Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

May 20

What is an Elevator Pitch and Why Do I Need One?

By Celeste DeCamps | Uncategorized

Elevator Pitch
Elevator Pitch

Whether you’re looking for a job or attending a networking event, you should have a 30-second elevator pitch in your back pocket. This quick commercial, spotlighting you, is the best way to garner someone’s interest. The goal being, that the person you are meeting will want to know more about you and your service.

Here are 5 tips to think about when you are putting together your elevator pitch:

1.  Just the facts. Write down the answers to these questions: Who are you? What do you do? What benefits do you offer? Who is your ideal customer? It’s important to remember that as much as this is an introduction of yourself, it’s also a chance for you to show how you are going to make someone else’s life better. For example: Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. As a speech coach, I help people have more fun standing in front of an audience. I am always looking for people who need help delivering their message.”

2.  Be specific.You don’t have time to recite your whole resume. Write down your major accomplishments and your specific skill set. Look at your list and take out all unnecessary words. The best way to do this is to say it out loud. Grab a friend and go over it with her. You want to come across as yourself. Memorize your pitch but it needs to come across naturally. The more you practice, the more you fine tune, the more you will find your message coming across smoothly. You want to sound conversational and not like an infomercial. 

3. Write your headline.  When you feel that you have a solid 30-second commercial, try to make it 15-seconds. We don’t always have time to say everything we want. The best bet we have is to be able to say enough to get someone’s attention. Hopefully, that person will ask for your business card and inquire about your services. For example: “Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. I will help you deliver your message with confidence.”

4. Be confident. Before you meet someone, check your posture. Walk in the room with your head up and your shoulders back. When you shake the person’s hand, smile, and look him in the eyes. When you introduce yourself, be upbeat, and speak clearly. 

5.  Listen carefully. As much as you want to talk about yourself take time to hear what the other person is saying. The more you pay attention to what the other person’s wants and needs are, the better chance you have of addressing her concerns. When someone feels that they are genuinely being heard, the more she will want to engage with you. Connections and relationships can be formed fairly quickly when there’s respect for each other’s ideas. 

Working on an elevator pitch takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and gives people an insight into what you can offer. You never know who will meet that can give you the chance of a lifetime.

Oct 16

How To Be A B.R.A.T. (Breathe, Relax and Talk)

By Celeste DeCamps | Self Improvement , Uncategorized

Public speaking is terrifying for most people. Just the thought of it can make our hands sweat, our heart beat fast and throwing up doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Getting up and presenting to an audience is more than just relaying information; it’s doing our best to get our ideas across. Being able to communicate effectively is important to our business success as well as personal success, whether it’s a presentation we have to do at work, a networking event or a wedding toast. One of the first things that we take for granted when stepping onto a stage is our breathing. So far I haven’t seen anyone pass out on stage because they forgot to breathe; what I have seen is speakers holding their breath and swallowing their words. The throat is tight, the mouth is dry and the sound is not coming across clear and crisp.

That’s when you should remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe-Relax-And-Talk.

I have three steps for you to take to calm your nerves, project your voice and breathe through your speech.

Step 1: When we are nervous we tend to take short breaths, which keeps our heart rate up. To reduce anxiety before going onstage, learn to breathe deeply.

Please place one hand on your chest and another on your stomach. I want you to take a deep breath that expands your stomach, not your chest. Inhale through your nose, breathe in for four counts. Hold your breath for four counts and release the air through your mouth for four counts.

This type of deep breathing is great when we are feeling anxious, nervous or ready to punch someone in the face. It will help lower our blood pressure and keep us calm and focused. Before taking the stage, stand up tall, pull shoulders back and take a deep breath. This gives the mind and body a chance to feel confident.

Step 2: Learning how to project our voice without yelling at the audience. It’s important to be heard throughout the room when a microphone is not available. Please stand up. Place one hand on your chest and your other hand in front of your mouth. Take a deep breath and say “Hello. How Are You?” Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in that expands your stomach. Now place your hand near your mouth and say “Hello. How Are You?”.

The force of air the second time should’ve been stronger than the first. Expanding your stomach with air is how you can use your diaphragm to project your voice. This will make your voice stronger and clearer. This will also give your voice more resonance. Your voice will sound fuller when you breathe from your diaphragm as opposed to breathing from your chest.

When giving a presentation, it’s a good idea to warm up vocal chords and face muscles. Move the jaw around and stretch the mouth. Do a large yawn. Gently move your neck from side to side. Lift your shoulders and release any tension that may be there. Slowly say the vowels A,E,I,O,U and exaggerate each letter. Do some tongue twisters: Red Leather, Yellow Leather, She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers, Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy Had No Hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy Wasn’t Fuzzy Was He? Here’s a link for more tongue twisters.

Keep your vocal chords from getting dry by staying hydrated, drink water.

Step 3: When you are practicing your speech, practice breathing through your speech. My suggestion for understanding what that means is to put marks on your speech where you should be pausing to take a breath. This will slow down your speech making you aware of pronouncing all of your words. We have all heard people speak and found many of the words inaudible. We know through experience what the person is trying to say, but we are left with the feeling that the speaker isn’t very polished. Breathing through your speech helps you to enunciate, which makes your voice ring clear.

Remember to be a B.R.A.T. Breathe, Relax and Talk. Practice breathing techniques, relax your neck and shoulders and talk at an even pace. All of this will help you become a more effective communicator.

 

Sep 14

Do You Take Your Own Advice?

By Celeste DeCamps | General , Self Improvement , Uncategorized

Advice is so easy to give, but harder to actually follow. Take the overweight, smoking, alcoholic doctor who admonishes us for not living a healthy lifestyle. There are so many things we should and want to be doing for ourselves. We know to stay away from sugar, processed and packaged foods. We know we should exercise, meditate, stay in touch with family and friends and be mindful through all of it. Honestly, writing out this list makes me feel guilty and a little stressed.

It’s noon and the most I’ve accomplished was to eat a healthy breakfast and talk myself out of having a chocolate chip cookie.  I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me she can’t let herself sit and relax for too long because she feels it’s a slippery slope to never being productive ever again. It makes sense to constantly feel that we are never doing enough; enough for ourselves, our family, our friends, and our business.

I research everything I can to understand how our mind and body work together. I feel like a fraud if I give suggestions or advice to people that I’m not following myself. I try to follow my own recommendations because I know in the long run, I do feel better. I’m more mindful, more optimistic and more content. I also know that when I get off track and not do everything I need to do for myself that it doesn’t help to beat myself up over it. It’s also something I’ve been able to tell other people: it’s okay to not be perfect.

Life gets in the way of our best laid out plans. It doesn’t mean we have to abandon the path we are working on, it just means we may have to take a different route. Our best stories come from our experiences with the challenges that we faced. Our own sense of inspiration comes from recognizing just how far we have come.

I can appreciate hearing other people’s stories of how they found success through their persistence. I understand that they want to share their knowledge and give advice to others. I think we all want to encourage and support each other. I just don’t believe that we can give anyone a shortcut to their own accomplishment. We all have to undertake our own journey. We learn from our failures. We all have to go through trial and error to find what works for us.

I do have a strong sense of resentment when I hear someone say: “If I can do it, so can you.” Everyone has their own set of circumstances and experiences. What works for one person will not work for another. I think a better statement would be “let me encourage and support you through your journey to success.”

The one piece of advice I have is to ask for help when you need it. It’s amazing how people seem to come out of the woodwork when you accept the fact that you can’t do it all by yourself. We do need each other. We need to be able to bounce ideas off of people; the wall we are staring at, simply will not offer feedback. Taking your thoughts out of your head, putting it down on paper and sharing it with others is how we begin to take action.

When we help others, we end up helping ourselves. We start to recognize that we want more from our lives and we start to find the time to make it happen. Some days will be more productive than others. We will have setbacks and it will be frustrating. If we can embrace the pitfalls and recognize them as part of the learning process, we will stay motivated to keep going.

The reality is the process is never-ending. We will always strive to be better. I will take my own advice to take care of myself and not push and pull on my life today. We’ll see about tomorrow.