EQ Motivation: How values drive behaviour

Our values drive behaviour Imagine if you were handed a treasure map and told that if you found the treasure hidden where X marks the spot, your life would suddenly make sense and you would feel motivated and have direction?  Would you try and find that treasure? That’s what it means to know your values in an emotionally intelligent way.  It is a gift to …

Presenting percentages and statistics

When presenting percentages or statistics keep it simple and relate it to the audience. For many people percentages are complicated and cause the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) state. 1 in 5 people is easier to grasp than 20% of the population.

Slide design tips: The bullet points conundrum

Learn how to use bullets effectively. At the very least, bullets points bore your audience when used ineffectively. Most "Death by PowerPoint" occurs as people put too much text on the slide .. then read it! Audiences love bullets - when they have created the content.

Leadership, you are always on stage

Leadership means we are always on stage “What you do teaches faster, and has a lasting impression, far beyond what you say.” T.F. Hodge Part of our job, as leaders, is to inspire the people around us to step up, and go the extra mile. To accomplish this we must demonstrate best practice, by doing what we tell others to do. It doesn’t matter whether we are …

Slide design tips: Logo placement

One of the leading contributors to “Death by PowerPoint” is putting too much information into each slide. No matter how cool your logo is, putting it on every slide can minimise the impact of your message, and your logo.

Performance feedback: Specific positive feedback

There are many stories about employees who received glowing performance reviews right up to the day they were let go for “performance issues.” There were problems that should have been addressed, but instead “positive” platitudes were used to cover the underlying criticism to avoid hurting feelings. Not all positive feedback is created equal. In order for feedback to encourage positive behaviour it needs to be …

Speech design: Have One Clear Message when you speak

Don’t let your message get lost in too much data. Create a clear take-away you want your audience to remember. We may feel the message should be obvious, but unless you have your message clearly in your mind, it isn’t. Ensure you can write your message clearly in one or two sentences.

Effective email tips for business

Here are a few great tips for creating effective emails. Try them out and see the difference! Most emails end with the point of the email, which many readers never get to. After the call to action summarise your key points, then add detail. NB: If you need to clarify details, misunderstandings or resolve a conflict, pick up the phone.

Why neuroscience matters in business

Too much focus on the bottom line can lead to disengaged employees as they feel they do not matter. Managers now have the hard science to support development of our most important asset, our people while developing engagement. Passionate engaged workers translate in to a healthy triple bottom line (people, profits, planet).

Slide design tips: Start with the Pain

Demonstrating your knowledge of your audience’s real world business challenges sets the expectation that your talk is relevant to them. As speakers we have an opportunity to entertain as well as inform. Often our audience could have picked up a book and discovered the solutions for themselves.

Microphone Tips for Speakers

Tips on using a microphone. Using a microphone is about the audience. Can you be heard, and understood, from the back of the room? Don’t be “that speaker” who says they don't need a microphone and then proceeds to shout, making it hard to hear. Learn where and how to hold it to engage your audience.

Fairness at work

It turns out we are far more stimulated by the idea of fairness than by free money. Our pleasure/reward circuitry is activated more when the offer is perceived as fair. An unfair offer produces resentment,and may lead to the desire to punish.

The power of price framing

We often use comparisons to assess value. Learn the skills Williams-Sonoma, The Economist and great sales organisations know to ensure your ideas and product have perceived value.

Listening skills beyond words

Relationships are a dance between two emotional human beings who colour each interaction through their own expectations, experiences, and history. Each of us has a different skill level when it comes to communication, luckily better communication is a skill that can be learned. Communication can make or break your relationships.

Presentations in the Social Media Age

The world of speaking is changing. The Instant nature of social media can tell you how you are doing as a presenter, and if your message is clear. Social media allows for real time feedback. Social media can allow audience members to ask questions in real time.

Become a buying preference

Think about what you have recently bought that you didn’t really need, but wanted. We buy mostly based on our emotional preferences (wants), not always on what we need. As we become aware of this emotional drive we can learn change the way we sell to, or influence, our customers.

Sell emotional experiences to engage

We are emotional beings first, we use reason and reason to make sense of our emotions. Studies have shown repeatedly that we value experiences far more than things. People will pay more for an enjoyable experience than a thing.

Performance feedback: Positive Tipping

Positive acknowledgement is the tipping point, it encourages positive behaviour. Criticism, with little or no acknowledgement, encourages apathy and disengagement. At work, and in relationships, when we get acknowledged for effort, we tend to repeat the appreciated behaviour and add new positive behaviour. When we get criticised we often think “well why bother” and stop trying as hard, reasoning “It doesn’t matter what I …

Fridge choice overwhelm issue

Using the analogy of a child stand in front of a fridge full of cold drinks to understand the impact of choice overwhelm. The fear of making the wrong choice leads us to feel less satisfied with the decisions we make. When our decisions have disappointing results we tend to blame ourselves.

Slide design tips: Avoid Data overload in presentations

Avoid dumping data and confusing your audience in your presentations. “Consultant’s disease” is giving too much information, without discovering what the listener’s actual needs are. A simple example is when asked how to write a letter on the computer the “consultant” explains about the processor speed, the operating system, and the stability of the software. 90% of the information given, in this case, is …

Performance feedback: Three times tips

The Tipping Point, for teams and individuals, is a Positivity Ratio of at least three times (3:1). Every interaction impacts your positive to negative ratio. Operate inside the three-times-positive zone and your team will flourish, achieving a state of flow.Fall outside this zone and your team will become sluggish, work together less effectively, and easily get caught up in the pull of a downward spiral …

Slide design: Using Presenters view (PP and Mac)

Learn how to use Presenter's View. Stop boring power point where the presenter reads what the audience reads and everyone falls asleep. Presenter's View, on Power Point (2007+) or Keynote (2004+), allows you to see your notes on your laptop, while the audience sees just the current slide.

Slide design: Lessons from TED

TED talks aim to persuade, influence and change the way we Think and Act. We should be aiming to do the same thing in our business presentations. No more “Death by Power Point”, ever. Microsoft comes with Power Point, Excel and Word - they are meant to do different things. Word is for documents to read, PPT is to visually augment what you are …

Performance feedback: Make KPI’s easier

Giving and receiving feedback is potentially some of the most important communication we can engage in with the members of our team. Once, or twice, a year we deliver a pile of “stale constructive criticism" to each employee and are surprised by the negative responses. Giving feedback effectively is a skill, that takes practice to build competence and confidence. Without a tried tested process which …

Performance feedback speaker: Make KPI’s easier

Giving and receiving feedback is potentially some of the most important communication we can engage in with the members of our team. Once, or twice, a year we deliver a pile of “stale constructive criticism" to each employee and are surprised by the negative responses. Giving feedback effectively is a skill, that takes practice to build competence and confidence. Without a tried tested process which …

Create a positive Feedback Culture

What leaders do the rest of the organisation will imitate, bad or good behaviour. Organisations with a strong feedback culture tend to perform better. The transparent approach ensures the focus is on problem solving; it reduces speculation which damages engagement levels and the brand of the organisation. Behaviour acknowledged gets repeated.

Performance feedback tips: Don’t Bottle or Blurt

When we don’t have an appropriate method to express ourselves we may bottle up the emotion, or blurt out our feelings at the wrong moment. Both are destructive in business, or personal, relationships. If the lines of communication are not kept open we may miss out on important information relating to our skills, or relationships with clients and co-workers.

Performance feedback: Don’t Bottle or Blurt

When we don’t have an appropriate method to express ourselves we may bottle up the emotion, or blurt out our feelings at the wrong moment. Both are destructive in business, or personal, relationships. If the lines of communication are not kept open we may miss out on important information relating to our skills, or relationships with clients and co-workers.

Performance feedback: Three times positive

The Tipping Point, for teams and individuals, is a Positivity Ratio of at least three times (3:1). Individuals and Teams with these high ratios had higher profitability, better reviews, and customer satisfaction scores. Teams and individuals with a positivity/negativity ratio below 3:1 tended to be less engaged, receive lower customer scores, and were less profitable.

Chunk it, feel and repeat your way to success

You may have try an element of a process numerous times before you succeed. It is essential to pay attention to the process and get feedback as to what elements work, and those that do not. Our brains are elastic and will build up new pathways as we practice.

Performance feedback speaker: Praise effort not talent

When we praise intelligence we tend to put people in a fixed mindset where intelligence is fixed, and they have it (increasing the fear of new challenges as they may not have it after all). When we praise for effort we tend to put people in a growth mindset where they are developing skills as they are working hard.

Speech design tips: Speaking lessons from snakes

As speakers we can learn to overcome our fears through the vicarious experience of watching others grow personally and professionally. Then, when we are ready, we try it for ourselves. Over time we learn we don’t die when we get up and speak. Initially we protect ourselves with lecterns and notes, then eventually we are able to stand up and shine.

Performance feedback should be Immediate, encouraging and clear

Imagine your parents had tried to help you learn to walk like most managers try motivate their employees? Would criticism, cajoling and feedback once a quarter have helped you learn to walk? As parents coaching kids we give them immediate feedback, rather than waiting for the end of the quarter. We are encouraging, in tone and words, rather than being sarcastic, critical and using negative …

Visibility, Mattering and Impact an Employee Engagement bottom line

We want to be acknowledged, to be recognised as individuals, and to know we matter. Take these first steps to Employee Engagement and see the impact on the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit). Miserable individuals infect each other, and this misery ripples out to the people who must work with them, live with them - their colleagues, families and friends. Visibility, Mattering and Impact …

Speech design: Question and Answer tips for speakers

Q & A tips. Your audience expects you to be confident and to maintain control of the session. Often when the Q&A session goes “pear shaped” it’s because the speaker has lost control and gone off point (the point of the talk). Audiences may form a negative impression when the speaker reacts emotionally, but leave with a positive impression when you remain calm, confident, and …

Benefits of a positive workplace

Positivity creates the opportunity for human moments that transcend a smiling face and hopeful thoughts. A positive work environment impacts our body chemistry, reduces stress and improves creativity and problem solving abilities. Just as a negative environment increases stress, negatively impacts our body chemistry and reduces tolerance and empathy.

Speaker mistakes to avoid

Successful speakers pay attention to the details. By anticipating some of the most common mistakes we can prevent them. Remember to keep it simple and relative to the main theme of the presentation. If it does not clearly make your point, for your audience, cut it.

Demonstrate Leadership in business

Walk the talk. As a leader what you do gets noticed, even when you are not in the front of the room. Whether as a leader in your work, or in your family life, demonstrate the behaviour you want to see from others. Nothing makes your point more powerfully than demonstrating a desired action or behaviour. We are more likely to follow a leaders example, …

Speech design: Tips on doing a toast

A toast is a short speech. The toast of the evening is normally 2 - 3 minutes. Check the Programme for time and style of toast (Toast of the evening or to a specific person or organisation). A toast has an opening, body, and conclusion.

Effective training tips for development

Start by determining what training is required, in order to deliver products or services to the customer (internal or external customers), in a manner that increases customer engagement and retention. Get a training buy-in to ensure motivated trainees.

Engaging people in business change

Change is a part of every organisation. Unfortunately many change initiatives fail to consider how the changes impact the people involved, and thus most change initiatives fail. In order to make change stick, to drive and enable successful change, the communication and implementation needs to take the people into account.

Communication in Change Management


Change efforts often succeed or fail on the strength of communications. Research shows it’s almost impossible to over-communicate when instigating and leading change. Focus on the “Why should I care angle”, send a clear message to employees as to why they should get behind the change. How the change will prevent pain for them, or positively impact them, once completed.

One Clear Message Google Search tips

Do your staff waste valuable time with poorly formatted search queries? Use this simple table of our top Google search tips to make communication with this amazing search engine easier. Save time and money by searching more efficiently.

Speech design: The humour is in the pause

There is a direct relationship between tension and laughter. Laughter is a natural stress reliever, because when we laugh muscle tension melts away. When we laugh our muscles automatically relax, it's an involuntary reflex. A pause sets up the anticipation … here comes the funny!

Speech design: Humour made to fit

Humour can be very effective in illustrating your ideas, and is far more memorable than cold hard facts and figures. Dull facts can bore your audience, and lose even the most sympathetic listener. Using humour to reinforce your point will get a much better response, especially when in a public setting, speaking to a business audience who is not specifically there for humour. …

The power of the Pause in speaking

Too many speakers rush to say something. Allowing too little time for you and the audience to engage each other, and settle in. The pause before you say a single word allows you to own the stage, and creates a presence that attracts attention and invites the audience to settle and listen.

You are the message as a leader

A lack of information can cause more harm than an oversupply, as fear can start rumours. Congruent Communication should be a priority for managers at every level of the organisation, especially in a change process. They need to demonstrate best practice, walk the talk.

Emotional buy-in in speaking

When building a relationship, speaking or making a sale remember to appeal to the emotional nature of your audience. People make decisions, and buy in, emotionally and then intellectually justify their decisions.The greatest skill any speaker or sales professional can develop is the ability to connect with their audience emotionally.

Slide design: Quick presentation tips

Have you ever sat through a boring, monotonous power point presentation; one that left you wishing you could get that hour of your life back? Follow these tips to prevent losing your audience and turning them off you and your product/idea for good. Ensure you have answered the listener’s unspoken question, offered a solution and make one clear point. Use the power of stories and …

Demonstrate self esteem at work

We teach other people how to treat us .... by the way we treat ourselves and others. We each have different experiences - frame of references ...how is anyone supposed to know what you mean unless you clarify what you mean? Our actions clarify those references. In business and all other types of relationships this is true

Change management tips for business

Change creates a path that is easy to follow with small wins along the way, to enable a successful change process. Be patient with yourself. Significant change does not happen right away. Give yourself a break, and don’t expect to become a change wizard overnight. Change takes time and has key steps that make change easier to manage.

Communication in Conflict Resolution

Conflict can be an opportunity to build relationships ... or the demise of one. Here are some communication tips to help manage and build your relationships in the face of conflict. Use effective feedback (3-2-1), humour and other tips to engage your listener and find creative solutions.

Need 4 Clear Steps

In our business and relationship communication this means we need to create a clear path for clients or our partner to take once we raise the issue. If we raise a problem or fear tainted issue it will cause anxiety but is unlikely to lead to change unless clear action steps are agreed to in the moment and action is taken immediately. Otherwise actions will …