[On] Point to Ponder: So Close…and yet So Far.

It happens every once in a while. And the truth is, it’s frustrating. Conflicting.  I’m in the audience, watching a presentation, and everything is going great. The speaker is high energy, knowledgeable, loud enough (thank you!), speaks slowly enough, and even involves the audience.  It’s clear that significant time went into rehearsing the talk. Then there’s the slide presentation. On its own, it’s not bad – it’s really not. It’s got a strong title slide and an interesting hook. There are pictures to bring ideas to life. The font is big enough. There’s plenty of white space. Someone spent a…

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[On] Point to Ponder: How do Authors Think Effectually?

When the 2008 recession hit, small business owners had to start thinking differently. Big budgets were rewritten. Marketing plans revised. Avenues for growth re-evaluated. In some cases, company mission and vision statements changed. As noted in this recent article, Ft. Collins author Harrison Hand was one such business owner, and he did think differently. He thought effectually. In 2008, Hand postponed turning his screenplay into a motion picture (Plan A) and embarked upon a new path (Plan B).  Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, professor at the University of Virginia, authored the theory of effectuation right around the 2008 recession. She posits that the effectual entrepreneur…

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[On] Point to Ponder: The Rhetorical Triangle (…the What?)

In the last 3 posts, we’ve pondered the speaker (author), the audience, and how to craft your message (or text). If you’ve read those, congratulations! You’ve just completed a crash course in Rhetorical Criticism. These 3 components are the essence of Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle. “Sounds intriguing, but what kind of triangle is that?” Well, it’s a triangle we all use every day. Let’s substitute “persuasive” for the word “rhetorical” – as in, “Aristotle’s Persuasive Triangle.” This ancient triangle dates back to the 4th century BC when Aristotle pondered the question, “How do people persuade their audiences?” His pondering led to a definition a diagram. He defined rhetoric: “The ability…

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[On] Point to Ponder: When you’re Crafting the Message

In the two previous posts, we’ve looked at tips for “When you’re the speaker” and “When you’re the audience”. Today we explore the 3rd and final component of the rhetorical (persuasive) triangle – the message.  A great speech has a lot in common with a great symphony. The words on the page to a speaker are the notes on the page to a composer. Once these are chosen, the speaker/composer works on how to deliver the message (loud, soft, fast, slow, etc). But without the words or notes, there is no message. Well-crafted speeches, like beautifully composed symphonies, must have…

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[On Point] to Ponder: When You’re the Audience

  [This is a companion to an earlier post, “When You’re the Speaker.”] Usually, when I sit in the audience and listen to a presentation, there’s a lot going on among audience members. This week was an exception. On Wednesday, I attended the CSU Collegiate Challenge (think mini Shark Tank). The speakers had a nice stage setup; this helps the audience as much as it helps the speaker. It was large and well-lit, colorful and interesting. The microphones worked, and so did the slide advancing clicker (shocking, I know). Such features help engage the audience. The audience was attentive and…

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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 was truly instrumental in getting a compelling, professional pitch deck put together. Without her structure and guidance on how to tell a compelling story, I know we wouldn’t have had nearly the success and traction that we have. I look forward to continuing to work with Cindy and making our pitch evolve alongside our business.”

Jennifer Henderson| CEO at Career Allies

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

“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

“As a professional speaker, I know the value of getting feedback before giving an important speech. As I prepared my TEDx talk, Cindy was the perfect person to give me outside perspective. She did a beautiful job taking the many ideas I had floating around in my head and helping me select what to use, how to organize them, and how to tie it all together.

I love the way she coached, not trying to make her words my own, but instead, considering what I was trying to achieve and helping me stay true to my voice. If you have to stand and deliver a great talk, working with Cindy can help you ensure you’re at your best!”

Tanis Roeder, Elevate Your Communication