Insights: The Speakeasy Blog…thoughts and reflections from our global experts.

When you interact with your co-workers, you probably find yourself wishing that some people would just get to the point. You might also feel that some people give you the point and nothing but the point. Sure, you get the information you need, but sometimes that’s not enough. In a situation where you must influence […]

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Visual imagery was a part of story-telling long before any of us were born.  And it continues today.  From drawing your favorite shape in kindergarten to delivering a critical PowerPoint presentation to a board of executives. We’re either amazed at how well our visuals help our audiences connect with our concepts or… we’re pulling our […]

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We’ve all thought it (or said it) at some point, and we’ve probably had it thought (or said) about us. No matter what the situation – a presentation to hundreds of people, an email to a colleague, or a call to your mom – nothing muddles a message like too much information. A Microsoft consumer […]

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Today’s workforce encompasses a broader age range than any earlier snapshot in time. Baby Boomers are retiring later than their predecessors and are now working right alongside a swelling Millennial population that will soon comprise nearly half of the U.S labor force. It is an unprecedented dynamic, and the first time so many people – […]

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When assessing an individual’s capacity to lead, one is often characterized as possessing the appropriate gravitas or, on the contrary, lacking this distinguishing, and often viewed as necessary, trait.  It is a prized quality that spans all types of leadership roles – politicians and Fortune 500 executives alike are graded on this characteristic. It is […]

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We’ve all heard it: Technology is consuming our lives. Though the admonition seems to lump all digital practices together, where it is particularly true in our daily lives over the last decade is the shift from verbal interactions to emails and texts. This, unfortunately, is undeniable. While studies show our phones are rarely out of […]

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There’s nothing like a digital twist to make job interviews a little more stressful. All of a sudden, you’re reduced from a full person to head and shoulders on a screen. When the stable, sterile environment of a conference room is gone, professionalism threatens to fly out the window. What should you do in this […]

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effective meetings

There are many things to consider when preparing for a meeting, particularly if you want to set yourself up for success. The underlying theme is to not allow yourself to get in a situation where you feel like you are guessing or winging it… there’s too much risk involved in making unconfirmed assumptions about your […]

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professional greeting

  Colleague A: Hey, I haven’t seen you all week. You must be busy. Everything okay? Colleague B: Oh yeah, I’m fine! Things are good. (Never mind the real answer which could be any of the following… “No, I’m feeling really overwhelmed because I was in a fender bender yesterday/my child was up all night […]

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No formula for great public speaking

  Most of us know that powerful communication is key.  It’s essential to your success.  It’s how you make things happen. It’s how you get results, how you gain new clients, how you keep existing clients… and how you motivate both your colleagues and your staff.  It’s critical to effective leadership, to transferring knowledge, inspiring […]

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  Most of the time opportunity is something you create, not something you wait for.  But on those occasions when it does knock… you’d better be prepared…   •    Be prepared to recognize it.  Opportunity likes to disguise itself as something else. •    Be prepared to act.  Opportunity moves quickly and often requires you to […]

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While on a recent vacation,  I observed an interesting phenomenon occurring within a few different families.  We were dining at our favorite restaurant enjoying the wonderful seafood, captivating view, and companionship.  As I sat back to take it all in, I noticed two tables across from us in stark contrast. One table was a family […]

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You do it because it’s the right thing.  Not because it’s easier, or cheaper, or faster. You do it because it makes you feel great.  More powerful than anything else you can do. And, you do it because… it’s worth it. No matter how good you are at everything else in your suite of professional […]

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Business Communication Standards

Email communication has become an integral part of today’s business environment. In many cases, it can be the only form of communication between two people. This is especially true if you are corresponding with others in different countries or companies. How you use email as a communication tool is a skill that requires attention to […]

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Maintaining a Professional Social Media Presence

In today’s age, social media is a highly visible platform for both employees and employers. Being aware of what you post and how it will be viewed by others is essential in making sure your social media presence is professional. Whether you are a new professional or a seasoned business executive, your public persona represents […]

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How to Connect With Customers

Building rapport with customers extends far beyond the initial interaction. Every engagement  with a customer is an opportunity to strengthen the business relationship and connect with them on a personal level. Conveying a sense of authenticity is essential in building lasting relationships and trust with key stakeholders whether they are customers, coworkers, or vendors. Business […]

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Delivering a Superb Talk

High profile speaking engagements are great opportunities to showcase your communication skills and expertise to your colleagues and other thought leaders. How you prepare for such events is key in ensuring you convey confidence and authority without losing your sense of authenticity. Conferences often draw a very diverse crowd in terms of experience level, areas […]

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Body Language Strategies with Speakeasy

How you handle your body can send an important message to your audience about your knowledge of the topic you are discussing or your overall comfort with speaking in front of others. Allowing nervousness to consume you often sends a signal that you are ill-prepared and can reduce your credibility with the audience. Before every […]

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Sales Presentations with Speakeasy

Sales meetings do not fit a “one-size fits all” approach. In fact, as audience preferences, needs  and wants change, no two sales meetings should be exactly alike. How you present your pitch can mean the difference between securing the sale or walking away without results. Leveraging effective presentation and persuasion strategies during a sales meeting […]

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Team Presentations with Speakeasy

Working in a team can be both rewarding and challenging, especially when organizing your team for a group presentation. With different personalities, communication styles, and varying comfort levels speaking to an audience, managing the ins and outs of a team presentation takes patience and a high level of organization. At Speakeasy, our business communication consultants […]

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Interview Strategies with Speakeasy

Interviewing is one of the most common high-stakes, high pressure situations we have all experienced. Preparing before the interview and honing your communication skills can mean the difference between walking out of the interview feeling confident that you made a great impression or second guessing the whole experience. Being aware of some of the most […]

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High-Stakes Communication

Miscommunication in high stakes and high risk work environments could mean the difference between a routine task being completed or a workplace fatality being reported.  Whether you are a surgeon, a railroad conductor, or a heavy machinery operator, having critical information conveyed clearly is key in your safety and the safety of those around you. […]

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Man and Woman

Kevin and Leah were thrilled to finally get a meeting with a team of business investors. They had prepared a brief but powerful sales pitch, full of imagery and stellar visuals. All was going well, until the question and answer portion. The team practiced for hours what they would say, but Kevin and Leah did […]

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Woman Giving a Presentation with Visuals

In today’s business landscape incorporating visuals into presentations is often necessary to clearly convey messages for diverse and international audiences. Effective communicators are not only able to use their words and body language to paint a vivid picture, but they have mastered how and when to use visuals to aid in audience retention. With over […]

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Woman Giving Presentation

Communication is an essential part of everyday interactions within any organization. Leading researchers and communication analysts have studied more than 100,000 presentations given by a wide range of speakers to better determine what factors contribute to a speaker’s effectiveness and their ability to engage the audience. Scientists and corporate communication consultants have identified four key […]

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Woman and Man in Meeting

Rachel looked nervously at the clock, anticipating her next meeting. In 20 minutes she would be meeting with an employee, Clyde, to discuss a recent drop in his work performance. She had prepared all of her talking points, knew what metrics she would present, and even had sketched out a few performance goals for him […]

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Multicultural Meeting

Effective communication is a must in any workplace to ensure that businesses and their employees can meet operational goals and build productive business relationships with key stakeholders. In fact, it is estimated that 14% of the average work week can be wasted as a result of poor communication.[1] If English is not your first language, […]

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Make First Impressions Count

The first impression is a subconscious, but powerful tool to command respect and exude authority within minutes. Making a positive first impression can mean the difference between speaking in front of an audience that is eager to hear what you have to say or trying to convince an audience that you are credible and should […]

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Reading Your Audience

Cheryl, nervous about her sales presentation, walked down the aisle to the front of the auditorium. She spent hours, the past week, practicing her presentation, going over her visuals and was sure she would engage the audience with the compelling customer survey results. She focused on each audience member, trying to look them in their […]

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DARE 3rd Anniversary Chalk Art

Celebrating the third anniversary of the release of DARE has an interesting backdrop with the upcoming presidential election. The principles presented in DARE are more relevant today than ever before as leaders are continually faced with the responsibility to have more honest, transparent, and authentic communication to gain trust, and our votes! Authenticity and honesty […]

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communication myths with Speakeasy, Inc.

Effective communication is at the forefront of business. In fact, a recent survey revealed that over 75% of employers are placing more emphasis on verbal communication skills as a hiring prerequisite.[1] Despite the importance of productive business communication, leaders and managers often struggle with connecting and communicating in the workplace. A newly released HR Magazine […]

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Breathing for Energetic Relaxation - Speakeasy

When you take the stage, get behind the podium, or stand in front of your audience, nervousness may set in within seconds. Being aware of your body, and more importantly, your breathing can ensure that you can control your nerves and project confidence when you talk. Master communicators practice calming and breathing techniques, even when […]

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DARE trust scorecard

With presidential debates and election season in full swing, there is no wonder that the topic of building trust and rapport with audiences is in the spotlight. Regardless of your political affiliation, one underlying truth is evident: great communicators are able to draw audiences in and connect with them by building trust. Trust is earned, […]

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technical presentations with Speakeasy

Does this sound familiar? Michael took the stage in front of a crowd of business executives. He was presenting the findings of a recent customer engagement survey. Before he was even 5 minutes into his presentation, he noticed the audience was distracted. Some were on their phones, others daydreaming, and even a few were nodding […]

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public speaking with speakeasy

The most effective business communicators have a special quality that enables them to bring impactful messages to any audience. It is the power of the pause. Understanding that what you say and how you say it are just as important as when you say it, is key for any communicator. Whether you are delivering a […]

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impromptu speaking success

The quarterly department meeting is today. Rebecca prepared all of the documents to give to the Board. She knows her department’s goals, has the rundown of their quarterly revenues, and even has the projected profits for the quarter – but there’s only one problem! She wasn’t expecting to have to present this information to the […]

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conference call building rapport

With business communications reaching far beyond state and country boundaries, virtual meetings are a must to connect with coworkers, clients, and key stakeholders. Despite the growing frequency of virtual meetings and conference calls, their effectiveness is quite dismal. Recent surveys have revealed that over 70% of conference call participants admit to multi-tasking during conference calls, […]

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preparing for the call

In today’s business environment, virtual meetings and conference calls are inevitable. Remote communication challenges the most powerful factor in personal communication – engaging others to build connections. Pre-planning and eliminating potential distractions are key and could mean the difference between your audience saying, “this was a great meeting”, or “this was a waste of time.” […]

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redesigning professional development for Millennials

Millennials are the fastest growing generation in the workplace. In fact, this group, defined as adults roughly between the ages of 18 – 35, are expected to make up nearly half of all U.S. workers by 2020.[1] Unlike other generations before them, Millennials, on average, bring a high drive for community involvement and seek out […]

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poor communication

As communication becomes the forefront of business success, poor communication skills can mean the difference between landing a new promotion, or hitting your professional glass ceiling. Organizations seek out professionals that can embody the organization’s principles and mission, as well as individuals that can effectively communicate with various audiences, at any given time. According to […]

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professional development in the new year

With the new year approaching, a host of professional development opportunities are available to help you achieve measurable Q1 results and improve your communication skills. In the new year, organizations will outline new business initiatives to target, and the success of these new goals depends heavily on their staff’s ability to execute. Whether you are […]

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Good enough – isn’t! It’s easy to cave to just “getting by.” Daily pressures, over-committed schedules, and endless demands – emotional, intellectual and physical – all conspire to keep us from being and doing what we know we can be and do. Again, the journey is the destination. Accept that perfection is rarely achieved, but […]

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Every one of us already has within us all we need to become great. We each hold tremendous power – to change ourselves and things around us. And, the key to unleashing that power begins with an inward look. Yes… gather universal knowledge, learn all you can about the world around you, but never loose […]

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Speakeasy Core Value Three: Growth through exploration. You want to grow. You really DO want to be MORE –  of a thinker, a communicator… a person.  You want it for your business, your family… yourself. So what’s holding you back?  More often than not, it’s fear of failure.  Too much focus on the destination and […]

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I have never really been one to shy away from “presenting” or getting in front of people to communicate a message or an idea. For many, this can be a daunting task… just knowing you are the next to speak can cause the heart to pound, palms to sweat and anxiety to kick in. The […]

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The mere suggestion of public speaking can leave many people petrified. Most of our fears are content-driven. What if I say something wrong or forget what I want to say, I don’t want to sound like an idiot; what if my topic is really dry, I don’t want to bore people to death; what if […]

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By Anthony X. Escamilla I have to tell you, finding an internship isn’t easy. Nor is finding one that is truly open towards taking advantage of your true potential.   The Fitting Room To date, I have been grateful to be surrounded by some driven and intelligent millennial minds at the University at Albany who […]

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Speakeasy Core Value Two: Being Authentic. Becoming a powerful communicator doesn’t mean changing who you are – it means becoming MORE of who you are and developing your authentic self. None of us want to feel we’re with someone who is faking it.  It’s that simple.  Really.  When we communicate with each other, what we […]

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Speakeasy Core Value One: The value of human connection It’s always been valuable.  It’s who we are.  It’s what each of us craves from birth to the grave.  And in today’s world especially – while there is a side of us that knows information is power – there is also a side that knows we […]

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“It is better for the world if you keep your mission and change your tactics, than if you lose your mission and keep making art.” – Andrew Simonet What Andrew Simonet is saying in his book “Making Your Life as an Artist” is that the day-to day doings that keep most of us busy, most […]

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The Eye in the Sky By Jason Daily When I’m coaching someone to step beyond their comfort zone and try on a new behavior, they almost always feel like it’s “too much” at first. “Too much” might mean they feel they are being too loud (projecting their voice), pausing for too long (too much silence) […]

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Change is tough.  It requires both courage and effort.  And while we all know that it’s inevitable – without change there is no growth – it can often be more frightening than the prospect of simply standing still and living with the consequences of stagnation. Jay Allison is an award winning radio producer and writer, […]

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By Jason Daily Inevitably, many have a turning point during their time here when they “get it.” They realize that the process isn’t merely leading them to be better communicators. Rather, if they allow it to, it guides them to become better leaders. They see beyond tips and tricks and embrace true and lasting behavioral […]

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Every now and again our visions are forced to change.  We’re disappointed or uncomfortable because things aren’t just what we thought they might be, or the hard work we’ve invested isn’t driving the results we’d like.  But just because we aren’t going to get there the way we’d hoped, doesn’t mean we’re not going to […]

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Finally.  It’s summer! Longer days!  No more freezing temperatures!  Sunshine, vacations, outdoor dining… and maybe a little more time to enjoy your life!  Release….! So what are you going to do?  Finish up last summer’s reading list?  Lose a little more so that bathing suit looks even better than before?  Maybe spend more time in […]

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I often find that I’m forced to come to a complete stop on the interstate in the midst of the chaos of my morning commute in Atlanta.  It absolutely makes me crazy.  I get tense, my blood pressure is skyrockets, and it feels like I’m never going to make it to work – where more […]

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The title of this Pink Floyd song presents an interesting question.  Are we comfortably numb?  What does that really mean? Let’s take these two words at face value.  Comfortable means physically or mentally content. Numb, means lacking feeling or emotion; indifferent.  Are we really physically or mentally content with a lack of feeling or emotion […]

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People who begin work on their speaking skills don’t usually see themselves as starting a long-term journey. They usually begin because of the demands of a particular situation or a new role. Maybe they’ve advanced to a more senior position and have to address larger groups for the first time. Maybe they’re carrying added responsibility […]

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Sshh, Sshh… Stop the talking. Stop the beeping, the phone, the pinging, the music, and the TV.  When was the last time you can remember just being in the quiet… absolute silence?  Our world today is so full of constant sound and stimulation that we have little opportunity to listen – really listen – to […]

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We come across articles galore on the topic of multi-tasking.  Typically, the focus is how to do it better.  We live in a world where multitasking is quite acceptable.  I find myself doing it, talking to someone on the phone while watching a program on television, driving and trying to find directions with my phone, […]

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I don’t care what you think… what do you feel?   Typically, if we actually think through what we’d like to say before we say it, we do it within the safe confines of paper and pen… or keyboard and screen.  And then, when we tell that story… we try hard to come out from […]

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To Thine Own Self Be True …but What is True and How can I be Myself? We all want to be our real selves.  We know that when we are, we are our most comfortable and most effective.  But, what is our “real self” and how do we know when we’re there? Most of us, unfortunately, […]

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by Scott Weiss President & CEO of Speakeasy Communications and Author of the Best Selling book “DARE!”  You know the drill…executive gets ready for a big client meeting 30 minutes before he steps into the conference room.  He attends the meeting with two colleagues and afterwards, they throw one accolade after another at him like […]

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by Jason Daily, Instructor and Speech-Language Pathologist This past week, I was asked to participate in a pilot for a program that will be conducted by one of my colleagues, a fellow instructor, overseas in the coming months. This was much different than sitting in and observing as a peer. I was one of the […]

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preserve your voice this winter

by Pat Wahoske, Faculty and Speech-Language Pathologist Preserving your voice during cold season when you have a big presentation can not only be challenging, but should also be a priority. Here are 5 tips to conserve an ailing voice when you have important business communication coming up: 1. Hydrate! Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily […]

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 by Jason Daily, Faculty and Speech-Language Pathologist Many of my clients don’t realize just how much their speech patterns are keeping their listeners from staying engaged with them when they are talking…whether it’s an upfront presentation, a one on one conversation, a conference call or a webcast. These are all situations where clear, impactful speech […]

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using speech pathology for effective communcation

          from Victoria Squier, faculty at Speakeasy Do you want to be more convincing and persuasive when speaking to your team or to senior executives?  You may want to sound more dynamic and committed to what you’re saying when you speak, like it matters to you. You want to say it […]

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Tweet from Alice Rutkowski, Faculty at Speakeasy Imagine two rooms filled with 2 different groups. One group is relatively happy and content. The other group is the opposite, discontent and unhappy. If you peered into a window for each you could probably tell them apart without hearing them. What you would observe is the position […]

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Tweet from Susan Stewart, Faculty at Speakeasy Look up “public speaking” on the internet. It will mention it’s still the number one fear among Americans.  Even more than death, starvation, a painful terminal illness and the list goes on and on.  Why is that? It’s because when you’re asked to stand up and speak, whether […]

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from Jane Jones, Distinguished Faculty at Speakeasy Remember what it was like at first to learn a new skill?  In my classroom, sometimes a client who is struggling with change asks me how to juggle a number of new behavior choices and make them all work together to improve their communication.  Often I’ll ask that […]

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Tweet from Sandra Ashe, Principle Faculty at Speakeasy Understand What My Listeners Want When helping business executives communicate with their best foot forward we often hear that they want to better “read” their listeners, understand what they think and feel and know if their remarks are hitting the mark.  The very question comes with some […]

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from Bill Mackinnon, Senior Faculty at Speakeasy Multitasking has been considered a sign of enhanced capacity and ability to master tasks and demands of an ever-increasing pace of work and life.  It has gained a lot of cache in the last few years.   People say “I am a multi-tasker,” with pride when someone comments asking […]

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Speakeasy Inc.

Aside from an often mundane public speaking class in college, our guess is no one, or almost no one, makes an effort to improve their ability to speak to others. Most men and women in business make an effort to dress well; they pay attention to their nails, their hair, and even whiten their teeth […]

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