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Jan 30 2015

Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: Your speech needs a blizzard

Published by under Content

Designed to help you stay in the game, this is your weekly tip sheet for having maximum impact with your voice and in all your communication.

What does the weather report have to do with your next presentation?


A recent article in the New Yorker by science writer Maria Konnikova suggests that bad weather like Storm Juno is still some of the most interesting news around.  Obviously. But why? Because bad weather is risky business. Risk-taking  is a hark back to our primitive roots, when it was a necessity that had great rewards…like food…and it makes us all emotional.  Similarly, people love a good obstacle in a story.  And the bigger the obstacle the more we like it.  Business people don’t always get this, and too often business stories, especially case studies, only tell the good news and how successful the project/company/product was. A story without an obstacle fails to capture the hearts and minds of the audience.  And since emotion and memory are connected in the brain, the story is not memorable.  Conversely, a good story with a good problem to solve will be repe


ated by others, which is what you want.

The next time you tell a story, follow these three points to create a blizzard of your own that reaches your audience’s hearts and minds:

1. Find the hurdle you had to jump over in order to find an answer and talk it up before you give the resolution.

2. Use adjectives and adverbs to add emotional pull to the story. (Color words)

3. Match the intensity of your delivery to the intensity of your words.

 And practice it all aloud several times.

For more on this topic, please see my post,  The Storyteller’s Voice is Everyone’s Business 

Please “like” Kate’s Voice on Facebook, connect on Linked-In , or follow me on Twitter. I welcome any comments or questions. And if you’d like to be on my weekly tip and info list, please send me a note via my contact form.
photo credit: Wouter de Bruijn via photopin cc

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Jan 16 2015

Vocal Impact Weekly Tip: Question your own authority

Published by under Miscellaneous

small_2123376519Research has shown that the best way to stick to a plan is to be self-interrogative rather than self-affirming. In other words, new year’s resolutions don’t really work by themselves unless you examine your resolve. You need to question what you are doing and be willing to study your own behavior.  I find it interesting to learn that one of my favorite blogs, Lifehacker, has a post focused on using the Socratic Method when you are in an argument with someone; you can diffuse the heat of the argument by asking questions rather than giving answers (or excuses!) This one is not exactly science, but makes a lot of sense nonetheless.

Is it a surprise that the best plans and conversations take thoughtful consideration?  This is called “inquiry,” and it is a terrific tool to bring to interpersonal communication because it increases understanding and opens doors to innovation.  Here are three more ways that inquiry can help you improve your communication:

 1. Some people get nervous about meeting new people.  Remember that everyone’s favorite topic is talking about himself or herself.  Be the one to ask questions about the other one and you will be their new best friend.

2. The next time you don’t understand someone’s actions, don’t assume anything.  Inquire.

3. When you need someone else to learn something, use inquiry to guide them to an answer.  (Think, “What would Socrates do?”) You might learn something, too!

For more on this topic, please see my post “3 Essential Ingredients of Meaningful Conversations.”

Please visit to learn about an organization that is using inquiry to improve education.

And here’s an organization that is using inquiry to change the way we talk to each other: The Center for Appreciative Inquiry

photo credit: Fred Seibert via photopin cc

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