Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Overcoming Stage Fright

CurtainIt’s freshman year in high school and after realizing I will never become a professional basketball player I op out of gym and into Mrs. Moore’s speech class. Two weeks in, I’m standing in front of class, too nervous to say a word, I freeze, becoming another statistic for Mrs. Moore to talk about in class on Monday. Too often is this the case when asked to talk in front of a classroom full of our peers. Flash-forward 7 years and I’m standing in another speech class this time being awarded the “Most Improved Speaker” an award that was voted on by my peers. Looking back I have learned a few new tricks of the trade.

Focus on the Smileys– “Smileys” are those people who are focused on you like a laser and after having a few lattes that morning are smiling out the caffeine. They are your supporters! They want to see you succeed and are often genuinely interested in what you have to say.

Use Your Nerves as Allies– Using your nerves in your favor will boast your overall morale. Mistake that feeling of nervousness for excitement. You’ll find that your nerves will be exhausted after speaking so let them be suspended in a positive manner.

Try Drinking-I’ve had a couple of teachers recommend drinking to loosen up before presenting. Now while drinking may be great when your off with your buds it could be dangerous when used as a crutch for speaking in front of class. Instead I recommend taking a bottle of water to class to help clear up your throat. A clean strong voice will make you seem more confident on stage and will help cover up any shakiness in your voice.

Practice the material-I believe why we, especially us un-experienced college kids, have a hard time presenting is because we don’t feel confident in what we’re talking about. May be we don’t know all that there is about selling, lets say, a gamma knife to a hospital but if we had the chance to talk about music, something we know and love, we’d be okay up there. Since most likely we’ll be talking about something we just learned about ourselves it is imperative that we practice prior to the speech as to look as if we know everything there is about gamma knives.

Add Spice to Your Slides-If you’re using slides in your presentation try having information bulleted, quoted, and outlined. Use videos to take up the time. Videos and pictures can also help keep attention focused away from you. Giving you enough time to grab a whiskey and coke-uh-I mean a bottle of water.

Be Prepared-It can be hard to wing-it when you are being put on the spot. Being prepared is by far the easiest thing you can do prior to presenting. Having everything in order and setup property will help insure you that things won’t go wrong.

Bring Note Cards-A fifteen minute speech can have a lot of information involved. Keep note cards handy in case you forget some of the material. Remember to write numbers on top of the note cards to help keep them in order and to coordinate the headings with those on the slides.

After 8 years of experience with presenting I have hardly perfected speaking in front of people. It takes practice to make each speech flawless. Eventually you will become comfortable with speaking in front of people and it will begin to show. Just remember to be yourself because everyone in the room was once in your shoes.


How to Write a Specific Cover Letter


In a few weeks school will be over and for those graduating this winter, the job hunt will begin to intensify. Sending out resumes, meeting with recruiters, and taking part in interviews can be intimidating. The best news? It doesn’t have to be that way. Giving a great first impression will be the easiest way for you to get your feet in the door and onto the path to success. The best way to get started is by writing a cover letter to your company of choice. In writing a powerful cover letter you will:1) Express your interest in the company

2) Share your skills and experiences

3) Show the recruiter how your skills and experiences will benefit the company

4) Call for the recruiter to take actionBefore starting the writing process you will want to go to the website of your future employer and research the company. Find out who the local recruiter is and how you can get in contact with them. Look into any awards the company and its people may have won. This part is the most important step in preparing to write a letter and will help you through the interview. The first line of business is to type your heading. Your heading should list your address, today’s date, recruiter’s name, title, company’s name & address.

123 Main StreetNovember 19, 2007Mr./Ms. Recruiter’s NameTitleCompany’s NameAddressDear Mr./Ms. Recruiters Name:

In the first paragraph it is important to let the recruiter know why it is that you have picked their company to jump start your career. Try to focus on the company’s strengths and its prestige. For example,

BusinessWeek names Bain and Company one of the top 20 places to launch a career, a list that includes fifty-five of the World’s most prestigious companies. A stellar performer in teamwork and leadership building, congratulations to everyone at Bain and Company for being the leading company in consulting.

In the second paragraph you will tell the recruiter what position you are applying for and what characteristics you believe the person in this position should have.

An Associate Consultant requires the ability to communicate ideas, embrace teamwork and exhibit leadership. Bain and Company focuses on the strengths of its individuals while methodically adding value to its clients. My work experience and coursework have supplied me with many skills that can hopefully contribute to the continuing success of Bain and Company.

The third paragraph will be where you get to shine. From your research you will need to list the top 3 to 4 skills that you believe will contribute to the company’s success in the future. Then show how you have demonstrated each skill. It is important to tie each skill to the characteristics of the position you pointed out in the second paragraph. Lastly you will let the recruiter know how your skills will benefit them and their company.

My leadership skills include eleven years of dedication to the Boy Scouts of America organization, eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout. Teaching a variety of courses, including first-aid, and attending leadership conferences have helped me develop important skills that will help Bain and Company continue to excel.My teamwork skills were demonstrated in the organizing and implementation of the painting of a community center in my hometown. A large task like this would be nearly impossible had it not been for my team. The ability to share common goals with such a diverse group could allow for creative innovations for Bain and Company’s clients. My communication skills have been developed through classes such as Personal Selling and Business Communications, effectively learning how to present professional material and clearly communicating ideas. In the spring of 2006, my peers voted me the “Most Improved Communicator” in communications. An effective communicator can help to deliver results to Bain and Company’s clients.

Finally you will call the recruiter to take action. Either ask for a interview, another meeting, or to discuss future employment opportunities.

I look forward to discussing future employment opportunities with Bain and Company at your convenience.

Sincerely,SignatureNameEnclosure (if you have a resume attached)NOTE: This is assuming you have a specific company in mind. However most of the steps listed above can still be applied to a general letter.