Focus on Doing

Do you have the right life work balance?
Are you killing yourself with work? If so, why?
These are the questions that our founder, Barbara Moynihan and the lovely Amy Rowlinson of Focus on Why talk about in a recent podcast.  Barbara also explains why the ‘perfect’ presentation is an impossible goal!
You can listen to the talk below…

A Month Out – How, Why and What I Learned

This January I took a full month away from the business.  While I love my clients and delivering communication skills coaching, it was total bliss to go a full month without:
A single email.
A single client call.
A single minute of facilitation.
While I have taken several breaks of two to three weeks, this was the first time in 13 years that I switched off completely.  Full confession, I did have a few WhatsApp calls with Sharon (my Operations Coordinator), but they were short – I promise!
In this blog, I want to share why I decided to take the full month off, how I was able to, and what I learnt.
1. Why?
Since I set up On Your Feet in 2010, I had not switched off entirely for more than a couple of days.  Maybe some of you can relate to this?  I may, dare I say it, have been a bit of a control freak!  On top of this, I do think being “on” becomes a bit of a habit … well, it did for me anyway.
Also, last year, we sadly lost our Mum in early March.  She was 90 and ha...

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

A piece of advice we give during our coaching sessions that many people find reassuring is that 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.  Be yourself and be genuine. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, and don’t be afraid to show your personality.
The more you can relax and be yourself, the more confident you will feel, and the more engaging and effective your presentation will be.
As Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying:
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
Don’t get me wrong – you still need to do a lot of work to deliver a great presentation.  Amongst the key things that will help you be yourself and deliver with impact are: to prepare, to practice, and to use stories.
Below are a few tips on each of these 3 topics.
Make sure you know what you want to achieve from the pre...

How to present in a concise (and interesting) way!

One of the common complaints we hear from senior managers is that their teams struggle to be concise.  They include unnecessary detail and sometimes end up missing the point entirely!

Some of them struggle to present in a concise manner, they also struggle to make their content interesting and they can really struggle to make their delivery interesting.  The tips below can be helpful to conquer all 3 issues.
Start TweetTalking
Try this exercise – write out a sentence that you plan to say in your presentation, aim to make it about 20 words.  Then, take this sentence and look at how you might get rid of 2 words.  Then, see how you might get rid of another 2 words and repeat this exercise until you have got just 10 words. Those of you who are Twitter users are probably engaging in this exercise daily!  It is wonderful for helping us to use less words but have more impact.
An added bonus of talking in tweets is that if you are at a conference, it is more likely that list...

Top Keyboard Shortcuts to Save You Time!

This month we are delighted to do something a bit different.  Sharon, who is our operations coordinator, also runs her own business Sharon’s Tutorials.
She is an absolute whizz at all things tech relative to small business owners.  For example, Gmail, Google Apps, MS Office, Canva, Zoom, and any other software that helps small businesses to run smoothly.
Lots of her tips are relevant to people in larger businesses too.  So, she has kindly volunteered to share some of her wisdom with us.  When you have finished enjoying this blog, why don’t you Subscribe to her YouTube Channel by clicking here.
Having run my own admin business since 2010, I have come across a LOT of time-saving tips and tricks on various platforms and software. I share a few of them below on 5 different platforms that most businesses either use on a regular basis or may use in the future.
Windows Magnifier
If you’re a Windows user, then you might like to know about Windows...

Rhetoric – what is it and why must you use it in persuasive communications?

We all know that people will absorb our message via what they see and what they hear.
So, it is our body language, how our voices sound (tone, pace etc) and the words that we use.
When you are putting together your content, you are likely to be gathering your points, creating your structure and deciding how you will open and close.
But, how much thought do you give the actual words you use and your sentence construction?
Maybe not a huge amount?
Here’s the thing – when we communicate, we generally want “something to happen”.
So, we need to be persuasive.  Rhetoric is a wonderful tool to help us add real impact to our content.
There are many definitions of rhetoric and rhetorical devices.  For example, according to Wikipedia
“A rhetorical device is a technique that is used by a speaker or an author for conveying a particular message to the audience in such a way that it provokes an emotional response to a particular action. It is a linguistic tool, whose employment ca...

Virtual Meetings Etiquette

As with any form of communication, there is a certain etiquette, or list of unspoken rules/guidelines, that should be followed when giving or attending an online or virtual meeting.  As the host of the meeting, you should not expect the attendees to instinctively know what is expected of them.  Similarly, as the attendee of an online meeting, you should respect the wishes of the host and follow any instructions or guides that have been given to you.
We have listed below our recommendations in 7 areas of online meetings for both the host and participant which we hope you will find useful.
As the host of the virtual meeting or online event, generally you get to decide which virtual platform to use – unless you are limited by your organisation or IT dept!
So, which do you use? There are plenty to choose from now –  from Zoom, Teams to Google Meet and others – so make sure you use one that caters for all your needs. For example, do you need to have access to breako...

Best practice for presentation slides: Virtually vs In-person

Whilst we know how important the delivery of a presentation is – both in-person and virtual – the slides often take a back seat when it comes to the design.  There are specific differences between presenting virtually and in-person that you need to be aware of when creating your slides.  Below are our tips based on our own presentations that we’ve delivered virtually and in-person.
Preparation is key to any presentation, and researching your audience is vital to the success of your presentation.  You need to understand who you are presenting to, why they should listen to you and how you can help them.
The first thing to think about when it comes to designing slides to be delivered virtually, is how will your audience be viewing them?  Is it likely they’ll be watching on their mobile? Or will they mainly be watching on their laptop / tablet / desktop screen?
This will have an impact on your design, and how much detail you include on the slides.

How to appear more confident when presenting

Being able to present confidently is a skill, and like any other skill it requires plenty of practice in order to develop and improve it.  By practising your presentation skills on a regular basis means you will be honing your overall communication skills as well as boosting your self-confidence.
Preparation & planning is key to you delivering a successful presentation, whether it’s delivered virtually or in-person.  Being prepared will also calm your mind and help manage your nerves before delivering your presentation.
By focusing on each of the 3 key areas below, you’ll not only look more confident when presenting but feel it too, meaning you will have a more enjoyable presenting experience.
1. Your Voice
When presenting virtually, make sure to speak clearly and a bit louder than your normal conversational voice.  Remember people are listening to you on their PC or phone so their audio may not be as clear as when they’re in the same room as you.  They can adjust...

3 ways to add more energy into your virtual presentations

When you give a presentation, you know how important it is to be engaging and energetic to keep your audiences’ attention on you.  This is especially true when it’s delivered virtually, as you’re competing with distractions that are outside of your control.  Your audience may have to deal with incoming emails, children, pets, notifications, deliveries, all happening at the same time you are trying to keep their attention.
There are a few things you can do to help spice up your presentations and make them more engaging for your audience, and in this blog post we share 3 of the best ways to do just that!
1. Movement
Obviously, your movement is slightly restricted as you’re likely to be in front of a webcam on the laptop when you’re presenting virtually.  However, if you stand up to present you naturally feel more energetic, and there’s no reason why you can’t include a small bit of upper body movement.  Remember energy is contagious – the more enthused you are,...