Our voice is a very important part of how you speak.  If you are not using your voice effectively, your audience may not be listening.

As a trained actor, I spent years learning how to use my voice effectively.

Sound and communication expert Julian Treasure, in his talk at TEDGlobal imparts genuine wisdom on what makes an effective speaking voice that will be heard.

 

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by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

Nishanth Anil is a Bangalore-based Developer Evangelist at Xamarin, one our clients. Xamarin provides their customers with 3 capabilities for mobile software:

  1. Build: A platform for cross-platform mobile application development that delivers native apps and reuse of 70% of code. They promise: “Create native iOS, Android, Mac and Windows apps in C#. Xamarin apps look and feel native because they are.”
  2. Test: A cloud-based testing service to ensure high quality application performance. Users can “Automatically test your app on 1,000 devices in the cloud. Write your own tests, or have our engineers create and maintain a test suite for you.”
  3. Monitor: An analytics tool that reveals how people use mobile applications. Improve your apps with real-time monitoring. Track crashes and exceptions and understand what is happening with live users.”

Nish recently send us an email thanking us for our work with him at the recent Xamarin Evolve conference. I’d worked with Nish before and his delivery was solid. But his content, while informative and professional, was a bit dull. I was urging Nish to incorporate a theme to make the talk more sticky and fun. He was not clear how that would work and was even hesitant given that his talk was scheduled for 2 hours after our coaching session.

When Nish said, “I’ll give them a guided tour of iOS 8″ my brain lit up and we were off and running. His video of that talk with the opening story is embedded below his emailed thank you note.

Thank you so much! You do not know how much your training has benefited me.

I was hesitant to add a personal story to my “tech talk” in the last moment. But, I am glad I listened to you. A personal story not only grabs attention but also boosts my confidence as a speaker.

Yesterday was one of the largest tech conferences in India – Microsoft TechEd and I was able to do an amazing talk here too! There were so many attendees that the hall could not accomodate. some guys sat on the floor, on the way, stood at the back, and interestingly they sat outside the hall were the organizers streamed my talk in a TV.

People loved it. Here’s what people talked about my presentation both in person and on twitter.

 

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How you represent yourself determines if your ideas get implemented. Being politically competent is part of that equation.

Here’s a valuable article from Inc.com by Samuel Bacharach.

Put simply, successful leadership comes down to having the ability to rally people behind an idea and gather the support necessary for your idea to bear fruit. Regardless of the quality of your idea and the appeal of your charm, if you lack political competence, you are not a leader.

Having studied the behavioral skills of leaders, specifically their political skills, I’ve learned that this isn’t mysterious. These specific behavioral skills can be learned. At their core, these political skills enhance your ability to win people over, to get others to join your effort, to mobilize, and get results.

continued>>

photo credit: vinoth chandar

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by Chuck Kuglen of The Henderson Group

I saw a post recently from one of the TedX events in Toronto. It’s from Thomas Hellum of Norway.

Simply put, it’s curious, surprising, and motivating. And, it reflects so many principles that we teach and utilize in The Henderson Group. Some of those principles include:

  • How critical it is not only to represent yourself well, but to allow your audience in to get involved in your story and their own.
  • “Owning” your space and time, presenting more slowly and with purpose
  • Slowing down and eliminating excessive content, always so critical in technology businesses who notoriously “run fast.”
  • Visuals, often SO much more compelling than data and “too much text.”
  • Doing surprising things. Whether it’s using a prop, a creative idea, questions, or challenging your audience – this group is clearly doing the unexpected over and over.
  • Finally, maybe most significantly, you’ll hear how their audience, as many as 3 Million watching at one time (in a country of 5 million!) create their own stories in the content.

Happy Holidays. Enjoy your time, slowly and peacefully, as you gear up for 2015.

 

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February 19-20, 2015 – Complete Communicator with Terry Gault

San Francisco, CA.

Over 95% of the workforce must interact with others in order to do their jobs, and communication skills are the number one factor affecting employee relationships with customers, superiors and colleagues.

The Complete Communicator work combines communication techniques in an intense, highly individualized, skills development program. Employees learn to communicate effectively one-on-one, in small groups, standing before large audiences, and over the phone and Internet.

Through videotaping and individual coaching, participants understand their current style of communication and learn how to project it more effectively in every business interaction.

March 19 – 20, 2015 – Art of Presentation with Terry Gault

San Francisco, CA.

Building rapport with an audience and moving them to action requires the ability to confidently present information that convinces and engages even the most skeptical customer. This intensive work educates and motivates participants to deliver high-impact presentations.

Using interactive methods, rather than lectured instruction, participants cultivate a personal style – a style that gains the audience’s attention through confident composure and meaningful interaction. Through the Henderson Group’s unique and proven feedback model, participants receive immediate feedback from instructors, peers and videotape, enabling them to rapidly learn, reflect and improve their presentation skills.

What Clients Say>>

 

For more information please contact Chuck Kuglen at 415-292-7587

or fill out the form below and we will contact you

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by Terry Gault of The Henderson Group

I had the honor of working with CEO Nat Friedman in helping craft the Keynote for Xamarin’s 2014 Evolve conference.

After the opening video from a Xamarin customer Thermo Fisher Scientific, (at the 4:15 point) Nat Friedman opens with a terrific opening hook:

“He doesn’t know I am going to do this but my dad is in the audience today.”

He then goes on to tell a story about how his father’s preference for his iPad over an expensive and powerful laptop exemplifies a recurring theme of his talk: “native mobile people.” The story illustrates that it’s not just the “young people on SnapChat” who grew up on smartphones and tablets who are becoming native mobile people. It shows that it’s older people like Nat’s father, too. It’s a funny, personal story that illustrates the point beautifully and grabs attention.

AND there is another layer to this message. The story humanizes Nat so that we don’t see him as an impressive or intimidating CEO but as a regular guy – a really nice guy who is generous to and has a close relationship with his father. We like Nat because of this story.

His keynotes includes a number of stories and other hook techniques including terrific Twitter-ideal phrases (“Never lost. Never bored. Never alone.” and “Build the world you want to live in. We’re here to help you do that.”) that keep the audience engaged and drive great Twitter activity.

The story he shares touching on the Supreme Court decision about smartphones also provides a great and intriguing example of how to communicate points in hooks to make your message sticky.

I have to stop here or I’ll give away the entire talk!

Though i do feel compelled to add that Nat’s delivery is so energetic, conversational, and real it exemplifies so many things we preach to our clients.

Not only was the keynote opening a terrific example of what I preach to all my clients, the slideware that David Siegel and Ian Janicki created was the best corporate slideware I have seen in my 17 years in the presentation game.

The following segment with the demo from Co-Founder and CTO Miguel de Icaza includes a fun appearance from the voice of Siri, Susan Bennett which is also worth watching.

Enjoy and use the ideas here to make your talks and presentations more sticky! (Click on the photo below to watch)

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by Terry Gault

For 17 years I have flown between 30 – 70k miles per year for The Henderson Group business. If you are a frequent flyer like me, you’ve probably become immune to the pre-flight safety announcements or even (like me) find them an annoying distraction.

Since SFO is a United Airlines hub and offers more flights, I have become addicted to their frequent flier miles though I find the “user experience” often lacking. If Alaska Airlines hubbed at SFO or Oakland, I’d probably be addicted to them.

Recently, United started showing a new safety info video (below) and I have found myself actually watching it even though the underlying message is so familiar I could probably approximate it from memory.

This speaks to the power of good visual storytelling and the use of metaphor.

I’ve since learned that USA Today even wrote a piece about it titled “How the safety video got entertaining”.

Using these tools, you can compel your audience to pay attention to a message they might feel tempted to tune out.

Rock on, storytellers!   (More on storytelling>>)

 

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by Samantha Cole at Fast Company

It might not be what you say so much as how you say it. Your raspy voice, high-pitched laugh, and sloppy grammar could be holding you back.

Uptalk

You might know this as “Valley girl” speak, but it’s creeping into Silicon Valley boys’ clubs, too.

According to the BBC, men and women both are increasingly guilty of ending statements as questions. It sounds insecure, and can keep people from taking you seriously.

“…you’re making a statement but you’re [also] asking indirectly for the interlocutor to confirm if they are with you,” researcher Amalia Arvaniti told the BBC. It might become a cultural norm, but asking for constant affirmation when making statements sounds like a confidence problem.

Vocal fry

You wouldn’t show up to a job interview with bed head and slippers. Why sound like you just woke up?

Studies show that vocal fry—the creaking, drawn-out tone that emerges when speaking below your normal register—hurts first impressions of both men and women.

Continued >>

photo credit: tim sheerman-chase

Listen to Sandberg speak at TED: Her voice is confident and commanding the room, without straying outside of her natural tone:

 

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by Terry Gault

It’s always nice when a previous client hires us again.  David Hurwitz (who hired us to produce “Doug Serena, CIO” when he was CMO at Serena Software) is the guy behind this new consumer product.

Here is a first peek at a new video EinsteinFilms.com produced about a new mobile accessory, BluBed headset holsters, which will launch at CES in January. This video is the first in a series of Phone Follies that humorously show the benefits of being #HandsfreeEverywhere.

Who is Einstein Films?

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