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Dr. Antonia Johnson

Best Stance for Speakers

Best Stance for Speakers

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You look strongest and in greatest control when you plant your two feet shoulder-width apart, weight equally balanced, body facing square to the audience.

That way, all your energy communicates itself in gestures, facial expressions, and upper body movements.

 

 

 

 

Rerun from Feb 22, 2016

English Speaking Skills: What is Best Number of Words in Sentences?

English Speaking Skills: What is Best Number of Words in Sentences?

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English communication and writing.  Did you ever wonder what length of sentences are best for communicating information in writing?

Here is one angle of view on that question.

I investigated newspapers for answers because they are intended for a large variety of readers.  Readers are looking to get information pleasantly, quickly, and memorably.  Writers are eager to please readers.

Here’s what I found across four writers from a variety of newspapers:

  • Two thirds of the sentences were shorter than 25 words
  • A little more than a fourth of the sentences were between 25 and 35 words
  • Less than a tenth of the sentences were between 35 and 45 words
  • Less than one percent of sentences were greater than 45 words

Here are some other observations:

Variety is predominant.  Of the sentences shorter than 25 words, they were evenly divided between shorter than 10 words, 11 to 19 words, and 20 to 25 words.

About one out of every four sentences was between 25 and 35 words.

Fairly rare were sentences between 35 and 45 words—only one sentence in 10.

You already know how difficult it is to read a really long sentence.  The different writers knew that, so only 1 out of 100 sentences had more than 45 words.

So the take home message is simple —  for your writing in English, count words.  Especially count words when you see your sentences are lengthy.  If your sentence is greater than 25 words, break it up into two sentences.  Of course, sometimes several pieces of information are better communicated in one utterance or sentence.  Best is to keep those sentences shorter than 35 words.  For ease in reading and for understanding the information, make sure only a few sentences are longer than 35 words.  And you will need a particularly compelling reason to make a sentence lengthier than 45 words.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

 

 

Rerun from Jan 27, 2016

What to do With Your Hands During a Presentation

What to do With Your Hands During a Presentation

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When you begin, your hands should hang relaxed by your side.

Best is to gesture with one hand at a time.

Hand and arm movements can be descriptive and emphatic.

 

 

 

Rerun from Feb 16, 2016

English Speaking Skills: Come and Get It: Memorable Colloquial Phrases From All Sections of Newspapers

English Speaking Skills: Come and Get It: Memorable Colloquial Phrases From All Sections of Newspapers

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Don’t you love it when something you enjoy has an additional benefit? It’s like “Buy one, get one free”  or BOGO as our media likes to call it.

I love to read newspapers. Now colloquial phrases leap out at me when I am looking for them.

If you like popular television or movie media, get out your pencil and start writing down the colloquial phrases you hear.

Because sports sections are full of hero stories (the player or coach or team owner who has overcome trial and bad times to play like a champion), they are incredibly excellent for colloquial phrases.

The rest of the sections have wonderful current colloquial phrases also. Check these out (in other words, examine these) from “The Denver Post”:

  • … and writing about the famous – such as lawyer Steve Farber and then-Denver Mayor Wellington Webb – and the nearly famous (“nearly famous,” in other words, people who did extraordinary things but did not stay in the news for long. In other words, “nearly famous” are people who are famous for  15 minutes.  “15 minutes,” in other words for a brief amount of time.  For example, if the local newspaper runs a picture of you getting a hug from President Obama, then you are “famous for 15 minutes” or are “nearly famous.”)
  • “There have been efforts to attract minorities to public service, but the current roster still doesn’t come close to mirroring the city’s Latino community.” (“doesn’t come close to mirroring,” in other words, the numbers of minorities  of Latino descent who serve as policemen and women and firemen and women are not the same proportion  as (or mirror) those who live in the community.)
  • With diversity will come trust. [In other words, when there are a good number of minorities serving as policemen and women, then the people of the community who are of that same ethnic diversity (say Latino, Asian, for example South Korean, Chinese, Middle Eastern, etc) will trust them more.]
  • VR is going mainstream but most PCs can’t handle it (In other words, many Virtual Reality (VR) games are being readied to be launched in 2016 (“going mainstream”), but most personal computers don’t have the graphics capability to run them (“can’t handle it”).
  • I noticed a few puzzled looks when I looked around the room. (In other words, there were people in the gathering who seemed to not understand what was going on or happening in the room.)
  • Who brings live animals to a white elephant party? (“white elephant party,” in other words, a party where the major entertainment is people giving one another gifts that make people in this culture laugh. Typically those are items sold as gift items which are unusual in appearance (such as color or size or odor) or unusual in what they do (such as an electric or battery operated apple peeler).
  • “All this would be fine except for how I somehow have become her own personal Google.” (“I have become her own personal Google,” in other words, another person is coming to me, an expert, and asking me to give her answers to lots and lots of factual questions.)
  • … she’s using too much of my good nature (In other words, another person is asking me to do too much for her.  I like to do kind favors, but she is asking for too many favors.)

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Check out our new advanced weekly speech tip program, our new subscription called ClearTalk Weekly, www.subscription.cleartalkmastery.com

 

 

Rerun from Jan 20, 2016

What to do With the Energy and Adrenaline When Presenting

What to do With the Energy and Adrenaline When Presenting

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Energy is awesome during a presentation. Use that energy by:

  • Gesturing for emphasis
  • Gesture for excitement

 

 

 

 

 

Rerun from Feb 8, 2016