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Monday, July 21, 2014

Fall Internships Available

CommCore is recruiting for a Public Relations/Marketing Intern for an Internship to work directly with the founder of the company and his team.  The position involves all aspects of marketing and new business development with major focus on developing pitch letters, as well as:

  • Database management
  • Social media
  • Traditional public relations tactics, such as assisting with press release writing and distribution, and media outreach. Developing lists and maintain press list
  • Contribute ideas for monthly newsletter – Observer
  • Conduct research on recent media and crisis news, current clients, etc
  • Attend and observe local client meetings and training workshops
  • Assist office with daily projects

This is a non-paid internship. The benefit: letters of recommendation and evaluations for your résumé. Hours: 20-30/week (days flexible).

Please visit our web site to learn about the company: www.commcoreconsulting.com
We specialize in:
  • Communications Training for Media Interviews, Presentations & Testimony
  • Message Development
  • Communications Strategy
  • Crisis Planning & Response
  • Public Relations
Our office is located in downtown NW Washington DC.  If you believe you are that unique person we are looking for, send your resume and cover letter to Daiva MacKenzie dmackenzie@commcoreconsulting.com.  Include in your cover letter your availability and why you believe you are the best candidate for this position.
The ideal candidate will have the following skills:

  • The #1 criteria is an entrepreneurial spirit and a creative thinker
  • Organized and excellent written skills
  • Fluent knowledge of Microsoft Office products
  • Strong telephone/people skills
  • Experience in market/competitive research
  • Experience using social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
  • Interest in marketing, public relations, business development, communications

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Presenting over the phone has its own set of communications challenges such as:

  • No immediate connection with the participants – no eye contact or body language feedback (unless you have a system like Telepresence)
  • Audio requires different signals, cues and instructions
  • You never know what other things the listener is doing

Here are a few suggestions to better the chances your key points will be heard:

1. Prepare yourself as a different type of presenter

  • Listen to talk radio, specifically call-in shows for examples of presentations via phone
  • Tape a practice lecture and listen to it
  • Increase voice modulation by 20%

2. During your talk

  • Have a hard copy of your slides; spread them out on the desk or table
  • Stand up
  • Remind the listener what slide you’re on as you advance through the presentation
  • Work on transitions between slides
  • Suggest your audience to write down key points – keep them from multi-tasking

3. Handling the Q&A/wrap up:

  • Call on participants by name and location
  • Moderate between participants calling in from different locations
  • When facilitating Q&A, have participants give their name, location and specialty before the ask the question
  • Summarize the key take-aways from the call

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Friday, July 18, 2014

6 PowerPoint/Prezi Tips

While PowerPoint or Prezi often helps the presenter produce professional work with great visuals, too often we lose sight of the purpose of slides and “visual aids.”  Presenters spend countless hours perfecting every bullet and transition, falsely assuming all eyes will be on the slides, not the speaker.

Keep these tips in mind before you deliver your next presentation:

1.       Remember YOU are the presentation – not your graphics and   visual support
2.       Go easy on the text – words are better than phrases, phrases are better than sentences
3.       Be judicious when adding multimedia components like streaming video, graphics and illustrations
4.       Keep your explanation of each slide to under a minute
5.       Focus only on the points you want to highlight – don’t try to discuss every point on the slide
6.       Produce two “decks”. One is the live version.  The other – with more text --  is for those not in attendance

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Friday, July 11, 2014

5 Tips to Remember Before Your Next Presentation

Presentations are all too often “data dumps,” a lot of information that we want to say. Rarely are presentations adequately tailored for a particular audience.

At CommCore we believe it is important that presentations are audience-focused. Here are a few tips to make your next presentation more Audience-Focused.

  1. Profile your audience. Before any presentation, it is vital to research who your audience is. Whether it’s a general audience of 1,000 or just 12 people in senior management, start with the key questions. Who am I speaking to? What are their interests? What do they need to know?
  2. Pare down your content. Once you have completed research on who your audience is, you should know what material is going to be the most essential and appropriate. Remember, less is more.
  3. Grab the audience. The grabber or opening statement, should introduce the topic in a catchy, arresting or amusing manner, or it should introduce you, creating a connection between you and your listeners. Grab the audience with an anecdote, case study or visual image that pulls them into the topic. 
  4. Anticipate questions. Write down questions the audience might ask and be sure you either present answers during the body of the presentation, or have them at your disposal for the Q&A phase.
  5. Offer to be available after the presentation. Provide additional information, contact information and answer follow-up questions.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

6 Tips for Handling Q&A

At CommCore we regularly remind our clients about the best practices for handling challenging Q&A effectively. A great Q&A session can help you reinforce your main points so your presentation or interview ends on a high note and you leave with your credibility intact. 

Here are six tips for handling the Q&A:
  1. Set Ground Rules: Ask the questioners to stand or to raise their hands if they have questions and to identify themselves by name and affiliation. If you want only one question per person, say so.
  2. Avoid Repeating Negative Questions: When buying time to think, don’t repeat a negative question. Pause. If you do rephrase the question, frame it in a more positive light before answering.
  3. Bridging: After first responding to or acknowledging a question, bridge to the core message you wish to convey.
  4. Move from Behind the Lectern: If at all possible, get away from the lectern. This shows greater openness. Request a lavaliere or wireless microphone so you can move about.
  5. Make Effective Use of Eye Contact: While listening to a question, look directly at the questioner. Maintain eye contact as you begin to respond, then slowly move your eye contact to others in the audience. This will make it easier to avoid a follow-up question, and select a query from somewhere else.
  6. Leave on a High Note: A favorite technique for ending a Q&A is to ask for “one or two” more questions. If the first question it too trivial or you don’t handle it well, you can take a second one. If neither provides a good exit, deliver a 30 second summary of your main points.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

CommCore's "What Were They Thinking Video" KLM