How to Communicate in Challenging Times – Expert Advice for Leaders

Great communication is essential to great leadership. In challenging times, this is even more true. As a leader your team members, partners, and customers want to hear from you. They need to hear the truth, both good news and bad.

They want to look into your eyes, even if it is through a computer screen, and see that you are authentic and empathetic. Although charts, graphs, and detailed PowerPoint slides have their place in presentations, this isn’t the time to entrust your message to visual aids. Instead, create an energetic intimacy through your delivery. (more…)

How to Use Zoom for Business & Look Like an Expert

With hundreds of millions now working from home and communicating through Zoom, you have an advantage when you understand how to make Zoom work for you. Patricia Fripp and Director of Client Experience for FrippVT, Paul Griffin team up to share their best practices and technical expertise to help you get the most from Zoom:


Is Your Audience Hearing What You Want to Communicate?

Is your audience hearing what you want to communicate? It is not just what you say, it is how you say it.


How to Relax for Your Presentation

You can learn how to relax and deliver your presentation with confidence.

A great presentation is the most cost-effective way to generate interest in your services, products, expertise, or organization.

Is the fear of death really second only to fear of public speaking? Maybe you can relate? A presentation is the most cost-effective way to generate interest in your services, products, expertise, or organization.

It is also the perfect way to build your credibility and prove your expertise.  Even if you are a seasoned presenter, you need to learn how to relax and calm your nerves.

The audience does not know how you feel, just how you act. Understanding how to prepare and relax will result in delivering your presentation with confidence and being perceived as credible. You can be confident it is worth the effort.

Focus on the benefits. Image how many new contacts, clients, or buyers you might capture with a well-crafted 20-minute talk delivered to a service club like Rotary or to business owners at your local Chamber of Commerce. This strategy has worked for me and hundreds of clients and colleagues.

If you are more experienced, good presentations give you a competitive edge.

If the thought of a great outcome isn’t enough to calm butterflies in your stomach, these pre-presentation exercises can help you relax and channel any remaining nervousness into energy.

The old showbiz adage is true: “Security is knowing your lines.” There is no substitute for preparation and rehearsal. If this is your first presentation, deliver a few dry runs to your friends and staff. If you have no idea how to prepare a talk, invest in This is my online learning program that will teach you everything you need to know about finding your content, structuring your speech, opening with impact, telling good stories, and relating to your audience.

When you’ve prepared, edited, and thoroughly rehearsed your talk, you will enjoy a degree of confidence.  When it is time to deliver, it is natural to be nervous.

Be confident by knowing the logistics.

What is the purpose of the group or meeting? How long will you have to speak? Where will you be on the agenda? Who is introducing you? Will you need a PowerPoint? What equipment do they have? Which type of microphone are you most comfortable with?

Know your opening and concluding remarks.

There are two segments of your presentation to script and know so well you could wake up in the middle of the night and recite them: the opening and closing few lines. The purpose of your opening is to arouse interest in your subject. The closing remarks should make them want to act. Do not leave either to chance.

Sir Michael Caine’s advice 

The Oscar winner says, “Rehearsal is work; performance is the relaxation.”

Relax your body.

Here are a few techniques you can use to prepare and calm yourself physically.

Warm-up and relax your body and face off stage and out of view of your audience.

  1. If you’re wearing high heels, take them off. Now, stand on one leg and shake the other. You can hold onto a chair for stability. When you put your foot back on the ground, it’s going to feel lighter. Now, switch legs and shake. You want your energy to go through the floor and out of your head. This sounds rather cosmic, but it isn’t. It’s a practical technique used by actors.
  2. Shake your hands – fast. Hold them above your head, bending at the wrist and elbow, and then bring your hands back down. This will make your hand movements more natural.
  3. Warm-up your face muscles by chewing in a highly exaggerated way.
  4. Do shoulder and neck rolls.
  5. Imagine you are at eye level with a clock. As you look at 12, pull as much of your face up to 12 as you can; now move it to three, then down to six, and finally over to nine.

These exercises will warm you up and relax you. The exaggerated movements will make your movements flow more naturally as you deliver your presentation.

Maximize the experience. Your business is as good as the quality of your relationships. Consider the business and contacts you will generate through your talk. This should help you feel good about speaking! I encourage you to work on your presentation skills, step up to the podium, and profit from the experience.