Sunday V-10-19-14-Victoria Labalme .jpgAt some point, most of us want to quit. 

Something keeps us going.

For each person it's different, but for each person, it's a driving force...what I call "The Throughline."

My dear pal Jim Freydberg, the Broadway producer, sent me the image below a few months back.
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I loved it. I looked it up and it turns out the image is all over the internet.

What I suspect makes this drawing so popular is that we all feel at times like we're in that tangled mess...and we all think it's wrong.

Sometimes we're the sailing arrow; sometimes we're in the squiggles...(or as the guitarist/songwriter Mark Knopfler says, "Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug.")

It's nice to know that everyone goes through this. Success is filled with screw ups, struggles and sideways steps. Welcome to life.

Years ago in the 1990s, I called Jim in a moment of great despair. I needed some advice and I needed someone who knew the emotional terrain of the performing arts. As a producer, he'd won a Tony award and not many years later, another one of his productions was panned by the press. He'd gone from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. So I knew he'd understand.

"I want to quit," I murmured into the phone. He listened, absorbed what I was saying, and then replied. His voice was calm.

"You can't quit. You can take a break, but you can't quit."

I got back up on my feet, and I kept going. I had something I wanted to share. It wasn't entirely formed, it wasn't entirely clear, but I knew it had something to do with helping people live life on their own terms, risk forward, and express their vision.

I believe The Throughline is at the core of every business, every Broadway show, every presentation...and every life. Your Throughline is why you do what you do, and once you know that, everything changes. It's not about the goal; it's about something much, much larger.

Whether you're in the tangled mess or panned by the press, reconnecting with your Throughline will help you find your way out. Every time. 




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

Storytelling, Speaking, Sales - Using Mime as a Metaphor

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Looking for new ways to incorporate stories into your next presentation?

Consider adding mime and movement to animate your message.

Your audience will love you for it.





The Power of Analogies

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One common mistake most presenters make is not clearly explaining complex concepts or ideas.

Here are 4 great examples of how to use analogies to take your presentation skills to another level.

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.

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As you look towards the fall, think not only of the items, tasks, and jobs you need to accomplish, but also and more importantly, of the experiences you want to create.

Communication is the same way. Rather than simply focus on conveying information, focus on creating an experience.

Life's too short not to.
(c) Victoria Labalme Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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When you're allotted a specific amount of time for your presentation, one of the most useful techniques you can employ is to start to break down your presentation into sections of time.

Why?

It becomes far less overwhelming and it lets you realize how little you can do...And, in a good way, it forces you to cut the fat.

Oddly, a 45 minute window becomes much more manageable once you see that you actually don't have that much time. Once you add on a few minutes for your FIRST moment (your opener) and a few for your FINAL moment (your close); once you divide the body of your content into a few sections which each may need a variety of communication styles (stories, examples, statistics, analogies, etc) you will realize that you don't have as much time as you think.

Watch the video to get a better sense for what I'm talking about...and apply the 10% rule: always shave off 10% of your time (i.e. 6 minutes off of a 60 min slot) because
 
1. your time may get cut
2. you may get started late due to a myriad of issues
3. you may think of something great to add
4. you may experience a technical snafu
5. it's always nice to end a tad early

Give it a try; and let me know what you think!

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

The #1 Way to Ruin Your First Moment

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I think the video kinda says it all.

What do you think?

V

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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.


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There's nothing like a few missed facts or mispronounced words to create a dent in your status as a presenter, leader, sales professional or service provider.

Are you blowing it?


The Power of Brevity

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The power of brevity cannot be underestimated. Avoid droning on and on.

Be succinct.

Be clear.

Make your point. And then stop.

The video below says it all.