PART 2 - sofia



PART 2 - sofia
 Guide for Women Experts
Who Want to Get Their Voice Heard
A guide jointly published by
the SOFIA Foundation and Michelle Brailsford
in the context of the ACCELERATE! project
Co-­‐funded by the PROGRESS Programme of the European Union "This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Progress Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Sofia Foundation and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.” "This publication has been prepared with the support from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Sofia Foundation and they do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the European Institute for Gender Equality. Neither the European Institute for Gender Equality nor any person acting on its behalf can be held responsible for the use made of the information contained in this publication.’’ 2 ABOUT THIS GUIDE
Women represent over 50% of the world population, and yet, their presence in the media -­‐ as news sources and newsmakers, bloggers, panellists and conference speakers -­‐ is diminutive. Women still aren't ‘allowed’ to broadcasting on their own terms; the female broadcaster must present in a voice that is deep, and decidedly un-­‐
feminine. In the UK, the House of Lords select committee on communications has launched an inquiry into women in news and current affairs broadcasting in 2014. They want to know “whether it’s the media not selecting women experts over men or if the expert women we do have aren’t speaking up loudly enough and making the media more aware of their presence.” This guide is intended to address the latter; helping expert women become more comfortable and confident making themselves known to journalists, on-­‐air hosts, local newspapers, conference organisers and owners of influential blog sites. The guide is among the three tool kits developed by the «Women in the Media” working group of the ACCELERATE! project. The other two include a guide for organisations or individuals wishing to promote women’s exposure as experts in the media; and an online guide for women on how to best use new and social media to build their brand, and to promote themselves.
About the author: Michelle Brailsford, author of this guide, is Founding Partner of Jupiter Consulting Group. Michelle Brailsford helps high-­‐achieving executives make bold changes to how they lead their organisation. Michelle is known for her energy, enthusiasm and passion around building 21st century workplaces. Purpose before profit. Conversations, not KPI’s. Trust over Control. Performance, not Presenteeism. Her approach to coaching, change, and capability building is appreciative and strengths-­‐based; focusing first on ‘what works’ and leveraging individual gifts and talents. 3 About the Sofia Foundation: The Sofia Foundation, headquartered in Brussels, is dedicated to raising women’s profile as subject matter experts in the information media, and as Non-­‐Executive Directors on the Boards of companies, public and semi-­‐
public institutions, and non-­‐profit organisations in Europe. ACCELERATE! is the backbone of the Sofia Foundation's action to support seasoned women professionals as they access boards and the media. This top-­‐ranked EU project – funded under the European Commission’s PROGRESS programme – was launched at the Deauville Women’s Forum in October 2014. We provide a pan-­‐European platform for organisations and networks engaging qualified women in economic governance, as panellists in policy debates, or experts in news on-­‐air, online, and in the print media. The Sofia Foundation's project partners are non-­‐profit organisations from seven EU member states: Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and the UK. Each of us has specific expertise: needs analyses for boards, brokerage of board profiles, mentoring and leadership development, PR and media campaigning, and social media. We combine our strengths to advance balanced leadership and decision-­‐making in society at large. Guide published in Brussels, February 2016 (v.2) Coordinator organisation: Co-­‐beneficiary Partners: Associate partner: 4 Introduction
Part 1: Becoming an Expert
Tips for being strategic about your
Media campaign
Tips about writing and blogging
Part 2: Communicating with impact
Delivering your message with impact
Organising and delivering your message
The guide is structured in two sections: section one is about helping female experts who would like to be specialist presenters or contributors to be strategic about raising their profile. Section two provides practical tips for making sure you deliver your message effectively. PART 1: BECOMING AN EXPERT
In Daniel Levitin’s 2006 book This Is Your Brain On Music1, he claims ‘It takes ten years or 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field.’ I’m not sure that in today’s VUCA world, that one needs this much practice or experience to become an expert. I prefer to think that an expert is someone who has sufficient experience and knowledge in a field to be able to recognise novel patterns from noise. Why would journalists, conference organisers, producers of television and radio shows want to reach out to you? Because you have something novel to say; because you are not just adding to the ‘noise’, but providing a compelling point of view. But before you can offer your point of view to the world, you need to make yourself known to the media. Tips for Being Strategic about your Media Campaign
Lee Colan2 pinpoints 5 levels to building EXPERTISE: read, write, apply, speak and serve. Read to learn and grow • Write to refine your learning and understanding. Sharing your written point of view builds your perceived expertise • Apply your insights to real problems to validate your approach or refine it to work better • 1­‐is-­‐your-­‐brain-­‐on-­‐music/ 2 Colan, Lee, 2014, Leadership Matters in Leadership Matters. 6 Speak to others about lessons and successes from your attempts to apply your insights to real problems • Serve others by gifting your time, talents and treasures. Helping others become experts is the highest level of expertise • Read to learn and grow Journalists are curious about ideas that seemingly come out of nowhere. These new and innovative ideas must be wrapped up in an interesting narrative that makes its accessible and user-­‐friendly. In order to identify these new ideas, you must become a voracious reader. It doesn’t mean reading everything cover to cover. But it does mean scanning the environment on a regular basis and reading what relates to your area of expertise. Use a tool like that allows you to keep up to date (without reading new titles cover to cover) with your speciality area. Write to refine your learning and understanding The media are looking for people who really know their stuff – people who have published books, articles and blogs – and people who can explain their point of view in a way that their mother, their mates in the pub, or their friends round the dinner table can understand and be interested in. The more you write about a subject, the better you get at drilling down to a specific issue that you want to address. The more specific, the better. The media wants commentators to have a clear point of view. Apply your insights to real problems Your story or point of view is much more likely to be interesting to the media if you can provide some real insights in the form of a case study. Investing time in getting together a bank of case studies is probably the most useful thing you can do to get noticed by the media. Serve others by gifting your time, talents and treasures. Helping others become experts is the highest level of expertise. The best way that you can position yourself as an expert is to ‘teach others’. The best test of whether or not you really understand a concept is trying to teach it to someone else. Teaching calls for complete understanding of the concept. Therefore, the best way to position yourself as an expert is to find opportunities to share your knowledge with others. Find conferences about your subject matter, and approach conference organisers to offer to run a workshop. The conference organisers I’ve spoken to have told me that in addition to ‘seeking speakers and presenters’, they like speakers to 7 contact them directly. One shared, ‘It is never a bad thing to blow your own trumpet, so I would recommend approaching organisations and telling them how great you are’. Use a site like­‐listing?topic=Business to track conference on your subject in your country. Tips about Writing and Blogging
Despite the fact that women make up 50% of the students gaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism programmes, mainstream media continues to showcase the male voice over and over. Thankfully the blogosphere is one place where woman are flourishing. Many women are building online platforms for themselves and doing so through blogging. Write content that is desirable First of all, know whom you are writing for and what they want to read about. If you understand your audience, it becomes so much easier to identify the right topics for your blogs. Whose blogs are they reading at the moment? Which topics by those bloggers attract the most engagement in terms of retweets, comments, shares etc.? Also understand the importance of a strong title. Andy Lopata3, an international speaker and author on networking strategies, shared with me, “I tend to be too clever with my titles, enjoying word play and subtle headlines. The most engaging blogs however, have controversial titles ‘Is LinkedIn Going to Drown in a Sea of Spam?’ for example or 'Seven Ways to....' type titles”. Jacqui Newman, Owner of Hotspot Marketing, suggested that headlines need to be provocative in order to interest readers, but that the Opening Statement are key to landing the message! Her advice? Opening statement must get into your reader’s heads, lead them on a journey, and set a trail of cookie crumbs that lead the reader to the cookie or the end goal -­‐ how you can help them? As a way of illustrating this: Are Annual Performance Goals Setting Your Teams Up For Failure? So here we are two months into 2016. Let’s be gut wrenchingly honest – how many of the annual SMART goals set for this year do you really see being delivered by your staff? 3 Andy Lopata: 8 Perry Timms, Owner of PTHR, social media enthusiast and consummate blogger shared, ‘Blogging is ultimately about storytelling and sense making’. You must answer the question: “What is the story behind your sense-­‐making or provocation? Your blog should be about generating some debate”. Find others' blogs to follow & join in the conversation There's Flipboard, Zite, Buffer, Reddit, StumbleUpon and more -­‐ where people can find others' blogs through their aggregation feeds. Find blogs that resonate with you and begin raising your visibility first by commenting and participating. Get Published Andy Lopata suggests, “The Huffington Post carries a lot of kudos still but seems to be taking blogs from all and sundry! LinkedIn Pulse is an excellent forum for engagement. And why not post on your own site”? LinkedIn pulse blogs get a lot of hits but it's becoming a spammed out site, according to Perry Timms. Instead, he suggests setting up and posting from one’s own WordPress site. In addition, he loves Medium adding, “There's less hits but the format and the quality of posts on that is amazing”. Here are some suggestions for writing to gain VISIBILITY: 1. Before you submit topic ideas or a completed post, do a little research to make sure that your topic has not been covered before. The simplest way to do this is to do a Google search for site: intitle: keyword or subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed in Google Reader and then do a search for the keyword on that blog’s feed. 2. Create a Facebook page or wordpress blog site just for your writing 3. Attend a blogging conference like BlogU ( to learn techniques that work 4. Make sure you include images. They need to be royalty-­‐free or bought so that the blog does not get into trouble for using them. The images need to be formatted to fit within the blogs design. 5. Having personal relationships makes a huge difference. Start by following and engaging with a reporter or blogger on social media, sharing their content, and commenting on their blogs. Send emails to reporters and bloggers with story ideas or insight. And, of course, offer to meet face-­‐to-­‐face, for coffee meetings, or at conferences, etc. Once you have built a relationship with a journalist, producer or commissioner, go back to them every time you have a story, especially those who seemed interested earlier. Find champions. 9 PART 2: COMMUNICATING WITH IMPACT Delivering your message effectively
This section of the guide provides strategies and tactics for COMMUNICATING WITH IMPACT. But unlike most ‘guides’ for Female Leaders, which start with data about where women are failing: ‘Of the top 60 Business Speakers in the world, only 11 are women’; ‘Psychologists have found that more women than men suffer from something called “imposter syndrome” in which they feel that even if they have achieved a senior role, they are not actually qualified for it or deserving of it’; ‘Evidence shows that women are less self-­‐assured than men—and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence’, this guide will be different. The starting point is ‘A PLACE OF APPRECIATION’ to help women to focus on what they are good at, where they have strengths, and where their feminine energies and attributes make them EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS. Most communication guidelines or books focus on: Confidence, Content & Controlling the Audience. Women are instructed to be more like men: <<Be Confident>> << Fake it till you make it>> <<Master your content >> << Show up as an expert>> << Control the room! >> But WHAT IF women did not try to emulate the male style of presenting? What if women found their own style of presenting that focused on: AUTHENTICITY PASSION & ENGANGING AUDIENCE 10 √ AUTHENTICITY Here’s the thing about women being AUTHENTIC. When we speak from the realness of who we are, some people won’t like us! Being a great speaker does not mean that everyone is going to like your style. It is more important to be ‘INTERESTING’ to watch and listen to than to try to be slick, polished and to follow the rules. Here are some suggestions for how to achieve authenticity: 1. Speak as if you were comfortably talking to a loved one or a friend with whom you’re very relaxed in a pub, in a coffee bar or over a cup of coffee in their kitchen at home. 2. Speak with passion. If that means you stumble or lose your place, get emotional or struggle to find the words, that’s OK. It’s real! 3. Create a connection by being prepared to share a little bit about yourself. Be vulnerable. 4. Know your strengths and play to them. Use humour, if that is your strength. Use persuasion, if that is your strength. Use empathy, if that is your strength. Use creativity, if that is your strength. But don’t try to be like someone else. √ PASSION <<Audiences do not care how much you know until they know how much you care>> When you present with PASSION your message takes on an urgency that makes it more compelling. That is why it is important to present things, which you feel strongly about. We generally see a dramatic difference between a presentation without passion and one where the speaker is emotionally involved with what they are saying. We see it both in their power and presence while presenting and in the response they get from their audience. Speaking from your heart means that you are emotionally invested in what you are saying. It means that you care about the people you are speaking to. When you are delivering a message that you feel deeply about, your audience will see and feel your emotional state. Your emotion will stimulate their interest. It will cause you to say things that you would not have said, in a way that you would not have said it. This subtle but powerful shift will make you and your presentation more interesting. Here are some SUGGESTIONS about being passionate: 1. Tell the truth. Be honest with your audience about your passion. 11 2. Tell them what you think and how you feel about your presentation subject. 3. Be excited about something you have to say. 4. Check during your presentation whether your passion is conveying. Stop for a breath. And ask your audience, ‘can you see how passionate/excited/committed? I am to this topic’? √ ENGAGEMENT “A woman knows her children’s friends, hopes, dreams, romances, secret fears, what they are thinking, how they are feeling. Men are vaguely aware of some short people also living in the house” 4 Women have skills when it comes to engaging with the audience and other speakers/presenters at events. They use their intuition to pick up on the energy (or lack thereof!) in the room. You hear about speakers having 'presence'. You may have felt a sense of this 'presence' with certain speakers yourself. Presence is very simple. You just have to be present and aware in the moment. Here are some SUGGESTIONS for how to remain present so that you can engage your audience: 1. Do something unexpected. Stop in the middle of the presentation, blank out the screen and said, “OK, you’ve heard enough from me, what do you think?” 2. Give a quiz or a test, either at the beginning or end 3. Set up a demonstration that audience members participate in. Ask for a volunteer to do something ‘low risk’ up on the stage with you 4. If you are part of a panel or following after a plenary, refer back to something the presenter said in the introduction, or something that your fellow guest said. Listeners want genuine interaction between guests, not just ‘talking heads’ 4 Pease, Barbara and Pease, Allan, 2001, Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps. 12 Organising and Delivering your Message
TACTICAL TIPS to organise and deliver your message, even the complex ones. Focus It What is your goal? Is it to: Entertain? Inform? Excite? Or even Shock? One hour after a presentation, your audience will forget 60% of what they just heard. What do you want your audience to remember? Dump It Using ‘Post it’ notes, write down every fact, data point, anecdote, statistic, metaphor, citation, supporting story, etc. Chunk It There is a limit (between 5 and 9) to the number of chunks of material we can hold in our memory. Chunk your information into groups. Below are some suggestions: • Timeline: Beginning, Middle, End • Climax: The main points are delivered in order of increasing importance. • Problem/Cause/Solution: A problem is presented, a solution is suggested, and benefits are then given. • Simple to Complex: Ideas are listed from the simplest to the most complex. Live It Speak to your audience through the five senses. Can they see it? Hear it? Taste it? Smell it? Or Feel it? Add details to your speech or panel discussion that brings the topic to life through the senses. Deliver It When it comes to believability, the audience will focus on your voice (tone, pitch, and pace), and body language more than your content. Of course, the content does need to be both memorable and believable! Voice Vary your tone by pretending that your voice is an instrument. As you speak, listen to your voice and notice how the "music" of the sentence changes. Locate your voice. You may speak in your nose, or further down in your throat, which is where most of us speak from most of the time. But if you want more gravitas, move your voice down lower to the chest. Do this by practicing deep, belly breathing. 13 Eyes Contact Do not think about speaking to the entire audience all at once. You will freak yourself out! (You will not connect with anyone in particular, since you are thinking about everyone in general). Choose, instead, to look at one person at a time. Speak to that person as if you are having a conversation. Then, shift your attention and your eye contact to someone else. Body Language Claudia Ritter, Director of Cleverland Communications, gives the following tips for effective use of body language: 1 Ground Yourself. "Grounding" means to assume a strong stance, with your feet at armpit-­‐width and your weight evenly distributed. Setting yourself like this gives you the appearance of stability. Your audience will see your ideas as solid too. 2 Keep Your Arms Neutral. Self-­‐consciousness in speaking means you're apt to do everything with your arms except what they are meant to do at the start of a presentation: hang at your sides. That's the "neutral" position; from here, you can bring your arms up to make gestures naturally. Keeping them above the waist at all times only calls attention to them. 3 Use Open Body Positions. Crossing your arms or locking your hands in any way creates a barrier between you and your listeners. Instead, keep your upper body open, so there is literally nothing between you and the audience. Influence and rapport will flow freely in both directions. 4 If You're Sitting, Sit Straight and Slightly Forward. Let's say you have to sit to deliver your talk, as some situations require. Bring your backside one-­‐third of the way forward on the seat, and lean in slightly. You will look professional, engaged, and interested. Lean back or slouch and you'll be comfortable but much less effective. 5 Make Your Gestures Spare and Clean. Don't worry about using your hands too much. Just use them effectively. Gestures used only where you really want to emphasize something will do just that. If you make each gesture strong and "clean" in the sense of well defined, it will possess its own power. 6 Use Your Space. When you speak in public, a certain amount of space on the stage is yours by right. You should claim it! Learn how to occupy space in a way that proclaims you are comfortable in the spotlight. Nothing demonstrates confidence like a speaker who is at ease in his or her own skin in front of an audience. Also, move with purpose if delivering a presentation. Don’t pace annoyingly. Take a couple of steps just before you start a new talking point. Approach a questioner; or go to the screen to point out something. 7 Love Your Audience More than Your Manuscript of Powerpoints. Speeches are not occasions for audiences to be read to. They are performances where you share what you know with people interested in hearing it. The exact words you say don't 14 matter in the least; opening up a communication channel does. Look at the people you want to influence. Glance down for the next talking point, but no more. 8 Facial Expressiveness. The human face is vital to communication, from recognizing another person to understanding the subtle clues that underlie motive. Audience members depend upon your facial expressions to augment meaning. And: don’t forget to smile. Body Language and Power Poses Finally, interesting research has emerged regarding using body language to strengthen your power as a speaker. It has to do with social psychologist Amy Cuddy's research into "power poses." Cuddy discussed her findings in her TED talk, "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” (2012). According to Cuddy's research, assuming a powerful pose before participating in a situation demanding peak performance increases one's level of testosterone (the dominance hormone), and decreases cortisol (a stress hormone). In other words, assume a power pose and you’ll feel more able to control the situation and experience less stress. Add this approach to the key body language techniques above, and you will be well armed in terms of effective and productive body language when speaking in public, on television, or on air. You'll create an impact. 15 Resources
Colan, Lee, 2014, Leadership Matters in Leadership Matters Pease, Barbara and Pease, Allan, 2001, Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps Global Media Monitoring Project­‐is-­‐your-­‐brain-­‐on-­‐music/ European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Advancing gender equality in decision-­‐
making in media organisations. 2013. Web. 1 October 2015. <­‐Women-­‐and-­‐
Media-­‐Report-­‐EIGE.pdf> Amy Cuddy, Your body language shames who you are (Ted talk, 2012):
anguage=en Andy Lopata: Other links: http://www.womens-­‐­‐in-­‐media-­‐10-­‐tips-­‐for-­‐a-­‐successful-­‐
you-­‐about-­‐being-­‐female-­‐radio-­‐presenter.html http://www.exec-­‐­‐tips-­‐for-­‐speaking-­‐on-­‐a-­‐panel/ 16 

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