Feel the Churn

One of the glories of the Internet is that we have access to an incredible store of talks by a huge range of speakers. Between social media sharing and search engines, exceptional, mind-shifting talks flit across our radar on a regular basis. This same access can make us feel that people out there are crafting…

What’s the deal with vocal fry?

I finally got off my backside and did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time – start a video component to this blog. Here it is for your viewing pleasure: the first ever (and rather rough) Up Front Communication vlog post!         I will be posting more videos here in…

Say it out loud

Yes, you sound different when you speak than when you write. The carefully massaged sentence, paragraph, or turn of phrase is unlikely to come out of your mouth in the same way that it reads on paper. Writing, reading, and unscripted speaking are all different mental processes. You can create a consistency between your spoken…

Getting it wrong can be so right

One of the most wonderful, beautiful things about live performance is the fact that there are no do-overs. Sure, you rehearsed and practised and polished and made sure that every ‘i’ was dotted and ‘t’ crossed. When it comes down to it, though, that particular performance in front of that particular audience is a one…

Heat waves and mindsets

It has been very, very hot in my hometown over the past week. People are hiding in their basements, seeking out air conditioned venues, and generally doing as little as possible.  Men, women, children, and animals alike are sticky, sweaty, itchy, and irritable. This is affecting not only how people are saying their message, but…

Shiny Topic Syndrome

“Well, yes, the talk was rough.  I needed all those notes, and I had to read from them because I thought of a much better thing to talk about at the last minute and changed the whole presentation. I didn’t have time to practice the new material.”   No, no, no, no, NO!  Naughty speaker!…

Happy announcements!

A delightful change has happened in my household!  The change was anticipated but the timing was a bit unexpected. You see, I had planned on spending the next couple of weeks getting a huge amount of housework, cooking, and writing done so that I could be “ready” for when our lovely new baby arrived. Baby…

The case for rhetoric

Oustide of miming, rhetoric could be one of the most maligned arts out there. It’s derision has become built into our language: “That argument is purely rhetorical.” “It’s all just rhetoric.” “Rhetorically speaking…” The funny thing is that most of us don’t actually understand what the word means.  We toss it around to mean arguing…

Early to rise, first to speak

I am an early riser.  Or rather, I pretend to be an early riser.   My alarm goes off at 5:05 a.m. I start drag myself out of bed with varying degrees of success. This morning I assiduously avoided hitting the snooze button, immediately hauled myself up, and staggered straight into the wall on the…