Thinking on your Feet

One thing that all consultants learn early on is the art of being agile: thinking on our feet, reacting to new situations in a professional and courteous way.  Some of us long for the days back when we worked for larger organizations, and could buy time with those magic words: “Let me get back to you on that.”

When pressed with challenging questions from a prospect, or an unexpected update from a client, I often don’t have the luxury of time to come up with the perfect answer, or solution.  Being the head of my own company, I need to respond to such challenging situations in a way that both informs and instills confidence.  Buying time is OK, but coming off as weak is NOT.  And even with extensive experience in our fields, the wrong spin can spin us way off track.

Like any other muscle, effective communication is something that we need to both learn and practice to reflect our actual knowledge and expertise.

I’m excited to share that Marianne Fleischer, a top corporate communications consultant and speech writer, this month will be presenting a half-day workshop on “Keeping Cool Under Fire”©. Who better than a former broadcast TV journalist and consultant for Fortune 500 executives to lead us through techniques we can use to handle tough situations, then practice these techniques in a fun, supportive environment. Fleischer’s half day workshop is divided into three parts:

  1. Mental Prep:   A lively mix of theory and exercises, workshop will cover advanced Profiling techniques and lessening Performance Anxiety through the lens of Neuroscience.
  2. Influencing Up:  Influencing the C-Suite takes advanced skills of Executive Presence, understanding Dance of Status, Influencing w/o Authority and Creating Signature Moments.
  3. What If Scenarios:  Fleischer, a fellow consultant for decades, will throw down challenges and role plays we all face with clients such as:
  • What if your director-level client liked your work but suddenly the CEO saw it and questions the expense, results and you? Worse, he publicly challenges you. How do you help your client look on top of things and save your project?
  • How do you win back a resistant or distracted audience? What if they seem more interested in texting or each other? How do you bring them back into your orbit?
  • What if you become unglued in the moment—a brain freeze due to anger or fear?

The workshop promises to be a challenging session with a fun, fast, improv feel. While I’ve mastered such techniques as the “cover the aspects you know, buy time on those you don’t”, and in media interviews the politician favorite “Answer the question you WANT to answer, not what was asked”, I’m looking forward to the learning and practice I’ll be getting October 25th in Mountain View. REGISTER here if you would like to join me!' About Lisa Strand

Lisa has spent over 15 years in the world of market, media, and user research. Her experience ranges from conducting primary research studies, analyzing complex data sets, and creating models and forecasts to help individuals and businesses succeed. She also regularly conducts Website usability testing to help businesses develop a customer-centric presence. She has presented at conferences such as COMDEX and Internet World, and has made multiple televised guest appearances on CNBC, CNN, and other major broadcast networks.

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