Everything that’s old…

Up-cycling, reusing, re-purposing, refinishing, and other activities that take old things and polishes them up into something newly relevant are very, very hot at the moment.   This surge of interest in making use of well-worn objects can be chalked up to a number of factors: frugality movements, tough economies and lower disposable incomes, environmentalism, and…

Muscle madness

Old Spice: the bodywash that makes my husband stink like a dog in a swamp but that has one of the best advertising departments ever. Here’s one of their latest interactive internet ads.  I’m not even going to try to cleverly tie this to a communication quip.  All I can say is that it made me…

The chatty chameleon

It helps to be a bit of a social and verbal chameleon.  Matching your language, demeanor, and expression to the expectations of your audience is generally a good thing. Adapting yourself to your audience is not about abandoning your personal style or changing your message to suit someone else’s expectations.  It’s about increasing your personal…

But how does it sound?

Voice quality is a very, very important thing.  A beautifully timbered voice can make the foolish sound clever.  A juvenile, chirpy tone can make the experienced professional seem like an vacuous twit. And a well-placed voice over can turn a touching scene into this: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfAww-6X2Ig&w=420&h=315] This is an old video, but I laugh myself…

Fear-based communication

How many messages do you encounter in a day?  Discounting the ones that come from your own head (and lord knows those can be interesting), how many bits of info do you process on a daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute basis? Let’s dig a little deeper: how often do you consider the tone of those…

I can has poker face?

Control over your facial expressiveness is a boon.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the ability to let your face show people what you want when you want is worth many, many hours of embarrassing practice in front of your bathroom mirror. The importance of this skill is demonstrated beautifully by Denver…

Channeling Tom Cruise

Today’s dose of Friday Fun comes courtesy of Miles Fisher and his promo for Superhero Movie. I use emulation activities with my clients as a way of recognizing other people’s signature speaking quirks and then using that knowledge to recognize and develop their own signature style.  A big part of these exercises involve figuring out the emotional…

Charisma matters

I’ve spent most of the past week flat on my back fighting a vicious sinus infection.  Unable to string together a single coherent sentence in written or spoken word, I settled for laying on the couch watching lousy television and feeling sorry for myself. Much of that layabout time was spent watching old episodes of the…

Smile, damn you, smile!

I have and will always maintain that a weapon every speaker should carry around in their arsenal is the ability to fire up a genuine beaming smile on demand. Actually, scratch that statement.  Everyone, speaker or no, should learn how to smile on cue.  And by smile, I mean the sort of eye-crinkling, cheek raising…