The Professional Communicators

Ace It!

After you draft your resume, write your cover letter, and submit your application for your dream job, next comes the interview.  It’s in this unique setting of interpersonal communication that you have the best opportunity to differentiate yourself and take the next step in your career development.

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.

The Kitchen Sink

Maybe your kitchen sink looked like mine when I was single--full of every plate, pan, utensil, and glass.  When I caught a glimpse of it, I would feel frustrated and overwhelmed. To escape that distress, I would just avoid it.  But it’s not just the kitchen sink that can get overloaded; presentations can also get packed with everything from the speaker's proverbial kitchen, and when they do, audiences get overwhelmed and tune out.

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.

Get Together!

If you win this work, it will be a game-changer!  

It’s a huge account, and you’ve made it to the final round of selection.  All you need to do is ace the presentation to land this life-changing client.  Because of the job’s size and scope, the presentation requires contributions from a large and diverse number of people from different divisions of your project team. Everything is riding on your team’s presentation.

The only thing you have to FEAR IS...

Everyone has heard the claim that individuals fear public speaking more than death, and while this declaration seems a bit far-fetched, surveys support the idea.[1]

Scientifically, fear of public speaking is called glossophobia (glōssa meaning tongue) and it affects upward of 74% of Americans.[2]

So whether public speaking is truly on par with death or not, the reality is that anxiety prevents millions of people from capitalizing on the power of public speaking…

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.

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