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Being Present When You Are Present

The single greatest key to success in life is paying attention. Because of dealing with cell phones, blackberries, iPods, pagers, television, computers, radio, highway noises, and conversations, we have a hard time paying attention.

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Communicate Professionalism

Have you ever noticed how auctions draw people into the bidding? Steve worked with an uncle who was an auctioneer, and he carried that experience into his funny and motivational speech where you will be “sold” on the need to communicate well.

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Don’t Say These Words When Speaking

We know profanity is always inappropriate when speaking. There are, however, other words we should leave out of our speeches.

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A Powerful Persuasive Tool

You believe what you do for a career is important or you would not have chosen it. Convincing the world that it has value is sometimes another matter. When you are selling yourself to a client or to a superior, one of the best ways to emphasize your assets is to use the testimony of a person or source the prospect respects.

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Listen First, Talk Second

Voltaire said, “When you listen, you have power. When you talk, you give it away.” How can we increase our power or influence by making sure we listen more than we talk? Here are some ideas on encouraging the other person to talk so you will listen.

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The Beginning of Listening: Silence

In the word listen are the same letters that make up the word silent. This is a powerful indication that silence is an important part of listening more effectively. If we learn the skill of silence, we also have improved our listening. Let me illustrate that by providing silence-enhancing techniques.

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Pet Snakes and Society

According to the American Federation of Herpetoculturists, the fastest growing area of the pet trade is snakes! Alec Wilkinson wrote in The New Yorker that “The company of snakes is an expression of the new disengagement and necessary concentration of pleasures.” A few moments with a snake, not three walks with a dog. Snakes need very little space and you have to feed most of them only once a week.

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Being Present in Conversations

Rarely does a person intend to offend someone, but in some situations someone is just waiting to be offended.  What can you do to avoid offending someone with whom you are having a conversation? Here are some suggestions to keep offended listeners at a minimum and to stay in the good graces of your colleagues, friends, and family.

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