How to do your best at Public Speaking!!!

My throat is dry, my hands are sweaty, and my legs are ready to give out; it’s presentation day. Everyone, I’m sure, has experienced these symptoms at some point or another while preparing and giving a speech. While some jitters come with the territory, fear and dread don’t have to be a problem by learning some tips which will help you give a great presentation. I found a website which gave some good tips on presentation giving:

1. Know your audience: Before getting up to speak, know who you are speaking to. It’s important to put your information into their language which will make for effective communicating.

2. Body language is important! If you’re standing in front of everyone fidgeting, fumbling with your words, shifting back and forth it will reflect badly on you. Appropriate movement and hand gestures are fine to do during a presentation as long as they don’t become too obsessive.

3. Don’t read from notes: By reading from notes you can lose contact with the audience and it doesn’t look very professional. Glance at your notes for reference points as needed. While speaking, speak loudly and clearly to the audience as well.

4. Eye Contact: We’ve all heard it’s important to maintain eye contact with the audience while speaking, and it is. It’s recommended to make eye contact for 3 seconds at a time. By looking at everyone in the audience periodically, everyone stays involved.

5. When speaking to the audience, listen to their questions and if needed adjust.

6. Pausing if okay! Taking a pause in between points can be a helpful thing. It allows you to take a minute to collect yourself and not rush through your presentation.

7. Humor is not a bad thing: I’ve heard using humor is both positive terms and negative. using appropriate humor can be beneficial in your presentation because it keeps the audiences attention.

8. Stop before you hurt yourself: It’s important to not over-talk. If you’ve made your point, then it’s better to close your presentation.

9. Visual aids are very helpful: Visual aids can enhance presentations. Keep fonts simple and easy to read.

10. If using any video or audio, make sure you set it before presenting. This prevents any awkward pausing or mishaps during your presentation.

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Anyone heard of Corporate Responsibility lately?!?!

Corporate Responsibility has been in the news lately, but it seems like it’s always in the news. In  the past few months the biggest story on corporate responsibility has probably been the BP oil spill. At firs thought, I don’t think many would have thought that BP did a very good job at taking responsibility, however, they did.

After learning about what corporate responsibility is, I know it’s really important for companies to be transparent. In an article from April, a list was put out of the best companies with corporate responsibility and the worst companies. I was shocked to see some of the companies on that worst list.  I think it’s so important for corporations to be as transparent as they could be, because I feel if you are then when a problem arises people will be more likely to trust and accept your decision on things. Toyota is a good example of being transparent. I have a Toyota and they sent a letter explaining and what they were going to do to fix the problem.

Another example, even though it’s small, is Domino’s Pizza. They first had their fiasco with their employees misbehavior but then in their new commercials customers will send pictures in with messed up pizza’s  and the company was wanting to fix the problem. They didn’t hide the fact that they were messing things up, they took responsibility and were very transparent showing pictures; they owned up to their mess and wanted to make things right.

Corporate Responsibility is always going to be in the news, I hope that when it does show up that it’s about companies who are doing the right things instead of those who are messing up and needing to be called out on things.

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Corporate Responsibility…Use some!

Ch. 13 Corporate Responsibility:

  • Corporate responsibility means meeting the expectations of stakeholders; it goes beyond philanthropy and legal compliance.
  • “Demonstrating corporate responsibility is a key challenge for business leaders, and effective communication is a central element of every successful corporate responsibility program. “
  • There are several audiences which include traditional stakeholders: customers, employees, and investors. It can also include the media, investment analysts, regulators, policymakers, international organizations, and NGOs.
  • The most interesting thing I read was in the best practices and it said “define the company’s “sphere of influence.”
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Issues Management

Over the course of the past week we studied issues management. I started reflecting about this topic and realized everyone and everything at some point or another will have issues. I think it’s all in how you prepare, how you  handle yourself if the situation occurs, and how you will move on and grow what makes the difference.

Issues management  If a corporation has issues management set in place it potentially prevents a crisis. It is defined as “a corporate process that helps organizations identify challenges in the business environment—both internal and external—before they become crises.”  This is to protect a company from harming their reputation, operations, and financial condition. I think it’s very important to set in place an issues management structure in order to have every area covered. The typical structure is governance, an issues management team, topic-specific task forces, and an issues resource team.

I think the best way to make sure when issues do arise that you have a strong management structure in place and make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to assessing the severity of an issue.  I have to wonder when issues and problems arise at large corporations what they do. I understand that it may not be as simple as having a plan in place and rolling with it, that’s unrealistic. However, I feel like with a few minor tweaks we could avoid a catastrophe from developing by having a plan in place that would cover any possible issues that would affect the company in a negative or even possibly a positive way.

I feel the best way to be prepared is to have a plan in place and be flexible to roll with it as it comes. You also have to be smart and stay calm when dealing with issues. I’ve found in most situations when you freak out the situation tends to seem worse than it really is. I think it’s important not only in corporate pr but in our everyday life to deal with issues rationally, calmly, and with careful thought.


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Chapter 12 Crisis Communication

Crisis Communication:

  • A crisis is a non-routine event that risks undesired visibility that in turn threatens significant reputational damage.
  • American Express Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault said: “We have to remember that reputations are won or lost in a crisis.” This quote really stuck out to me,because it is so true in the business world.
  • Several questions to ask when trying to figure out if you are dealing with a crisis are: Is this a non-routine event? Does it risk undesired visibility? Would that undesired visibility in turn threaten reputational damage?
  • Time is the enemy when dealing with a crisis.
  • The rule of 45 minutes, 6 hours, 3 days, and two weeks has a huge impact on communicating and what will end up happening.
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Chapter 11 Issues Management

Issues Management:

  • Issues Management is “a corporate process that helps organizations identify challenges in the business environment—both internal and external—before they become crises and mobilizes corporate resources to help protect the company from the harm to reputation, operations, and financial condition that the issue may provoke..”
  • The book said “every company’s issues management structure should align with its business operations, marketplace realities, and leadership styles.”
  • There are several elements that make up an issue management structure which are: governance, issues management team, issues resource team, and topic-specific task forces.
  • Magnitude and likelihood are two ways in which to prioritize issues.
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T.O.W Podcasts!!!

I listened to two podcasts this week. The first was For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report – Podcast #568. The second was Coming Up PR which is for college students.

I’ve listened to The Hobson & Holtz Report before and really enjoyed it so I decided to listen to it again. They began discussing the 2nd Annual PR & Social media Summit at the Microsoft Headquarters. The summit sounds really awesome, they are having  companies such as  Yahoo, Nike, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, and USA Today attend the conference and also speak there. A bit later a caller discussed Ireland’s communications rules and social media. This led into a small discussion about Government leaders now embracing social media.

Throughout the podcast they talked about the new Twitter, PRSA and it’s members desires to improve their skills.  There was a lot of other topics discussed which included following up on the CIPR’s media spamming charter, and Gap’s new logo as well at the Digital Life.

The Coming Up PR podcast was different than For Immediate Release. It was a student lead podcast so it had an entirely different feel, which wasn’t bad. They discussed Investor Relations which is something that my PR class just learned about. They had a special guest named Catalina Dorobeti, who works in Investor Relations. She answered questions about what sort of knowledge you would need to have in order to work in that type area, what it’s like to be a woman in this line of work.

The more I listen to podcasts I find them more and more useful, I think because I’m getting older and I’m about to enter into the work force in a few months. Podcasts provide you with information at your finger tips where you may or may not have found anywhere else pertaining to public relations or social media. I think it’s a great teaching tool and learning tool for someone who is just getting immersed in pr and wants to learn more from those who are seasoned in the profession. I highly recommend listening to podcasts just to be informed on the up and comings of social media or whatever the case may be.


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