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Arizona’s Business Leaders Have Collaboration Edge with Paul Barton, ABC

What’s the one skill we can all learn to master that applies to any job in any industry?

It’s collaboration.

Collaboration is one of those “sink or swim” things when it comes to organizational success. Leaders who encourage collaboration within their organizations succeed. Those who don’t -won’t. But how do leaders learn to build their collaboration skills? Through mastering public speaking.

Paul Barton

Paul Barton, ABC

Arizona Business Communicator Paul Barton of Phoenix Public Speaking 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.” Mastering your life’s presentations is about mastering public speaking, which leads to improved collaboration skills to help ensure your personal and professional success.

Paul’s highly interactive workshops and real-world methods are about more than traditional public speaking. They are geared toward everyday business situations to promote collaboration with easy to remember tips, tricks and formulas to stand out from the crowd. Topics include:

  • Business presentations that turn heads, win hearts and get results.
  • Powerful storytelling techniques to make a lasting impact.
  • Making powerful first impressions.
  • Crisis Communication: Be Your Best When Facing the Worst
  • Improved collaboration using active listening skills.

Paul has been connecting minds of organizational leaders with the hearts of their audiences for more than 20 years. His successful career includes being one of the top communication thought leaders and collaboration strategists in Phoenix, Arizona. Paul also led internal communications at six successful brands including PetSmart and Hawaiian Airlines and authored the book Maximizing Internal Communication: Strategies to Turn Heads, Win Hearts, Engage Employees and Get Results.

He’s also a frequent guest speaker, blogger 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.

Put your public speaking fears in the rear-view mirror! Contact Paul to learn a unique and fun approach to “owning the room” while mastering your life’s presentations.


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How Thought Leaders Can Thoughtfully Lead Collaborative Company Cultures

Hot Air BalloonsPhoto: Findaphoto

I’m honored to be on IC Kollectif’s “Top IC Thought Leaders” list. But with great honor comes great responsibility.

As communication thought leaders, we need to lead the charge to build collaborative company cultures that promote respect, trust and care.

Internal Communication (IC) is the foundation of a collaborative company culture. Once you build a flourishing employee culture, then your employees will carry forward that care to your customers and clients.

Here’s some inspiration and direction for your quest to build successful, sustainable, collaborative company cultures:

I’d like to thank and recognize these communication experts (also on the “Top IC Thought Leaders” list) for supporting my quest for collaboration and continuous learning:

How are you helping to build a collaborative company culture? Send your stories to peggy@starrybluebrilliance.com to share in the ongoing Collaboration@Work series. 🙂


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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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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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Giving Thanks for My Internal Branding Learning Adventure

FireSky Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona

Photo: FireSky Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona

I had an incredible week at FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona for a learning adventure at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. #ALI_IntBranding

The best part of my adventure was spending time with people who valued collaboration and having fun! I’m grateful to everyone who shared their time, expertise and insights with me. Connecting with good people creates good energy! 🙂

I was especially happy to have met in person these collaboration experts featured on my blog in March and April:

A big thank you also to Michela Moe and Erin Sherwood of Advanced Learning Institute (ALI) for connecting us all together for this memorable adventure.

Although the conference is over, my adventure continues with sharing follow-up stories with you. Stay tuned!


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Speaking Authentically Delivers on Your Brand Promise

AmpliferPhoto by Andrei Baicus

Your employees are your best advocates for business success. But you must carefully plan how to help them spread their love of your organization.

In “8 Steps to Turn Staffers into Online Brand Ambassadors,” Courtney Howell states that “when provided with proper training and the right tools, employees can add value to a company’s social media program by driving engagement online, amplifying branded content, and building valuable relationships with referral sources, potential partners and prospects.”

In my profile of internal communications consultant and author Paul Barton, ABC, he explained that, “the tone you use to communicate to employees can have a powerful effect on employee perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. Digital Age employees need communications that speak to them in an authentic voice and communications that treat them like valued business partners.”

Learn how to inspire your employees to deliver on your brand promise as Paul Barton, ABC presents “Finding the Voice of Your Organization’s Brand” at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This mini-workshop will include real examples and proven practical approaches used in a variety of organizational cultures in multiple industries. During this session, you’ll discover how to:

  • Find the right branded tone for your organization
  • Develop the supporting tools you need to enhance employee engagement and drive desired brand behavior
  • Build your brand from the inside-out powerfully and simply with the Voice of the Brand

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Brilliance@Work: Internal Communication Consultant and Author Paul Barton, ABC

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.

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.

Join Paul at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Finding the Voice of Your Organization’s Brand.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Paul and his insights on winning the hearts of employees to enhance engagement and drive desired brand behavior.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Paul Barton, ABC: I believe employee communication is at the heart of every successful thing an organization does. That’s where my heart has always been. Whether it’s implementing a change initiative to increase customer satisfaction or productivity, recovering from a crisis, or working safer and more efficiently, it takes effective communication to make it all happen.

PLB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
PB: I’m most proud of projects that really move the needle for organizations and at the same time help to better the lives of employees – the well-being, 401(k) and safety campaigns, and the customer service and productivity initiatives. I’m also proud of helping struggling internal communication programs turn things around to be valued by their leaders and internal clients, and become a positive force for change within their organizations.

PLB: How does brand voice affect employee engagement?
PB: Credibility is the foundation of effective communication of all types, and that most certainly includes internal communication. We need to speak to employees in an authentic voice and treat them like valued business partners if we are to be successful. And we need to speak to employees in a tone that reflects the brand behavior we want them to live in their day-to-day interactions with customers. The objective third-party tone devoid of personality that we learned in journalism class to write newspaper articles doesn’t work to inspire Digital Age employees. Organizations have personalities, and personalities have voices.

PLB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
PB: This topic is very much needed. People are looking for authentic brands that do the right thing and do right by their employees. If an organization focuses exclusively on external branding and neglects its internal audience, then day-to-day customer experiences won’t match the organization’s brand promise. When an organization’s “do” is misaligned with its “say,” brand promises become nothing more than discredited advertising slogans. Authentic brands are built from the inside out when employees consistently deliver the brand promise.

PLB: What is most important for people to understand from your conference presentation?
PB:
 Finding the most effective tone for your internal communication is crucial to driving brand behavior and employee engagement within your organization.

PLB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
PB: My Twitter handle is @PaulBartonABC and my email is PaulBarton@Outlook.com. I look forward to talking internal comms with you!

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.

 


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A Crisis in Vegas Does NOT Stay in Vegas

WelcomeToVegasNitePhoto: The Las Vegas Strip. Wikinews:User:David_Vasquez in April, 2005.

You’ve probably heard that “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But when a crisis happens in Vegas, it doesn’t stay in Vegas. Everyone outside of Vegas hears about it.

When (not if) a crisis happens for your organization, do you have a plan?

Be prepared with a powerful and quick response to protect and enhance your brand’s reputation when the crisis hits. Register today for “Be Your Best When Facing the Worst,” a crisis communication workshop sponsored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. Crisis Communication Workshop in Las Vegas October 7 2015Read about our workshop presenter Paul Barton, ABC on his website and my interview with him last month.

I’m looking forward to attending this workshop! Watch for highlights.


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Be Your Best When Your Organization is Facing the Worst

Golden_and_pink_sky_tree_silhouettePhoto: Sunset, Randers, Denmark. Malene Thyssen, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Malene. Dual license: GNU Free Documentation License, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5

It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN your organization will face a crisis. Are you ready to help your organization through it?

Be prepared with a powerful and quick response to protect and enhance your brand’s reputation when the crisis hits. Register today for “Be Your Best When Facing the Worst,” a crisis communication workshop sponsored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.Crisis IABC-LVRead on to learn more about communication expert and workshop presenter Paul Barton, ABC and how his workshop can help you to prepare your organization for a crisis:

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What is your experience in serving companies in crisis situations?
Paul Barton, ABC: I have helped create crisis communication plans, dark websites and practice drills for PetSmart, APS, Phelps Dodge, America West Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. I’ve have helped companies get through a wide variety of crisis situations including employee deaths on the job, major business disruptions, shootings and natural disasters. One of my more unusual experiences was not only coordinating communications, but also helping to coordinate supplies for search and rescue dog teams at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of 9-11.

PLB: What are some common missteps organizations take during a crisis?
PB: The top three missteps I see are:

(1) Some businesses think they need to wait to get all the facts verified before they say anything to the press, their customers and their employees. What they should be doing is getting out in front of a crisis right away and establishing themselves as the most credible information source. It’s OK to say “We don’t have all the facts yet, but we are aware of this incident, and we are making sure that all our employees and customers are safe and sound. We promise to keep you updated as soon as we have all the facts.”

(2) In the rush to get information out, some companies forget the importance of addressing the emotional side. Until people know that you care, they don’t care what you know. You need to establish that you care early on with a statement such as  “Our immediate concern is for the safety and well-being of our employees and our customers. Our hearts go out to the victims.”

(3) Some organizations are so focused on getting statements to the news media that they forget about their own employees. It is quite often the employees who will determine how fast and how fully an organization will recover from a crisis. And it is employees who are the face of the organization to the customers. They can be great and credible advocates for the organization if they have the right information.

PLB: What is the most helpful action an organization can take to prepare for a crisis?
PB: Practice, practice, practice. Many organizations have a plan, but they don’t conduct regular drills. Phone numbers and contacts get out of date, pre-gathered supplies get lost, and key players don’t know where to go and what to do. A failure to prepare can turn a crisis into a catastrophe.

PLB: What are the top things that communication professionals can learn from your upcoming crisis communication workshop?
PB:

(1) How to create powerful crisis messages on the fly that not only protect your brand image, but actually enhance your brand reputation.

(2) How to turn social media into a third-party advocate and powerful listening tool during a crisis.

(3) The role good employee communication can play in helping a company to recover more quickly and fully.

(4) How to be at your best when your company is facing the worst by having a good plan on which to rely.

PLB: How is your workshop structured?
PB: There is interactive learning and hands-on work. Attendees will come away with a working crisis communication plan template and many samples that they can take back to their offices and easily develop into a full crisis communication plan for their organizations or incorporate into existing plans.

PLB: What other types of workshops, products and services do you provide? 
PB: In addition to the crisis workshop, I can assist clients with writing the plan. My services include consulting, writing, editing, communication audits and project support. I can offer fresh ideas or just an extra pair of hands. And with a wide network of videographers, graphic designers and event planners that I partner with, no project is too big or too small. I also offer several products on my website including a step-by-step guide for strategic communication planning and a book on internal communication.

PLB: What is your contact information for questions and follow-up?
PB:
Readers can find more information on my website at paulbartonabc.com or they can email me at PaulBarton@Outlook.com


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Celebrating One Year of Starry Blue Brilliance

1024px-Van_Gogh_from_Space*Photo: Van Gogh from Space, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Credit: USGS/NASA/Landsat 7, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Thanks to your encouragement and loyal readership, my website starrybluebrilliance.com turned 1 this week.

I started Starry Blue Brilliance one year ago as a resource for learning and sharing corporate communication best practices to help our businesses and organizations succeed.

With your support, it continues as a “masterpiece” in progress that we create together as shown by these stats:

  • 63 total posts
  • 405 subscribers
  • Viewed by 96 countries

and these comments:

“Peggy, when I met you several years ago I recognized you as a great mom to my student Chris, but also as someone who was a great communicator. I only learned later that it was in fact your career. When starrybluebrilliance.com was launched, I was blown away. As you remember, I recommended that you should not only be writing, but should be consulting to companies. Peggy, you are great. Let’s let the world know.” – Bill Bryson, retired businessman and teacher

“Thanks Peggy for continuing to provide such great info time after time. I don’t know how you do it! You’ve created a unique blog that is a must-read for communicators looking for insights and tips that are immediately useful. I especially appreciate the many templates and forms you’ve made available for download including the Storytelling Feedback Tools and the Perfect Fit questions. You always have great content, great links and great artwork. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to the next year. Keep it coming!”Paul Barton, ABC, Principal Consultant, Paul Barton Communications LLC

Thank you again for making this important milestone possible!

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me  a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Indian Proverb

*Photo description: In the style of Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night, massive congregations of greenish phytoplankton swirl in the dark water around Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea. Phytoplankton are microscopic marine plants that form the first link in nearly all ocean food chains. Population explosions, or blooms, of phytoplankton, like the one shown here, occur when deep currents bring nutrients up to sunlit surface waters, fueling the growth and reproduction of these tiny plants. To learn more about the Landsat satellite, visit http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/