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Fostering Communications

What a crew..... what an amazing night of networking and education by these incredibly funny, smart and talented women in the world of Communications. Our panel from left to right, Stacey Sager - WABC-TV Eyewitness Newscaster, Stacee Mandeville - Public Speaking Coach/Owner of Red Leaf Coaching, Hayley Foster - Founder of Foster Inc., Lauren Mundell - SVP at Ketchum PR, Lauren Flick - Producer/Director/Media Coach, and Alyssa Peek - Photographer/Founder of Peek Photography.

The discussion ranged from how to put your best pitch forward to the media and your audience and ways to look and appear (and BE) more confident in meetings, public speaking, on TV, and in front of the camera. The panel gave great tips and tricks which I've already seen put to use on Instagram, Facebook and in person. There were too many to write up here but I have highlighted the 'BEST OF' below:

Stacee Mandeville -

1) Eye contact is number one physical tool, with pausing.

2) Be big. Take up space.

3) Access your inner super villain.

4) Enter the room with gravitas.

5) Don't fidget. Fidgeting is for prey animals. If you're fast, you're food. Be a lion.

6) Take the head of the table if available. Establish your credibility and power as soon as you walk in.

7) Practice doing this every day. It feels weird. So get used to it through practice.

Lauren Mundell -

1) Be prepared to talk about your business/pitch or story in soundbites. First, craft your homerun story; a 30-second elevator pitch. Then break it down into 3-4 parts -- the first one should be the essential information you want your audience to know if nothing else. If you only get the chance to get a single, you'll have still gotten your most important point across.

2) At a famous press conference, Henry Kissinger asked the press; "What questions do you have for my answers?" Use your 30-second elevator speech and its 4 key parts and use them as part of your answer to every question. Quickly bridge from addressing the question to one of your key messages.

Alyssa Peek -

1) Your photo should be updated every 3 years minimum. When you change jobs, get promoted, start a new business or hit a major goal in your business it's a good time for a new photo. As your life changes, so you do.

2) A photo conveys a message to your potential clients. The message should be: that you take care of yourself and are proud of who you are, that you are friendly and approachable, confident, and trustworthy. Make sure your photo is serving you.

3) A photo shoot is a business expense and tax deductible- it is a sales tool and should be used as such.

4) Top 3 Posing tips:- stand 45 degrees to camera- when sitting, sit in the edge of the chair for better posture- smile from your heart.

5) Let the photographer see the YOU that you don't see. Be vulnerable.

Lauren Flick -

1) Be your authentic self.

2) Communicate clearly bc what's clear to one might not be clear to another.

3) Don't be afraid to ask.

4) Remember no one is any better or worse and unless your being asked to perform a triple bypass... you can do anything.

5) Know you're worthy. Everyone is unique and the experience you have is worthy of being shared. Often people say, oh well I wrote one book so I don't know if I'd call myself an author.... You wrote a book - that's huge - of course your an author!!

Stacey Sager -

1) Personalize your pitch.

2) KNOW the reporter you're pitching to.

3) Offer first dibs! Provide clients or humanize your story or pitch.

4) Don't be afraid to leverage your mommy-hood to do all of the above!!

In addition to all of the above, one of my own favorite FOSTERING tips..... Never underestimate the power of a handshake. It's the first impression you can make on a potential client, customer or acquaintance. As my dad once told me, never shake like a dead fish.... go in strong, squeeze hard, make eye contact and give your best smile. Never look away and let go if it ever feels uncomfortable. Ladies you know what I'm talking about... sometimes men hold on a little too long and it starts to feel awkward.

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