October 8, 2013
Jeff Carroll, our Director of Leadership Development, passed along a great article from Forbes.com. In “Five Top Resume Turnoffs,” Briana Meade highlights five features of ineffective resumes that could hinder your ability to “mak[e] the best possible first impression.” Check it out here.
October 8, 2013
Congratulations to Jennifer Butler Ellis, Mark Riley, and Rebecca Shortridge for receiving the AICPA’s 2013 Mark Chain/FSA Innovation in Graduate Teaching Award for their work on feedback design and delivery! The AICPA recognizes that Jen’s feedback workshop and the feedback sessions in ACCY 690 are teaching you all important communication skills that will make you more effective accounting professionals. Check out the full article here.
September 24, 2013
This summer I read The Happiness Advantage: The seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work by Shawn Achor. After reading the following paragraph, I immediately thought of all of you prepping for the CPA exam. Here’s a tip you probably won’t find in a CPA review book:
“The benefits of priming the brain with positive thoughts don’t end at childhood either. To the contrary, studies have found that across the board, in both academic and business setting, these same benefits persist throughout our adult lives. For instance, students who were told to think about the happiest day of their lives right before taking a standardized math test outperformed their peers.”
So what do you have to lose? Think of something happy before taking the next section of the CPA exam. Maybe you will feel happier when you see your results too!
The book was an interesting read. I enjoyed the emphasis placed on the science of happiness. The research presented is very compelling, and from a professional standpoint, the research suggests that happiness gives your brain a competitive edge (See principle #1 from Shawn’s book) in the workplace. So practice today—think of something you are thankful for and start fueling your happiness meter.
September 20, 2013
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Open House this week. We had a great time eating pizza and M&Ms. Congratulations to Cameron Eskoff who was closest to guessing how many M&Ms would be leftover at 3pm. There were 341 M&Ms remaining; stop by the LPDC for some M&Ms and coffee. Cameron, please stop by the LPDC for your prize (a big bag of M&Ms). Over 25 students sat in on the 7-minute “How to Make a Great First Impression” workshop. We had fun practicing our handshakes and talking about impressing others.
If you missed the workshop, remember we are always here if you have questions about professional development, leadership and/or communication concerns.
Have a great weekend!
September 10, 2013
I’ve posted before about my struggles with public speaking. Last semester, I started looking for resources to help me improve my oral communication skills and reduce the anxiety that makes my voice crack and my hands shake when I give a presentation. One of the most helpful observations about public speaking anxiety that I’ve found so far is courtesy of Scott Berkun in Confessions of a Public Speaker: “Can you guess what most people who are worried about their presentations refuse to do? Practice … Their fear of speaking leads to procrastination, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of misery.”
This is SO me. Practicing for a presentation seems like such obvious advice, but I always find myself tempted to put it off because I’m anxious. And guess what? When I give in to that temptation, I always regret it. Here’s why Berkun thinks we all should force ourselves to practice before a presentation even if we don’t want to:
“The most pragmatic reason for practice is that it allows me to safely make mistakes and correct them before anyone ever sees it … The confidence that comes from practicing makes it possible to improvise and respond to unexpected things – like hecklers, tough questions, bored audiences, or equipment failures – that might occur during the talk. If I hadn’t practiced, I’d be so worried about my material that I’d be unable to pay attention to anything else, much less anticipate what’s coming from the audience … An entire universe of fears and mistakes goes away by simply having confidence in your material.”
I will probably always be anxious before giving a presentation, but, as Berkun points out, practicing can help significantly, so take the time to practice your presentations even if you hate doing so. You won’t regret it!