David Nour

 

Like A Song On the Radio, Make Your Words Unforgettable

Pretty woman mouth blowing hand drawn icons and symbols close upYour tone of voice can have a greater impact on your powers of persuasion than the words you use. There’s no doubt that your voice is a powerful instrument.

But what are you doing to control it? There are distinct methods to make your message as haunting or as catchy as a song on the radio so that people are singing your praises.

Think of a really memorable talk or presentation you attended recently – one that moved you or changed the way you view the world.

What was it that stayed with you? Was it the speaker’s words, or was it the tone of voice that moved you? The odds are high that the speaker’s passion came through – broke through the barriers of your mind so the words could captivate your heart.

Maybe you felt it in the quiver of their voice as they told an emotional story. Perhaps it was a sudden change in their volume – a whisper or a shout that rattled you in your boots.

You might have been influenced by their tone of voice when they asked a thought-provoking key question. Perhaps it was the sheer pace of the words – staccato as a machine gun – that tumbled out of a mouth straining to keep up with inspiration.

The fact that you’re thinking about it now is a testament to the power of the human voice.

How To Become Impossible To Forget

All of these elements tap the rich array of the capabilities of the voice, making it possible to influence others and communicate with passion.

It’s the sad truth that too many discussions, speeches and presentations are easy to forget. We certainly want what we say to be remembered, especially when the project’s success and completion depend on it. And that’s a problem because the reason anyone would want to talk with you or listen to you is to engage in memorable, meaningful communication. One of the most potent yet often overlooked facets of vocal communication is the instrument itself – the voice.

Whether you’re addressing an audience of one or one thousand, you’re engaged in public speaking each time you open your mouth to speak in a public place.

So how are you coming across? When you speak, are people reminded of the dulcet tones of a rippling brook… or are they shrinking, as if from the shrill sound of fingernails slowly raked across a blackboard?

No matter where you find yourself today, as a novice or a master, you can learn to use your voice for a more lasting effect and become unforgettable.

Speaking of Dynamics…

The dynamics of your message will come through much more clearly when you color your message with a range of volume, tone and rhythm that conveys your emotional intensity. Your voice and intonation make all the difference in how you come across.

There are three basic elements that you can tap to ensure your verbal messages are understood – and remembered – time and again.

Volume:

Before you can communicate effectively, it’s essential that you really connect what you want to say, who you’re talking to, and why they might want to listen. Match the purpose of your words with your volume.

The human voice has a dramatic dynamic range, from the intensity of a whisper to the full, rich command of a shout. If your voice is too soft, you risk coming across as mousy. Too loud, and your audience will tune out. Make sure your message is fully heard so that people catch the full meaning of the important words you want to convey.

Tone:

Adjust your vocal quality to match your audience. Support your tone with a breath that stems from deep in your body cavity. Relax your tongue and throat, and allow your words to flow from a mouth that seems to savor them.

Your vocal quality or timbre, the way you articulate, and the rise and fall of your voice all contribute to your tone. Like the melody line of a song, you’re composing and singing your message all day long.

Rhythm:

Who are you speaking to? How much time do they have? How long is their attention span? What are their interests, beliefs and values? What do they share in common with others? How are they unique?

Each of these factors will influence the rhythm of your speech.

If you’ve been asked to give a eulogy at a good friend’s funeral, by all means, take your time. The dearly departed has probably earned it. There’s no shortcut here, and the members of the congregation are sure to appreciate the display of respect demonstrated in your slow, measured speech, savoring every last detail you painstakingly convey in your somber pace.

Slow thoughtful speech is the hallmark of a eulogy. If that’s your venue, take your time. Otherwise, cut to the chase.

Brevity is the soul of wisdom, and the rhythm of your speech has the power to convey a world of urgency or a casual note of nonchalance. Match your pace to the audience before you.

What do you want your audience to do as a result of your communication? What’s really at the heart of your message? By effectively using your voice in a measured, deliberate way, you can pack a powerful punch that drives your message home.

Communication is at the heart of all relationships and business dealings. Whether you’re connecting with an audience of one or a thousand, your experience can be a rich and rewarding one. Using your voice to full effect will mean the all the difference in creating a lasting impression.

Looking for additional skills for communicating effectively? Want to be a “master communicator” and the one people really listen too? Looking to become one of the top PMP’s in your area?

Join us at the #NewNormSummit event, January 9th, 2015. One day event, limited seating. 10 Category A PDUs plus a 10 PDUs course. 20 PDUs total.

Click here to learn more and register.

Women Leaders and Likeability: Get to the Point!

by David Nour

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has ratcheted up the conversation on female leadership, likeability, and the perceived penalty women pay for daring to be as ambitious as men.

Women Leaders and LikeabilityIn the decades I’ve been researching, speaking and writing about Relationship Economics, I’ve seen my share of unpleasantness around gender and leadership styles. I’ve heard the grumbling in the halls after a tough meeting—“man-eater, bitch, watch your step around her.” But I’ve also heard “she’s astute, focused, bright—real intellectual horsepower.”  I’ve worked with enough competent, effective, personable women to know women have the potential to be every bit as good as men in top leadership posts. Angela Brav, CEO-Europe Inter-Continental Hotels is one example. Carol Potts, Vice President, US Global Accounts, Hewlett Packard is another. These women are very good at holding themselves and others accountable. If these women are the face of the new “executive feminist” movement, bring it on.

So what’s the issue here?  Women are aiming squarely at the highest level of corporate leadership. The C-Suite is the new frontier, and women are ready to civilize it. Are the men who now occupy the corner offices ready to be civilized? Change of this scope and scale won’t come without conflict.

Sandberg’s Lean In has generated buzz—and backlash. One line of attack is to criticize Sandberg for her privilege; what does she know about average women’s struggles? Another is to argue with her focus on women’s behavior as the problem. Why is gender equity in corporations a women’s issue? Men stand to benefit from greater equality as well. Learn More »

Candid, Professional Relationships Speak Up, Especially When It’s Hard!

by David Nour

Getting people on a team or in the office to say something on a project or an initiative that questions a relationship’s accountability is extremely difficult. Whether it’s a colleague, a Professional Relationships Speak Up, Especially When It’s Hard! partner, a contractor, consultant or even a customer, I’ve seen some of the best leaders down to front line contributors in a broad array of organizations struggle with this topic. In studying business relationships over the past decade, I’d submit the culprit is one of three factors: human nature, institutional norms, and conflict-avoidance leadership. Let me quickly tackle each:

1. An incredible powerful human motivation (weather we admit it or not) is the desire to be liked – to be thought of well by others. This is a huge reason we go to incredible lengths to justify not saying something when an important relationship doesn’t meet expectations, deliver mutually-agreed upon progress or results, or otherwise doesn’t carry their own weight! “It’s not my place to say something,” “if I say something, our relationship will never be the same,” or “I don’t have the skills to do this,” are common justifications in our heads.

2. Giving real time feedback is an organizational habit. So when candid feedback in every meeting isn’t the norm, both positive things relationships do, as well as areas for improvement aren’t mentioned! Peer regulation requires processes to be in place that institutionalize the opportunity for individual professionals to get better, while they raise the bar on their colleagues efforts as well. When asked in advance to speak to someone about a sensitive subject, drastically reduces one’s apprehension in approaching that relationship with good judgment and a great deal of decorum. Learn More »

Take Pride in Developing and Marketing Your Personal Brand!

by David Nour

There is a lot of literature out there already on building “the brand called you,” so I won’t go into why it’s important, if not critical in this over-hyped world to diligently if not intentionally build, Developing and Marketing Your Personal Brand! nurture, package, market, and protect your brand. I do want to remind you that brand equity is simply your brand promises, delivered! In essence, that which I perceive your unique value-add to be, by whatever means you’ve positioned yourself (your resume, website, business card, past results, repute, etc.) must match the experiences that I have with you.

Whether that’s the two of us working on a project together, me buying something from you, or some other exchange of value between us, the signals I’ve heard, internalized, resonated with me, etc. all must match what I actually feel in our interpersonal interactions. So, here are a handful of questions of you:

1. What personal brand do you want to establish for yourself? How do you want others to describe you, or (hopefully in a positive sense) talk about you when you’re not in the room? What promises are you proposing to deliver in terms of output or value for others? This is simply too important to leave it to chance. Pick 5 attributes now, write them down, print them, and put them in front of you to see them each and every day!

2. What are you doing to live those attributes? If you want to be known as the “go-to-guy,” what are you doing to consistently demonstrate that you’re dependable, that people can call you in times of need, and even if you don’t have the answer, you can help them find the answer? Learn More »

 
 
 
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