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Chimp with a mic.

I’m in the middle of a regular gig I love: training leaders for my college’s New Student Orientation leaders. We’ve already had our first event of the season, and we haven’t completed all of the training yet. Part of that training involves using a microphone effectively. Because of the timing of events in relation to training, we still have several leaders who have yet to have the microphone training.

During the first event, though, one of the folks who had not yet gone through the training wound up needing to speak on a microphone during a question-and-answer session. She later commented that it was the first time she had ever in her life held a microphone, much less used one–and she was pleasantly surprised that she really enjoyed it!

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Monroe still works: effective persuasion in the Internet age

Grow!

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is not a new idea. It’s hard to pick up a basic public speaking textbook without finding an explication of it.

So why doesn’t it get used more? I suspect it’s because it isn’t new. But it still works.

For readers who are familiar with it: I want to tell you why you should give it a second look, and tell you where I see people having trouble applying it. For those who haven’t heard of it: I want to tell you about it, and help you avoid common pitfalls.

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Connecting personally long distance

Video chat

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like using the telephone. I do all the time, because everybody else does, or at least everyone my age. Young people more and more just use texting, and I suspect some of that comes from the same telephone reluctance I have.

I’m not sure why more people I know don’t use the technology that makes telephone reluctance a non-issue: video chatting via computer or smart phone. I mean, the technology is everywhere, and it’s almost like being together in person. Not quite, and I still prefer face-to-face visits. But video chatting is the next best thing, and in some ways, it’s better.

If I am my camera right, I don’t have to worry about cleaning up the whole house before a visit. Plus, video chat only carries sight and sound–no odors so far.

Friends and family are now scattered everywhere. I’d rather visit in person, but I can’t. Things like appear.in, Hangouts, Skype are better than phone calls, emails, letters, etc.

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Suspend judgment for better relationships

Judge Judy

This is one of those posts that, if I could send it to my younger self, could have changed my life.

We’re going to deal with two related and yet entirely separate issues, but at the same time: judgment and rush to judgment.

Humans seem to have an innate need to form opinions and judgments. Do you agree with that statement? Do you see how quickly you form an opinion? Because almost inevitably, you immediately had a response to my question about agreement.

That’s not necessarily a problem. The problem for communication comes in because a judgment can get in the way of hearing.

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Help The Princess get a ride?

We are seeing the effects of social media unfold right before our eyes in a very personal way.

We have a severely disabled daughter, and she has a chance to get life-changing (for her and for us) transportation. Continue reading

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Bonus: Infographic guides your phone persuasion

Phone influence

OK, call it “phone selling.” You probably do it whether you realize it or not. You may not work on commission (or you might), but almost certainly there are times you need to move someone to action via telephone.

That’s where this infographic comes in. I’ve looked it over in detail, and realized it’s really about effective communication. Tada! Few of us (including me) use the phone effectively.

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What was that idea again?

Dutch Scullery Maid

I had a great idea for a blog post. It came to me while I was in the kitchen, working on making an omelet for me and fried eggs for my wife. The stove was hot, the butter at just the right temperature in the pan, so I couldn’t go write the idea down right then. No problem, it was a great idea, I would remember.

Yeah, right. How many times have you done that? Based on your experience, how likely was it that I would remember it? Continue reading

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Help me help you, OK?

Lonely bear

I sent out an email to subscribers. I sent it because they used to open my emails a whole lot more. But then my daughter had some issues and I quit writing for awhile.

I have a severely disabled daughter, who went through a long period of rough times. I got so overwhelmed that I stopped writing for a long time, and people got used to not hearing from me.

I started writing again a little over a month ago (April 3), but I’ve noticed that people aren’t opening the emails nearly as much as they used to. I’m trying to figure out why. Continue reading

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Graphic helps with public speaking fears

Glossophobia

Lydia Bailey, content coordinator of Masters Programs Guide, has shared with us a handy graphic that pulls into one place many useful insights in dealing with the fear of public speaking. (Full graphic at the end of this post.) Continue reading

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Thoughts on Mother’s Day

rose

Mother’s Day is tomorrow. It’s a difficult holiday in a convoluted sort of way–convoluted, because you want to celebrate mothers everywhere, but you also want to be cognizant of all the people who, for various reasons, find it a difficult day.

Be clear: I’m not arguing that you should not celebrate the holiday. Enjoy your joy. Recognize that others experience certain sorrows. And if you are one who finds it sorrowful, allow others their joy also; your day of joy will come another time. Continue reading

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