New Year’s Resolutions with a Twist

Posted By on January 1, 2012

Planning for 2012Our fresh take on classic New Year’s resolutions will help you communicate effectively as an executive and leader and to succeed in 2012. Sticking to these speaking tips will keep your communications sharp and clear and your team inspired, aligned and focused on the goals you’ve set for the year. Whether speaking during a meeting, giving a speech, addressing a customer or pitching an investor, the quality of your delivery matters.

Download the free poster. From all of us here at Grant and Associates, we sincerely hope you find these resolutions inspiring as you plan for a successful 2012.

2012 Communications Resolutions

This year resolve to:

1.    Get in Shape – Build your speaking “muscles” with regular exercise. Technique matters (perfecting poor skills is worse than not practicing at all!). Work with a professional coach privately or in a program such as our Speaking for Impact program. Practice weekly. Even 10 minutes three times per week will produce results.

2.    Lose Weight – Lighten up by using fewer words. Try this simple tip: state your points aloud 3 times in advance. You’ll trim, on average, 30% of the words. Remember, short is sweet. No one ever complains that a speech or remarks are too brief!

2012 Communiations Resolutions by Grant and Associates

2012 Communications Resolutions

3.    Stick to a Budget – Setting and adhering to a time budget for a speech or presentation will reduce stress, increase your confidence, ensure your points are all made and provide adequate time for questions/answers. Include time for your opening statement, summary and closing statement as well as your main points and Q&A. Practice and, if necessary edit your remarks, until you can comfortably and reliably deliver them on budget.

4.    Get Organized – Prepare. While it sounds basic, it is common for people to “wing it.”  Don’t make this mistake. Organize your thoughts in advance. Try this simple exercise: take 10 minutes before your next meeting to identify your key points and put them in priority order. Write them down. Have evidence to support each and a story or analogy to help drive them home. Practice making your points aloud. You’ll

be delighted by how much more effective – and efficient – you will be in the meeting. For a speech or presentation, you can follow the same basic structure but allow more time to write/refine remarks, practice them and finalize the timing.

5.    Find a Better Job – Excellent speaking skills will help to generate new career opportunities and to secure a position you want. It is no accident that most senior executives and leaders are good – even great – speakers. Continuous cultivation throughout your life is an investment in your career. We work with many CEOs to up their game. They know that no matter how good they already are, they can get better. Follow their lead!

Take a positive step toward reaching your goal of becoming a superior communicator in 2012!

While on the subject of resolutions, Harvard Business Review bloggers John Coleman and Bill George share their Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders in their recent post. My personal favorite: ask more questions than you answer. You can follow John and Bill on Twitter @johnwcoleman and @bill_george

If you would like to elevate your speaking and media skills, consider coaching for you or your team. Our firm works with professionals both individually and in groups.  If you prefer private one-to-one coaching we offer our Executive Presence program. Our popular seminar, Speaking for Impact is available as a private program for your team or in a public seminar offered in cities around the country. We’d be delighted to work with you.

Share your thoughts

We hope you enjoy these free top five communications resolutions. Speaking for Impact is not an  accident. It’s a skill. For more presentation tips to sharpen your presentation skills and public speaking skills, check out other Speaking for Impact blog posts. Stellar communication skills pay off in income, opportunity and achievement. We’re confident they will help you succeed in 2012.

How do you plan to elevate your speaking skills in 2012? What are your communications resolutions? Tell us in a comment to this post.


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