Public speaking

Your Story Library

Recall the times you’ve solved problems, collaborated, exceeded expectations, handled adversity, made mistakes, made amends, set records, delivered on-time, said ‘thank you,’ and led your organizations.
 
We’ve experienced a lot, but we rarely take time to record the details and build a story library of these experiences.

Tell A Story

Thirty-five thousand years ago, in a sandy-floored cave illuminated by the flicker of fire light on the tropical island of Indonesia, a human hand reached out of the darkness and began to paint.  Animals, murals, everyday objects, still life, but all…stories.  Whether in art or oration, stories have been part of the human tapestry since the very beginning.

Stories are the epitome of effective communication.

Oral Communication and Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants, contain robust quantities of vitamins, and are a reliable source of heart-healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Despite this impressive bundle of benefits, Americans consume, on  average, less than one pound of brussels sprouts each year.
 …

Why am I talking about brussels sprouts in a newsletter on oral communication? Good question.

Pure Art! Pure Color! Pure Baseball!

In 2008, architecture firms lined up for the opportunity to pitch their plans to build a new iconic baseball stadium in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.  It was a dream contract, and firms clambered to win it.

While many of the pitches focused on design elements and amenities like a retractable roof, new-age materials, luxury boxes, enhanced concession stands, club seating, and other revenue producing features, one architecture firm took a different approach.  One firm took a winning approach.

Beginnings

The New Year is a time of optimism. Of anticipation. Of hope.  And the New Year contains this wellspring of expectation because it marks the beginning.  The beginning of something unknown.

The very first moments of a speech share much with the New Year, and like the turning of the calendar, the first thing an audience experiences sets an all-important tone.

The Roadmap

“TURN!”

I grew up before the advent of GPS, and I keenly remember my passenger’s side-seat navigation.  If we were lucky, it involved last-second commands to take a turn or change lanes.  On many occasions, however, the command came seconds too late and we were forced to make hasty u-turns, back-track, or otherwise bumble our way to the destination.  

And while GPS gave us a digital roadmap to solve this problem in our cars, many speeches and presentations still suffer from unannounced and abrupt twists and turns that leave the audience dizzy with intellectual whiplash.

Ready for the 5-Minute Meeting?

Providing co-workers critical updates and sharing novel ideas is essential to an integrated, vibrant, and productive team.  It was in the spirit of this collaboration and a testament to the “two-heads-are-better-than-one” mentality that regular intra-office meetings were born.  But with a trend toward open-office concepts with tightly regulated meeting spaces, increases in off-site employees, and a greater premium placed on efficiency, the regularly occurring 1-hour meeting is no longer a viable calendar event.[1]

Break Free From "The Box"

Last night, a steady stream of ghouls, zombies, and werewolves crawled the streets, making wild gestures to add to the believability of their characters.  Speakers looking to command similar attention and engagement from their audience must also pay attention to their hands and arms when presenting. 
This action is known as gesturing, and it is more important than you think. 

Send YOUR Signal

Whether firefly or public speaker, providing your audience with an authentic indicator of who you are is essential to your success.  Audiences are looking for signals of authenticity, and when they are missing, their internal alarms are quick to signal an imposter.

Betting On Your Business Card?

Each day, 27,000,000 business cards are printed in the United States at a total annual cost to employers in excess of $790 million dollars.[1]. Factor in the cost of professional design services, and this business expense easily surpasses one billion dollars annually.

No one ever questions this cost. ...

Inflection: Color to the Ear

The human brain can perceive over 7 million colors!

This astounding ability allows us to discern important differences between similarly colored objects; it also allows us to perceive a richer, more interesting world. 

But the visual system isn't the only sensory system that can parse out subtle differences between similar stimuli.  Our auditory system also has this exceptional ability, and it's critical to how we perceive the meaning of spoken words.

Connect to Captivate

Begin by appealing to the oldest part of your audience's brain...

You have the most critical, game-changing information on the planet to talk about, but if you don't immediately create a connection with your audience, your message will fall flat.

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