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Women–Are you heard?

Do you have to repeat what you said to be heard?  Do you get interrupted while trying to get across an important point? Women are often spoken over, interrupted, or even disregarded in their speech in both social situations and the workplace. “The Unheard Female Voice,” an article by Stephanie Watson details some of the…

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Tips for Great Small Talk: Conquer Your Networking Anxiety

Having excellent communication skills isn’t just about speaking clearly. It’s also includes having conversations that create a with another person. Many times, if I’m working with a client and recommend they attend a networking event, they will cringe. The prospect of making small talk with complete strangers is something that most people dread. The fact…

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Mumbling Affects Your Message and Your Credibility

In Stephen Covey’s well-known book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, habit number five is “seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” This sentiment is written to help encourage cooperation, and clearly one of the keys to cooperating and finding success in life and business is clear communication.  Careful listening and reflection…

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Speak with Confident Statements: Tips for Avoiding Upspeak

If you’ve ever watched the 1995 movie Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone, you’ve heard what speech coaches refer to as upspeak. This movie depicting Generation X was full of Valley Girl talk, a type of conversation where your inflection rises as you speak. The pattern of speech makes what you say come across sounding like a…

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Embrace Your Southern Sayings

Idiom: language particular to a people or a district, community or class. Merriam-Webster dictionary Every region has its sayings, and North Carolina has plenty of colorful ones that pepper the speech of native southerners. If you’re a native North Carolinian, you may have found yourself saying some of the phrases below (meanings are in parentheses…

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How Does Your Spoken English Compare to Others?

Everyone speaks with an accent. A person’s accent is an instant look into their background; reflecting both their native language and the region of their childhood. It gives me a warm feeling when I hear people from Minnesota and Wisconsin speak, because it reminds me of the many happy summers I spent in that area of…

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Why do American’s Speak with their Mouth Wide Open?

The correct pronunciation and voice projection of American English depends on an open mouth position.  The English speech sounds require the sound resonance created by an open mouth.  Speech sounds are made by the changes in mouth opening, as well as lip, teeth, tongue, and soft palate movement, and vocal cord vibration.  Let’s consider the…

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10 Words that are Frequently Mispronounced

Check out this helpful video on how to correctly pronounce: business, candidate, wasn’t, espresso, probably, et cetera, escape, athlete, other, Alzheimer’s disease. I was surprised to find that I had been incorrectly pronouncing “et cetera” and “espresso.”

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How do people perceive your speech?

Our speech can affect how we are perceived.  Three patterns that may negatively influence how others regard us are: Use of filler words.  Sloppy pronunciation. Speed Talking. Filler Words: Filler words or non-words include:  um, ah, and, like, ok, you know.  Everyone uses filler words, but it is the overuse that affects how we are…

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Showcase Your Best Self in a Job Interview

New college graduate?  Entering the final year of college and expecting to interview in the Fall semester?  Changing jobs after a few years in the workforce?  The job search process is grueling, and takes many steps of preparation to succeed.  Performing well during an interview is essential. As we all know, first impressions are important,…

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