Good public speaking skills involve more than presenting informative or persuasive material to an audience in an engaging, uplifting manner. It requires the use of connectives to keep your presentation or speech organized as well as unified. Better than a verbal tic, such as ‘um’ or ‘ah,’ by employing good connectives in your speech, you will also make it easier for your listeners to both follow what you are saying and remember more of what you are saying.
The 4 types of connectives include:
Without a doubt, one of the most popular forms of connectives are signposts. The signpost refers to very brief statements that tell your audience where you are in your speech. They can be numbers – the 1st idea, the 2nd idea, etc.; they can be questions which offer good audience interaction; and, they can be phrases that underscore important points in your message.
Example: The most important thing I want you to gain from my presentation is that breathing with the support of your diaphragm will not only end vocal abuse but it will also mean a more confident, more mature-sounding speaking voice.
In the above statement, I have reiterated what I want my audience to remember but I have also let them know that I have come to the end of my development. While those words are not my concluding statement, they have paved the way for my conclusion.
Transitions are words or phrases that mark the end of one thought or idea and move the speaker into another thought or idea by including material from the previous statement into the new one.
Example: Now that we have seen that the habitual voice can be affected by vocal abuse, allow me to explain how the situation can be reversed.
In the above sentence, the words in bold mark the transition, reinforcing my previous statements and paving the way for the new statement.
3. Internal Previews
Similar to the transition and often including a transition, the internal preview is found in the development of the speech or presentation and includes what is coming up in greater detail than the transition. The preview is in bold.
Example: Now that we have seen that the habitual voice can be affected by vocal abuse, the remedy is quite simple. Learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm and allow your chests to power your voice.
Including the original transition, the internal preview consists of the statement which follows in bold.
4. Internal Summaries
Found also in the development of the speech or presentation, the internal summary is the opposite of the internal preview because it lists ever so briefly what has already been stated. These summaries are important because they reinforce what has already been said, making it easier for your audience to follow your message.
Example: In essence, by learning to breathe properly, finding the optimum pitch of your speaking voice, and allowing your chest to do the work, you will eliminate vocal abuse forever.
The above sentence summarizes succinctly what may have been discussed for the last 10, 20 or even 40 minutes of your delivery.
Using any and all of the above connectives in your delivery are very effective means of keeping your audience’s attention as well as keeping your talk organized. Use them and your listeners will remember more of what you have said.
In my copywriting coaching program, the very first lesson I encourage all my students to do is one entitled "Persuasion Architecture". This lesson explains how, just like any other type of writing, a sales letter must have a STRUCTURE.
In fact, I would require my students to study famous direct marketing pieces and determine what "persuasion architecture" the copywriter follows. This gives the students practice through this 'reverse-engineering' process to appreciate that beyond the words and sentences there must be a certain flow, plan, map, or whatever other name you want to use, to great copywriting.
I've only recently completed a Masters Degree program and one of the courses I had to take was 'Research Methods'. Apart from teaching you how to carry our academic research, it also has a heavy writing component. The text used for the class for the writing component of the course basically covered things I already knew from copywriting but with an academic twist.
In fact, I got an "excellent" for my writing but the paper mechanics (formatting) was a little lacking. (I just hate all those footnote, bibliography, etc, 'rules' that go with academic writing.
For example, if you are writing a paper based on a deductive argument then you must start with a thesis statement and "tell the readers what you are going to tell them, then introduce the general topic, narrow your claim, followed by support arguments and after "telling them what you told them" you conclude with the claims of the thesis statement and its implications.
In other words, there is a pattern you must follow to make the paper logically connected and lucid. You readers are prepared for what you are about to explain and after you have explained this, summarizing what your paper is about.
As a copywriter, you must also think about the structure you are going to use for your letter BEFORE you even start writing. This would be your plan from which you will build your literary house made up of words, sentences paragraphs and sections.
One of the most common mistakes I see rookie copywriters make is that they concentrate so much on the "power words" and "sounding like a copywriter" that the flow of the letter suffers. The main reasons for this lack of flow arise because:
* The headline does not logically connect with the opening paragraph but addresses two different ideas
* The topic sentence of each paragraph is not logically supported by the following 'body' sentences.
* The "transitions" from one paragraph to another is almost ignored so there is an awkward disconnect.
* The right information is given in the wrong places such as the 'call to action' given before the list of benefits. (Think AIDA.)
* Too much real-estate is given to a minor selling point.
In order to maintain the "slippery slide" in my letters I always try and write my letters in one sitting. This may sometimes mean writing for 12 hours straight but while I'm writing the last sentence I still have the first sentence in my head. If I do break off from writing I'll have to start reading from the very beginning to make sure that I have the letter letter in mind. Interestingly, one of the great techniques used by article writers and which can work in sales letter writing is to bring the article full circle by ending on the same idea, story, or issue that you started with.
Now, it would not always be possible to write a long sales letter in one sitting, but in the planning process (just like you 'outline' an essay) you can ensure that the letter will flow smoothly from beginning to end. A disorganized sales letter is a major hindrance to persuasion. It is often said that you sell the sizzle but not the steak but even the sizzle must have some rhythm and cadence to it.
When I first started writing my own sales letters for the internet I took a letter written by a top copywriter and studied the patterns he used and did the same for my letter. Do this work? Like gangbusters. No, I was not a "swipe" because the products were different and you will never be able to recognize this as a "swipe" because I borrowed only the "plot" of his letter.
Speaking of plots, (which is another word for the 'plan of the story') just the other day I was telling my kids that the best plots are used over and over again with different story and its no accident the top movies and stories use common plots.
So study those famous pieces in your swipe-file and determine the plan or structure the writer used and borrow those 'persuasion architecture' to build YOUR own persuasion masterpieces.
The first extremely obvious question is – What is this darned metaphor? Another fancy name? Well… yes and no. It is fancy, but also effective. Charged with energy. Stuffed with genius. By definition, a metaphor is a figure of speech where two entirely dissimilar words or phrases are brought together to suggest a similarity. Confused? What are examples for?
All the world’s a stage
Yes, it’s Shakespeare and he is comparing the world to a stage. You generally don’t see the world as a stage, you see it… as the world, the earth, the mother; but not a stage. That is why it’s a metaphor. Because it has brought together two entirely unrelated things and made sense with it.
That was simple. But there is no peace, here starts the rollercoaster. (bet you won’t enjoy it right now)
1. Extended or telescoping metaphor or conceit
When your metaphoric insight has developed, then you cannot restrain yourself to just one metaphor. Like –
All the world’s a stage and men and women merely players.
This extension – “Men and women are merely players” has made this an extended metaphor. The author stretched “the world” and “a stage” by introducing parts of “the world” (men and women) and “a stage” (players). Of course, it has to make sense. You can’t extend it by comparing men and women to an ipod. Sounds distasteful? Exactly.
When you’ve grown tired of clichéd words and are searching desperately for a word closely related to it that has not been used to death, that word is a metonym. A new word to replace an old one. Of course, an example. The pen is mightier than the sword. This saying in itself has become clichéd, but originally the thought was otherwise. Here, the pen stands for the freedom of expression and the sword for the power of authority. Now, if you said, freedom is greater than power, nobody would have said Wow. That’s why Pen and Sword instead of freedom and power.
3. Mixed metaphor
Some of us fail to create a good metaphor; such a twisted, out of tune metaphor is called a mixed metaphor.
The waves of emotion have punctured my heart.
Can waves puncture? They do in a nonsensical world, but most of us are still sane, but widely tolerable of nonsense and that is why such nonsense is given a modest name of mixed metaphor.
OK, for info’s sake – there are two kinds of mixed metaphors: permissible mixed metaphors and impermissible mixed metaphors. Never use impermissible ones, so that leaves me to explain only permissible ones.
Permissible mixed metaphors make sense even though the parts are not directly related.
We’ve weathered plenty of storms with an iron will.
There is no connection between weathering the storms and an iron will, still it sounds right.
4. Absolute metaphor
A perfect metaphor to show craziness and confusion. In an Absolute metaphor, the metaphor actually, really, truthfully, doesn’t make sense.
She broke upon a sad piece.
In today’s world of indistinctness, it is reigning absolute. Confuse them with your confusion.
There are two types of Absolute metaphor: Paralogical and antimetaphor.
5. Implied metaphor
Implied metaphor is an indirect metaphor where an implication to the whole is made.
Shut your trap.
He ruffled his feathers.
No bird and no mouth, just feathers and trap. Yeah, that’s implied.
6. Dead metaphor
Dead metaphors have been so overused that they have lost their individuality.
Face of the mountains
Crown of glory
Dead metaphors are mostly used as phrases and not as metaphors. Their association has died. Now, they are just phrases, although their names still remain. Take off your hats. It’s mourning time!
7. Dormant metaphor
Didn’t our teachers say that eating words in not good. Here it is again. When the meaning of a metaphor becomes unclear because the sentence has been shortened, then it is called a dormant metaphor.
He was blazing. (for whaat, if you please)
She flew towards her uncle. (why?)
They blew her off. (WHY?)
OK, it makes sense, but in itself, they don’t create the whole picture. Why chew words. Dormant, yes, they are sleeping. Hibernating. But still alive.
8. Synecdoche metaphor
The name looks scary, but it’s rather simple. In synecdoche metaphor, a part of the association is used instead of the object. For example feathers instead of bird or claws instead of crab. These associations are symbolic of the whole.
Her feet flapped like terrified wings.
9. Root metaphor
Root metaphors are named thus because from them numerous other metaphors can take birth. Also, they are generalizations like –
Time is money.
Make hay while the sun shines.
10. Active metaphor
Active metaphors are new born so you will have to introduce them to the world. They are not familiar to the reader. That’s why it is better if they are explained clearly.
Her blinking love.
They mashed each other’s lives.
Any new metaphor that hasn’t been written before is an active metaphor.
11. Submerged metaphor
In a submerged metaphor, the first part of the metaphor or the vehicle is implied. For example: his winged dreams or her legged ambition.
12. Dying metaphor
It should have been named ‘rising from the dead metaphor’ or ‘the mummy metaphor’ because when you take out dead metaphors from the grave and use them in your writing, then they can’t be called dying. I don’t know what George Orwell was thinking when he coined the name. J Dying metaphors are clichéd metaphors like
Needle in a haystack
A different ball game
13. Conceptual metaphor
This is hard, so read slowly. A conceptual metaphor has many metaphoric meanings in them. Their underlying meaning creates a novel thought or a universal concept. Life as journey is an old conceptual metaphor. This metaphor has universal appeal. It is not talking about a particular situation or a person. It stands true to every man.
Also, if you see life as a journey, then you can also use many other metaphors like
My life has just halted
I have reached crossroads.
I came into this world with no luggage.
So, Life is a journey is a conceptual metaphor.
Pataphors are metaphors that are stretched to such an extreme that they do not make sense. They are usually used to attract attention and introduce newness.
He put breaks on his fear, accelerated his anger and rammed into the house.
15. Simple or Tight metaphor
In simple metaphor, you don’t need to do much. Just cool it. There is nothing to cool except just it. On a serious note, in a simple metaphor, the relationship between the vehicle (cool) and the tenor (it) is very intimate (tight).
Duck (bow) down.
He is mad (crazy).
You’re a dinosaur (huge).
Usually, simple metaphors are very short. Just two or three words at most.
16. Implicit metaphor
Here, either the vehicle or the tenor is not specified clearly, but implied.
Shut your trap.
Watch your tongue.
Here, ‘trap’ and ‘tongue’ are used instead of mouth and words.
17. Compound or Loose metaphor
A compound metaphor is made of more than one similarity. In it, the writer extends a metaphor by using more than one association.
He ran towards the murderer, a wild beast with a beating heart.
The air smelt of fear, the fear of abandonment.
18. Complex metaphor
In a complex metaphor, you have a simple metaphor and his accomplice (not in crime). Instead of an explanation, an example would do better.
Let me throw some light on his character.
Here, “throw” is used for “light” that in itself is non-existent.
Celebrities come and go. They can either stay for a couple of years, but some fail to carve a niche in the entertainment industry and remain a starlet. Some are successful and become iconic in the music scene, television and movies.
You might be wondering why some of them have disappeared in the industry. If you observe their stellar status, the luckiest are those who share common characteristics that made them rich and famous.
Take a peek at the 8 common characteristics famous celebrities have in common. Find out if you have any of these traits that can be helpful in your chosen profession.
1. Strong determination and confidence. Celebrities are confident and determined to pursue their goal no matter what happens. They are the kind of people who do not care about what others say when they pose nude in a men’s magazine or wear a bizarre outfit. Getting out of poverty and to become famous are two things that prodded them to try their luck in Hollywood hoping that they could find the right people to help them in their budding career.
2. Their work ethic is infectious. Actors and singers are deprived of sleep as they have to stay awake until the following day to finish their commitment. They work hard not only because they know that they are highly compensated for their efforts, but because they want to leave a legacy when they are no longer active in the industry. Highest paid actors only spend 2 to 3 hours of sleep until their project is finished. But the prices they get from being workaholics can buy them a new house, a car, a set of jewelry and a swanky bag.
3. They work for the sake of art. Multi-awarded actors are choosy in their roles despite the high talent fee that they could receive for a particular project. Top caliber actors who have become financially stable would pick meaty roles that could earn them an Oscar award. They don’t mind if they have to go bald or topless for as long as the role will increase their level of creativity and transform them into a respected actor. Some celebrities accept roles that are challenging even if they don’t share the same billing stature with the main actors.
4. They are creative and unique. Famous Hollywood personalities defy the standard and social norms. They never stop creating and reinventing themselves to enable them to catch the public’s attention. Miley Cyrus, Madonna, J Lo, Michael Jackson and to name a few, had their own strings of gimmickry and controversy to promote their albums or movies. Even local artist in some key cities in the world do the same thing even if it could ruin their reputation and make them infamous. Defying the norm and ignoring their bashers is the best action that celebrities must do to succeed in their showbiz career. Gossips are part of showbiz and welcoming them with an open heart can make them stronger and better celebrities.
5. They think, believe and dream big. True artists think that there is no small role for them. Budding actors must heed what their veteran counterparts say that in order for them to be recognized and earn big, they should accept any role that can hone their acting prowess. Since the competition in the world of showbiz has become stiff, they must grab every opportunity that comes their way. Not unless they are products of reality shows or beauty contests, penetrating the entertainment industry is a bit hard. Changing their mindset from small to big things will inspire them to strive hard and make it big in showbiz.
6. They have a high emotional quotient. Although beauty and talent are important things to consider when discovering a new talent, movie directors and producers would prefer actors with a good work attitude. Celebrities who are acting like divas will most likely to lose their chance of getting the right break because their attitude can cause a lot of problems during location shooting. High EQ celebrities come to work before call time and they do not cause glitches or delay at work. They can mingle with anyone in the set from the director to the janitor. They can laugh at their own mistakes and can exchange jokes with their fellow workers, even if they have been sleepless for several nights. Most of all, they welcome strangers and mobbing fans for autograph and photo ops.
7. They enjoy every bit of their work. Become passionate about your work as an artist in the real sense of the word will give you more inspiration to hone your craft. Celebrities who are enjoying their career are the one who will become successful as they do not get discouraged when failure comes in one point of their lives.
8. Money and fame are only secondary. These two things that can lead to frustration if celebrities are unable to achieve them. Some famous celebrities who are getting less projects and their fans are ignoring them have become depressed and suicidal. This is because they think that money and fame are the most important things in life. But the truth is, any career that is taken with passion can be a great source of your finances if you know how to save your money.
Celebrities who have lost their careers because of their bad attitude have realized that becoming famous and wealthy does not happen overnight. They have to learn the traits that could propel their popularity and eventually land them a lot of projects.
Aspiring actors/actresses who are given the break should realize that the competition is so high in the industry. A single flaw is observed from you could put you down and it would be too late to realize that a newcomer will soon replace your position in showbiz. Getting rich quick is a mere fantasy as you need to start from scratch, and when you are already at the top of your success, remain humble and grounded.
An interesting discussion on LinkedIn is swirling around the topic of when a writer can call themselves a writer .. As I've watched the discussion unfold, some interesting ideas have cropped up. They are worth considering.
A writer is someone who has been published offline.
Considering that a large segment of the writing work available is almost exclusively online today, this definition just can not hold true. While it is almost guaranteed that someone who has broken into hard print is a very good writer, it does not preclude someone who has never had their work published in traditional media from being considered a writer.
A writer is someone who knows their grammar, punctuation rules and how to spell things correctly.
I'm not prepared to say this is true because I know that publishers, magazines and newspapers all hire copy editors for one very good reason. Not every writer on the team has good spelling skills. No writer's punctuation skills are perfect. And everyone has certain words they almost always type incorrectly. I've been a copy editor. It's always easier to see others mistakes.
For me, I have to watch dropping the "r" on your, adding a "d" in college and several other persistent misspellings. There are words I consistently add extra letters to and others I drop letters from almost every time I type them. And most of the time, they are words, so spell check does not catch them.
At the same time, if a writer can not tell the difference between when to use your and you're or its and it's, it will be an obstacle to achieving a higher pays scale. Excellence in every aspect of writing is essential if you want to be taken seriously.
A writer is a professional who makes a consistent income from writing.
This can be true. The definition of consistent may vary. I know that I began by approaching only a few hundred dollars a month from writing work. I had some months where I had no income from that source. At the same time, I was consistently seeking work. As a writing professional I took action.
I actively built my portfolio.
I built a free website on Office Live.
I focused on bridging the gap from when I studied journalism to what the market demands of writers today.
I applied every piece of knowledge I gained into strengthening my ability to write compelling materials.
To put the title "writer" on a resume, suggest you need to be more than someone who has started their own blog. Despite the fact that I have a ghostwriting tips blog, it is not this blog that makes me a writer. It's the fact that people read this blog and actually benefit from it that supports my claim that I am a writer.
A writer is someone who can explain different topics in language that the average person can understand.
This truly is a skill that not everyone possesses. In some ways, every writer needs to have a teacher's heart, the ability to break things down into understandable packages. Some writers are gifted with the ability to reach very young minds. That's why there are writers of children's books. Other writers just can not get down to that level, yet remain effective writers for a different audience.
A writer is more than someone who starts their own blog.
There are good blogs and so-so blogs. To truly claim to be a writer, the blog can not be riddled with grammar errors. A few spelling and punctuation errors are forgivable, especially as most blog writers can not afford a separate set of eyes to edit their work.
A writer is someone who crafts words to influence others.
It's the power to dig into the meaning of words and craft them as you have done that signifies a writer. The fact that you can express your arguments succinctly using words in their written form defines that you are a writer. Maybe that is the definition we should be holding to here. "A writer is someone who can write with words so effectively they can influence others whether they do it for pay or not."
It's not whether your work appears on the eviscerated remnants of a tree or on the electronic representation of a page that makes you a writer. It's whether your words move and / or motivate. A novelist may move through the creation of characters and plots. A web writer may motivate to action by carefully chosen words.
Both are writers. Both use their power over words to create an experience in the mind. That experience would not be there without the writer's ability to craft words.
What makes a writer a writer? We'll probably never be able to agree on a single definition. Too may people would disagree with the writer's version of the artist's definition, "A writer is a writer because he / she writes."