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How to Craft Talking Points for a Podcast Interview June 13, 2017 09:00

How to Craft Talking Points for a Podcast Interview

To make the most out of your opportunity to appear as a guest on a podcast, you must prepare in advance for your interview. You need a bio, the right equipment, and enough practice to have a natural conversation with the host. You can learn more about preparing for a podcast here.

One important way to prepare for your interview is to craft a few talking points ahead of time. These are the phrases and statements most important to you that you want to make sure you say in some way during the course of the interview. They are the things you want the audience to take notice of and remember long after the podcast airs.

To craft your talking points, decide on about three things that are most important to you for the audience to remember. If they could only know three things about you or your business, what would they be?

Write those out, each one separately.

If you are having trouble thinking of what to write, answer these questions for ideas:

1. Why did you get started?

2. How did your business come about?

3. What is most important to you in business?

4. What results do you help your clients achieve?

5. Do you have a specific story of client success? If so, tell it.

After you have your three most important ideas written down, say them out loud like you are explaining them to a total stranger. Say them in a way that most makes sense and that flows naturally. Once you have them how you want them, write them down so you can reflect on them again before your podcast interview.

Those are your talking points. Those are the items you want to make sure you include during your interview at some point. When it seems natural to include those in your answer, do so.

Having talking points prepared in advance helps you know what to say, and they keep you on track. They also ensure that you are including in this interview the things that are most important to you and your business.

 

If you'd like help crafting your talking points for a podcast interview, click here to schedule a time to work with me. I'm happy to help! -Carrie


Quite a Long Lead-Up for a Whopping 10 Minutes May 23, 2017 09:00

Quite a Long Lead-Up for a Whopping 10 Minutes

Our daughter, Marin, recently needed a very minor oral surgery. It was so minor I'm not even sure it's actually considered surgery. It was more like a minor procedure, really.

But for an 8-year-old who hates needles, it seemed more like it would be the end of the world.

She knew three weeks ago that this procedure was scheduled. So, for three weeks she waited for the big day. She had three VERY long weeks to think about it and stew on it.

The actual procedure lasted a whopping 10 minutes. Not even kidding.

The three-week lead-up to those 10 minutes was WAY worse than the procedure itself.

Isn't life much like that?

When we know something will be painful or scary, we build it up in our minds. It grows until it's something larger than life and out of control. 

It's that way with surgical procedures, and it's that way with unresolved conflict, too.

Think about it-- when there is tension between you and someone else, time moves slowly. You repeat every moment of your last conversation over and over in your mind. You dwell on it.

It becomes all-consuming.

But when you take 10 minutes to resolve it, it's over. Done. 

And much like after a surgical procedure, healing can begin.

If you have unresolved conflict with someone, create a strategy to resolve it. Don't let the lead-up grow out of control. Take the bull by the horns and initiate the resolution.

It seriously might only take 10 minutes.

If you aren't sure where to start, begin with an apology. A sincere one. Whether you're totally at fault or not. 

From there, explain how you'd like to proceed. End with "I'd really like to resolve this with you."

Don't let the lead-up continue. End it as quickly as possible. It may only take a whopping 10 minutes.

If you need additional conflict resolution resources, click here to schedule a time to Chat with Carrie. 


How to Homeschool Your Kids While Working From Home May 09, 2017 09:00

How to Homeschool Your Kids While Working From Home

"How on earth do you build a business AND homeschool your 5 kids???"

I get asked that all.the.time.

So I created a course that details how I do it. In this course, I tell how I structure my day, get everything done, and make it all work. I tell which resources we use and what we focus on.

And I help you see how you can do it, too, if it's something you want to do.

There are only so many hours in the day! How can you possibly teach your kids AND grow your business?

In my course, I share how I homeschool my five children while simultaneously building a successful business. I'm in my 13th year of homeschooling, and I've learned a lot along the way. I tell you in this course exactly how I structure my days, and I share resources to help you determine how you can do the same.

Is it hard? Yes. I'm not going to lie. Being responsible for a child's education is not something to be taken lightly, and homeschooling is a lot of work.

But, it's so worth it. If homeschooling is something you'd like to do, just know that you can do it. This course will help you see how.

Ready to learn how you can homeschool AND build a business? Click here to get started!


How One Dentist Connects with His Audience May 02, 2017 12:04

How One Dentist Connects with His Audience

In order to communicate effectively, you have to know your audience. You have to know their dreams, their fears, their needs, and many other things about them. You have to see them as individuals and get to know them. That's how you know what to say to them and how to say it. That's how you connect.

Our daughter's dentist is the master of this. He knows his audience and delivers a customer experience second to none. Watch this episode of Coffee and Connection to learn how he does it. You can learn a lot from a dentist! Watch here:

Not sure how to connect with your audience? I can help. Click here to book a time with me chat about how.


How to Prepare for a Podcast Interview April 25, 2017 09:00

How to Prepare for a Podcast Interview

Being a guest on a podcast can be an effective way to get visibility for your business and services. But you need to prepare so you put your best foot forward. There are a few simple steps to doing your best when being interviewed on a podcast.

1. Create a bio. 

2. Know who you're talking to. 

3. Request the interviewer's questions in advance. 

4. Craft your answers and talking points in advance. 

5. Practice responding out loud. 

6. Prepare your equipment and surroundings. 

I explain each step in greater detail in the following video. Be sure to watch so you'll be totally prepared for your podcast interview!

Are you preparing for a podcast interview? I'd love to help! Click here to reserve a time with me.


How to Handle Disagreements with Your Spouse April 18, 2017 09:00

How to Handle Disagreements with Your Spouse

Ryan and I haven't always handled disagreements properly. We had a few ugly knock-down-drag-outs in the beginning of our marriage. One in particular was absolutely horrendous and ultimately lasted for a month. I detail it in this Live show I did on our Facebook page, and I also tell how we handle disagreements now. Watch here:

Disagreements in marriage can be healthy, and even a benefit, in your marriage. I talked about that in the show, and I explained how to make it happen. Be sure to watch, and then leave me a comment about how you and your spouse handle disagreements. I'd love to hear from you!

These Coffee and Connection Live shows are held on our Facebook page every Tuesday at noon (EST). Brew some coffee and join me for a chat about a variety of communication topics! See you on Tuesday at noon!


Dealing With the Joy-Suckers of the World April 11, 2017 09:00

joy-suckers

Some people just bring rain and dark clouds wherever they go. I call them joy-suckers. These are the people in life who have an opinion about everything (always negative), tell you why things can't be done, and generally suck the joy out of every endeavor.

For joy-suckers, there is a cloud for every silver lining. Every idea has a problem. Every situation has conflict. They squash dreams, they bring doubt, and they make us want to run in the opposite direction. Sprint, actually.

Do you know a joy-sucker?

Hopefully you aren't one. 

Dealing with joy-suckers can be difficult, especially when it's someone you care about. It's easy enough to dismiss trolls on our social media feeds, but it's tougher to deal with a joy-sucking family member, spouse, or friend. Knowing how to handle them can be a real challenge.

I talked about this topic on our weekly LIVE Coffee and Connection show over on our Facebook page (the show is on Tuesdays at noon EST). If you missed this episode, you can watch it right now below. You'll learn exactly what a joy-sucker is, how to avoid becoming one, and ways to handle the joy-suckers in your life.

If you're a joy-sucker, or you know someone who is, take heart. Change can happen at any time. If you'd like to talk through a joy-sucking situation, click here to reserve a time with me. We'll chat about it and determine how best I can help you. By the way, it's FREE.


3 Steps to Stay Out of Communication Chaos March 28, 2017 09:00

3 Steps to Stay Out of Communication Chaos, by Julie Ford

By Julie Ford

Communication chaos – it’s happened to us all.

Disconnected

You have an appointment with Jane. A conflict arises preventing this meeting at the original time. You reach out via phone and leave Jane a voicemail, “I need to change the time of our meeting.”

Jane never get the voicemail. Not that the voicemail fails to record, but because Jane just isn’t into listening to voicemails and answering a ringing phone isn’t her thing either. You find this out only after you and she don’t connect for your meeting and Jane texts, “It’s 10am – am I in the wrong place?” You apologize for the mix-up and reschedule the meeting via text, and follow up with an Outlook calendar invite.

The day before the new meeting, seeing that you have no reply to your invite, you try texting Jane to confirm the appointment. Crickets. Nothing, no response.

In desperation, you remember that you’ve once communicated via Facebook Messenger, so you try that.  “Are we still on for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Gathering Grounds, or would you rather meet at the Coffee Mill?”

This time, Jane responds, “Yep. 😊

Umm?

Sea of Communication Modes

These days we can communicate in person, on the phone, via video chat, text, voicemail, snail mail, email, and social media IM. Even with this sea of choices quite literally at arms-length, instead of effectively and leisurely floating along, we’re drowning.

In his article, Communicating Across Differences, John Gilio notes that 75% of each workday is consumed with talking and listening and yet 70% of that communication fails. When communication fails at work, we lose customers, money, opportunities, and face.

When we don’t communicate well at home, we are running to grab chocolate chips at midnight, we contribute bake sale items a week late, we drop the ball entirely on attending our kid’s MVP ceremony, and we forget date night altogether. 

This assumes that we even get the chance to connect in the first place, unlike our “Jane” situation above. What gives? How can we turn this around so we can have more intentional and effective communication?

Back to the Sandbox

Somewhere between the invention of the answering machine and auto-correct, we forgot about why we communicate. We want at least a two-way connection, sometimes more. We have talkers and listeners. And after listening, most of us expect a response.

Seems simple, but with the giant sea of choice in how to accomplish what used to take a string and two cans, we need a refresh. Let’s talk about it, shall we?

Communicate About Communicating

Duh. Sounds too elementary, right? When was the last time you sat with a colleague, prospect, teacher, coach, or family member and actually asked them how they’d like to hear from you? Here are the not-so-secret but oh-so-magical steps to beating communication chaos:

  1. Know your communication profile
  2. Know the profile of the person on the other side of the can.
  3. Practice flexible connection

1. Know Your Communication Profile

How do you prefer to communicate? What are your favorite modes given your work and life style? Does IM annoy you? Is your voicemail a pain? Is your email not connected to your mobile device causing disruptive delays to your response times?

Choose what works best for you, and where/when appropriate, ask to be communicated with in that form. However, be aware of which side of the communication your sitting (see step 3.)

2. Know the Profile of the Other Side

How do THEY like to communicate? When you’re communicating with others, it can be tempting to exert what I call communication arrogance.  You pick your preferred mode of communication, say, texting -  and if they can’t accommodate, they lose. The trouble with that is that you lose, too. You lose connection, opportunities, and often credibility.

He’s not a good communicator – he leaves me guessing.

She never gets back with me.

So how do you uncover someone else’s communication profile, especially if they’re a prospect or stranger? Here are three ways to try and I’d use them in this order.

Observe – It might be obvious. If someone contacts you out of the blue via email, mirror their action. Email them back. Easy. Is Grandpa all of a sudden tickled to be texting? Fab, then get those thumbs rockin and rollin! Are you getting responses from social media via IM, continue the conversation with that prospect there. Meet people where they are, and then check in from there. “Is this how you prefer to communicate?” Which leads me to the second (and most effective) way to learn a communication profile.

Ask – If you have the chance to contact them, like at a networking meeting, just ask using two modes of communication you most prefer, “how would you like me to follow up, via phone or email?” If you can’t ask the person with whom you’re communicating, ask someone who knows them better than you do. “Hey, does Sam prefer face to face meetings or could we get away with a video call?”

Assume – this is reserved for the totally blind contact or mass communication, like newsletters or announcements for a school fundraiser. Truly, don’t go here unless you’ve exhausted other options. Using the “norms” that go generation by generation can get you in trouble. I know 85-year-olds who love email and a 12-year-old who is over the moon about a posted letter in the real mailbox at the curb.

3. Practice Flexible Connection

Consider the connection you’re trying to create. Is it for business? If so, are you the client or the seller? Are you networking with a referral partner or colleague? Are you the mentor or mentee? Is this a family/friend connection? What do you hope to accomplish with the connection? Gain information from your child about an upcoming event? Set up a dinner date with friends? Are you the one asking for a favor or are you the one in need?

Your approach to communication will vary depending upon which side of the string you’re on and what your intentions are for the connection. If you’re the one asking for something (information, unpaid mentoring, a favor, referrals, business), you’ll want to make the transaction as simple and painless as possible.

If the collaboration is mutual, you have a bit more leeway to stick to your preferences. You can ask to meet half-way between your locations or via video rather than in person to honor your time.

If you’re the one providing the favor, paying for a service, or giving guidance to another person without expecting payment, you are holding the communication preference cards and can feel okay about choosing the time, place, mode and length of the connection.

Common Courtesy

It seems elementary, but we’ve lost a bit of common courtesy somewhere in the evolution of telephony. If you want to set yourself apart and keep your connections, it’s well worth spending a few extra minutes communicating about communicating with family, friends and colleagues.

If you’d like to work through your profile and go over tips to learn the profile of others, email me at Julie@julzoflife.com and we’ll set up a Cool the Chaos call (on me!) to get you reconnected!



Julie FordJulie Ford
 
is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy. She helps moms and dads through parenting chaos. Individuals hire her to help them trade their "badges of busy" for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her because they value the next generation and when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work! With one-on-one and group coaching, she helps her clients to define what matters most in their lives, and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage one habit at a time. Connect with Julie on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Look and Sound Better on Camera March 07, 2017 09:00

Look and Sound Better on Camera

By Michael Moreno

It’s never the most comfortable situation to be speaking in front of people. Anything could happen and your nerves can get the best of you. It’s even more strange to be speaking to a camera, where there is literally NO feedback. There are ways to overcome this awkwardness and build a space for yourself to create much better videos that will be more conversational and much more engaging for your audience (and more fun for you)!

I’ve outlined a few tips below gathered from experience on stage and on camera as an actor in New York City. The important thing to remember is that EVERY performer gets nervous. EVERY ONE. Meryl Streep, John Hamm, and the President. With practice, and these tips, you can learn how to move beyond that and excitedly engage with your passion and share it with your loving audience. 

Prepare

Know your topic and practice what you have to say at least once through. This will give you a chance to know where you can look up and connect to your audience on an important point. Just like when you tell any story there is a beginning, middle, and end. If you know where the important points are you can make sure you connect with your audience in those moments so that they will really hear your most valuable information. 

Eye contact is one of the most intimate connections we make in our everyday life and the more you can connect directly with your viewing audience the more engaged they will be with your videos. It feels personal and like you're embracing them. 

Warm up your voice. It’s important to remember that even though you may have a mic, it can’t do everything for you. Take just a few minutes to blow through your lips, lightly massage your jaw muscles, hum while moving your tongue around the inside of your lips in a big circle, hum in a low tone and gradually move up the scale to a high tone, and finally do a couple of tongue twisters to get your whole mouth working. These tips will help your articulation and make your voice more resonant (or louder without having to push).

It’s also important to know where your mic will be. You only need to talk loud enough for the mic to pick you up, but you do have to talk loud enough. The common phrase on a film set is talk to the mic, not the actor. In other words make sure even your softer moments are loud enough to be heard by your mic whether it’s three inches or three feet away. You have total control of this set-up so you can create the best space for you and your style.

Commit

Sometimes we have the luxury of editing and that lets us make mistakes and do another take, but with the power of LIVE streaming video we don’t get to edit out the mistakes, so EMBRACE them! Don’t aim to be perfect; there’s no such thing. Your audience is there because they want to see you. They listen to your ideas expressed through your personality. Be confident in who you are and that we are all here to listen to you because we like you and love what you have to say. Know that there is support on the the other side of that lens, not judgment. This is you getting to do what you love. Commit to coming in with confidence and any mistake then becomes a real moment and a chance to engage with your audience (Oops! Well, we’re all human./This is what happens when you’re a busy parent./I’ll send you the update or link to the correct info in the comments. Thanks for understanding!)

Connect

It’s not natural to talk to a lens like it’s another person. There are a few tricks you can use to let yourself appear more personable on camera, though. 

  • Relax. Take a moment before you start your video to take a few deep breaths, clear your mind, feel your shoulders relax, and tell yourself how happy this passion of yours makes you. Coming from a place of relaxed positivity will boost your energy naturally and will ABSOLUTELY come across on screen. 
  • Imagine you are talking to your best friend! You have that friend or significant other that you can share anything with and be your most honest self. This is who is listening to you when you’re talking to the camera. They get all of your jokes, they love your smile and they are there listening close and smiling back at you the whole time. 
  • Place the camera at or slightly above your eye level. This adjustment will help you keep your eyes as open as possible and is a much more flattering angle than shooting from below. NEVER shoot from below.
  • Keep Breathing. Let a little voice stay with you that reminds you to relax and breathe while you give your talk. This will get better and better with practice, but the more you maintain your relaxation, the more confident you will be and the more engaged your audience will be too!

It’s always important to set yourself up for success, and the best way to do that is to NOT STRESS. No one is going to die if you make a mistake, miss a point, have some technical problems, or get nervous. This is your passion and it’s a beautiful thing that we live in a world where you can freely share that passion with others. Love what you do and share from a place of love. 

 

Michael Moreno
Michael Moreno is an actor, father and entrepreneur in New York City. Working on stage, creating a web series, hosting a podcast for actors called The Actor CEO Podcast, and his work on Law & Order: SVU has helped him guide actors and public speakers on improving their on camera presence. His new company Wild Fire Video brings the right tools and techniques to Live streamers allowing them to dramatically improve their videos. 
Want to be part of the Wild Fire Video Beta? Find out more here: bit.ly/wildfirevideobeta

We Boycott Valentine's Day February 14, 2017 09:00

We're Boycotting Valentine's Day.

We're boycotting Valentine's Day.

Well, kind of.

When we were first dating, Ryan and I bought into all the typical Valentine's Day hooplah... we gave gifts, shelled out cash for overpriced mushy cards, and even made each other mixed tapes (yes, that ages us... I know).

Somewhere along the way, Valentine's Day became annoying to us. We didn't like being told that we HAVE to celebrate love on a certain day. Can't we just celebrate our love when we WANT to? What if the 15th is a better day than the 14th to go out to eat? Doesn't it mean more to celebrate our love spontaneously?

And what about people who don't have someone to celebrate the day with? Valentine's Day can be especially difficult.

So this year we've decided to boycott Valentine's Day. We're taking a stand. Call it a picket. Maybe even a riot (as long as it doesn't cause a mess in my house). Want to join us?

This Valentine's Day, let's do things a little differently.

Instead of store-bought cards, fattening candy, and wilting flowers, let's focus on what really matters:

Relationships.

Let's do what it takes to make our relationships strong, healthy, and productive.

How do we do that?

Start by telling the people who matter to you that they matter to you. Tell them you love them and want to build stronger relationships.

Then book a time to work with me. Whether you're thinking of your relationship with your spouse, child, friend, coworker, or family member, I will help you communicate with them. I'll help you get your point across, listen carefully, and resolve conflict peacefully. Whichever topic resonates with you, we'll work on it.

So this Valentine's Day, celebrate the day in a way that will last a lifetime: by building your relationships and making them stronger. Make a true difference. I'm now booking appointments for next month. Click here to reserve yours before they're all gone!


5 Tips for Communicating Without Getting Angry February 07, 2017 14:20

5 Tips for Communicating Without Getting Angry

Do you get angry? Do you find yourself infuriated and lashing out? We all feel that way at times. Certain things set us off, and we react in anger. We can curtail the anger, however, and it's important to do that so we can maintain our relationships.

Here are five tips for communicating without getting angry:

1. Talk often. Don't let things fester; deal with stuff right away. It's easiest to do that when we're having regular conversations. My husband, Ryan, and I have (almost) nightly coffee hour which really facilitates consistent communication. Because we are talking to each other so often, we are usually able to resolve issues when they are still small instead of trying to tackle issues when they've piled up and snowballed.

2. Ask questions. Seek to understand the situation from the other person's point of view. Listen without interrupting. Instead of making statements or accusations, it's important to allow the other person to express his or her ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Ask open-ended questions to gain a more thorough understanding of the situation. Don't pass judgment or assume anything.

3. Kindly and respectfully share your viewpoint. Be honest but nice. Yelling is not okay. Be direct and say what you need to say, but be kind. If you bite the other person's head off, it will be very difficult for that person to resolve the issue with you. Speak to that person in the way you'd like to be spoken to. Make sure you share everything you need to share. Don't hold back, but be nice about it.

4. Be okay with not agreeing. You don't have to agree about everything. Compromise. Many people believe that a relationship is "okay" only if there are no disagreements. That is false. Ryan and I disagree often, and we're fine with that. Seeing something from another perspective is valuable. We don't need to debate something to the death. We just need to be able to move forward with understanding. Neither of us needs to "be right" or "win" the argument because we're on the same team. We appreciate each other's viewpoints.

5. Speak to the other person the same way you'd like to be spoken to. Be kind and respectful. I've said this throughout, but it's worth reiterating here. Screaming never helps a situation. Ever. Take time to cool off before speaking if you need to. Be humble, and use the golden rule.

Ryan and I help couples learn these communication skills. If you'd like to work with us to learn how to fight right without killing each other, click here to reserve a FREE "Chat with Carrie" so we can talk more about it.


Are You Using Facebook Live to Grow Your Business? February 03, 2017 09:33

Facebook Live

Are you using Facebook Live to grow your business? Are you getting the results you want?

If not, it's time.

Facebook Live is a great tool for growing your business. It helps you really connect with your followers. They're able to get to know you on a more personal level. That leads to that "know, like, and trust" factor that you need.

But Facebook Live can be daunting. Not everyone loves to be behind the camera. Maybe you aren't sure how to get started, or maybe you don't know what to talk about.

No problem. With a few simple steps, you'll end the fear and frustration. Click here to get your FREE COPY of 3 Actions You Can Take TODAY to ROCK Your Facebook Lives, and learn how! Want to really dig in to Facebook Live? Check out our course: