Effective Public Speaking: 5 Powerful Ways To Use Volume

Knowing how to use volume skillfully can make a huge contribution to effective public speaking.

Speakers who use just one level of volume, usually at low level, can almost guarantee having an audience who are either sleeping or taking mental excursions.

Use the five key guidelines below and really harness the power of volume as you develop an effective public speaking style:

  1. Sufficient Volume

Many speakers could increase their volume considerably. The reason they do not is often because they believe their volume level is greater than it really is. The way our voice sounds in our own heads is different to the way it sounds from the audience perspective.

So learn to speak louder than you feel is really necessary. Remember, when making a presentation you are not having a quiet chat with a friend in the corner of a favorite café. You are before an audience and you need to project your voice.

If you are concerned you may be overdoing it, then simply use the audience as your guide as to whether you are using sufficient volume.

Look closely at those sitting at the back and watch their facial expressions and reactions. Are they evidently straining to hear? Increase the volume.

There is a careful balance here. You do not want to speak so loud you make it uncomfortable for those at front but at the same time you do need to speak loud enough for all to hear comfortably.

This can even apply when there is microphone equipment as many times the equipment is not adjusted to the best level and you the speaker will have to compensate.

  1. Mouth And Clarity

Open the mouth wide enough for your words to come out clearly. Speaking rapidly, clipping the ends of words, slurring words together, are to be avoided at all costs! If you face any of these problems, work hard to overcome them.

Make a recording of your speech and play it back to get a good idea as to how your voice is coming over.

Then practice, practice, practice. Speak slowly and clearly, paying particular attention to sounding word endings.

At first it will sound unnatural and exaggerated. With practice the unnaturalness will disappear and your speech will be much more distinct and clearly understood.

  1. Vary Your Volume

Increase or decrease your volume according to the subject matter of your material or your purpose in that section of the presentation.

If you want the audience to take action then you need to use stronger volume. If you are relating anecdotes or material requiring sympathy or understanding, use a softer tone.

Learning to vary your volume level throughout your presentation according to the subject matter will greatly increase audience interest and attention.

  1. Adjusting Volume

Be ready to adjust your volume or even stop speaking when necessary.

If there is a temporary noise, perhaps a noisy passing vehicle, be sensitive to the circumstances and increase your volume to cover the distraction. If the noise is longer than a few seconds, perhaps an airplane passing overhead, pause until the interruption has passed, then resume what you were saying.

This tells the audience that what you are saying is important, not a word is to be missed.

  1. When To Increase Volume

Use increased volume for the first sentence in your introduction. This is a key element in effective public speaking. The opening sentence has to grab the attention of the audience, get them engaged. Starting off with your normal speaking voice will fail to do that.

A powerfully stated first sentence establishes your credibility so the audience is far more likely to take you seriously.

Example: Compare the feeling and impression you get with hand shakes. How is your impression affected by a limp handshake and by a firm handshake? Likewise, a strong powerful voice conveys you are confident and in control.

Don’t make the audience feel sorry for you by starting in a soft tone that borders on an apology for being there.

Learning how to use volume for effect is a very powerful speaking tool. Delivering your presentation with sufficient volume, varying it according to the material and circumstances, will do much to leave a good impression with the audience and enhance your reputation in effective public speaking.

Public Speaking:The 5 Step Starting Routine

Confident public speaking come with time and experience obviously. Few people are natural born public speakers.

However, there is a way to short-cut the learning curve and appear much more confident that you may feel inside by mastering the starting routine.

Just arriving at the speaker’s stand or in front of an audience and immediately breaking into your speech by blurting out the first few sentences catches everyone almost unawares and also reveals your nervousness.

Likewise shuffling your notes as you begin speaking conveys a negative impression.

Instead, follow this simple 5 step routine before you begin any presentation and you immediately appear confident at public speaking engagements and presentations:

  1. Walk slowly to the speaker’s stand or in a controlled, measured way stand up in front of the group or audience and place your notes on the lectern
  2. Look at the audience and around the room for just one or two seconds while you discreetly take in a deep breath
  3. Pause
  4. Smile or at least make sure you have a relaxed facial expression
  5. Begin your first sentence with strong volume and a commanding tone

Discipline yourself to follow this procedure and feel your self-confidence soar!

Note: While your presentation should be extemporaneous, learning the first few words or the first two or three sentences off by heart can do much to make sure the launch is positive and confident.

Here are some other suggestions which are invaluable in developing a confident public speaking style:


Enthusiasm can make up for a number of other failings on the part of a speaker.

Even if a speaker is not highly polished in his/her presentation skills, an audience won’t give it undue attention if the speaker is enthusiastic.

Enthusiasm shows how you feel about the subject. If you have a passion for it, if you just love speaking about it, this will rub off on the audience.

Be Natural

Use your natural, everyday voice. A false, overly precise manner of speaking which is not normal for you will be easily detected by the audience as phony. There should be no need to disguise yourself.

Be yourself, use a natural, conversational style and the audience will concentrate on what you are saying, not on the way you are saying it.

Reduce Anxiety

Reduce anxiety by being in the meeting room or hall early as the audience starts to come in. Greet as many as you can and if time permits have a few words with one or two. Just a brief greeting, introducing yourself, asking their name, where they are from, etc. will really break the ice.

When you get on the platform and see the persons you spoke to in the audience you will feel like you are talking to friends rather than strangers.

When The Mind Goes Blank

If you have a sudden lapse of memory and your mind goes blank you might be able to pick up the threads again by simply repeating the last words of your last sentence. It just gives you those precious seconds needed to get back on track.

In conclusion, be realistic with feelings of nervousness. Some persons may be able to overcome audience fear but never be able to completely eradicate nervousness before beginning to speak.

With experience and practice this initial nervousness disappears after a few seconds once you have launched into the presentation using the five step routine outlined above. Mastering this sequence alone will move you well along on the road to confident public speaking.

5 Presentation Skills To Keep Your Audience Riveted!

The human mind has a tendency to wander when it is not focused or totally absorbed in activity or thinking. A challenge facing every public speaker therefore is to make a presentation that grips the attention of the audience.

Use these 5 presentation skills to prevent the audience from taking mental excursions:

  1. Question Hooks

Questions really get the audience hooked.

The brain has a natural tendency to want to answer questions. When you are in the middle of doing something and someone asks a question what happens? Your brain immediately stops what it is thinking about and gives attention to the question, even if it is only momentary.

So, in a presentation, use rhetorical questions liberally. Even though you supply the answer, the very fact you asked a question will keep your audience with you.

In your preparation, think out a number of rhetorical questions and sprinkle them throughout your outline or notes.

Example: If your presentation is about goal setting, before getting to the first main point you might say: “What’s the very first step in any goal setting exercise?” Then state step one. The very fact you have asked a question will hook the audience and not only get them thinking but motivate them to concentrate on what you are going to say next.

Why? Because their brains are screaming for an answer. After all, you just asked a question!

  1. Emotion Engages The Heart

Using emotion in your delivery will win the hearts of your listeners. Rather than appearing cold and unapproachable, a warm style of expression will bring you close to your audience so they will open their hearts to you.

A relaxed facial expression, a smile, a general demeanor that says “You’re a great audience, I like you” will make you personable and well liked. An audience will learn from a speaker they feel drawn to.

  1. Facial Expressions

Use facial expressions – movements of the eyes, mouth, brow, etc. Especially when repeating someone else’s words, or when telling a story or anecdote, your face should reflect the emotions and feelings of the speaker you are quoting or of the characters you are describing.

  1. Vary The Pace

Learn to vary the rate at which you speak during your presentation.

There will be sections where you speak more rapidly and sections where you slow down and speak more deliberately.

This is the mark of an experienced speaker – the ability to match speaking pace with the thought content and emotional tone of the material being presented. To develop this public speaking skill, start off by looking through your material in the preparation stage and marking in your notes where you might speed up or slow down.

  1. Don’t Be Boring

As part of your preparation, ask yourself, ‘What does my audience already know about this subject?’ presentation skills – boringThen research your subject looking for material outside the general knowledge of your audience.

Just covering things they already know will lead to boredom and lack of interest. Present new information or fresh angles on a familiar subject and keep them enthralled!

Keeping your audience engaged can be a challenge, especially in a presentation longer than 30 minutes. Use the 5 presentation skills above and greatly minimize the risk of your audience being present in body but absent in mind!

6 Presentation Skills For Powerful Delivery

Make sure you know the following 6 presentation skills to ensure your delivery is powerful, easy to listen to, and convincing:

Principle Ideas

For your presentation to have any effect, you, the speaker, need to identify in your preparation the principle ideas in your material. If you don’t know what the principle ideas are how can the audience be expected to identify them.

Usually, principal ideas come down to 2 or 3 main points. Once these are identified in the preparation stage, the speaker can concentrate on supporting points or additional material to add force to these key ideas thus making them stand out.

Accurate Reading

When reading a quotation with the audience following along in their own printed copy, pay special attention to accurate reading. Stumbling, mispronouncing words, reading what’s not there, all take away from your authority. So be a good reader!

If accurate reading is a problem, practice!

If you are going to quote, make sure you have practiced the reading beforehand so you can read with feeling, proper sense, and poise.

Be Coherent

This public speaking tip will do much to make your presentation easy to listen to. For it to flow and be coherent, employ a wide variety of connecting expressions. These words and phrases provide a bridge and a smooth transition, helping the audience glide easily from one point to the next.

Here is a list of transitional expressions you may wish to use:

  • likewise
  • for these reasons
  • therefore
  • on the other hand
  • similarly
  • so then
  • on the contrary
  • in addition
  • furthermore
  • hence
  • also

Make liberal use of connecting words

Express It Your Way

Be careful when expressing thoughts as they appear in print from a particular source, unless of course you make it clear you are making a direct quotation. Just repeating it the way it is written can make you sound stiff and formal.

Far better to absorb the idea or thought and express it in your own words and style so it comes across in a conversational way.


Watch out for the regressions habit. This is when a speaker starts to say something, then stops in the middle of a sentence, then starts a new thought or sentence while leaving the previous expression unfinished.

Doing this repeatedly can drive an audience to the point of distraction.

The Sound Check

Personally do a sound check before your presentation. Make sure you are in the room early, talk with the sound operators and physically check the microphone.

This will give you an idea of how your voice sounds with amplification in that specific environment and how you need to use the microphone to be heard clearly.

Integrate the 6 presentation skills listed above into your presentation preparation and delivery strategy and feel a great boost in your self-confidence as a public speaker.

Public Speaking: 5 Key Image Factors

Confident public speaking puts the audience at ease and creates a good environment for them to absorb the information you present. The speaker who lacks confidence can make an audience feel sorry for them so the audience ends up concentrating on the speaker rather than the message.

In view of this, a professional image is a very important ingredient in confident public speaking. Use the five points below to ensure your image enhances rather than detracts from your presentation:

Personal Appearance

Spend some time on your personal appearance before making a presentation.

  • Have you dressed appropriately for the audience you are addressing?
  • Is your clothing clean?
  • Is your hair properly groomed?
  • Are your hands and fingernails clean and well kept?

Paying attention to these areas will convey a professional image, give you credibility, and make you feel confident in public speaking.

Neat Equipment

In addition to paying attention to your personal appearance, also give thought to your equipment.

Arriving in front of the audience with notes on folded up pieces of paper looks amateur.

Make sure your notes are neatly kept in a binder or plastic folder and well arranged so you don’t spend time fumbling for the page you want.

Visual Contact

Ensure you have good visual contact with the audience, take a few seconds to make sure your notes are positioned correctly on the speaker’s stand.

You don’t want them at such a distance that you have to drop your head to look down.

If possible, keep them at an angle that allows you to just glance at them without moving your head so you can keep good eye contact with the audience.

Stand Up Straight

Stand erect so the speech organs in your body can function properly. Slouching leads to poor enunciation and muffling sounds with the audience straining to catch what is said.

Handle Interruptions Confidently

What if members of the audience keep interrupting you, or make loud comments on what you are saying? Anyone who is not confident in public speaking can be thrown by these situations or at least look awkward and ill-prepared.

On the other hand, here is an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and keep control of yourself, your audience and the situation. Here are two suggestions:

State in a very kind, non-aggressive tone the following:

You appreciate members of the audience may have other viewpoints or concerns. There will be an opportunity at the end of the discussion to hear them, either through a question and answer session after the main presentation, or by being on hand to speak personally to anyone with a query.

Alternatively, you may remind the audience there is a time constraint, and as you have some very important information to convey it will be necessary to take comments and questions later, after the main presentation is finished.

Almost every public speaker feels nervous at some time. Some never conquer their nervousness completely. Nevertheless, you do not need to betray your nervous feelings to your audience.

By paying careful attention to your image using the five points above, you will make a positive impact on your audience and within yourself feel confident at public speaking engagements.

10 Things You May Not Know About Motivation

  1. We are naturally motivated by default. It’s only when obstacles appear that we lose our motivation.
  2. You’re not lazy. People like to claim that they are just lazy or that other people are lazy. When related to motivation, saying that someone is lazy is just another way of saying that they are unmotivated.
  3. Confusion is an obstacle. Often, we fail to take action on our goals because we’re confused about what the next step is or we’re confused about which tools we need to use in order to take action. If you know to look out for this as an obstacle, it’s easier to remove than when you’re off looking in another direction…or not looking at all.
  4. The way you think is an obstacle…and support. Your self-talk (or internal dialogue) greatly influences your actions. Think you can accomplish your goal? You can. Think you can’t accomplish your goal? You can’t. So pay attention to how you’re thinking.
  5. Motivation requires a goal. People sometimes say, “I’m just not motivated lately.” Motivated to do what? You must have a goal or objective in order to get motivated. Some people confuse a lack of energy or optimism for having a lack of motivation. Motivation is always goal-focused.
  6. You can’t hold yourself accountable. Okay, in rare cases you can, but most of the time, it’s exceptionally difficult for you to hold yourself accountable for anything. When you make up the rules, you can bend or break them if nobody is watching or aware of the rules.
  7. Motivation contracts are powerful. Everybody says to write down your goals. But without clearly defined consequences for not following the plan and how the consequences will be enacted, many goal plans will fail. A motivation contract covers every detail of goal achievement, including how to hold you accountable, which requires one or more people who will hold the key to your consequence and the power to execute the consequence.
  8. Pain is the third-best motivator. Trying to avoid a painful consequence is typically going to motivate you more than trying to gain a specific reward. It’s a lot harder to overcome the inertia of everyday life to work hard, sometimes for days or weeks, to gain a positive reward.
  9. Accountability is the second-best motivator. Why? Because accountability usually includes painful consequences and they usually hit us on a deep emotional level. With accountability, the goal is usually more well-defined and there is usually one person or a group of people tracking your progress and holding you accountable.
  10. Enthusiasm is the best motivator of all. Everyone likes to think that they are more motivated by positive consequences than by negative ones. It’s a lovely idea, but very much not true. When it comes to motivation, pain is a far more powerful motivator than pleasurable rewards. But Enthusiasm breaks this rule. There is something mind-blowing about enthusiasm. When you hook into a goal that you connect with on all levels and it really resonates with who you are, then your enthusiasm explodes. If you have enthusiasm, you don’t need contracts, accountability, or any other motivation strategies or tricks. You will be self-propelled to take action simply because you want to and you’re excited to do so. This kind of motivation is pretty rare though. But it is, indeed, the absolute best motivator because it’s intrinsic and natural.

How Do I Stick To My Goal?

It’s easy to get tripped when we’re trying to develop a new habit, even if it’s a habit we need for only a short-term goal. This is because it often takes thinking ahead and creating a clear plan in order to stay on track, but most people don’t do that. If you’re lacking a solid plan—one that works closely with your present lifestyle—then the simplest thing can send you off course. That’s why it’s so difficult for people to maintain the motivation to lose weight and exercise or to quit smoking.

The reason you’re having trouble with follow-through in achieving your goals may come down to one or more of these:

Goal not meaningful – You may have set this goal out of obligation to someone else or some other purpose that isn’t necessarily important to you on a personal level. You may have set the goal because you wanted to achieve it at the time, but now you really don’t care. Whatever the reason, the goal may not be important or meaningful enough to make you feel enthusiastic about achieving it.

Confusion – You may not have a clear plan, or understand how to take the next step. It doesn’t matter how small the very next step is, if you don’t know what it is or exactly how to take it, you’ll procrastinate and often you won’t even know why you’re putting it off.

Fear/Uncertainty – Sometimes achieving a goal can lead to unplanned consequences, some preferred, some not. You may be afraid of those consequences or afraid of what may come next, which may be an unknown factor to you.

It’s Not Because You’re Lazy -Sometimes it’s easy to explain away our own unenthusiastic behavior by saying that we’re lazy. But what appears as you just being lazy is still goal-oriented behavior. But what’s the function of your behavior? Even though you may be thinking, “I should stop watching videos of kittens playing the piano and practice the first lesson in my Klingon language book,” exactly how you’re going to practice may still be fuzzy in your mind.

Maybe you were planning to do some research on the best ways to learn a new language before you begin studying but you aren’t looking forward to doing that research. ? Is there a practice format to follow? There could be many variables that you haven’t sorted out yet. So you’re facing two choices:

Keep doing what you’re doing. (It’s familiar and you already know what to do.)

When you have several choices, you’re more likely to follow the one that’s clearest, easiest, and most familiar. When you only have two choices and both of them are equally clear but one is easier, that’s the one you’ll choose most often, unless someone holds a water pistol to your head and forces you to choose the other one.

Tips for Designing Your Study Strategy

Make it a Routine: One of the best ways to develop a dependable groove for your behavior is to make it into a routine. For example, if you get home from work every day at 5 PM, grab a snack and practice for 20 or 30 minutes right away. If you know that you’re going to practice right when you get home, you’re more likely to follow through.

Follow the Planner: If your book or course has a pre-designed strategy for learning Klingon, try following it. Start with the easiest plan first, which would be the one that came with your materials since it’s already sorted out and ready for you.

Start Low and Slow: Don’t plan practicing sessions that will completely disrupt your normal routine. Start practicing just a few minutes per day. That way, you can easily fit it in and it’s harder to come up with a reasonable excuse for not practicing. Each week (or whatever time frame will work for you), add a few more minutes to your daily practicing sessions. Work yourself up to a block of time that feels productive while not making your life wonky.

For the first three weeks, you want it to be super easy to get yourself to practice. That’s because it’s more important to build your routine and make it a habit, first, then you can work in longer practice sessions.

Set a Timer: Don’t rely on a clock to know when you’re finished with your session. A clock can be a distraction if you’re looking at it every couple of minutes to see if your time is up. Get a timer, set it, and forget it. You know that it will ring when your time is up so you won’t have to watch the clock.

Wear a Blindfold: Okay, not literally, but if you have anything near you that could distract you, like a computer, TV, smartphone, or disco ball, you’re going to want to put them in the next room with your piano-playing kittens…speaking of which, you may want to tell the kittens and anyone else around, that you don’t want to be disturbed for the next # minutes. Basically, you need to become blind to distractions.

All or Something: Keep in mind why you set your goal of learning a new language in the first place. It’s not an all-or-nothing goal. If you practice three days in a row, then miss a day, everything you learned doesn’t mysteriously disappear from your memory. So missing a day doesn’t ruin anything. Big deal, you missed a day. Just keep going. Don’t give in to all-or-nothing thinking. At the end of the week, wouldn’t you rather say that you practiced six days out of seven rather than two days out of seven? Seems like an easy choice, if you ask me. So stop letting one missed day ruin all of your successful days. After all, you’re not going to see a baby fall on its softly-padded behind and say, “Well, that didn’t work. I guess I have to start learning how to walk all over again next week.”

Stay motivated by planning ahead, and by taking small and frequent steps that will move you forward. Don’t let the structure of a calendar dictate your actions. Let each day be its own victory. Accumulate successful days by the majority and don’t let a slip-up deter you from your goal. Motivation is directly tied to how we feel about our goals. When a goal is meaningful, seems achievable, and you know how to take the next step, you’ll find that your motivation will be pumped up and you’ll make a lot of progress.

14 Simple Statements That Can Change Your Perspective on Life

Did you know that you can make your life better simply by thinking? Do you realize that by reading some very basic ideas, placed in a certain order, you can raise your awareness, charge up your motivation, and even totally change your life. Your beliefs are powerful. Your thoughts can take you to wonderful and unexpected places in life.

Sometimes simple ideas have the most powerful and most profound effect on us. In an instant, your life can change for the better simply by reading a thought you’ve never considered, or being reminded of simple truths that you’ve forgotten. All it takes is the right seed planted at the right moment.

Here are 14 statements that can guide you to a simple but extraordinary conclusion about yourself:

Now is your greatest moment for change!

  1. There are more than 7.80 billion people in the world, and you are just one of them.
  2. More than likely, 99.99% of all the people in the world are not aware of any past mistakes you’ve made.
  3. In 20 years, most of the people you’ve wronged will have forgiven you or forgotten about it.
  4. In 100 years, it’s likely that everyone will have forgotten about any of your mistakes.
  5. Ultimately, your mistakes are not nearly as important to other people as they are to you, so let them go!
  6. Two of the most important things you can do in the future are, forget about your past errors, and start doing better right now!
  7. No matter what you’ve done in the past, the future can be different.
  8. What you do with the rest of your life is far more important than what you’ve done in the past.
  9. No matter what you do with the rest of your life, you will get older…only, today, it’s not too late to create the kind of life you will be proud to look back on.
  10. If you’re stuck in a rut, you only have to do one thing differently, today, to start changing your life.
  11. Let your life be the demonstration of how you want people to see you.
  12. Motivation is generated in the presence of a belief in yourself.
  13. Your thoughts shape your behavior and your behavior shapes your life.
  14. If you change your thoughts, you change your behavior; if you change your behavior, you change your life.

How to write a resume during the pandemic?

Just the word resume tends to raise blood pressure. And here we are, all trying to navigate our careers and our income with this one thing standing in our way, a single sheet of paper. Does it really have that much power?

Lindsay Boccardo, a general consultant and millennial career coach, was on Indy Style Thursday to discuss resume writing during the pandemic.

Here are some things she suggests keeping in mind:

A resume doesn’t get you in the door at your favorite company. Your connections do! A resume serves to simply confirm what a hiring manager already knows. That’s all it’s there for. Spend more energy getting to know people in organizations that you want to work for. A personal connection goes a lot farther than a single sheet of paper because we are emotional and relational beings, not robots.

You’re an emotional being too, and writing this in your home office by yourself in isolation will not be helpful. Don’t write it alone, find someone who you can bounce back and forth with.

Don’t get too hung up on the format and don’t reinvent the wheel. Simply google sample resumes that match the profession you’re going after.
Make sure to list your accomplishments. Your job responsibilities are boring to read and don’t say a lot about your character. Share the problems you overcame, the actions you took, the results you got.

Write a cover letter that shares your passion and personality. WHY do you want this job? Share a story of why it matters to you. A lot of people are applying to jobs just to check the box for unemployment so hiring managers are having to sort through a lot more. Stand out with a personal and warm cover letter.

Know that there is an even longer lag between application and acceptance. Don’t be afraid to check in on their hiring process. If they say we’ll reach out in 2 weeks and they don’t call you by then, try to not get discouraged, this is normal right now. Kindly reach out and ask for an update on their process.

There is more grace than ever when it comes to a gap in employment. So many people lost their job this year. There is more grace now. Don’t sweat it.

Remember: Your resume is only PART of the application process. The people in your life want to help you succeed and connect you. Make sure you are telling your friends, family, your social media connections exactly what you are looking for. You might be surprised at who will open a door and put in a good word for you.

A hard look at soft skills

Key points

91% of respondents to a 2019 LinkedIn survey of “talent professionals” said the need for soft skills is most likely to transform future employee recruitment.

Among the most important soft skills to have, according to experts, are communication, leadership, adaptability, listening and negotiation.
Reading books and articles about soft skills can be helpful, but practicing the skills can make workers more adept.

Unlike hard skills – quantifiable technical knowledge gained through education, training and certification – soft skills can be difficult to define. Some experts refer to soft skills as personality traits. Others define them as professional habits, behavioral interactions or people skills, such as communication, teamwork, time management and conflict resolution, to name a few.

No matter how they’re defined, soft skills are vital to safety professionals’ career growth and development.

“They’re absolutely critical if you’re going to be as effective as you can be,” said Amy Harper, senior director of workplace training and consulting at the National Safety Council. “Technical knowledge will only get you so far.” According to a 2019 LinkedIn survey of more than 5,000 “talent professionals” from 35 countries, 91% said the need for soft skills is the most likely trend to transform employee recruitment in the future.

Finding what matters

Eighty percent of respondents to the LinkedIn survey said soft skills are becoming increasingly important to a company’s success, but 57% reported they don’t know how to accurately assess them. This leads to confusion over what soft skills matter most.

The Society for Human Resource Management surveyed more than 1,000 of its U.S. members in 2018 and found that 37% said problem-solving/critical thinking/innovation/creativity is the soft skill most lacking among employees, while the ability to deal with complexity/ambiguity (32%) and communication (31%) rounded out the top three.

Ashley Inman, an HR generalist at Ferrovial Services North America, an infrastructure operator and municipal services company, encourages safety and health pros to be curious about honing their soft skills and seek out evaluations from supervisors and colleagues alike.

“No. 1 is to ask for feedback,” Inman said. “You want to ask your manager. You want to ask your peer. You want to ask someone outside your work group, then maybe somebody in an industry association.”

A 360-degree view from all angles of your career can provide immense benefits to career development. “It can be really helpful in seeing ‘How does my finance department view me? … How do employees view me?’” Harper said.

The rise of soft skills

Highlights of the 2019 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends survey, which sampled more than 5,000 “talent professionals” from 35 countries, include:

89% of respondents said bad hires typically lacked soft skills.
41% of respondents said they don’t have a formal process to gauge soft skills.
Respondents said the top five in-demand soft skills are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and time management.

What employers want

Hank Malin spent 20 years as an HR leader at General Mills. He now works with students at Denison University in Ohio, poring over job descriptions, sprucing up cover letters and identifying what employers are looking for in job candidates.

As the assistant vice president and executive director of the university’s Austin E. Knowlton Center for Career Exploration, Malin is aware of how organizations view soft skills.

“We tend to spend more time looking at job descriptions and saying, ‘This is what they’re looking for,’” Malin said. “When you get beyond the hard skills of whatever [the job] may be, they’re looking for team players, great communicators, people who are adaptable to new environments and problem-solvers.

“We help [the students] construct a narrative about all the skills they’re going to bring to the workplace and how they’ve learned those through their classes, through extracurriculars, through work experiences.”

Safety and health pros can do the same by examining what skills others in their organization lean on them for the most.

“If someone is going to truly rely on you in your organization, you don’t want someone saying, ‘Go to Bob because he knows the answer to this question,’” Harper said. “You want people to say, ‘Go to Bob because he knows how to get things done in this organization. He knows how to move things forward.’ Without these soft skills, influencing skills, managing change, knowing how to break a project and a strategy into its component parts, it’s just going to be, ‘Hey, let’s go rely on this person for technical knowledge.’”

Soft skills equal hard lessons According to a 2015 informal poll of Safety+Health readers, communication – chosen by more than 80% of the 248 respondents – is the soft skill safety pros value most.

Experts interviewed for this article identified these seven soft skills as the most important:

Communication. “More people struggle with communication than anything,” Malin said. Strong verbal and written communication can help safety and health pros shine in a small meeting of peers or a conference room full of potential clients or customers. Harper added that business communication is an important soft skill to help safety pros speak with other departments in an organization. “They might not understand different acronyms that we use,” Harper said. “We have to make it business speak, not safety speak.”

Adaptability. Change happens frequently in business, so being able to accept it and adapt is a valuable ability. “You have to be able to face change and not be afraid of it,” Malin said. “We’re in a global economy compared to 30 years ago, when change happened but it was at a different speed.”

Listening. Safety pros, especially those in consultant roles, need to be good listeners “to know how to ask questions that get to what the problems are that the client or your employer is experiencing,” Harper said.

Integrity. To Malin, this is one of the most difficult traits to teach or learn. “You learn it by observing people who have it,” he said.

Teamwork and collaboration. Working alone is rare in any organization. Researcher Benjamin Jones, a strategy professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, said bigger groups of specialists are needed in any company for better outcomes.

Leadership. A classic example of how leaders can impact an organization, Malin said, is a person leading a team of five employees in completing a big project. “They delivered amazing results, but four of the five people want to quit,” Malin said. “We all have had that boss.”

Negotiation. When presenting a safety program proposal and seeking the funding needed to carry it out, “there’s always negotiation,” Harper said, noting that providing various angles on a business case and alternatives to a proposal are beneficial. “Being able to do that negotiation is important because we rarely get what we want in safety,” she said.

“ Reading can only take you so far. You have to get out of that comfort zone and get out from behind the book and get out in front of people in a safe environment. ”

Amy HarperSenior director, workplace training and consultingNational Safety Council

‘Practice is key’

Articles and books can provide plenty of knowledge on soft skills, but testing these skills provides a bigger challenge with greater dividends.

Harper suggested working with a peer group to run through various scenarios to sharpen skills such as communication, negotiation and collaboration.

“Doing the practice is key,” Harper said. “Reading can only take you so far. You have to get out of that comfort zone and get out from behind the book and get out in front of people in a safe environment.”

Harper said gaps in soft skills also can be identified via personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the StrengthsFinder assessment.

Chart your own path

When it comes to professional development, Inman said workers should always be in the driver’s seat.

She suggested a “70-20-10” strategy, with 70% of development coming from “on-the-job, day-to-day interactions with people and what you’re already doing.” An additional 20% will come from building connections with industry or association contacts, as well as industry co-workers. This can hone a worker’s ability to adapt and be resilient and curious. The final 10% will come from a formal activity or course, or perhaps a book.

“A lot of people will say, ‘If my company doesn’t develop me, then what am I supposed to do?’” Inman said. “You’re in charge. You’re responsible for your own career, your own soft skills and your own professional development.”

Positive Affirmations – The Lazy Man’s Way to Build a Positive Attitude

Positive affirmations are an effective way to create a positive attitude about yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. Basically defined, an affirmation is a statement that describes a goal in its completed state. When you repeat an affirmation to yourself, what you are really doing is communicating with your subconscious brain the thoughts and images of what it would be like if you were to achieve your goals.

By repeating your affirmations on a daily basis, you are literally bombarding your subconscious with these thoughts and images of success. And if you do this over a long enough period of time, your affirmations will become new beliefs. The idea behind positive affirmations is to train your subconscious brain into thinking that what you’re saying is true.

When you have your subconscious mind on your side, it’s much easier to achieve your goals. In fact, your subconscious will start working to make those affirmations a reality. Your mind can’t stand to see a conflict between what it believes is true and what your current reality might be, so it will do everything it can to cause your reality to match your beliefs.

In other words, convince your subconscious of something, and soon that something will become a reality. Positive affirmations can help improve your finances, your self-esteem, and your overall level of success. They can also help you lose weight, overcome procrastination, forgive others, or pretty much anything else you can think of. The process is the same no matter what your goals may be.

How to Write and Use Affirmations for Maximum Effectiveness?

If you prefer to keep it simple, just think of the results in your life that you aren’t happy with and write a statement that is the exact opposite. Keep it in the present tense and try to include how it would feel when you’ve achieved your goal. If you’re overweight and would like to be slim, try something like “I am feeling healthy and alive weighing XXX.” Just replace XXX with your goal weight.

First, come up with a list of 3–5 positive affirmations. Once you’ve got your affirmations, repeat them to yourself throughout the day on a daily basis.

There are many unique ways you can fit affirmation sessions into your day. Recite your positive affirmations first thing in the morning, just before bed, and any other time you can throughout the day. They’re a great way to make productive use of what would otherwise be “wasted time,” like waiting in lineups or at traffic lights, or while you’re driving or walking somewhere. Fit them in whenever you can. The more often you can repeat them, the better your results will be.

Here’s a Cool Way to Make Your Visualizations More Effective

Here’s a cool way to ramp up make your visualizations more effective and help you manifest your goals and dreams.

The key to creating positive things in your life is all based on how you feel emotionally. You see, it’s your emotions that either allow, or repel the good that you desire.

Basically, as you improve your emotional state, what you attract into your life experience improves as well.

If you want to use this to your advantage, tap into a higher emotional state when you do your visualizations (you are visualizing right!?).

One great way to do this is when you first sit or lie down to visualize, think about something that brings you great joy or something or someone that you feel great love for. Hold onto that thought until you feel yourself being overwhelmed with the emotion of joy and/or love. Appreciation is another strong, positive emotion. So if you prefer, you can also think about something in your life that you are extremely grateful for.

Once you’ve locked onto that strong positive emotion, hold onto it and start visualizing what you would like to create in your life. The combination of a strong positive emotion coupled with images of what you desire to create will cause a strong attractive force within you that will help pull your visualizations into your life experience.

That’s it, short and sweet! 🙂

Give it a try, and please share your results. I’d love to hear about them!

6 Tips On How To Handle Tough Times

We all hit tough times every now and again and sometimes it might seem like there’s no hope of escape. This hopeless feeling puts you into an extremely negative vibration which is not only unpleasant to experience, but also causes the law of attraction to bring more unpleasant experiences into your life. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help deal with these difficult times and even start lifting yourself out of them.

6 Tips On How To Handle Tough Times

Whether you’re struggling financially, emotionally, with relationships, or with your health, these tips are sure to help.

Give them a try. The more you use them, the better your results will be.

1.Look For The Good In Your Life

When things go wrong in your life, it’s easy to keep your thoughts focused on those problems. Focusing on your difficulties will tend to leave you feeling both drained and depressed.

No matter what is going wrong, I promise you that there is still a lot of beautiful and amazing things in your life. You just need to take some time to look for them. Are you currently enjoying good health, great relationships, a good financial situation, a great spiritual connection, a beautiful home, a loving family, great friends? Take some time to really appreciate any or all of these things if you are.

Another great place to look for things to appreciate is nature. Take some time to go out in nature and really focus your attention on the fresh air, the sunshine, the beauty of the plants and animals. This is one of my favorite things to do when negative thoughts start overwhelming me. Within minutes of going outside and really focusing on everything around me I start to feel truly grateful that I have the opportunity to live on this planet and experience the beauty of it with all of my senses.

Looking for things to appreciate will redirect your thoughts away from what’s wrong, and you will quickly notice yourself starting to feel better. As you begin to feel better your vibration will shift from a negative one to a positive one and you will begin to attract more positive experiences into your life.

2.Focus On Solutions, Not Your Problems

I mentioned earlier that it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on what’s wrong in your life. You can feel angry, depressed, victimized, or worse. You can talk to your friends and family about how horrible your life is, and they might even give you some pity or tell you how much their lives suck too. However, none of these things is going to help you move past your difficulties. In fact, all of these activities are just going to make you feel worse and putting all of your energy into the problem itself is just going to attract more problems into your life.

Instead of focusing on the problem itself, start looking for ways to solve it. Instead of asking “why me?”, start asking “How can I solve this?”.

As you begin focusing on solutions, several things will begin to happen:

  • First, you will begin feeling better and more hopeful.
  • Second, your subconscious brain will begin to work on coming up with a solution for you.
  • Third, your point of attraction will shift and you will begin to attract solutions into your life instead of more problems.

3.Learn Your Lessons

Problems and difficulties offer a wonderful opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better person.

  • Health problems offer lessons on how we should be taking care of our bodies.
  • Financial difficulties can force us to find new and better ways to make money (or force you out of a job you hate, giving you the opportunity to pursue doing something you love doing instead).
  • Relationship difficulties offer you the opportunity to improve how you relate to and treat others. They also offer you the opportunity to better determine what qualities are important in the people you enter into relationships with.
  • Whenever you encounter a problem or difficulty, look for the lesson in it and do your best to learn it well. When we learn the lessons that our problems are trying to teach us, we grow as an individual and put ourselves into a position to enjoy a better life experience as we go forward.

4.Take Action

We can learn a lot from basic physics – nothing happens until something moves.

It’s not often that your problems will just go away on their own. Start brainstorming and researching ways that you can solve your problem, then get your butt in gear and go do it. You might just succeed! On top of that, you will start feeling hopeful instead of hopeless!

5.Keep Your Vibration Up

Since the law of attraction brings you experiences based on how you’re feeling, if you’re feeling depressed, angry, sad, lonely, or hopeless, you are attracting more negative experiences into your life.

If you want to attract better life experiences, you must do whatever you can to make yourself feel better.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Spend some fun time with a pet, friends, or loved ones.
  • Get out into nature
  • Visualize what you want instead of dwelling on the unpleasant stuff that you’ve got
  • Exercise vigorously. This will release endorphins that make you feel good.
  • Spend some time doing your favorite hobby.
  • Watch a funny movie, or read a funny book.

6.Ask for Help

Don’t be shy about asking other people for help and advice. Most people like helping others and will be glad to help you in some way, shape, or form. Besides, even if they don’t help you, you really aren’t any worse of than before you asked. You’ve really got nothing to lose by asking

Positive Words and Phrases for Interview

Hey folks! Today I am featuring few Action Verbs that when used effectively will help you to ace your job interviews. So here is the list

A-C Interview Positive Interview Words and Phrases
Accustomed to hard and complex work
Achieved success in
Activate/initiate changes in
Analyzed complicated data, company plan and policy
Bilingual, trilingual
Broad minded; open minded
Broad wide and diversified experience
Carry out
Comprehensive knowledge of……….
Conceived an idea
Conceived innovative ideas
Consistent records of progress, achievements and promotions
Contributed ideas, energy time
Controlled under pressure
Co-ordinate and implement plan and ideas
D-I interview Wordlist and Phrases
Developed new ways of
Developer of ………….
Expanded ideas, plan
Extensive knowledge and experience in
Fast/quick learner
Friendly; concerned empathic
Good communication and interpersonal skills
Good problem solving skills
Holistic thinking
Impart knowledge
Intensive through knowledge
Intimate (familiar with procedures, rules and regulation
J-Q Interview Wordlist and Phrases
Likeable; popular
Managed the whole bank/school/etc
Marketed new products locally and internationally
Originated economic ways to save …….
Planned and execute complex projects
Precise and accurate
Produced reports
Progress to more advanced and complex projects
R-Z Interview Wordlist and Phrases
Reduced loss of
Reliable; honest; integrity
Re-organized management
Restructure debt/organization
Solid background in
Sound knowledge of
Stress resistant
Succeeded in setting up ….
Successful agent of
Understand and have insight
Well organized
Well read
Widely traveled and knowledgeable about
Willing to learn; adaptability and flexibility
Work-independently without supervision

Job Interview Tips

Here are some interview tip to that will help you through the grueling job interview:

Job Interview Tip 1 : Always prepare yourself for any job interview

Prior to attending any interview, you should always prepare yourself physically and mentally to avoid any hiccups. You should be prepared to answer all interview questions calmly and spontaneously.

Job Interview Preparation Activities:

Prepare a list of your qualifications, experiences and personality and how these may help you sell yourself on the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a company which is look for go-getter salesman, you had better not project a timid and overcautious self-image in the interview room.

Research on the company. The more your know about the company the better. Visit the library, read trade magazines, newspapers, company brochures and reports that will bring you up to date with the company’s latest development.

Know your strengths. Write down on paper your skills and qualities and match it with the job description in the advertisement. Think how the company would benefit by choosing you, rather than another candidate.

Know your weaknesses. Good interviewers are trained well at finding weaknesses in a candidate. Be prepared to provide explanations to job interview questions that will turn things to your advantages.

Practice the interview questions with your friend or spouse. This will enable you to correct any costly mistake you do not wish to make during an a real job interview.

Job Interview Tip 2 : Keep a smiling face during job interview

Smiling does not only lighten up your day but also the person who sees you, in this case the interviewer. Who would not want to see a smiling and such a pleasant person? But be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise, it would look more like a pasted-on grin that would not look sincere.

Job Interview Tip 3 : Make eye contact when answering job interview questions

When talking to someone and still maintain eye contact, you will project yourself as confident. However, you should avoid non-stop staring as this will make the interviewer feel uneasy.

Job Interview Tip 4: Be positive during job interview session

Pepper your conversation with lots of positive words. In other words, avoid using negative words as much as possible. After all, interviewers are always looking people who talks positively.

Job Interview Tip 5 : Talk with enthusiasm when answering job interview questions

Show the interviewer your enthusiasm in the job you are applying for. Highlight your skills and experience and what benefits you would bring to the company.

Job Interview Tip 6 : Relax and enjoy the job interview

Relax yourself, especially your mind, when undergoing an interview. Imagine you are just updating an old friend on your current personal particulars and what you have been doing. Occasionally, mention about what you have achieved. You will feel less pressured and consequently you will have a free flow of ideas on how to express yourself and answer the interview questions confidently.

Beside the above job interview tip we have also included a small collection of words and phrases that you might want to consider using during interview sessions. The words are strong and positive. With the usage of the words from the wordlist , you may be able to leave a good impression in your interviewer’s mind.

Wishing you success in your next interview.