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10 common phrases to avoid in speeches


There are a few phrases that always hit my ear badly when I hear speakers use them in response to an audience member’s question.

They’re all variations on the same theme; you can probably come up with several similar ones of your own. Each can make the person who utters them come across as annoyed, if not downright peevish.

The phrases are:

• “As I mentioned earlier”
• “As I already said in my email”
• “As I said before”
• “As I’ve already mentioned”
• “Like I previously stated”
• “As I wrote in the memo you received”
• “Like I said”
• “As I stated earlier”
• “Like we discussed”
• “As we covered at the beginning”

In my experience, most speakers who utter these types of lines don’t do so because they’re annoyed. I’d guess many of them aren’t even aware that they said these lines at all. Nonetheless, they can come across as an accusation to the audience—I already spoke about this! Why weren’t you listening to me?

Even though it can feel annoying to receive an audience question about material you already covered, keep in mind that: The person who asked the question might have entered the room late due to an unexpected doctor’s appointment; their mind may have drifted because the information you were sharing frightened them; their attention span waned simply because they’re human. Heck, it may even be a sign that you’re a sleep-inducing speaker!

The bottom line is that if you’re asked to restate something that you said earlier, just say it a second time.

Excerpted article written by Brad Phillips, PR Daily

Brad Phillips is author of The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview. He is also the president of Phillips Media Relations, a media and presentation training firm, and blogs at Mr. Media Training, where a version of this story first appeared.

ILScorp has launched a new online course: “Secrets for Exceptional Speaking”  to meet this growing need among professionals in all industries. This online video course teaches an innovative approach to public speaking, presentations, and communication skills, using the trade-marked Hendrie Method.

7 Key Habits of Super Networkers

The ability to network successfully can be one of the greatest assets in business. It allows some people to find incredible opportunities, while others just watch from the sidelines.


Effective networking isn’t a result of luck — it requires hard work and persistence. What does it take to be a super networker? Here are seven of the most important habits to develop:

1. Ask insightful questions.
Before attending networking events, get the names of the people who are expected to attend and search social media sites like LinkedIn to figure out which topics they’re probably most interested in. For people who are already in your network, don’t assume you know everything they’re up to. Find out what they’re currently working on — or perhaps struggling with. This attention to detail can go a long way at your next one-on-one lunch or dinner meeting.

2. Add value.
One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action. If, for instance, you know someone in your network who can help a new connection with a problem, drop what you’re doing and introduce the two individuals.

3. Learn their ‘story.’
Ask successful entrepreneurs to tell you how they got where they are. Most people think of this as an exercise in rapport building, but hearing these stories can tell you a lot about a person’s approach to business. The more you understand your networking partner’s mentality, the better you can add and extract value from your relationship.

For example, some entrepreneurs pride themselves on working 16-hour days and doing whatever it takes, while others focus on being strategic and waiting for the right opportunities to open up. These are clues that can not only allow you to see what people value, but also what working with them might be like.

4. Share a memorable fact.
When someone asks, “What do you do?” don’t give a canned elevator speech about your company and career. Mention something personal that defines who you really are. Maybe you have a passion for playing an instrument or an obsession with collecting antiques. These are also “things you do,” so make it a point to share them. Such personal details can help lighten the mood and get people talking.

5. Keep a list.
What’s your routine after attending a networking event or meal? If your answer is, “I go home,” you’re probably going to miss out on opportunities. Write down important topics that came up at the event. This habit can help prevent opportunities from falling through the cracks and give you something to reference in conversation the next time you meet. You can also develop a reputation as someone who’s on top of things.

6. Make small promises and keep them.
No matter how small a promise you make — such as sending an email or returning a phone call — delivering on that promise reflects on your character. By following through on your word, you start building a reputation for trustworthiness, which is exactly how every great networker wants to be perceived.

7. Reward your ‘power’ contacts.
Keep a list of your top five to 10 networking partners and do something each week to add value to one person’s life or business. You might send them a book or set up a lunch to introduce them to one of your other contacts. This habit can help you be proactive about staying in touch with your most powerful contacts. Just as with fitness or investing, the most successful people are the ones who choose to be consistent in their actions.

Excerpted article written by Lewis Howes, Entrepreneur

How do I evaluate a job offer?

“Ask Brianna” is a Q&A column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. I’m here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans – all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about postgrad life to askbrianna?

Q: I got an offer for a full-time job. How do I decide if it’s right for me, or if the salary is fair?

A: The job hunt can feel like a decathlon: multiple contests, many competitors and one victor _ hopefully you. There are so many individual events, from the resume revamp to the post-interview thank you note, you may feel nothing but exhaustion by the time you get that congratulatory call or email.

But keep your energy up. Closely evaluating an offer can be the difference between taking a job you run to and realizing you made a huge mistake, forcing you to start the job-search process from the beginning.

Of course, you may not have the luxury of weighing multiple options. But even if you have a single offer, you can still think critically about how to make the best of the opportunity _ and whether you want to negotiate for perks you value especially highly, such as health insurance starting on day one.

After doing your happy dance, thank the hiring manager and request 24 hours to respond. Then use the following framework to assess the position from all angles.


The proposed salary will have a big effect on your day-to-day lifestyle and your future earning power, so make sure you know what you’re worth. Use resources such as PayScale or to find the average amount your role commands where you live.

Rick Sass, a career coach at Lee Hecht Harrison near Seattle, recommends having two numbers ready, ideally before the official offer comes in: the salary you want to make (say, $55,000) and a lower amount you’re willing to accept (say, $50,000, which is about the mean wage, or average salary, for 25- to 34-year-olds across all education backgrounds, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). If you haven’t already shared these salary expectations or your pay history, don’t do it just yet.

“The first person who gives a number is generally the loser,” Sass says.


Turn your attention next to employee benefits, such as health insurance and matching retirement contributions. These add up: As of September 2016, 31.4 per cent of what employers paid for the average civilian worker’s total compensation was for non-salary benefits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

Ask the hiring manager for a summary of your total package. It should include paid time off, out- of-pocket costs for health insurance and whether your company offers a retirement plan or matching contributions. Check whether there are tenure requirements to participate in any of these programs.

Consider your non-compensation priorities, too. You might want your gig to include a strong social mission, a more reasonable commute, a boss committed to mentoring you or experience working for a big-name company.

If the offer checks most of your boxes for salary, benefits and values, it’s time to negotiate.


The employer will expect you to negotiate, so don’t let nerves or a fear of seeming overbearing get in the way. If the proposed salary is lower than what you deserve, say thank you for the offer and then counter with what you believe is appropriate for your skills and experience.

If salary negotiations stall, ask instead for a non-salary benefit you value. That could be the option to work remotely one day a week or a signing bonus, Sass says.

When Camille Galles was looking for a new sales job in the digital media industry, she had four job offers. One was a startup that didn’t offer her as much in salary as the more established companies. But when she asked for a signing bonus and an additional performance-based bonus after her first 90 days on the job, the startup went for it.

Now Galles, 31, is the CEO of her own three-person digital advertising company. Weighing different job offers based not just on salary but on how much she could learn in each role helped her get where she is, she says.

“It’s really given me the fuel to stay two steps ahead of my peers.”


ILScorp Offices Are Closed for Remembrance Day

The ILScorp offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 11. Take the time this Remembrance Day to remember and honour those who have, and who continue to, make sacrifices for our country.


We’ll be back Monday morning, ready to take your calls, answer your questions and register you for online insurance programs. You can reach us from 8 a.m. – 5  p.m. Pacific Time. You can also register for our insurance training programs online, anytime, at

And for subscribers to the ILSTV insurance industry newsletter, your daily dose of Canadian insurance news returns to your inbox on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Ways to Become More Productive


Time: it’s the one thing no one will ever have enough of and many mismanage. Even if one begins their day with a “to-do” list and good intent, it’s too common a scenario to fail achieving the day’s agenda by the end of the work day. That is, unless one possesses good work ethic and self motivation.

Thankfully, being productive is a skill which can be learned. By adopting the following habits, you, too, may learn how to better utilize your resources and become more productive.

1. Have a plant on your desk

Sound silly? This latest study found that people with a plant on their desk are 40% more productive and creative. If you’re seeking a promotion or just wanting to check more items off your list, having a plant nearby will produce more oxygen, reduce stress, reduce airborne molds and bacteria in the air, and even boost your immune system.

2. Visit your goals every day

If you need constant inspiration to stay on track, make a habit of looking over your short-term and long-term goals every day. A good habit is to contemplate, plan, and visualize your goals for five minutes every morning over your breakfast or hot tea.

3. Know when to say “yes” and “no”

In order to feel accepted, many feel they need to say ‘yes’ to every request. Pride your time and abilities, and only engage in those projects which support your elite productivity.

4. Sell your T.V.

Instead of watching others and their success, use the time you’d spend in front of the silver god to invest in your own dreams.

5. Sort your relationships

If you seek success and a fulfilled, happy life, be willing to say goodbye to energy vampires. Individuals that drain your energy or constantly harp on your goals are only holding you back from realizing your unlimited potential.

6. Keep Organized

Mess creates stress. Clean it up and work in an environment that is conducive to your studies.

7. Stop Multitasking

New research confirms that distractions common in modern day living are rewiring the way the brain works. (And are dropping the average IQ by 5 points!) Choose one task to focus on and give it all of your attention.

8. Get Fit

Take care of yourself first so you can be as efficient as possible. Being in peak physical condition can create explosive energy, renew your focus, and heighten your creativity.

9. Adopt Routine

The lives of highly productive and creative men, like Thomas Edison, John Grisham, and Stephen King, follow strict daily routines. Peak productivity is not about luck, it’s about devotion. Be willing to set a schedule (get up, start work, exercise, and relax) and stick to it.

10. Work chunks at a time

Working for 90 minute blocks with a ten minute break will allow your brain’s RNA to replenish. It’s then easier to go back to your work refueled. (Spirulina, the blue-green algae, also replenishes your brain’s RNA which can make you more productive).

11. Use your commute time

If you’re spending thirty minutes traveling one way per day, in one year you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. Listen to an inspirational audiobook, podcast, or study materials while you carpool with another individual.

12. Get lost

Escape to a quiet zone where there are no distractions. Turn off your devices and let yourself create, write, plan, and create. With intense focus, you will achieve massive results.

13. Drink more water

When you’re dehydrated, it’s more difficult to think; you’ll also experience a loss of energy. Begin your day with 8 oz of water (optimally with lime or lemon juice) and boost your body’s hydration.

By adopting these habits, you’ll discover how productive life can be. Dare to dream big and accomplish the unthinkable.

By: Amanda Froelich,

Connect with ILSTV on facebook and on Twitter at @ILStv.

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