Blog Posts Archives - The Pickering Group

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Loose briefs cause grief – getting super clear on what you’re there for

Numbers for the leadership team, quarterly update, employee induction welcome or conference slot… you’ve been asked to deliver a presentation. Woohoo.

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What’s wrong with the shadows anyway?

Come on – admit it. You love the unthreatening nature of your comfort zone. It’s warm, it’s safe. It’s like the cosy slipper of life experiences. That’s the shadows. It’s the opposite of being in the spotlight. And it’s tempting, right?

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Communicating in a hybrid environment

Early last year I ran a training with a large professional services firm. Some of the team were in-person in Auckland and the other half joined virtually from Wellington. The Wellington crew were all in a meeting room and joining from one video conference unit.

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Suzi McAlpine's interview with Russell

Recently I had a blast chatting to my good mate Suzi McAlpine about my new book Step into the Spotlight. Suzi is author of the bestselling book Beyond Burnout and pens the award winning blog The Leader's Digest where she writes and chats about all things…you guessed it…leadership.

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Handling questions like a pro when presenting

One of the questions we’re asked most often is how to handle, well, questions. And we have answers! A Q&A can seem nervewracking, but generally if you know your subject it can be the most engaging and convincing part of your presentation. Imagine it’s quiz night, but all the questions are on your specialist topic. You win the bar tab, your table is cheering, there’s karaoke later, life is beautiful. This could be you at work too. How? Glad you asked.

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We may be back in the office, but we need to avoid the old traps

Now that we’re back in the office – and presenting in person more again, hooray! – many of the old bad habits are popping up again. Already, many of us are suffering from ‘Death by PowerPoint’. You may even have been guilty of perpetrating it.

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Start with something worth saying

You wouldn’t believe the number of calls I get from people that go something like this: “We need you to come in and work with [insert name here] on their presenting skills. They’re really struggling to make an impact. The issue’s not with their content – that’s sorted – it’s more to do with their delivery. We need them not to suck.” I’ll let you in on a little secret...

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Presenting is not about acting...or is it?

We tend to think of acting as pretending – as something constructed or contrived. However, great acting is the opposite. It’s about truth. Great acting isn’t really about acting at all – it’s about being.

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Imposter syndrome: are you faking it?

Imposter syndrome: a lurking doubt in your achievements and abilities. What if you’re actually not competent and no one’s noticed yet? Surely the truth will eventually come out. You’ll be humiliated, but ultimately relieved that you can stop this insane charade and take up an enticing new pastime, like rocking gently in a corner. Here’s the thing: you’re probably fine, and you deserve to feel fine about it. Let’s work through this.

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Glossophobia, Alektorophobia and more...

You’ve heard it a million times: the number one human phobia is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. It seems like nonsense, doesn’t it? That speaking in public could be more terrifying to more people than, say, death, or being stuck in a lift with Kanye West. But consider the consequences.

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Step into the Spotlight

Russell's new book is available now
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