Do not change the begining

We learn at Icebreaker, at Toastmasters, and it is told again and again, the golder rule (one of many): do not change the beginning and the end, even it you last minute think you found a better one.

At rehearsal, yesterday, I did change the beginning, going against the rule I knew so well. It went downhill from there. Sometimes, the rules have solid reasons to be there.


Richard James on the Power of Pause

Marlow TM Meeting-11Richard James workshop on use of voice, at All Saints Church Hall in Marlow. A great lesson for all of us, but a long journey for me. He took us through relaxing exercises, then through different use of voice and how much one can alter the meaning just by inflection speed volume and tone. Then, some of us read a poem.

The most important lesson learned is how much we can hold the audience in our hand by prolonging a pause.

"And they like being held in suspense, leaning forward, physically or mentally." And he did demonstrate it. Indeed. What a great actor!

"You can prolong it more, it does seem longer to you then to them."


Use a story, show vulnerability & have a point

If you want to build a connection with your audience, as Steve Jobs did, follow his techniques.
  1. Share your vulnerabilities. They leader does not always have to be perfect. If they are seen as always perfect then they will be out of reach to the audience
  2. Tell stories. People love stories and will bond with them. Telling stories is the key to engaging your audience
  3. Have a point to the stories. Every time you tell a story you need to have a point to it. The audience will remember your story and the point that goes along with it.
So well expressed on Darren Fleming's blog, but it is what so many books express these days nowadays, too and I completely believe in.

Sally has given a speech two weeks ago at the Lewisham Speakers club that illustrated in fact all that. She told a story about herself, her vulnerability and had a great point "just do it" and she delivered it with great maestro too.


How to answer to difficult people/questions

Steve Job, coming back to Apple, had to make difficult choices. Here is how he answered to a rather difficult question from a very unhappy developer.
We had an interesting Workshop at London Toastmasters Conference and Contest the 15th of October, 2011 (yesterday) addressing how to handle difficile audience. Other ideas will follow but this speech from Steve Jobs, in 1997 is a great example of how to answer.

Humor : Exagerate / Drama : Be subtle

Hamming it upAs you get more experienced and start to get in the swing of telling stories and acting them out, it gets tempting to ham it up. Once I decided to act out the drama I have in my head about people being able to see that I’m nervous as I’m giving a presentation.  The more I ham it up, the more people laugh.  But there are other situations where hamming it up has no effect at all on the audience. The distinction between these two situations had eluded me.

Doug Stevenson had the answer:
    Humor is big, drama is small

When you want people to laugh exaggerate. But when you want to portray emotion, think Colin Firth – be subtle.


It is important to make books

Prepare books either to print them or make them available for printing on web. No one will make you seem "pro" if you will not. So make your own work known.

This will accompany my Stand Up Comedy Showcase, so it is meant to have a comic impact. TODAY MY TWO BOOKS ARRIVED, ok, so there are three photos three time in it, but in all it is a fun book and I can change for the next time those and also add some text.


Speak to their emotions

Short video send by Darren La Croix from Las Vegas a two minute tip (to apply and ponder longer) - and so true, too: instead of telling facts, provoke their emotions from the start.


If there was a Competent Communicator... Steve Jobs was

Still difficult to write "was" for me, instead of "is" but in this videos he comes alive for us again. There are 11 of them, I watched through all this morning.