I will be updating this site soon!

Over the last year or two, the focus of my work has been POLITICAL ACTION, and of course public speaking is an important part of that process. In previous posts from a few years ago, I was TRANSITIONING from education to politics and got off target. I do not want to lose the public speaking course that I used very successfully for years, but I will separate that (and delete things that do not apply to the new focus) as I find it.

Thank you for your patience, and please contact me at SpeakerMentors@gmail dot com, if you wish to get help with PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL ACTION.

Epiphany on the Value of Communication Skills

I own my own time. I am retired with a modest income that meets my needs and desires. I can share my time and my ideas as I desire and I am willing to help others in ways that make mutual sense. Improving communication skills is something I discovered over years of terror at the thought of standing in front of an audience to speak.

If I Knew then… Communication is more than words.

  • Concept: Record Thoughts, Considerations, Questions, Methods and Skills to Accomplish it.
  • List: Search for others who Share the Goal or Complementary or Supplementary Goals.
  • Content: Acquire Cultural, Political, and Scientific Knowledge and Opinions/Methods
  • Evaluation: Devise Time and Methods for Group and/or Self-Evaluation and Goal Setting
  • Collaboration: Are You a Valuable Member of a Group as well as an Interesting Individual?
  • Product: Physical, or Digital? Research/Coaching/Curation–(21st Century Plastic)

The following is a mind experiment for what I would do if I were 16 years old now and had the business, education, social and political information that I have acquired over 64 years of active inquiry and the ability to communicate with others. 

We will discuss more about the points above, but for now it is important to develop the mindset of preparing for likely obstacles and thinking about safety plays (those little tricks that usually don’t make a difference, but they don’t cost you anything, and when they do make a difference, you are really glad you developed the habit.)

It is critical to have some savings that you can use in case of emergency if at all possible. Try to have a friend you can visit if things get hard to handle, and be sure to offer hospitality in return whenever possible. Pay it forward is a new phrase for an old concept…one that is great to revive at any time.

What happens if your parents or family is unable to contribute or has extra costs for care or living? Are you looking at friends and family as intruders or as allies? What you expect, you are more likely to get. With the internet and once or twice a week outings, I cannot imagine anything that I would be missing outside my home. So it sounds like I could share a car with two other people with similar light needs, or with one other person who had scheduled needs for workdays and shopping. In America today (and it is changing rapidly) Most adults in the past had a near rite of passage to own a car. In large cities with good transportation facilities, many people do not even have driver’s licenses, but in Phoenix, AZ it is a real hassle not to have a car and hell without a driver’s license if you have to get a job, or cannot walk or ride a bike for half a mile or less in summer.

If you are becoming an active participant in life, you are probably happily running through a list of things you can look at differently in the morning.

Concept: Record Questions and Answers

Principles for Successful Economic and Educational Collaboration

  • Concept: Record Thoughts, Considerations, Questions, Methods and Skills to Accomplish it.

When you are developing a project, get out the video camera or webcam and record yourself THINKING about your topic…just talk stream of consciousness…totally stress free…ask yourself questions and answer them…until you have run out of all thoughts…jabber or mumble for a while if you have a hard time getting started.

Let your brain roam free and let your body and arms, hands, fingers and expressions follow freely…then with the camera still running…write down all the ideas that seem useful. Your goal is to come up with an idea for research, coaching or curation of someone or something and the camera helps keep your focus on ideas and not just trying to catch them all on paper before they disappear.

This is not the time for EVALUATION, only IDEAS

Next step…List Building

  • List: Search for others who Share the Goal or Complementary or Supplementary Goals.
  • Content: Acquire Cultural, Political, and Scientific Knowledge and Opinions/Methods
  • Evaluation: Devise Time and Methods for Group and/or Self-Evaluation and Goal Setting
  • Collaboration: Are You a Valuable Member of a Group as well as an Interesting Individual?
  • Product: Physical, or Digital? Research/Coaching/Curation–(21st Century Plastic)

List: Search to Share Ideas and Goals

Principles for Successful Economic and Educational Collaboration

  • List: Search for others who Share the Goal or Complementary or Supplementary Goals.

Now is the key to a successful collaboration. Find and offer to assist others who share your interests OR who complement (add to your Core Goal) OR supplement (add to Similar Topics) your goal.

Join FB groups, or go to Google Hangouts, join a MOOC or a Fanzine or YouTube channel…Tweet or Link or Hang or Post wherever you might find others who can help you, or who need your help.

Learn some skills and techniques you all can use and that brings us to the next Principle for Successful Economic and Educational Collaboration.

Next step…Content:

  • Concept: Record Thoughts, Considerations, Questions, Methods and Skills to Accomplish it.
  • List:
  • Content: Acquire Cultural, Political, and Scientific Knowledge and Opinions/Methods
  • Evaluation: Devise Time and Methods for Group and/or Self-Evaluation and Goal Setting
  • Collaboration: Are You a Valuable Member of a Group as well as an Interesting Individual?
  • Product: Physical, or Digital? Research/Coaching/Curation–(21st Century Plastic)

Stage Fright is Real, but we can help!

 

You might have STAGE TERROR!

You might have STAGE TERROR!

CLICK ON IMAGE To ENLARGE.

One simple exercise will help you overcome that terror and start gaining confidence in your gestures, your stage presence and your smile!

Before you start, let me explain why you fail. In front of an audience, you are trying to do two things (or more) at once and your brain is refusing to cooperate. By being afraid, you activate the most primitive part of your brainstem that lizards used millions of years ago to maximize their chance of escape from predators.

That response takes away every bit of power that you have to concentrate on anything except FIGHT OR FLIGHT. You really lose the ability to do anything else! No wonder choke situations get avoided whenever possible, but avoidance sometimes only delays things and makes them worse. If you are committing to learning public speaking, give yourself a chance. It won’t be immediate, but it will improve. Your goal is to prepare your gestures and your smile so that you can concentrate on your topics and not on your smile.

Multi-Tasking is NEVER real…What we call multitasking is really SWITCH-TASKING very quickly. Sure it is possible to walk and talk at the same time, but that is because walking is something we have done since we were about one year old in most cases. When was the last time you had to THINK about walking ? I can tell you…it is when the sidewalk was icy or wet or the stairs or ladder were really steep, and you had to pay attention! When you did think about your walking, you didn’t chat with anyone and you didn’t sing or listen to any radio either! You focused all your attention on getting off that slippery patch before you fell down hard.

Let’s take that and apply it to Public Speaking…So you get up on stage and have to think about your speech and you haven’t developed habitual gestures and you panic. All your concentration fled from your prepared speech and was focused on how to get off that stage or beat up anyone who tried to talk to you!

You really don’t know if your smile looks like the top picture or the bottom one below:

AND YOU DON’T CARE if you aren’t prepared…you just want to get finished and get off that stage and back to safety…How do I know? I was there (on more than one occasion) Standing in front of an audience was almost always followed by breaking into tears for me! Now an audience is always welcome.

gestures2          smileted

So spend a little time smiling at yourself in the mirror or a video camera (better, because you will be able to see the improvement if you actually record it) That is all…just learn how to smile sincerely by thinking of something pleasant…ice cream still works for me, but you can choose anything at all that makes you happy. Become confident that you can smile sincerely and we will be ready for the next step to speaking success.

You KNOW when your smile is sincere when you look in the mirror, but now you want to be able to trust your smile when an audience is looking at you. THINK OF ICE CREAM and SMILE CONFIDENTLY!

Smiling is the key to successful communication…see all those entertainers with their perpetual smiles? Well, that can become work if you take it too far, but communicators need confidence…not only in their smile, but also their GESTURES. Literally as Simple as ABC!

For this ABC Simple Lesson:

Contact me at (SpeakerMentors at Gmail dot com) with the @ and . symbols…

This format avoids non human communication of email addresses!

 

Stop Stealing Dreams!

Education at SpeakerMentors involves knowing and doing! You are in charge of your own progress.

The Self-Evaluation that starts the process will help you decide what projects, activities and information will be most helpful to you as you develop COMMUNICATION ORIENTED SKILLS that permit you to speak on any topic with CONFIDENCE!

ABC or 1-2-3…your choice!

MULTITASKING is the culprit that causes you to freeze onstage and forget everything you studied so hard…This simple exercise is the very best way to take 30 seconds of your time to make major changes in your confidence onstage.

As you do a new video each day, try a new emotion or a different emphasis or try slower or faster or more pauses for reflections…find the right place to focus when you need inspiration but don’t want to look up at the ceiling with a lost look on your face! PRACTICE PROPER PRESENTATION SKILLS. Figure out which gesture looks best and then figure out how to stop the nervous twitches.

OBSERVE, EVALUATE, REVISE, RECORD (repeat as needed!)

Over a week or a month or (as I do) forever…you will notice which gestures you like and which you should reduce or eliminate…and be sure to check out the BLOG for ideas on how to improve the sincerity of your SMILE!

Thank you Thays (a student from last class who really enjoyed this exercise) for showing us how you can concentrate on gestures, tempo, pauses, emphasis, projection, eye contact and enthusiasm in 30 seconds!

Be sure to JOIN the site (when we have it set up very soon…thank you Monica), and you can start your own PORTFOLIO of videos to use for job interviews or college admission videos.

Non-native English Speakers

world

 

Non-native speakers of English usually carry some of their native language over to English. While this often makes English sound beautiful, it can also cause problems with communication. Depending on your knowledge of how we make sounds and how one language is different from another in which sounds are used in words, it can be a challenge to be understood.

If you are looking for help developing better comprehension from native English speakers (especially if you communicate over a telephone), please check the links below:

 

Especially for non-native speakers, these two videos do a great job of explaining how to make your speaking understandable to your audience
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq_VXpG6Q54
when you learn these phrasing techniques, your speech will FLOW much better.

In this video, there is good information about FUNCTION words and CONTENT words that give you tips on how to find the words to stress, but about the FOUR MINUTE MARK she gives lots of good examples. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wbs5aoqFtVQ

and of course my favorite (about the one minute mark for projection and breathing) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bQlOvUSN_c

but do not forget that you can search youtube for more examples!