Thursday, 6 November 2014

SIX Mistakes Public Speakers Make

Public speaking can be a daunting task. I get very nervous when presenting. The following mistakes could help you improve your presenting or public speaking skills. 

1. Make the audience feel small:
Speakers, of course, don’t intend to irritate audience members and set their teeth on edge. But let them unintentionally deliver a few lines like these and watch what happens: “As I travel around the globe each year…” - Douse people with a few of these comments, and see how fast they shrink emotionally.
2. Demonstrate arrogance:
In addition to ego-filled references that the audience can’t relate to, arrogance rears its head in many other ways; overly complex explanations meant to confuse rather than clarify, the use of “insider” references and terms without bothering to define them, outrageous demands that their personal comforts be met, inflexibility when things need to be adjusted, including schedules, timing, or setting, disrespecting people they consider “unimportant". Audience members notice behavior both on and off stage. Personality often drowns out the message.
3. Outsmart the smart alec:
All things being equal, audiences generally side with one of their own because the audience members are the “underdogs". A speaker holds the position of power at the beginning of an encounter, including the microphone, attention, an introduction, and credibility. However, once a speaker jumps into the fray and becomes confrontational with someone, he or she loses that original position of credibility. Better responses include: “I see things differently.” or “My take on that issue is…” - Bouncing angry barbs back and forth lowers, rather than raises, authority and respect.
4. Apologize for things you can control:
Be prepared. There’s no excuse for lack of preparation on things within your control: data you should have gathered, numbers you should have crunched, calls you should have made, interviews you should have done. If you don’t have it and aren't prepared to share it, don’t wave that flag. Apologizing for lack of preparation doesn't help.
5. Mishandle a Q&A period:
Never make statements like, “I’ll take two more questions”. What if your audience has only one more question? The impression created is that the group isn't all that interested in what you have to say. Or worse, what if the second question is a negative one? You certainly don’t want to end your Q-and-A period on a negative issue. When you've decided to stop taking questions, just stop. No need to give a warning.
6. End with questions:
Always deliver your polished wrap-up comments after the informal question session. Otherwise, your presentation or speech simply limps to a close. End with a wallop, not a whimper.



Hope everyone has had a good, productive week! Have an even better weekend - work hard, play hard :)


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

NINE Social Media Mistakes Businesses Make 

As a PR student, any information that will help understand this dynamic and forever changing industry is needed.  The importance of a social media/online presence is increasing, and considered very important - this is due to the change in ways of communicating effectively. The information age is upon us, and we are wanting/needing FAST information - the internet allows us to get this. 

Learning from the above nine mistakes will allow all aspiring professional communicators to better understand the planning of social media - its not all about posting random things. Strategy is important!

"Sound strategy starts with having the right goal" - Michael Porter


Monday, 3 November 2014

Hidden Gems 

Now that the final submissions are coming to an end, the year is coming to an end, festive season as well as summer is arriving - the need to be out and about is on a high. This past weekend, saw a chilled Friday as well as Sunday evening at two of my very favourite restaurants in Cape Town - allowed me to blow off some varsity steam and enjoy the best company. 

These two Jamaican / Caribbean themed restaurants, namely; Banana Jam and Trenchtown, is my type of scene - good food, good drinks, and great prices!

This vibrant Caribbean restaurant, situated at 157 2nd Avenue Kenilworth, has a breezy, tropical atmosphere. The laid back vibe is all you need while you sip on your cocktail and much on some good comfort food. The staff are so friendly, but service is fast. Happy hour is not to be missed: 5PM - 6PM everyday! Come rain or shine, the Banana Jam garden area is always open - their large inside dining area and bar is superb too. 

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11AM - 11PM // Sunday: 5PM - 11PM
Contact Number: (021) 674 0186

Myself and two friends enjoying the Banana Jam vibe - this was taken in their outside garden. 

One of the inside bars. 

This Island themed restaurant is tops when it comes to yummy food, mouthwatering cocktails, and an amazing outdoor AND indoor scene - all can be enjoyed on your student budget! They have regular screenings of sporting games/matches on their enormous screen for all to enjoy. Situated in Station Road, Observatory, for Lunch, dinner, or just drinks - the easy going atmosphere is where you want to be on a Sunday evening, especially with the amazing cocktail specials they run. 

Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday: 4PM - 2AM // Friday - Sunday: 12PM - 2AM
Contact Number: (021) 448 0516

The entrance.

The outdoor area - I believe you can braai here too.

The indoor area where many sporting events are screened throughout the year. 

Go out and visit these places, explore Cape Town!


TIPS for Business Writing 

As a BTech: PRM student, being released in to industry any day now, I am anxious about my writing skills - am I doing the right thing? Am I adding enough information? Am I adding too little information? How do I grab the audiences attention? etc. 
"Business writing, like literature, doesn't have to be dry. It doesn't have to full of long, compound sentences in order to be effective or businesslike. Nor does it have to be emotionless. Business writing is about convincing, as much as it’s about conveying", as stated on (2014). The following tips for business writing was mentioned in the article entitled: 2 Business Writing Tips From Hemingway. 
1. Dramatic opening: a short declarative sentence.
One does not have to cite the opening of “Hamlet” to get people’s attention. Still, there is nothing wrong with a little less formality and a bit more decoration. Why should your next weekly update convey emotion? - Because you worked all week trying to accomplish something, and your time is valuable.
2. Short staccato sentences: three short sentences at the end of a paragraph.
Three short sentences sounds more powerful than a paragraph with four or five longer sentences. The three sentences at the end drive home the point, with more emotion and power behind it. However, everyone should find his or her own style.Less is more, and sometimes less is more interesting, too.
Happy Writing :)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The End Is Near

T-minus two weeks left of my BTech year! Only two submissions and one presentation to go. Eeek! I am extremely excited to start this journey, which all starts on December 12th I guess - RESULTS DAY! It has been one of the toughest years but am probably certain it will all be worth it when we walk across that stage for graduation next year. It has been an eventful four years, but am now ready to move on - finally! My parents are already nagging me about 'the job search' - seriously? I guess there is no time like the present. I am so thankful and grateful to have had the opportunities and experiences I've had throughout my life. 

I wish my fellow BTech's well as they move forward into this new chapter of their lives. 

See you guys in industry!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Perfect Press Release

According to PR Daily, there are five mistakes that every PR professional should avoid when writing press releases

1. Press releases tend to take way too long to get to the point: 
Press releases need to be straight to the point. Reporters are always pressed for time and will not cover your story if it takes three or four paragraphs to get to the point.

2. Not explaining why the news is important: 
Content is of utmost importance with regards to a press release. You cannot assume that the reporter will understand understand why your press release is so significant. You need to explain exactly what the news is and why its news worthy.

3. Using hype words to oversell the story: 
It is important to sell your story but remain true to the facts. Avoid overselling your press release - remember that it's a press release, not an advertisement. 

4. Speaking to everybody while appealing to nobody: 
Pretend you're writing to one specific person when writing your release. Each release has its own audience - if you can speak directly to that audience, your release will be more effective. 

5. Leaving out key information:
Your release needs to be as thorough as possible - leaving out no key information yet remaining concise and straight to the point. Include only the most important details. 

Happy Writing :)