Friday, January 29, 2016

Ways To Reduce Your Accent (Part 1)

Are you a foreign speaker? Here are some ways to reduce your accent:

  • Slow down! That's right. Go slow. You are learning a different way to speak and communicate. If you speak too quickly, native speakers will have a hard time understanding you.
  • Use your dictionary! Become familiar with the phonetic symbols in the dictionary. Look up the words that are hard for you to say.
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Com. Power

Communication is a valuable skill. Many believe that once they are out of school and at work, they have the skills needed to communicate. Nothing could be further from the truth! Situations change and so do your skills. Com. power  is aimed at helping you "keep up" and be the best you can be! This Com. power addresses creative visualization and how it helps overcome blocks. Your objective is to "see" the end before it happens. Follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
  2. Envision yourself preparing for a task. Then, see yourself carrying it out. Be as creative as you want.
  3. Do this a number of times to get yourself relaxed and "ready." Remember, you are the director of the outcome!
  4. When you are ready and prepared,
    do it! You will find the visualization breaks down the fear and gives you the control on how you want the situation to turn out.
So, the next time you are frozen with fear, creatively visualize the outcome you want!

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Visual Connection (Part 4 - End)

Gestures: Do you use gestures to your advantage? Once you observe body language, you'll see that less is more. The fewer gestures you use, the more you'll convey power, intelligence and credibility. In contrast, someone who's animated and "beats around the bush" loses credibility.

Make a point of observing people in high positions -- CEO's or politicians. Do they jump around or fumble or "get to the point?"

Studies show that people who show "less" are more relaxed, self-assured and credible. Remember this: it takes time to understand and interpret body language. Getting it right the first time won't happen. It's because it's a tricky process and has many layers. It begins with you identifying patterns. And as you get better and you become more aware, you'll understand what they're saying.

Reading body language can help you tailor a message. Mirroring helps with communication. Let's say you're discussing something and the person you're talking with leans against a wall. You can do the same thing. What does it "say?" -- you're solid with them! Let's say you're talking to someone and they sit down. Sit next to them. It conveys harmony and a sense of being at their level.

And reading body language has its advantages. Let's say you want to ask your boss a questions and he's either -- checking e-mail, on the phone, or cleaning his desk; it wouldn't be a good time to have a serious talk if he's busy. The timing isn't right. It would be better to try the "talk" at another time.

These examples work during interactions but face-to-face is usually the best. In our tech-based world, the one to one (with another person) is rare. That's why the 1-1 takes on more importance.

You might believe that e-mail correspondence is a good way to handle things. In some cases, it is, but in many, it's not. Much is lost in cyber! A personal, face to face talk is always best. If there are any misunderstandings, they can be cleaned  up quicker and easier.

Knowledge is power and understanding your body language can be a gift in looking at what works and what doesn't work for you. You know the saying "actions speak louder than words?" Well, it applies here, and every time your actions are in sync, you show others a better -- visual connection.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Good Idea!

Your own personal experiences are the best source of material for any public speech. Every successful speech starts with a seed of interest. The best way to enhance information is to create examples and anecdotes based on your personal experiences. The stories can be humorous or dramatic, and usually give your audience a bit of self-disclosure. Audiences connect with a speaker who is willing to share a little of themselves with them.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Revisiting The “Our Father”

Being raised Catholic, I was inundated with prayers. We went to Mass everyday before school. Before our classes, we would pray. Before our lunch break, we prayed. At the end of the day, we prayed again. One thing that was consistent in a Catholic school, was prayer. After a while, those prayers were said without meaning. You would say the words but not have any idea about the intention of the prayer. The Our Father   is one of them. I’m gonna take that prayer and dissect it for this particular blog piece. Why? There might be some of you stuck in your own prayer life. You might be praying a prayer without a personal intention. As a result, you’re going through the motions; not realizing that the words to the prayer are saying something really important.

Our Father, who art in heaven. (God, this prayer is for you in heaven.) Hallowed be thy name. (Your name is holy and needs to be said with respect.) Thy Kingdom come. (What you’ve taught us in the Bible of a better lifestyle for those of us who believe, is going to come.) Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. (The plan or will for our lives that you designed for us when we were born, will come to pass as we live on earth.) Give us this day, our daily bread. (God, give us the guidance or discernment we need, to make better decisions in our lives. Make it clear to us. Lead us day by day to the finish line of victory, that you planned for us.) And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  (God, forgive me for my daily screw ups. If I judge too quickly or lie to someone; please forgive me. I will do the same in forgiving those who piss me off, etc.) And lead us not into temptation. (Give me the courage to stay away from people or situations that tempt me or pull me off track. This could be gossiping, watching pornography, swearing etc.) But, deliver us from evil. (Keep us away from bad things.) Amen.

I’m now saying this prayer with a different focus. Not just saying the words; but purposely thinking about what I’m praying about, and conveying the prayer, with a stronger connection to God.

Question for you: Are you praying with an honest intention or just saying words?
Focus: God, communication, spirit