Quick Communication Tip: Avoid Sarcasm at Work and In Speeches and Media Interviews

Quick Communication Tip: Avoid Sarcasm at Work and In Speeches and Media Interviews

You may have read about a Harvard University study that was published a year or so ago, which stated that sarcasm can increase your creativity. As references to this article continue to be passed around by bloggers and others, people are often forgetting to include the caveats about trust in the relationship and understanding when sarcasm is appropriate (i.e., sarcasm is not always great at work), which were included in Harvard’s article on the study.

Like most forms of humor, sarcasm is better received when you’re not insulting individuals, but rather making fun of circumstances or human nature. This is true in one-on-one conversations as well as in speeches and media interviews. It’s better to save sarcasm for the people in your life who know you best and will know when you are joking.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Panel Moderating Quick Tip

Panel Moderating Quick Tip

If you’re hosting a panel, it’s up to you to manage the audience.

If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who say they want to ask a question but then use their time with the mic to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to the discussion.

Be sure to bring the conversation back to the topic that the panel is discussing. You may have to politely cut someone off, but it can be done with grace. Simply say “thank you” and ask if the person has a question for the panel to refocus the conversation to that of the panel. The audience will thank you.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Media Interview Quick Tip – Don’t Betray Your Beliefs For 15 Minutes of Fame

Media Interview Quick Tip – Don’t Betray Your Beliefs For 15 Minutes of Fame

Sometimes a TV producer or editor from a media outlet contact experts in the hopes that the experts will share exactly the opinion they want in order to shape their story. If you’re an expert, it’s important that you maintain your integrity and only say what you truly believe. Otherwise, you simply become a mouthpiece for others, and a few minutes on TV isn’t worth compromising your integrity.

Know your boundaries and maintain them.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

How to Deliver Dry Information with Style – A Lesson from Spirit Airlines

How to Deliver Dry Information with Style – A Lesson from Spirit Airlines

On a recent trip to Denver, my husband and I flew Spirit Airlines. If you’re not familiar with Spirit Airlines, imagine the most basic, no-frills, charge-you-for-everything airline you can fathom. That’s Spirit. Apparently, even a seat-back pocket to stow your goods while you fly is too much to ask, so there are a few bungee cords crisscrossed across the back of the seat in front of you to hold whatever is large enough to not fall through the giant empty spaces it leaves. The experience is so spartan that it’s actually kind of funny, and a sense of humor goes a long way when you’re known as one of the cheapest airlines around, as we were about to find out.

The pre-flight safety speech started out on an unusual high note when the friendly-sounding airline attendant said, “For those of you who swore you would never fly Spirit again, welcome back.” We could relate to that. After flying Spirit last year, I told my husband we should never fly it again, but when it turned out that a Spirit flight was our best option for the short 2-hour flight to Denver, we decided I would be okay. Clearly, we were not alone in our decision-reversal.

When the airline attendant peppered her safety speech with humor, even saying something to the effect of, “After you’ve adjusted your life jacket, check your hair and make-up, and safely exit the plane.”

I had a quick chat with the woman who delivered this fresh, funny safety speech. It was so well constructed that I thought it was written for her. She told me that she had written it herself and she had been tweaking it over time.

You can use some of the techniques that the airline attendant incorporated into her humorous, yet informative, safety speech. She…

  • added the element of surprise (e.g., making fun of Spirit’s austere approach to service);
  • lightened the heaviness of potentially dire warnings with frivolous details/recommendations (e.g., checking your hair and make-up before grabbing your flotation device);
  • and used a happy, bouncy tone, even when talking about serious topics (This worked because she began her speech with humor, setting the tone for the entire talk.).

Use your best judgement when incorporating humor into speeches. Avoid emotionally loaded references. If you’re not sure if your use of humor is appropriate, run it by a few people. Record yourself delivering the speech and then listen to it as if you’re someone else. Continue to modify it until you’ve achieved the balance of enough humor to keep people’s attention and enough solid information to effectively convey your message.

If you’re interested in improving your presentation skills, you can arrange a complimentary discovery call with Lisa Elia by calling our office at 310-479-0217 or emailing us at team@expertmediatraining.com

In the meantime, here are some other articles to read:

6 Tips to Make Effective Presentations

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Six Essentials to Make Your Business Appealing to Media and Customers

 

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Top 10 Communication Tips

Top 10 Communication Tips

There is so much that can be said about improving one’s communication skills that we could be reading (or writing) forever. Sometimes you simply want a list of reminders. This is such a list. It’s taken from my Confident and Clear Communication program, which goes into greater depth on each topic with exercises and questions to help you explore your unique communication patterns and tips to improve upon the aspects of your communication you wish to elevate.

1. Eliminate negative self-talk.

Negative self-talk comes in many forms, including putting yourself down, diminishing your accomplishments, not accepting compliments, or beginning sentences with, “I’m just a…”. It is not productive, it is disempowering, and it reinforces beliefs you don’t want to hold about yourself.

2. Pay attention to your posture.

Changing your posture can instantly change how you feel and how you are perceived by others.

3. Replace criticism with compassion.

Criticism of others begins with a negative judgment you are making about them. Love and judgement can’t exist in the same moment. If you want loving relationships in your life, whether at home or work, transform critical comments into more productive communication.

4. Be assertive, not aggressive or passive: identify the differences.

Assertive communication is respectful, diplomatic, empowered and effective.

5. Read body language more closely.

Pay close attention to your body language and that of others, to achieve the most effective communication. Our true feelings and thoughts are conveyed through eye contact, the placement and movement of the feet, hands, hips, legs, and more.

6. Polish your writing skills.

Sometimes your written words create the first impression someone will have of you, and they could open doors for you, or close them forever.

7. Speak with power.

Make the choice to speak with power and confidence, paying attention to your vocal tone, fluidity and energy level.

8. Replace lazy listening with committing to the moment.

Becoming a great listener will improve relationships and can lead you to great success.

9. Transform arguments and address delicate topics sensitively.

Discover what’s beneath the argument so you can transform it into a productive conversation, and broach delicate situations with forethought and sensitivity.

10. Communicate to inspire, empower and motivate people.

Approach interactions thinking about what you can leave people with and how you can inspire, empower and motivate them.

If you would like to improve your communication skills or those of your team or clients, arrange a complimentary consultation with Lisa Elia.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.


Here are links to a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Prepare for Media Interviews BEFORE You Book One

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/


What Do People Need to Hear from You?

What Do People Need to Hear from You?

At times like this, when it seems the world is under attack by hate groups, more hate is not what’s needed. If you think of the people in your sphere of influence and what they need you’ll be better able to serve them. Do they need consoling, do they need hope, do they need ideas on how they can be part of the solution and not simply add to hateful rhetoric?

Once you know what people need, you’ll be better able to communicate in a way that can make a difference in people’s lives.

Expert Media Training™ Blog Among Top-Ranking Public Speaking Blogs

Expert Media Training™ Blog Among Top-Ranking Public Speaking Blogs

I am honored that my blog has been named one of the top 50 public speaking blogs by Feedspot. Of the thousands of public speaking blogs, Feedspot ranked ours as number 30. I am grateful to be in good company among my respected peers.

“These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review”

To read more of the blogs on Feedspot’s site, click here.

I strive to provide content that is relevant to my readers. I welcome requests to cover specific topics within the arenas of public speaking, presentations, media interviews and investor pitching.

Please email topic requests to my team and me at team@expertmediatraining.com.

Lisa Elia, Founder of Expert Media Training™

 

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Verbatim memorization of a speech or responses to interview questions can detach you from your content and from the very people you’re trying to reach; the audience, the interviewer, investors.

Memorization places your focus on remembering exact words and phrases, instead of where it should be, which is on communicating your ideas or information with emotion and effectiveness.

For the vast majority of people, attempting to deliver word-for-word speeches, pitches or interview responses backfires. Here are a few reasons I don’t recommend verbatim memorization:

1. Memorizing content word-for-word can detach you from the meaning of the words. Saying something the exact same way over and over can dull the emotions attached to your content to a point where it almost becomes meaningless. If you rehearse your presentation or interview responses repeatedly with the same wording, you may even develop “semantic satiation,” in which certain words temporarily stop having meaning to you.

2. Delivering content that you have memorized can detach you from the audience or interviewer because when you focus on retrieving exact words for a long stretch of time, you are not as fully present in the moment. This would emotionally detach you from the very people you’re trying to reach with your message.

3. With a memorized verbatim speech or response, if you become distracted and forget one word or phrase, you can feel completely lost and throw your entire presentation or interview off course.

4. The pressure of knowing you must remember a verbatim speech can heighten nervousness or anxiety you might feel before a presentation or interview. Why put that extra pressure on yourself?

The temptation to memorize presentations, speeches or responses to interview questions lies in the generally erroneous belief that this will offer some guarantee of success. Adding to this, sometimes people become very attached to specific phrases that they believe sound great. As any good editor will tell you, it’s dangerous to fall in love with your words: they might get eliminated.

Instead of memorizing your presentation, speech or media interview responses, do this:

1. Map out the journey you want to take people on with your presentation or interview responses.

2. Master your content. It’s best to know and thoroughly comprehend everything you’re talking about. For CEOs and other company spokespeople who may be asked about a wide array of topics that may or may not fall within their areas of expertise, this can be challenging. For them, some of the content to master would include explanations of who can address the question and why this is so.

3. Practice verbalizing your content multiple different ways and many times. Knowing a lot about a subject is quite different than speaking about it confidently, concisely and compellingly.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech,” Mark Twain said.

4. Get feedback. It’s difficult to assess your own effectiveness in conveying your message, your body language and overall communication style. Feedback from a trusted source can help.

If you want to feel fully prepared and confident for interviews, presentations or pitches my advice is to get professional training. The preparation techniques, feedback, skill development and outside perspective that a good trainer provides can save you years of trying to figure things out on your own and enable you to be the best communicator you can be. You might be thinking that of course I would advise this, given that I’m a media trainer and presentation trainer, but I wouldn’t have become a trainer if I hadn’t seen the great need for thorough and thoughtful training in my many years as a PR counselor and publicist.

If you or someone in your organization seems pulled toward memorizing a presentation, remember this: People want to feel that you’re communicating with them from your heart and your head and that the ideas or information you are conveying are so much a part of you that you don’t need to memorize a speech or response to speak about them. Unless you’re an amazing actor (on par with Academy Award winners), you probably can’t make your memorized words appear to be thoughts that are emerging naturally. If you seem unnatural, you will be perceived as lacking in authenticity or confidence.

Confidence comes from mastery, and mastery comes from proper preparation and practice.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Ethics in Business: How Spying on and Copying Competitors can Backfire and Harm Your Brand

Ethics in Business: How Spying on and Copying Competitors can Backfire and Harm Your Brand

People sometimes become so fixated on what their competitors are doing that they get desperate and resort to unethical, and even fraudulent, practices to get the inside scoop on them.

While it’s good to know who your competitors are and what they offer so you can differentiate yourself, it’s not a great idea to copy what they do. What you need to know about competitors to differentiate yourself is usually available online.

Don’t try to extract confidential information from competitors by posing as a potential client.

This is what NOT to do to conduct research on your competitors. Don’t call them pretending to be a client, or the representative of a client, in order to attain information about their pricing and to access materials they would not share with a competitor. It’s dishonest, fraudulent and, in many cases, against the law.

Cornell University Law School’s website contains easy-to-read information on this law: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1708

Here is an example from my own recent experience: a woman who used to be a TV producer called and asked me about media training for her “client”. We’ll call her Ms. Shady. Under the guise of looking to hire a media trainer for her client, Ms. Shady asked about my prices and dug for details about my training process. A few weeks later, I noticed that she and her business partner had created a website and are offering media training services. Several  sentences on her website look as if she copied them from the quote I had sent her and then simply rearranged the wording. I highly doubt all of this was a coincidence, especially because when I checked her domain name registration, it showed that she had purchased her domain name a few months previous, so it seems that her plans for her firm were in place before she called me.

Using the example of Ms. Shady, here are several reasons why this deceptive practice is a bad idea:

  1. If you work in an advisory capacity with clients, your ethics will matter to those who have ethics.

Would your clients be impressed if they found out that you lie to get what you want? Probably not.

Could your clients find out that you lie to get what you want? Probably.

Lying to get what you want is generally not a great idea. People whose creativity does not lift them above lying probably shouldn’t be advising anyone on anything.

  1. You want your competitors to respect you.

Sometimes people will ask your competitors what they know about you. Referencing Ms. Shady once again, if anyone asked me about her, I would feel compelled to share the truth: she told me she was interested in my services in order to gain confidential information. It appears that she was doing so deceptively/fraudulently to gather competitive information.

Competitors can sometimes be a source of referrals.

There are times when your competitors will be too busy to take on a client or they come across someone who is not the right fit for them, and they may want to refer this person to a competitor. I happen to do this quite often. Using the example of Ms. Shady, do you think I would ever refer her business? I definitely would not.

  1. Don’t waste your competitors’ time and income potential.

Respect people’s time on earth and the value of their time at work. Every minute of your competitor’s time that you waste having him or her believe there is a potential deal in motion is time you take away from that person to do something productive in business, with family or for the world. There is an opportunity cost to everything.

To build a strong, ethical brand, focus on what you have to offer and how you want to conduct business.

  1. Differentiate yourself.

Instead of trying to copy competitors, think about what you have to offer that is unique and special and authentically your creation. This is especially true if you are a service provider. Trying to replicate the way another person provides a service will often backfire because you will probably not have the same education, life experience, personality and sensibilities as the competitor you are trying to copy.

People who feel so insecure about their level of knowledge on their subject matter or processes that they need to replicate others should re-think their readiness to enter the market.

  1. Make business ethics a part of your brand.

Most large corporations and many small companies have standards of behavior and codes of ethics. Your code of ethics becomes a part of your brand, internally and externally, whether you intend it to or not.

  1. Use your personal experiences and life influences to create your own brand.

The most creative and useful services and products are often created by combining elements from several influences. Your influences will not be exactly the same as those of your competitors.

Instead of closely copying competitors, be the best version of yourself. Create your own processes and products. Focus on serving the people who want to work with you because of who you are and what you have to offer. The more you do this, the more distinct and powerful your brand will become.

To your personal brand and success!


 

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

5 Quick Communication Tips

5 Quick Communication Tips

1. Above all else, get your employees/contractors trained to reflect and embody your company’s brand and work ethic, or nothing will be done to your standards.

2. Every promotional piece of content you put out into the world should have a strategy behind it.

3. Who you know right now is not as important as knowing how to present yourself and your work so the right people want to know you.

4. When shaping your communication, always think about what’s in it for them (whichever audience you are addressing — investors, employees, clients, press, etc.). If you are addressing team members, you might also need to consider that they believe they contribute and deserve.

5. Remember that wherever you are, and in whatever situation you find yourself, you are representing your brand and possibly attracting opportunities. Present yourself accordingly.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E! and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.


Here are links to a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Prepare for Media Interviews BEFORE You Book One

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/


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