Jul 09 2015

A voice lesson from the soccer field

Published by under Delivery

dreamstime_m_11013710I loved seeing the US team win the women’s world cup of soccer. What an amazing display of skill and strategy, and what fun! I passed by restaurants and sports bars that day, and they were full of people shouting and carrying on about the victory. But no one expressed enthusiasm about Carli Lloyd’s performance better than the commentator in this clip.

His vocalisms point out how a voice can be unique and expressive and make a much greater impact than others when one chooses an extraordinary way to say something. There are more than a dozen characteristics of sound that you can use for “vocal variety,” or inflection. This commentator used elongation of words to make his point. He also played with volume. The next time you have something important to say, say it like you mean it. And try some new ways to say what’s on your mind. It’s all about hitting your goooooooooaaaallll!

For more on this topic, please see my post, 5 Colors for Vibrant Vocal Variety

© Mikdam | Dreamstime.comSoccer Ball Photo

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Jun 26 2015

The Large Impact of Small Talk

Published by under Content,Public Speaking

If small talk at the beginning of a presentation or conversation seems like a dreamstime_m_40607260waste of time to you, you may be missing one of the most important parts of communication. You see, small talk serves a purpose beyond the sometimes-silly words we use; it sends the message that you are interested in exploring a relationship with your conversation partner or audience. It’s social rather than informational, and it’s called “phatic communication.” 

Lest you think this is a new idea, the term Phatic Communication was coined in an important essay by Bronislaw Malinowski on meaning in conversation, way back in 1923. But it may be even more important today, when building business is all about relationships. If you want to have a real conversation with someone and you DON’T include small talk, you may actually be telling the listener that something is wrong and the normal social rules have been suspended. And there goes the relationship!

Phatic communication is not just words. It’s intention, gestures and even tone of voice. The next time you plan a presentation or a conversation, be sure to ask yourself if phatic communication should be part of it. If you are not comfortable with small talk, you can find helpful hints for how to use it, please see my post, How to be an expert at conversation.

And for those rebels among you, here is a discourse on whether or not all our communication is becoming too phatic, which is why there are so many cats and dogs on Facebook.


Join me on my Facebook page (no cats), or connect on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter . I welcome any comments or questions.

© Photodeti | Dreamstime.comDogue De Bordeaux And Two Leopard Cats Photo

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