Public speaking and the effort to find your ‘voice’

The hardest thing for most speakers to develop is not a new speech, or even their charisma, but rather their own uniqueness. Most people take years finding out what makes them individually special — the one thing that they can do, or see, or understand that is theirs alone.

That is what public speaking coach Nick Morgan calls “voice.” Alas, it is rare and elusive. In a recent blog post, Morgan offers a set of questions public speakers should ask themselves to help push the process forward and help you discover that “voice” sooner than later.

Click here to read his take on the subject.

Mike Consol teaches public speaking, PowerPoint presentation skills and business writing workshops to companies and business professionals. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 925-449-1040.


Have an offensive (rather than defensive) mindset when presenting

Years ago, when Carol Bartz was the CEO of Yahoo, a presentation coach was working with one of their executives. The coach asked him, “What do you think about when you’re on stage?” He said, “I’m just thinking about Carol. She’s in the front row and if she’s happy, I’m happy.” That’s a defensive mindset. So, the presentation coach said, “Don’t think about one person, think about the other 999 people that are in the audience — what do they need to do? Where do they need to go? Help them understand the why and lean into them to do it. If you do that … (click on headline to continue reading)

How your organization can benefit from a writing center

March 06, 2017 | Writing

Billions of dollars are lost by the business community every year in lost productivity. That is a lesson that was not lost on the leadership at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, as detailed in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post. It is the story of how a group of bank examiners at the Philadelphia Fed hired a writing coach to improve the bank examiners’ writing by focusing on ways to make it more efficient and succinct, streamline the review process, and generally make the documents clearer and more effective. Specifically, a writing center was opened to, something unusual for the corporate world but common at colleges and universities. Coaching sessions at the Philadelphia Fed writing center typically have two goals: 1) to improve the specific document being edited and, 2) train the writer in better techniques so his or her writing improves over time. The upshot: The percentage by which employees’ writing skills improved was … (click on the headline to continue reading)

Choppy prose — and the most common writing mistakes you don’t want to make

February 28, 2017 | Writing

K.M. Weiland — a fighter, a writer, and the award-winning internationally published author of the bestselling books Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel —  has some opinions about achieving a lean, lyrical style. It’s an art form all its own, she says, just ask Ernest Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy. But, she says, authors need to be aware of the difference between lean prose and choppy prose — and learn to avoid the latter. She uses about 600 well-chosen words to ... (click the headline to continue reading)

Free online storytelling lessons offered by the masters at Pixar

The storytelling series from the movie-makers at Pixar will cover six main parts that take you from the formation of your rough idea to actually creating storyboards. Each lesson features videos and activities, so this is something you can do on your own or as part of a class. Here are the six sections to be covered as outlined in the introductory video in lesson one ... (click on the headline to continue reading)

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