CUNA Management School, Year 2/Day 2: This is a No-Comfort Zone

This entry was posted by Friday, 13 July, 2012
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From Ann Hayes Peterson: When I scanned the handout for Tuesday’s Year 2 session–“Executive Presentation Skills by Stacey Hanke”–I knew I was in trouble. The subtitle of the session was “Communicating with Impact and Influence.”

Ann Hayes Peterson is a managing editor for CUNA and currently attending Year 2 of CUNA Management School.

 It was not an easy day–and I believe most, if not all, of my classmates would agree. But fun? Yes. Illuminating? Definitely. Intimidating? A little bit.

The basics of communicating to influence change involve:

  • Your posture, gestures, and movements–done with purpose and without distraction;
  • Pauses to focus your thoughts and eliminate annoying nonwords and phrases (uh, um, like, so, actually, etc.); and
  • Eye connection to convey trust.

Practice will make perfect, Hanke says. Awareness is the first step. We worked in groups and kindly offered feedback on our mini-presentations. We took that first step together.

More communication wisdom from Hanke: 

  • If communication was so easy, everyone would be great at it. Guess what? Not everyone is great at it.
  • Most of us do not look at each other long enough to connect.
  • Listeners can be forgiving, but not if you aren’t prepared. 
  • Every moment matters. When you have someone’s attention, make the most of it.
  • Perceptions are reality.

Thank you, Stacey Hanke, for pushing me so far out of my comfort zone that I may need a GPS to return. Or maybe I’ll just stay in the no-comfort zone with my classmates, at least for the rest of our CUNA Management School experience.

Next up for Year 2: Asset/Liability Management  II with CUNA’s Mike Schenk. 

Now I’m really in trouble.

One Response to “CUNA Management School, Year 2/Day 2: This is a No-Comfort Zone”

  1. Nicole Daniels

    I also attended Stacey Hanke’s session. She was great! The most eye opening part of the session was learning about how our audiences perceive us. Stacey broke this up into three categories: verbal, vocal and visual.

    Verbal: What you say; your message
    Vocal: Inflection; variety and project of your voice
    Visual: What the audience sees; your body language

    When giving a presentation, your appearance and body language account for 55% of an audience’s perception of you and their ability to trust what you are saying. Yikes! Apparently, first impressions really do matter.


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