As a teen, I was shy, quite pear-shaped, had acne and was also very curious. Playing the clarinet had been my passion since elementary school, but joining the high school band required being more than 60 minutes early every day. Those near-dawn hours have never been my best or favorite time of the day.
Do you know your passions? Do you know what makes you “come alive” as a communicator? Do you realize when you’re “forcing yourself” to do or say something? When you need to speak one-on-one or to a group, can you tap into the positive, special energy you posses, on demand?
By sophomore year, the clarinet was long gone and my instrument of choice was the typewriter (grandmother of today’s Word and computer in case the term is unfamiliar). I had joined the school paper as a reporter and never looked back. Although still socially awkward, the role of student journalist enabled me to ask other students and faculty questions to write articles. It was a life-changing opportunity for me.
When you are expected to speak in a business or community role, what happens to you? Are you getting the “yes” responses and attention you want and deserve, as often as you’d like? Do you sometimes find it a struggle to say the right thing at the right time?
Quickly, I learned that a passion for writing alone wasn’t enough to turn out good work. I had to learn a whole new way to write, because articles for the school newspaper were totally different than a term paper! It also meant working with the paper’s adult advisor and the other students who put out the paper, all of whom had their opinions about what should or shouldn’t be covered or appear in print.
Did you take a public speaking course in college or earlier? Did you ever take a class in teamwork? Just like budgeting, these classes usually only take on meaning and relevance when we are adults in the workplace and our responsibilities include communicating well with others. It also happens when we become active in community organizations such as charities and cause-driven groups.
At the University of Florida (Go Gators!), I studied journalism and wrote about student protests and questionable government practices like the Vietnam War. After graduation I worked as a reporter and freelance writer, but it was the “spoken word” that soon captured my heart, though not as a broadcaster. Word got around that I could write speeches and sales presentations for executives and community leaders, and I began to coach them and their teams, also.
Fast forward to now! Helping individuals like you and the organizations you represent “build revenues, relationships and reputation … word by word,” is the goal of this new Blog, as well as my company’s slogan. Each edition will give you practical pointers and points to ponder in your quest for communication and persuasive speaking excellence – in groups and one-on-one.
Your ideas, responses and comments are always welcomed!
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