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The Nourishment of Nervousness

What's the best way to handle those jingle jangle nerves before a big event?

Again this week I was asked a question which often comes up...

Whether I get nervous before a presentation, lecture, or talk.

I've done so many now, the thought goes... surely I don't?


No matter what size or shape the event, I still get that electric buzz of nerves. 

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Taking the Fear out of Feedback

I had some difficult feedback to give this week, and had to think carefully about how to do it.

After all, I didn’t want the kind of response that could be summed up by this exhibit I saw at a display in Cambridge.

My client had requested feedback by email, but…

I’ve seen that go horribly wrong so many times.

And this wasn’t just a client, but someone who I like, and have shared a beer with.

So it was double jeopardy if I didn’t get the delivery right.

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Smiley Messaging

I carried out an unusual experiment this week.

I decided to try hitchhiking, to see whether I could get a lift.

But I also wanted to put my communication skills to work to try to stack the odds in my favour.

I needed to get to Madingley Hall, on the outskirts of Cambridge, to talk about some business and writing teaching.

I could have cycled, but it would’ve taken at least half an hour. 

There were also some annoying hills, and that would have meant I arrived hot and sweaty for important meetings.

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Leaders versus Managers

Leaders and managers are often confused as being one and the same.

But they’re not. Far from it.

I saw some impressive leadership this week, when I was mentoring at a medical technology event designed to encourage entrepreneurs with their business ideas.

The management of the event was good.

We knew where to be, at what time, who we were speaking to, what was required of us, and there were refreshments on hand.

All the elements you needed to do your job, in other words.

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The Thursday Theory

It’s a scenario we’ve all faced, and agonised about how to get the best outcome.

You’ve got a big meeting, either for a major contract, or a publishing deal, a new customer, a partnership, anything that really matters.

So... how to stack the odds in favour of the outcome you want?

I was thinking about that this week as I headed into London to do some teaching.

It was a Bank Holiday Monday, sunny and hot, and I was wondering about the wisdom of working on such a day.

But as you can see from the lovely smiles of the delightful group of visitors from India to whom I was teaching public speaking and social media skills, we had a jolly time.

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