On my bookshelf

  • "The Breathing Book" by Donna Farhi
  • "Confessions of a Public Speaker" by Scott Berkun
  • "My Freshman Year" by Rebekah Nathan
  • "Power Presentation" by Patsy Rodenburg

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Slow down for Obama!

In every session I have led over the past six months, one name comes up over and over: Obama! How exciting that there is finally a public leader who can inspire and move us with his words. My next door neighbor and a participant in a recent workshop passed on this link:


The article points out that Obama's word per minute speech rate is quite a bit slower than most politicians. Slowing down, as the writer and analysts point out, may help to get the message across, but don't forget to watch the excerpt they have included. Obama's ease, confidence, passion and conviction are felt in each phrase, word, sound and syllable. His warm and open smile bursts out at perfectly timed intervals, drawing us in to his humanity.

Slowing down will definitely help when you give your next presentation, but only if you breathe in and experience each word, each phrase, each listener. So give yourself time to try it out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Canada's National Voice Intensive

Where to begin? I was fortunate to have spent the past week with some of the faculty from Canada's National Voice Intensive. The work was challenging, exciting, revealing and downright fun! Judith Koltai reminded us that some aspects of the body are well designed and some are not so well designed. In light of that fact, we "oiled" a small segment of our spine with a pelvic tilt and felt the rest of our bones fall into place. Ian Raffel shared his ideas on rhetoric and we were all able to tell a great story about sixty pretty women. Dale Genge, from Studio 58, got everyone up and moving while exploring Henry V's "Now entertain conjecture of a time..."-- I'm still sad that I missed that one. And David Smukler? Well, he reminded us that our form is a house, and within that house is a need, and as that need is triggered it becomes a thought, and as that thought is processed it travels through a channel until it begins to resonate, and as we resonate we then articulate, but most importantly our voice is your response.

If that doesn't make any sense, send in your application for Canada's National Voice Intensive.