I was honored to speak at the Staten Island Rotary yesterday about college readiness. As a professor/educator for the past 13 years and a public speaker since uhhh 1976, I truly love having the opportunity to speak about my small business and what I am doing to help Staten Island students be ready for the next step. Find out more about my Speaking Engagements.
The audience yesterday was receptive and had amazing questions. No matter how long I have been a public speaker, I still worry before any engagement - and it kind of is what motivates me and keeps me authentic and enthused. Mr John Amodio from Score invited me to speak there and kindly introduced me to the group with amazing words about all I have been doing to help students be "ready".
I shared with the crowd how I do this using my books, lessons and life experiences and we had an amazing discussion about what is going on in the education system today and how a small business like mine is the key to helping with the essentials of being college and career ready like application essays, being involved, cover letters and resumes. I was blown away by the audience's enthusiasm and how they just "got it" - they immediately saw how a business like mine is both needed and on the verge of big successes in helping students take the next step.
Each person got copies of my college readiness book and I look so forward to getting feedback on the book. As a member of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, a GROWSI member for the SIEDC and with my mentors and supporters, I am so looking forward to helping many more students be college and career ready.
Are you learning with me yet? Follow me daily for updates on my small business journey, college and career prep
advice, career growth tips and more. Read my books to help you be ready for the next step into being entrepreneurial for your career (The Prof's Guide to Entrepreneur-ING: How to use entrepreneurial skills to launch your own business OR be the boss of your career), going from zero to launch (The Prof’s Guide to Going from Zero to Launch – Everything You Need to Know to be an Entrepreneur Starting Today) and college (The Book on College Readiness: The Prof's Guide to Surviving High School and Kicking Butt in College) and career readiness (The Book on Career Readiness: The Prof's Guide to Graduating College with a Job Offer).
To complete my trifecta of posts on communication, this post is all about body language in terms of communication skills. Check out the other posts on speaking and on writing.
Body language is a big key to making sure your communication is received well by the listener(s). I give some hints around facial expression, body movement and body language below.
I talk a lot in my training about making sure your face looks pleasant – many people have what is commonly known as “resting b*tch face” (RBF) – if you have this, do the best you can to practice looking pleasant. Use your smartphone to record you answering an interview question or two and notice how your face looks.
The other extremes of RBF are crazy face with too big of a smile or crazy killer face with a maniacal expression. By practicing you can find the right facial expression for interviews, presentations etc. If you know you get nervous and clench your teeth, you can work on relaxing your face.
Most facial expression “issues” are due to nerves and this can be helped by lots of practice and by using the video feature of your phone to make sure you are correcting it.
Body movements means the things you do without necessarily realizing it – such as using your hands a lot or shaking your leg (if sitting). To avoid this being a stumbling block in terms of your communication skills, you need to recognize what you do with your body that might make it appear nervous and/or distracting.
If you have a “tick” something you do while nervous you might not even realize you are doing it. I know some people bite their nails or shake their foot and even I tend to play with my hair when nervous. You can only avoid doing this if you know you do it. By practicing with family and friends and even with a trusted friend of the family it can help you identify
This is more the catch all – how do you sit? Do you sit up straight and look focused? Or do you sprawl on the chair and look too relaxed? Do you have your arms crossed – what does this mean to sit with your arms crossed? It means you are defensive and maybe uncomfortable. Do you pace back and forth while giving a talk? Where do you sit and/or stand and how can you convey your body language as being an open communicator instead of someone who is inexperienced and unpracticed.
This takes also lots of practice and I would love to see videos and/or hear from you about how you identified your body language issues and corrected them. Happy Hunting!
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I put a lot of emphasis in all of my training, workshops, courses, books on being able to speak effectively. I have even made some videos about it --> (my most watched one is the Video on how good communication skills can be a competitive advantage).
You do not need to be a Ted-level speaker – you just need to be able to present and speak about things in your realm of expertise. For instance, I could never speak about medical care or neuroscience but ask me about business, careers, college readiness and more and I can go on and on for hours – or whatever timeline is needed for the event. But I can speak about what I know and am passionate about – college, career readiness and entrepreneurship (among other topics such as marketing, finance, economics, global business, advertising, etc etc) --> Learn more on about it via my online course expertise, College and Career Readiness Training, Entrepreneurship Course pages.
I am lucky to do what I love and what I love to do is share my lessons. I was at a local area high school yesterday and as I read through the feedback last night, I was humbled and thankful that I have this opportunity to help students be college and career ready! I will be sharing about that soon and in fact my interns who attended the training will be providing a guest blog post for me sometime soon – so look for that.
Anyway, when I asked the students at the end of our 6 or so hours together, “Do you think I was nervous?” They all said, “No” and I explained to them well yes, I was nervous and I barely slept the night before the event just thinking about all of the ways I wanted to share my information and worrying about all of the mistakes I could make. I expressed to them that no matter who you are or how long you have been speaking or whether you are speaking in front of 10 people, 1000 people or just an interviewer, you will always be nervous but the key is to turn your nervousness into excitement, into inflection and into your speech.
What are my lessons for you?
What do you think about my speaking skills quick tips?
Learn more about skills and applying them to your career with my book on Entrepreneur-ING and run your career like it is your own business.
Continue to learn with me via my books, workshops, my YouTube channel, my podcasts and of course my blog with tons of free advice daily. Happy Hunting!
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I am lucky to have been born with an interest in speaking BUT I definitely honed this craft for many many years. When I was giving the speech at my graduation of St John’s University, I was “trained” on how to do that speech even though I had been traveling the country with the Speech and Debate Team and won many trophies but still needed training to be ready to stand in front of 1,000’s of people to give a speech. Ironic but not really. The methods of speaking changes with audience, focus, topic and more.
As someone who “performs” every semester for the past 13 years so approximately 26+ semesters (summer sessions, too) and over 1000’s of students, I can tell you with certainty that speaking gigs or any time you need to communicate with a group of more than 2 that results will vary wildly and that past success is no predictor of current results. For instance, I can give a similar lecture for my course twice and each time it is different because the listeners are different.
And yes, I use the word “performs” about my public speaking and teaching skills. I am doing more than sharing lessons – I need to keep many people focused and interested. In my opinion, the worst thing you can do as a speaker is “bore” your listeners.
Here are my lessons on how to be an engaging speaker:
With my company, I tend to give many presentations and talks around topics such as blogging, being entrepreneurial, college and career readiness. I find that the most important thing to do to keep an audience’s interest and focus is to be as energetic and passionate as possible but to beware going too far in either direction.
What do you think about my quick rules for making presentations "exciting"? Happy Hunting!
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I have a speaking engagement today that I am looking forward to as I will be discussing how blogging built my business and giving lessons on how other businesses can do the same. In honor of that, I thought I would write about public speaking hacks as I love to speak but I do still get nervous - so wish me luck today!
One of the big skills of the future and the present is public speaking. How can you get comfortable fast at doing this? How can you have something to say? This is something I specialize in and cover in my career workshops and training programs but for those who want to learn right now, let’s go for it.
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I wanted to add some information about the services I provide and the way I try to build my client base. I am lucky in that LinkedIn and social media really are getting me a lot of attention without having to pay any money in advertising. I am always pleasantly surprised when people recognize me from my content – people in real-life will recognize me or acknowledge my work, my writing and more.
At my recent college and career readiness presentation, I was talking about how important it is to do what you love. It is ironic that I am doing something so focused on writing that I am constantly brainstorming and writing in a conversational tone – I almost close my eyes when typing and picture myself in front of you, my reader, in a classroom. I mean I am not so good that I can type with my eyes closed, but you get the idea. I have always loved to write – I have journals from each year starting in 1986 and I have tried (and failed) to write fiction. I did NANOWRIMO two years ago and wrote the 50,000 words in 30 days and it was a challenge, so fun and ultimately absolutely unreadable! (In my opinion anyway).
Now I began working on my EBooks not even two weeks ago and I have 10k words done on Entrepreneur-ing (http://www.thenextstep1234.com/new-ebook-entrepreneur-ing.html) and almost 6k words done on College and Career Readiness (http://www.thenextstep1234.com/new-ebook-college--career-readiness.html). Plus I am blogging 5 days a week (minus big holidays). And when I ran into a person of interest at the college where I teach, I mentioned I am running my own business and the response was, “I know, I see your work – it is really great!”
I offer my students a free resume review and edit; I have always done this for all of my classes since 2003. This year, I asked my students if they googled me before class. (I mean, supposedly we all google everyone our dates, our friends – why not our teachers?) A few had googled me. So when I offered to do their resumes, I got about 6 resumes out of 60. When I asked in class where the other 54 resumes are, the ones who sent said “they must not have googled you!”
I asked my Monday/Wednesday class this week why I did not get as many resumes as I expected and told them I am saving them to my hard drive in the order I receive them so resumes are assigned numbers. I got a few more. My Thursday night class, a student or two said I checked out your stuff, you know your stuff. So I said, “If I offered you $200 right now, would you take it.” They said, “Yes” so I said, “Obviously you would not take it because I still do not have your resume!”
Some of my students are reading my content so hi and send me your resume! Also, some of my students are being proactive and giving me feedback on my site and how I can improve it – it is awesome because so many of them are both digitally native and social media experts and as I keep saying, as I teach and share, I am learning more than anyone else. I am very lucky!
For my pricing plan, though, I have a lot of people who are transitioning back into the workforce and whom I know in real life – I am lucky enough to be thought of by them when they need help to get their resumes ready. My pricing plan for people who know me in real life is quite flexible. I am focused on helping people transition back into a career and take their next step back from their blank spaces on their resumes due to child care or other issues. More about this in the video below.
I hope to help you take your next step soon! Happy hunting!
Giving a Presentation (Lessons from College Readiness)
I have a lot to say about giving presentations and having the ability to give a presentation. This all comes back down to having a message and having the ability to deliver it. You can have the best idea, the best company in the world but if you cannot share that message effectively, you cannot compete. The same is true for your career and your potential for growth. I do think it is important to get this message out to the younger students and this is why my public speaking lessons are included in my college readiness seminars.
When you think about preparing for college and how we do this, there is something fundamentally broken in the process or how we think about the process. We focus on test scores and GPAs (which, of course, are important) and we spend a little less time focusing on the skills and talents needed for that after college-graduation transition from student to employee or mini-mogul.
Yes, let us say everyone can be a mini-mogul (and you could, if you follow my “Entrepreneur-Ing” advice – see more here: http://www.thenextstep1234.com/new-ebook-entrepreneur-ing.html) then you can really consider how to strategize and present yourself as a boss.
The best way to do this is to begin presenting in your real life as soon as you can. Starting young is best way to build comfort with this skill. If your school does outreach with younger grades, look into presenting something fun to a younger grade to get your feet wet on this type of skill. Once you do this, do it again and again. Find other organizations or even if you are involved in a group or athletic activity, consider training people on how to do it or how to do it better.
I find that people doubt themselves so much; we think “oh, I am not good enough to do that.” When in reality, we are very good at these things and the trick to getting good and being even better is to keep getting out there and trying and presenting and training and learning.
I made a video about it and how important it is to identify your “teaching” style – get out there and present something soon and let me know how it goes! Also, consider to follow my "University Advice" tag on the blog to find more on my college and career readiness advice that can help you as a younger reader (or can help you with your kids). And my EBook on College and Career Readiness information is here http://www.thenextstep1234.com/new-ebook-college--career-readiness.html. Happy Hunting!
Being Ready for College & Beyond
I just read something again about the pressure that is put on high school students to be “perfect” and to strive for the best colleges. This is a mistake. It is important for high school students to investigate and enjoy part-time jobs, internships along with some hobbies and passions that are stuff they like to do (oh, and of course, to graduate from high school). No one should take up tennis just so that they can get a scholarship for it. I mean, it is important to get scholarships because goodness knows the cost of college is stratospheric but it is not something that should be used to schedule out high school students unless the student wants to play tennis.
There needs to be the ability for play and fun for anyone – especially those 14-18 years old. There needs to be a mentor or education provider that discusses all of the ways things will change once high school ends and helps prepare the students for how to manage and excel at these changes.
Every high school student should receive lessons and training on the items on my below list and there are some programs out there already that do a great job on focusing on these items. I am hoping to get involved with some of these organization locally and as I continue to roll out my College Readiness Seminars, this is something I cover, too.
For students, if they are exposed to the following lessons, they will be on a path that sets them heads and shoulders above anyone else. This is more important than the focus of some families' on getting their kids "Ivy-league" ready. This can help those families who economically cannot afford to spend to get their kids "Ivy-league" ready and this can be the difference between no education and education for those high school students who really struggle without family support at all.
There is an issue for lower-income families and people who live in tough zip codes to achieve the same level of “buying in” – I am calling that the buying / paying for tutors, test preps and even for activities. I mean, if my 5 year old’s CYO team sign up cost $250, can you imagine what it most cost to be a high level athlete on the high school level for sports such as golf, fencing, or even basketball? It is also an issue for those who will be first-generation college students - there is no one at home to teach them these lessons because they will be the first ones in their families to achieve the "American Dream" of a college education, white collar job and more.
These price tags make it impossible for many people to achieve / push their kids in this way. Those who can afford to do it, though, should stop. All the high school aged- student needs to know are just these items:
What do you think about my high school level education plan? All of these items are things I discuss in my College Readiness Seminar and are things I am working on expanding into workshops and more with some new The Next Step initiatives and partnerships. Also, my EBook on College Readiness hits on all of these things in more detail; you can sign up to get the first chapter of the book here:
My semester is beginning soon at the College of Staten Island. As of my last review of the registration, I have over 60 students across two classes. It is so exciting for me to get back into the college classroom after focusing exclusively for the past year on the K-12 classroom. There are lots of differences between teaching a bunch of college students vs any other age group – but there are also lots of similarities. Across the board, most students are waiting for you to entertain them and thankfully I am pretty entertaining but the older students are usually more easily taught – I think.
It is a hard comparison to make though because most of my K-12 experience is as a floater; I rarely have the same class consecutively although I do sometimes have the same classes pop up over a stretch of time. Meanwhile as an adjunct, I have the same class throughout the semester. It is more of a relationship because I am with them throughout a whole term. It also leads to a more mentoring type of relationship where I always help my students with their resumes, interviewing and real world advice and more.
This spring semester, I am teaching Corporate Finance, which is a favorite of mine – believe it or not. I mean, I love teaching everything but there is something about Corporate Finance that I really enjoy sharing. Part of this is because I have actually used these formulae and skills in my career in Corporate America AND as an entrepreneur. Plus, there is so much you can add on to with the lessons in the text book, especially as someone who lived through the 2007-2009 financial crisis and saw with my own eyes the $2 bill taped to the windows at Bear Stearn in protest over their stock being sold for $2 a share…
I also enjoy teaching the younger kids and floating, learning different schools and different methods of instruction. Sometimes, I am a secondary teacher in a room and those are my favorite days because I can learn so much from the lead teacher and also do some teaching myself under the watchful eye of a pro. And they are pros. Every K-12 teacher I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with has been so wonderful and so open to sharing and helping the “new kid on the block”. Even though I have been teaching since 2003 transitioning those teaching skills to the younger grades is a challenge. I am not going to lie -being in a room of 30 Kindergartners is one of the most challenging thing to do in anyone’s life. I think so, anyway. Give me a 50 student room of Freshman college students and tell me I have to teach them Macro or Micro economics over that K room of 30 any day!
Something I would be remiss if I did not mention is my observations of people's reactions to each of my "jobs" as a teacher / professor. The reaction of people when they hear I am a “professor” even an adjunct one leads to admiration and impressed reactions of how I handle being a professor, how wonderful it is and what a great career path etc etc. When I say, “teacher”, I do not get the same responses. It is sad. As an adjunct, I do take great pride in my teaching and my research and even considered getting a doctorate and becoming a full professor somewhere. And that might still happen if I can clone myself and find the time to do it…
However, being a teacher of younger students even as "young" as high school (blogger note: we knew it all at 14-17, too - don't you remember?), is an honor and a privilege. I can see how these teachers really impact these kids and even though I know I have impacted many of my college students, they come to me already “formed” – these students I teach at college are mainly adults (or almost adults) who know who they are and what they want to do and all I can do is provide my advice and insights into their already made decisions. For the younger students, they are not yet there – they are still forming who they are, what they are good at and what they can be in the future. These students are more malleable and formed by these teachers who are with them every day and sometimes are the adults that spend the most time with them in their lives due to work and schedules.
No matter the age group, I do love teaching and I am honored to be the teacher whether for a day, a week or a whole semester. I do look forward to one day being certified in Math grades 7-12 and using my unique background and insights to help those aged students move forward in their lives and educations and helping form them on their way to adulthood. For now, though, I am so excited to be teaching in Spring and helping a college class learn all they can about corporate finance and careers!
What do you think about my observations? Are you a teacher or do you love a teacher? If so, thank them for their work no matter what age they teach – it is all challenging and rewarding… Happy Hunting!
Being a good communicator can make you stand out. Did you notice I said “good” and not “great”? There is a reason for this and it comes from being an educator and a communicator since 2003; the way we operate in this world is one where you can do everything from your phone without even speaking to someone through it – in fact, almost all of us primarily use our “smartphones” for the “smart” features – however, if Albert Einstein really did say that quote you see floating around on Facebook, technology maybe really does have the capacity to make us “dumb”.
We have cultivated a way of being and communicating that involves photos and text speak and not a real focus on being communicators in the sense of in person, group, and / or phone. This now spans across generations – even people my parents’ age will prefer to text sometimes than pick up a phone. And why? Because it is convenient. Because we can explain and communicate this way but will this necessarily work with careers?
Some corporations have done away with voicemail and/or even having each employee have a dedicated desk phone. We are moving towards using email and text as a primary mode of business communication. I have mentioned many times to my classes that in my day in Corporate America, you always called someone first before you sent an email. It was the unwritten rule of communication. I do not think this rule exists anymore.
Do we still need, though, to have these soft people skills if technology allows us to do things remotely?
I argue that yes – that if you have these “soft” communication skills that you do not have to even be “great” – just “good” will lead to you having a great competitive advantage over other people in your field, career, job search cohort.
I would say that over the last few years, I have noticed a decrease in communication skills among my students, my peers and others. I do believe this is due to the tremendous increase in technology and the fact that everywhere you go, you see people staring at a small screen in front of their faces. It is even challenging as a teacher to get my students to put down their devices and pay attention to the world around them. I have seen whole families on vacation or out to dinner somewhere all each engrossed in their own devices. I have been one of these people - "GUILTY" am I, too. Giving the kids an iPad to watch a show to get them to sit quietly while waiting for a doctor or for food to come to the table, obsessively checking my facebook page (why, I do not know) but the idea is that we all do it. I am consciously trying to be less connected - even as I run my business online, I am trying not to check my weebly stats 100 times a day and to dial back the tweeting and sharing just so that I can work on life and all that is around me.
Many people are so used to texting and living vicariously through their social media crafted world that being someone who can do the following things is a competitive advantage – here are my quick hacks to being a good communicator, which you can then continue to build upon to become a great communicator.
Speak among a group – maintain conversation and resist the urge to touch your phone in any way:
Writing – continually practice your writing skills; share your end results
Being able to succinctly write content and communications is so important for your career. So many people do not know how to write and do not know how to write to different audiences. You should be able to do the following types of writing:
Public Speaking – being able to speak in front of a small or large group
You must practice this ability - you must work on your speaking skills. Do you use sounds like "uhmm" and "ahhh" or even the word "like" as stop-gaps in your speaking? If you think you do not, right now, open your voice recorder on your iPhone I told you to put down and record yourself talking about something - anything. I will wait. Now play it back. What do you hear?
You need to practice this ability and to use it - force yourself out of your comfort zone and speak in front of a group of friends for fun or ask to give a presentation about your job at your kids' school's career day (which I might be doing soon). Or offer to come speak to my classes this Spring at the College of Staten Island - I have two classrooms of over 30 students who would love to hear from you about how you identified and found your career. Can you do it? I am serious about letting you be a guest speaker - think about it.
What do you think about these quick hacks to getting comfortable with communicating well? What would you do to improve your communication style? Do you want to come speak to my classes this Spring? Happy Hunting!
I just wanted to take a minute to talk something that can be tricky for some people – that of achieving their college degree after the age of 22. For many, it is something that is a challenge because their careers and or lives took a different path than others. Today we have a very high level of college graduates but there are still people for whom life got in the way and they did not complete their requirements, course work or maybe did not even start a college degree program.
I happen to be extremely lucky that I completed my BS and MBA before 22. And even luckier that I did my MBA in Rome, Italy with St John’s University as a Graduate Assistant.
For those who have not been as lucky or for whom life has just gotten into the way, I want to talk about going back to school after being out of school for a while (or maybe never starting).
I have been an adjunct since 2003 and for some classes, I taught students balancing working full time and/or family life and trying to finish their degrees. I have always been understanding for those students as I try to be for all students, of course.
For those of you considering as your New Year’s Resolution getting back to finish (or start) that degree, I want you to know that it is possible to balance but it can be tricky. It pays to be honest with your Professors and let them know you are balancing school and work. It is not good to lay it on too think, though, especially because some adjuncts are also balancing tons of stuff – although an adjunct will have more understanding perhaps than a tenured faculty who is teaching for many years and maybe forgot what Corporate America can be like (no offense; I hope to be a tenured faculty someday, too…)
Even if you never “use” it; there are many people who have found their careers stagnate because they never received their BS or BA degree. Even just having an Associates is not always enough. I recently met a potential client who has associates degree only and I was talking with him about going back to get the BS. It means everything to yourself and your potential future – and it is something that can never be taken away from you. It becomes a part of you and will always help and not hurt. In other words, the only potential downside is if you pick a school you cannot afford. If you find a school that fits your budget and has the degree that will hopefully lead to your next step, what are you waiting for – go for it! If you are not sure where your next step is or should be, consider a liberal arts major to just get that piece of paper.
If you already started the journey back to your degree, congratulate yourself and hang in there. If you did not start it yet, feel free to reach out to me for advice, questions or just words of encouragement. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or other information about continuing your education. It might never be the “right” time but now is a great time to go for it! Happy Hunting!
For almost every class I have ever taught on the college level, I have required a presentation; which is why I dub myself the #profwhomakesyoupresent. I would always include some presentation / report or what have you for either individuals or groups. It is something that would, without fail, cause the most uproar for every class.
I could have on a syllabus 10 tests and 4 papers and get less grousing than if you have “presentation – you will be required to stand up in front of the class and present this project…”. I think in the almost 13 years I have been teaching at local colleges, I have had one student say, “Yeah, a presentation!” Everyone else is lined up waiting to talk to you after class to say, “I cannot speak in front of people.” Or some type of statement to that effect. I am not totally heartless; I know that not everyone is comfortable speaking in public but I also know how important a skill it is and that it can be learned (and by default, taught). I would allow certain students the courtesy of coming to class early to present without a crowd but everyone would show up for that, anyway, thus removing the benefit of “no crowds”.
Here are the lessons I tell my students as they prepare for a presentation and that are applicable to presenting at work or anywhere:
For people who are truly introverted (not that I know this personally as I have been speaking since before I left the womb), the best way to overcome your fears are to follow my lessons above and be kind to yourself. Do not beat yourself up over how you are in public speaking situations. This is not often part of everyday life (unless you want to be a teacher or a famous person or some high level executive, you might rarely speak in public) but if you want these types of careers or if you just want to have this skill for yourself to say you faced your fear, review my lessons, practice and let me know how it goes! Happy Hunting!
So I took a recent getaway and did some #unplugging as per my own #profadvice and it was really great. It led to me be more invigorated and ready to tackle some new challenges and some new adventures than I thought it would. I did not foresee that a few days away would really lead to so much new energy but it did.
As an entrepreneur who also still works as a K-12 teacher, an educator and who designs and builds out content for training sessions, seminars, blog posts oh and also has a home life to manage, it can be tough to manage my time effectively and sometimes even to prioritize what to spend my limited "free" time on so having that break really helped me focus and prioritize for the next few weeks. I am hoping it extends and lasts even longer but I will let you know.
The extra focus I was able to gain from my getaway had me thinking about my business model and my business plan. So much of my identity and skill set is wrapped up in my teaching and public speaking skills. I am just still amazing by the amount of opportunities that have arisen for me as an entrepreneur and small business owner as a direct result of these skills. I knew when I first started doing resumes as a side gig almost fifteen years ago that I would someday like to do courses and seminars to bring my knowledge to more people - it is a big part of why as a professor I have always brought in real life experience and resume development and more to all of my courses. That being said, I do not think I could have predicted the partnership with Wagner College Office for Lifelong Learning. As I just received a copy of the press release they created regarding my classes and seminars, I am sharing it here because I am so proud and excited. I am also just so sore from pinching myself because it seems like a dream!
I love getting in front of people and sharing my ideas, wisdom and more and I think there will be more announcements coming over the next few months. It is exciting to have a business and to be passionate about it but most of all, it is just awesome to (hopefully) help many people with the skills and talents that I have spent so many years cultivating. I also love working one on one with my clients who find me through my blog, word of mouth and twitter. It has been amazing to see my web traffic spike - I shared the photo of my spike in visitor traffic recently on Instagram. Oh yes, I am on Instagram now so please follow me there, too at thenext_step123.
I cannot wait to see more clients and teach my seminars over the next few weeks and months. I do hope to see you there! What are you waiting for? Take your next step with me.
Why are you an entrepreneur? What is the best part of it for you? How did your business plan help you build your business? Let me know in the comments or via tweet or chat. Happy Hunting!
This is my first off the cuff post without using an article to discuss. I have been thinking more and more about how both my career and entrepreneurship endeavors have benefited from the fact that I am comfortable with public speaking and communicating through various media - such as the written word, audio and video. A lot of my comfort has come from the fact that I have been a professor for over 12 years and practice definitely helps make close to perfect. Shooting the promotional video for my class up at Wagner College for the Office for Lifelong Learning on Monday made it clear that I was pretty comfortable communicating my enthusiasm and passion for this project - in fact, the person who made the video said that after hearing me she wanted to register for the class, too!
Today's job market is a tough one - there are many people who are qualified and looking for their next step. Something to set yourself apart is the ability to speak/present - I can say with authority that all of my work experience with Corporate America was as successful as it was due to the fact that I could present. When a company I was working at needed training done for senior management at a conference, I was the one asked to do it. When a project in Singapore was struggling, I was the one on the plane. And that meant exposure, that meant more opportunities and that meant great things for my resume and my planning for my next step.
So, why do I think media training is important? Of course, the most important first step is your resume - it must be as close to perfect as possible to get you to the next hurdle to pass - those of the interviews. Your interview might be done over the phone with just audio - how do you convey your enthusiasm, interest and capabilities using just your voice? Or your interview might be done using Skype where you and the interviewer(s) can see each other - how do you use the video medium to connect? The worst type of interview is one that I have only recently heard of and it seems to be a weeding technique - the one sided video interview. You are given a teleprompter via your computer and you are taped by your webcam with a certain amount of time for each question and then the videos are sent straight to the company interviewing you - you may or may not get additional takes. How can you be prepared for something like that? When the video is going for this type of interview, there is no preview screen so you do not know how you are coming across or if there is spinach in your teeth.
Media training is something I am considering offering training on to help prepare my clients for their next step. This would help you practice your phone interview skills as well as prepare you on how to present yourself on screen - it is different being on video than being in the room. You have to sit a certain way, you have to try to make eye contact seem possible (though it is very hard to do so because you cannot always clearly see who is speaking to you) you have to speak clearly and not too quickly and most importantly, you have to not fidget or do any of the things you might do when nervous like bite your nails or tap your foot.
What do you thing about media training? Is this something you think job seekers of today need? What about for those of you considering being an entrepreneur - do you think being comfortable over various communication mediums is important? I am including the link to the video I made this Monday - what do you think? Am I equipped to provide media training? Happy Hunting!
Great article for any entrepreneur - especially those who do not teach Finance on the college level :). Whenever I get the chance to teach Corporate Finance, I go a little nuts. There it is - in the textbook, formulae and information about NPV, IRR and other financial measurement tools that I actually used as a professional at McGraw-Hill Education and I just always love the looks on my students faces when they would complain "When will we ever have to use these formula?" and I would say, "I used these every day as part of the PMO (Project Management Office) ...."
It is powerful to have financial know-how at your fingertips and you can get equipped with these tools without having an MBA using resources like this by John Boitnott. This article goes over the top 5 financial rations you should know. If you have any questions, you can ask me and I won't even make you address me as Professor Nielsen. Happy Hunting!
Inc.com 5 Financial Ratios Every Entrepreneur Should Know
Lisa Vento Nielsen