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Loraine Antrim

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Latest Blogs from Loraine Antrim
This is the first in a five part series on maximizing your online brand. What Does Google Say About You? Before you put any real time and effort into developing your online brand presence, check out what kind of brand presence you already have. Do an online brand asses...
Today’s professionals need more than just a great brand in the workplace. They need a relevant brand online. And that means being a part of the social media landscape. Having a social media presence is much more than having a Facebook page. Do you blog? Are you on Twit...
Unlike the pure rhetoric in a speech, today, presentations are visual events. No ifs ands or buts. Audiences expect a performance and props, not just words.   Thanks to great showmen like Steve Jobs, the preso bar has been permanently raised.   Of cou...
Ah, the ubiquitous PPT presentation. We all deliver them. Sometimes to large crowds externally, sometimes to small internal teams and sometimes to investors, channel partners and customers. But when you’re delivering your presentation, do you think of it as an extension of...
Speech vs Presentation  There's a big difference between a speech and a presentation. We listen to speeches; we watch a presentation. These days, presentations are visual. A speech tends to be formal and for ears only. If you're giving a speech, you're naked.  No PPT, no p...
What does a great presentation have in common with a great wine? When you open a great wine, it impresses you right away. It has structure and body, and a finish that lingers. Most of all, you remember it. The same with a great presentation! Opening: When you...
Presentations are not static, lifeless events. They should be energetic, full of energy and keep the audience engaged at all times! How can you ensure that your next presentation isn't just a bunch of slides that you click through? 1. Clean up your deck. Don't have lots of slides wit...
PRESENTATIONS ARE...AN OPPORTUNITY TO SELL When presenting, you're selling. You're selling your ideas and messages. But we so often forget that, and get wrapped up in "our stuff." How many times have you sat thru a presenation where the presenter  had no idea how to sel...
What are your 2012 New Year resolutions?  Going to hit the gym more often? Eat more fruits and vegetables?  Cut back on the wine? (Oh, no...let's get that one off the list!) How about resolving to do five things better as you present in the year 2012?  Nothing grand o...
Great presenters connect with their audience. They establish that connection early and continue it throughout their speaking. Notice, I didn't say throughout their "presentation." If you are really connecting, you are having a conversation within your presentation. That's what makes f...
The best presentations are like great movies. They have a logical beginning that draws you in, a plot that keeps you engaged, actors and actions, and some drama. When you structure any talk or presentation, think like Steven Spielberg. Even if you are presenting a business update or...
Blah, blah, blah. Not the best brand to have. Sometimes I think "blah" is our national business language. Watch CNBC or attend most business presentations. What do you remember from any commentator or speaker?  Probably not much. Now think of the conversations you have at work. H...
Did you ever mess up?  Mess up really badly? Most of us have. But those who have truly great personal brands do something rare these days. They take responsibility for their mistakes. They don't try and erase their error. Your organization probably likes and honors winners...peo...
We all speak with a unique voice. That's an important point to remember when we create a presentation. Often, we are tempted to look to others for inspiration. We want to emulate colleagues who have aced presentation after presentation. Or, we'll read the latest and greatest presenta...
Everywhere we look lately, we hear about deficits. Banks, mortgage companies, even countries are in the red. Is your brand in a similar situation? Are you in "Brand Deficit"? What is a Brand Deficit? Your professional brand is in deficit if you have not developed enough positive bra...
If you're not having fun when presenting, why bother? How many presentations have you sat through that have bored you to death?  Chances are, many. My guess is the presenter was bored as well. One of the keys to a successful presentation is to honestly enjoy what you are talking...
What do Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga and Bill Clinton have in common? You guessed it: a powerful personal brand. But how did they get that brand? Were they born with a charismatic brand or did they shape and hone it? My guess is that Lady Gaga, Bill and Steve all grew up the same as everyo...
When you speak in public, your words and ideas should grab an audience. One way to do that is to make your talk relevant and timely.  If you are lucky, your topic will be of interest because it IS up-to-the-minute and highly relevant. But many of us have topics that are not tied...
Publicize! You can have the most powerful brand on the planet, but if no one knows about it, what good does it do you? Our last tip on enhancing your brand is perhaps the most important. Take your brand public. Get visibility both in the real and virtual worlds. Today, business...
We have more than one sense. So why do presenters only tap into one? Most speakers rely almost exclusively on the sense of hearing. If you are using slides, you are adding a visual element. But think about novel ways to expand how your audience's other senses can work for you. How a...
The best presentations zero in on one main idea. That's it! One focused, key take-away for the audience. Not three main ideas...not ten...ONE! How many times have you sat through an hour long presentation and when you left, you scratched your head wondering what point the speaker was...
Did you have a mentor?  Coming up thru the ranks in any organization is made a bit easier when you have guidance. Mentoring can help colleagues achieve their personal goals but can also help an organization achieve its objectives.  All around, mentoring is a win-win. Best of...
"Did you hear the one about a doctor, a lawyer and a priest stranded on a raft?" Sounds like the start of a very bad joke.  Yet people will tell a joke like this again and again and get dead silence. Jimmy Fallon or Tina Fey might be able to pull it off, but for most of us, humor...
A simple handshake can be powerful. In a world of tweets, texts and blogs, the power of the human element is sometimes forgotten.  We get wrapped up sending emails and texts, and we sometimes get disconnected from the face-to-face contact that happened so often prior to the Inter...
Don't you just hate to be around boring people?  They're a turn-off. We all prefer to be in the company of exciting, alive individuals who love life and show it. Presentations are no different. If you can't get excited about your presentation, how can you expect your listeners t...
GET READY TO FAIL Failure is good. That's a hard message for anyone to swallow, but if you approach failure in the right way, it can be a powerful brand enhancer. Most of us view failure as a negative. We want to avoid it at all costs. But award-winning actor,  Denzel Washingto...
Most leaders are groomed for success and strive for it. Not necessarily the best move, according to Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington. Washington spoke to the University of Pennsylvania's graduates today, and his advice on failure is one that CEOs and executives of any level shoul...
One fast way to tarnish your brand is to say "no." It's a real brand killer. "No, I don't have time for an extra project." "No, I can't help with your client emergency...I have one of my own." "No, right now I'm busy..." How many colleagues do you know who don't get involved in extra ...
No one likes to be lectured to, or "talked at." But that's how thousands of business people deliver presentations. They are shoveling information at their listeners, not even aware if their audience hears, cares or understands. Data dumps. If you rely on the "shovel" approach, imagin...
"Is it better to be feared or loved?" That is a classic question that Machiavelli asked leaders in his seminal work, The Prince. COMMAND & CONTROL Some business leaders lead with a heavy hand: it's all about command and control. What they say, goes. It's the equivalent of being fe...
Every time you speak in public, you are putting your personal brand on the line. This is especially true when you deliver a presentation using PowerPoint. Those slides become a reflection of how you think...how you see the world...how you organize. In essence, they mirror your persona...
Social media is here, it's as much a part of our culture as television and movies.  We drink it in everyday. While you're drinking in all those tweets and YouTube videos, why not take a cue from the social media world and create a social brand? One of the best moves you can make...
Structure is king.  That means how you order ideas can make or break your presentation. In your mind, of course YOU have an order, a logic to how ideas connect. But, not all your listeners think like you do. Some are visual learners, some are analytical, some dig numbers and some...
Brands are not known for twenty different traits. They zero in a select few or even just one. An easy way to enhance your brand is to be associated with a single idea.  It's one of the basic principles of branding.  For example, think of Mark Zuckerberg. What do you think of...
Really effective leaders "get" the idea of short. No, not the kind of short as in a Napoleon complex. Rather, effective leaders deeply understand that time is in short supply for everyone.  In an age of Twitter, few people have the time or mindset to read lengthy emails or list...
How many times have you sat through a really awful slide presentation that had as many words as the entire Wikipedia? Sadly, for many of us, far too often. Slides can be designed a number of ways that range from a single image to a few bullet points to inserted video and to the worst...
Enhancing your brand can be as simple as finding a unique way to describe yourself. How many times do you get asked, "so, what do you do?" It's a common enough question, but how you answer can say volumes about your brand. Find a Unique Way to Describe What You Do Most people descri...
Leaders who can touch  hearts as well as minds have a lasting impact. Better yet, their messages resonate...they're memorable. Want to see one of the best examples of how you can communicate and make an emotional connection? Take a look at Apple's new iPad 2 ad. Not only is Appl...
You can enhance your brand by cultivating traits or eliminating bad ones.  Let's tackle a brand killer: definitely a trait you should kill off: complaining. Call it whining or kvetching or bellyaching or grumbling. A WHINE BY ANY OTHER A NAME IS STILL A WHINE Call it what you w...
We all want inspiration. As individuals we look for it in a number of ways, but in business organizations, we look to our leaders for inspiration. No matter if you are a CEO or a leader of a small team, inspiring your followers is what great leadership is all about. So how do you li...