Gini Dietrich

Nine Ways to Make Yourself Charming

By: Gini Dietrich | November 14, 2011 | 

Last week I gave the keynote address for the Center for Resource Development annual conference.

During my speech, I spoke about the importance of not being boring – online or off.

You see, people always want to know what it’s like on the speaking circuit.

I’m here to tell you, it’s not that glamorous. In a given week, you could be on 10 different flights, run (literally run) through airports so as not to miss your connecting flight, get stopped by TSA for lipgloss in your purse that has gotten through every other security in the country, forget which rental car is yours, and have hotel room numbers written on your hand so you don’t go to last night’s room and try to use your key.

But when you get on stage, your adrenaline starts to pump, the butterflies flutter, and you turn on the charm. And, for an hour, all of that adrenaline is like a drug and you feel on top of the world.

It’s not easy to do, however, turning on the charm and not being boring. You almost have to act on stage…become a more animated version of yourself.

Following are nine tips for getting yourself ready to speak, present, or even just attend a client or new business meeting.

  1. Have a positive attitude. We all have problems and issues. It’s been a rough three years so we’re all weighed down at work. But if you don’t know how to compartmentalize those things and maintain a positive attitude, the charm won’t come.
  2. Exercise. I know, I know. You don’t have time. Baloney. Exercise should be treated like brushing your teeth – you don’t leave the house until it’s done. Daily exercise, especially if you’re on the road, makes you feel less tired and gives you a boost of confidence. Trust me, I know how hard it is to exercise on the road, but push yourself through those first five minutes and you won’t regret it.
  3. Dress to impress. I’m not a believer in wearing jeans for speaking or for business meetings. I know there are plenty of people who disagree with me on that. So I’ll leave my advice at dressing to impress, be comfortable, and always dress up. As my mom said when we were kids, “It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.”
  4. Introduce yourself. Before the keynote, I was talking with the executive director and the sponsor, who was to introduce me. A few people wandered up to say hello. I introduced myself to those people instead of waiting to be introduced. This shows confidence, but it also strokes the person’s ego a little bit. People want to know you recognize that they’re standing there.
  5. This is about them, not you. We have an internal joke about Type OO (output only). You know who that is…the person who only talks about themselves and never asks about you. When you’re “on,” you should always ask questions, listen, and be engaging.
  6. Always remember the little guys. When Mr. D and I were dating, one of the things that made me fall in love with him was that he looks everyone in the eye when he speaks to them. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 10 company or the busboy, he treats everyone the same. As Bill Gates famously has said, “Be nice to the nerds. You may end up working for one.” This goes hand-in-hand with introducing yourself. You never know who or how a person can help you or vice versa.
  7. Manage your reputation. Pay attention to what is being said about you or your company online. A very easy way to do that is to create a Google alert so, anytime you’re mentioned online, you receive an email.
  8. Admit your mistakes. If you hurt someone’s feelings, say something wrong, or even misrepresent a conversation you had, there are two little words that go a long way: I’m sorry. It’s easy to make a mistake if you spend a lot of time in meetings or speaking. We’re all human. It happens. Just apologize and move on.
  9. Inflect your voice. Nothing is worse than listening to a speaker who sounds like the Peanuts teacher. Animate yourself, laugh, smile, and inflect your voice.

If you’re an introvert, like me, it’s easy to stay in your shell and not push yourself to speak or present or go to big meetings. But, if you follow these tips, I guarantee you’ll have success and soon be running through airports and arguing with TSA for that hour of adrenaline coursing through your veins.

A portion of this first appeared in my weekly Crain’s column.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • ryancox

    I. Loved. This. #thatisall

    • ginidietrich

      @ryancox LOL! Thanks. How far along are you in The Hunger Games?

      • @ginidietrich@ryancox You guys just gave me an idea for a blog post. thank you!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller You’re welcome!

  • This is a great list Gini! I am glad someone is with me on the dress code. 🙂 My philosophy on that one is… when in doubt, dress better.

    The introduce yourself idea is also smart for speakers. It really changes the effect on the person waiting to “grab your ear” if you don’t act like you’re holding court.

    • ginidietrich

      @adamtoporek It also works when you’re walking into a new business meeting and they prospect has people with them who are those who will do the day-to-day work, but aren’t recognizable because they’re not on the executive team. Too many people beeline for the execs and forget about the others. Bad idea.

  • Great list. I love all of them. I especially like the introduce yourself and remember the little guys. A lot of these are just great ways of making sure that everyone matters. Too many times I’ve been around “big wigs” ( and I know a thing or two about wigs) and it’s like they are there for themselves and don’t want to be bothered by the great unwashed public. Apparently they forget from whence they came!

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller You DO know a thing or two about wigs! It’s funny… rustyspeidel and I just had this conversation. We think money changes people, especially if it’s new money. You forget the little things in life that were enjoyable while you were clawing your way to the top. Which is a shame because, I think you’re right, it also makes you forget what it was like to not be the great unwashed public.

  • Wise words from a Wise Sage.

    Just want to discuss dress code. You are correct as long as you know your audience. Best to overdress when you aren’t sure. Best to over dress upon first meeting with a client. And then I would always dress to their style after but still a bit nicer to show my respect. In sales I often met with engineers in t-shirts and jeans. Or engineers and craftspeople in oil refineries wearing flame retardant suits, or people in clean rooms wearing bunny suits (clean room suits). My first presentation in advertising I wore a full suit and the Agency people were in slacker business casual. Speaking is speaking whether a one on one sales call or giving a presentation to a group.

    It is easier when speaking at a conference because you can just expect a business suit will always work. But not everyone only speaks in those situations. I remember giving a safety seminar at the Mobile Refinery in LA with the factory rep when I first got promoted into outside sales and was wearing a suit. We had a nice large room, clean, 50 attendees. Went great. I made the Factory Rep look like a schlepp. Then a guy comes up and says ‘Having a problem with this process valve mind if you come take a look?’ I was so excited to be taken into the refinery which are filthy btw and see something being used….until we got there and I spent 30 minutes afraid to touch anything in feat of my suit being ruined!

    And lastly when you dress remember what you represent! You. Your Business or Employer. Etc. And good first impressions help!

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM First impressions are lasting…and if you show up in jeans and your audience are in suits, big mistake. But if you’re speaking with soccer coaches, you’ll be laughed at for being in a suit.

      • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM That’s why a lot of my business meetings DO happen in jeans…but only with existing clients who I know will be dressed the same.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a client meeting in jeans…even if they’re wearing the same.

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller but you do show up in hot pants in winter and short shorts in summer Gini?

        • @HowieSPM@ginidietrich Part of it has to do with the culture here and in some of the businesses. I know that I actually lost one particular project because I met with a prospective client somewhat dressed up. Apparently I was putting on airs (khakis and button down shirt). But that’s a client I don’t mind losing. I try to do my homework based on my knowledge of the situation. Plus, this is a smallish area where everyone knows everyone. Many of my clients were friends long before they were clients.

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM@KenMueller Nooooo. Always at least a button down and slacks for me. I did, however, teach a college class via Skype on Saturday in my running clothes. But they couldn’t see anything below my neck so what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

        • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM Well, video is an entirely different thing. half the time when I’m doing video I’m not even wearing pants…

      • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM think you do soccer coaches a disservice….!! I would always wear a suit until I knew my audience personally (i.e. the 2nd time presenting maybe?). In my xp – sportsmen/women associate the suit with the ‘suits’ who have the brains, biz plans etc

  • BestRoofer

    Great advice Gini! Being an introvert myself, tips like these are always appreciated! Still wish that we could get you as a speaker for my Vistage group.

    • ginidietrich

      @BestRoofer Someday…tell your Vistage Chair that I’m speaking more on the technological advances and how to use them in your business rather than social media. I think a lot of Chairs think you have the social media talk and then that’s it. But things are changing so quickly, I rarely give the same presentation twice.

      • @ginidietrich@BestRoofer Yay! Joe’s back!

  • HLeichsenring

    Yopu are an introvert??? Maybe my English needs a brush up, but thats not really the way I looked at you so far…

    Kind regards from Germany and thanks for the excellent posting


    • ginidietrich

      @HLeichsenring I am an introvert. It takes a lot for me to get up on stage. But I’m not shy. It just means that I need time alone. Extroverts get their energy from being around people. I get energy from time spent alone…especially after a long week.

      • HLeichsenring

        @ginidietrich THX, now I understand better your interpretion of beeing an introvert. I have to think about it and if there is a difference in German language, but I guess not really

        • ginidietrich

          @HLeichsenring I think it’s probably the same because people are people.

  • I particularly like #5. It’s always about them, even if/when they try to make it about you. No?

    • ginidietrich

      @Shonali I’d say ESPECIALLY when they try to make it about you.

  • rhonda hurwitz

    You had me at “introvert”. Really?

    Great list — one day I’d love to observe you in action:)

    • ginidietrich

      @rhonda hurwitz Really! LOL! No one believes me, but it’s true. I just need time to recharge alone. Mr. D, on the other hand, is an extrovert. He gets mad at me because I don’t want to be around people after a long week. He’s the opposite. He’s DYING to go out.

      • @ginidietrich@rhonda hurwitz I’m not anti-social in the least, but actually being social (at events, conferences and the like) exhausts me.

        • ginidietrich

          @jasonkonopinski Exactly.

        • I believe you. I’m an introvert too. As *soon* as people meet me in person, they get it. @jasonkonopinski @ginidietrich @rhonda hurwitz

  • Great post Gini!

    • ginidietrich

      @NancyMyrland Thanks Nancy, love!

  • Wah wah wah- wah- wah wah- that’s me in Peanuts voice… interpret…

    • ginidietrich

      @faybiz You said, “Gini rocks the house.”

      • indeed gertie… indeed!

        • ginidietrich

          @faybiz LOL!

        • This is the funnest place I can claim to be working. @ginidietrich @faybiz

  • Hmmmm, when you are exciting as paint drying sometimes it’s hard to get out of your shell. I started combing my hair a different way every day just to let people know how exciting and edgy I really am. Then I started wearing clothes that don’t match and different shoes…….man, did my popularity soar at that point; it was just scary.

    All kidding aside, this is one list I seem to be able to follow well enough. All are areas I can improve on but try to pay attention to all and get better if I feel I’m not as sharp in some as others.

    Ok, I’m back; as far as managing my reputation that is really tough. I’m sure you went out on a limb by inviting me to your tweetup and then your immediate disclaimer on the Kia/bar hopping story. See, I have to make up stuff just so people think I’m this wild and crazy guy…….

    Thanks for sharing and if you say I can charm the socks off someone by sticking to this list, then it must be so……….but then again, you are smart like that so I always listen to you……….

    What in the world got into the Bears? They are playing real football now….

    • ginidietrich

      @bdorman264 YOU, my friend, are charming! Very charming. So this was just a nice reminder for you.

      You know what Urlacher said during the post-game interviews? He said, “We’re still not where we need to be. We’re still making some mistakes. But we’re all in shape now and ready to play some football.”

      So I guess the lesson learned is, come to pre-season already in shape you morons.

      • @ginidietrich Awww, that was a nice thing to say; you have made my day.

        • ginidietrich

          @bdorman264 It’s true!

  • Excellent. #ThatIsAll

    • ginidietrich

      @Soulati | PR Thank you. #thatisall

  • mah1

    Great suggestions, great list. To add to #7, I suggest establishing a personal brand. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to setup a page on a service like – it brings together the various social sites and allows you to tell your story. A powerful tool to manage your reputation.

  • Greetings from the land of 100 degrees…..

    I had not pegged you as an introvert – live and learn. Mr D sounds like a top man too.

    10 – wear a funky trilby and a colourful cravat, speaking in a old English accent

    11 – always open doors for ladies, and always cheer buy a new male buddy a fine whiskey

    12 – dress up as Lawrence of Arabia and roam around the Middle East looking for heroic deeds to perform

    I am going to complete the list in reverse order.

    • ginidietrich

      @Nic_Cartwright I like #11. And always walk on the outside of them when you’re walking down the street.

      • @ginidietrich If my mother ever saw me walking with a woman and I wasn’t on the outside, well let’s just say she’d throw me into traffic. It is just not a question. @Nic_Cartwright

        • I need to move to where you all live. #thatisall @TheJackB @ginidietrich @Nic_Cartwright

        • ginidietrich

          @TheJackB@Nic_Cartwright My brothers were raised that way, too. I’m always super impressed when a man knows that. Not many do anymore.

        • @ginidietrich@TheJackB i did not know you gals noticed!!! do it on a bike too – to be the first one to ‘take the pain’ should the worst happen in “bike vs car”…!!

        • @ginidietrich I have a very dear friend who hates when I walk on the outside or open doors for her. It is an equality thing with her..@Nic_Cartwright

        • rustyspeidel

          @TheJackB@ginidietrich@Nic_Cartwright i think it’s sad when ladies won’t let men be gentlemen.

  • wendyroan

    Great post, Gini. Road warrior life is tough. You hit on several of my travel survival tactics; exercise, dress to impress, and an upbeat attitude. My number 10 is healthy eating.

    • ginidietrich

      @wendyroan GREAT addition! Walking through the airport and smelling Cinnabon is SOOOOO tempting. But you immediately regret it.

  • scarlettimage

    All great advice, but as a wardrobe stylist, I am partial to the “Dress to impress” advice. Not only will wearing the right outfit make you look professional, it will also cause you to act more professional and be perceived as an expert.

    • ginidietrich

      @scarlettimage We’re in total agreement! I have a friend who was making fun of me because I was dressed up and the rest of the speakers were in jeans. But guess who was treated like the expert in the room…even though the other speakers have more experience than me?

      • Right. I was mortified the last time I had to go to a serious event and my brother in law didn’t meet me with the car on time, so it was either miss the event or show up in gym clothes. @ginidietrich @scarlettimage

  • Listen to Gini! She is just as Charming in person as she is online!

    Great list! I am sure I can follow some of this advice!

    • ginidietrich

      @sydcon_mktg HAHAHHAHA!

  • scarlettimage

    @SpinSucks Thanks for being living proof of what I so strongly believe in!

  • patrickreyes

    Totally agree with you on #6 (my favorite number by the way). Mr. D does look you directly in the eye and does treat everyone equally and with respect. He’s a keeper!

    Thanks again for your hospitality this weekend, Gini! For the rest of you, be very jealous, ginidietrich made a FANTASTIC dinner for bryanwillmert and myself this weekend!

    • ginidietrich

      @patrickreyes Hilarious that you had to tell everyone that you got dinner cooked by me. LOL!

      • I am in fact, jealous. @ginidietrich @patrickreyes

  • I take issue with having to dress the part.I hate, hate, hate and hate again having to dress up so that people think I know something.

    If I know my material, present it well and do a good job of engaging with the audience than no one should notice what I am wearing. Sadly I usually dress the part because it is not worth losing an opportunity because the fashionistas are upset that I didn’t wear my Jerry Garcia tie with my suit.

    People remember how you make them feel so you can gain a lot from that.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB You have a Jerry Garcia tie?!?

      • @ginidietrich I have four or five of them.

  • KevinVandever

    I remember my days doing the speaking circuit. I wasn’t quite as busy as you so I didn’t have the airport issues you’ve had (this was pre-9/11 and I stopped wearing lip gloss so both of those helped). I’d be nervous up until my first presentation, but once on stage, as you stated, the adrenalin rush would take over and I’d feel great. It was addictive. In fact, I’d put so much into the presentation, that I’d usually have a headache afterwards and if my talk wasn’t too early in the morning, say 6am, I’d invite folks to the bar to have a beer and continue the discussion. Many took me up on this over the years.

    I agree with your tips, except for number three. I know you already know where I stand, but I can’t let it go. I think we put way too much emphasize on dress code in the business world. You will certainly not go wrong following your advice in number three, I just wish it wasn’t necessary. I say “wish” because I know I’m in the minority and realize that it is sometimes a battle I shouldn’t fight. Depends on the event/audience. I’ve seen poorly dressed speakers give awesome presentations and well dressed speakers give clunkers. Maybe it’s because I spoke at technical conferences, and was usually speaking to programmers about programming topics. Dress code hardly mattered. It was way more about the subject matter. I’m not a polished speaker but knew my subject well and that’s what came though during my presentations and why I’d get asked back to speak, not because I wore a nice polo and some khakis.

    The other point that sticks out for me is number eight. Too many speakers, and people in general, are afraid to admit their mistakes. Not only should you be able to apologize and move on but admitting a mistake can sometimes diffuse an over-eager audience member intent on proving a point (this happens more than it should in the ego-driven programming world) and can even help to add a little levity to the presentation, which is often needed during technical discussions.

    Exercise is a good one, too. Probably not on many speaking tips lists, but I think you’re right regarding the benefits. It’s better than partying with fellow presenters until 3AM before an 8AM presentation..I mean, I’m guessing that to be the case.

    Thanks for the tips.

    • ginidietrich

      @KevinVandever I know we disagree on the dress code and perhaps it’s because I’m a woman and I’m tiny. If I showed up with pink highlights, black fingernails, and jeans, I’m pretty sure no one would take me seriously.

      Funny about the partying bit. I refuse to have more than a glass of wine when I’m on the road. I just can’t get up and perform at an A level the next morning if I have more than a glass. It’s become a rule for me.

      • I sometimes wear jeans to evening workshops with a dress shirt, hoping to be taken more casually than usual because I don’t smile enough. Other than that, yeah, for chicks, especially really trim ones, won’t come off right. @ginidietrich @KevinVandever

        • ginidietrich

          @Tinu You don’t smile enough?!? YOU??

        • KevinVandever

          @Tinu@ginidietrich I agree, there are times when one needs to look more casual, even if he/she smiles a lot. I’ve done this on both speaking and client engagements. I’ve never thought about it from a male/female perspective nor from a trim/not-so-trim thing. Too many rules for me.

      • KevinVandever

        @ginidietrich Yeah, I understand. I’m not typically like that before a presentation, but that particular time was a special occasion that went a little longer than it was supposed to. One thing, though, I probably worked harder than normal the next morning to make sure I was ready for the session. A couple folks even remember seeing me out late the night before…I think I earned respect for that. Ha.

        Oh, please, at least do one of your FB questions of the week wearing pink highlights, black nail polish and jeans. Pleeeeaaassse!

      • rustyspeidel

        @ginidietrich@KevinVandever That’s as much about your having some class and style as anything else, G. I have seen some amazingly dressed folks who use personal style to their advantage, and that includes jeans from time to time. Seeing Jobs in a suit would have been ridiculous. I think what you wear should match your industry norms and who you are. One of the best-dressed men I ever saw was in Vienna, Austria. He was a banker and was wearing a beautiful italian spread collar shirt and tie, cashmere pinstripe blazer, designer jeans, and some really expensive ankle boot dress shoes. Fantastic. I vowed to copy it as soon as possible, forever.

    • Why did you stop wearing lip gloss? @KevinVandever LOL I know just about EVERYTHING you said was way more important than that. But it made me giggle when you said that. Loudly.

      • KevinVandever

        @Tinu I’ve since gone back to wearing sparkly lip gloss.

  • #4 and #6 struck me. I went to see someone speak after meeting them in person the night before this past Thursday. And when I asked a question during the presentation he said my name – which I hadn’t given – to the group before repeating what I said.

    You know me, I try to keep my ego under control. But whether or not that was him having game, it totally worked on me. I remember sitting up a little straighter and thinking “that’s right, I’m in the house mofos.” LOL ok that’s not what I thought but it made me feel like he felt my input was important.

    • ginidietrich

      @Tinu It totally works, doesn’t it??! You know how big I am on stroking other people’s egos and THAT is a perfect example. Love it!

  • Great tips, and I’ll add one more… write your own introduction out on a note card and give it to the presenter or moderator before you speak. This accomplishes two things: 1) it’s a thoughtful touch that takes the pressure off of the moderator to craft a relevant introduction for you, and 2) it ensures that you are properly introduced to the audience so they know exactly why you were chosen to address them. You only have to endure an error-filled or entirely inappropriate introduction one time to realize that your introduction needs to be your responsibility.

    • ginidietrich

      @johnheaney You are so smart! I’ve never thought to do that. I HATE the bio they pull off the website and read. I’m totally using that this week. Thank you!

      • @ginidietrich Glad I could share something useful. One more tip… be careful inserting anything humorous in the intro you write. If the moderator reads it without any inflection or even a smile, it totally bombs with the audience. Write your intro so no matter who reads it, it can’t go wrong.

  • But what if they’re nice jeans?!?But you’re totally right…”book covers” do matter. I need to get back into the exercise mode and do more exercise than just lifting a fork to my mouth 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @EugeneFarber I spend way more money on my jeans than any kind of business attire. But I just can’t wear them on stage. Also, I think exercise means more than walking to the fridge for a cold beverage, too. 🙂

  • Love this, especially where you talk about looking people in the eye, and treating everyone with respect – so many people can’t do this! I recently came across a great quote: “Someone who is nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.” Amen! 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @Ali Mac OMG! I was JUST going to quote that same thing to you. LOL!

      • @ginidietrich Too funny! 😉

      • @ginidietrich Too funny! 😉

  • scarlettimage

    @KevinVandever, @SpinSucks I understand that we would like to not be judged by how we dress, but like it or not, that is how it is.

    I bet all would prefer to receive a gift wrapped beautifully, rather than in a crumpled paper bag. Even though the paper bag could contain money, the well wrapped gift entices us enough to open it and expect a treasure.

    @EugeneFarber. A nice pair of jeans with a cool button down shirt is a great look for a casual event.

    But no matter what you wear, eye contact and a smile are the best accessories.

    • KevinVandever

      @scarlettimage Yes, I agree! We are judged by how we dress. That’s why I pick my battles in this area. I’m probably a hypocrite because there are many times when I enjoy, and think it’s appropriate, to dress nicely even though I could apply my same arguments against it. I guess I just don’t think dressing to impress is necessary to “make yourself charming”. Besides, @ginidietrich already knows how utterly charming I am.

      • ginidietrich

        @KevinVandever@scarlettimage Oh Kev, you are charming…no matter how you’re dressed. But I agree that I’d rather open (and give) a beautifully wrapped gift than one that is just thrown at me.

  • SJWhipp

    I really like #9. I think voice inflection is something that isn’t always talked about. A little inflection goes a long way. In my own experiences, I’ve found that making it a point to be animated not only captivates my audience, but it also masks my own nerves, fatigue, and other negative emotions that might detract from the task at hand.

    • ginidietrich

      @SJWhipp It does that to me, too…takes away the nerves and fatigue. Plus, people tend to laugh at you when you are animated. And I like to be laughed at when I’m on stage.

  • JodiEchakowitz

    As aways, great post @ginidietrich. I wish more people would follow tip #6. We should all talk to people with the same kind of respect we would appreciate when someone is talking to us. And to add to that, don’t forget to say thank you… often! For tip #2, I’m a huge believer in exercise – there’s nothing like it to prepare you for the day. And to ensure I don’t find an excuse not to do it, I schedule it into my calendar like any other meeting.

    • ginidietrich

      @JodiEchakowitz For me exercise really is like brushing my teeth. I may be able to sit at my computer and do some work before getting to it, but I won’t leave the house and see people without a run, ride, or cross country ski.

      • JodiEchakowitz

        @ginidietrich I’m uber impressed. You’re even more disciplined than I am!

  • LisaVaalAdamaitis

    Gini, you got right to the heart of it! Thanks!

    • ginidietrich

      @LisaVaalAdamaitis You’re very welcome!

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    Great stuff. I do hardly any speaking these days, but there was a time….. The best speaker I aver saw was a short, slight, bespectacled university professor called Jim Walker. To say that his personal appearance was unprepossessing would be the understatement or the century. But when he spoke….

    I learnt lots from Jim. But two things that I observe religiously are

    * Write your own introduction and give it to the person introducing you to read. Make it mildly self critical and amusing. If necessary, conclude with something like “I’m sorry if this introduction isn’t quite what you expected. I didn’t write it. Please permit me to introduce the author……..Guni Dietrich.”

    ” rehearse, rehearse, rehearse: and if you don’t have time to rehearse fully, at least rehearse your jokes well. You must get them right.

    And if you can make ’em laugh, you can probably make ’em learn.

    All good clean fun.



    • ginidietrich

      @Leon Leon, my friend! I’ve been missing you! I really love the writing your own intro. I’d never even considered that, but am totally going to do that from now on.

  • Good advice, Gini.

    My economics teacher in college was Ben Stein (the “Bueller? Bueller? teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Therefore, as someone in the audience for a full trimester, i can attest to the importance of number nine. An energetic delivery can turn even the most mundane information into something worth listening to! (If we ever meet in person, I’ll have to show you the cool supply and demand high five that Mr. Stein taught us. I remember it to this day!)

    • ginidietrich

      @WordsDoneWrite I’m sorry. It really was THE Ben Stein?!?

  • Adding to #9, never underestimate the power of a smile. If genuine, a smile animates the entire face, shines in one’s eyes, improves posture, and will overall elevate your mood. I find that I’m most successful in capturing someone’s attention if I speak to them as if I were speaking to a long time friend; however, I do recognize where certain situations require greater formality and respect, but it still has worked quite well for me thus far.

    Thanks for the sound advice, Gini.

    • ginidietrich

      @JamesDBurrell2 I agree with you Jamey. No matter how formal or professional the situation, a smile goes a looooong way.

  • Great advice Gini! This blog was very helpful to read. I’ve been public speaking for years and after taking some time to turn to vlogging I’ve soon realized I need to get back on the public horse. This was a great refresher.

    • ginidietrich

      @MichaelBesson I considered dropping one of my speaker’s bureaus this year because there isn’t a huge ROI on it (not like the others). But I realized it gets me out, in front of people, at least once a month and that is more valuable, in some cases, than not doing it at all. It gives you an added dimension you just can’t get vlogging, which is so much easier than speaking.

  • I know I’m late to this Gini, but I just wanted to say I really loved this post. It was great to hear you talking about a subject I’m so very passionate about as well.

    Keep up the total awesomeness 🙂


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  • byronfernandez

    I second Marcus. As another one of my favorite people/friends says: “If you’re true to yourself and you work hard, and treat people with Respect; you will Grow!” 🙂

    Usual Brava; tip of the hat Gini

    • ginidietrich

      @byronfernandez And respect yourself. That’s important, too.

  • This is a great post and I appreciate the advice. I would add, get some sleep! I know it always helps me, because trust me you don’t want to see me without enough sleep! The tip I most love is #6, I’m a huge believer in treating everyone with the same respect regardless of whether they’re the CEO or the secretary. I find this has also helped me feel more calm at interviews as well because I remind myself that they are a person just like me!

    • ginidietrich

       @rachaelseda I’m speaking at a conference in Norway tomorrow and I have to say the sleep thing is REALLY important. I’m super jet lagged right now and need some serious sleep before tomorrow!

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  • Thanks for this too G! I just linked back to this from a more recent post. What I would add- introvert or not, if you think you want a job where dealing with people is a part of it, then be sure you like people. I am an introvert in sales (as you know), and while I do like my quiet time and alone time, I really like my customers, value their time and truly appreciate them letting me speak to them, individually or as a group. It makes me honestly happy if I can leave a call knowing how I can help that person, even just a little. I come across many people in sales, customer service, or as speakers at events who really don’t seem to like people.  If you don’t that’s fine- but be sure to get a job that allows you to stay away from the public. I know you are an introvert too, but I know that you really enjoy meeting people and connecting with your audience.

    • @RebeccaTodd I do indeed. But I wouldn’t say I love people. I have little patience for lack of common sense and ignorance. But as individuals, I love them!

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