Speaking fast vs talking slow

When it comes to our habits of speaking, pace is one of the great influencers. It can create or destroy power of our message.

WHAT IS BETTER?

Short answer to that question is: Speaking slow is better. Of course it is a general rule. It applies up to about 70% of times.

You see, people who aren’t comfortable in social situations want to throw information as fast as possible. We fear that if we slow down we’ll be interrupted and never given “the floor” again. When it comes to meeting new people or giving public speeches our brains deal with the fear of unknown and fear of being excluded from social circle. And the sole asset we have – information could not be “sold”.

Second group of people who are speaking too fast are visual thinkers (and this more often than not combines with being nervous). It is true that image tells story 1000 words strong. One thought of visual thinker is a lot of information to share. Look even at the sizes of digital files – one that contains an image, and one that contains words. To translate that one image into information using even advanced technology would take stupendous time. So visual thinkers pace themselves, because they have this much information to share.

For this two groups – majority of us all – advice is 1/3 slower minimum. Up to a half. With practice of using pauses and proper intonation of sentences and accents you won’t be interrupted. Andto effectively share your vision it has to sink in. Otherwise it will be dismissed by intuitive mind of your audience.

WHAT WITH PEOPLE THAT TALK TOO SLOW?

It rarely is the case. Take the person you are sure is speaking too slow and tell me this: Is his/her intonation well rounded or flat? Or every sentence ends up intonated like question would be (high pitch at the end? Is his/her speech rhythmically monotonic? And last but not least, is she/he animated while speaking? Meaning: using gestures, facial expressions, drawing the picture with body as well as the content.

Obviously there is some percentage of sluggish pacers. No question. But “speak faster” would never be my first advice.

–          Przemek Kucia

Please, share and like if you liked it. And tell me: do you tend to speak too fast while facing challenging social situations? I definitely am. Take care!

Flash reviews. First edition

The notion behind this idea is pretty simple: I consumed and am consuming a lot of media about communication and related stuff. It is natural so, that I know thing or two about each and can recommend to you some of them. Flash reviews is a page to which new short opinions of those media (in first edition those are three books) will be added regularly. It won’t be every day like the blog itself, but I think once a week is reasonable. You can find it under that link.

So tell me what you think, click like and share. Thank you

– Przemek Kucia

Best blog post and secret to traffic and engagement

As I don’t believe in “one secrets” or “loopholes in psychology”… Well, that one is just proven:

KITTENS AND PUPPIES!

My personal favorite

My personal favorite

This is absolutely sweet

This is absolutely sweet

Melts my face

Melts my face

SUMMARY

The most clickable things on internets are kittens and Jesus. You like it or not – those two trump all great content you can provide. No discussion, hands down.

–          Przemek Kucia

So tell me, are you a dog person or cat person? I myself am more on dog side of spectrum ^^ Share in comments!

Photos came from http://wallbase.cc and ownership is due to their respective authors.

To all you Katzy people there is blog just right for you http://katzenworld.wordpress.com. And for you Dear Dog People there is this jewel http://nodogaboutit.wordpress.com.

To be skilled or to have knowledge?

Pick any activity, related or not to communication, we tend to do it like this:

1.       Get some knowledge

2.       Get some more knowledge

3.       Attend seminars and lectures to expand our knowledge

4.       Write on forums and blogs about what we know

5.       Take praises for our knowledge

6.       Pass some sort of examination of our knowledge

7.       We’re done

Sounds familiar? Sure it does, that’s how we’re educated since primary school.

So there’s little to none pressure on exercising, on actual “muscle” of whatever you’re educating yourself to do. We can agree on that it is bad and educational systems of the world are obsolete. Especially when information is cheap or free.

THE NEW WAVE OF PRACTICAL GURUS

New gurus are pretty much old motivational and sales gurus dressed up in new trends of entrepreneurship. The value is the same – they’ll motivate you to get up and try, give you top 5 mistakes of whatever the skill, put an emphasis on that you should forget all of your MBA. And so on and so forth.

Don’t get me wrong, I do respect their success, their business thesis, hard work they’ve put to be what they are. Besides that I really admire that those gurus really want to help others live more fulfilled lives. But they’re painting also only a caricature of reality.

MY STATEMENT

I do hate the fact that academies and universities work on obsolete models. Often, professors don’t have a clue what the reality looks like. I really hate the fact that people pay so much for so little added value.

On the other side – practical gurus live in different reality also. They’re not take into account much of subtleties that build human experience.

Life, social interactions (from global economy to interactions within your family) are based on set of simple rules, but in the end aggregate of those interactions create irresolvable complexity. There are three things I would like you to be wary of in that context:

1.       Academics work on often outdated or plainly wrong assumptions about social reality (like economy). I don’t care if you’re on Harvard or local community college, if you study social sciences or MBA program – they don’t have much more clue about final complexity of reality than you have.

2.       Practical guru often base on wishful premise called: “If I could, then you definitely can” and put that into all contexts they want. Whether it’s applicable or not.

3.       Are there values and personal rules worthy of pursuing? Logic suggest that yes, there are. Are there certainties in inherently uncertain social reality? On level of basic statements yes.

SO SKILL OF KNOWLEDGE?

Basic knowledge, hands-on experience and questioning what you know and adopted. The time you think you’ve figured it out should be the alarming signal.

–          Przemek Kucia

Please, share it if you liked it.

Writing should sound like conversation from the beginning

My background in this matter comes from writing public speeches. Whatever the type of public speech, the best practice is to have well designed and even better written script. Some presenters stray from scripts, but those few who really are better off without it are in slim minority. That being said, badly written script will cripple every presenter. So at the end, the most common problem with newbie presenters is their overconfidence in improvisation skills (or rather misunderstanding what improvisation in public speech should mean). Second most common is that their delivery sounds like it has been scripted.

HOLY GRAIL OF PUBLIC SPEECH SCRIPTS

When no one from the outside of team behind the presenter can ultimately state that the speech was scripted or not. This is how it should be written and delivered. If you have 20 minutes to spare take a look at video located at the end of the post. Ken Robinson in his classical TED Talk touches that level of writing. There is no doubt that it was scripted and rehearsed, yet the jokes, timing and perfectly executed side stories create that feel of impromptu interaction with audience.

Best delivery of given script, or content, if you mind, won’t make up for inherent flaws of writing itself. So if it is designed in very formal way, lacking the story progression, poor dynamism and without any engagement hooks – well, that’s that.

CONVERSATIONAL STYLE

Conversation is direct and focused. When you write about people who are your target to avoid writing in third person. People, one, they, those who – that’s all useful if you write a lecture. Address your target audience directly with clear “you”.

Speaking habits trump proper grammar. As sad as it is to some of us, writing speech should mimic our speaking habits. And as you know, we tend to start sentences incorrectly, use loops in how we build our thoughts, we often just won’t stop a sentence and use so many commas we don’t even remember how we started that particular mental figure. Such writing for written media is hard to accept. Since school taught us to write correctly, and communicating with friends taught us to speak freely, people who write speeches will always have this weird itch to make corrections. But that’s the way to conversational style – conscious attempts to use those forms.

Take your time and speak out loud what you’re about to write and what you’ve written. So, while writing you have this enormous advantage: You can check with your intuition if what you have scripted sounds good. Use it. And then use it more. Intuition take care of almost all your communication. Writing though, uses more of frontal lobe activity. Combine their potential by conceptualizing and testing if your ideas sound “right”. You would be shocked how much of presenters and writers skip that. I’m betting you did too.

A COUPLE OF ADDITIONAL TIPS

Verbal colons are good, meaning: write down how you’ll explain new notion right after proposing it. Colon is great tool for that. In comments or in brackets put associations that comes to your mind about what you’ve just wrote – those are great starters for side stories, one line jokes or informative anecdotes.

–          Przemek Kucia

Powered by http://przemekkucia.com

Share and like it if you like it, and subscribe for more of daily content ^^ Also if you have any feedback in mind, please share in comments. If you have any questions or need help use contact section. Take care!

KEN ROBINSON CLASSIC TED TALK

How to deliver a public speech 101

Most advice of this sort would start with “how you speak is what matters because most of information is transmitted through sub-communication”. This is only partially true. Your content should be in the center of your attention. It is essential.

“Great idea delivered poorly is on the slowest track to conquer the world. Great delivery of poor idea is the fastest way to disaster.”
— Przemek Kucia

That being said, it would be nice to see our idea to spread before we die. Let’s cut the point – underneath there are my go to basics to evaluate and master.

BREATHING AND POSTURE

The biggest two of them all. Everything is built from those. Most people suffer from anxiety before giving a speech. It is natural to feel that way when our brains imagine horrible consequences of social evaluation. In short, bad assessment by community (evolutionary speaking) implies fast-track to death. Brain figures out that it is life threatening situation, stimulates you with cortisol. You hunch stressed out which further elevates your cortisol levels and lowers testosterone. All this ultimately means that you will present the idea from very unattractive (again, evolutionary speaking) position. Odds are your stress levels will tighten your muscles and adrenaline will lead your brain to shut down not essential processes of brain. You will be stuck.

Fortunately, stress level can be lowered. Steady breathing pattern will remove the tension from your chest. You will use some of electrical charge to stimulate stable and deep breath. Some sources say to breathe through “your belly” to stimulate diaphragm. I used this technique for quite some time, but people who are told to breathe through diaphragm focus only on that part. It is important to use all chest muscles in rhythmic cycles.

Maintaining open and erect posture is proven to change hormone levels. It lowers cortisol and elevate testosterone. These two are essential to feel calm and confident. Delivering a speech from calm and confident position of power is a great start.

TIMING AND GESTURES

In fancy language – chronemics and kinesics. Usage of time is affected by content of your speech. Remember that and take into account at least few fact about time.

·         People learn best in 20 minutes chunks

·         Think of specific places to hold a pause

·         If you’re involved in competition try to go second if evaluation comes just after speeches

When you’re actually speaking good rule of thumb for visual thinkers would be to slow down 1/3 or even a half. Slower is in eight out of ten cases better than faster.

Gestures are tricky to describe with words. People who speak from their experience tend to use more illustrators. Like how huge thing it was, what was the shape, consistency etc.. Speeches that are delivered from paper tend to lack any gestures. The first is better. Illustrators integrate your story as an experience. They are suggesting to the audience that you know what you say.

VOICE

There is nothing as important as voice. This means that to deliver in kick-ass way you need to take control over your intonation and timbre. Most common mistakes are: flat delivery, intonation that suggest every sentence is a question, building voice from throat rather than lungs and diaphragm, not smiling which affect how you sound.

– Przemek Kucia

P.S. Share this post and like it if you liked it and don’t forget to subscribe ^^ Thanks

AMY CUDDY ON POWER POSING

What is the best way to learn anything?

There is a lot of questions around the internet starting with “how can I learn”, “where can I start to learn” etc. Well, here’s one of the best answers I can come up with. And it’s scalable to almost anything.

THE “SPILLOVER TECHNIQUE”

1.       Start with YouTube, Wiki and Google and search for the topic you’re interested in

2.       Get most of interesting/insightful soundbites and experts opinions

3.       Pair best soundbites and insights with footnotes and direct sources

4.       Search for those source materials and check the reviews and get to best source

5.       Go with hands-on approach. Get your hands dirty and check if sources were right

6.       Spillover further on additional sources and viewpoints while gaining hands-on exp.

THE OVERWIEW

Main idea is to take advantage of free sources of knowledge in the Internet. Google, Wiki and YouTube are your main friends. After you get some grip on basics and understand specific language, you can widen your circle of attention onto footnotes on Wiki and/or google up sources behind experts you were listening to on YouTube.

While you’re learning on sources it is crucial to get hands-on experience. Practice will help you figure thing out on your own as well as set your bullshit filters up. You need them because not every soundbite and source is worth your time.

The last thing – question authority of experts and what you think is constant/established way of doing or thinking about things. Always seek simplest ways, most elegant solutions.

Przemek Kucia

Consulting company from my home couch

The product emerges

Since I’ve started college education I knew I should taste some practice, some work. At that time I was already much into arts of social interactions. I thought “hey, I’ve build up all this knowledge that I’m starting to forget some of it”. What would be better way to systemize this potential than through teaching others? I figured out that in such conditions I would force myself to stay in touch with absolute basics. Since I also like to figure out things I’ve found many inefficiencies in my training and “idea consumption”. So I’ve polished it all up.

Personal brand

In the meantime I started to blog. I’ve put few ideas out – I’m of opinion that all the knowledge without training would mean nothing. In this manner social skills are much like having great abs. You can know everything about diet, exercises, and you could observe as much abs as you like. Yet, without training and tangible work odds are you’d end up with more of sphere of belly shape.  So in no second I was scared of providing too much for free. Well, and also it never wasn’t an option. There is too much subtleties to all thing social that it is impossible to give away all through blog posts. I’m sure in your field situation is similar

But the blog was only a part of it all. I’ve traveled to conferences. At first coaching conferences, but those are really not my gig. It is topic for whole another post. Then I’ve switched to IT conferences, which was great idea. I took notes about seen presentations and leveraged that knowledge at integration parties. You don’t know how much power lays in simple introduction at the right moment. Soon enough people were introducing me to other people that could use some of my expertise.

Charisma Workshop

Since then I had many opportunities to help and offer my knowledge to IT guys put into position of giving public speeches, local politicians, non-profits, businesses. Variety of tasks and solutions I could contribute to amazes me almost every day. I cannot express how grateful I am for such opportunities and reactions I’ve got from people I’ve worked with.

What is the point?

The point is twofold: Firstly I just want to shout how grateful I am! Secondly I think my story is rather symptomatic of times we live in. Thanks to internet, with some hustle and expertise in topic/topics you’re passionate about, there is no reason any of you could not mimic my method to get respectable income for doing what you love.

Remember those few things:

  1. Product which emerges from your passion is practically your free asset
  2. Build up your sweat equity by offering value to your future audience
  3. Use social channels and direct approach
  4. Your work does not define you, your passion should
  5. There never be a better time to start your side project. For it to become main project it should get your attention (from 7pm to 1 am there is a lot of time to get things done)

Przemek Kucia

Powered by http://przemekkucia.com

How to bring people value through your content

There are 3 main categories of value in content creationEntertainment/escape, utilitydirection of attention/motivation. Whatever your output is specifically, I’m almost certain that it falls into one of those categories. The Holy Grail of content falls into all of them at once.

Here is the first point there:

1.       What is your value proposition?

Even when you have objectively the greatest value in the world, there is second part to equation which is tricky. It has to be relevant to your audience. Meaning: You have to put it into understandable context. So next time think twice before you choose smart metaphor over popular one. It may be the case, that you need to bring that smart context, but more often than not, you’re crippling your relevance.

In regard to this: Respect the psychology of each platform. Meaning: We consume media differently depending on what platform do we consume that story. Got it? Determine context and delivery withattention to place and demographic you targeting to.

Now we have second point:

2.       Does it fit into context?

Ok, you have great value and it’s relevant. Now you need exposure. There are two things in your control to improve that. Your “sweat equity” and patienceGive good, relevant value long enough and then ask in return without shame. This is how you create relationship. Comment on other blogs, reach out to guest post, do the spec work. Building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Spend time and learn how to tell stories, bring value and work your chances of building audience.

And now it’s a hat-tric:

3.       Can you hustle for long?

To sum all up

·         There are three groups of value in content: It can entertain/offer escape, be a utility, direct attention/motivate.

·         Your value has to be relevant to you audience. Meaning: You have to make it accessible, understandable by providing a relevant context.

·         Offering relevant value pays over time. Your hashtag won’t trend unless you are Justin Bieber or your back and forth relationship is called Jelena. Hustle and patience are your key words.

Przemek Kucia