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A great lesson for life (and a great lesson for great presentations) is that yes, we can plan a bit - structure allows for freedom -  but you must always
present from the present.

It's worth letting go the reigns just a bit and seeing where things lead. Goal setting is overrated. When it comes to speaking (and I've venture to say life as well), find your form organically. THEN set down your markers and your goals.

(c) Victoria Labalme Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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Victoria_Labalme_The_Prism_Effect.pngI'm tired of those who say you have to decide which talent to pursue. We live in a world now where you can COMBINE and harness the full spectrum of who you are and what you've got.

You just need a bit of courage, imagination and determination.

No doubt, it's far easier (though ultimately more painful) to tone yourself down than it is to dig deep and combine and celebrate what you have.

But the truth is, landmark success doesn't come from running with the pack and shaving off parts of who you are to fit into a mold.

Landmark success results from taking risks; and risk requires exploration, creativity and the courage to trust that the integration of talents -- those with which you are inherently gifted -- will produce extraordinary results.  This is the foundation of The Prism Effect. It is the foundation of all great lives, great businesses and great works of art. And you...are a work of art.

Agree?  Feel free to comment and/or join our community...

Communicating & Connecting - The Reaction Shot

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In the film world, The Reaction Shot is just this: the camera angle/shot that reveals the reaction of a given character to what was said.

This is critical because as an audience, we're not just interested in what one person says; we're interested to see how it affects another.

In life, in sales, in presentations and in communication settings of all kinds, people often forget to check "The Reaction Shot" -- meaning, they are so busy talking that they neglect the critical component of observing how someone responds...and then adjusting accordingly.

Believe it or not, this concept can be applied to yourself. How? Here's one example...

Every New Year's Eve, many people (maybe even you) will write out, share or silently review their goals for the time ahead.

The challenge, though, is that
we sometimes put down goals that are hollow, goals we think we should have but which don't really light us up.

We forget to check in with ourselves. We forget to notice our own Reaction Shot to a given plan.

Look at your list from last year. How do each item feel? Do you really WANT that goal? (Whose goal is that anyway?)  As you plan the year(s) ahead, notice your "Reaction Shot".

It's a short life. Plan the one that lights you up.

(c) Victoria Labalme Commmunications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.



The Importance of Authenticity

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So often people and presenters feel they have to be something other than who they are. But there's nothing the audience wants more than the authentic you.

Think back on a great speech you've heard. Did you notice if the speaker stumbled on a word or said "um" a few times? I'll bet you'd rather have someone who messed up but had a heartfelt & believable message than a phony speaker who had every word perfect.


Matching Your Tone to Your Intention

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Many speaking coaches will tell presenters to "vary their tone". The problem with this kind of coaching is that it leads to "outside in" behavior. The presenter starts to raise and lower his/her voice and gesture "creatively" simply for the purpose of variety. The result: an inauthentic delivery style and self consciousness on the platform.

The fact is, variation will arrive organically when you are truly connected to your material and you are -- as we say in the acting world -- in the moment.

Just think of how a kid tells a story when they're excited or in a state of wonder.

I had an Alexander Technique teacher years ago who used to say "let, allow, permit" when it came to how we moved on stage.

The same is true for speaking. Rather than force a tone, let it happen organically.  On top of this, it's critical that you are connected to what you are saying so that you never are out of sync with your content. Quiet moments should elicit a quiet tone. Excited moments should bring an excited tone.

But all this will come if you structure your presentation so that you have a full spectrum of experiences within it and then you reconnect with those experiences. If you do, you will have more variety than you can possibly imagine because inside of you is a full prism of colored light just waiting to shine.


Hollywood & You...

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This interview with Pete Docter, the director of INSIDE OUT (Pixar's new film which opens this weekend!!) is worth listening to.

 
Whether you're leading a division of thousands...
 
or you're speaking to one team member...
 
whether you're presenting in front of those you serve... 
 
or talking with your spouse or kid...
 
you will have a far better understanding of what's going on inside their minds...and the importance of appreciating and acknowledging it all.
 
In Rock The Room™, I often talk about Full Spectrum Speaking™ and use the metaphor of a prism; we all have a full range of emotions and experiences. 
 
And as a leader, you need to be aware of this if you're going to effect change.
 
Here's the link:
http://www.npr.org/player/embed/413273007/413430095
 
ENJOY!
V






Animating Experiences, Adjectives and Emotions

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As we all know, there are many components that make for a great speech but one technique that's rarely talked about is what I call "Animating Experiences, Adjectives and Emotions."

When you are truly committed to your point, analogy or story, your body and voice will come to life. This is why coaches who work from "the outside in" will get you in trouble. The gestures they give you to do are forced and inorganic. And, the forced movement can also come from speakers who have presented their story so many times that the movements seem phony -- a mix of self-aware, hollow and overdone.  

Think for a moment of a young child you know or your own kids when they were little. When telling a story that they truly want you to 'get', their voice is filled with unexpected sounds and huge shifts in volume and tone; their bodies is alive with animation.

The fact is, they are 100% committed.
 
So how committed are you?
How much passion do you have for your topic?
And how important is it that your audience 'get' your message?


How much or how you little animating you do depends on the venue, the audience, your message and your objectives...a boardroom presentation is vastly different from a keynote address at an arena-sized space, but
 
audiences will never care about your message unless you care first.

And animation is just one way to let that passion out.  Take a look at the video, give one of these ideas a try, and let me know how it goes.


(c) Victoria Labalme Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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When you think of New York City, does Times Square come to mind? That's just the problem...and the point.



The truth is, there's a lot more to New York City than Times Square, Wall Street, Madison Avenue and "Ooooh, the Village." 

So what's the "Times Square" of your industry, service or business? And are you aware of how much people may be holding that up as a lens through which they view you and what you offer?

Whether you're an executive, entrepreneur, sales professional or professional speaker, ask yourself the following:

1) "What's the typical (negative) assumption or misconception people have about the industry, service, business in which I operate?"

Then ask....

2) "How can I do the exact opposite and/or take some aspect of what makes me unique and use it to delight my clients, customers, or audience?" 

There's enough craziness and cacophony where the crowds are already with people clamoring for attention and putting up billboards and lights. Why not plant your tree or better yet, start sharing some of the garden you've been keeping hidden?

(c) Victoria Labalme Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


The Importance of Accuracy in Someone's Name

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I want to talk today about the importance of accuracy and specifically as it pertains to someone's name.

Now, some of you watching this have a complicated name. Even a simple name though, like Smith might be S-M-I-T-H or S-M-Y-T-H or S-M-Y-T-H-E. Now, Erica could be with a K or a C. Eric could be with a K or a C. My name is Labalme, it's a French name. And people more often misspell it, then get it accurate. Which is extraordinary, because it's partly how we can tell how conscientious someone is in their emails to me. I mean, it's at the bottom of my email signature when I reply. And people still reply back with a capital B, with an L-E instead of an L-A. And, to me it just is an indication of a lack of awareness and attention to detail.

And, as a professional, I think it's critical to get someone's name accurate. Over the years I've gotten so many misspellings of my name and it used to really upset me. Then I thought, "Well, how do I take something that I can't fix, and instead feature it?" So what I started to do was collect all the misspellings of my name that came in the mail. And I got many, many, dozens. And then we created a poster of all the misspellings. I'm going to show you that poster here, so it looks like this.


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But some of them on here...and to be clear, this is sometimes when I'm the keynote speaker and they still get it wrong.

So, this one says, Vicotria Lebalm. Vicotria. This one says, I don't know if you can see it, Virginia. I'm the keynote speaker. It says, Virgina L-A, capital B. We have Laboum, Lacalm, Lasalme, Labaloney, Lagalme. It goes on and on.

So, not only that, here's another one that's even more glaring. Recently I gave a keynote speech and I'm going to cover up the client name. Now, this was for their administrative professionals. Think about this. The administrative professional job is to be accurate and get details correct, people's names, all these data entry points.

They print up this beautiful foam cork poster board with my name on it. Here, Administrative Professionals Board presents keynote Victoria Lebalme.
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So, I want you to think very carefully. When someone calls your office, you can train your staff this or you can answer this yourself. You need to ask, "How do you spell your name? I want to make sure I get it correctly." Because once it's in the database wrong. Oh, my gosh. It goes everywhere.

So, how careful are you? And, how careful is your staff when it comes to getting people's name correctly? Are you winging it? Are you just taking a guess? Or, do you really show how much you care?

Let us know what you thought of that. Put your comments below and we'll be in touch!

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Victoria_Labalme_The_Prism_Effect.pngI'm tired of those who say you have to decide which talent to pursue. We live in a world now where you can COMBINE and harness the full spectrum of who you are and what you've got.

You just need a bit of courage, imagination and determination.

No doubt, it's far easier (though ultimately more painful) to tone yourself down than it is to dig deep and combine and celebrate what you have.

But the truth is, landmark success doesn't come from running with the pack and shaving off parts of who you are to fit into a mold.

Landmark success results from taking risks; and risk requires exploration, creativity and the courage to trust that the integration of talents -- those with which you are inherently gifted -- will produce extraordinary results.  This is the foundation of The Prism Effect. It is the foundation of all great lives, great businesses and great works of art. And you...are a work of art.

Agree?  Feel free to comment and/or join our community...