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How to Give a Presentation to Strangers

As a transformational leader, you often have to stand and talk to strangers. Bill Rosenthal, CEO of our partner Communispond, has shared his insight on giving presentation to strangers. This will elevate your presentation skills whether you’re presenting to a group or even conversing one-on-one. Read Bill’s insight below and grow more as a presenter and leader!

Logo of Communispond

By Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Communispond

agreement-3408113_250The audience is wondering if you know what you’re talking about and whether you’ll be straight with them. You must pass both of these tests when you make a presentation to people who don’t know you. Unless you do, the audience might begin checking their smartphones before you even begin speaking. If the group likes you, though, they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on both these points.

You can’t go wrong being likable in the business world. People prefer to buy from salespeople they like and favor them when they hire and promote. They even prefer working with a “lovable fool” rather than a “competent jerk,” according to a study conducted by two Harvard Business School professors.

How can you make yourself likable? The best way, whether you’re presenting to a group or even conversing one-on-one, is to make it clear that you like the other party. And the only way to express that feeling believably is to actually feel it. It’s something you can’t fake. There’s nothing more off-putting than a speaker who puts on a false face of camaraderie and good cheer.

Walk to the speaker’s spot with a warm smile and a friendly gesture to the person who introduced you. Before you speak, stand at your place for a few moments and take in the audience, showing by your expression and body language that you appreciate having been invited to make your presentation. Speak with the attitude that it’s your treat to be presenting and not theirs to be sitting there listening.

Show the audience you’re real, that you have vulnerabilities, just like they do. Express your doubts, amazement, disappointment, joy. Make it clear you share the audience’s values—not by mouthing platitudes but by talking about your experiences, about an incident that tested you in some way, for example. If you use humor, be sure the joke’s on you rather than someone else.

People tend to like people who are similar to themselves. Don’t try to be someone you’re not—but be sure the audience knows what you have in common with them. Be as formal or informal as the group is. Dress only a little bit better than they’re dressed.

Learn as much as you can about the audience before you prepare your presentation, so you’re sure you’ll be addressing their needs and not talking down to them or speaking over their heads. You’ll get points for that, because too few presenters do it. If you’re there to talk about a policy change or anything controversial, learn as much as possible about how the group’s members will be affected and their views about it. Express your feelings about the issue honestly and openly, without platitudes or Dilbert-speak.

Present your solution enthusiastically, because unless you’re excited about it the audience won’t be either. Inexperienced speakers, even those who believe strongly in what they’re saying, can come across as uncommitted if they fail to show passion. Express your passion with movement and gestures and changes in voice tone, volume, and timing that underscore your important points.

You can’t make an emotional connection with the group if you speak from a script. It will keep you from making eye contact with the audience or using movement to show your feelings. Keep practicing the presentation so you can present it confidently without a script. A confident speaker will be more natural, more connected with the audience, and more likable. If there’s a lectern on stage, get out from behind it, because it will only create a barrier between you and everyone else.

Get to the meeting room early, so you begin connecting with members of the group as they enter. Greet them warmly, and listen attentively to what they say. You might want to cite some of it as you speak.

Try to enjoy the presentation in the way you hope the audience will. That will help you keep smiling.

If you would like further information on Effective Presentation and Public Speaking, you may contact us. We’ll be happy to ELAvate you!

Posted in Coaching, Communication, Growth

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Why Mentoring Is Important

I came across this article on Mentoring. This article by TTI Success Insight’s Editor, Dave Clark will give you further insight on types of mentors and their ways of mentoring. Read the complete article below to grow more as a leader capable of being transformational mentor.

Michael J Griffin

ELAvate Founder and CEO

ELAvate Coach

TTISI Distributor

TTI Success Insights

By Dave Clark

You may be a rising star and have a track record of success. But when starting a new job, having a mentor to show you the ropes is important. Mentors hold a very valuable key to your success; they’ve been where you want to go. Why try to reinvent the wheel when you can learn from a trusted advisor? Your mentor can tell you everything you need to know, including those things you wouldn’t necessarily find in the official “user’s manual.” Having a mentor will provide many benefits. Not only will he or she provide customized leadership to help your transition become significantly easier, your mentor will provide information on culture, attitudes and other non-tangibles that you’ll need to win in the long haul.

Mentors as different as the seasons

Personally, I had three different mentors over the course of my career that were as different as the positions in which I was being mentored. The key is that there isn’t necessarily a “right” type of mentor or a right “way” to mentor. What’s important is to have a mentor who can help you learn the ropes and navigate the rough waters you’ll occasionally encounter.

A motivating mentor

Starting out as a young advertising salesperson, I had no actual learned skills; just a raw drive and determination. I didn’t have a plan for long term success in my company. After spending a few years working in inside sales I was promoted to outside sales and met division leader Steve Casey, who would later become my first mentor.

Our company provided a lot of training as well as motivational opportunities, and we had a lot of one on one conversations with our direct supervisors. There were certainly implementations in place to help us improve our skill sets. However, it was the big picture conversations with Steve that gave me the most meaningful direction.

On one particular day when I just wasn’t feeling love for my position as a salesperson, Steve called me into his office and gave me a pep talk. Not a cheerleading session, but a dose of real world reality. After telling him I felt like I was doing a job that just wasn’t meant for me, he told me a story about how being a worker is a lot like being an actor. He told me that, in many regards, he had to “get into character” every single morning to come into work and lead the sales force. Because, if it was up to him, he’d probably be a writer, editor or something similar. But he understood the value that came with his position and found a way to get up for his job every day. He continued to do so for thirty years until he finally left to purchase his own magazine company.

I took this advice and used it to power through an eighteen year career at that company before I made my own departure, but the advice helped me get through those rough days where getting out of bed seemed its own insurmountable obstacle.

A practical mentor

My second mentor came into my life after I left the advertising sales job and did about as hard of a career shift as one could do. I became a professional beer brewer. Sure, I could brew a decent IPA or stout at home, but I didn’t know anything about professional brewing outside of the very basics. Fred Karm owned a very small, but successful award-winning brewery and he was willing to trade knowledge for labor. In fact, when I first started working for him, he told me that if I was willing to work for beer, he’d teach me everything I ever wanted to know. Not only did this new opportunity quench my thirst, it also quenched my thirst for knowledge within the beer industry.

Fred was an absolute perfectionist. And people with this character trait aren’t always the easiest to work for. But Fred taught me patience, repeatability, and the importance of consistency in the brewhouse. His attention to detail is the main reason this tiny brewhouse was producing award winning beers sought out by beer lovers all over the country. While beer can be looked at as a combination of art and science, Fred stressed the science part and ensured that every single batch we made was a virtual clone to the previous batch. And this dedication to detail produced remarkable results while making me a better worker. These skills transferred with me when I left the brewing side of the industry and moved into the sales side.

A humanitarian mentor

When I went to work for beer conglomerate MillerCoors, I became a salesperson for their craft beer division known as Tenth and Blake. The head of this satellite company was a man named Tom Cardella, a beer lifer. Tom was a great leader and a bit of a free spirit. While there were many, many layers between my role at the bottom of the barrel (pun intended) and Tom’s perch at the top, he instilled a sense of humanity in a company that could often times be very machine-like. The company appeared to have an endless army of employees that seemingly overlapped, making someone in my position feel very insignificant. But Tom had a way to connect personally with all of his workers and make them feel that they were an integral, meaningful part of the team. As a fellow musician, Tom spent as much time talking music with me as he did business, and it created a connection. It’s not everyday the president of a major corporation becomes casual friends with a member at the bottom of the corporate totem pole, but the fact that Tom went out of his way to create that relationship really helped me feel like I was part of a great organization.

We all need mentors

If your goal is to one day become a leader, then learn from a leader. Mentors are crucial for developing the next set of leaders. They provide expert learning; both what is in the manual as well as the “street smarts” you’ll need to succeed. Mentors have ascended to their position due to the relationships they have built. They are your conduit to forging relationships of your own – use that advantage! Your valued leader can show you how to navigate the organization, giving you valuable insights. They’ll teach you how things work, who makes them work and what processes you need to understand to succeed.

Types of mentors

Your mentor may be someone directly within your department. Whether it’s a director, upper level manager or tenured employee, having someone close by will help you in times of need. Or, they may within your place of employment but in another part of the building. Be sure to schedule lunch meetings and chat times so you can learn from this person even if they aren’t in close proximity to your work environment.

Other types of mentors include mastermind groups and personal advisory boards. Both types of groups serve the purpose of helping you gain high-level information on a topic. By having either of these groups, you will certainly get to achieve your goals quicker. Mastermind groups can be a series of experts brought together through video chat, Skype, online forum or otherwise that may not only share information with you, but with each other. Personal advisory boards are experts that may not have any interaction with each other but are solely focused on helping you gain the information you need to succeed. Virtual mentors are another type of mentor where someone with expertise guides and instructs you from afar. Like mastermind groups or advisory boards, these meetings can take place via phone, email, video chat or otherwise. How you choose your mentor and type of mentor chosen is unimportant. Who you choose is important because choosing the proper person to teach you the ropes will substantially increase your chance to succeed in your new position and for the long term.

Posted in Coaching, Employee Engagement, Leadership Development

9 Ways to Stop a Bad Hire from Infecting Good Talent

John Maxwell’s Law of the Bad Apple states “Rotten Attitudes Ruin the Team.” TTISI Global Marketing Head, Candice Frazer, bites deeper into the Law of the Bad Apple by explaining the effects and remedies for making a bad hiring decision. Here are her 9 ways to prevent hiring ‘bad apples” in the future:

1. Accept Responsibility

2. Become a person of action

3. If skills are lacking, provide training

4. If he or she lacks will, make the job requirements clear

5. If he or she lacks fit, relaunch onboarding

6. Look for opportunities to reassign

7. Help the individual find other jobs

8. Learn from it

9. Hire right the next time


Read Candice’s advice below and learn how to hire “good apples” that produce bountiful fruit!


Michael J Griffin

ELAvate Founder and CEO

ELAvate Coach

TTISI Distributor


There are times when we hire someone who looked great on paper, sounded great in their interview but they turn out to be a bad hire. What’s even worse is if they turn out to be a bee in our organizational bonnet.

Typically, this happens for one of three reasons: the person we hired either lacks the skill, the will or the fit to be in his or her role.

It’s critical for managers to claim responsibility and prevent the bad hire from infecting the good talent already in the organization. One of my friends calls this the “ain’t it awful” game, where the person becomes an organizational black hole and sucks productive employees down with him (or her). This little game costs an organization in multiple ways, including productivity and profitability. It simply can’t be tolerated.

Let’s explore the 9 ways to stop a bad hire from infecting good talent that you’ve worked so hard to acquire and train.

1. Accept responsibility

We are all human. And none of us have the ability to make right decisions all the time. But what we do possess is the ability to make a decision, then make it right. Accept responsibility for making a bad hire, then quickly move to step 2.

2. Become a person of action

Recognize that you need to work quickly and very closely with the bad hire. While this may seem exhausting, you will learn more about the hire that may help you to root cause the challenge. The bad hire may have a personal situation that is preventing them from being productive. Most importantly, during this step, you will be able to assess skill, will and fit.

3. If he or she lacks the skills needed, provide skills training

Many people hire for skills and fire for attitude. It may be best for organizations, instead, to hire for attitude and train for skills. If you have someone who lacks the proper skills, you may have the most fixable bad hire out there. Unless, of course, they lied about their skills during the interview. In which case, you may need to take immediate and swift action.

4. If he or she lacks will, make the job requirements clear

Spell out their deliverables both verbally and in writing. It’s critical to get the bad hires’ agreement on expectations so that they can reasonably be held accountable. After you provide the job requirements, coach and guide the individual consistently and frequently. Give them the best shot to becoming a productive member of the team.

5. If he or she lacks fit, relaunch onboarding

Make it your personal responsibility to education him or her about the company’s rules of engagement and behavioral expectations. You may even go ahead and assign a “knowledge partner,” or internal mentor who can consult the employee as they adjust to the environment.

6. Look for opportunities to reassign

Though the individual may not be best for your team, perhaps there is another department or business unit that can benefit from their unique abilities. Remember to think through skill, will, and fit for the business units to ensure you are not passing a bad apple to another apple basket.

7. Help the individual find other jobs

If the individual is untrainable and you have to part ways, help him or her look for his or her next job. Offer to connect him or her with other employers that may be better suited to their skills and abilities. Giving the bad hire a few weeks notice of the intent to move them out of the organization, while unconventional, can build trust and a positive marketplace reputation.

8. Learn from it

Reflect on your experience. Journal if you can. Identify what you did wrong, then make a commitment to yourself to do it differently the next time.

9. Hire right the next time

Avoid making the same mistake. Ask those interview questions that you wished you’d asked the previous hire, and then some. Be transparent and open during the interview that the last person was a bad hire and why, giving your candidates the opportunity to showcase their skill, will and fit that will work best for the organization.

Bad hires can infect all of the good, productive workers on your team. But if you take quick and fair action, your team will pledge their allegiance and double down in supporting the efforts of the business.

Posted in Hiring, Talent Management


Wise Leadership Proverbs from Solomon

King Solomon has been called the wisest person who ever walked on earth. I have been reading his proverbs on leadership and found many of them insightful. Let’s have a quick review of his words of wisdom that may accelerate your leadership and influence.

Don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder,
always spoiling for a fight.
Don’t try to be like those who shoulder their way through life.
Why be a bully?

A wise heart takes orders;
an empty head will come unglued.

The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.

The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped.

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
how short-sighted to refuse correction!

Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.

Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord,
but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.

Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
a gracious person in grace.

Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.

Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do;
they avoid the company of wise men and women.

Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.

A good leader motivates,
doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.

Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
they love advisors who tell them the truth.

An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.

Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
they’re like spring rain and sunshine.

First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.

Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Take good counsel and accept correction—
that’s the way to live wisely and well.

Form your purpose by asking for counsel,
then carry it out using all the help you can get.

Observe people who are good at their work—
skilled workers are always in demand and admired;
they don’t take a backseat to anyone.

If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

You use steel to sharpen steel,
and one friend sharpens another.

If you care for your orchard, you’ll enjoy its fruit;
if you honor your boss, you’ll be honored.

Pride lands you flat on your face;
humility prepares you for honors.

These wise words were from the Message by Eugene Peterson.

Have a great week being a wise leader who positively influences others to success!

Michael J Griffin

Founder ELAvate

John Maxwell Team Founding Member

AchieveForum Master Trainer

Posted in Great Leaders, Quotes, Wise Leadership

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We Have Moved to a New Office!

We are excited to announce that ELAvate Training Indonesia has moved to a new location. Our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space.

Our new address is

Sona Topas Tower 15th Floor, Room 1505
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 26
Jakarta Selatan 12920
Ph. +62 – 21 2500 933 (Hunting)

Thanks for everyone’s support through the years and with the move.

ELAvate Training Indonesia will continue to serve you as your partner of choice to develop world class transformational sales and leaders.

Posted in Uncategorized

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Churchill Recipe for Presentation Impact

Giving powerful presentations multiplies your influence as a leader. The former Prime Minister Winston Churchill teaches us the recipe for giving impactful messages when public speaking. I learned this from Dr. Tim Elmore in his Habitude leadership lesson called “The Poet’s Gift.” There are 5 ingredients to Churchill’s success as a public speaker:

Strong Beginning. Always begin your talks with a positive start. This can include being unpredictable. Give the audience a reason to sit up and listen to your talk.  Show you are happy or honored to be with the audience. Connect with a strong attention-grabbing beginning.

One Theme. Have a singular objective for your talk. This keeps you and the audience focused. State it clearly. Your theme may be to inform, to persuade, or a call to action.

Simple Language. No need to impress with fancy language. Keep your communication clear and simple. The intent is to get your message across not to wow the audience with your linguistic capabilities. This is especially important when speaking to cross cultural or global groups. Pictures. Rather than just giving an information dump, employ pictures for the audience to grasp meaning. Pictures connect to their hearts and minds. Pictures in presentations can be stories, metaphors, analogies, quotations or visuals. Make sure they support your theme and message by being credible.

Emotional Ending. Audiences crave for an emotional ending to your talk that is inspiring and satisfying. Give them reason to move forward, the heart and willingness to change that connects their minds and hearts to your presentation objective.

The Churchill Recipe for Impact rests on the foundation of “prepare and share.” Having trained thousands of people in public speaking, I have observed the most influential presenters do two things very well before they present employ the Churchill recipe. Both revolve around your attitude.

Firstly, “Being Prepared Shows You Care.” Audiences have made a choice to listen to you. Don’t waste their time. Lower your stress, and motivate them and yourself by being prepared. Being prepared shows you care about serving them. You are more likely to achieve your presentation objective by being prepared. You are more likely to get audience attention and connection by being prepared. Spend that time to prepare to care as “winging it” rarely works.

Secondly, “When You Want to Share, You Care.” The presentation is not about you. It is about sharing to serve the audience you are addressing. When you want to share to help and serve the audience, you are inspiring by your helpfulness. I have observed presenters that want to “share to care” are much better presenters because of reduced nervousness and more animated voice and gestures. This “share to care” attitude is best described by Dr. John Maxwell in his short 2 minute You Tube video on Public speaking.

Click here to watch this informative video by Dr. Maxwell.

Be the best you can to multiply your influence as a presenter: Employ the Churchill Recipe for Impact, Be Prepared, and Share to Care! Michael J Griffin ELAvate Master Presentation Trainer John Maxwell Team Founder

Posted in Communication, Growth

leadership-blog-102-Devastating Effects Social Media on Generation Z

Devastating Effects Social Media on Generation Z

Recently, I came across this article on Generation Z by Tim Elmore and thought it may give you all insights on how social media has effect us especially those of Generation Z.

Read more.


Posted in Growth, Motivation

Leadership Blog #101 — How to Choose a Virtual Instructor-led Training Program

How to Choose a Virtual Instructor-led Training Program

Virtual instructor-led training (VILT)—training that is delivered in a virtual environment, or when instructor and learner are in separate locations—is transforming the way people learn.

Within businesses, VILT are increasingly being utilized for professional skills development, sales training, customer and product training, and onboarding. The popularity of VILT come as no surprise since it provides an interactive, engaging experience, allows employees to access the training wherever they are, and saves valuable time and costs.

If you’re wondering how VILT works compared to classroom training or what to consider when choosing the right VILT for your business, join in the upcoming webinar with Wayne and Caryl from Communispond to get your VILT questions answered!

Posted in Leadership Training

Leadership Blog #100 — Communicate Effectively with the Secret of Chosen Words

Communicate Effectively with the Secret of Chosen Words

Imagine having a conversation with four different people:

Person A: “Let’s show the boss how innovative our minds are.”
Person B: “Follow these directions for optimal performance.”
Person C: “Give me an educated guess on why our KPIs are not met this quarter.”
Person D: “The rules are the same for everyone.”

Who would you have more difficulty communicating with? Most likely, you would have reacted negatively to one of them. Why is that so?

The findings from a pilot study conducted by Target Training International’s Center for Applied Cognitive Research suggests that certain words may evoke negative reaction in your brain immediately upon hearing them. As to which words trigger, that largely depends on your dominant behavioral style (DISC).

Using the earlier example:

Person A’s words do not work for people with the primary Steadiness style.
Person B’s words do not work for people with the primary Dominance style.
Person C’s words do not work for people with the primary Compliance style.
Person D’s words do not work for people with the primary Influence style.

Download the white paper “Words that Don’t Work” by our partner TTI Success Insights to discover more findings from the study and improve your communication with your bosses, colleagues, team members, clients, or anyone who has a different dominant behavioral style from you.

Understanding other styles, appreciating differences and knowing how to adapt to other communication styles will significantly impact the performance of a team. Time and again, in my years of training leaders, I have witnessed DISC aiding many teams in collaborating effectively and efficiently.

If you would like to identify and understand the primary DISC style of your own and your team members, drop me an email.

Have a great week breaking communication barriers!

Download “Words that Don’t Work”

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Posted in Assessment, Communication, Research

Leadership Blog #99 — Leading Young Men to Adulthood

Leading Young Men to Adulthood

The journey of transformation from a young man to a mature adult can be challenging. Many more young men are now trapped between adolescence and adulthood.

Positive role models are crucial during this transition. Yet often, they are few and far between. So many young men struggle to find healthy male role models. As a result, they turn to get their modelling from the television, internet, gaming or even from their friends who may also be struggling.

In one of his blog post, Tim Elmore from Growing Leaders suggests five steps one can begin with to offer direction to young men. Here’s an excerpt:

Let me take a moment and suggest some steps you can begin with if you have young males in your life:

  1. Begin to expose them to role models early.
  2. Screen and limit the screen time.
  3. Provide appropriate hands-on learning opportunities.
  4. Educate yourself on the effects of prescription drugs.
  5. Be careful about male bashing.

So How Do We Provide Direction?

Let’s begin with a simple list of steps anyone can take:

  1. Build a relationship with them, one at a time.
  2. Spark conversation based on their interests, not yours.
  3. Ask them questions that will encourage them to think about the future.
  4. Use metaphors and experiences to teach them principles they’ll need as an adult.
  5. Meet regularly and dependably. You may be the only male they learn to count on.

As you work with young men, whether it’s on a team, or as an employer, seize the opportunities to encourage and guide them by example and actions. You may be the only adult they learn to transit to adulthood authentically.

Interested to mentor and coach but unsure of how to do so? We can help you. Contact us to learn more on how you can become a coach and impact lives!

Posted in Coaching, Talent Management

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