Monday, September 18, 2023

Bernhardt On Broadway Copyright Day!

Earlier this year I made the decision to take the one woman musical I toured in a decade ago and transform it into a feature film with a twelve person plus cast and fifteen songs. Today I applied for the copyright. One of the movie's songs is titled, It's A Celebration -- and it is truly a time for me to celebrate because I can now move forward with Bernhardt On Broadway. Hey there Hollywood. Here I come!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Six

Combinations Substantiate Isolated Cues 
One piece of nonverbal communication out of context may not provide enough information to provide the receiver with conclusive evidence of a speaker’s intent. Evidence is significantly stronger when there are several pieces of information that complement one another.

Let’s imagine a young man courting a young woman. He comes to see her and presents her with flowers. What does he think if she simply smiles? Is she pleased? Is she simply responding that way because she thinks it’s appropriate and feels she has to? What if she also moves slightly closer to him, places her hand on his lower arm, and says, ‘Thank you.’ Body language is more convincing when more than one expression presents concurrently.

Transitions Substantiate Isolated Cues 
While individual movements or positions are not conclusive, transitions from one to another definitely direct the careful observer to meaningful conclusions.

Let’s assume two business people are engaged in an important negotiation. Throughout a meeting, they are both engaged and leaning forward as they speak with one another. At some point, one person proposes a new idea. The other responds by leaning back in his chair, raising his arms and clasping his hands behind his head. How do you think the negotiations are going? The transition from one position to another speaks volumes. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Five

Be an Effective Speaker

Face the person you are addressing. Sitting at an angle or facing away from someone suggests you are not interested. It may also make you look rude.

Use a conversational tone. Change the pace at which you speak occasionally to maintain interest. Place emphasis on certain words and phrases to underscore important points you are making. Use pitch and volume to your advantage. And don’t race through what you have to say. You will appear nervous.

Stand about two feet away from the person you are talking to. It’s a distance you should both feel comfortable with. Standing closer will make the other person feel as though you are encroaching on their space which triggers defensiveness. Standing further away is awkward and will make the other person question how you feel about them.

Use gestures to emphasize the points you make but limit the space in which you make them. Avoid pointing at anything or anyone -- especially the person you are talking to. It is not only bad manners, it’s aggressive and will not be well received. The experts have conducted many studies that demonstrate the importance of nonverbal communication. Being aware of what their research indicates is just one more way you can be sure to communicate to the best of your ability.

Lon Chaney Sr. was one of the most famous actors from the silent film era. He was known as ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces’ because of his ability to not only transform himself through creative makeup but also project different personalities and feelings without the use of words. Chaney was raised by parents who could not hear or speak, which forced him to cultivate his nonverbal skills. By addressing this need he inadvertently trained himself to understand and convey deep feelings without talking.

He became a master of body language. Early Hollywood recognized his talent and took advantage of it by casting him in hundreds of roles. While the silent film era is long over but a command of body language remains important. You can improve your personal and professional relationships by cultivating your ability to understand nonverbal communication.

When talented actors play roles, they recognize it is imperative to provide many believable cues to be convincing. This entails providing verbal and nonverbal communication that conveys what the character is feeling. Just speaking with expression is not enough. Just having certain facial responses is not enough. Just having telling mannerisms is not enough. All different aspects of the performance have to work together. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Four

Using Body Language Effectively Always be as aware of a person’s body language as you are of the words they speak. When you first meet someone, it’s not unusual for them to appear nervous or reserved. This makes sense. After all, they don’t know you and don’t know what to expect. If you have perfected your nonverbal communication, you will most likely be able to set them at ease. As a result they will tend to display more open body language.

If someone responds positively to you, you know you are on the right track. If you sense a negative reaction, you should change gears and modify the direction you are headed in. Try to figure out what the problem is to determine how to proceed. Try asking open-ended questions to increase involvement. Focus on the other person’s interests. Figure out something you have in common to establish increased rapport before moving ahead.

Being an Effective Listener Lean forward slightly. If you lean backward the other person may be confused. Are you comfortable or distracted? Are you simply relaxed or are you being disrespectful?

Pay attention to your posture. It speaks volumes. Don’t slump. It’s unattractive and riddled with negative nonverbal cues. If you are seated, sit up straight and leave your arms and legs uncrossed. If you are standing, don’t lean against walls or doors as if you cannot support yourself. Refrain from constantly shifting your body weight from one foot to the other. It’s distracting.

Be attentive and try not to fidget. Don't finger your jewelry, hair, clothing, or anything in your pockets. It suggests boredom and impatience with the speaker or the topic. Either way, it is unattractive.

Maintain good eye contact. It says you are paying attention. It says you are interested. It says you want to be there. Avoid staring, however. It will only make others uncomfortable.

Be aware of what you are doing with your arms and hands. If you fold your arms in front of you others may interpret this to mean you are unreceptive. Resting your clasped hands in your lap suggests you are critical of what is being said. Can’t you just picture someone doing this with pursed lips?

Nod your head from time to time. It lets others know that you are actively listening. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Three

Gesturing. Using gestures to speak is more common in some cultures than others. Talking with one’s hands, especially with exposed palms, demonstrates openness and involvement. Fidgeting, on the other hand, is most often a sign of boredom, nervousness or lack of patience.

Touching. A well-intentioned touch can easily be misconstrued. Be careful. Don’t touch unless you have mastered the art of nonverbal communication. You will be treading on thin ice.

Mirroring: Pay attention to the person you are talking with. In what position are they standing or sitting? How fast are they talking? What is the speed of their breathing. Try mimicking these cues to establish rapport more quickly.

Note Taking. Do you want to let the person you are speaking with know that you find what they are saying of importance? Take notes. It’s a great compliment. Keep your verbal and nonverbal messages congruent. This is the best way to deliver your messages. If, however, you do make a hostile statement in a friendly voice, the listener will discount the hostility and perceive the message to be friendly. And that’s because nonverbal communication is more powerful than the words you speak.

Professor Ray Birdwhistell of the University of Louisville determined that more than two-thirds of communication in face-to-face settings takes place nonverbally. Fellow researcher Albert Mehrabian discovered that only 7 percent of communication is verbal. His studies indicated that 38 percent of communication can be attributed to the tone of one’s voice while a whopping 55 percent results from facial expression and body language. Add to this the fact that nonverbal communication reveals a person’s true feelings when it is contrary to spoken language.

People may be dishonest in what they say but facial expressions and other body language tend to be more telling. When a person's words and body language are consistent, we believe that person. When their words and body language say different things, we tend to believe the body language and doubt the words. Bottom line. You need to be cognizant of nonverbal communication and how to use it to your best advantage to be an effective communicator. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms musicalfeaturefilms

How to Read Body Language: Part Two

Handshakes and Hands. One of the first things you do when you are introduced to someone is shake hands. What does your handshake say about you? What do others’ handshakes say about them? I am always surprised when I shake hands with someone who only proffers their fingers or presents like a limp fish. It is equally disturbing to have your hand grasped by what someone who seems intent on breaking your fingers. Not too strong. Not too weak. Your handshake says a lot about you and it needs to be perfected.

Hands are not just for shaking. Exposing them when you gesture suggests honesty and truthfulness. Movements with your palms positioned downward suggests authority. A person may make a fist and with an accompanying gesture that signifies ‘ataboy.’ One may pound their fist on a table for emphasis. Simply clenching ones hands suggests anger and aggression.

Leaning Forward or Backward. People who are interested lean forward. When someone leans backward they are generally rejecting you or remaining aloof.

Standing and Distance. In the United States, most people are comfortable standing just under two feet away from someone they are speaking with. Further apart is strained. Closer has sexual overtones and creates responses in accordance with the feelings of the one being approached. Comfortable distances vary dramatically from culture to culture as do other nonverbal signals.

Nodding. Nodding in response to another’s remarks suggest interest and understanding. Bobbing of one’s head, on the other hand, indicates the person you are talking with has tuned you out. Shaking of the head is generally a negative response.

Smiles. Smiles demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, excitement, empathy and a host of other positive responses. There is nothing like a genuine smile to convey a positive response. Frowning or a narrowing of the lips, on the other hand, is negative.

Facial Expressions. Expressions can be very telling. A wrinkled brow may indicate one is perplexed. Raised eyebrows can demonstrate enlightenment. Looking around all the time suggests disinterest. Opening one’s mouth frequently makes it appear you want to interrupt. Try observing others and their facial expressions to see all the things that can be conveyed with one’s face. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part One

There are two ways you can use body language to enhance your face-to-face interactions: by observing the body language of the person you’re speaking to and by controlling your own body language. Understanding what others are telling you through their nonverbal communication and taking control of the signals you are sending has the potential to improve your ability to communicate. Your body’s actions and responses actually do speak louder than words.

It’s all a matter of knowing what to look for. Positive nonverbal communication is usually quite reliable as an indicator of the way a person feels unless gestures become exaggerated. Exaggerated communication suggests a negative response. Negative nonverbal actions are less reliable. Actions that are most often construed as negative may simply reflect comfort level, energy level or personal distraction. Do not jump to conclusions if you observe what you think is negative body language. Here are some things to look for when you are communicating with someone:

Relaxed Posture. There are probably no major barriers to communication if the person you are talking with appears comfortable and is breathing naturally. If their body is tense, their motions choppy, their hands clasped in front of them, or they have turned their palms face down on the table in front of them, there may be cause for concern.

Body Language. A person who is relaxed and open generally keeps their arms, legs, and feet uncrossed. Keeping one’s jacket open is also a sign of openness -- and honesty. Crossing one’s arms is often a sign of defensiveness, and if it is done in conjunction with leaning back, it may convey superiority or smugness. If it’s done in the context of an established relationship, it may simply be a relaxed gesture. Leaning forward demonstrates interest and involvement.

Eye Contact: Direct eye contact is generally expected in western cultures. It demonstrates the person you are talking with is interested in you and what you have to say. It builds trust and strengthens the bond with the person you are communicating with. When we are talking with someone we generally maintain eye contact for about one-third of the time, looking away from time to time. To look at someone less suggests you are bored or have something to hide. It may convey a lack of interest which makes the speaker feel uncomfortable. Looking at someone for longer periods of time may intimidate them or, conversely, demonstrate enthusiasm and caring. It depends on what other nonverbal communication accompanies the prolonged eye contact. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Monday, May 15, 2023

How to Read Body Language: The Definitive List

Here are some lists of nonverbal cues that tend to substantiate one another. The presence of multiple signs generally leads to reliable conclusions or confirmation of what you perceive.

• Inhaling fully 
• Rocking one’s body 
• Shifting weight forward or upward

• Closing eyes 
• Falling posture 
• Turning away from you

• Asymmetrical position 
• Blinking eyes 
• Facing downward 
• Fidgeting 
• Furrowed brows 
• Random Movements 
• Rubbing of eyes 
• Shifting in one’s seat 
• Shuffling feet 
• Wandering eyes

• Clenching teeth or hands 
• Crossing arms or legs 
• Pointing legs toward exit 
• Placing hands on hips 
• Turning upper body away

• Covering mouth with hand 
• Touching nose

• Expanding gestures 
• Spreading arms and legs 
• Standing with toes out

• Bouncing knee crossed over leg 
• Crossing legs 
• Tapping Feet 
• Rapping fingers on one hand against table

• Leaning head and/or body forward and blinking 
• Raising eyebrows inquiringly 
• Smiling

Questioning honesty? 
• Clenching teeth 
• Furrowing brows 
• Looking downward 
• Grimacing 
• Compressing lips in a thin line 
• Squinting

• Aligning shoulders 
• Establishing increased eye contact 
• Leaning in

• Crossing arms 
• Grimacing 
• Looking away 
• Stiffening of body

• Crouching 
• Hugging themselves 
• Reaching up to touch their throats 
• Standing, toes pointed inward

Nonverbal clues are just that -- clues. No one exhibits every classic symptom. Sometimes people have taken charge of their nonverbal communication and don’t show any marked indications you might expect. But most often, like the actors who portray emotions, people you communicate with will provide some nonverbal messages that reveal what they are feeling. Just look. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

How to Write a Powerful Resume

Your resume is an opportunity to meaningfully differentiate yourself from the competition. Speak with your own voice. Share what you do along with the associated benefits. Let the reader know you’re special and why. Avoid corporate jargon. And don’t use over-worked meaningless phrases like ‘results-oriented.’ Develop several resumes that are job-specific to apply for different kinds of positions.

State Your Objective at the Onset. Modify it when applying for different jobs to increase your chances of being considered. Each company needs to know there is a good fit.

Use Original Creative Language. Let your voice shine through. This is a positive way to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Use strong verbs and powerful descriptions when describing what you have accomplished. If you have great communication skills, make sure they shine throughout your cover letter and resume.

Be Specific. Vague general language is meaningless and wastes the reader’s time. It also makes you sound like every other applicant. That’s not a good strategy for getting an interview or landing the job.

Be Concise. State your ideas succinctly. If you are relatively new in the workforce, you should have no trouble keeping your resume to one page. If your experience and credentials are more extensive you’ll need more space but should still make a concerted effort to edit appropriately so your resume does not become unwieldy. Shoot for two pages.

Share Your Accomplishments. If you deliver 110 percent on the job, say so and let the reader know the impact. Provide work history, education and training. Then highlight relevant skills and achievements. Now is not the time to be modest. Make sure your prospective employer knows the value you bring and why you will be an asset to the company.

Create a Visually Attractive Design. Your resume should be clean and simple with significant white space. Choose one font and stay with it. Use variations of that font for different purposes. Use bullet points when appropriate. And print your resume and cover letter on high quality paper. It helps make a positive first impression.

Include a Cover Letter. This is your opportunity to offer compelling reasons for why the reader should consider you. Focus on your most outstanding attributes. Be original and use a conversational tone. Close with a request for an interview. Nothing beats face-to-face communication for establishing rapport and advancing your cause.

Be Sure to Proofread. Bad grammar, typos and misspelled words are very telling. If you can’t manage to get these things right with your resume, what can the reader expect when you’re on the job? #resume #resumewriting #curriculumvitae

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

How to Build Sales Through Active Listening

Be the most effective salesperson you can be by having a customer focus. How do you cultivate a customer focus? By listening, interpreting, evaluating, and understanding your customers’ wants and needs. It’s only after listening and internalizing your customers’ goals that you can respond appropriately.

Ask good questions and then listen carefully to the responses. Be sure to observe nonverbal communication, too, including tone, pitch, intonation and energy level. Note body language to truly understand what your customers are trying to tell you. Being an active listener does not minimize your need to be clear, concise and persuasive. It simply improves your ability to perform those tasks to the best of your ability. Astute listening skills arm you with the tools you need to respond appropriately and be more successful.

Establish conversations where there is interaction between you and your customers. Ask open-ended questions. Listen to the responses. Respond by letting them know how you interpreted what they said to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Listen again and then ask another question that will help you address their wants. You’ll not only get the information you need but also establish a relationship with customers that has the potential to bring in future business.

Customers appreciate it when you listen attentively. They want you to focus on them -- tune in to their special needs. You can let them know you are listening by nodding from time to time or with brief spoken responses. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t act as though you do. Ask for clarification.

Don’t let your mind drift or look around to see what else in going on in your store or office. Don’t worry about what you will say next. That will happen naturally by responding to what the customer has to say. Work on solving customer problems and becoming the ultimate resource person for subsequent ones.

The best salespeople don’t sell products or services. They solve their customers’ problems. By asking open-ended questions you can sometimes uncover issues the customer wasn’t aware of and avert a problem before it occurs. That makes you a hero -- a ‘go to’ person who can be relied on to not only solve but also avoid problems. When you listen actively, you position yourself to identify and address customer needs productively and profitably. That’s the stuff great salespeople are made of. And it all happens because you are a good listener. #listening #interpersonalcommunication

Check out my book, Louder Than Thunder, a parable about listening for all ages. I have copies available.

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Monday, May 1, 2023

How to Become the ‘Go To’ Person in Your Industry (Part 2)

The Clock is ticking. Are there key people you'd like to meet? Make a point of meeting them. Arrange for a mutual friend or business associate to introduce you. Attend a function at which they're speaking and go up to talk with them when their address is over. Call them to make appointments. Don't wait for opportunity. Make it.

People You Know. Don’t overlook the people with whom you already have relationships. Make your contacts and resources available to people you already know and work with. They are likely to reciprocate.

Use PR To Your Advantage. PR or public relations is similar to advertising. Both get you exposure. Advertising is often hard sell. PR is always soft sell. Advertising costs money. PR is free. If you have a story you believe others would like to know about, contact the media. The media gets its stories because people just like you call them.

Become A Sponsor. Consider sponsoring an event or getting your business to do it. Donate a site for a charitable function. Pay for shirts for the local little league team. Contribute favors for a charitable event. This is one more way to gain respect and get your name out there.

Only You. Set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Create a unique identity for yourself. Have a logo and/or slogan that attracts people and makes them think of you. Free gifts? Letters of thanks? Offer something extra that meaningfully differentiates you.

Reputation. Reputation. Reputation. Develop a reputation for high quality and reasonable prices, honesty, and respect. Cultivate qualities in yourself that you value in others. Give your customers and clients a reason to refer their friends.

Find A Happy Medium. Some folks specialize. Some folks don't. Find yourself a niche but don't make it too narrow. That's how to have your cake and eat it, too. Don't expect to make these changes overnight! Take one step at a time. You'll be surprised how quickly you can get where you want to go and become others ‘go to’ person in the process.

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

How to Become the ‘Go To’ Person in Your Industry

All of us are in sales. That's because we all have to sell ourselves to achieve success. There are a multitude of ways to jump start your efforts. Start out by choosing several of the suggestions below. As you develop more confidence, try some of the others. In the process, you can develop a reputation that has others flocking you way.

Get Involved. Your involvement in the community is an opportunity to help others while you help yourself. Try working for the charity of your choice or for your favorite political party. Join and participate. When you participate, you make new contacts. Those contacts may lead you to places you are only dreaming about now.

Attend Functions. Do you belong to trade associations? Join them and attend their events. Make a point of meeting the speaker as well as other important people in your industry. As you get better known, you may want to chair events. This means more work but it also means higher visibility.

Improve Yourself. Be all that you can be. Make an effort to learn something new every day. Read. Keep up with current events. Attend seminars and take classes to keep up with changes in the workplace. Others will recognize your dynamic approach to life. You'll be someone they want to know, someone they want to work with, someone they ‘go to’ when they are ready to buy.

Attend Leads Breakfasts. There are numerous organizations that put on events where non-competing entrepreneurs can wheel and deal with one another. Investigate which ones are in your area and make a point of attending them to see what they are like. If the setting appeals to you, join the group that sponsors the meeting. It will pay off.

Form A Local Business Network. If you see a need for a networking situation that has been overlooked, consider starting one yourself. Choose a time and place. Then invite people who might benefit to attend. The atmosphere should be noncompetitive to facilitate open communication and referrals. #networking #powernetworking

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker: Fifth of Six Parts

After the party is over is when the real work begins. Networking is not just about warm smiles, pressing flesh, and having fun. It’s about establishing symbiotic relationships. You can’t establish relationships if you don’t take the next step.

Follow up and follow through. After you meet someone, follow-up with an email or handwritten note. If you have ever received a handwritten note, you know how terrific it feels. It makes a lasting impression. Writing thank-you notes is an art that has gone by the wayside in the era of sloppily constructed e-mail and fast food lunch. Be sure to write thank you notes to those who go out of their way to help you. It takes so little time and is really appreciated by the receiver.

Receive a referral? Send a thank-you note or send a gift. Tell someone you are going to call or e-mail them? Don’t let time get away from you. Do it right away. Stay in touch with old friends and new acquaintances to build relationships through which you can help others and reap benefits yourself. Making an initial contact means nothing if you don’t move ahead to establish a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

Behave in ways that are consistent with networking ethics. Treat others the way you like to be treated. Be open-minded. Keep promises. Never make anyone feel small when they ask for or receive help from you. Give to others without counting the times. Thank others warmly when they help you. When you make a habit of smiling and extending a helping hand, you’ll always feel good about yourself and be spreading a great deal of joy.

Maintain a networking database. Your list of contacts should be filled with a record for each person you know. If you make notes after meetings while your memory is still fresh you can include all sorts of helpful information in the record which will be a boon to refer to in the future. Set aside some time every week to maintain regular contact with people. Keep yourself uppermost in their mind. They may have opportunities to send business your way.

Leverage networking by volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to meet people. If you are struggling with shyness, volunteer to help with registration or other meeting tasks. It gives you a built in reason to talk with others. Consider volunteering for charitable or philanthropic causes that are close to your heart. Support them in your community by working on committees and volunteering for events. Chances are good you will find yourself on a nonprofit board in no time. Not only will you be making a difference, you will be catapulting yourself to a new level of networking that has the potential to open doors and drive business. #networking #powernetworking

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker: Fourth of Six Parts

Maximize the Potential of Networking Events. Before attending an event, do research. Find out about the company, the speaker, the speaker’s topic and anything else that’s relevant to the meeting. If you’re going to a large conference or trade show, figure out the most effective way to proceed. Determine who you want to meet and where you might find them.

You can’t be fashionably late to a networking event. When attending a business function, arrive early to mingle with other guests and the speaker. Scan the sign-in sheet to see who’s attending and who you want to meet. Bring product literature with you in case a display table is available.

Wear a Name Tag and put your name tag on the right in the line of vision of people you shake hands with. Head for the bar, refreshment table, and registration desk--wherever there is a line or people congregate. You’ll have a natural opportunity to start a conversation with those around you. Circulate. Mingle. Move out of your comfort zone. Play the host and invite others to join.

Focus on people you don't know and reinforce relationships with people you know casually. Make your time with others meaningful. After you introduce yourself, use open-ended questions to get the conversation rolling. People love to talk about themselves. Showing genuine interest will start you off on the right foot.

Actively listen. Everyone will think you are a great conversationalists. Be curious. Let others talk about themselves. Ask questions that encourage them to talk about their business. This may give you information on how you can cultivate a relationship. Wait to share your areas of expertise at a suitable time.
Don’t overstay your welcome. Always have an exit strategy. It’s best for everyone to have the chance to mingle at these events. You can always follow up after the meeting. Leave people wanting more.

Is there a presentation at the event? Sometimes you can pick up interesting leads from business presentations at meetings. Presenters may confide business issues to a group as a way to share it with their partners. Don’t overlook opportunities to connect with those you might partner with.

Do you have to take advantage or every opportunity? Of course not. Be selective. Make good choices and follow up when the event is over. Be generous with your time and helpful when others ask for help. When you help others, they will be happy to help you when and if you need their assistance. #networking #powernetworking

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Monday, March 27, 2023

24 carat GOLD

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but there’s nothing like 24 carat GOLD. Today I celebrate 24 carat GOLD with my Happy Birthday Baby video that now has more than 24,000 views on YouTube. #birthday #happybirthday

Diamonds are down the pipeline though with the movie musical I’m producing about the most famous actress of all time, Sarah Bernhardt. Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Friday, March 24, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker - Third of Six Parts

What do you do when you’ve just met someone? How do you introduce yourself? How much should you say? Do you just bolt into asking open-ended questions? Practicing introductory remarks makes it easier to enter into unexpected conversations or get things going when you find yourself with people you haven’t met before. Responding in a way that shows others they have your undivided attention is very important. And getting the most out of every event you attend is the networker’s goal. 

Prepare an Elevator Speech. Some people are immediately comfortable striking up conversations with people they don’t know. Most aren’t. That’s why it makes sense to prepare a 30 second sound bite for yourself. It’s referred to as an elevator speech because it lasts only as long as it takes to travel several floors in an elevator. 

Your short, upbeat personal introduction demonstrates what you’re about and how you can be of benefit to others. At the same time, you should be putting your receivers at ease and making them feel they want to get to know you. Customize your introduction by having several opening lines based on who you are speaking with. A little humor can make the encounter memorable. 

Pass Out Business Cards. Always take a hearty supply of business cards with you. Business cards are the least expensive form or advertising available. Hand them out liberally. And don’t forget to get one from others. Your business card is an extension of you. It speaks and sells for you when you’re no longer there. Your business card needs to be attractive and easy-to-read. Consider including a byline that’s memorable and speaks to what you do. Include your e-mail and website address. And don’t omit your phone number. It’s really irritating for those of us who aren’t ‘techies.’ 

Put the Needs of Others Before Your Own. Your networking success can be measured by the meaningful conversations you have. When you meet new people, listen for their names and use their names when talking with them. People like to hear their names. It ingratiates you with those you’re talking to. 

Listen carefully to understand who they are and what is meaningful to them. Understand what their needs are and offer to be of assistance. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. But do respond with suggestions and ideas if the person you are talking with requests them. If you offer to do something, follow through. If you don’t follow through, it leaves a bad impression. 

Focus on the other person’s needs, not your own. If they ask about yours, then share those needs with them. As you build a relationship there’ll be plenty of time to ask others for help as needed. Networking is not about ‘tit for tat.’ You don’t do something so someone else will do something for you. You do it because you like to help others. Of course, it is nice when the favor is reciprocated. #networking #powernetworking

Friday, March 17, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker: Second of Six Parts

Who, what, when, where, why and how? These are great questions to ask yourself no matter what activity you are involved in. Who do you want to meet? Why do you want to meet them? What can you gain by meeting them? Where can you come into contact with them? When is the best time to introduce yourself or get introduced? How can you maximize your interaction? 

Learn from the Experts. Did you ever wonder how the rich and powerful got to be the rich and powerful? Sure, some of them were born into it. But many figure out how to gain entrance to the elite club, and it isn’t by being a wallflower. Some go to schools where they get great educations and make the acquaintance of others who help them on their journey to the top. Others join clubs where they can hobnob with contacts who help them. Some join city and country clubs to make great contacts. Political fundraisers can be fruitful. And then, there is always flying first class. This group may not be your target, but it does provide a sense of how the network thing is done. 

Find the Right Places to Network. Networking is an activity that requires planning to be successful. You need to identify networks in which you would like to participate and then devise a way to access those networks. This can be achieved by joining formal or informal networks. Formal networks include professional institutes and organizations, business organizations, and industry groups. Informal networks include conferences and business retreats, sports and social clubs -- even parties and social hours. 

Your job is to match your interests and objectives with the plethora of networking opportunities that are available. All you have to do is figure out in which areas you want to expand your circle of contacts. Then you find groups that match the demographics you’re looking for. Potential places to network include: 
• Chambers of Commerce 
• Business clubs and organizations 
• Professional institutes and organizations 
• Industry Groups 
• Social and service clubs 
• Volunteer groups and charitable organizations 
• Community organizations and special-interest groups 
• Faith organizations – synagogues, churches, etc. 
• Neighborhood organizations 
• Meetup groups 
• LinkedIn and other online groups 

Whatever you do, remember it is not enough to simply join these groups. You have to get involved. Getting involved requires time but it is time well spent. You’ll meet new people, make new friends and contacts, and be seen as a person who is interested and can be depended upon. That will, over time, help you achieve your networking goals. In the meantime, you’ll be enjoying a rewarding experience that enriches your life as well as the lives of the people you touch. #networking #powernetworking

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

How to Become a Power Networker: First of Six Parts

 What are your networking objectives? You need to figure out what your expectations are and how they can be achieved. You can develop a plan by casting a wide net in the right direction. 

Identify Your Network. Your network is dynamic. It is constantly changing, growing or shrinking based on your activities and the way you interact with people you’ve met or are meeting. Networks increase access to information. They develop means for exchanging information with others, finding sources for new business, making new friends, and cultivating and building relationships you already have. 

You can draw on your own circle of influence and the circles of influence of all the people you know. Go past your secondary circle of influence to your tertiary circle of influence -- people you can potentially reach. You’d need a computer to figure out how many people you might have access to! There is power in numbers. You have power. 

Have a Strategic Plan. What do you want from your network? Are you looking for new friends? Do you want more business? How can building your network help you achieve your goals? Answer these questions to establish a direction in which to proceed. 

You have to help others and be available to support them if you expect them to be there for you. What do you have to give? What are you prepared to give? You need to be willing to help to engender the kind of respect and reciprocity you’d like. This isn’t an issue of quid pro quo. It’s a matter of liking people and wanting to help them. You don’t want to be known as a networker who is purely self-serving. 

Target People You Want to Meet. Know something about the people you’d like to meet and how you might come into contact with them. Who do you know in common? What events do they go to? Where do they work out? Join organizations where you might connect. Check out their events calendar. Know who you want to meet in advance of an event including the speaker. 

Make a point of meeting people from as many different worlds as you can. People in other industries, from other countries, of different faiths, with different interests. This will position you to make strategic introductions for friends and associates. You’ll land on the winning side, too. #Networking #PowerNetworking

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

How to Become a Better Business Writer: Part Two

How to Become A Better Business Writer: Part One (last week) covered the basics. Now it’s time to dive back in and learn how to add the finesse. Aladdin didn’t understand the magic of his lamp until he started to polish it. Your research and organization are done. You’ve finished the first draft. Now you need to go back through your document to refine it into a communication you can be proud to send out or give to others. 

Keep It Interesting. Vary the length of the sentences you use to keep the flow of your communication interesting. Compare and contrast. Use metaphors and quotations. Pepper your writing with stories that substantiate the points you are making. Avoid cliches and archaic phrases as well as acronyms, buzzwords, gobbledygook, and jargon. 

Don’t Leave Readers Confused. Use specific, concrete words to convey meaning. Vague references leave room for significant misunderstanding. Fuzzy details leave your readers filling in the blanks -- and they may not have the right answers. 

Use the Active Voice. Have your subject ‘do’ the action. Your writing will be more interesting and alive. Passive voice should be used sparingly. Action verbs make writing more exciting. They give even more life to your writing than colorful adjectives. 

Use Good Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling. Careless writing costs you business. When your writing is careless and sloppy, clients assume your work is careless and sloppy. Your computer’s grammar and spellcheck will catch some mistakes but leave many behind for your readers. It’s up to you to catch the rest of them. Here are some additional pointers that will help improve your writing.

• Capitalize proper names only. 
• Use hyphens between adjectives describing each other. 
• Write out ‘and’ and ‘percent’ instead of using ‘&’ and ‘%.’ 
 • Use Parallel Structure by putting related ideas in the same form and tense in sentences and bulleted lists. 

Edit. Edit. Edit. Proofread and then have someone else proofread your work. Even professional writers need to go back over their work. Make sure your reasoning is logical. Cover alternative arguments and conclusions. Check your facts for accuracy. Cite your sources. Sometimes it helps to put your document aside overnight and look at it the next day with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll be able to be more objective. Do you have a colleague or friend whose advice you respect? Ask them to look your writing over for you. 

Make Your Document Visually Appealing. Your document will be easier to read when you allow adequate white space. Format your text thoughtfully with bold headlines, sub-headlines, bulleted lists and indention. They act as signposts to direct readers and make your document more attractive. Be sure to use a typeface that is easy-to-read. 

Make your document easier to read. Avoid widows and orphans -- short or single lines of type at the bottom or top of a page. They are not aesthetically pleasing and slow readers down. Justify the left margin only is also a reader-friendly strategy. It ensures there are no uneven gaps between words and makes reading easier. 

Add colorful photographs, pictures, and other graphics. This provides increased spark. And don’t forget to use good quality paper when your project will benefit by it. 

Effective writing is clear, concise, and interesting. If you write with your readers’ best interest in mind and are sensitive to their needs, they will be appreciative and receptive always.

Monday, February 20, 2023

How to Become a Better Business Writer: Part One

You can have or do something really fabulous but if you can’t communicate about it you won’t be successful. That’s why it’s critical to hone your business writing skills. The effectiveness of your writing will be measured by whether or not it achieves its objective. You do that by catching your readers’ attention, making them think about what you’re presenting, and leaving them wanting more. 

Know your audience. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. How much do they know? How much do they need to know? Will they need to be convinced? If so, how much? Will they have objections? If so, how strong do you expect they will be? These and other questions will impact how you present the information you have. You can’t effectively target people unless you understand what motivates them. Don’t bother writing unless you research your readers in advance. 

Know your message. Content is king. We live in a world of special effects and attention-getting devices. But all the bells and whistles in the world will not help you if you are not intimately familiar with the topic you are writing about. Grab your readers’ interest with your headline. Draw them in further with the first sentence of your first paragraph. Then give them an overview of the material you intend to cover. 

Your goal is to be clear and concise. Use a new paragraph to introduce each new idea. Share relevant, accurate information with each idea you present. And be sure to distinguish facts from opinions. To present a convincing argument, avoid negative constructions. Structure your ideas positively for better results. Avoid redundancy but do sum your points up in a tidy conclusion. 

Outline before Writing. This is probably the most important advice in the article. Establish your starting point, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Organizing your material before you start writing is an excellent way to deliver a message that is not only more forceful but also easier to follow. Be sure to substantiate your points with relevant evidence. Present your topic. Introduce your points in the body of your document and back them up with relevant data and pertinent information. After you summarize the issues you have addressed for your readers, you are in a position to draw conclusions and make recommendations. 

Pay Attention to Style. There are many tricks to make your writing more succinct, audience-friendly, and easier to follow. 

• Use Gender-Neutral Construction to avoid alienating any of your readers. This can often be accomplished by substituting singular references with plural ones. 

• Use ‘signposts.’ These are words that purposefully direct the reader. They include: ‘by contrast,’ ‘finally,’ ‘furthermore,’ ‘next,’ ‘therefore,’ and ‘thus.’ 

• Use transitional words. They help your writing flow more smoothly. Some transitional words are: ‘also,’ ‘in addition,’ ‘meanwhile,’ and ‘nevertheless.’ 

• Use the word ‘may’ in place of ‘can’ to explain a product’s capabilities. 

• Describe a product’s capabilities with ‘and’ to link related items. Use ‘as well as’ to link items that are not related. 

• Use infinitives to eliminate subordinate clauses, and prepositional phrases to streamline your ideas 

Use a Friendly, Conversational Tone to Show Interest. Stuffy language turns readers off. Be conversational unless the document demands a more formal style. State ideas in a positive form whenever possible. Readers are more receptive to information presented in the positive. 

Ensure Readability. Make what you write easy-to-read. That means using simple words, relatively short sentences, and short paragraphs. There are many readability formulas you can apply to your writing to test its readability. 

One of the standards was developed by Rudolph Flesch. His specific mathematical formula states: RE = 206.835 - (1.015 x ASL) - (84.6 x ASW). 

• RE = Readability Ease 

• ASL = Average Sentence Length (number of words divided by number of sentences)

• ASW = Average Number of Syllables divided by the number of words) 

• RE is a number that ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the easier the document is to read. (90 - 100: easily understood by a fifth grader), (60 -70: easily understood by eighth and ninth graders), (0- 30: easily understood by college graduates). 

Your writing will also be easier to understand if you avoid language that is too formal or too informal. And be sure to tell your readers what abbreviations stand for the first time they are used. Always be sensitive to your readers to keep them with you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Answer: Six to Twelve Seconds

How long does it take for someone you meet to form an opinion about you? Only 6 to 12 seconds. And first impressions are lasting impressions that are difficult to change.

People you meet need to conclude you are professional, attractive and intelligent. The right clothing and nonverbal cues make this happen. 

People assume all sorts of information about you based on your appearance: whether you're educated, well-informed, have ‘personality,’ and if you're someone they'd like to get to know. 

Start with good grooming and hygiene. Attend to your hair and nails. Makeup? In business, less is more. The same goes for fragrance and jewelry. 

How do you dress? 

For men: Best business colors are blue and gray. Navy blue projects an image of authority. Dress for success in navy and gray, especially when attending meetings, interviews and presentations. Diversify your wardrobe with suits, jackets and pants in khaki, tan, and taupe. Convey a formal image in a dark suit and long-sleeved white shirt. Accent your wardrobe with pastel, solid-colored shirts. Choose ties that reflect your personality. For a formal image, choose ties with a neutral background. Otherwise, there's more leeway. 

For women: Mix and match color-coordinated separates to maximize wardrobe options and stretch your clothing budget. Choose fashion colors or rely on standards: navy, black, gray, taupe or burgundy for winter and beige or khaki for summer. A white or cream colored blouse for your ensemble creates a more formal appearance. Choose styles that are more conservative for business wear. Tailored pants can easily be substituted for skirts and are often a comfortable alternative. 

Keep your shoes in top-notch condition. Shoes are very telling. Polished shoes suggest attention to personal grooming. Others will assume you pay attention to detail with all aspects of your life. 

When all is said and done, it makes sense to invest in quality, not quantity. Make sure your clothes fit well, are clean and wrinkle-free. 

Remove ‘wrinkles’ in your body language, too. Body language speaks to who you are. Maintain good eye contact to connect with others to establish trust. Use facial expressions that indicate you're listening and responsive. Smiling is always a plus, but don’t be phony. Be relaxed, responsive, and reassuring. 

Maintain good posture. Align your body toward the person you're speaking with. Give them your undivided attention. Open body posture conveys confidence. Avoid crossing your arms. This can suggest defensiveness and lack of receptivity. 

Develop a firm handshake. Use hand and arm movements to add strength to what you say. And avoid placing your hands around your mouth. It suggests a lack of confidence. Don’t fidget unless you want others to think you are nervous or insecure.

Six to 12 seconds isn’t much time. But now that you know how to make a great first impression, you are in a position to make those seconds really count.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Why to Avoid Humor in Business Writing and Speaking

Everyone loves to laugh. That’s why you may be tempted to use humor in some of your business communications. You may want to start a speech with a joke, or break the ice at a meeting with a funny story. It seems like a good idea, but it may backfire. That’s because everyone does not find the same things funny. 

Here’s the problem. You share a joke or humorous story and ... 

 • Half the group already heard it. 

 • Many attendees previously received it in e-mail. 

 • No one gets it. 

 • Someone in your group is offended. 

 • It gets groans instead of laughs. 

 • You find you are the only one laughing at it. 

The upside of the telling is you get a laugh. The downside may be a steep fall that at best reflects poorly on your judgement. Best advice? Stick with human interest stories. They’re a lot safer and everyone can identify with them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

How to Add Polish to Your Interpersonal Communication

E-mail, IM, Skype, phone, snail mail --- there are more vehicles for communication than ever before.   But when it comes to truly effective communication, there is nothing as good as face-to-face meetings.  That’s because more than 90 percent of the communication we do is nonverbal.  How can you possibly accomplish your communications objectives if the person you are communicating with receives only 10 percent of your message?

Add Strength to Your Words.  When I was growing up I was repeatedly told, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”  That’s what nonverbal communication speaks to. When you meet with someone, you have the opportunity to send your entire message and they have the ability to truly embrace it.  You can share the tone and volume with your voice and place emphasis on certain words.  Your facial expressions, gestures, and body language convey additional meaning that is totally lost with computer-based communications.  There is little room for misunderstanding.

Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication.  When you get together with someone, they have the chance to experience the real you.  If you want to make a good impression you’ll dress properly, and make sure your hair and nails are clean.  You’ll lead with a firm handshake that demonstrates self-confidence and follow up with good eye contact and a winning smile.

Tune In to Feedback. Meeting with someone is more personal than using high tech lines of communication.  It gives you the opportunity to build a bond and establish trust.  When you’re talking, you get immediate feedback from the person you are with.  If the response is not what you expected or hoped for, you are in a position to modify it on the spot.

Ramp Up Your Listening Skills. A face-to-face meeting give you the opportunity to listen.  And listening is the most important communication skill we have.  After all, you don’t learn anything when you are talking.  You already know all about what you have to say.  It is when we listen to others that we have the chance to learn about them and what they are sharing.

Being an effective listener means asking open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers.  Avoid the tendency to interrupt or advise.  Cultivate the ability to make the person you are listening to feel like they are the center of your world while they are speaking.  Let them see how interested you are in what they have to say -- even if you really aren’t.  Actively listen.  That means listening intently and processing the information so you are in a position to respond in a thoughtful manner.  Be sure to read between the lines.  And be cognizant of their nonverbal behaviors.

Show That You Care.  Face-to-face communication is an opportunity to establish a common bond.  Make an effort to find an interest that you share. Be sincere.  Be interested.  Be giving. Supplementing your newly polished communication skills with the knowledge you care can work miracles with your interpersonal communication.