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Management Communication: How Not To Embarrass Yourself


Some years ago, the British comedian and Monty Python member, John Cleese participated in a series of sales and management training videos. To this day, I still laugh remembering one of them, “How Not to Exhibit Yourself.” “How Not to Exhibit Yourself” focuses on trade show behavior and particularly how to effectively connect with potential customers, but in my mind, the humorous lessons offered by Cleese could just as easily apply to networking with people in general. My key point in this post is that regardless whatever field you work, your ability and skill in relating to people and communicating effectively will be crucial to your success.

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Need To Deliver An Inspirational Speech? Start With a Big Idea


I noticed the following post on LinkedIn, and thought that it was important to share it. When I first came to UBC to teach Industry Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Management, I was struck by how utterly unprepared Faculty of Management students were to stand up and communicate their ideas. Most students used 3 x 5 cards and stared at the floor. One student, without realizing it, stood up and crossed his arms across his chest, projecting only his personal discomfort with the situation. Clearly this problem needed to be addressed. If there is one thing I have learned since graduating with a Speech-Communication degree, it is the importance of being able to stand up and communicate your ideas, what you believe, and most importantly, who you are. It is crucial to career success.

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Toastmaster’s 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking – Worth The Time


 Dananjaya Hettiarachchi is the 2014 Toastmasters’ International World Champion of Public Speaking.  The seven minutes you will spend watching and listening to him is worth it.  

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How can I learn to communicate like Bill Clinton?


Answer by David Mayes: There are only so many legendary public speakers, capable of captivating an audience, holding their attention and persuading them to accept the speaker’s point of view. That said, we can all learn to be better communicators from the techniques of Clinton, Ann Richards, JFK, MLK, FDR, Churchill, Lincoln and others from […]

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How to Listen When The Speaker Is Ranting and Rambling


One of my biggest personal challenges, is listening to a speaker who is ranting and/or rambling. What is the main point they are trying to get across? Many times it is nearly impossible to figure it out.  I remember hearing someone off in the distance at an Iraq war demonstration in San Francisco, ranting into […]

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Believe It Or Not: Rituals and Superstition May Help You Ace A Job Interview


Baseball players, particularly pitchers, are known for being superstitious. These superstitions have been immortalized by characters like Pedro Cerrano, the Cuban center fielder and his doll Joboo, in the film Major League. Real life examples abound. But it now turns out that research has shown that following personal rituals may increase your self-confidence and actually help you ace a job interview or a big presentation.

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What’s the shrewdest, smartest maneuver you’ve ever seen in business?


I will sanitize this Silicon Valley story. A very large technical workstation company tried to bully a smaller workstation company I worked for. The big company was OEM’ing the small company’s superior technology. The big company stopped paying their bills, running up a huge delinquent payable amount, believing they could leverage the small company into additional concessions. We met with them secretly over Thanksgiving in our offices. In an arrogant gesture, the big company tried to offer 1/3 of their delinquent payables. We literally threw the very large handwritten check back at them and told them to leave. A week later the full delinquent amount was paid, and they complimented us, saying “nothing had impressed them more, than when we threw the check back at them. The supreme irony was that the two senior execs who had flown from Boston to Silicon Valley to meet with us over the holiday weekend, never bothered to look at our financials before trying their arrogant scheme. We had $65 Million in cash in the bank.”

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Powerful Ways to Open Your Presentation


Fourth Year UBC Faculty of Management students will recall many of these points on “ice breaker” techniques to grab the attention of your audience. Use of any of these five suggestions may depend on your public speaking situation. Are you there to inform, inspire, entertain, or call the audience to action?…Is the situation solemn, serious, or relaxed? It can make a significant difference to the success of your speech.

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Five Basic Public Speaking Tips


Incoming fourth year UBC Faculty of Management students will recall these 5 public speaking tips from my MGMT 340 Management Communication course. It is a good review of what you learned so that you can exploit your public speaking skills in fourth year classes. The more time and effort you put into your preparation and practice, the more successful you will be in public speaking situations. Remember that verbal communication in interpersonal “one on one” and “one to many” situations has been described by Warren Buffett as the single most important management skill he learned.

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Bill Clinton DNC Speech Now Viewed As Historic Public Speaking Paradigm


My UBC Faculty of Management students will recall that I said that Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention was memorable. I also predicted that Clinton’s speech would be remembered and analyzed as one of the great communication events in recent years. Now that the dust has settled and the smoke cleared from the U.S. Presidential election, it is also much clearer what was important and what was not. It is even more clear now, with the passage of time, and the elimination of all the emotion. Below is the Wall Street Journal’s glowing assessment of Clinton’s speech. Coming from the WSJ, one must admit that their opinion carries even greater weight because a Rupert Murdoch owned publication is not expected to show much admiration for anything to the left of Karl Rove.

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