Author - Sarah Denholm

Communication Challenge: Avoid Empty Phrases When You Communicate

A frequent challenge when speaking is to avoid adding empty phrases when you communicate. And there are a few popular ones doing the rounds at the moment which, in my view, weaken and dilute the message you're trying to convey. Avoid Empty Phrases When You Communicate When we want to get a point across at work, whether in a conversation, meeting or presentation, it's important to be clear and crisp (unless, of course, we're trying to create a smokescreen or divert attention from something undesirable!). And there are some empty phrases which just bloat our communication. Here's a recent quote from a high-level...

Communication Challenge: Talking Too Much When Trying to Convince

Talking too much when trying to convince or persuade others. Does this communication style sound like you? Talking too much when trying to convince! In my experience there are common reasons for talking too much, especially when trying to convince or persuade others. Here are 8 - see if you recognise yourself in one or more: You don't trust in the merit of your ideas (my last post on this is here) and are trying to convince yourself - even more than your listeners. You may think that if you just keep talking, something will click and work out. How many sales...

Communication Challenge: Not Fully Trusting Your Own Ideas

Do you ever diminish yourself or your abilities? A real communication challenge comes from not fully trusting your own ideas. There are many ways we can short-change ourselves when we communicate our ideas - whether that's to one person or a big audience. Today I'm talking about a common issue, with more to come in future posts. Not trusting our ideas fully enough. This one's particularly for you if you're in the business of creating change, influencing or persuading others. Not trusting in the power of our ideas to make a difference in the world is often the biggest internal block we have...

Good Public Speaking – Let Your Points Land

Our ideas are only as good as our audience's ability to consume and digest them. Whether that audience is 1 or 10,000. Let that really sink in for a moment. If that statement is true - and I believe it is - then our ability to communicate so that the audience hears us and "gets it" is even more important than we might realise. Great communication is about creating shared understanding. Would you agree? Good Public Speaking - Let your Points Land I often say that good public speaking – for example - is not about us, it's about our audience. And that our...

Is Self-Belief Essential At The Start?

When I decided to start my own business in 2009 I didn’t have any real belief that it would succeed. I started anyway, basically because I didn’t want to look back in 30 years and regret never having a go. So here’s my premise: you don’t have to believe in yourself when you start something new. Is Self-belief Essential at the Start? You just have to take action, and self-belief will follow. I often talk to my clients too about holding belief for them until they’ve built some for themselves. It's perfectly possible to outsource your belief at the start...and often a very...

Powerfully Persuasive Word According to Research

Today I'd like to give you a powerfully persuasive word which can help when your goal is to influence somebody. We all know that words influence us. There's plenty of research showing that our minds are easily 'primed' to move in a negative or positive direction. Even briefly seeing words about power - or lack of it -  make a measurable difference in our minds and emotions. Words can be powerfully persuasive - even when they seem innocuous or gentle. So we can use this to our advantage. Here’s one to try when wanting to persuade someone, particularly if they’re resistant to...

My Embarrassing Webinar Fail

At the end of a year where most of us have moved online (and lucky if we were even able to do that), I thought I'd go more light-hearted today and tell you about my first webinar attempt and how it went wrong. Hopefully you haven't experienced a bad event as the event organiser yourself - but I'm sure we've all seen enough awkward online moments to be able to relate! My embarrassing webinar fail: When I ran my first webinar years ago - probably 2013 - on a software platform which used Google Hangouts for delivery, I sensibly decided to do...

What flavour qualities make a great communicator?

Whether we’re talking to a large audience, boardroom table or individual, these are specific flavour qualities which I believe are essential to truly stand out when we communicate. And these aren’t “presentation skills” per se, they’re attitudes we bring to the interaction. They also apply to conversations at work, home or socially. What flavour qualities make a good communicator? The base ‘cone’ ingredient is made of “aim to make it more about them, not you” (definitely adhere to this ingredient if you're giving a presentation!) and the three flavour scoops are: Respect Empathy Non-judgement These connection ingredients may seem obvious, but bear with me here. They're...

Keep To Time in your Presentation

As a presenter, how do you keep to time in your presentation? In a recent high-level meeting of the UN about the global nuclear threat - in which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world lives “in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe” - a newspaper report in the Age Melbourne (Oct. 4th 2020) tells us: “103 of the 193 UN member nations were scheduled to speak for two minutes but many spoke longer, meaning only 79 delivered addresses.” Keep to Time in your Presentation This is a common issue for speakers - and in going over time, other speakers may be pushed off...

Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work?

It's so easy for this to happen. Whether you’re giving a presentation or having a conversation, feeling intimidated by people with power over you at work - either higher up the food chain, or with some other power over you - it can be a real challenge. Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work? My experience I vividly recall working with my first CEO client, years ago now. We’d spoken on the phone, and I turned up for our first coaching session. I remember getting into the lift of this expansive, echoing marble foyer, heart pounding, as I tried desperately to...