08 Nov I Say “um” Too Much

Vocalized pauses or fillers, including um, uh, ah, and their close relatives like, you know, and OK? are some of the most common concerns brought to a speech coach.  We don’t um want to uh get too um picky here, since 1 to 3 percent of everyone’s speech normally contains hesitations, and folks like Ted Kennedy have spoken successfully in public life despite long aah pauses.  However, a bad case of um-itis makes you annoying to listen to.  So why do so many of us um along in life?  Most often, vocalized pauses function as a way to fill up space as we formulate the next thought.  Though old habits take some time to break, it is possible to banish the ums and ahs forever. (more…)

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Laurie Schloff
laurie@speechimprovement.com

03 Nov Helping Startups Startup at MassChallenge

One of the reasons Boston is the best place to start a company (take THAT Silicon Valley) is because of organizations like MassChallenge (www.masschallenge.org) who bill themselves as “the most startup-friendly accelerator…no equity and not-for-profit, we are obsessed with helping entrepreneurs across all industries.”

And their stats are impressive: 835 startups accelerated, 6,500 jobs created, $1.1 billion in outside funding raised. Currently across all their locations, they have 326 young companies taking advantage of all they have to offer.

They turned to The Speech Improvement Company to help their entrepreneurs be better communicators. Two of our experienced coaches, Dinneen Grably and Tori Hollingworth (more…)

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Jeff Turner
Jeff Turner
jturner@speechimprovement.com

27 Oct Speak With Confidence and Remove All Doubt

In today’s fast-moving communication-driven world, messages are conveyed through many mediums. “Speaking with confidence” means avoiding tentative language. Non-concrete or tentative language in business shows a lack of self-confidence and will not deliver the strength of your intention to the listeners.

For example:

Non-concrete – “I hope I’ve given you a good overview of our team.”
Concrete – “This gives you a clear overview of our team.”

Non-concrete – “I guess I can deliver this talk confidently.”
Concrete – “I can deliver this talk confidently.”

Watch out for these words in your opening thoughts and phrases, particularly when speaking: I think, I hope, I guess, maybe, kind of, and sort of.

(more…)

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Monica
Monica Murphy
monica@speechimprovement.com

23 Aug Controlling Nervousness and Working with Visual Aids

This video covers how to control the fear of public speaking and how to work with visual aids.  In 2002, Apple Computer partnered with The Speech Improvement Company Inc., to promote better public speaking.  Dr. Ethan F. Becker flew to Cupertino to record this 30 minute webinar, which lived on Apple’s website for the next 6 years!

We hope you find it helpful. Runtime  30 min.

Apple Computer and The Speech Improvement Company from SpeechImprovement on Vimeo.

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Dr. Ethan Becker
Dr. Ethan Becker
ethan@speechimprovement.com

08 Jul Crisis Management

Dr. Ethan F. Becker teaching Crisis Management at the RAZAK School of Government in Malaysia.  The intention of the seminar was to help leaders understand how to communicate effectively during crisis situations.   When leaders and managers are not prepared to communicate predictability, safety, and control, the results can be devastating.

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Dr. Ethan Becker
Dr. Ethan Becker
ethan@speechimprovement.com

19 Jun What’s in it for listeners?

Prepare & Organize for Business Speaking       

Tell the listeners why they should listen to you talk about this topic.  Whether or not they ultimately agree with you, how do you expect them to benefit by listening?  Some benefits that you might mention as reasons why they should listen to you include:

 

  • Making their jobs easier.
  • Improving their health.
  • Relieving stress.
  • Stimulating creativity.
  • Providing security.
  • Increasing their income.

 

As a speaker, you should be able to tell at least one, and maybe more, good reasons why they should listen to you.  The intent is to give your listeners a clear understanding of why your ideas are valuable.  Many speakers find this the most difficult of all steps in the four-step outline.  Business speakers frequently say things like, “They know why this is important,” or “They invited me to speak, I’m sure they know the value of what I’m saying.”  This is a big mistake.  There will be times when listeners have no clear idea how your thoughts apply to them.  Perhaps their boss told them to attend.  Maybe they came with friends.  Maybe they came to make friends by networking.  In any case, you cannot hurt your cause by giving a short, direct, answer to their question, “What’s in it for me?”  After all, if you can’t think of a reason for them to listen, they probably can’t either.  If you can’t identify the reasons why people should listen to you speak on a certain topic, then why are you speaking to them at all?

 

Monica Murphy is a senior coaching partner with The Speech Improvement Company

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Monica
Monica Murphy
monica@speechimprovement.com

06 Jun TSIC is the Winner of the American Resident Project’s Pitch-Off

Laurie Schloff, winner of The American Resident Project’s Connected Health ’15 Pitch-Off, discusses how The Speech Improvement Company uses emotion-sensing technology to help people overcome their anxieties with public speaking. The Connected Health ’15 Pitch-Off challenged clinicians and clinicians-in-training to pitch creative ideas that improved health through the use of emotion-sensing technologies.

 

 

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Dr. Ethan Becker
Dr. Ethan Becker
ethan@speechimprovement.com

06 May Master Job Interviewing Skills

From the archives…

Download interview with confidence audio-only mp3  professional studio recording.

Master Job Interviewing Skills:  After 911 in 2001, many clients of The Speech Improvement Company (TSIC) were out of work. To respond to this shift in the economy, TSIC created a 2 hour workshop open to the general public and free of charge to teach people how to master job interviewing skills. This public service had become popular and private presentations were requested by many networking groups in the region. TSIC continued to offer this service for years to come as a way to give back to the business community. This video is a recording of a network group in Massachusetts in 2004. The video is a condensed version of the longer program designed to teach people to master job interviewing skills and includes some key tools and concepts that professionals should keep in mind when looking to communicate with a potential employer.  The presenter in this video is Dr. Ethan F. Becker

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Dr. Ethan Becker
Dr. Ethan Becker
ethan@speechimprovement.com