What Does Your Vocabulary Say About You

Do you know the definitions of the following words without having to refer to a dictionary and can you use them appropriately in a sentence:












These are just some of the words EVERY 8TH GRADER SHOULD KNOW so if you’re an adult reading this and you don’t know some of these words, you may want to freshen up on your vocabulary. Understanding vocabulary is extremely important to reading comprehension. How can you know and understand what you’re reading if you don’t know what the word means without stopping to look it up in a dictionary?

A strong vocabulary improves all areas of communication—reading, writing, speaking and listening.

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5 Ways to Articulate Your Best When Creating Videos

Guest Post by Mitch Mitchell:

I started one of my YouTube channels back in 2009. My first few were horrific, which surprised me because I thought that, as a professional speaker, I’d transition to video easily. Actually, my topics were fine and I got through them without fear, but my thought process while doing them was flawed to a great extent.

I’ve progressed a lot since then, and with over 500 videos via two YouTube channels I’ve learned a lot that I’d love to share with you if you’re looking to get started and create some magic.

1. Video isn’t as easy as you’d think it would be

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a professional speaker for a number of years. When I created my first video, I forgot all the things that made me a live presenter.

The first thing I forgot is that I should have some personality. For some reason I thought the thing I should do was talk without any emotion or vocal inflection. That got old fast because I knew I sounded bad, regardless of the content, and I asked an actor friend of mine what he thought, though I already knew. That was the first change I made and everyone was thankful for it.

The second thing I messed up on was trying to sit too still. When speaking in front of an audience it’s fun to walk around, trying to make eye contact with the audience. Doing a video, you’re probably going to be sitting or standing still, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make gestures, look around, or do whatever comes natural. The idea is to be the “real” you; it’ll make you more comfortable and your presentation will be received better.

2. Get used to the sound of your voice

As a former singer, I was over this obstacle by the time I started doing videos. Yet, it’s the first thing people who aren’t used to it have problems with (even more than seeing themselves on video).

Unless you’re used to it, when you record your first couple of videos, you’ll hear your voice sounding higher than you expect it to me. The thing to remember is that everyone else hears the voice you’re hearing now.

3. Rehearse

I used to conduct interviews via Google Hangouts. The overwhelming majority of people I interviewed didn’t have a video presence before I interviewed them. This means we sometimes had problems signing them on because they weren’t sure how to use their equipment, and when the interview started, they were too caught up in what they looked like and how they sounded to be able to immediately focus on what we were going to talk about.

Rehearsing is all-encompassing. It’s about testing your equipment; getting used to your voice; getting used to seeing yourself on camera; being comfortable with your background. If it’s something you’re not used to, you’re going to have a problem the first few times because you’re unsure of what you’re doing. That’s going to make you uncomfortable and your potential viewers will notice it. That could play on your confidence and convince you that video isn’t for you.

Video is for everyone who has something to say or share. Taking time to rehearse is more for you than your audience, although they need to be considered. Learning where to look at the camera so it make it seem like you’re talking directly to your audience is key, and knowing your body movements or how many times you say “ummm” when you talk might be something you want to control, which you won’t know unless you rehearse and get used to doing it.

4. Don’t talk too fast

When most people get nervous or excited they start talking faster. When you talk faster, a lot of your message gets missed unless the person you’re talking to is used to certain rappers I won’t mention. There are times when picking up speed helps you push through an emotion but those times should be infrequent, especially since you’re hoping to be understood.

You don’t have to be perfect on video, which is a good thing. This means slowing down and taking a breath won’t penalize you; actually, it’ll make you seem more human. With that said, it’s not something you want to do on a regular basis, since you’re hoping your viewers believe you have self control over what you’re doing.

5. Speak like you’re telling a story, not like you’re talking to your friends

Everyone loves stories, but not everyone can tell a story properly. How you talk to your friends might be much different than talking to your audience because your friends know you and possibly speak like you.

The major property of telling a good story to an unknown audience consist of telling the story as a “real time” event, not jumping around so often that no one can keep up with it. That works with your friends because they know you, but your audience will get confused and you’ll look like an amateur. If you need to, beforehand write down the elements of your story so you remember to tell it without having to do flashbacks, jumping ahead or throwing out references that have nothing to do with your story.

These 5 concepts might sound hard but they’re really pretty simple. You can probably master 4 of them within 30 minutes; the last one might take a little longer if you tend to jump around. Give it your best shot; the best thing about doing video is that your reputation isn’t married to your first video.

About Mitch Mitchell:
Mitch has been creating YouTube videos since 2009. In addition, he is a professional speaker and presenter on multiple topics that include health care, leadership, diversity, social media, blogging and motivation. He’s written two books on leadership and has over 5,000 published articles.

Posted in Communications, Social Media, Videos | 1 Comment

How to Get a Summer Job Teen Workshop

Register here for the How to Prepare for a Summer Job Workshop on February 11, 2018 in Durham, NC. This workshop is for teens between the ages of 14-17. Seating is limited so register early!

You’ll learn the do’s and don’ts for a successful interview and much more! One lucky participant will walk away with a special prize.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preparing-for-a-summer-job-workshop-tickets-41905499477 (post link in browser)

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Facts Feed Our Brains but Stories Feed Our Souls

Despite all the new communication technology we have available to us, face-to-face communication and storytelling are still the most powerful methods we have of communicating, engaging and persuading our audiences. That has been true since the dawn of humans and it is true today.

Why are face-to-face stories so powerful? Because compelling data can make us think, but it is storytelling that makes us feel. Facts and figures are important to make certain points and bolster our credibility, but stories create an emotional bond. And it is emotion that drives us to get off our butts and take action. A compelling story combined with supporting data is a powerful one-two punch.

Telling the stories about your business can have a powerful effect on your customers, employees, shareholders, community leaders and others.

I once saw the Chairman of the Board of PetSmart move a group of store directors to tears when he told stories of how the company was disappointing customers over and over again due to the poor layout of the stores. He made a solid case for changing the store format using sales figures, but it was the storytelling that moved the store directors to embrace the proposed changes and to take immediate action.

In another example, I helped develop an employee safety communications program for Phelps Dodge Mining Company, which at the time was the largest copper mining company in the world. The company was able to present lots of statistics to make the case for following safe work practices, but it was the story a widow told about the tragic accident that took her husband’s life that made the biggest impact on the miners. Her story stuck with them longer than any statistic could.

We’ve seen this played out over and over throughout history. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech fueled a movement but it contained no statistics to make his case. Instead, he painted powerful pictures in the minds of his audience using colorful metaphors and stories that still resonate today.

In public speaking and business presentations, it’s important to remember that facts and figures feed our brains but it is stories that feed our souls. So speak about your passions and speak from your heart. If you speak to your audience from your heart, there’s a good chance they’ll listen with theirs.

As the owner of Phoenix Public Speaking, Paul Barton conducts workshops and personal coaching sessions to help business professionals get the confidence to speak up and the skills to stand out.

Before launching his own company, Paul had a successful 20-year career leading communications teams at six fast-growing Fortune 500 corporations. Those experiences led him to write what is now the No. 1 book on employee communication on Amazon.

Paul is a top-rated adjunct instructor teaching public speaking and he is an accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Iowa State University and a Master’s degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University.

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Communications 101

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