The Public Speaker

4 Apr

The Public Speaker podcast provided me with insight into self-introduction, listening, and applying speaking skills to finding work. One thing I found interesting about the podcast was the advice given about presenting yourself in the best way possible online on your LinkdIn profile.
For example, Lisa pointed out that the words and phrases “motivated, dynamic, and extensive experience” are both vague and overused. To avoid such exhaustion, I learned that you should describe your skills and experience more accurately and precisely, elaborating in more detail and skipping over the vague and cliché phrases. For example, what is your experience? How did you contribute to that company? Did you take action and act appropriately in an emergency? Lisa suggests picking on or two stand-out stories to inspire interest in you and save the rest for an in-person meeting. She also suggests quantifying your experience. Continue to elaborate. The most common are increased customer service or decreased errors, and by how much.
Another way of expressing yourself eloquently on LinkdIn is making sure your key words are up to date. If so, substitute these words for newer, fresher words. The things that surprised me is that you should be on your toes about key words and be aware of international borders when it comes to key words, as the web is international. For example, the word dynamic carries a slightly different meaning in Brazil and Spain than it does in the United States.
What the web has to do with speech is the engagement in dialogue. The social media is a dialogue not a monologue. It is a mean to communicate to others, not to display yourself. To truly use the social media to its greatest potential, you must participate in online discussion. There is a power to speech online that is comparable to an in-person interview or discussion.
Lisa also spoke about preparing to speak face to face and the necessity of warming up your voice. It is important to keep your voice strong, especially if you use voice a lot. What is surprising is that the people who need to care for their voices is not limited to singers, actors, or professional speakers. It is also important for people who work in noisy environments, attorneys, and sales reps. However, these people tend to not think about it as often.
In event settings, it is good to use a microphone to avoid straining the voice. Other methods of protecting the vocal cords include resting your voice before a major speech. Deep breathing also helps, and it brings down the heart rate, so it is relaxing. It is also helpful to relax the daily tensions of face and neck. I found it interesting that tongue twisters before a speech help with trouble spots in the speech and keep you from stuttering through those spots. Singing scales, even if you are not a singer, helps keep the vocal muscles strong. It also increases mood. Lisa explained that it is also important to drink water throughout day and the night before, as it optimizes the throat’s mucus production, lubricating the vocal cords. She also recommends throat coat tea. These tips are extremely helpful for anyone who needs to communicate with a healthy and strong voice.

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