From the Speech Revolution blog: Sharing strategies and methods for making compelling business pitches, powerful presentations and engaging speeches. Creating action through energy and presence.

Your Voice in Focus Part 3: A new online reality

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Getting ready to ‘Join’
‘Champions keep playing until they get it right.’  - Billie Jean King
In Part 1 we talked about keeping your voice healthy.  In Part 2, we discussed getting your mind and body ready so that you convey what you want.  Before you click ‘Join’, ‘Start’, or ‘Play’ let’s have a tech rehearsal and discuss mechanics. 
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Your Voice in Focus - A New Online Reality, Part 1

Posted on Thursday, April 02, 2020

Ahem… Caring for the voice during cold and allergy season
Given the high stress we’ve all been experiencing lately, I thought it might be nice to step away from Covid-19 and talk about something normal, even fun and light-hearted in comparison like the Spring cold and allergy season.  Spring is definitely in the air, and with it, alot of discomfort for many. 
With so many w... More ›

Perfection Paralysis

Posted on Wednesday, October 02, 2019

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi Perfectionism, it sounds like such a noble aim doesn’t it?  Yet whether we’re working with or under a perfectionist, or dealing with our own perfectionism, it can be crippling.  When I’m helping public speakers manage nerves, perfectionism often comes up in the co... More ›

Our Audience – Friend or Foe?

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2019

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.”  Albert Einstein
Homework for actors in a play or musical often begins by clearly defining his/her relationship with every other character on stage.  Do I like, love, hate, respect, admire, or loathe this person, and how does he or she feel about me?  De... More ›

The Biggest Public Speaking Game-Changer is Nothing New – or Is It?

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2018

Let’s first assume that you know your content really well and now want people to fully  appreciate all the hard work that went into creating it.  We’ve all heard the buzz words ‘personal presence’ and ‘the power of the pause’, and for good reason.  But what’s underneath our ability to bring these things about and manage the moment is taking time to breathe... More ›

Broad-Shouldered Leadership - aka - A Narrative for Neanderthals

Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Since President Trump's Congressional Address last week, I heard Vice President Mike Pence in several interviews put 'great leader' and 'broad shoulders' in the same sentence.  He received a lot of attention around this 'broad-shouldered leadership' narrative during the presidential campaign last fall.  People noticed, and wondered if it was subtle or implicit messaging to stimulate unco... More ›

Clarity Begins with Simple Steps

Posted on Thursday, January 07, 2016

Musicians practice scales. Prima ballerinas work at pliés, over and over. Discovering and rediscovering the basics is never a waste of time. When trying to improve your accent and speech, it can be tempting to try to move forward too fast. If you focus on practicing the basics, you’ll make better progress.
Grammar First
Sentence structure — putting verbs, nouns, and adje... More ›

Public Speaking for Introverts Part 2 - Presentation Prep

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If you think of yourself as an Introvert, or if you're anyone who falls into the category of “fears public speaking more than death,” you probably know you’re not alone. Many people find it intimidating and distracting to speak before a crowd, and are more comfortable expressing their thoughts in writing, where they can take their time and think things through. But the beautiful piece ... More ›

Huh? Addressing the Challenge of Heavy Accents

Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014

When I tell people I help non-native English speakers to become better communicators, I often get this response -- “There’s this guy I work with … How do I tell him I can’t understand him without insulting him, or coming across as condescending?”   Communication BreakdownPeople often won’t say anything about a heavy accent because they think it’s too sensitive a topic and that n... More ›

The Alchemy of Performance Practice

Posted on Monday, April 28, 2014

Bill Treasurer, Courage Guru and former member of the US High Diving Team, was a high-school swimmer when his coach saw an opportunity to get him a college scholarship -- by taking his effortless dive and moving it up. Way, way up. The problem was, Bill was afraid of heights. So they agreed to move the diving board up just one foot. Bill was scared to death, but he dove from that height a hundred ... More ›

Fear Hates Focus

Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“Fear hates focus,” says Carey Lohrenz, and she should know. Carey is the first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot in the US Navy (roar). I heard her speak at a conference recently, and as you can imagine, she spoke with authority about how to function flawlessly in the face of fear and stress. While accelerating to Mach 2 speed and experiencing 4G’s, she said, feels like four times your body ... More ›

Your Voice in Focus Part 2: A New Online Reality

Posted on Thursday, April 09, 2020

Life as a Baguette
From my work in France over the past few years, I have been delighted to understand that when the French invented the baguette, they made it in their own image. Often a bit hard and crusty on the outside, yet soft and melty on the inside.  Both to be fully appreciated.  Sometimes we are the baguette, sometimes others, each requiring a different amount of work depe... More ›

Does Your Voice Match Your Message? - a Holiday recipe for success

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

“If Music be the Food of Love, Sing On” – H. Heveningham adapted from William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
It’s amazing what you can do with butter, flour, sugar and eggs.  The combinations seem endless.  Yet a different mixture of the same ingredients could be the difference between what gets eaten up or left on the table.  Like food, music and... More ›

Thinking that the Think System is good enough on its own? Think again.

Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2019

In Meredith Willson’s 1957 Broadway hit “The Music Man” (in which I was lucky enough to have a leading role eons ago), a traveling salesman comes to small-town Iowa posing as a band director to scam parents out of money for uniforms and instruments.  Without any plans to do any actual teaching, Harold Hill convinces them that he’s legitimate by explaining his revolutionary... More ›

This Daily Buzz Kill Has A Twist

Posted on Saturday, January 26, 2019

There is an app called WeCroak whose mission is to help you ‘find happiness by contemplating your mortality’.  Five times a day at random times (just like death),  the app will send you a message that says “Don’t forget, you’re going to die…”  and then lets you open a quote  about mortality for contemplation. 
You might be saying – Wo... More ›

The Art of the Intro

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Part of my role as a board member with the Association for Talent Development is to introduce speakers at chapter meetings.  Once, in a multi-chapter event, the President of the other organization (who I'd just met), decided at the last minute that she was going to introduce me.  She pulled old information from the internet five minutes before show-time and presented a profile of me that... More ›

Falling Forward

Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I’m crammed into a small plane with three other people, I have no idea how high we are, but definitely too high to feel safe.
One of the instructors releases the latch on the door, letting it fly open in the wind. Newport and the bay, usually so beautiful and serene, suddenly look threatening from this vantage point. It doesn't help that the instructor strapped to my back has a jumpsuit wit... More ›

Public Speaking for Introverts Part 3 - SHOWTIME!

Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

By now you’ve crafted and practiced your message in a down-to-earth, user-friendly, conversational style and It’s Show Time!  But be prepared -- despite all that practice and your hard-won confidence, you could still experience a physical anxiety response, just as you prepare to step out and face an audience. What happened to that relaxed, ready, well-prepared feeling?
That feeling ... More ›

Public Speaking for Introverts - Part 1

Posted on Sunday, June 14, 2015

Speaking in public is stressful for just about everyone, but for those who think of themselves as introverts, it can also feel like pressure to act like someone they're not, and don't really want to be -- an extrovert.   We all know those people who are born to the spotlight, who crave attention, who are naturally outspoken and gregarious. Perhaps that’s not you, but you have something... More ›

Sound is Touch at a Distance

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014

I heard that once, on the radio, and it stuck. It's so true -- We don’t just hear sound, we feel it. Sound doesn't just trickle into our ears, it goes straight to our guts -- and that visceral reaction communicates a myriad of messages, whether we mean it to or not.   Picture yourself stuck in traffic, loud music blaring from the car next to you. Or sipping coffee at a sidewalk café, when ... More ›

Laughter Makes You Smarter -- And More Effective

Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's helpful, according to humorist Dave Barry, that “TV news personalities make sad faces for sad stories and happy faces for happy stories." Otherwise, he says, we wouldn't know how we're supposed to feel. He might have been joking, but it's often true that a speaker's expressions and tone are key to audience response. For instance, is a 17% change in your numbers awesome news? Does it reflec... More ›

Uncovering Personal Presence

Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When you think about people with enormous presence, who comes to mind? Nelson Mandela?  Hillary Clinton?  Morgan Freeman?  Who in your personal life has presence and why? 
In his book “Living Presence,”  Kabir Helminski describes it this way: “Presence is the way in which we occupy space, as well as how we flow and move. Presence shapes our self-image and e... More ›