How every BODY communicates whether or not you speak.

What are you doing while you read this? Are you leaning back in your chair with your feet up on the desk?  Are you sitting up erect and tall on the edge of your seat?  Are you standing? Are you walking on a treadmill?

Just what am I saying that I’m not saying? 😉

How do you sit during a meeting that you are NOT leading?  Do you lean in toward the speaker and nod at appropriate times?  Do you smile slightly in encouragement?  Do you look at your phone that’s under the table? Are you texting someone?

Take a look at the pen you are using.  Is it something you are proud of?  Or is it some ratty thing you grabbed from the junk drawer on your way out the door – or did you have to dig to the bottom of your purse and pull out an empty container of TicTacs and a couple crumpled Kleenex before you could get to it?

Where are your eyes when you are first introduced to someone? Looking kindly and directly at their own eyes while you think about what they must be feeling?  Looking down at their shoes?  Looking down at your OWN shoes?! 😉

Are your shoes polished or scuffed?  Are your clothes sharp and appropriate? How about your hair and nails?  Clean and shiny or slightly off?

Your appearance, your posture, your expressions are your choices. Every moment of every day.  I’m not talking Top Model here, obviously.  And we don’t have to all be carbon copies of some business image stereotype.    But we can and should take responsibility for our choices.   They are sending messages to others whether we want to believe it or not.

Last summer, as I arrived to lead a presentation training session for a large group of sales managers, I noticed one woman in particular.  She was leaning back in her chair with a scowl on her face. Her arms were tightly folded across her chest.  More than unhappy, she looked downright angry.

Oh, oh,” I thought.  “This gal is going to be a challenge.

But, interestingly, this woman was, in fact, one of the most active participants of the group.  She really dug in, crafting and delivering a dynamic introduction using the methodology I taught.  After the session, I took her aside and told her I was pleasantly surprised at how engaged she was considering how off-putting her demeanor had been at the start.  She told me she had been told this before, but didn’t realize she could actively take steps to change it.

Yes, you can change.” I said, “But it will take active commitment and effort.

She departed the room walking taller and smiling at me as she waved goodbye.

Taking ownership of your appearance and your behavior are all part of being an engaging and effective communicator.

If you want the part, then you must look and act like you do.

Copyright 2015 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved. 


Why Communications should be the CORE of every business.


I am typing this from Huxleys, a cozy café in Heathrow airport that just served me a very tasty veggie breakfast.  I’m my way to Lagos to work with executives from one of the top financial institutions in West Africa.

You might wonder why I would travel all the way from my home in Cork, Ireland to Nigeria. It’s not simply because Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, it’s because these executives “GET IT.”

They understand what I confidently tell everyone:

Improving Communications, improves the bottom line for EVERY BUSINESS.”

Recently, an executive who participated in a strategic communications workshop I gave, invited me to speak at a conference geared toward tech educators.  At first, the marketing team offered some push-back saying, “but she’s not in the tech industry….”  In the strict sense, that’s true. But I do have a variety of tech-industry clients who all understand that communicating effectively crosses all industries. All geographic boundaries.

No matter what business you are in, you must communicate to sell your products or services.  I’ll give you a quick review.

1. Phone calls.

Seems too basic, doesn’t it? But how many times have you rambled when you should have been succinct?  I hear a lot from clients who work in multi-nationals – and struggle with cultural speaking styles, pronunciation, word-choice, etc.  If you’re spending time writing an email to clarify the points made during a phone call, you’re not efficiently and effectively communicating.

2. Emails.

While personal life may be through Snap Chat, Instagram and Twitter,  a lot of business correspondence is still being sent via email.   How many issues do you raise in a single email?  How are you accommodating for the fact that you’re not able to use tone of voice and body language to help get your messages across?  And unless you’re Hillary Clinton, your organization is probably able to track and archive everything you send as part of their system.  And yet, the strategy and methodology that should support these messages is practically always overlooked.

3. Meeting management.

They are still a necessary evil for most organizations, so why not purposefully create a system to make meetings run in a more smooth, effective, and dare I say it, funway? Meetings are a great way to engage people and they’re too often run in a perfunctory, going-through-the-motions way.  This can and should be addressed.

4. Internal presentations.

Notice here I specified “internal” presentations.  Professionals often make the mistake that unless they’re presenting to clients or an external audience, they don’t need to be strategic or have polish.  Wrong!  Every time you open your mouth is a chance to practice effective and engaging communication.  Your peers and colleagues see you all the time.   What do they see? How are you leading?   Internal presentations are critical for career building.  Take them seriously!

The list goes on and on and includes areas that perhaps you are accustomed to consider as “communications oriented”: Customer service,  external presentations and media relations come quickly to mind. But what about thought-leadership? Taking ownership of developing your own executive brand?

We’re so busy speaking and writing to each other, we take the art and science of “Communications” for granted.

If you think you already have it down. Think again.

Last week, as I participated in the European Tech Summit in Cork, Ireland, I was struck by how much  I learned– in spite of the lackluster delivery from too many of the presenters.

Renowned blogger and Forbes contributor, Meghan M. Biro summed it up at the conference when she said,

We’re all human.  Connect as a human and build your community from there.”

I agree.  And it takes training, time and practice.

As a veteran CNN correspondent, campaign manager and international communications consultant, it has taken me decades to become an “Expert.”  And because I understand that communications is a life-long learned skill, I am still excited about learning something new every day.

Copyright 2015 Gina London.  All Rights Reserved.

Lost in Translation. An American Business Distraction in Ireland.

 Oh. Em. Geeee! Jack and Jimmy as Gary and Nuno!!! Ha-lair-ee-ous!!


I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Ireland.  I’m drinking Irish black tea and writing a proposal to speak and train on communications for an upcoming international tech sales conference.   But then – ineffective multi-tasking alert! – I notice that my sister, who lives back home in the States, has sent me an email with a video attached.  The subject line is “Watch This Now!”  Obedient sister that I am, I do.  And Whoosh! Down the Rabbit Hole of Distraction I go.

The video is from this week’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black covering the 1990 music video “More Than Words” by Extreme.

I start laughing out loud like a mad woman.

The twenty-something barista guy is now looking over at me like, “what the heck is so funny…”  And I jump up and say …

 ME:  (still laughing) “You know that ‘More Than Words’ video?’ from that 90s band Extreme?'”

HIM:  “Er, no, not really.”

ME:  (no longer laughing) “Well, okay.. So, you know this American late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon…?”

HIM:  “Nope.  But I’ve heard of Jay Leno.”

ME:   “Yeah, Leno retired. This is the guy who replaced him..Okay, so what about the American actor, Jack Black…?”

HIM: “Oh yeah, ‘School Rock’ or whatever, right? He was funny a long time ago.”

ME: “Yeah, well, he’s still pretty funny.. And anyways, well, those guys are singing a cover of that song from Extre..… oh never mind….”

Okay… break over.  Back to work!

Lesson learned. Stay on task. Watch videos after work.

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.

Networking Takes Time – but you CAN get it right!


The young man’s message to me this morning sounded so desperate, I paused from the presentation I was preparing.

On my Facebook business page, I have hundreds of followers whom I don’t know personally.  They may have heard me speak at an EDGE Communications Seminaror found me through my website or blog or some other means.

Occasionally someone will reach out to me directly with a question or comment and I welcome that.

Today’s message really touched me,

Please, I just graduated college. I don’t have a job. I don’t have any money.  Can you hire me?”

No, I’m so sorry. I cannot.   But I remember that same feeling of  uncertainty when I was about to graduate.  I was involved in a variety of activities at Indiana University. I had decent grades.  Although I dreamed of becoming a television journalist, that was NOT the job I had lined up upon graduation. Far from it.

My first job out of school was as a classified ads receptionist for the Orlando Sentinel.  People called me to sell their couch, their car, their whatever. In today’s era of Ebay and Craigs list, this job doesn’t even exist anymore!  Eventually, I did land my dream job as a CNN correspondent. But it took time!

It’s May. Many college seniors are preparing to graduate. And like my young friend today, they too, may be looking ahead at a sea of uncertainty.

So, this is the advice I gave the earnest sounding and polite young man today and I hope it encourages you too today.

  1. Get your CV PERFECT.

Yes, every word better be spelled correctly.  Yes, the lay-out should be clean and simple. But it’s not enough to have lists and bullet points. Make your CV is the story of you. Google “Engaging resumes” and get some ideas. Whatever materials you hand out when you meet someone in person, make sure it reflects the “you” you want to be!

  1. Ask for introductions. And be “introducible!”

We’re not born understanding what “Networking” means. Some think it’s only being interviewed for a job. It’s more than that. It’s getting yourself out to places where you can meet interesting people. Join Toastmasters or attend a free meeting at BMI.  Talk to the people there. Tell them about yourself. And that means you better be able to talk about what it is you would like to be involved in. Practice what you would say about yourself. Out loud. Ask the people to whom you have been introduced to introduce you to more people. Get names and follow up. You MUST take the initiative. Not the other way around.

  1. Understand that networking TAKES TIME in the initial phase.

I moved to Ireland in September. The first place I met other grown-ups  was at my daughter’s school. I advise you not to be overly aggressive, but yes, this kind of place is most certainly one of opportunity.  So, I casually mentioned upon meeting parents, that I am a communications consultant. One parent happened to work for a large multi-national beverage company. He asked if I provided training sessions. I said, “Yes!”  We chatted a bit more and in November  I met with the training director of that organization. I submitted a proposal to provide presentation training in advance of an event in February. I did NOT get that opportunity.

But! Because, I believe, I had continued to check-in in a kind – not desperate – way, with the training director, she reached out to me again in early March about another opportunity in April. I submitted another proposal.  And, voila, this past Monday, I was delighted to work with five executives from that company.  Mind you, my initial meeting was in NOVEMBER!

  1. After the initial phase, your Networking can increase in momentum.

Since Monday, I received my training evaluations.  They were extremely positive! Each participant said they would recommend my training to others.The training director already emailed me to propose additional follow-up dates. Yey! How you handle your networking meetings and, of course, how you perform, can accelerate your momentum.

Don’t wait for a single perfect meeting.  Meet as many people as you can. If anything, it helps you practice how you present yourself and your goals.

The journey from dreaded job to dream one is rarely a fast one.    But is will pick up momentum as you make connections who help you make more connections and on and on.  Think of your network as growing waves of concentric circles. They get wider, faster as you go along.

But first, you have to work hard to drop that solid stone in the water to set the ripples in motion. The trick is to get going.

Copyright 2015 Gina London. All Rights Reserved.