Hybrid Meetings? Here’s How to Lead Them
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
1d ago
I’m not a fan of hybrid meetings I’ve led many of them in my “side” role as a meeting facilitator, and they never go as well as purely live or purely virtual meetings. Why? Because, as my creative strategist Melea Seward says, they’re meetings where “some people are live and some people are virtual, and everyone’s having a terrible time.” Hybrid meetings are the worst of both worlds (live and virtual), because: Attendees are divided by their technologies into two competing, mutually exclusive camps, Neither group can hear the other (or, often, even tell who’s speaking), It’s hard to maintain ..read more
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Job Hunting? The Right Story Helps You Succeed
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
2M ago
Long before she became Director of Recruiting at The Hired Guns, an award-winning digital talent agency, Melea Seward became my creative strategist, guiding how I’ve grown my business. But Melea could just as easily be called a futurist, a trend-spotter (she read the COVID tea leaves long before anyone else I know), a polymath (someone with wide-ranging knowledge or learning), or just a damned good person to ask for an opinion about things that matter—like job hunting! Our conversation has been lightly edited. JEZRA: Melea, what qualities are employers looking for these days? MELEA: That’s not ..read more
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Why You Should Never Gather Your Thoughts
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
5M ago
In the summers, when I was a kid, I used to gather blueberries on the north shore of Massachusetts, on Cape Ann. Like the person in this photo, I was a big fan of “one for the pot, five for me”-style gathering. But there was always enough, when I’d eaten my fill, to make blueberry pie or muffins with my Grandma Laura, who didn’t let anyone but me in her kitchen. That happy memory is my entire experience of what used to be a common human activity: gathering! So why am I so sure that you should never gather your thoughts??! Another Family “Gathering” Story When she was 44 and I was 19, my Mom s ..read more
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Sneaky or Nasty Little Voice vs. Reality: The Bout in Your Brain
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
6M ago
I spend a lot of time thinking about the “Nasty Little Voice” (NLV) that feeds self-judging throughts to my clients (and me). And recently, it occurred to me that: Your NLV doesn’t have to sound nasty. It can actually sound quite reasonable, which, in my view, is just plain SNEAKY. And… Your NLV and SLV (Sneaky Little Voice) are actually engaged in a cage fight with an opposing and powerful force called…REALITY! Before we talk about how to suit up Reality for this grudge match, let’s understand your Sneaky Little Voice: What Does a Sneaky Little Voice Sound Like? A client recently told me ..read more
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How Do You Handle Disrespectful Questions?
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
7M ago
A Problem That’s Thankfully Rare Most of the time, an audience is on the speaker’s side. The people who come to hear you want you to succeed—in part because it’s more fun to listen to a speech that goes smoothly than to watch a speaker struggling onstage. But sometimes, your audience includes that person. The one who has an ax to grind, who’s having a bad day, or who “enjoys” being hostile in public. What do you do when that person aims their anger, negativity, or disrespect at you with a hostile question? I’m Not Great at Handling Hostility Most of us aren’t. And the (fortunately few) times t ..read more
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Just Talk to the People!
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
10M ago
It’s Not as Complicated as You Think About a year ago, I decided to create an e-learning course (the kind that you buy, download, and then take at your own pace) on public speaking. [NOTE: The course will launch this September, 2022!!] And since I love coaching people—working with them individually on the specific challenges they face—I found myself trying to answer what seemed like a big, intractable question: How do I make a pre-recorded course that feels as spontaneous as a coaching session? Even though I was pretty sure there couldn’t be a good answer to this question —because, after all ..read more
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4 Secret Rules of “Office Speak”
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
10M ago
Lately I’ve been helping lots of clients understand and upskill their use of “Office Speak.” What is that? It’s a “language” governing what, when, and how to communicate with the people in your office. It can be hard to pick up the nuances of workplace communication culture, especially if your office is virtual. But as with any language, there are rules. And while the rules of “Office Speak” are rarely explained, you ignore them at your peril! 1. Make Life Easier for Your Boss Managers have a tremendous impact on the quality of our day-to-day experience. So it makes sense that managing th ..read more
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Public Speaking Strengths and Skills? You’ve Already Got Them!
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
11M ago
That’s right: You’ve already got the strengths and skills you need to be a good, or even great, public speaker! That’s because “public speaking” is more—much more—than giving a formal presentation from a stage. You’ve been doing it your whole life. We Build Public Speaking Strengths and Skills Every Day It’s also “public speaking” when you… Speak about (or for) your work — and “work” includes being a student, a volunteer, a job hunter, managing your home; anything that’s work for you. Have a particular outcome or goal in mind — whether you’re pitching a product or telling your kid to clean ..read more
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Wake Up to Public Speaking
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
11M ago
It’s spring-like in New York these days, and the entire world seems to be waking up. This past week, I hung out at a jazz club, had dinner in a fancy restaurant, and went to a birthday gathering with 18 people, many of them strangers. None of that would be worth noting if it was 2019. But it’s March of 2022 and, before the last few days, I hadn’t done any of those things for two years. It’s Rip Van Winkle Time In the classic Washington Irving story, a New York State villager named Rip Van Winkle wanders into the mountains. He meets and gets drunk with some “Dutchmen.” Then he falls asleep, wak ..read more
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Feedback Can Be Upsetting. Here’s How to Handle It.
Speak Up For Success
by Jezra
1y ago
Feedback goes by many names—criticism, notes, advice, suggestions, to cite just a few. It can be positive or negative, expected or unexpected, formal and well-thought-out or… not. It can even be something that you pursue.  Many years ago, my friend DK Dyson—an extraordinary blues, jazz, and rock singer who also teaches yoga and advocates for battered women—called me the day after her performance at New York’s famed Joe’s Pub and said, I’m calling for my feedback. As someone who, at that point in my life, was asking for feedback maybe never, I was metaphorically knocked out. My already g ..read more
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