ve just talked about
  2. 2. A definite and powerful call to action
  3. 3. A reiteration of the benefits of taking your advice

These should be the last things the audience hears, so they leave with a clear direction and a solid understanding of what’s in it for them.

 

 

 

 

 

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WIP Conference in Atlanta

This year’s WIP conference in Atlanta was a don’t miss event that provided the perfect blend of networking, personal development, recognition of key people and companies as well as Fun! With 176 attendees and several dynamic speakers, including keynote speaker, Nadia Bilchik, CNN anchor and Editorial Producer. The information exchanged was invaluable. Nadia’s message showed us how to Light the Fire when you present and engage with your audience using Energy, Enthusiasm and Excitement.

The cocktail networking session was a hit with conference goers having opportunities to connect in an informal setting. This is what a few of the first-time attendees had to say about the conference:

“I felt fortunate to attend this event. It’s the perfect forum for bringing together parking professionals from all spectrums to share best practices, discuss relevant issues and create connections that provide great opportunities for both business and personal success.  I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and learning about the current trends in parking.  The conference’s keynote speaker, Nadia Bilchik, President of Greater Impact Communication, was fantastic!  I brought back her book Small Changes:  BIG IMPACT.  Great read. A couple of the break sessions— ‘Your personal Brand through Interpersonal Communication’ and ‘Driving Results through Team and Partner Collaboration’— were excellent as well.  Overall, it was an inspiring conference and I’m glad I attended.” Kathy Pakkebier- President, Portable Computer Systems dba PCS Mobile

“The WIP Conference was a outstanding experience for me. The speakers – Andi, Colleen, and Nadia – were wonderful, and the break out sessions timely and relevant. Beyond the learning, I was able to spend quality time with many industry peers make some new friends along the way.” Cassius Jones – Smarking

“As a first year attendee of the WIP Conference, I was amazed by the number of powerful and professional business women who surrounded me, whom I had the pleasure of meeting.  I found the conference to not only be a time to network and learn from others, but also inspiring.  My takeaway from the WIP conference:  It has inspired and motivated me to become the best person, employee, partner, and friend possible.” Theresa Lilly – WIP Member & Marketing Director at One Parking

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

The Greater Impact of Your INNERVERSE

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I was thinking about my internal world, my internal dialogue, and my relationship with myself, and I came up with a great name for all of that: my INNERVERSE!

To me, that term encapsulates all the elements of one’s inner state of being, including our headspace and the way we feel about ourselves.

So, how would you rate the current state of your INNERVERSE?

Are you in a good place? Do you feel a sense of calm, achievement, and fulfillment? Or do you live in a perpetual state of self-criticism, angst and discontent?

I started this week in positive territory, but after a couple of disconcerting encounters and a double slice of chocolate mousse cake I found myself descending into negativity.

Do you relate?

What do we do when our conversations with ourselves become negative and for whatever reason we start to feel a sense of unhappiness and discontent?

The first step is recognizing the universal truth that so much of our state of being is totally in our head. It is our perception and interpretation of what has happened, not always the event itself that we are reacting to.

The next step is to examine what is really going on, to understand what happened, what it triggered for you and then reframe it.

One way to rewrite the words of your INNERVERSE is to go back  to positive past experiences, in what I famously refer to as your Positive Emotional Memory Database. It is critical to remind yourself that you are a culmination of all your successes and not  a reflection of your current experience.

As William Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously said his inimitable Elizabethan verse: “ There is nothing good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”

That is why it is so important to pay very close attention to your INNERVERSE. It is the most important factor in your ultimate happiness and to exuding a level of ease and confidence that is so critical to your personal and professional success.