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Where to Focus Your Eyes When Presenting

Where to Focus Your Eyes When Presenting

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Focus on one person and one pair of eyes.  Remain focused on that one person in the audience until you complete a thought.  A thought is not a paragraph, it’s a sentence or a phrase.  Usually it is more than five seconds but not as much as fifteen seconds in length.

 

 

 

 

Rerun from Jan 25, 2016

English Speaking Skills: Tips for Spicing up Conversation

English Speaking Skills:  Tips for Spicing up Conversation

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The lovely thing about conversations is that you can add to your skill of making your conversations even more satisfying.

Consider this:  Borrow an idea from professional speakers and develop a collection of attention-getting small stories or quotes to use in conversations.  Gather together these sayings and stories from what you read, see, or from personal experiences.  Our own lives and the lives of our friends, colleagues, and family are full of entertaining and inspiring stories.

I keep a special set of files for articles printed off the internet or cut from newspapers or magazines. My collection includes vignettes or brief stories and favorite quotations.

For example, most recently I found an uplifting quote from Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author of such books as “Awakenings” (1973) and “Musicophilia” (2007). During his final months with terminal cancer, he wrote a series of essays to share his thoughts.

What was Sack’s most thankful for?  “I have loved and been loved,” he wrote. “I have been given much and I have given something in return. … Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

In addition to acquiring such uplifting musings and brief stories, I keep a running log of quotations I like on my computer.

It’s fun to attribute or cite the source – “Last week, I saw in the Denver Post…” or, for example, “As St. Ambrose said, ‘Be patient with everyone, especially yourself.'”

The act of collecting also makes you more alert to entertaining and inspiring stories.  Thus as you interact with people and as you read or view portions of the vast media around us, you notice people and their stories, their snippets of wisdom.

Then as you meet up with people, you can draw on these sayings and stories to sweeten and spice up your connections with people.

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 Dec 30, 2015

Complaints- How to Respond

Complaints- How to Respond

Top tip: treat a complaint with as much respect as an order, letting customers know you are eager to serve them as to sell them. (Paraphrased from L.E. Frailey, Handbook of Business Letters)

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Rerun from Jan 4, 2016

English Speaking Skills: Small Talk Topics

English Speaking Skills:  Small Talk Topics

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Holidays are occasions for gatherings and conversation. We also use small talk conversations to build rapport and relationship when we gather for meetings.  Thirdly, even when waiting for events to begin, we often engage in conversation and build connection to those people around us.

Whether or not we are shy, it’s a good idea to prepare several topics of conversation before we go to the meeting, reception, or social gathering of any kind.

Here are some general topics you can adapt to you and the people you are conversing with:

  • Sports (national and international, for example, soccer, basketball, American football, hockey, tournaments, salaries, injuries, hero stories etc.)
  • Weather (the good, the bad, the unusual)
  • Local events
  • Film and art festivals, musical concerts, community theater
  • What’s trending on social media
  • Newest or top selling tech devices
  • Traffic/parking problems
  • Latest movie (Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes)
  • Best-selling books, fiction and nonfiction, scientific and quirky
  • Current media top topics – from internet to social media to print media to popular media
  • Hobbies (gardening, cooking, biking, hiking, traveling etc.)
  • Politics, politicians
  • World events (the good, the bad, the unusual)
  • Local school district issues, local university issues
  • Holidays (New Year, Labor Day,  President’s Day, Chinese New Year)
  • Alma maters (where you attended school from elementary on)
  • Favorite tournaments (World Cup, Olympics, LPGA, Masters, NCAA, Wimbleton)
  • Your current location – city, conference center, restaurant, university venue etc.
  • The event: wedding, meeting, trade show, holiday celebration, anniversary, dissertation defense, celebration of academic milestone
  • The host or hostess

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 Dec 23, 2015

Acknowledgments and Confirmation- Useful Phrases

Acknowledgments and Confirmation- Useful Phrases

Here are some useful phrases for acknowledgments and confirmations:

as I mentioned on the phone

as we agreed yesterday

I enjoyed our conversation of

in response to your letter

I sincerely appreciated

look forward to continuing our discussion

thank you for the package that

this will acknowledge the receipt of

to confirm our recent conversation

want to confirm in writing

we have received

will respond as soon as

 

 

Rerun from Dec 28, 2015