Your audience doesn’t know everything that you know

I was at a convention this weekend, and while in the venue’s public bathroom I heard someone say something really familiar: “I don’t know what I’m going to stay on the panel. I don’t know why I said I’d do this. I’m going to start babbling and everyone there will think I’m an idiot.” So…

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Guest Post: Accent Modification

Today I’m bringing you a new feature of my blog: special posts written by guests with unique communication expertise. This post was written by Lynda Katz Wilner of Successfully Speaking. Lynda’s full bio and links to her work can be found at the end of this post.  Enjoy!   When is an Accent a Problem? Most…

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Junk Food for the Content Monster

If you are trying to get yourself out there and get noticed, you need to give people something to see. It doesn’t matter if the thing you craft is code, art, words, or something else. People need to see what you are doing if they are going to respond. This is especially true if your…

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Pages from kid’s books

Reading out loud is one of the best ways to get in speaking practice. Whether you’re working on diction, expression, breath work, or something else, grabbing some reading material makes practice a lot easier than taxing your brain trying to come up with original content.   Just about anything can be fodder for your speaking…

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Headspace / Workspace

For years, my primary workspace was a desk in an office.  For a few brief, shining months, I even had my own office with a door!   At all of these jobs, I had quite a bit of time to twiddle my thumbs and work on my own projects. It should have been perfect: I…

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Small Risks

Habit and confidence. These are the friends of anyone who wants to do something extraordinary. They are also the most high-maintenance friends you could ever imagine having. Neither of them simply appear out of thin air. If they did, we wouldn’t be so interested in exceptional people. Even those we know who seem to naturally…

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Fit to Speak

Speaking is physically exhausting.  This is something most people I work with find surprising.  Some training sessions leave people breathless and hearts racing. “Why am I so tired afterwards?” they ask.   I assure them that it isn’t because they are completely out of shape (most of them aren’t).   It’s because speaking takes a…

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The Gap Game

I remember when the Gap clothing store opened its first shop in my city.  There was a lot of excitement about this place. People told a lot of stories about the experience of shopping there. They’re obsessed with customer service! The clerks wore headsets and radios so they could talk to each other! They’ve got…

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Tangent killer

Tangents are changeable creatures.  They’re fun in casual conversation, leading us down rabbit holes of conversation.  Eventually someone asks “how did we get on this topic?”  Laughter ensues. In professional settings, they are deadly.  When there is a point and a purpose to a conversation, telling people that you are about to go on a…

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Communicating and Receiving

There are always at least two people involved in a conversation: the communicator – the person doing the talking, and the receiver – the person doing the listening.* These roles usually switch frequently during the conversation, but they’re always there. Both roles have a huge amount of power. I generally believe that the receiver has…

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