The Winning Voice

Category Archive - Practical ‘how-to’ techniques/ideas

How to walk, so you don’t get mugged

In the book Race: How Blacks And Whites Think and Feel About The American Obsession, by oral historian Studs Terkel, there is a quotation on p. 39 from an Afro-American man named Julian Jefferson. Here is the quotation: ‘I’ve never had any run-ins with the police. I credit that to my mother. I’ve known people that walk down the street and the police throw them against the wall and frisk them.

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Handling a ‘glass half-empty’ colleague

It’s a constant battle to get him on the same wavelength as me . . . he’s a glass half-empty guy. When I’m running a project with him, it’s never good enough. Recently, an executive friend shared the above thoughts in relation to a peer he had to regularly work with. Below are planning and handling ideas for this matter.*

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Owning a scene – James Spader

‘If you wish me to weep, you must first show grief yourself’. Horace. Top performing actors – own scenes. James Spader is one actor who does this over, and over again. In relation to the Horace quote, Spader can make the characters he portrays, feel an emotion deeply. And that feeling is realised in compelling, believable performances.

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Vivid Presentations 101

‘If we do these things, we won’t end up like this’ A number of years ago, at one of my client’s off-site conferences, I was in the audience during the Managing Director’s opening keynote presentation. During the presentation the MD said ‘If we do these things, we won’t end up like this’ – while displaying on the presentation screen, a carcass on a butchers block with a chef’s knife lodged in…

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‘Rolling their eyes’ – Foreign English speaker

‘How do I handle this situation? I have a regular teleconference with members of my team which includes a person – of Bulgarian background – who calls into the conference from a remote location. The thing is, is that this person’s pronunciation of English is mediocre at best. I have to keep on saying “sorry”, because I can’t understand him, to the point where I feel I may be embarrassing…

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‘I consider everything I compose . . .

‘I consider everything I compose a gift.’ Keith Emerson. This week, the focus is on practical techniques to ‘compose’ your presentations. What if, like Emerson, you considered every presentation you composed, a gift for your audience? If you did, wouldn’t you put more care into the composition of the gift, so it was well received?

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Too busy to be present in the moment

As this is the fourth week of the month, the focus is on giving ideas and strategies for challenges that my clients and prospective clients have shared with me. The challenge one executive recently shared was this: ‘I had so much on my plate I was too busy to be in the moment’.

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Power is like scissors, because . . .

Power is like scissors, because if you’re not careful with power, it can cut people to bits. The focus this week is on practical ways of making your language richer, memorable and less stale. The sentence above – which I heard a number of years ago and still remember – uses the literary devices of ‘similie‘ and ‘contrast‘.

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How to Communicate upwards

Recently when I asked a client what was the biggest communication challenge they had in the last seven days, the client said, ‘Communicating upwards.” With the change in direction of my blog, the fourth week of the month (ie. this week) will focus on a challenge my clients have shared with me, and ideas and techniques on how to address that challenge.

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