Blog

[On] Point to Ponder: The Mastery of The Gettysburg Address

I am lucky to have extended family in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. That means that during our visits, we don’t have to explore the jewels of this Civil War town in one fell swoop. We get to discover it piece by piece, one visit at a time. Each year, the week before we travel, I watch Martin Sheen and Jeff Daniels in the film Gettysburg, to refresh my memory about the pivotal events that took place here more than 150 years ago. It makes my visit mean more. There is absolutely a sacred and hallowed ground here in Gettysburg. As you know,…

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[On] Point to Ponder: The “I Nailed It!” Blog Series

I recently finished Steven King’s masterpiece, The Green Mile. He did an interesting experiment when writing it – releasing it as 6 “novelettes,” one at a time. After all 6 parts were in circulation, he sold it as a box set. Reading it became an unexpectedly fun experience at my house; my daughter got started on it first. She was halfway through book 3 before I started. I flew through books 1 and 2, staying just a book behind for about a week. Then my husband started book 1. Much to her dismay, while Elizabeth was at an overnight, I passed her…

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[On] Point to Ponder: What’s OUR Story?

  For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about all aspects of communication and message development. Whether I was watching a commercial, reading a news article, or dissecting nationally televised talks like the State of the Union, I have always looked at messages as intricate puzzles. I take the message apart, look closely at each piece, inspect its persuasive function, and evaluate its effectiveness. “Do I need this part? How does this sentence fit amongst the others? How should it be phrased for maximum persuasive impact?” Every piece of a message – spoken or written –…

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[On]Point to Ponder: “If You Build It, They Will Come.”

This 3-part blog post series digs into the “Speaker-Audience-Message” of that triangle as it relates to persuasive speaking. You are reading part 3. In today’s post, we end with “M for Message.” “M FOR MESSAGE”   Freytag’s Pyramid is an excellent tool for crafting a pitch deck, sales deck, keynote or TED talk. But what is it? Generated by 19th century novelist Gustav Freytag at the height of the American Civil War, Freytag’s pyramid emerged in 1863. This “how to tell a story” tool was widely used centuries earlier in Shakespeare’s 5 act plays, it just hadn’t been put to paper…

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[On] Point to Ponder: How to Bring Your Audience Aboard

How well do you know your audience? In my experience working with speakers, the point on the triangle that is the hardest for them to accomplish is Audience Analysis. Just last week, I was in the audience and at the end of the talk, a hand shot up. “Your talk on employee handbooks and HR-related concerns was interesting, but most of us in the audience – we’re 1-person entities. We don’t have employees.” [Silence.] A quick look back at the Rhetorical Triangle: There’s a reason the On Point logo is an equilateral triangle. It’s because a…

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Testimonials

When speaking at the CTL conference this spring, I had the privilege to sit in on Cindy’s Storytelling talk. Cindy has an impressive background, and a wonderful approach to helping you present more effectively. Telling a compelling story is crucial for effective presentations that connect with your audience, and Cindy can equip you to prepare and present in a structured, but seemingly unrehearsed way.

Kristin Sherry, Author|Speaker|Coach

“Cindy, Your coaching was fantastic. You are so good at this. I have done a lot of this too, but I am in awe of your approach, the simplicity of your suggestions and your general professionalism. Thank you.”

Susan Strong, Director at SAGE Boulder

You are a wonderful presenter Cindy! I have taken so much from your presentation at the conference. I noticed when you speak, you at times lowered your volume in a way where we still heard you, but it PULLED the audience in, as if you were confiding in us.

Your vocal variety was lovely, (as well as your content, of course!). The advice to gather your stories from your past and weave them into your presentations is spot on.

Julie Roberts, Linked In profile writer|Coach

“The On Point ‘Investor Pitch as Story’ online course was a great fit because of my heavy travel schedule. It gave me flexibility as a student to learn and connect with Cindy as necessary. The videos and homework helped me to prepare strong, compelling presentations for potential customers (coaches, directors, school districts) and becoming investor ready.”

Justin Fleming | CEO at MyPerforma

“Cindy, I’m in your Career Thought Leaders Conference session right now and you’re absolutely delivering on what you promised when we first met! I’m so excited to keep making progress in developing my brand story.”

Mashaal Ahmed|DC Career Coach