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Guest blogging

Guest Blogging – How to Make Sure it Delivers for You

This is the second part of the recent blog by Suzanne May.
Suzanne is the owner of Story Gem, a professional writing service, which helps small business make a bigger impact using the power of the written word.
In our last post we discussed some of the pros and cons of accepting guest blogs on your business website.
We saw how there are some great benefits to doing this, but there are also some cons that can make guest blogging a risky business, if you don’t know what to watch out for.
Today, we’re going to give you some of the best tips available to ensure that if you decide to accept guest blogs on your business website, you don’t end up with a heavy dose of regret afterward.
Barbara, from On Your Feet, says she’s a ‘fussy cow’ about who she lets blog on her site.  She only allows people to guest blog when their content is compatible with hers.  Furthermore she only lets people she knows very well and has met face to face to guest blog on her site.
She has good reason....
Guest blogs

Allowing Guest Blogs on Your Site – What You Need to Know

This blog is the first in a series of 2 on the topic of guest blogging.  It comes from the wonderful Suzanne May.  Suzanne is the owner of Story Gem, a professional writing service, which helps small business make a bigger impact using the power of the written word.
The way that we present ourselves to the world is so important.
In business, we strive to come across as professional and personable when meeting new people. Barbara, at On Your Feet, does an amazing job of teaching businesses how to give engaging presentations and excel at public speaking.
But, in an increasingly digital world, we need to be aware of how we present ourselves online too. And our business blog plays a big part in that. So, the idea of allowing an ‘outsider’ to take over for a day can be a daunting prospect. There are substantial benefits to accepting guest blogs on your website, but you also need to be aware of what can go wrong too. Knowing the pitfalls in advance helps you to recognise and sidestep t...
radio interview

And now for something … a bit different!

Below is an interview that Barbara Moynihan, the founder of On Your Feet, did on South Dublin FM with Joe Dalton of Breakthrough Brands. It gives you an insight into the journey Barbara took to get On Your Feet to where it is now.
Press Play below to listen to the podcast:
 


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Oscars 2018 – who wins the best speech award?

USA today described last night’s Oscars as a “relatively tame and predictable night”. Is that a fair description?
Maybe it was.
Maybe it wasn’t.
For me, I am always curious about the speeches.
Interestingly, in his monologue, Jimmy Kimmel referred to said upcoming speeches. He tried to encourage the winners to keep their speeches short, by promising a prize of a jet ski to the shortest speech.
So, I am sure Mark Bridges, who won the Costume Design Oscar for Phantom Thread, is whizzing in his brand new jet ski, somewhere off the coast of LA! He managed to get through his thank you’s in a mere 32 seconds.
But, the good thing about the lure of the jet ski prize, was that it gave several of the winners an opportunity to throw in a bit of humour early on in their speeches, by making throw back references to the infamous prize.
Overall, from what I can glean, the 2018 Oscars were nothing particularly special. In 2017, at least we had something to talk about, with the excitement...

Oscar acceptance speeches – and why Liam Neeson may be glad he never won!

The Oscars are just a day away. I’m sure the question on everyone’s’ lips is – Who will be the winners?
But there are others who are more interested in 2 other questions:
What will they wear?
What will they say?
Whatever about the outfits – of particular focus this year, will be how many will wear black, in support of the #MeToo campaign.
My particular fascination is with wondering what the winners will say. Will we have speeches along the line of Oprah’s one at The Golden Globes, delivered with eloquence and passion?
While I am not a major movie buff, I do watch with fascination as actors and actresses step to the stage as “themselves”. It is quite amazing how we assume that they are as confident playing “themselves”, as they seem to be in the roles they play.
But that is not always the case, and for some making a speech is something they really fear.
Take for example, Liam Neeson. Neeson has played really strong powerful roles, including Oskar Schindle...
Face to face communication

5 tips for your face to face communications – specifically presentations

In this age where most of us spend our working day communicating through emails and our personal time communicating via Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp and text  – how significant is face to face communication?
Well, according to a study at Harvard, face to face communication is 34 times more successful than an email.
That’s fairly significant, don’t you think?
So, when you are communicating to a group of people, be it to your team, the board, at a conference or in a pitch – you really want to make sure that you hit the mark.
The tips below focus on helping you with your delivery of the message.
1. Water, water but never milk!
Okay so, this is a bit random – but it is important!
Never drink milk before a presentation as it coats your vocal chords and impedes your vocal impact.  Sip water regularly (at least every 5 minutes) – if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Sipping water also allows you time to pause during your presentation, and if...
presentation pause

6 reasons why pausing makes you a better presenter

Really confident speakers pause… a lot! They tend to speak in shorter sentences, use less words and therefore have more impact.
Their silence speaks volumes.
Not so confident speakers tend to replace full stops with the word “and”.
They make a point – then, instead of pausing, they add the word “and” which results in them continuing to the next sentence, or point without so much as a whisper of a pause, and it reduces their impact and they find themselves speaking in long rambling sentences, much like this one and it is quite annoying and seriously reduces their impact.
Inserting a full stop, and a pause, has much more impact.
Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream” averages at just 106 words per minute. You should aim to average no more than 120 words a minute, or 2 words a second, for real impact. Remember, this is an average, so it allows plenty of time for pausing.
When we write we use commas, semi-colons, full stops and even new paragraphs to...

3 Funerals and a Wedding

Recently I was approached by 2 people with the same need but for completely different reasons. One of these was a man whose daughter was getting married. The other, also a man, had 3 people he knew with terminal illnesses. Both of them knew they would have to speak in emotional circumstances.
While shedding a tear or 2 is of course acceptable (and healthy) both of these clients felt they needed some help to ensure that they would not lose control.
As with all things, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. Below is a random sample of techniques that may help you if you are in a similar situation:
 
Breathing
Both before and during the speaking event it can be helpful to engage some deep breathing techniques.
There is a simple breathing exercise that can help hugely when feeling nervous or anxious.  When I do this breathing exercise (even when I am not feeling anxious) my heart rate consistently falls by 10%.
So, here it is – breathe in slowly for a cou...

Why you do not need to be a “Perfect” presenter

A piece of advice that many people I coach on presentations find reassuring is this – you don’t need to be perfect, it is much more important to be yourself. You do not need to take on a “presenting persona”. Your audience is much more interested in seeing the real you .
Don’t get me wrong – you still need to prepare, practice, research your audience, be clear on your message and deliver with impact. But there is absolutely no need whatsoever to go into “presenter mode”.
Below are just a few short tips on each of these 3 topics.
1. Prepare
Make sure you know what you want to achieve from the presentation.
Make sure you know what the audience are expecting to “get” from the presentation. Prepare your content to address both elements.
2. Practice
Ideally practice out loud in front of a real audience.  Preferably, find someone who will give you honest feedback. One way you can get this is, before you start your practice run, ask them to look out for 2 things they like...

Top tips to be more engaging in your business presentations

When you stand up and speak in a presentation, listeners will form an opinion of you, your product or service and your organisation, based on how you are coming across.  Come across as dull and boring – then that is the impression you leave them with of your organisation.  On the other hand, come across as engaging and they will be more likely to seek you out.
Below are our top 10 tips, which recently appeared in the Sunday Business Post, that can help you to be a more engaging presenter in your next business presentation.
1. What about “them”?  The most important element in any presentation is “them”, your audience.  Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard you need to find out all you can about them and what they want to get from your presentation.   The better you understand them, their attitude and their world, the better chance you have of engaging with them.
2. Begin with the end in mind.   What is the purpose of the presentation?  This should be cryst...