Apr 29 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: How to toast with the most

Published by under Content

Last minute prep for the unprepareddreamstime_m_52033903

It’s a beautiful wedding and you’re an esteemed guest. Lucky for you, the best man has suddenly come down with laryngitis, and since you are the best guest you’ve been asked to say a word or two in a toast. How do you quickly get your thoughts together so that you don’t sound like the village idiot? Here are three ways to organize your thoughts on the spot and come off sounding like a pro.

  1. Get clear about your intention (to entertain, inspire, reminisce, advise, etc.) Get ready to state that and follow it with a story about the happy couple that illustrates your intention.
  2. Think of a question, such as what is a marriage? Or what do these two have in common? or what do I know about them that the audience might find inspiring? Get ready to ask that question followed by 3 points that answer the question.
  3. Another approach comes from an article in Fast Company by Annet Grant. She advises us to talk about the audience, explain why you’re gathered together, and talk about the future. Get ready to state three short phrases about each.

Whatever approach you choose, remember that such times are important. They bring us closer together in a common experience of humanity. Embrace the opportunity and take the time to find a corner to practice aloud for 5 minutes. Then go out there with a smile and gratitude that you’ve been asked to be the spokesperson for a celebration of life.

For more on this topic, please see my post, To Find Your Voice You Have to Use It

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© Jrabelo | Dreamstime.comA Champagne Toast Photo





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Apr 22 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: 3 Steps and an Awesome Guest Post

Published by under Executive Presence

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-capoeira-woman-awesome-stunts-outdoors-image42091617This week, Prezi published a guest post of mine on their blog. For those of you who don’t know what Prezi is, it’s the latest and greatest presentation software. If you like TED talks, Prezi is that “slide show” that moves in and out and around on the screen, almost feeling like you’re looking into a patient on House. My post is called 3 Steps to a Delivery as Awesome as Your Prezi (and that’s not another medical reference!) You can imagine that I start with Intention and move on to alignment with content and delivery, but I focus on the fact that if you have exciting visuals, you need content and delivery that is a worthy match for those visuals. Otherwise, you will be just another pretty deck.

The alignment of intention, content, and delivery is the key to ANY presentation that rocks, even if you’re using plain old PowerPoint. Here’s a quick refresher to get that going for yourself:

  1. Create a statement of intention (purpose) for your presentation, complete with what you want the audience to do as a result of your preso.
  2. Use that statement as a filter for your content, eliminating anything that doesn’t fit with it and limiting your talk to 3 big ideas.
  3. Practice, practice, practice. And as you practice, find meaning in the words you say and connect that meaning to emotions and stories that evoke images and feelings from your audience.

For more on this topic, please see this post on this blog, Get it Together.

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