Why skills that stand the test of time matter even more in today's disrupted world

Are you overwhelmed by social media?
I don’t just mean as a consumer of it – keeping up with the daily onslaught of posts in your various news feeds. I’m also referring to the pressure of creating content that gets you noticed (for the right reasons!)
I was listening to a presentation by business and mindset expert Pat Mesiti where he said “If you use yesterday’s methods in today’s world you’ll have no tomorrow.”
Wise words, and I get where he’s coming from. I also believe you can’t rely solely on the methods of today and tomorrow for your communication.

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When I visited Grand Central Station in New York City (if you haven’t been there, make it a goal to go!!) I was intrigued by the way they’d set up the Apple Store. It wasn’t like a conventional shop, with walls around it. It had all the trimmings of an Apple Store but it was laid out in the open, within the walls of the station structure.
Here you have a symbol of all things high-tech, the way of the future, staffed by bright-eyed millennials, operating in this majestic old building steeped in tradition and history.
Then it struck me: that’s how we need to be when we communicate!
If you want to engage more effectively with your customers, team, manager, partner or anyone in your world, remember this: by all means use all the digital tools available to you, but never forget the core qualities of an outstanding communicator.
These qualities have stood the test of time – just like a grand old railway station - and they’re not going away regardless of how many new social media channels emerge in the coming years.
They include:

  • Being honest, whatever the stakes
  • Having a clear message and being able to express it
  • Knowing your audience and caring about what they need

 Are you so consumed with the whirlwind of the digital age that you’ve let some of those tried and tested qualities slip away?
I encourage you to focus on how you speak to others and how well you listen.

Take a step back and read over some of your recent emails: are they clear and precise, or have you confused your reader?

When you walk into a room, do you have the confidence and credibility to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know?
Old style communication skills matter. They matter a lot in today’s social-media driven world. Get those right, and the rest will fall into place.

Are you connecting to make the most of your communication?

One of my interests is singing in a community choir that’s occasionally booked to perform in nursing homes. Last Saturday we had the opportunity to entertain residents in a dementia unit.
Near the end of our performance we often move into the audience and lead a sing-along of old time classics. We weren’t sure what would happen this time, but we gave it a go.
It was amazing to see people who, moments before, were experiencing confusion about their surroundings, now full of animation and able to remember all the words to songs from their teenage years as they joined in with us.
The man I sat beside was a picture of frailty - immobile in a wheel chair, eyes staring at nothing in front of him. As everyone sang around him he remained fixed like a statue, giving me no eye contact or sign of awareness.
I wasn’t sure what else to do but hold the song words in front of him and keep singing.
Then I saw it; the fingers on his right hand tapping on the arm of his wheelchair. His lips moved and – for a second – his eyes twinkled. He murmured something but I couldn’t catch it.
When the singing finished, I thanked him for joining me. He stared ahead with no recognition.


But – for a flicker of time – there had been a connection. It was like a channel of communication opened up between us, and was gone before I fully recognised it.
The power of connecting with those around you is a key element in succeeding in business, at work and in life. If we can’t build trusting and productive relationships, our journey will be more like a struggle.
Do you find some people are harder to connect with than others? The good news is, anyone can learn to increase their ability to form strong and enduring connections. Like many things in life, it’s starts with being a confident communicator.
In my online programs I talk about three areas to focus on if you want to form better connections.

1. Show you’re interested

Hairdressers and other types of service providers know this well. They make it their business to remember what you talked about last time, so they can raise it on your next visit to build an even stronger connection. “How was your trip to New Zealand?”, “Did Rachel end up getting into that course?”, “Are you feeling better after your accident?”
Communication expert Leil Lowndes calls it Make people look forward to seeing you again. Her easy tip? After having a conversation with someone, make a note of what you chatted about that they enjoyed. Then refer to it next time you see them.

2. Lock those peepers

Making great eye contact isn’t new advice. It’s worth a reminder because not everyone does it well!
Looking directly into someone’s eyes (as opposed to a death stare, fixing them with a creepy gaze) opens up a communication connection at both a conscious and unconscious level. It also increases trust and shows you’re present in the situation.
How are you at making eye contact? Do a check-in next time you’re in a conversation. If this needs work, make a conscious effort to lock eyes even more and notice the difference it makes.

3. Know what your body’s doing

There are plenty of myths about body language. If someone folds their arms, they’re not necessarily aloof or uninterested. Maybe they’re cold, or it might be a comfortable way for them to sit!
However, many people have bought into these stories without knowing the broader context. So, pay attention to your own body language. Avoid folding your arms in case the other person gets the wrong message. If you can, turn your body slightly side-on rather than facing them head-on - this is specifically for building trust and connection - but keep your feet pointed towards them (this is a no-no in some countries so do your homework if travelling).
People who can make deep connections get better opportunities and have richer relationships. Sounds like something worth practising!

Are you shutting conversations down before they begin?

What would your life be like if everyone around you was able to get across exactly what they wanted to say, the very first time they tried?

Think of the misunderstanding, confusion and even heartache you’d avoid! Consider the time you’d save if you never had to go back to someone a second time – in conversation or email – to clarify what they meant.

Think of the huge gains each of us could make if we spent a little more time on our communication skills.

Converging or expanding?

Correctly understanding someone else’s message starts with how you listen to them.

Did you know that whenever you’re in a conversation, you’re either converging (already thinking about the outcome) or expanding (keeping an open mind and exploring possibilities)?

I’ve certainly been guilty of listening to someone with only half an ear, but inwardly already ending the conversation and moving on to the next thing! How about you? Most of us converge, a lot of the time.

Imagine if you could get much better results from your conversations – whether that’s at work or in your personal relationships. 

The reality is, we humans are pre-geared towards outcomes. Whenever you’re talking to someone, your brain is immediately asking “what?” and “how?”

While it can be great to solve problems quickly, the downside is that once we converge, the part of our brain that can open up the conversation to other possibilities shuts down. It just gives up the ghost. End of story.

That might mean you’re missing really important parts of the other person’s message – plus, you’re shutting the conversation down (at least in your mind, and that’s going to be written all over your face!) which risks damaging a long-term relationship.

An easy step to practise

Are you a regular converger? Once you’re aware of this habit, you can make small tweaks to break it.

Next time you’re in a conversation, see if you can spend a few minutes actively gathering information rather than drawing a conclusion straight away.

Unless you’re already 100% clear on what the other person means, try asking an exploratory question, like:

  •  “Would you help me understand..?”
  • “I’m just wondering if I have this straight..?
  • “Can you tell me more about…?

The extra information you get might mean the difference between understanding the whole message or getting the wrong end of the stick.

Being a listener who expands is one of the characteristics of a truly effective communicator. Great communicators have the edge in business and in life, so these small shifts are well worth making.

In your conversations, ask yourself “am I converging or expanding?”


Funny business and the way you communicate

Have you ever wanted to bring more lightness and joy to your everyday interactions?

I've been inspired by a Ted Talk by the American comedian Michael Jr. He called it More than funny - and as well as having great tips about how to loosen up and generally bring more fun into your day, it reminded me of some deeper life lessons.

1.     Be the giver, not the taker

Michael talks about training to be a comedian, with all the associated pressure to get laughs from people. It wasn’t until he turned the experience around and began to think in terms of giving other people the opportunity to laugh that his career really took off.

This principle has so many applications - whether you're pitching for business, having a high-stakes conversation, presenting in front of an audience or just generally interacting with others.

If you approach it with the mindset that you're giving the others in the experience an opportunity to gain something of value rather than trying to get something from them, the shift in results can be significant.

I experienced this when I started out as a keynote speaker. In the beginning it was all about me pushing information at the audience, hoping they'd like me and want to book me again or recommend me to someone else.

Eventually, I realised I wasn’t there to teach them. I was simply a catalyst to help them consider a new idea or recall something already in their memory. They chose to switch on their own light or not, and it was up to them what they did with that information.

Ideally, they’d take what I offered and it would make a positive difference in their life. My job was to give them that opportunity.

That shift turned my speaking business around because now I was approaching audiences with a different mindset. It enabled me to loosen up on stage and have fun with the experience, rather than setting rigid expectations on myself.  I was far less focused on me and much more intent on everyone else in the room; what they needed in that moment and how I might help them.

And guess what? That  led to much more business because people started getting greater value from my presentations. Rather than feeling "talked-at", they were able to grab hold of the pieces that resonated with them, and apply them where they best suited.

You can use this principle in so many areas of your life. In each interaction, ask yourself; “What opportunity am I offering others here, and how can I give them even more?” Watch how that mindset adjustment changes the outcome.

2.     Have a great set-up, but never forget the punchline

As Michael Jr explains, comedy is all about set up and punchline. A joke without a punchline isn’t a joke at all, it’s just a long set-up.

He also applies that idea more broadly. How many people go through life in set-up mode and never get to their own punchline! What’s the point of it all? What are they really here to do?

Michael encourages his audience to think about their life’s punchline. What's yours? Do you know, or are you trapped in one long set-up that never gets to the point?

I call this your man on the moon, borrowing it from the incredible focus shown by those in the US space program in the 1960s. Their entire reason for getting out of bed each day - whether they were the chief scientist or the guy who cleaned the building - was to put a man on the moon. That was their punchline.

Whether you think of it as your punchline or your man on the moon, having a higher purpose or end game makes all the difference to how you approach each day,  week,  month and year of your life.

You’ve probably heard the saying If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. Working towards your punchline gives focus and energy to your set-up.

3.     The power of three

Many classic jokes are set up in a structure of three. The comedian gives one line, then another, and it's the third line that cracks you up. That’s where the comedy lies. Usually the funny line is completely incongruent with the first two, and that’s what makes it humorous.

Grouping information in threes goes far beyond the realm of comedy. It’s a principle you can apply to all your communication.

Writers and storytellers throughout history have recognised the human brain seems to easily absorb information in three. Goldilocks didn’t meet six bears, she encountered three. The US Declaration of Independence talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn’t go on with another eight points for you to remember.

Religious stories follow the same format. Consider the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. A traveller was robbed, beaten and left beside the road. First, a priest comes past and then a Levite, but neither of them stops to help. The third traveller - the Samaritan - is the one who stops to give assistance.

The number three has been described as the most persuasive number in communication, recognising that we humans can only hold a small amount of information in our short-term memory. Older research points to the number seven, but as the world has gathered speed and our attention spans have shrunk, we can hold three pieces of information much more easily than seven.

You'll see the rule of three in many forms of communication from marketing to safety signs and famous speeches. Steve Jobs frequently used this idea, to great effect. It will work for you as well, whether in a conversation where you need to clearly convey a message, saying your piece at a meeting to a small group, or in a large-scale presentation (notice I used three examples there?:)

The rule of three works with the written word too. Next time you write an email, try three simple messages and a call to action and see what difference that makes.

Thanks, Michael Jr, for some great wisdom wrapped in a comedy sandwich. Whether you apply these ideas to comedy, general communication or life as a whole they could be a game-changer.


The great divide: How businesses expose themselves to risk in the Facebook age.

This tale might sound familiar to you - an example of communication at its best (not!)

One of my clients recently had an interesting encounter with a government agency. It turned out the agency moved the goalposts halfway through a tender process, leaving my client at a big disadvantage. 

It just didn’t seem fair. Possibly against my better judgement – and only because I’ve spent a long time working in and with similar agencies - I offered to take the issue further.

I bravely navigated their phone system and was told to put my concern in writing, which I did. I was fascinated to see what happened next! 

Sure enough, there it was - the straight-off-the-template reply advising me my matter would be responded to within 10 working days. If it was urgent (and whose isn’t?) I could call their customer service centre - which I already had, and been told to put it in writing. I was in the dreaded holding pattern.

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By now, my client's frustration and anxiety levels were off the chart.

In the same week, my LinkedIn feed carried a post from someone who works at that same organisation, praising it as an innovative and responsive employer. They’re a reputable person and I know they had honourable intentions writing their post. But their view didn’t stack up with our direct experience of the organisation.

This is a great reminder to all of us that our communication can no longer be surface-level spin – it must be a true reflection of the values at the core of our business. If there’s a mismatch between what we say and how others experience us, we have a problem. We’ve set an expectation that we aren’t meeting – and we’ve opened ourselves up to negative public comment from the very people we are trying to serve.

Even though their customers/clients now hold most of the power in the public communication game, the behaviour of many businesses is trapped in the practices of two decades ago. Back then, organisations held all the communication cards. The rest of us had to wait for a response and lump it if we didn't get one.  

Now, the scales have tipped the other way. People out there have no shortage of information (accurate and otherwise) about your business and they share it freely. If what they hear or experience is negative, the speed of that sharing ramps up with ferocious intensity.

I encounter many leadership teams who remain nervous – some, even paranoid – about engaging on social media at any remotely deep level for fear of negative comment or fully-fledged backlash. They believe the risk lies within the channel itself; the fact that Facebook has opened them up to an instant global audience.

What they’ve failed to recognise is that their organisational behaviour poses the far greater risk. By looking within and making sure their corporate behaviour matches their public statements – they do what they say they’ll do - they're far less likely to experience negative comment.

It’s almost like they’re stuck on the other side of a big divide, and can’t see a way to cross it – even though the bridge is obvious to the rest of the world. It’s pretty simple, really; deliver on your promises and people are more likely to say positive things about you.

Businesses that are truly on the front foot of building reputation capital - rather than jumping at shadows and waiting for negative comments to whack them on the head - will reap the rewards of the instant communication era.

How does your business or organisation perform in this area? Here are three telling factors:

1.     The ability to identify issues quickly.

In the issue I referred to, the client's dissatisfaction isn’t going to dissolve and go away. It’s much more likely to escalate and get taken to a higher level in the organisation. Any time someone's expectations aren’t met, and that someone is important to you and your organisation, your alarm bells should ring.

Savvy organisations have ways to identify budding issues and act on them quickly rather than letting them fester. It’s not rocket science, yet in many cases people sit back and wait while the wick burns brighter and brighter on the escalating issue. Then they're shocked when things blow up!

How do you monitor latent and emerging issues in your business?

2.     Making it your business to achieve small wins in addressing issues.

Sometimes even the smallest action can achieve a big win. There are probably 20 emerging issues in your organisation right now. It's likely 19 of them can be resolved in minutes. The person at the other end of the problem will thank you forever and tell all their friends how great you are.

So, what are you waiting for? Rather than hiding behind old-fashioned processes and long turnaround time for responses, roll up your sleeves and quickly overturn situations where peoples’ expectations aren’t being met by your business.

3.     Reflecting inward about how you can do it better.

In an age of extraordinary technological advance, is a 10-day turnaround time on an urgent issue acceptable? (they didn’t meet the 10 days, by the way – we’re still waiting!) It may have been OK back then, but I'd suggest it isn't now.

The challenge is, the community operates in Twitter Time. Many organisations - particularly government agencies - are stuck in the mid-80s in terms of organisational response time.

If that’s your organisation, perhaps it’s time to review your practices. You’re not going to revolutionise a large organisation overnight, but what are the small things you can do each day, each week, to make a difference?


If you’re marooned on the other side of the great divide, it’s time to look harder for that bridge. The world has moved on and if you don’t find the way across, you risk being stranded forever.


Prepare now for your communication future

Have you ever read an article or listened to a podcast and been enthralled by the content - only to feel let down when the sales pitch came at the end?

Not the mere fact there was a sales pitch - after all, that’s part of running a business - but because it took some of the shine off the information. If the sole aim of the piece was, in fact, to sell you something, it probably seemed less credible as a result.

Similarly, you might be fascinated by a medical study's findings because you can relate to the health issue at the core of it. Then, you discover the study was funded by a drug company that just happens to have a product in that medical field.

You experience a credibility dilemma, realising the person or company producing the information has a vested interest in how you might use it.

Of course there’s still value in the content itself. No-one is forcing you to buy anything. On the other hand, the fact that the content producer has even the potential to benefit financially from your interest in the information suddenly makes the whole piece less appealing.

Most of us know we have to approach anything on social media with a healthy dose of scepticism. The reality is, anyone can post anything about any issue without fact-checking or filtering. That raw material appears beside scientific studies, academic articles and comprehensive pieces of research. Who’s to say what’s true anymore?

I was interviewed recently about  the future of communication; how will we interact by the year 2030? Will person-to-person conversation play any part? What should organisations focus on to make sure they’re ready for whatever lies ahead on the communication landscape?

There are plenty of technology futurists out there who will predict - far more accurately than me - the communication gadgets and platforms we'll use in the next decade. What I can foretell is that the businesses, organisations and individuals who are known as a source of truth will be like lighthouses-on-steroids in an ever confusing environment.

When I started my communication career, businesses, government agencies and other organisations held all the cards. People were generally information-poor so organisations could pick and choose what they told the public and when they told them.

That scenario now seems as quaint as the horse and cart.


Today, we’re information-rich and truth-poor. Regardless of the technology that emerges,  make it your communication plan to be a truth source; the type of organisation or individual people come to because they know they’ll get the facts, warts and all. No spin, no glossing over the negative and no vested interest in the outcome.

Some businesses and government bodies are already setting themselves up to do this well, with their own news hubs and other mechanisms to be a trusted source of information. If that’s the path you’re on, don’t taint it with self-serving material that will only diminish your credibility.

We’re in the age of the influence inversion, where "someone like you" is more believable than a person in authority. Relationships and genuine engagement rule the world, regardless of the technology behind them. Strengthen those elements and you'll be preparing well for the future.

Getting your crisis message right is a year-long job

At a time when bad news has never travelled at such velocity, it would be logical for businesses to plan for the worst and make sure they can respond quickly to any emerging issue.

Most of the time, however, that’s not the case. While there are great examples of best practice in this area, many organisations still operate under the illusion a crisis can’t happen to them. If it does, they think they’ll be able to quickly rally the troops and respond effectively.

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Last week I delivered a workshop for communication and business continuity executives in Malaysia, on strategic crisis communication. It's a global reality that we're all juggling multiple issues every day. Managing potentially damaging issues is part of business as usual. On the other hand, no organisation can afford a fully-fledged crisis, when business as usual is shattered and there's long-lasting reputation damage.

Stopping an issue growing into a crisis can be a case of good luck, but more often it’s good management. Savvy organisations have sound practices so they can quickly identify emerging issues and address them before they get out of control.

And, if things do escalate to crisis mode, they also have well-rehearsed responses. They know who their spokespeople will be, and those individuals are well trained. Their social media teams have solid structures in place. They know their audiences well, they've thought through their key messages in the event of a crisis and they've worked hard to strengthen relationships with the key people and groups that can impact or be impacted by their business.

This is a year-round process; it’s not something that can be cobbled together once the global eyes of social media networks are upon you. Your ability to recover from a crisis depends on the speed and effectiveness of your response, along with your pre-existing reputation.

If your organisation is already considered on the nose because of previous incidents or mis-managed responses, you’ll have to work doubly hard to recover . If you botch the initial response, people will be less likely to forgive you and your brand in the long term.

Preparing for and responding to issues and crises can’t be a bolt-on to the rest of your business practices. In today’s digital world, these elements must form a core part of your operations. Many of the principles of good crisis and issues management equate to best practice communication throughout the year.

They also need to be a whole-of business-responsibility. This isn’t something that rests solely with the communications, customer service, human resources or business continuity team.

The good news is, if you’re lagging behind in this area you can start today to turn things around. Don’t delay any longer though. The future of your business depends on it.


The secret to staying ahead in a disrupted world

I don’t know about you but I’m already suffering from disruption fatigue, and I get the feeling we’ve only just begun. It seems every facet of our lives is being disrupted one way or another including, of course, the job market and the prospects for business.

It was interesting to read LinkedIn’s report on emerging jobs in the US - based on LinkedIn data from the last five years along with other survey results. It looks at which jobs and skill sets are on the rise and which are being edged out in this rapidly changing world.

No surprise to see tech-focused jobs are the most in-demand, but it was reassuring to read communication skills continue to rank very highly on the must-have list.

Look around and you can be forgiven for thinking human to human communication is becoming an archaic practice. Catch a train and you'll mostly see the tops of heads as commuters scroll on their phones, disconnected from the world via headphones of various shapes and sizes. At work - and often outside it as well - we default to email or text rather than having a conversation. Government departments go to great lengths to stop us contacting them in person.

Yet, influential communication skills are far from going out of style - in fact they’re increasing in importance.

A second common myth is that great communicators are born, not made; that you're either blessed with the ability to wield words or not. That's simply not true. Many of the world's most impressive orators and writers didn't start out that way; they learned those skills along the journey.

Yes, some were born with the gift of the gab and were able to build on that foundation. Others had humble beginnings and faced many challenges, yet they compelled themselves to acquire the skills needed to influence their own success.

Given that communication will be a sought-after skill well into the future - regardless of job type - let me ask you; how do you rate yourself in conversation, presentation, and written communication?

If you have a weakness, the time to address it is now. Don’t wait until everyone overtakes you. Be the one who stands out, not part of the mass running to catch up as disruption takes us on its frantic ride.


Grasp the missing link that will power your interactions

She came into my training workshop, and from the look on her face I knew she'd be trouble - the one to challenge me throughout the day.

She sat heavily and let out a sigh, glancing disdainfully at the training materials in front of her. “Yep, ” I thought to myself, “there’s always one”.

As I got the day underway, I could hear her muttering in a critical tone to the guy beside her. I asked participants to share one word they associated with "influential communication". Someone said "apprehensive", others used equally tentative language. What did she say? "Confident" - and I didn’t doubt her for a second. This lady thought she already knew everything about the subject matter, and I hadn’t begun.

Later, when I asked the group to stand and change seats, guess who doggedly stayed put and let everyone move around her. I tried to joke about it and she rolled her eyes and offered smugly: “Well, why should I move when everybody else is moving?”

Despite my one problem child, the day was going well. During the lunch break I stole five minutes of sitting time in a quiet corner and was surprised to see her approaching me.

“Sitting on your own isn’t a good look,” she started and my heart sank. I thought, "Great, I’ve managed to snatch a few moments of peace and she's about to ruin it."

We chatted and she loosened up a little. I asked which floor of the building she worked on and she responded that she normally worked from home as she lived some distance away. I asked  where, and we then had one of those interactions where the other person keeps repeating "you're kidding me!"  Not only did we live in the same suburb of the same regional city - more than an hour away from the training location - we lived around the corner from each other.

From that instant, our relationship transformed. Next thing, she was laughing and telling me what she did on the weekend, and we were comparing notes about living in a wonderful part of the world away from the bustling city.

The afternoon session took on a completely different flavour. Far from being the thorn in my side, she became my greatest ally; offering supportive comments and happily taking part in all the discussions.

At the end, when everyone was sharing what they’d taken away from the day, she was enthusiastic in describing her key learnings and what she would apply. It was a massive turn around.

Pondering it later, one word stood out in my mind. Rapport.

It’s so easy to form a negative impression of someone in the first few seconds of encounter. By finding something that connects us as humans -  in this case  accidentally -  we can achieve great things.

Often, our day-to-day busy-ness gets in the way of building rapport with those around us. We race in and out of meetings and have rapid-fire conversations where we quickly say our piece and escape. Taking a few seconds to go deeper and explore the element you have in common with can make a significant difference to everything you do.

What can you do today to build rapport? You'll also be strengthening trust and nurturing valuable relationships that can power you towards shared results.

The formula for standing out - from a world-renowned speaker

I’ve been guilty of this, and wonder if you have too. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that to stand out in business - or even as an individual - you need to do something splashy and innovative to get attention.

I was reminded recently that doing simple things well is the formula for success.

Amanda Gore graces the global stage in front of hundreds and thousands of people. She doesn’t turn up in a slick business suit and reel off trendy catch phrases. She has a straightforward message about bringing more joy into your life and work - and she delivers it in a way that's honest, authentic Amanda.

Watching her in all her simple magnificence, three key elements resounded for me:

1.     Be yourself.

Amanda might speak in front of huge audiences but she's also humble and down to earth. She is herself whether on stage or off, reminding me that creating a lasting impression doesn't come from sounding important. It’s about being the best version of yourself.

Coupled with that authenticity is a sense of wicked fun, unifying large groups of people in shared laughter. Ironically, Amanda stands out because she doesn’t try to do so. She seeks to blend in, to relate directly to the issues, challenges and funny moments experienced by her audiences. 

2.     It’s all about them.

I’ve heard this message many times and I use it frequently in my own workshops and presentations - and Amanda Gore embodies it. During every moment in front of an audience, she  demonstrates her concern and care for the individuals she's speaking to. When she presents, her attention is outside of her own body and focused on the value she can deliver to those listening.

One of her techniques is internalising her content rather than rehearsing it. Her material is second nature through many hours of preparation, but just before stepping on stage she lets it go. The whole experience is about the audience and what they need.

That means content often doesn't come out in the planned order, and the presentation isn't perfect in a technical sense. What it is, however, is real and genuine - delivering the messages people need to hear,  right where they are.

3.     Hard work.

Like anyone who is a master of their craft, Amanda makes it look effortless - like she just jumped out of bed and came up with some life-transforming messages on the spur of the moment. But by her own admission she continuously studies. Even though she’s one of the world’s most successful speakers, she has mentors and regularly attends training in specific areas.

It’s a reminder that we never truly get there, no matter how successful we might feel. There’s always more to learn, always a new way to bring something even better into your life.


These ideas aren’t new, but I suspect most people don’t apply them in their every day world. What can you do to be more of yourself when relating to others?

How can you make sure that whenever you interact with another, you focus on them, truly connect with them?

What are you doing to continually learn?

If you want to be a stand-out, do the simple things really well.