Quality of voice

There’s been a lot of flap in gender politics over the quality of voices.  Many have vehemently said that we shouldn’t judge someone based on how they sound. I agree with this.  We shouldn’t.  But expecting people to not make these judgements is about as unrealistic as the old cliche about not judging a book by…

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Are you listening?

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when working with an audience: Do you listen?  I mean it – do you really listen to what your audience is telling you? Have you turned of the internal chatter? Are you taking in what they are telling you, or are you trying to think of…

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PowerPoint is not your enemy, Prezi will not save you

  Slideshows are a contentious issue. I often hear people complaining about PowerPoints. I also hear them talking excitedly about the latest presentation software that will make any slideshow a work of art.  When Prezi came along, it was like the annunciation of Slideshow Christ. But the Prezi presentations were no better than the PowerPoint presentations…

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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…

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In politics: message vs. messenger

WARNING: this is a geek-out post. Get ready to get a dose of rhetoric! (I am so, so happy that we get to enjoy a nice, long Canadian Federal election this year! It’s like Christmas has come early and it’s going to last for two extra months.) If you’ve been following the federal election at…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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!…

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