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Master Your Life’s Presentations

Boardwalk onto oceanPhoto: Skitterphoto.com

Is life a series of presentations to be mastered?

My friend and communication expert Paul Barton, ABC of Paul Barton Communications LLC, says that “all the world is a stage, and life is a series of presentations – networking, job interviews, pitching an idea to a client, even trying to get your colleague to try a new place for lunch – they are all persuasive presentations.”

As I started helping Paul to promote his upcoming July workshops, “How to Speak Up and Stand Out from the Crowd,” I’m learning more about public speaking and how it can improve not only your presentation skills, but also your networking and interpersonal skills.

Here are some great articles that discuss some of the same techniques that Paul teaches in his workshop:

Paul’s highly interactive workshop is about more than traditional public speaking. It’s geared toward everyday business situations with easy to remember tips, tricks and formulas to stand out from the crowd. Topics include:

  • Persuasive presentations to turn heads and win hearts.
  • Meaningful introductions to make a great first impression.
  • Powerful storytelling techniques to make a lasting impact.
  • Effective networking to be remembered.
  • Improved collaboration with co-workers and clients using active listening skills.

Put your public speaking fears in the rear-view mirror! Join me at Paul’s workshop on Wednesday, July 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Register here.

Paul will also present this workshop in Arizona next month:

To ensure personal attention, each workshop is limited to 12 people.

Learn a unique and fun approach to “owning the room” while mastering your life’s presentations. Register today!

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Bonfyre Inspires Collaboration@Work

Fireworks over city skylinePhoto: Bossfight.co

When’s the last time you experienced great collaboration at work?

When I heard about Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program, I just had to find out more about this fabulous example of collaboration so I could share it and inspire others to be more collaborative at work.

Chris Dornfeld is President and Co-founder of Bonfyre, a mobile, social engagement platform used by people, brands and companies around the globe. When I met Chris during the ALI’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, he had exciting news to share about Bonfyre’s new website.

This month, Chris shared with me how Bonfyre’s Lunch and Learn program increases collaboration among his employees so they learn from each other, learn about each other, and continue to be inspired to help their clients create increased collaboration in their organizations.

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Bonfyre employees collaborate on white-boarding and visual communication during their monthly Lunch and Learn program

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How does your Lunch and Learn series support your business goals?
Chris Dornfeld: The Bonfyre Lunch and Learn program accomplishes three objectives for our team:
(1) Exposing people to new ideas and knowledge.
(2) Getting to know one another. Employees present on a broad range of topics. Most are in some way interactive.
(3) Reinforce our culture of collaboration and learning.

These outcomes help us build a more engaged, innovative and collaborative team of people.

PB: How does your Lunch and Learn series promote collaboration and a positive company culture?
CD:  Occasionally, we bring in an outside expert, but most of our Lunch and Learns are organized and presented by employees. Some of the topics are directly related to our business and some are just things people find interesting and they want to share. People take them pretty seriously and do an excellent job making them interesting and engaging.

Recently, one of our graphic designers did a Lunch and Learn on white-boarding and good visual communication in meetings. After the first 20 minutes, we divided into pairs and created visual stories for one another. Not only did we learn about visual communication, but we learned a great deal about people in other parts of the company.

PB: Tell us more about your Lunch and Learn series program.
CD: We try to conduct a program once a month. The topics vary widely from how stock options work, to travel slide shows of exotic places, from client events, to hacking Bonfyre design ideas. We have also hosted authors, motivational speakers and experts in their fields.

PB: What is some of the feedback you’ve received so far on this series?
CD: Incredibly positive! It’s always nice to get a free lunch with your co-workers, but learning more about things you are interested in is even better. The topics are pretty diverse, and attendance is voluntary. Everyone participating is engaged.

PB: What are some other collaboration activities or initiatives you’ve launched?
CD: We build technology to help employees around the globe love their job, so we are constantly thinking and testing new technologies, ideas and programs to improve the work experience.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

Bonfyre employees team-build during a human foosball game.

We have company team building events like human foosball and escape rooms. We encourage cross-department brainstorming/hackathons to help solve problems. We have project tables for Lego and “maker” builds. And of course, we have Bonfyre communities for everything from project teams to “foodies,” so we can stay connecting and collaborating, no matter our location.

Bonfyre’s collaboration techniques inspired me to create a new series called Collaboration@Work, where I’ll share more examples of fabulous collaboration at work. Stay tuned!

What are some examples of fabulous collaboration you’ve experienced at your organization?


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Marketing Analytics & Data Science Insights from San Francisco

Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate Bridge photo by Pixabay

As I reported last month and confirmed in person this month, learning opportunities are blooming in Marketing Analytics & Data Science.

Here’s a brilliant collection of marketing analytics and data science insights from the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference in San Francisco.

Please read and share these stories so we can all learn how to deploy marketing analytics and data science to drive our businesses and organizations forward.

All of these stories are featured on The Market Research Blog.

Thanks to Edmund Balogun, Conference Producer; his fabulous team; and Amanda Ciccatelli, Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, for inviting me and for producing and promoting an outstanding conference!

Special thanks to Carl Bieniek @sqltigger, for helping to keep the #MADSCONF socialsphere active! 🙂


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A Brilliant Collection of Marketing Analytics & Data Science Insights

ConstellationsPhoto by Pixabay

“When a collection of brilliant minds, hearts and talents come together . . . expect a masterpiece.” – inspirational quote (Successories.com)

I’m fortunate for the opportunity to feature a collection of profiles about many brilliant industry experts in my May and June Brilliance@Work posts.

I’m also grateful to these individuals for sharing their insights on how to deploy marketing analytics and data science to drive our businesses and organizations forward.

This week, these experts and many others will be presenting at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference (MADS) in San Francisco, California. Watch for my MADS conference posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ , Starry Blue Brilliance , and The Market Research Blog,

In the meantime, here’s a summary of all the Brilliance@Work MADS conference presenter profiles:

R&D Informatics Expert Laura Aguiar. Learn how Laura and her data science team support R&D informatics innovation at Roche.

Laura Aguiar

Laura Aguiar

Data Storytelling Expert Earl Taylor. Learn how Earl and MSI use quantitative and qualitative data to help their members stay on the forefront of marketing thought and practice.

Earl Taylor

Earl Taylor

Industrial Internet Expert Beena Ammanath. Learn how GE is leading the Industrial Internet.

Beena Ammanath

Beena Ammanath

Marketing Measurement Expert Eric Callahan. Learn how to implement successful measurement programs.

Eric Callahan

Eric Callahan

Mobile Analytics Expert Danfeng Li. Learn Alibaba’s strategy in the mobile marketplace.

Danfeng Li

Danfeng Li

Technology Researcher Wayne Huang. Learn how social media is transforming the way consumers interact with brands.

Wayne Huang

Wayne Huang

Data Detective Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D. Learn how the questions you ask while analyzing the data are critical for successful business outcomes.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.

Generational Marketing Expert Jane Buckingham. Learn about the importance of understanding generations for business success.

Jane Buckingham

Jane Buckingham

Marketing Metrics Expert Don Sexton. Learn about the importance of Customer Surplus Factor (CSF) for business success.

Don Sexton

Don Sexton

Business Storytelling Expert Nancy Kazdan. Learn why the real goal of communication is human connection.

Nancy Kazdan

Nancy Kazdan


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How to Speak Up and Stand Out from the Crowd

Paul Barton Stand Up and Speak Out“My view is that all the world is a stage, and life is a series of presentations – networking, job interviews, pitching an idea to a client, even something like trying to get your colleague to try a new place for lunch – they are all persuasive presentations.” – Paul Barton, ABC, business communication expert, instructor, author

For many of us, persuading others through public speaking is a big challenge to overcome. But once you do, you’re on the road to success in your personal and professional life. Improving your public speaking skills also improves your presentation, networking and interpersonal skills.

I’m taking this advice to heart by supporting my friend and fellow collaborator, Paul Barton, ABC, in his efforts to help everyone, “put the fear of public speaking in your rear-view mirror!”

I encourage you to join me in attending Paul’s workshop, “Speak Up and Stand Out: 5 Powerful Ways to Present Yourself with Presence and Poise” on Wednesday, July 13, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

During this highly interactive workshop, you’ll discover how to:

  • Deliver persuasive presentations that turn heads and win hearts
  • Introduce yourself and make a great first impression
  • Use storytelling techniques to make a lasting impact
  • Network effectively and be remembered
  • Collaborate more effectively with co-workers and clients using active listening skills

Be better prepared for your next presentation or networking opportunity. Register today!

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Paul and how his workshop can help you stand out from the crowd as an effective presenter and connector:

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How is this workshop unique from other public speaking workshops?
Paul Barton, ABC: This workshop is about much more than traditional public speaking. My view is that all the world is a stage, and life is a series of presentations – networking, job interviews, pitching an idea to a client, even something like trying to get your colleague to try a new place for lunch – they are all persuasive presentations. So this workshop is geared to everyday business situations, and it provides attendees with skills they can use on the job and in their daily lives to stand out from the crowd.

Most people have never been taught how to:

  • Introduce themselves to stand out from the crowd
  • Tell a succinct story that is memorable
  • Listen to really understand and ensure people feel heard
  • Properly exchange a business card
  • Shake hands to make a lasting impression

This workshop is not a PowerPoint lecture. It’s highly interactive. I present simple, common sense tips, tricks and formulas, and then we put them into practice. Attendees are up out of their chairs and on their feet, working in groups, role-playing and receiving personal coaching much of the time. It’s really a lot of fun!

PLB: What are the biggest challenges people face in public speaking?
PB: The single biggest challenge for most people is overcoming the nervous jitters. The other major challenge many people face is organizing a presentation coherently so they don’t sound like they are just rambling.

PLB: How does your workshop help people overcome these challenges?
PB: In the workshop I provide simple, but strong techniques attendees can use to redirect nervous energy and overcome their fear. I teach them how to “own the room” so they are the host and the audience are the guests, instead of the other way around.

Regarding the organization of a talk, I present several techniques to add “verbal signposts” to a presentation and a great template that can be adapted to give a clear structure to any topic resulting in a powerful persuasive presentation.

PLB: Do people need to change who they are to become better speakers?
PB: We don’t try to change people into being someone they aren’t. That doesn’t work for in the long run. We don’t count “ahs” and “ums.” Instead, we focus on who they really are and then help them become more of it.

People don’t stand awkwardly and show nervous twitches when they are talking with their friends or family. I help them discover how to be comfortable in all situations and develop habits that will allow them to be effective speakers.

PLB: What was the inspiration for the creation of this workshop?
PB: I teach college courses in business communication and public speaking as an adjunct instructor. I developed a curriculum aimed at helping people tackle real world experiences, and I saw how the students responded to the coaching and role-playing exercises. Many have told me months later that they still remember and use the formulas I taught them.

Every student has left my class with more confidence than when they came in, and in some cases the skills the students have learned have changed their lives. Some of the students I’ve taught have had speech impediments, but discovered they can still be effective presenters.

The students amaze and inspire me every day, so I decided to offer some of the techniques I’ve developed for my classes into a six-hour course to help others discover how to be more effective presenters.

PLB: What will people gain from attending this workshop?
PB: Attendees will acquire greater self-confidence, expand their comfort zones and discover how to deliver with presence and poise. They will come away with easy-to-remember tips, tricks and formulas to tackle real world situations. They will become better listeners and more persuasive presenters. Everyone communicates, but not everyone connects. With a little training, everyone can learn how to speak up and stand out from the crowd.

About the presenter:

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC is Principal Consultant, Paul Barton Communications LLC. He’s been passionate about connecting the minds of organizational leaders with the hearts of employees for more than 20 years.

After a successful career at six fast-growing brands including PetSmart and Hawaiian Airlines, Paul authored a book entitled Maximizing Internal Communication: Strategies to Turn Heads, Win Hearts, Engage Employees and Get Resultsand he launched his own consulting firm.

He’s a frequent speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of crisis communication, internal communication, and HR communication strategies. Paul also teaches courses in public speaking and business communication as an adjunct faculty member.

Paul is a long-time member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has earned the association’s Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation.


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Brilliance@Work: Business Storytelling Expert Nancy Kazdan

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work. This month, we’re continuing to feature Marketing Analytics & Data Science experts.

Nancy Kazdan is Founder and CEO of Market Share International. She’s also a presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Nancy Kazdan

Nancy Kazdan

As a preview to her presentation “Your Data Doesn’t Always Tell the Story,” Nancy shares insights on why the real goal of communication is human connection.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What is business storytelling?
Nancy Kazdan: People tell business stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, colleagues, partners, suppliers and the media. Business stories differ from regular stories, in that you tell them with an objective, goal or desired outcome in mind, rather than for entertainment.

When you tell a story well, it can create an intense, personal connection between your audience and your message. Effective stories can change our opinions, they can inspire us to achieve goals that we didn’t think were possible, and they can show us how we can change things for the better.

PB: How can big data benefit from storytelling?
NK: We are often the bridge between the data and the audience of decision makers we want to encourage to take the desired action. Effective storytelling in business must be focused on tailoring the story to the audience and choosing the right data visualizations to complement the narrative.

PB: How is behavioral marketing and storytelling critical in your work?
NK: I’ve seen a lot of products yield mediocre results. Integers do not evoke emotion, but their interpretation into a powerful story can. We wouldn’t be able to get stellar results without stories that touch emotions that create action.

PB: What role does communication and building relationships play in supporting the data story?
NK: If you want your data to affect change, then you need to have a relationship with your audience and communicate the way they understand.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
NK: Harnessing the power of data doesn’t have to be boring. In this session, I’ve incorporated my knowledge and experience of big data and talent for storytelling. I’ll help you take away your own tools for effective storytelling.

Want to hear more from Nancy? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.