Big Leaps Forward
4 unique people taking big leaps forward in being visible and sharing their services.
What happened in web design?
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Charisma is not about you, but about
Edward, an advertising executive, strode into the room, smiled with sparkling eyes, shook my hand firmly and said, “It’s wonderful to meet you Jean!”
I knew I was going to enjoy working with Edward. How could I not? Talking with his co-workers, I realized everyone loved working with Edward. In short, he had charisma.
As a presentation coach, I often work with CEOs who seek to protect greater executive presence and charisma. They wonder if it is something they can even learn. The good news: Although charisma comes more naturally to some people, everyone can work on a few simple yet profound skills to enhance their charisma.
Whether you have an important presentation, a meeting in which you need to motivate others, or a social event in which you need to make a good impression, these skills will not only increase your confidence, they will also help you achieve your desired results.
Some people think of charisma as a superficial quality, a slick veneer on confident person. Yes, confidence is an important part of charisma. As consultants and author Alan Weise says, “The first sale is to yourself.”
But a charismatic person also knows it’s about more than yourself. Charisma involves tapping into the best of you to bring out the best in others. A charismatic person communicates both strength and warmth. When you are charismatic, people feel good about themselves when they are with you.
So what can you do to immediately raise your “charisma quotient”?
If you are distracted, you are not charismatic. And if you think you can fake it, think again. You can tell when someone is not really listening to you. How does it feel? Listening is not just waiting for your turn to talk. Real listening happens when you are fully focused on the person speaking. When you become a better listener,others will think you are wonderful—because you make them feel valued.
I recently worked with David, an accomplished businessman who had a very challenging childhood. He fondly remembers his favorite casework from the child-welfare agency. “The way she listened to me had more impact on my current success than anything else in my life,” he told me. “She made me realize my thoughts and feelings had value.”
By listening to others, you have the ability to change lives.
You can’t be curious and judgemental at the same time. Whereas judgment breeds defensiveness, curiosity opens people up to find creative solutions. When you show curiosity about others’ ideas and experiences, you bring out the best in then, in turn demonstrating your charisma.
I recently worked with an engineer, Cynthia, who told me that the departments in her company tended to work in silos and in competition with one another. After our session, she led a meeting to brainstorm ideas for working more collaboratively. Cynthia focused on asking questions and modeling curiosity. “Rather than getting defensive, people began to approach the skills and perspectives of one another,” she recalled.
Remember, charisma is not about you, but about how you make others feel about themselves. When you are curious, you create an environment of good communication, where people feel encouraged to share their ideas. And another benefit? You end up with better solutions.
Your posture, gait, smile, eyes and even your breathing collectively signal whether or not you are trustworthy. Your non-verbal communication can enhance or destroy charisma. People are hired-wired to decide in milliseconds if you are a potential friend or a threat.
An attorney I worked with, Alice, worried that she’d appear unprofessional if she smiled too often. When she watched herself on video, she said, “Wow, I didn’t realize I looked so unapproachable.” When filmed a second time, smiling, she recognized that instead of looking goofy, like she’d imagined, she appeared open, confident, friendly and, yes, charismatic.
Your voice has a huge impact on how you are perceived. A rich and resonant voice captivates people. Speaking in a monotone will put people to sleep—not exactly charismatic! Speak with the same vitality and enthusiasm you have when talking with a good friend over dinner.
Charles, who attended one of my trainings, had mastered this. Not only did he have a rich, pleasing sound to his voice, but he changed his pitch and tempo to keep us engaged. Best of all, he was completely comfortable with “The pause.” We were transfixed. Because he didn’t rush, he not only communicated confidence, hemmed us feel there was no place he would rather be.
That is the key to charisma. Use your voice to show your enjoyment of the moment. Be “all in.” As you focus on enhancing your charisma, find your own style. Allow your body and voice to become more expressive. Be present. Take joy in your discovery.
Successful people love what they do. Their passion draws people in. We all want to feel more of that. Just like I did with Edward.
Jean Hamilton, founder and principal of Speaking Results, offers coaching and training on communication, storytelling and public speaking to executives and leaders.
Charisma appeared in Alaska Beyond Magazine, January 2017.
New Year—Fresh Start
The best part about a 365 day calendar is that it starts and stops—there's a beginning and end. Endings are always great places to draw a line in the sand and start fresh—from this day forward. It can be refreshing.
Although I intend to get more organized all year long, it feels like the new year offers more inspiration and opportunity—closets, cupboards, cabinets…
Accounts and Passwords?!@#
In our fast-paced lifestyles we all are attempting to organize a pile of account logins and passwords. It can often feel insurmountable and exhausting. As with most daunting tasks, given a few minutes of focus and attention, it's less challenging than we first imagined.
Most of us have considered getting a password program and might have already done some research. More often than not, those logins and passwords are scribbled on pieces of paper, tucked in notebooks, taped to the bottom of a desk drawer…
Just like the utilities for your home, your 'marketing outfit' comes with a host of accounts that link together and work in unison. Start getting organized by downloading My Marketing Accounts below. Store it on your computer and when you have a few extra minute, start collecting all of your account information in one location.
I highly recommend using a password program to safely store all of your logins and password in one secure location. I've used 1Password for years—it's secure and syncs with my iPhone, iPad and computer. The beauty is that you only need to remember one password to access all of them.
Find Your Voice: How to Unleash Your Best Work
The most integral work I do with clients often begins with leading them to their own work of discovering their authentic voice and what they have to offer.
Take a pause and listen to what author Todd Henry has to say as he talks about the creative process and how success comes in layers.
Marketing Manager | AddThis
Earlier this year, we blogged about 7 design trends you need to know about for 2015. Well, as a designer, two of those trends have really stood out to me over the past few months: the use of images and video content. Why? Because of how effective they are in marketing.
Whether you’re creating images for blog posts, landing pages, or social media, marketers are shifting more attention to visuals because they’re seeing greater engagement.
What Marketers Are Saying About the Impact of Visual Marketing
- “70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets.” (Social Media Examiner)
- “Facebook posts containing photos accounted for 87% of all network interactions in 2014.” (eMarketer)
- “72% of marketers say visuals are more effective than text.” (Digiday)
2. Create Charts and Infographics: One of the best ways to provide shorter form content is by creating charts, infographics, video or other visual content to accompany your text. The content becomes more easily digestible with the aid of visual treats. In addition to the resources listed above, Infogr.am is another great tool for creating infographics and charts.
3. Include Quotes/Facts in Images: Visually previewing what you’re promoting is a strategy we’ve found effective in our social media marketing. Tweets that include specific statistics or quotes tend to perform better than those without. Recite is an online tool that makes this easy. They offer a variety of templates to which you can add quotes. Buffer’s Pablo app is another easy way to do this with lots of customization options for your image and copy.
4. Use Higher Quality Photography: Marketers are trading in traditional stock photography for more authentic looking images. Here are some great high resolution free photography resources you can use for your everyday marketing needs.
5. Don’t Underestimate Video: Including video in landing pages is another great way to drive engagement. Facebook reports the amount of video posted by users (both individuals and brands) increased by 3.6X from January 2013 to November 2014. Sandwich Video is a great example of a company that does very creative videos for businesses. In addition to the free photo resources listed above, we also have video resources you can check out.
Posted by Leon Jacobs
A great place to start is with a recursive mind game I call the Benefit of game.
Take a blank sheet of paper and write down simply what your business does.
Ask yourself: What’s the benefit of that? and write it down below the first statement. Ask the same question about your answer and write below.
Keep going along the same pattern as many times as you can. Try not to give up until you have gone through at least seven iterations.
It really helps to go through this exercise in a multi-player environment. So play it with a friend, partner, or spouse. Even better, play it with a kid.
And play it with more than one person. You may find that central themes emerge but eventually you will find something that will not just inspire you and the people that work with you, but also make your business memorable and attractive to your audience—who are actually just made up of people like you and me.
If you’ve been honest in your questions and answers you should have a pretty advanced and deeply insightful statement blinking back at your from the bottom of the page.
Here’s an example of how this might play out for a bakery:
Proposed purpose: We bake artisanal bread.
What’s the benefit of that?
We fill your tummy like in the old days.
What’s the benefit of that?
We take away your hunger and make you feel nostalgic.
What’s the benefit of that?
We make you feel as safe as you did when you were a child.
What’s the benefit of that?
Purpose: Bread that is comfort
With a few simple steps you’ve gone from bread, to bread with a story and a unique difference. Now it is up to you figure out how to apply that in your business whether that means using it to steer your corporate identity, shape the interior design of your bakery, or, of course, influence your marketing strategy.
Whether you’re going through a major rebrand or sitting in your living room planning world domination it’s never too early to define your company’s core purpose.
Your purpose is the DNA of your business. It’s code that you inject into everything you do so that you come out with a unified shape, movement, and direction. Above all, your purpose is a way of saying you’re here for more than the money. You’re here to make a difference.
Carrie is as designer, writer and content marketer.
She has more than 10 years of media and marketing experience.
Set a Goal
You are trying to sell something, right? Stick to that purpose. Think about it this way: Every action or click is a sales pitch to move to the next element. Whether the goal of your site is to get someone to read a blog or buy a tomato, the end result is the same — to “sell" the user on a specific action. Frame every sentence in a way that leads users to this goal.
Words to try: Click, buy, read, scroll, learn
Use Clear, Concise Language
Every word on your website should have a purpose. A website is not a research paper and is likely to be consumed by a wide audience. Use simple words, sentence structures and clear language. Avoid phrases that contain jargon or industry-specific terms unless they are necessary. Would you rather buy a "red, ripe tomato" or a "crimson-hued fruit with a round shape that goes well on salads"?
Words to try: Now, because, easy, join, understand
Create a Voice
Establish a connection with your copy's tone and voice. While some websites speak directly and conversationally to users, others are lighter and more fun. The voice should match your brand image and remain consistent across channels. If you are jovial on Facebook and Twitter, for example, that same voice should be used in website copy. To create a voice, make a list of 10 words that describe your brand or blog, use those words to frame how you speak to users and use those words and synonyms in your copy. Remember, you are speaking to and creating a connection with users; personal pronouns are good option.
Words to try: You, we, help, inspire, discover
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Nothing can make or break your website like good editing. Every word needs to be read and reread until it makes perfect sense. Replace boring words with those that incite action. Remember the basics of sentence structure -- include a subject and action. Hire an editor to help clean up your copy.
Words to try: Create, develop, innovate, accomplish, improve
Paint a Picture
Show website visitors what you want to tell them by painting a picture with words and images. The language on your website should pair with the visuals for a complete package. Simple descriptors can help show users what you are trying to say quickly.
Words to try: Powerful, trust, love, ironclad, color or smell
Keep it Simple
Avoid things that are strange or overly complicated in introductory copy. In headlines, subheaders and first sentences of paragraphs, introduce concepts or ideas in a simple manner. Back to that tomato: NC Tomato Man describes his tomatoes as "epic," and has a book by the same title. The four-letter word is powerful, simple and engaging. Simple language is not only easy to understand, but it is also respectful of the user's time.
Use strong active phrases and verbs and write in the active voice. Think of every sentence as it is actually happening — a subject performs an action (active voice). An action does not happen to a person or thing (passive voice). There's a fun little trick to help you identify active versus passive voice: If you can add “by zombies" after the verb, and the sentence makes sense, you are writing in the passive voice and should restructure. The other trick? Avoid the “is" to “to be" construction and find a word that shows the action.
Words to try: Run, create, try, profit, promote
Excerpt blog by Mikael Cho
I hate when I know I’m being sold to. I tune out. And so does everyone else.
It’s not good enough to hammer your marketing message down people’s throats and expect them buy. This is especially the case today. As bestselling author Jay Bauer wrote in his book Youtility,
“Due to enormous shifts in technology and consumer behavior, customers want a new approach that cuts through the clutter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful.”
Networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed in content at a high volume. Multiple devices for home, for work, and everything in between allows this stream of content to seep into every aspect of our daily lives. Your company messages are mixed in with photos and updates from friends and family. You are no longer just competing with other companies for attention, you’re competing with the people closest to your customers, notes Jay.
In order to cut through this noise, Jay states that you must create “marketing so useful, people would pay for it.”
This doesn’t mean you need to charge people for access to your marketing. It means that your marketing should be so good that people would gladly pay for it if they were asked.
To have customers and fans, you need to create value first. In today’s world, this is often much more value than you think.
When you create value first, people pay attention.
This is exactly what two University of Pennsylvania professors found when they looked at the New York Times most emailed articles.
The results of their study showed that people liked sharing stories that taught them something the most – even more than stories that might be surprising and interesting.
Giving someone something useful they can apply to their own lives has the biggest impact. After I read this research, I wondered,
“If a story with practical value could have this level of impact, what would happen if this practical utility could be applied to something even more useful than a blog post?”