20 Tips on How To Use NLP in Public Speaking

Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Public Speaking

It’s designed for human communication! After all, public speaking is just a heightened form of everyday conversation. When you use NLP in your next speech or presentation it allows the unconscious part of our brains to take over more than usual–which can be a good thing because that means we’re paying attention to what they say and how they say things instead of solely focusing on ourselves as speakers sometimes do. Here are some hot tips to get you going!

1: 2 Minute Stories

A great way to start a speech is with a personal story, an article you have read, a statistic, or a story around a quote. You must tell the story in a way that evokes an experience. To make it sensory-based in a way that the listener sees, hears, feels, or even smells and tastes the story. Associate them inside the story, as if it is happening to them. In NLP we call this association, and it makes a difference in public speaking hugely.

Your stories should also be 2 minutes or less. If you go over, you will lose the attention of your audience. Remember, public speaking is not about you, it is about them. So make sure your stories are interesting and to the point.

2: Be Concise

When it comes to public speaking, less is more. This does not mean you should leave out important information, but that you should be concise in your delivery. The goal is to get your point across in the most efficient way possible without boring your audience. Try to avoid going off on tangents or using filler words such as “um” or “like.” Instead, focus on delivering your message in a clear and concise.

– Don’t ramble. Keep your remarks focused and to the point.

– Avoid using filler words like “um” or “uh.” Not only do they make you sound nervous, but they also waste time.

-Don’t speak too fast. Take a moment to pause between sentences for emphasis and to give your audience time to process what you’re saying.

-Don’t get too technical. Use language that everyone can understand.

– And finally, don’t forget to practice! The more prepared you are, the better you’ll do.

3: Keep their attention

When you have the attention of your audience, it is important to keep their focus by having great eye contact, using hand gestures and body language that reinforce what you are saying, and speaking with conviction. Be careful not to go overboard with any of these things, as it will take away from your message.

 

4: Focus on the Inspiration

We all know that the best way to teach is by doing, and in this day where technology has made it easier than ever for us to do just about anything from anywhere with an internet connection… well why not use those tools? This means you can focus less on what your speech will contain

 and much on how it is going to be delivered.

The key here isn’t necessarily getting everyone’s attention or making them listen; rather inspiring the desired mindset through methods such as humor (which was

 proven very effective), stories/numbers – whatever works! The bottom line: “How” matters more than “What”.

 

 

5: Stay Loose and focus on the experience

When you’re public speaking, you want to avoid coming across as stilted or robotic. To do this, it’s important to use a variety of words that help create vivid mental images for your audience. In NLP, we call these predicates.

Predicates are words specifically chosen to evoke a sensory-based experience. They help create mental pictures based on what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. 

Some examples of auditory predicates include: “hear,” “listen,” “melody,” “harmony,” “rings a bell,” and “sounds like.”

Visual predicates might be: “look,” “see,” “colorful,” “

For example, if you wanted someone to feel happy, you might use words like “joyful”, “delightful” or “blissful”. If you wanted someone to feel scared, you might use words like “terrifying”, “scary” or “frightening”. By using the right words, you can create any emotion in the mind of the listener.

6: Gesturing Positive and Negatives, Past and Future

When you talk about something negative point away from yourself and the audience, when you talk about something positive point to yourself or the audience. 

When you are speaking about something in the past, move to stage left. When you are in the present, take center stage. When you want your audience to be in the future, move to stage right. This is based on the NLP eye movement theory and it works like a charm!

7: Gesturing to Engage

When you are talking, act out what you are saying with your hands. This works on a deep subconscious level and engages the visual audience member.

8: The Power of Silence

Silence is golden! In public speaking, it is often underused. Use it more! Here are some ways you can use silence:

-After you make a powerful point, pause for 6 seconds or more of silence. This allows the person to take in what you just said.

-If you want someone’s attention, say their name and then pause. They will look at you because their name was called. Then you have their full attention to delivering your message.

-Use silent pauses throughout your presentation to emphasize certain points. Just make sure the audience is comfortable with the silence before proceeding. You don’t want awkwardness!

You can use silence for emphasis, but make sure it is purposeful. Also, use pauses to gather your thoughts. Do not let the silence drag on too long though or you will lose your audience.

9: Anchoring & Chunking

This is an important public speaking tip, as it is often one of the main things people are worried about when they stand up to speak. The best way to remember your speech is to use a technique called “anchoring” and “chunking.”

Anchoring is a technique where you associate a physical sensation with a certain part of your speech. For instance, every time you get to the part of your speech where you talk about your company’s history, you might touch your nose. Or every time you get to the part of your speech where you make a key point, you might tap your foot. This will help anchor the information in your memory so you can easily retrieve it when you need to.

Chunking is a technique where you group information together in manageable “chunks.” For instance, instead of trying to remember every single detail of your speech, you might chunk it into three main points. Or you might chunk it into sections such as the introduction, main body, and conclusion. This will make it much easier for your brain to process and remember the information.

Both of these techniques are extremely effective in helping you remember your speech, so be sure to use them when preparing for your next public speaking engagement.

10: Use Props

Props can be a great way to engage your audience and add interest to your presentation. Be sure to use props that are appropriate for your topic and audience.

11: Vary Your Tone

Your tone of voice can be just as important as the words you are saying. Varying your tone will keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say. When you say something powerful, say it softly and you will watch your audience lean in. Then, use your silence.

12: Use Humor

Humor is a great way to engage your audience and make your point. Just be careful to not offend and not rely on too many jokes.

13: Use of “I” and “You”

Using the word I is very useful. It connects you with the audience in a first-person way. You are saying this to me directly. It has more impact than if you say, “one should…” You can also use the word you, but be careful as it can have an opposite effect where people may feel like they are being talked down to. So I would recommend using I more often than you, as it has more connection.

14: Eye Contact

Use affirmative body language and make sure to maintain eye contact throughout the entirety of your speech. Not only will this help with engagement, but also with building trust between you and the public. If you make eye contact for 6 seconds the person you are looking at and the people around them (left, right, behind, and in front of) will think you are making eye contact with them as well. Move your eye contact through the crowd and they will feel seen, which everyone wants.

15:Use of Questions

Questions are a public speaker’s best friend! By asking questions, you engage the audience more and get them thinking. Here are some ways to use questions in public speaking:

-Ask a rhetorical question. This is a question that does not require an answer. It is more for making a point. For example, “Can you imagine what it would be like to never have to worry about money again?”

-Ask a leading question. This is a question that leads the person to a specific answer. For example, “Wouldn’t it feel great to be debt free?”

16: Anchoring for yourself

Anchoring is a tool from NLP that can be used in public speaking. It means that you associate a certain feeling or state with a physical gesture. For example, every time you want to feel more confident on stage, you can do a certain gesture, like rubbing your hands together. This will then trigger a feeling of confidence. You can also anchor positive states to objects on stage, like the microphone. Every time you touch it, you feel more confident. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to anchor states that are congruent with the message you want to deliver.

17: Speak as if You Are the Expert

When public speaking activities and feel as if you are an expert in your field. This doesn’t mean that you have to be, but by acting and feeling this way. It will come across to your audience. Remember that people like to do business with, and learn from those they perceive as being an expert. So make sure when public speaking that you come across this way.

18: Use Metaphors to Explain Complex Concepts

People understand the world through stories, or what we call NLP metaphors. Whenever you can explain a complex concept or idea using a metaphor or story. Do so, because it will make it much easier for people to understand what you are talking about.

Stories are the longest-lasting memories we have, and they also engage more of our senses. So if you can tell a story that ties in with your content, do it! If you cannot tell a story, use a metaphor. A metaphor is a story in one sentence. For example, “He was as fast as a cheetah” is a metaphor. It engages the imagination more than saying “He was really fast.” By using metaphors you make public speaking more fun, and people will remember your content better.

19: Be Passionate

Having a positive attitude is important, but it’s not the only thing. You also need to be passionate about your presentation and show it in your posture and gestures. This will help you build rapport with the audience quickly.

20: End on a High Note

To end your speech on a high note, summarize what you have said in a way that is clear and concise, tell them what action you want them to take, and thank them for their time.

 

If you are ready to learn how to use NLP in your speaking let’s find some time to chat!


20 Tips on How To Use NLP in Public Speaking

Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Public Speaking

It’s designed for human communication! After all, public speaking is just a heightened form of everyday conversation. When you use NLP in your next speech or presentation it allows the unconscious part of our brains to take over more than usual–which can be a good thing because that means we’re paying attention to what they say and how they say things instead of solely focusing on ourselves as speakers sometimes do. Here are some hot tips to get you going!

1: 2 Minute Stories

A great way to start a speech is with a personal story, an article you have read, a statistic, or a story around a quote. You must tell the story in a way that evokes an experience. To make it sensory-based in a way that the listener sees, hears, feels, or even smells and tastes the story. Associate them inside the story, as if it is happening to them. In NLP we call this association, and it makes a difference in public speaking hugely.

Your stories should also be 2 minutes or less. If you go over, you will lose the attention of your audience. Remember, public speaking is not about you, it is about them. So make sure your stories are interesting and to the point.

2: Be Concise

When it comes to public speaking, less is more. This does not mean you should leave out important information, but that you should be concise in your delivery. The goal is to get your point across in the most efficient way possible without boring your audience. Try to avoid going off on tangents or using filler words such as “um” or “like.” Instead, focus on delivering your message in a clear and concise.

– Don’t ramble. Keep your remarks focused and to the point.

– Avoid using filler words like “um” or “uh.” Not only do they make you sound nervous, but they also waste time.

-Don’t speak too fast. Take a moment to pause between sentences for emphasis and to give your audience time to process what you’re saying.

-Don’t get too technical. Use language that everyone can understand.

– And finally, don’t forget to practice! The more prepared you are, the better you’ll do.

3: Keep their attention

When you have the attention of your audience, it is important to keep their focus by having great eye contact, using hand gestures and body language that reinforce what you are saying, and speaking with conviction. Be careful not to go overboard with any of these things, as it will take away from your message.

 

4: Focus on the Inspiration

We all know that the best way to teach is by doing, and in this day where technology has made it easier than ever for us to do just about anything from anywhere with an internet connection… well why not use those tools? This means you can focus less on what your speech will contain

 and much on how it is going to be delivered.

The key here isn’t necessarily getting everyone’s attention or making them listen; rather inspiring the desired mindset through methods such as humor (which was

 proven very effective), stories/numbers – whatever works! The bottom line: “How” matters more than “What”.

 

 

5: Stay Loose and focus on the experience

When you’re public speaking, you want to avoid coming across as stilted or robotic. To do this, it’s important to use a variety of words that help create vivid mental images for your audience. In NLP, we call these predicates.

Predicates are words specifically chosen to evoke a sensory-based experience. They help create mental pictures based on what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. 

Some examples of auditory predicates include: “hear,” “listen,” “melody,” “harmony,” “rings a bell,” and “sounds like.”

Visual predicates might be: “look,” “see,” “colorful,” “

For example, if you wanted someone to feel happy, you might use words like “joyful”, “delightful” or “blissful”. If you wanted someone to feel scared, you might use words like “terrifying”, “scary” or “frightening”. By using the right words, you can create any emotion in the mind of the listener.

6: Gesturing Positive and Negatives, Past and Future

When you talk about something negative point away from yourself and the audience, when you talk about something positive point to yourself or the audience. 

When you are speaking about something in the past, move to stage left. When you are in the present, take center stage. When you want your audience to be in the future, move to stage right. This is based on the NLP eye movement theory and it works like a charm!

7: Gesturing to Engage

When you are talking, act out what you are saying with your hands. This works on a deep subconscious level and engages the visual audience member.

8: The Power of Silence

Silence is golden! In public speaking, it is often underused. Use it more! Here are some ways you can use silence:

-After you make a powerful point, pause for 6 seconds or more of silence. This allows the person to take in what you just said.

-If you want someone’s attention, say their name and then pause. They will look at you because their name was called. Then you have their full attention to delivering your message.

-Use silent pauses throughout your presentation to emphasize certain points. Just make sure the audience is comfortable with the silence before proceeding. You don’t want awkwardness!

You can use silence for emphasis, but make sure it is purposeful. Also, use pauses to gather your thoughts. Do not let the silence drag on too long though or you will lose your audience.

9: Anchoring & Chunking

This is an important public speaking tip, as it is often one of the main things people are worried about when they stand up to speak. The best way to remember your speech is to use a technique called “anchoring” and “chunking.”

Anchoring is a technique where you associate a physical sensation with a certain part of your speech. For instance, every time you get to the part of your speech where you talk about your company’s history, you might touch your nose. Or every time you get to the part of your speech where you make a key point, you might tap your foot. This will help anchor the information in your memory so you can easily retrieve it when you need to.

Chunking is a technique where you group information together in manageable “chunks.” For instance, instead of trying to remember every single detail of your speech, you might chunk it into three main points. Or you might chunk it into sections such as the introduction, main body, and conclusion. This will make it much easier for your brain to process and remember the information.

Both of these techniques are extremely effective in helping you remember your speech, so be sure to use them when preparing for your next public speaking engagement.

10: Use Props

Props can be a great way to engage your audience and add interest to your presentation. Be sure to use props that are appropriate for your topic and audience.

11: Vary Your Tone

Your tone of voice can be just as important as the words you are saying. Varying your tone will keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say. When you say something powerful, say it softly and you will watch your audience lean in. Then, use your silence.

12: Use Humor

Humor is a great way to engage your audience and make your point. Just be careful to not offend and not rely on too many jokes.

13: Use of “I” and “You”

Using the word I is very useful. It connects you with the audience in a first-person way. You are saying this to me directly. It has more impact than if you say, “one should…” You can also use the word you, but be careful as it can have an opposite effect where people may feel like they are being talked down to. So I would recommend using I more often than you, as it has more connection.

14: Eye Contact

Use affirmative body language and make sure to maintain eye contact throughout the entirety of your speech. Not only will this help with engagement, but also with building trust between you and the public. If you make eye contact for 6 seconds the person you are looking at and the people around them (left, right, behind, and in front of) will think you are making eye contact with them as well. Move your eye contact through the crowd and they will feel seen, which everyone wants.

15:Use of Questions

Questions are a public speaker’s best friend! By asking questions, you engage the audience more and get them thinking. Here are some ways to use questions in public speaking:

-Ask a rhetorical question. This is a question that does not require an answer. It is more for making a point. For example, “Can you imagine what it would be like to never have to worry about money again?”

-Ask a leading question. This is a question that leads the person to a specific answer. For example, “Wouldn’t it feel great to be debt free?”

16: Anchoring for yourself

Anchoring is a tool from NLP that can be used in public speaking. It means that you associate a certain feeling or state with a physical gesture. For example, every time you want to feel more confident on stage, you can do a certain gesture, like rubbing your hands together. This will then trigger a feeling of confidence. You can also anchor positive states to objects on stage, like the microphone. Every time you touch it, you feel more confident. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to anchor states that are congruent with the message you want to deliver.

17: Speak as if You Are the Expert

When public speaking activities and feel as if you are an expert in your field. This doesn’t mean that you have to be, but by acting and feeling this way. It will come across to your audience. Remember that people like to do business with, and learn from those they perceive as being an expert. So make sure when public speaking that you come across this way.

18: Use Metaphors to Explain Complex Concepts

People understand the world through stories, or what we call NLP metaphors. Whenever you can explain a complex concept or idea using a metaphor or story. Do so, because it will make it much easier for people to understand what you are talking about.

Stories are the longest-lasting memories we have, and they also engage more of our senses. So if you can tell a story that ties in with your content, do it! If you cannot tell a story, use a metaphor. A metaphor is a story in one sentence. For example, “He was as fast as a cheetah” is a metaphor. It engages the imagination more than saying “He was really fast.” By using metaphors you make public speaking more fun, and people will remember your content better.

19: Be Passionate

Having a positive attitude is important, but it’s not the only thing. You also need to be passionate about your presentation and show it in your posture and gestures. This will help you build rapport with the audience quickly.

20: End on a High Note

To end your speech on a high note, summarize what you have said in a way that is clear and concise, tell them what action you want them to take, and thank them for their time.

 

If you are ready to learn how to use NLP in your speaking let’s find some time to chat!


Desk Work Hack: Boost Productivity With Frequent Breaks

Humans are not designed to sit for long periods. Doing so can distort the spine, strain muscles, and drain energy levels. A good ergonomic chair can reverse these effects by supporting healthy sitting postures. Adding frequent short breaks can take things to another level. Learn how microbreaks can supercharge the effects of a healthy ergonomic sitting routine.

Desk worker taking breaks for exerciseGet out of your chair a few times each hour to move your body and supercharge your brainpower.

Integrating regular breaks into a deskwork routine yields three important benefits. First, frequent walking breaks help to ward off the dangers of sedentary behavior.

Second, the human brain can only process complex tasks in short bursts. If you push your brain beyond its limit, both focus and performance degrade.

Third, downtime is when the brain does its deepest data processing. By stepping away from a task, your brain gets the time it needs to digest its previous workBusinessman taking a stretching break

Frequent stretching breaks can boost productivity while drastically reducing your time spent sitting.

Working against these realities makes full-time sitting a drag. By the end of a workday, you will likely feel stiff, sore, and mentally fried.

In contrast, working in sync with these principles yields tremendous benefits:

  1. Get more work done in shorter bursts of intense activity.
  2. Physical activity energizes both the body and the mind.
  3. Mental downtime is when the brain’s problem-solving skills work best.

Benefits of Frequent Work Breaks

This section explains how physical and mental efficiency declines when pushed too hard. By taking advantage of this biological reality, desk workers can boost their health and productivity — with less time spent sitting!

Movement boosts physical and mental wellness

A good ergonomic chair will keep your spine in alignment while sitting for long periods. That lessens the physical stress caused by sitting. Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that humans are not designed for sitting!

Active versus sedentary lifestyle
The hunter-gatherer lifestyle kept humans lean, lithe, and agile.

Sitting for long periods underworks muscles, making them weaker over time. Research has also linked extended sitting with increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and fat buildup around the waist.

For long periods, the ergonomic solution is to sit in dynamic neutral positions. The neutral aspect looks the same in all types of ergonomic chairs. Sit with your feet planted, your lower back supported, and your head balanced evenly above the shoulders.

Neutral sitting postures
Neutral sitting looks the same in all types of ergonomic chairs.

The dynamic aspect involves moving while you sit. Neutral posture combined with small position changes is called ‘active’ or ‘dynamic’ sitting.

Healthy movement while sitting
Moving through a range of dynamic neutral postures stimulates muscles while you sit.

This tactic engages the back, leg, and abdominal muscles while you sit. It yields plenty of benefits:

  • Better spinal positioning with less pressure on the vertebrae.
  • Recurring core muscle contractions burn more fat tissue.
  • Increased control and awareness of your body’s position.

Comfort for the differently-abled

If you have mobility issues, the options can feel very limited. Finding an in-office/in-home solution can provide you with not only additional mobility but comfort throughout your day. The FLUX Dart Daily Living Chair raises and lowers, and has an adjustable back and arms that raise or lower allowing you to access ever

y part of your office and home with ease. With only a 21.5" total width you won't even need to modify your doorframes to easily move through your home or office.

With the stress that mobility issues can cause, you deserve to have a chair that is suited to you. Something that is not medical feeling and does more than just get you from point A to point B. Learn more about this and other daily living chairs at www.troytechnologies.net

Going beyond seated movement

Moving while sitting keeps muscles active. To take this concept to the next level, simply get out of your chair and move your body. That could mean taking a walk, grabbing a drink, or even doing some quick stretches.

Mobility and posture exercises for gamers
Mobility and posture exercises were demonstrated by esports therapist Dr. Joshua Lee.

Esports Physical Therapist Dr. Joshua Lee shared the benefits of mini-exercise breaks with ChairsFX. “The body craves movement. Short rest breaks with exercises are like little snacks. Your body can use these throughout a gaming session to keep you energized.”

Gateway to a Massive Brain Boost

If you suffer fatigue while sitting, test this concept. Get up from your chair and walk around. That will stimulate core muscles and improve circulation.

Developing muscle memory in a gaming chair
Working your body during breaks can supercharge your brain’s ability to perform.

At the same time, stepping away from your task switches the brain from a focused mode to a dreamy, diffused one. That gives it the time it needs to process and store its most recent work.

As a result, when you sit down, you’ll feel more energetic, focused, and mentally prepared to handle your desk work challenges.

Mental downtime supercharges cognition

The brain is a voracious energy drain that is never idle. It functions in two operating modes: focused, and ‘diffused’. In diffused mode, it demands 20% of all energy the body produces. In focused mode, power demands only go up by 5-10%.

 

Focused vs diffuse thinking styles

The diffused mode puts the brain in a more relaxed, dreamlike state. This mode swivels powers of reflection away from the external world toward the self. Mental downtime is when the brain can process information.

Next time you stumble with a challenging problem, put this to the test. Take a break, wander around, and let your brain find a solution in its diffused state. It works!

Breaks enhance info processing

Matthew Walker is a UC Berkeley psychologist and sleep researcher. His studies show that fact-based memories are first stored in the hippocampus. During downtime, that information goes to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which has more storage space.

Why the brain needs downtime to perform better
The brain needs downtime to send info from the hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex.

Dr. Walker likens the process to an email system. When the email inbox in your hippocampus is full, the brain needs downtime to clear out the emails. Until then, new information will bounce when trying to enter the hippocampus.

Power-naps work well

In the work-from-home era, adding short naps is also a potent option. Studies show that daytime naps help to sharpen concentration and accelerate processing.

Best footrest gaming chairs of 2020
Taking a short power nap can power up your brain for an intense burst of work.

TCM expert Nan Lu also endorses the power of daytime naps. As the body relaxes, so will the mind. When the mind relaxes, Qi (internal energy) can flow.

Breaks restore focus on long-term goals

Many middle managers equate staff sitting at their desks with ‘productivity’. In fact, the opposite is true! The average goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds.

In the smartphone era, the average human has an attention span of eight seconds. That is because the brain is not designed for extended focus on one thing.

On top of that, everything you do throughout a workday subtracts from your cognitive resources. In fact, the brain regards constant stimulation as unimportant, so it erases such from awareness.

How the brain filters out stimulation
The brain filters out excess stimulation as irrelevant.

For instance, most people aren’t aware of the sensation of clothing touching the skin. As the body becomes habituated, the stimulus stops registering in the brain.

Solve Complex Problems By Disengaging

When you start to lose focus at your desk, consider it a sign to take a short break. Doing so will boost your focus and energy levels. Disengaging also gives a better sense of the big picture. Then, it becomes easier to see a broader view.

Relaxing in a GTRacing Ace L3 chair
When stumped with a problem, pull away from your desk to let diffuse thinking find the solution.

For example, a Stanford study looked at people facing mental challenges needing the imagination to solve. It found that walking yielded more creative solutions than sitting.

See the forest from the trees
Breaks give your brain the time it needs to differentiate between the forest and the trees.

In summary, another benefit of taking breaks is that it lets you disengage from an immediate task. That gives your brain time to process information. It also puts your mind in a diffused state that yields a clearer view of big-picture goals.

Micro-break Integration Methods

If you’re new to the concept of taking frequent breaks, here are two easy methods to help you get started:

Pomodoro method

One of the most popular methods is the super-simple Pomodoro method. One 25-minute work session plus a 5-minute break equals one Pomodoro.

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  2. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break.
  3. After four sessions, take a longer 30-minute break.

90-minute solution

Working in 90-minute intervals syncs with our body’s natural rhythms. Fifty years ago, pioneering sleep researcher Nathan Kleitman documented the “basic rest-activity cycle“.

Ultradian performance rhythm

This cycle describes 90-minute periods at night where humans move through five stages of sleep. Kleitman found that our bodies operate by the same 90-minute rhythms during the day.

During waking hours, stages shift from higher to lower alertness. Other researchers call this our “ultradian rhythm.” The gist is to work in 90-minute blocks and then take a break.

An alternative is to break when signs of fatigue emerge. When we need rest, our bodies show symptoms. These include hunger, drowsiness, fidgeting, and a loss of focus.

To override these symptoms, many people use caffeine or sugary foods. Some even rely on stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to “power through”. Using the 90-minute solution provides a healthier option that yields more effective results.

Peak performance in 90-minute Blocks

A famous 1993 study of young violinists backs up the 90-minute method. It found that the best violinists all practiced the same way. Each worked in three increments of no more than 90 minutes each.

The study found similar patterns among high-performing musicians, writers, chess players, and athletes. In brief:

  1. Take a break every 90 minutes for a fast and easy energy boost.
  2. If you’re feeling drowsy before the 90-minute mark, take a break anyway.

ChairsFX method

Five years ago, I switched from a cheap office chair to a gaming chair. It took me around a month to master healthy neutral sitting habits. That yielded a cascade of wellness benefits.

  1. Using a gaming chair helped me to improve my posture.
  2. With improved posture, I gained more energy, which I expended at the gym.
  3. With improved posture and health, my productivity skyrocketed.

These days, I take a walking break every time I finish a complex task. Sometimes that takes an hour; sometimes it takes 10 minutes. In general, I spend around 15 minutes of every hour walking around.

Here are the highlights of my own desk productivity recipe:

Establish good feng shui

Feng shui is a 3000-year-old Chinese art that means “wind-water”. Feng shui design is the arrangement of indoor spaces to achieve harmony and balance. Doing so maximizes the flow of positive energy into a space.

Feng shui principles for a home office layout
Feng shui basics: desk facing the entrance; windows to the sides; add earth and wood elements.

The point is to increase the positive energy in a room to make its inhabitants happier. For purists, there are thousands of details to consider. For desk workers seeking a productivity edge, stick with the basics:

  1. Clean your office thoroughly before and after work.
  2. Keep your desk clear of clutter.
  3. Your desk should face towards the room’s main entrance.
  4. Working directly in front of or behind a window will drain your energy.
  5. Keep windows open to ensure that fresh air flows into the room. Add plants for more air cleaning power.
  6. If outside noises are a distraction, override them with white noise or nature sounds.
  7. Assemble furnishings that achieve a balance of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood elements.

Following these steps will ensure a clean, welcoming room flowing with positive energy. To learn more, check out our home office setup guide:

Feng Shui principles for a vibrant home office

Adopt healthy sitting habits

Sitting with poor posture stresses the spine and forces muscles to work harder. From a cognitive perspective, sitting in a powerless, crouched position also stimulates hopelessness. That makes the brain more likely to recall depressive thoughts.

Benefits of sitting with good posture
Good sitting habits help to improve cognitive performance at the computer.

Harvard Prof. Amy Cuddy says this has biological roots tracing back to the animal kingdom. Among all species, body language reflects submission or dominance. When the body curls into a submissive pose, the cognitive performance also degrades.

Neutral sitting Titan vs Aeron
Neutral postures in a Secretlab Titan and Herman Miller Aeron chair.

In comparison, sitting with good posture relieves back muscles and boosts energy levels. As a result, sitting this way makes people more alert, engaged, and confident.

Master the art of healthy sitting with this video tutorial:

How To Sit In A Gaming Chair: Healthy Neutral Postures

Take regular breaks

One component of an effective break is psychological detachment. That means mentally disengaging from work thoughts.

Taking breaks between work sessions
Short stretching breaks can invigorate both the body and the mind.

Another key is to embrace positive thoughts while disengaged. That reverses the negative effects of work tasks. It also increases blood flow to the areas of the brain that we use for focus.

By playing around with these concepts, you can develop a custom routine tailored to your needs. These days, my method of break-taking is flexible. Whenever I feel the need, I get out of my chair and move my body. Here is a summary of my approach:

  1. Break complex work down into chunks. Work through each piece from the most difficult to the easiest. An average chunk should take between 10 to 20 minutes.
  2. Take a break after completing each chunk of work. Alternatively, take a break whenever you start to lose focus.
  3. Disengage from the internet. Leave your phone at your desk. Walk with a purpose towards a drink, fresh air, yoga mat, etc.
  4. Forget about work and focus on positive, healthy sensations. For example, listen to birds chirping, or walk barefoot on grass.
  5. Return to your desk and settle in. Then, use your clear mind and excess energy to power through another chunk of work.

Conclusion

In the work-from-home era, the concept of taking many breaks throughout a workday makes sense. With discipline, arranging your work into chunks can yield incredible results. For one thing, working in short bursts with a primed brain will deliver more efficient production.

For another, regular disengagement from the details helps you to see a project from micro and macro perspectives. As well, regular movement will keep your body and mind feeling vibrant, focused, and alert.

Healthy home office workstation
Cutting-edge workstation optimized for good posture and movement over a full workday.

Start your own healthy home office routine with good feng shui, healthy sitting habits, and a good ergonomic chair. Then, make the most of your setup by mixing frequent short breaks into your routine.

Doing so will help you get more work done with less sitting time. On top of that, it will help you to maintain a lithe, lean physique that takes your well-being to a higher level of bliss.

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Selling small talk: It's a big deal

Is small talk a waste of time? You couldn't be more incorrect. While it may appear to be pointless chitchat, small talk can help you establish relationships, develop connections, and get ready for deeper conversations. Don't underestimate the power of small talk; there's a lot more to it than meets the eye!

One of the biggest benefits of small talk is that it can help you get to know someone better. By talking about everyday topics, you learn more about the other person's interests and personality. This can be really helpful in forming deeper relationships down the road.

The key to cooperation is your social connection to others. Small talk is an important aspect of establishing that social connection. When you create a relationship with someone by having short talks about topics other than the task you're performing, you strengthen the bond and make goal-oriented conversations and requests more likely to flow freely.

Your chances of being chosen for projects are enhanced if people remember you when they're forming a group of people to collaborate. In other words, you want to be well-represented in the memories of your coworkers.

Of course, how successful you are at your job will have an impact on whether people remember you and have a good impression of your work. However, individuals also prefer individuals who are both productive and pleasant to deal with. The more skilled you are at having to engage in social talks with others, the more memorable you will be to others and the more likely it is that others will consider you a fascinating person to collaborate with. As a result of small talk, there may be future possibilities for you.

Here are 4 benefits of small talk:

  • It allows us to identify areas of agreement and common interest and establish connections.
  • It enhances active listening abilities.
  • It aids in the development of muscles, allowing us to more readily engage in spontaneous activities.
  • It establishes the foundation for progressing to more serious, in-depth subjects that require a greater level of psychological safety.

Human beings have dominated the Earth because of our capacity to collaborate with one another. People are part of a team rather than a set of boxes on an org chart since they believe they are members of a group.

It is your social connection to others that greases the gears of cooperation. Small talk is a significant part of creating that social connection. When you have brief conversations about topics outside of the work that you’re doing, you solidify the bond with another person in a way that makes more goal-directed conversations and requests flow smoothly.

Small talk, on a deeper level, is an "honest" signal that exhibits certain qualities about you in a brief amount of time.

What questions should you ask yourself to figure out how much energy your brand has? Think about who you are and what makes you unique. What qualities do I want my future self to remember about me so that they may be inspired by my life?

It allows you to convey information to your recipient so that they may make a gut response (e.g., are you a threat? Are you a pushy salesperson?)

In sales, small talk isn't meaningless; the actual aim, however, is not what it appears to be.

It's what the surface displays and conveys.

The actual words take a back seat to the emotion.

What matters most is your tone, posture, appearance, and position in your business or career.

TALKING POINTS

  • At the beginning of a conversation, be natural, don't force it, let it develop organically.
  • Trust your instincts and be ready to pick up on something someone says, however slight it might appear, which you can then develop into a deeper conversation.
  • When engaged in small talk, don't be looking over the person's shoulder or around the room. They deserve your full attention, however short that time might be.
  • Remember, small talk can be enjoyable, and can make your day nicer just by the sense of friendliness it can convey.

In today's post-pandemic world, we may value these rapid, informal discussions more than ever. But now that we're back to face-to-face work, small talk isn't quite so unimportant.

So the next time you’re at a networking event, or even just out to dinner with potential clients, don’t be afraid to put your small talk skills to use. It could be the thing that helps you close the deal and land that new client. With a little practice, you may find that those small talk moments are some of your most valuable selling opportunities.


What the Dame of Influence Award Means to Me

What the Dame of Influence Award Means to Me

Sometimes I feel like the name of my game is ‘just keep walking’. Many of you know my story already, and like many entrepreneurial journeys, it was riddled with ups and downs. I happened to get handed an extra dose of death and loss and things most people don’t have to experience at this phase of life. Because the people that I loved and lost were also critical parts of my company I had to pick up the pieces while it felt like the world was watching. 

You don’t build the muscles of resiliency because you want to. You do it because you have to. You do it because there is something bigger than the pain or the fear that you have to get done. You change yourself so that you can change the world around you and let me be the first to say that changing how you see yourself or how you respond to life SUCKS. It’s hard because it has life-changing value and they don’t hand out awards for ‘trying super hard’.  and then I learned that I just don’t back down…period. 

I am proud of how far @revenue has come in the last five years, and of the amazing things in our future and I am continuously humbled by the people that show up for my vision. This little family business has survived and grown so that we can serve all of those other ‘little businesses’ grow. 

 

For all these reasons and so many more, I feel unbelievably honored to have been recognized as a 2022 Dame of Influence for Chicago.

The Dames stand for something so close to my heart: the ability to do great things and be a great person. They value community contribution and mentorship, and they’re here to break down the barriers that stop 98% of women-owned businesses from reaching the million-dollar mark.

@revenue has shared this mission of supporting diverse people and their businesses and goals, hoping to make a reality of the amazing empowerment from the late, great RBG: Women should be in all places where decisions are made. The Dames are committed to this, @revenue is committed to this, and I am committed to this, and I am so humbled to be recognized for this work we have tirelessly taken on over the past five years.

I am so thankful for this award and everyone who has made our achievement possible, and I can’t wait for all we can keep accomplishing together.


5 Ways to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

5 Ways to Revamp Your Marketing Strategy

We’ve seen the effects of supply chain issues in restaurants, hardware stores, department stores, and more — and the promotional products industry is no exception.

 

The year of the pandemic saw nearly 20% decrease in distributor sales as events and trade shows were cancelled and swag bags went back on their shelves. Now, as these gatherings are reinstated, many of these same distributors are seeing order counts double and are struggling to meet the demand. 

 

Industry trends are showing strong projections for recovery, but it won’t happen overnight, and you’ve likely got some extra unused dollars that would usually be spent on these items that just can’t be supplied right now. 

 

So how do you solidify your marketing strategy when you can’t get your promotional products? Here are five ideas to get started.

Know your audience

Just as the corporate and bigger business sides of the professional world have pivoted and adapted during the pandemic, so have small businesses and individuals. Rediscover your audience and evaluate how your prospects and leads — and their needs — have changed. Understanding your buyer persona is crucial to your success, and you can earn their trust and loyalty by proving your business to be adaptable and sensitive to their experience.

Run a brand audit

Does your visual identity accurately reflect your business’s mission and goals? Once you’ve evaluated your buyer and how they’ve changed over the last eighteen months, perhaps your brand might need a little revamping in order to stay aligned with your mission while still attracting your evolved audience. 

Invest in A/B testing

Increase your ROI from existing traffic, reduce your bounce rate, and establish successful conversion rates through extra A/B testing. With one control and one variable group, modify your CTAs, content length, email subject lines, email frequency, or any details that may affect your content, social, or website performance. With each of these tests, you’ll learn more about your consumer and which strategies to more fully invest in for success.

Develop your SEO and social media strategy

Increase your Google ranking by investing in your Search Engine Optimization strategy with both organic and paid strategies. Remember, too, that YouTube processes billions of searches each month, and, as a result, optimizing your video content can help you rank higher on the biggest search engines. 

 

While you’re optimizing videos, translate that same energy into your social media strategy as a whole. With the rise in influencer marketing, social partnerships, and sponsored feed content, both paid and organic social media strategies will help get your content in front of relevant audiences.

Target your campaigns

Once you have a clear understanding of the new pains, fears, and gains of your prospective clients, you’ll be able to run more thoroughly targeted campaigns and meet your audience through very specific touchpoints. Use your newly optimized SEO and social media strategies to implement these audience traits and speak directly to your compatible prospects.

 

Promotional products are not the lifeblood of your marketing strategy! With the absence of these items — and the wiggle room that may leave in your budget — this is the perfect time to dive into the core structure of your marketing plan and make sure that when the frills and gimmicks are peeled away, the bones of your business’s messaging are solid and representative of your mission and goals.


Graphic Design Trends 2021

Graphic Design Trends 2021

There are a ton of theories out there about what makes good design. Most of them have something to do with simplicity. For instance, Paul Rand said, “Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated. And according to Albert Einstein, “The best design is the simplest one that works.” But when it comes to graphic design for social media, websites, emails, sell sheets and any other marketing collateral your small business needs, you need a bit more than “simple” to get the job done.

The magic of graphic design happens in the space between what your audience expects to see—and the surprising satisfaction of discovering the solution they’ve been waiting for. Incorporating design trends into your images can show that you’re in touch with what’s going on in your market or help you associate some of that trendiness with your brand, providing that “expected” element. What turns a trendy design into a great one is the original (but not overwhelming) spin your signature branding adds to the picture. As a rule of thumb, your designs should balance 1 part design trend and 1 part branding to excite your audience and compel them to click through.

Here are some of the biggest influences on graphic design that we’re seeing this year and some suggestions on how to incorporate them into your images:

1. Muted Color Palettes

After what seemed like an endless year of breaking news, rapid change and emergency situations, people are ready for subtle and soothing hues. The Pantone colors of the year for 2021 are Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, which is a pale shade of yellow. If your brand colors are bright and bold like ours, try choosing complementary softer shades in your backgrounds and accents. If your branding is pastel to begin with, congratulations, you are on-trend! Just make sure any text in your images is easy to read.

2. Simple Data Visualizations

Like our first tip, this one also has to do with a sense of relief from the overwhelm of 2020. If you are including statistics or data in your marketing materials, consider turning the most critical points into a simple infographic. In other media, choose visual representations that let the data seem to speak for itself.

3. Geometric Shapes Everywhere

Solid lines and symmetry can add aesthetic appeal while letting your message take priority. Alternatively, bigger and bolder shapes can bring more contrast to those muted colors. Try superimposing bigger versions of the shapes in your logo or laying delicate pastel patterns over solid black or white backgrounds.

4. Flat Icons & Illustrations

In case you haven’t noticed, subtle simplicity is really shaping these trends in 2021. Creating custom illustrations can be a great way to avoid using generic stock photos. Be sure your icons really symbolize what your message is about, and try using a little bit of text to expand their meaning exponentially.

5. Classic Serif Fonts

Serif fonts call back to the early days of printed typography and can add an air of maturity or respectability to your design, when used sparingly. We recommend sticking to a couple of standard fonts for your headers and body text, but for special events and promotions, choosing a fancy accent text can really set the mood! Just make sure you read every word to avoid embarrassing Freudian font slips.

6. Social Slide Decks

Since a lot of our information is shared via social media these days, people are embracing the power of the carousel post and the slide deck to tell a longer story with multiple images. The more slides you add, the simpler your presentation should be. 

7. Text Heavy Videos

Last, we have our in-platform video editors to thank for this trend. Just like the kids are doing on TikTok and Instagram Stories, adding text to your videos can add another layer of meaning while making them more accessible.

Feeling inspired yet? If you’re not a visual person and Canva is a scary place for you, get in touch with us! We’ve got awesome designers on our team who can keep your graphics looking good.


Email Marketing for a Decision-Fatigued Audience

Email Marketing for a Decision-Fatigued Audience

 

We have navigated some big shifts in the sales and marketing industry over the past 20 years, but the psychological impact of the pandemic on audiences across industries is like nothing we’ve seen before. The ways that people process emotion and make decisions are always evolving, but in March of 2020, the trends we relied on to create effective marketing strategies went out the window. Unless you were in the toilet paper business, there was no telling what messages your audience would respond to.

 

In those first few weeks of lockdown, we learned a lot about how high stress and limbic fatigue (overworking the area of the brain that regulates emotions) change our thought patterns. “The new normal,” before we even called it that, was exhaustion and survival mode. As a result, audiences started to show analysis paralysis, heavy rejection of that which is not critical to their day to day needs and a limited ability to absorb what they are reading or experiencing. And though there is a light at the end of the tunnel, this widespread exhaustion will take time to heal from, even after we have a vaccine. Purchasing decisions are primarily emotional, so marketing to these emotionally drained audiences means that your communication needs to change in dramatic ways. 

 

The good news is that people are still checking their email, so this continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal. Here are a few quick shifts that you can use in your email strategy that will increase traction with stressed-out, overwhelmed audiences immediately:

1. Video

Our ability to create impactful communication is all in body language and tonality; the specific breakdown is 55% body language, 38% tonality and only 7% words. If you are relying on words alone to get the sale done, you are leaving 93% of your ability to communicate out of the equation. Though we typically think of written messages when we think email, the mention of a video in your subject line will skyrocket open rates. The key is to make it feel personal and intentional. No one wants another commercial, so create video experiences that speak directly to your consumer and what THEIR pains or fears are. Be clear about the action you want them to take, and try to do it in 60 seconds or less.

2. Call to Action

The CTA is a longstanding best practice of marketing, but with the increase in fatigue, the ability to figure out the next best step is even more likely to elude most of your audience. Break things down into very small, actionable steps that have a low barrier to entry. Be crystal clear about what you want them to do and what is on the other side of that action, including how much of their time will need to be invested. Your audience will have a much more positive experience with your brand if they know what to expect and you make good on that promise. After the year we’ve had, you can understand why nobody likes surprises anymore.

3. Segmentation

Getting the right message to the right recipient is critical. The more you know about your audience and what their specific motivations are, the more concise and direct you can be. If you don't know a lot about those on your list, send out a survey and let them tell you what’s important to them. Remember, what you know about your business, services and products means nothing—it's what they know about you and what they need that really counts when it comes to taking action. 

4. No More Features and Benefits

Many companies will only speak to the shiny happy parts of what they provide, but when people are tired and stressed, what they really want are solutions. Pain, Fear and Gain are the only three things that will get your audience to make a decision to engage, and they go in that order. Speak to the pain and fear that they are experiencing right now long before you talk about the result. This will allow your audience to self-identify and emotionally engage with your content. 

 

And last but not least, be AUTHENTIC. In this upside-down world, your audience wants to know that there is someone on the other side of the transaction who is real and invested in solving a problem. No amount of polished pictures or silky smooth sales copy can make that happen. Put your heart where your money is and show them some 'Professional Love.'

Still stumped? We hear you, and we’d love to hear more about the marketing goals you’re working on right now. Take a look at what we can do for you and let’s get in touch.


Gender Equality Setbacks Create Female Recession

"Women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses as of May 2020. At the same time, the burden of unpaid care, which has risen in the pandemic, falls disproportionately on women." states the Harvard Business Review.

McKinsey estimates that the 'global GDP growth could be $1 trillion lower in 2030 than it would be if women’s unemployment simply tracked that of men in each sector'. They go on to say, "Conversely, taking action now to advance gender equality could be valuable, adding $13 trillion to global GDP in 2030 compared with the gender-regressive scenario. A middle path—taking action only after the crisis has subsided rather than now—would reduce the potential opportunity by more than $5 trillion. The cost of that delay amounts to three-fourths of the total global GDP we could potentially lose to COVID-19 this year."

Traditional perceptions of the societal role of mothers are a major factor in the disparity of the impact. While women with partners may have some form of relief, more than 15.7 million women are estimated to be the sole caregiver for their children, leaving them with even fewer options. We are looking at more than just a temporary set back here. From taking lower-ranking roles in organizations to having to change roles or industries completely, these parents are going to feel the economic blowbacks for, what could quite possibly be, the rest of their working lives.

 

 


Work from Home Options Fail Working Parents

"Florida State University has announced that come early August, it will not continue to allow employees to work from home while simultaneously taking care of their children."

While this may not be your company's stance, it is a growing sentiment amongst corporations. The additional stress this puts on the parent is almost insurmountable. With child care options at an all-time low, tighter budgets at home, and parents caring for multiple family members at once, the rise of mental health impacts.

  • The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed. From January to September 2020, 315,220 people took the anxiety screen, a 93 percent increase over the 2019 total number of anxiety screens. 534,784 people took the depression screen, a 62 percent increase over the 2019 total number of depression screens.
  • The number of people screening with moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety has continued to increase throughout 2020 and remains higher than rates prior to COVID-19. In September 2020, the rate of moderate to severe anxiety peaked, with over 8 in 10 people who took an anxiety screen scoring with moderate to severe symptoms. Over 8 in 10 people who took a depression screen have scored with symptoms of moderate to severe depression consistently since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.  - Mental Health Association

From panic attacks to full nervous breakdowns, mothers, in particular, are carrying so much more of the load at home that they can't seem to get a breath. If there is a partner in the home, past parenting agreements have dissolved or abandoned as his career has taken precedence, and even when the mother out earns her male partner, she is still the main source of planning, management, and attention for all household items.