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How to Succeed as a Global Communicator


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A few weeks ago, I spoke about speechwriting and presentation skills to the Philadelphia chapter of IABC (International Association of Business Communicators).

No one in the room was a professional speechwriter.

No one in the room was a professional presenter. But all of them needed to write short remarks or make basic presentations as part of their business communication work.

More important: They recognized the global components of successful communication. Clients can come from anywhere. Vendors can come from anywhere. Employees can come from anywhere.

And social media attention does come from everywhere. I urged the attendees to think like entrepreneurs:

“Make yourselves visible in the global marketplace.”

If you’re a financial advisor, a corporate consultant, a freelance writer, a trainer, an events planner, a conference manager, a nonprofit executive (the list goes on), you need to present yourself as globally savvy.

Here are practical tips to position yourself as someone ready, willing and able to do communicate successfully in the global marketplace where we all do business:

1. If you have any foreign language skills, note them. Perhaps you only have very basic Japanese language skills – well, “very basic” is a whole lot better than “none”. Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile. Note it on your resume.

2. If your once-strong foreign language skills are getting rusty, take ten minutes a day to brush up this valuable asset. (As my Busuu app reminds me: “People with foreign language skills earn 20% more.”) Recently, I’ve been using Duolingo to get my German skills back in shape … it’s  downright amazing what can be accomplished in just ten minutes a day.

3. Did you spend your junior year abroad? Note that educational program on your resume.

4. Do you vacation in foreign countries? Your wide cultural interests have merit. (I once coached a nonprofit exec who vacationed every year in Barcelona – yet neglected to note these valuable travel experiences in any bio.)

5. Do you regularly visit family in a distant country? Your diverse life experiences (and your apparent willingness to travel!) will make you far more valuable to certain organizations.

6. Do your LinkedIn connections come from a range of countries? If not, fix that now. Make it a priority to connect with people who work in your field all around the world.

You never know where your next client, your next project, your next endorsement, your next referral, your next job will come from. Be ready.


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