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Board Room Meeting

Public speaking and presentations, for some, comes naturally, but for the rest of us, presenting to a group brings up all types of anxiety and insecurities. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be part of your everyday job so there is no other option but to tackle this fear and learn to deliver an impressive speech. Here are our 5 tips for a successful presentation.

1. Prepare Ahead of Time
  • Before you get started, make an outline of your presentation. What is the goal? What is the main message that needs to resonate with your audience? Once you’ve answered these questions you can begin “constructing” your presentation in the most effective way to reach your purpose.
  • Grab your audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds. Start your presentation with a powerful opening like a quote, statistic, or anecdote.
  • As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Add visuals to help enhance or clarify your content.  
  • Keep content per slide to a minimal so people can easily digest everything being presented.
2. Know Your Audience
  • Before you create your presentation keep in mind who your audience will be. This will help determine the right background, language, tone, amount of humor, etc. that will work best for your audience.
3. Practice and Rehearse
  • Practice giving your presentation in front of a mirror, to a group of friends or even record it. This will help you understand what areas you need to improve. Once modified; practice again (and again)!
  • Write an outline to keep you on track. DO NOT read your presentation word for word. If you are looking down and reading from your notes you are not engaging with your audience and most likely your audience isn’t engaging with you.
  • Speak slowly, clearly, and confidently. Keep a steady talking pace, avoid filler words, remember to pause, and avoid a monotonous talking voice.
  • Be aware of your body language. Face your audience, make eye contact, avoid crossing your arms, putting your hands in your pockets, and don’t fiddle or pace.
  • Don’t be rigid or hide behind a podium. Move around freely and connect with your audience.
4. Dress Appropriately
  • Take the environment and setting for your presentation into consideration when picking out your outfit. As a rule of thumb, always dress better than your audience. For example, if your audience will be dressed in casual attire, then you should dress business casual.
  • Your attire should be well-tailored, clean, comfortable and appropriate. You want your audience paying attention to what you have to say and not distracted by what you are wearing.
  • If sweating might be an issue, then stick to fabrics that don’t stain. Also, consider wearing a second layer like a blazer or cardigan.
  • Are there stairs? How long will your presentation take? Will you be doing a lot of moving around? These are all great questions to keep in mind when choosing your shoes. Make sure that you can walk easily in whatever you wear. Low heels, wedges or flats are probably your best bet.
5. Know the Setting
  • Know where your presentation will take place and what the setup of the room is.
  • Arrive early so you have time to troubleshoot the technology setup. There is nothing worse than beginning a presentation trying to figure out how to project your laptop!
What tips do you have for a successful presentation? Leave a comment and let us know!

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

December 3, 2018 0 comment
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Answering the Phone Professionally

Answering the phone professionally is an important skill that everyone needs to know, not just the receptionist. Even with email and live chat options nowadays, the phone remains the primary way of communication for businesses. A great professional phone call will reflect well on you and give a good impression of the company. A win-win situation!

Take your office skills to the next level by incorporating the following tips into your work phone routine.

  • If available, answer all phone calls before the third ring. By answering phone calls quickly, it shows you are efficient and attentive to your work. If unavailable let your phone calls go to voicemail after the third ring.
  • When on the phone, be warm, polite and identify yourself and the company. You always want to give the caller a great first impression. For example, “Thank you for calling SuitableYou. This is Patricia speaking. How may I help you?”
  • When calling someone else, always identify yourself and where you are calling from. For example, “Good morning. This is Patricia from SuitableYou calling for Susan.
  • When on the phone, speak clearly, slowly and use a moderate speaking volume so the caller understands you.
  • Use the caller’s name or their title (Mrs. Smith). This shows you are actively listening and adds a personal touch to the call.  
  • Be aware of your language when answering the phone. Do not use slang terms or filler words, and never use profanity or swear words.
  • Keep a pen and paper next to you when answering calls. This way you can easily jot down any important information. If there’s something you don’t understand or can’t spell, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you.
  • Do not eat or drink while on the phone.
  • Before putting someone on hold, always ask first if it’s all right with them and wait for their response. Do not leave the caller on hold for a long period of time and provide them with an update every 30 – 45 seconds.
  • Avoid using speakerphone unless if doing a conference call. You want the caller to feel important and that they have your undivided attention. Using speakerphone gives the impression you are too busy and not focused.
  • If doing a conference call, let the caller know they are on speaker phone at the beginning of the phone call and who else is joining in on the call.
  • Listen to what the caller has to say. At the end of the call reiterate the information back to them to make sure you are both ending the conversation with a clear outcome.
  • Answer all voicemails within one business day unless if away on vacation. Nothing frustrates callers more than unreturned calls. An unreturned phone call can mean an unhappy customer, a missed potential new customer or a missed sale.
  • End all phone calls professionally. For example, “Thanks for calling. Have a great day!”
  • A great rule of thumb is to always assume that someone is always listening in on your work phone conversations. By doing this, you will always be on your game, professional and appropriate.
Found these tips helpful? What other tips do you have for answering the phone professionally at work?

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

November 28, 2018 0 comment
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prepare for a job interview

An impressive resume will land you a job interview; but ultimately, a successful interview is the one that lands you the job. Job interviews are intimidating and stressful, but if you put in the work and prepare beforehand you‘ll be confident, make a great first impression and secure a job offer. Here are five ways to prepare for your job interview.

Analyze the Job Description

What does the position require? What qualifications are needed? Make a list of your skills, qualifications, and qualities that match the job description and be prepared to use these along with examples to show why you would be the best candidate for the job.

Research the Company

Research, research, research! Do your due diligence of the company you are interviewing with. Visit their website, review the company’s background, their mission statement, who their clients are and if there were any recent press releases. Show the interviewer you are interested in the company and the job. This prepares you to answer company related questions and also helps you come up with questions of your own.

Practice Interview

At a job interview, your potential employer will ask questions to learn more about you, your skills and to see how well you can handle yourself. Review common job interview questions and how you would respond. Try to conduct a practice interview with a friend or family member ahead of time. This is a great way to prepare your talking points and practice your interview answers. Remember to practice interview etiquette during your mock interview.

Interview etiquette is very important. You want to make a good impression from the moment you walk into the building.

  • Remember to be pleasant and courteous with everyone you meet and always greet the receptionist. Many times an interviewer will ask the receptionist for their first impression of the candidates.  
  • Watch your body language during the interview. Shake hands firmly, sit up straight and make eye contact throughout the interview.
  • Be attentive, pay attention and look interested. Also, be patient. Wait until the interviewer is done talking before you speak.
Prepare Questions

Asking questions and participating during an interview is a great way to show your enthusiasm and interest for the position. It’s also a great way to get a feel for the position and company, to find out if this job is right for you. Think of questions beforehand that you’d like to ask regarding the position you are interviewing for. It’s not always easy thinking on your feet when you’re in the hot chair at an interview. Below is a list of sample questions to ask at your next interview.

Can you walk me through the typical work day?

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?

How would you describe the work environment here?

Are there any benefits or perks the company offers?

Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?

Does the company offer any educational or training opportunities?

What’s the next step of this process?

Is there any other information you need from me?

Company Directions

What’s the address? Will there be traffic? Is there parking available? What floor will you be going to? These are all questions you want answered before you head out on the day of your interview to make sure you get to the interview on time. You want to avoid running late and getting stressed.

Use a GPS or mobile app to get directions to your destination if you’re not sure where you are going. Find out how long it takes to get there and give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive a little early to the interview.

Best of luck! We know you’ll knock it out of the park.
Need help picking out your interview outfit or not sure what to bring to the interview? Checkout our other posts from our job interview series.

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

November 20, 2018 0 comment
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Whether you’re starting a new job or you’ve been working at the same gig for years, you may want to take another look at your workplace etiquette. When you think about it, we spend more time with our coworkers each day in the office than we do with our own friends and family. You definitely don’t want to annoy those around you, especially when the office can sometimes be a stressful place.

Are you doing everything you can to give off your best impression at work? If you need to reevaluate, we’ve put together a quick list of tips to put your best self forward at work.

  • No gossiping. Come one now, no one likes a gossip queen. Yes, we can all admit we gossip from time to time, but it’s important to separate that in the workplace. You want to make sure you keep up your reputation and your coworkers feel like they can trust you.
  • Don’t make personal calls. There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk hearing the woman behind you making doctors’ appointments for her children and scheduling her gel manicure. We all have these calls to make, but it is best to go in private and not disturb those around you. When you make these calls, go in a conference room or empty office – or even go outside and get some fresh air.  
  • Respect those around you. The first way to do so, is to not be disruptive. This means no loud music, phone calls (like I mentioned above), random guests at your desk, etc. It’s also important for you to take a look around and see what your coworkers are doing. The person right next to you may be on an important client call, but you’re chatting away disturbing them. Pay attention to not only yourself, but make sure you’re keeping an eye on those around you also.
  • Communicate with others. You want to make sure you’re communicating with your coworkers to find out what their best way to communicate is. Do they prefer you sending them an email? Calling them? Showing up at their desk? Each person has a different way of communicating, so it’s important to learn how to communicate properly. With that comes listening, make sure you’re really listening to those around you so they feel respected, valued and important.
  • Be personable, but professional. We’re at work for eight hours a day with our coworkers, so it’s really nice when you can develop personal relationships with others around the office. Your coworkers are the only other people who know what you’re also going through, so you automatically have an unspoken bond. Building authentic relationships with your coworkers can only make the day better – ultimately it’ll be better for the team because it’ll boost morale around the office and build trust around the team.

What are your top workplace etiquette tips? Comment and let us know!

By: Courtney Moed

November 15, 2018 0 comment
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Feeling like you’re in a rut? Looking to get a promotion, but not sure what to do next? I think we’ve all been there. You work hard every day, but just want to kick it up a notch and bring your career to the next level.

That’s why we’ve put together our top 5 habits to help advance your career.

  • Carve out a niche. 
    • Be known for something in particular whether that’s being really great at media relations, knowing SEO like the back of your hand or being a very detail-oriented data scientist. It’s important to let people know what you have to offer and the prominence of your expertise in whatever the topic may be.
  • Engage with people outside your everyday team. 
    • Networking is always important – whether you’re networking professionally or personally. Engrossing yourself with other teams and coworkers you don’t necessarily work with can only help you! This is something you want to constantly do to learn more about different topics as well as the people around you.
  • Create a schedule. Time management skills allow you to accomplish more tasks in a shorter period of time. This means you’ll have more time on your hands, which means less stress and more focus. You may even find some extra time to explore new opportunities. 
  • Say yes and be open minded. 
    • Take the chance and say yes to working on a project you wouldn’t normally work on. Maybe you decided it is finally time to speak up in that big client meeting. Believe in yourself and take that extra leap of faith – you never know what possibilities could be out there! Who knows, you may find something you really enjoy. 
  • Feed your mind.
    • Whether you prefer books, TED Talks, podcasts, etc. there are tons of options out there to keep yourself learning. Maybe you just need a fresh perspective or want to learn about a new topic. There are options out there for everyone to keep their mind sharp and help step up their game in the workplace.

 

Hope these are helpful! Comment and let us know if you have any other helpful habits.

 

-Courtney Moed

October 30, 2018 0 comment
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Interviewing for jobs can be a stressful time, which is why we’re here to make it a little easier for you. We already gave you part one for our interview prep – exactly what you should wear for the big day. If you didn’t get a chance to check out that post, you can find it here.

Part two of our interview prep is about what you should actually bring to the interview with you. You may think you have everything, but what’s better than a quick list to ensure you have it all together?

We’ve broken down our top items here:

  • Photo ID – why might you need this? There could very well be a doorman or security and you’ll need to show your proper identification to be let into the building. That sure would be disappointing to show up to your interview and not be allowed in!
  • Resume copies – You can’t assume that everyone you’re interviewing with will have your resume on hand. There’s a chance some of the people may not even seen it yet, so it’s always better to come prepared with a few copies.
  • Notepad/pen – You might want to take notes about important information about the job. It’s also important to write down the names of the people who interview you with (if they don’t have a business card to give you), that way you know exactly who to write thank you notes to.
  • Larger purse/briefcase – You’ll want to pick one place to store everything you’re bringing with you. Maybe you want to put all your papers in a folder and then put everything in a large fashionable purse or briefcase. This will make you look very organized! You don’t want to look disheveled coming into an interview with multiple bags.
  • Mints/water bottle – Say yes to keeping your breath smelling fresh! It also always helps to bring a bottle of water to keep on hand in case you get parched from all the chatting.
  • Questions – Interviewees love when people ask questions! If you get nervous easily, it might help to write out some talking points or questions to remember off the top of your head. Having these handy will show you’re really interested and invested in learning more about this opportunity.
  • Personal business cards – These are always great to hand out since they have all your contact information right in one place. If anyone needs to reach out to you, your handy business cards will have everything they need with your phone number and email address.
  • Portfolio/work samples – Depending on your personal preference, some people prefer digital portfolios while others like to have them electronically on a website. Either option works, but it’s a great way to show off all the awesome work you’re doing!
  • References – Hopefully you have a really successful interview and they want to reach out to your references. If you have their information listed on a nicely typed up piece of paper, you’ll be one step ahead of them game!

Feeling better about what you should bring with you? Us too 😊 Let us know if there’s anything else you usually bring on job interviews.

By: Courtney Moed

 

October 2, 2018 0 comment
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There’s no question that we live in a hyper-digital age. For most of us, our phones hardly stray more than two feet from us from the moment we groggily role over in the morning and turn off our alarm to the time we crawl into bed and plug it in on the nightstand next to our pillow. Our days are consumed with newsfeeds and social handles and at times it can be difficult to remember whether we actually know someone we follow IRL, or if it just feels that way because we’re aware of their every move.

Because of this digital life so many of us lead, it can seem like there’s no longer a need to venture out into the real world and go meet people the old fashion way. Why bother going to a networking event when you can literally connect with almost anyone on the planet at the tap of a screen? The reality is that although you can connect online with people you’d like to add to your network, there’s no substitute for the experience of meeting a new person face-to-face. That’s not to say that the internet doesn’t have a role to play; it absolutely does. When you combine the power of IRL + digital, you’re able to create lasting connections that live on well beyond a business card exchange.

Here are 5 ways that you can incorporate a human element to a digital world to grow your network:

Don’t rely solely on the internet, IRL still really matters.

Although it’s super tempting to sit back and click “connect” with someone you’re interested in meeting on LinkedIn, the likelihood of you building a lasting, mutually-beneficial relationship relying on a digital connection alone is low. Instead, leverage the power of the internet to find IRL events and opportunities to meet people face-to-face, THEN connect with them online.

Know your goals then go to where your people are
Attending a ton of “networking” events isn’t the best use of anyone’s time. Instead, think about who you’re hoping to connect with and go to events/workshops/gatherings where those people are likely to be. For example, if you’re hoping to get a new job in the Fashion industry, look for panels and events put on by fashion-specific groups. If you’re looking to get into photography, attend events where people who would want to hire you will be, like a panel on managing your personal brand (aspiring Instagram influencers need great photos of themselves!)

Find your overlap
When you meet someone for the first time, look for something you share in common. Start by asking them, “What brings you here tonight?” instead of the old, “What do you do?” That will open the conversation by letting them talk about what they want to instead of being forced to talk about a job they may not be super into. It’s likely that they came there for a reason similar to you, so this will automatically give you two something to talk about. Additional questions you can ask are around where they’re from, where they went to school, etc. If you can find a common thread between you two, they’re way more likely to remember your interaction among the many they may have at that gathering.

Help them, help you
If you’re going to spend time networking both online and IRL, make it super easy for your new potential connections to connect with you. One of the things most people fail at when it comes to networking is the follow-up. Instead of relying on the old business card swap, try using an app like Ping, a way to exchange digital business cards. With the use of that app, your contact info is automatically shared with them via email which makes the follow-up WAY easier on both of you.

You’ll also want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date so that when you connect there (which you absolutely should), they don’t see a fuzzy, outdated photo with information that’s 5 years old.

Nurture the relationship
Once you’ve made a new connection, followed-up via email, and connected with them on LinkedIn, the relationship officially begins. There’s no reason to put time and effort into growing your network if you don’t continue to nurture the relationship going forward. Find reasons to reach out and stay in touch, especially when you don’t have an “ask” for them. If they share an interesting article on LinkedIn or Twitter, comment on it. If you see that they’ve gotten a new job, send them an email saying congratulations. If they post that they’re in need of a connection to a company, see if you can help connect those dots. By finding ways to stay top of mind (without being creepy!) you’ll solidify yourself in their minds as someone to reach out to when they have opportunities for you.

The entire point of growing your network, or “curating your community” as I prefer to call it, is to find new humans who you have something in common with to collaborate with and support throughout your career. Nobody achieves anything great alone, so look for ways that you might be able to leverage your network to achieve your goals today.

Find these tips helpful? Want more career advice from this natural-born connector? Read more about Baily below.

Baily Hancock is a Collaboration Consultant and Career Happiness Strategist who teaches people how to collaborate with their community to achieve their goals, whether that’s making a career change or growing their business. Her 10-week online course, “The 1-Year Career” (next cohort begins July 9th!) helps people figure out how to make big moves with small steps in their career, and on her podcast, “The Baily Hancock Show” she interviews people who have done just that.

June 26, 2018 0 comment
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5 Tips to Score Big at Your Performance Review - Trish Barillas

Performance reviews can be a stressful time for employees. The tension from so many unanswered questions – Will my employer see all my hard work? Will I be promoted this year? Will I receive a raise or a bonus? Additionally, no one enjoys a sit-down conversation where they are scrutinized. Factor all this in and emotions can definitely run high during this time, but performance reviews don’t always have to be nerve-racking. This can actually be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your accomplishments and distinguish yourself. Showing your employer the value you bring to the company.

The best thing to do before a performance review is prepare to make sure you lock in that raise and get the bonus. Trish Barillas, the best-selling author of A Face of Anxiety is a life and career coach specializing in job advancements, organization, anxiety, relationships, and breakups. Here are her five tips for making sure you score big at your next performance review.

1) Be Engaged

Be prepared with questions on how to improve your performance in your weakness areas.

2) Show Interest in Additional Training

Ask if there are classes you could take that would be beneficial to your position. They may even offer to have the company pay for it.

3) Give Feedback

Do you have a solution to an existing problem you want to share and use it as goal setting for your upcoming fiscal year?

4) Show your Progress

If you have been at the company more than a year, bring your previous review to compare and ensure different goals for the upcoming year.

5) Talk Future Goals or Plans

This is an ample opportunity to show if you have an interest in other areas of the company. Express what direction you see yourself going in, every meeting is a chance to explore other options in order to place your name/interest at the forefront.

Apply these tips to your next performance review for a productive sit-down. Found these tips helpful? Want more career advice from life and career coach Trish Barillas?
www.barillascoaching.com

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

January 30, 2018 0 comment
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5 Things to Read When You Need a Career Change - Book Covers

New year, new goals and resolutions, but what if you’re in need of a career change too? The new year is usually a time of reflection on the past year, but what if this time of self-reflection leads you to realize that you’re not where you’d like to be in your career, that you’re not happy in your current job and that it’s time for a change.

Trish Barillas, the best-selling author of A Face of Anxiety is a life and career coach specializing in anxiety, job advancements, organization, relationships, and breakups. Here are the 5 books (in no particular order) that Trish recommends you read if you are in a career rut and desire a change.

1) It’s Called Work For A Reason: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault – Larry Winget

“For all those who are frustrated at work, who seem to have no luck in business, who are underappreciated at the office, who are uninspired by their daily tasks, who just aren’t finding the career success they desire, Larry Winget is ready to share his wisdom.” –From publisher description

2) You Are A Badass:  How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

“In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love.” –From publisher description

3) Rising Strong – Brené Brown

“It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up.” –From publisher description

4) The Anti 9-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube – Michelle Goodman

“Today, lots of women would love to integrate their passion with their career and are seeking advice on how to do just that. Michelle Goodman, a self proclaimed, “wage-slave” has written a fun, reassuring, girlfriend-to-girlfriend guide on identifying your passion, transitioning out of that unfulfilling job, and doing it all in a smart, practical way.” –From publisher description

5) Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires – Esther and Jerry Hicks

“Ask and It Is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks, which presents the teachings of the nonphysical entity Abraham, will help you learn how to manifest your desires so that you’re living the joyous and fulfilling life you deserve. As you read, you’ll come to understand how your relationships, health issues, finances, career concerns, and more are influenced by the Universal laws that govern your time/space reality-and you’ll discover powerful processes that will help you go with the positive flow of life.”–From publisher description

Gaining perspective from other’s experiences and getting advice when making life-changing decisions, like a job or career change is a smart move. Found these books helpful? Let us know. Want more advice from life and career coach Trish Barillas?

 www.barillascoaching.com

By: Percy Jimenez-Nagy

January 9, 2018 0 comment
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