Clearly Influential Podcast Series

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This week, I scheduled an interview to speak with Sandy Donovan at Clearly Influential for her podcast series.  I am really excited to speak with Sandy since she is a communication scholar and since she has earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in my field of study.

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Sandy and I will be talking about my research interests, about communication in general, and practical application of communication best practices.  This will be a great interview if you are interested in learning more about the research side of the communication field in addition to practical application of that research.

If you haven’t checked out Clearly Influential, you can visit Sandy’s website here.

Have you been listening to any great podcasts this week?  What podcasts do you regularly tune in for?

Currently Reading…

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Although it’s only the 9th of June, this month has been filled with new classes to teach, a Junior League leadership training and many meetings to kick off the new League year, a course reboot for Professional Communication and Presentation, and my summer class at UCF on Communication and Conflict among about a dozen other things.  Fortunately, this Conflict class comes at a perfect time, as I’ve finally decided on a direction for my graduate thesis.  I’m spending this summer writing a research paper proposal in Conflict, and this proposal will transform into my thesis under the direction of my advisor and my committee.

My thesis is about female leadership and the challenges women face when their “female” identity conflicts with their “leader” identity.  I am still in the beginning stages of the thesis process, so I checked out some library books to help me find my direction…

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Sheryl Sandberg and Brene Brown’s books were obvious choices after watching their TED presentations and hearing about them in the news.  I stumbled upon How Remarkable Women Lead by Barsh and Cranston as well as Why The Best Man For The Job Is A Woman by Esther Wachs Book simply because of their titles.  I have one book coming in from Cocoa through inter-library loan and a few books waiting for me on the shelves at the UCF library.

Would you suggest any additional books I might read as I develop the direction for my thesis on women, leadership, and communication?

The Key to Credibility is…

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Alex Rister:

Another entry on Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources list is my superteacher partner in crime, Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides. Check out this post she wrote yesterday on empathy using two great videos, one animating Brene Brown’s work…

Originally posted on Tweak Your Slides:

Empathy! Yep, that’s right–not credentials, expertise, title, or extensive research. The key to achieving strong credibility with your audience is to empathize with them. Why is this? Because, empathizing with the audience helps speakers achieve the type of true credibility Aristotle describes in Rhetoric:

“We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. . . his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses.” Aristotle, Rhetoric

True credibility comes from a person who is “good,” a person of good character. Empathy, the ability to become your audience’s needs, wants, values, fears, and desires, is key to conveying good character. A presenter who can empathize with his or her audience is truthful–no one likes to be lied to; a presenter who is empathetic conveys…

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Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources

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I am excited to announce that Creating Communication was named one of Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources!  Check out their list: “The #PreziTop100 Online Resources Every Presenter Should See.”

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Don’t forget to answer this week’s Wednesday Challenge with YOUR favorite online presentation resource!  You can also leave a comment here.

Wednesday Challenge: Favorite Presentation Resource

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On Wednesdays, I am facilitating a brand new audience-centered series called The Wednesday Challenge.  I’ll provide a prompt, and you leave a response in the “Comments” section.  I’ll share the best comment along with a new prompt the following Wednesday.

Last week, I asked you to tell me about your favorite TED Talk and why that particular presentation resonated with you.  Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides responded:

“My favorite TED talk (man this is actually really hard!) has to be Lisa Kristine’s ‘Photos that bear witness to modern slavery.’ When I first watched this talk I was floored–Lisa’s hauntingly beautiful imagery, richly detailed verbal imagery, superb poise, and moving call to action changed my perception of her subject and also taught me a few important lessons about crafting a message that sticks. Lisa uses her story, empathy towards her subjects, and concrete details/images to imprint the importance of bringing light to the issue of modern slavery on her audience. Such a beautiful talk!”

Lisa Kristine’s TED Talk is definitely one of my favorites.  Check out a previous Creating Communication post called “Top Ten TED Talks Delivered By Women” to learn more about my favorite presentations by women at TED.

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This week’s Wednesday Challenge is an activity AND a discussion:

Post a link to your favorite online resource for learning about public speaking and presentation.  Tell me why this resource is so good.

I’ll share one of your responses next week.

Commencement Speeches: Advice From The Experts

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Graduation season is upon us which means my favorite kind of presentations is being delivered in high schools and colleges nationwide: the commencement speech.  In March of 2013, I compiled some expert advice on graduation speeches in this article.  Even further back in August 2012, I posted “5 Best Practices for Commencement Speeches” including my advice to prepare, know your audience, keep it short, avoid getting too emotional, and inspire in an unexpected way.

This graduation season, we have a whole host of commencement speech experts we can learn from.  In NPR’s “Anatomy of a Great Commencement Speech,” Cory Turner and the NPR Ed Team analyzed hundreds of speeches dating back to 1774 to come up with a few important rules: 1) Be Funny, 2) Make Fun of Yourself, 3) Downplay the Genre, and, most importantly, 4) You Must Have a Message (Source).  Read or listen to the article in its entirety here.

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Decker Communications gives us “The Commencement Speech: How To Rock It” with three tips on effective content preparation.  Citing famous graduation speeches from Conan O’Brien, Bono, and Steve Jobs, Kelly Decker’s advice is spot on.  Check it out here.

Entertainment Weekly shares 2014’s best celebrity commencement speeches along with video of each presentation.  From Sandra Bullock to Charlie Day, you’re sure to learn presentations lessons from watching these actors and musicians delivering this year’s graduation ceremony speeches.

Along with celebrity star power, political figures are always big on the podium at graduation day.  “10 Things To Learn From This Year’s Best Graduation Speech” proclaims Admiral William McRaven as this year’s champion of commencement presentations.  The NAVY Seal who commanded Operation Neptune Spear (Google it) spoke at the University of Texas at Austin, and Inc. says we can learn a lot about life and happiness from the Admiral’s speech.  These ten life lessons are a must-read.  Check them out here.

What was your favorite commencement speech of 2014?  What public speaking advice did you glean from watching that graduation presentation?