Ah, networking. Whether you dismiss it as disingenuous glad-handing or relish a human game of chess, all ambitious professionals inevitably encounter scenarios in which the outcomes hinges not on what but who they know. That reality takes nothing away from the value of demonstrable talent and an unimpeachable work ethic. At the same time, making friends in the right places can open up singular opportunities to exhibit those virtues in a rarefied spotlight rather than quietly behind the scenes and far from the people receiving credit for your effectiveness. Nobody wins this calculating game without judicious attention to detail or […]

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A poorly prepared, uninformative presentation to an initially receptive audience will vaporize your credibility more quickly than the sun evaporates a single raindrop before it can strike the Arizona desert. Does that mean there’s only one way to botch a potentially eye-opening lecture? Hardly. On the contrary, padding your talk with an absurd volume of disposable minutiae and visual razzle-dazzle will slowly grind your assembled crowd’s collective patience into submission as they desperately attempt to glean your actual intended takeaway from mountains of showy padding. There are a few proven ‘right’ ways to structure any presentation. There are enough ‘wrong’ […]

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Professional public speaking isn’t for everyone. The nonstop travel and constant meticulous creative fine-tuning can leave even seasoned lecturers wondering what dissuaded them from a less exhaustive career path. They could have taken it easy and become attorneys or neurosurgeons. Instead, they set out to walk onstage alone night after night to enthusiastically address and inform crowds of strangers willing to part with hard-earned money and precious time in exchange for a singularly inspiring learning experience. Let us suppose that you explore the paid speaking circuit and decide that the life-consuming preparation that accompanies your performance just isn’t paying the […]

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