Entries by Jennifer Kammeyer

2015 Bits of Wisdom

How do you take the intention to be mindful and integrate it into work in the technology industry?  What does it mean to be mindful in business?  Leaders of organizations in the S.F. Bay Area met at the 5th annual Wisdom 2.0 conference to share, well, their wisdom. I have intentionally practiced mindfulness since 1999 […]

Focus on Strengths through Positive Observation Forum

The theme for the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Conference 2015 was Accentuate the Positive.  I shared my use of the Positive Observation Forum in the Communication Classroom in tandem with Dr. Jensen Chung on a panel with other communication scholars.  Although our use of the Positive Observation Forum (POF) is specifically designed for the […]

Give Constructive Feedback

Adam Bryant’s Corner Office interviews with leaders often reveal how communication is such a critical component of excellent leadership.  In Q&A with Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle, Adam asks: What were some early management lessons for you?  Alastair includes lessons around communication.  He mentions learning about “being too vague or not strong enough or clear […]

Connect with Your Audience

My Sunday morning ritual includes reading the New York Times and the article, Introvert on the Podium caught my attention. The wisdom in this article is that connecting with the audience leads to greater ease in speaking, even for an introvert.  Laura Vanderkam, author of “168 Hours” explains how she has gone from paranoid to […]

Connect with Your Audience

My Sunday morning ritual includes reading the New York Times and the article, Introvert on the Podium caught my attention. The wisdom in this article is that connecting with the audience leads to greater ease in speaking, even for an introvert. Laura Vanderkam, author of “168 Hours” explains how she has gone from paranoid to […]

Boost Team Meetings

We sit in meetings all the time and complain most of the time.  According to research, an average team meeting includes 69 counteractive statements and only 17 proactive statements. That is a 4:1 ratio of bad to good in meetings! We know we can make it better, but we are not exactly sure how.  Newly […]

The Power of The Pause

Coaching CEOs on giving compelling presentations, I am reminded of the Power of the Pause.  Using the pause when speaking is incredibly powerful.  Think of it as the same as white space in graphic design; what you leave blank is as important as what you fill in on a page.  In public speaking pauses are […]

Presentation Skill Reminders from Around the Web

Periodically seeking advice from other experts on the web constantly expands my perspective on creating excellent presentations.  Here is a sampling of worthwhile advice. Take Tips from Comedians John Greathouse, Rincon Ventures Got for the strong start Get physical Manage the hecklers Develop a repartee Rehearse spontaneity Stop for a breath Don’t fear humor Bring […]

Use Humor

Using Humor Watching video of the recent Obama White House Correspondents’ Dinner, I was reminded how humor can be used in communication.  The president uses self-deprecating humor to remind us that he is human and jokes to lighten the perspective of heavy political issues.  His joke, “I’m not the strapping young Muslim Socialist that I […]

Centered on Communication

Watching and reading about the current negotiations on the fiscal cliff is reinforcing my belief that everything in life, including politics, centers on communication. The Washington Post ran an article this week, “Moral values and the fiscal cliff” in which the authors delineated how “Sharing moral commitments helps teams to function cohesively, but it also […]

Interactive Presentations: creation to social networking

PowerPoint alone doesn’t cut it anymore.  We are too social and interconnected now.  Sure, we still see projected presentations at conferences and in lecture halls, but audiences are demanding more interactivity, and Twitter feeds aren’t cutting it. Webinar tools were a start to interactive presentations.  WebEx, GoToMeeting, and such, allow people to see presentations anywhere […]

Share Mindfully

Building rapport is important for communication.  Starting a conversation with small talk surfaces commonalities that exist.   Finding commonalities gives people a better ground upon which to communicate.  But, as of late the trend has gone to the extreme.  There is an epidemic of oversharing. Bloomberg BusinessWeek article “Enough with the Enemas: Why People Overshare at […]

Ask (Good) Questions

I hear from many leaders that a key to good leadership is asking questions.  I find this advice worthwhile in and of itself, since many want-to-be-leaders tend to talk more than listen.  I also desire more. I want advice that is more to be actionable.  So I have set about gathering advice on just what […]

Consumer Dialogue

This summer’s special supplement to the Atlantic reads, “The Dialogue Economy, Social Media and the Marketplace” and contains multiple stories on how the power has shifted to the consumer and how companies are learning to engage with customers in dialogue.   The magazine has many examples of how the Internet has changed the relationship between those […]

Fantasies of Always-On Connections

I confess to texting someone in the same room.  It can be more efficient and feel less intrusive than interrupting the activity in the room.  But, according to Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT and author, these bits of technology use to replace conversation are adding up to trouble.  In the New York […]

Taking Space

Seems to be a trend that companies are realizing people need space – both mental and physical – in order to put forth the creative work required for the 21st century American innovation economy.  The business section of the New York Times explored this concept in two articles on Sunday.  The first “When Technology Overwhelms, […]

The 79th Organ Creating Collective Consciousness

Gopi Kallayil, Product Marketing Manager at Google, called the smart phone the 79th organ of the body.  At the Wisdom 2.0 Conference he depicted the smart phone as humanesque, with ears, eyes, voice, and brain, and claimed it is being used as a tool for collective consciousness.  Gopi gave examples of people all over the […]

Revisiting Presentation Design

SlideRocket recently sent me this e-book on The Secrets of Compelling Presentation Design.  It was worth the read and a good reminder of some of my favorite tips. Keep it Simple – your background, fonts, content should all be straightforward so your audience can easily assimilate information Use Images – a picture is really worth […]

Thankful to Those Who Share

Thanks to EF and NetApp for the invitation to the Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day awards luncheon.  It was inspirational to hear from so many organizations and people who are making significant changes in our community through their philanthropic efforts.  Leah Toeniskoetter was awarded Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for her work with Valley Medical Center Foundation.  An […]

State of Start-Up Presentations

I watched the Vator Splash SF presentations through two lenses.  The first was that of a technology enthusiast, always wanting to learn what bright people are inventing.  The second was that of a communication expert, curious about how entrepreneurs are presenting. Through the first lens, I saw some interesting technology. The People’s Choice Winner was […]

It is All in A Name

Billionaire Vinod Khosla doesn’t want to be called a venture capitalist.  And that is news.  Both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes ran a blurb on this fact.  Now that is good PR. “Call him a visionary for his role co-founding Sun Microsystems Inc. Call him a rainmaker for his prescient investments in companies like Juniper Networks while […]

58,000 Students

As a university teacher, a lover of technological advances, and a communication scholar, the notion of 58,000 students participating in a free online course enthrals me.  Today’s NY Times article, “Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course” describes how Peter Norvig and SebastianThrun are offering a course on artificial intelligence this fall through Stanford. Anybody, […]

Communication Critical in Medical Care

We all know intuitively that communication is an important aspect of medical care.  Each of us can recall experiences where a doctor did a good or bad job communicating with us.  For me, the bad job was in the ER just before my mom was diagnosised with colon cancer when I was literally arguing with […]

Couch it in a Narrative

Harvard Business Review did a short blurb on reserach by Emily Moyer-Guse of Ohio State and Robin Nabi of UC Santa Barbara showing that a narrative is an effective form of persuasion. The research study had 367 undergraduates view either a narrative or a non-narrative, news-style program about teenage pregnancy.  Those who saw the narrative […]

Persuade with 5 Canons of Rhetoric

When you want to get somebody to change an attitude, belief, value, or behavior — happens just about every day — you need to employ the art of persuasion.  A quote from a student of mine: “Thus, to change a person’s view, their belief or their actions is to slide through their ears and into […]

Your Look Commands

Speech recognition technology has come a long way.  I now use Dragon Dictation on my iPhone to send texts to others.  It is as least as accurate as my touch typing.  It is refreshing to have a different way to interface with technology. The future holds yet another way to interface — with our eyes.  […]

Social Network Research from WSCA

At the recent Western States Communication Association (WSCA) Conference two panels “Social Networking and Beyond: Computer Mediated Communication and Community” and “Relational Communication and Social Networks” contained interesting research on how people are using social networking.  The overarching theme is that people are using social networking as a means of simultaneously forming and communicating their […]

Speech Recognition, Getting Closer to Mainstream

As an individual who prefers the spoken word over the written word, I have been longing for the day when I could have my eloquent phrases automatically turned into flowing text.  When working on my master’s thesis a few years back, I purchased iListen for Mac in hopes of typing less.  After 5 or 6 […]

Technology Can Be Turned Off

Technology can be turned off. That is a reminder from Sherry Turkle director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self from a USA Today article, “2010: The year technology replaced talking“.  According to the article “Americans are connected at unprecedented levels — 93% now use cellphones or wireless devices; one-third of those are “smartphones” […]

Data on Learning to Speak

80,000 hours of video and 120,000 hours of audio recording.  That is the massive amount of data collected by MIT Media Lab‘s Human Speechome Project to analyze how one child learns to speak.  You can see a visual of the data on Forbes.com to get a feel for how words are gained over time.  Just […]

Immersive Communications

Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has announced an application called immersive communications that combines physical, virtual, and augmented reality into one.  Forbes covered the story in Bell Labs’ Super Virtual Conferencing.  The idea is that geographically dispersed people on a variety of mobile devices can have a virtual conference in which they all appear and sound to […]

Whisper to the Brain

Neurology is now being applied to persuading others through communication.  The NYT article, “Ads that Whisper to the Brain” reveals techniques used to discover what activates the human brain when somebody watches a commercial. Researches use electroencephalographs (EEGs) to measure brain waves that become more active when people have heightened attention to determine if they […]

Virtual Reality Transforming Social Interactions

If you watch yourself in a virtual mirror as an attractive avatar for 90 seconds, you will stand closer to other virtual beings and be more confident about your own looks in filling out an online data application. What happens in virtual reality, effects reality. This I learned from a very interesting lecture video by […]

Words Can Get You Fired

“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country,” he said. “But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves […]

Forget Coopetition, Now we Have Frenemies

I am probably more easily amused by communication quirks than others, but this is entertaining. The San Jose Mercury news article on Adobe’s stock climbing on news of a secret meeting with Microsoft, explains that the companies are ‘frenemies.’ “Both Microsoft and the San Jose maker of expensive graphic design and Internet software are “frenemies” […]