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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Subject to Fashion

Charisma comes in different flavours and styles, and absolutely experiences fluctuation in fashion.  Like most kind of fashions, the “fashionable” characteristics that make us consider one person or another charismatic are both a reflection and creation of our current culture.  Different social cultures – and I apply the term “culture” to both small groups, self-selected…

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Dipping your toes

There are two ways of dealing with a fear: either by plunging in whole-body or dipping in your toes and gradually getting in deeper. One way isn’t better than the other, and neither method is going to apply to one person all of the time. That being said, I find that when it comes to…

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