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effective communication skills

Effective Communications Month – Here We Go!

Not only is June a great month for me personally with my birthday kicking off the month, but it’s fabulous professionally because it’s also Effective Communications Month! This year marks my 6th annual celebration of communication in business done in a way that honors the humanness of people involved in the communication, marketing, and speaking processes.

I think you’re gonna love what I have planned! I’m hosting a Grammy winner, a former opera songstress, and a best-selling author who’s books have been translated into 21 languages. No we won’t be talking about the music business, but how to effectively get YOUR message out to the world to attract more (and better!) customers and how to communicate with the customers and audiences you have.21 Ways to Make Money Speaking by Felicia Slattery

I’ll also be featuring interviews with my clients who will share with you communication tips and tools that have worked for them.

Finally, in addition to the free webinars, interviews, videos, and posts, I’m also launching a number of classes and programs during the month. The first of which is my popular 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking Fast Action Group. It’s a small group of people who will be bringing in more and better money speaking before the end of the summer. Join us!

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Here’s a rundown of more of what you can expect:

June 5: Gary Loper Interviews Felicia

Gary LoperUp first on Wednesday, June 5, I’m being interviewed by Gary Loper on his Building Better Relationships radio show. We’ll be talking all about my upcoming book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting.

Business people everywhere are taught that we need an “elevator speech” just as much as we need a business card, a website, and air to breathe in order to be successful.

But the crazy part is NO ONE likes to give those canned elevator speeches and NO ONE likes to hear them because they’re usually full of blah, blah, blah meaningless marketing drivel and feel so contrived and just yucky. I need a shower just thinking about it!

More importantly, evidence proves even the most well-crafted and best-delivered elevator speeches don’t work to bring in new business.

So if no one likes them and they don’t work, let’s stop doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!  We’ll talk all about it and you’ll discover something BETTER!!

Get the details and join us here.

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June 11: Grammy-Winner Mike Stewart Free Webinar

mike stewartOn Tuesday, June 11, Join Grammy winner Mike Stewart and Felicia Slattery as we share the easiest and most exciting way to make online video for your websites, blogs, video emails, Plus for the first time, Mike will be exploring the new video apps live from his iPad that allow you to make incredible videos.

Discover how to get free visitors to your websites, have friends share your videos on Facebook, Pinterest, your blog and YouTube to rise in Google using Mike’s new concept, the Social Media Video Quadfecta. With the new iPad mini already out, online video has never been easier, or more affordable to master and we will show you in this fun and educational webinar!

Get the details and register here.

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June 12: Janis Pettit Experts Freedom Formula Webinar

JanisPettit

In a brand new webinar, my friend and colleague Janis Pettit, is going to share with you the insider system that she uses to generate a healthy 5-figures-per-month in sales. She’s calling it: Experts Freedom Formula — How to Finally Leap to Making an Extraordinary Income, a Profound Difference and Creating Financial Freedom.

However there actually is one strategy that top earning experts, coaches, consultants and service business owners use to do exactly that. It’s not something they often share. And it’s so effective that they not only make an amazing income, they also have raving fans, followers and happy clients because they get stellar results.

Get the details and register here.

 

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Those are the first three big events happening. More to come include webinars with Jeff Herring, Shannon Cherry, Susan Baroncini-Moe, and the fantastic Bob Burg! I’ll also be featured on Kelly McCausey’s world-famous podcast for solo entrepreneurs, as well as presenting some webinars of my own.

Also this month, I’ll find the time to finish my author’s version (that is – pre-editing!) of my Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting book.

Check back regularly for links, details and information about all the fun events and information I’ll be sharing all month long to celebrate Effective Communications Month! If there’s anything you’d like to see, leave a comment below.

Public Speaking and the Art of Story-Telling- 5 Tips to Incorporate Stories Into Your Speeches

The weather was crisp in the late afternoon hours as we headed for the choir  of the bells Christmas Eve service at the beautiful small-town church in east Tennessee. As my mother-in-law guided us to a place in the crowded pews, warmly greeting friends along the way, the late afternoon sun was streaming in through the circular stained-glass windows. Children looked wide-eyed around the large building in anticipation of the joy to come over the next day.

 As the service progressed, we reached the point where the pastor would deliver his message to the hundreds of church members and their visiting guests, friends, and family members from near and far. The pastor was eloquent and down-to-earth all at the same time. He kept the congregation spell-bound by telling a story of a little orphan boy who one day learned about the Christmas story and felt like he finally belonged to a family.
 
Later the next day, during Christmas dinner, I sat, trying to guide the conversation my daughters had begun away from the impending try-outs for their school musical, which they had talked about incessantly for days. I asked a simple question: “What’s your favorite Christmas memory from Christmases past?” And in turn everyone had the chance to answer. I learned how my in-laws became engaged, re-live the memory of getting my beloved stuffed animal, Leo the Lion when I was 7 years old, and hear how my 9-year old daughter’s best Christmas memory was getting a baby sister 7 years ago this year.
 
The common denominator? Both experiences: at church and around the family dinner table were enriched for everyone present by stories.
 
When you want to impact any audience, no matter the size or occasion, whether it’s for your business or in your family, to sell something or to teach something, telling stories is an invaluable tool. Here are the top elements to any great story you can tell:
  1. Stories enhance any communication situation. Remembering facts and statistics isn’t as easy for most people as it is to remember the details of a well-told story. Include them everywhere, as often as possible.
  2. The story should illustrate a point. You never want to leave your audience wondering what that was all about. Make a clear connection between your story and the reason for telling it.
  3. Emotions are important. Use language that evokes emotion. Even if you never say the word “feeling,” you can use adjectives, adverbs, and settings to set the emotional scene of any story.
  4. Adding little details enhances the story, but don’t sweat the exactness of it all. Maybe I got Leo the Lion when I was 8 years old or the church was in North Carolina instead of Tennessee. As long as the essence of the story remains, don’t stop yourself 15 times as you tell it trying to recall if your story happened on a Monday or a Tuesday. No one is giving a history test after your story.
  5. Pay attention to your nonverbal expression of the story. Speed up when you’ve reached an exciting point, slow down and lower your volume to invoke intensity, and use gestures to enhance your audience’s overall meanings.
Of course an easy way to tell stories in your business is to speak on stage or use video on your websites and on video sharing sites like YouTube. In my Celebration of Life you can get a deal on using both successfully. And I promise you never have to use “once upon a time” or “and they lived happily ever after.” Unless you want to!
I’d love to hear from you. How do you work stories into your speaking? Or do you have ideas of how you can going forward? Please share in the comments!

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize Based on Public Speaking

President_Barack_Obama_with_the_Nobel_Prize_medal_and_diplomaIf you know me at all, you know I tend to steer FAR clear of any talk of politics.  Even with friends & family (right JAM? ;-) ).  I leave that kind of talk to those who are far more knowledgeable about the issues than I am.

But… one issue that I can confidently comment on is the communication style and public speaking skills of anyone “out there” in the public eye.  I like to do so in a way that is relevant to the small, home-based, or micro-business owner.

Whether you agree or not with the Nobel Peace Prize committee’s choice of US President Barack Obama as the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, there is one thing that is certain: as with the national election, public speaking played a major role in why Obama won.

In fact, according to multiple reports, speeches made by President Obama were the primary reason why Obama won.  The Associated Press Reports on Yahoo News that, “The Nobel committee said it paid special attention to Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world, laid out in a speech in Prague and in April and at the United Nations last month.” (My italics for emphasis!)

If his speeches are responsible in large part for Barack Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize, the power of public speaking is far-reaching.

So, if we bring this to the level of the small business owners, home-based business owners, micro-business owners, and entrepreneurs everywhere it becomes clear: a speech is a powerful mode of communicating your message so you can influence more people.  When you have effective communication skills and dynamic public speaking skills, you’ll be able to win more of what you want: more prospects, more clients, and more cash flow now.

Do you have a speech ready to deliver now? Is it polished? Is it getting you results?  Discover the Signature Speech and what it can do for your business.  I’m starting what just may be the final Signature Speech Solutions Group telecourse in a few weeks.

What Do a Root Canal and Cosmo Magazine Have in Common?

Well first, let me say — ouch.

I have been in serious dental pain for the past 3 weeks.  I’ll save you the long story, but let it suffice to say that I had work done, and as that progressed the doctors determined I needed more.  Which turned out to be a root canal.

So yesterday I learned the meaning of the phrase, “About as fun as a root canal.”

surprised-altered

It means it sucks. ;-)

But seriously… with as bad a reputation as a “root canal” has, modern dentistry has come a long way and the procedure was virtually painless. Aside from the injection of the anesthetic, I didn’t feel any pain at all.  I was scared as all get out, but apparently the term “root canal” is scarier than the actual event itself.

So that was my yesterday morning.

I spent most of the afternoon recovering and resting.  Then in the early evening I checked my email.

There was a message with the subject line “Hi from Cosmo.” (!!!!)

Of course I opened THAT one right away.  Apparently Cosmopolitan Magazine wants my expertise to help them with a story they are developing and they plan to credit me fully.  The message was brief and to the point.  Can I have some information to them by Monday morning?

Uuuuummmm, yep.

Begin happy dance of gratitude!

So what do a root canal & Cosmopolitan Magazine have in common? That was my day yesterday. (And boy did it turn out WAAAAAY better than I could have ever imagined!)

How did an editor at Cosmo decide to send ME a request for my expertise? It’s effective communication through online marketing. Because I have been writing for years now about effective communication and communication skills and have many articles, mentions, and links online, it was easy for this editor to find me.  Also, by the way the editor asked for the specific information she did, I can tell she saw one of my online articles at Ezine Articles.com.  I have to thank my article marketing mentor, Jeff Herring for teaching me what I know about article marketing!

Make it easy for the people looking for you to find you online and you’ll get cool emails and media requests, too!  How do you do that? Be clear on your message and make sure your online image is professional, consistent, and cohesive because all that equals credibility.

Stay tuned… as soon as I have more details about the magazine edition I’ll be in I’ll let you know.

Announcing: Logo Design Contest!

ContestEach day I take one step closer to having the technical aspects of my new membership program fully functional and ready for members to take it for a test run!

This week, the current members decided on a name:

Communication Success Network

Do you love it?

I think it’s a perfect fit.  The program itself delivers a lot of content, loads of hands on value from me, and a whole heap of active networking and support from me and all the members.

The goal? For small, home-based business owners to see success in their business.  And I truly and fully believe that without effective communication skills, you cannot have a successful business.  Follow the bouncing ball:

Effective communication leads to great marketing.
Great marketing will lead to getting more prospects.
Getting more prospects leads to getting more clients.
Getting more clients means getting more cash flow.
Getting more cash flow means:

living the life of your dreams,

with the flexibility you want,

the time to be with those you love most,

and ultimate freedom!

It all comes back to effective communication.  And THAT’S what this group coaching membership is all about!

So now that we have a name, I need a visual identity to go with the name.

Here are the simple rules:

  1. Anyone can enter. You may submit up to 3 entries per entrant.
  2. Contest begins February 25, 2009 and continues through March 4, 2009.  All entries must be submitted by March 4, 2009 at Noon CST.  All entries submitted after that date and time will not be considered.
  3. All entries must be submitted via email using jpg file format to contest [at] communicationtransformation [dot] com.
  4. Entrants are limited only by their own creativity.  If you would like to use my branded colors and images, look no further than this blog or my main website for inspiration.
  5. Your entry should include both a logo and your vision for the accompanying page header featuring the logo.
  6. You must incorporate the full name: Communication Success Network.  Optional (and not at all required): use my name Felicia Slattery or my photo (grab it from here!).
  7. Don’t email asking me for technical specs.  I have no idea.  Whatever I can use on a website.  My tech team leader is fabulous– she’ll be able to make just about anything work.

Judging:

  1. Preliminary judging to be done by all current group members.  (Construction Zone pricing still in effect for a LIMITED time — join here.)
  2. Top 3 nominations will be voted on by blog visitors for a 24-hour period (exact date as yet to be determined).
  3. Winner will be announced the week of March 9, 2009.
  4. In the event of a tie, I reserve the right to select the winner.

Prizes:

  1. Grand prize designer receives: (1) free membership for one full year in the Communication Success Network, a $1764.00 value.  (2) A recommendation and a one-way link to your website from my main site’s resources page.  (3) A glowing testimonial from me for you to use as you wish in your marketing.
  2. Second and third prize designers receive (1) A recommendation and a one-way link to your website from my main site’s resources page.  (2) A glowing testimonial from me for you to use as you wish in your marketing.
  3. All finalist designers will receive promotion to my list of subscribers and Twitter followers (approx 6,000 total).  If you don’t have a Twitter ID yet — get one.  Finalists will easily add a bunch of followers during this contest.

Truth be told — this is my first contest.  I think I’ve included everything, but I may have inadvertently left something you need to know out (a designer I am NOT).  Post any questions of clarification in the comments section.

I’m looking forward to some gorgeous and creative logo designs!  Let the designing begin!

Impact Boot Camp: Strategies for Success at Live Events

Ken McArthurI’m on my way to Ken McArthur’s Impact Boot Camp tomorrow morning.  It’s this weekend from August 22-24 in Philadelphia. I am so excited!  I just reviewed some notes I took recently on how to have a live event go well. Thought you might like to know– these exact strategies got me to be where I am today: a member of the Impact Action Team and a featured speaker at my second event!  Woo-hoo :-)

Last month I attended my first ever live weekend event for my business.  The night before I was fortunate to have been invited to attend a teleseminar that shared strategies for attending and getting the best results from live events.  The presenters of this teleseminar, Kevin Nations and Gary Ambrose were promoting a live event in Orlando, Florida that Gary was hosting and Kevin was speaking at.

The teleseminar was more like a conversation between Kevin and Gary, but I asked some pointed questions in order to get the answers I needed.  After all—time was of the essence!  I was headed to my first event in a few short hours.  After listening to Kevin Nations and Gary Ambrose, both seasoned conference presenters, I was able to determine nine strategies for having success at live events.  Here they are:

1.  Make friends with those who connect well with others and take time with them on a personal level.

2.  Be fully present.  Don’t be working on other projects, checking email, or looking around for the next “big name” to tackle.  Just be where you are.

3.  Know what you offer the world in terms of what the outcome is.  My offers include teaching small, home-based service providers and entrepreneurs effective communication skills like credibility and public speaking so they can get more prospects, more business and more cash flow.

4.  In each presentation, look for information that you can apply to your business, even if the presenter’s products and services are not exactly what you need.  There is learning in every situation. Find it.

5.  Go with an agenda.  My agenda at my first event was to find an expert more successful than I was to help me look at the architecture of my business and find the missing pieces.  I found that expert in Ken McArthur (and got a whole lot more in the process!).

6.  Understand the missing pieces in your business before you go and while you are at that event, get access to that piece.

7.  After the event, sit down and make a plan for yourself based on all the information you learn.

8.  Be somebody who makes dinner plans.  Be the “inviter.”  Get a new small group of people together each evening and get to know others.  By the final night, people will be seeking you out.

9.  Go to the event ready to share some of your “secrets.”  When you are willing to share your ideas, people will reciprocate.  You’ll also get exposure to others in a different way.  And you may find yourself being introduced to an influential person because someone heard your details, liked what they heard and thought their influential friend might also be interested.

If you’ll be in or near Philly this weekend, come join us!  I’d love to see you there.

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