The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 2

The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 2

Every single human voice has a slightly different mix of its basic pitch, undertones and overtones.  Added together and they give each voice a distinctive quality – what musicians call the timbre of an instrument, only for the voice.  You are so good at hearing the timbre of human voices that you can identify every […]

The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 1

The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 1

We live half our lives in the virtual world, half in the real, so that many of our communications are wholly virtual, and that’s a human disaster. The ongoing human emotional train wreck that is the digital era began, arguably, with email and the attempt to solve two particular problems with older forms of communication:  […]

Our Most Common Vocal Sins and What to Do About Them

Our Most Common Vocal Sins and What to Do About Them

I wish I could say that the 21st Century, while giving rise to technological wonders, artisan coffee, and Uber, has also seen the dawn of a new age of public speaking, and the voice.  Sadly, that’s not the case, and voices are getting worse.  Mobile phones, headsets, and open cube-style offices have corrupted our ability […]

What to Do about Speaking Fear when Nothing Else Works

I had a question from a reader recently about what to do when all my usual prescriptions (see here, here, and here) for dealing with stage fright – physical work on breathing and muscle group relaxation, coupled with mental work on imaging and replacing the feared outcome with a positive one – don’t work.  Perhaps the […]

The Uselessness of Speaker Ratings

One of the unfair realities of the professional speaking business is that celebrities get a pass when it comes time to rate the speaker after the speech.  And ratings are incredibly important to speakers because they are so essential for good buzz, repeat business, and long-term success. I’ve seen my fair share of celebrities speak, […]

If Virtual Communication Is so Important, Why Do I Feel so Bad Using It?

For most people, moving into the digital world to communicate means experiencing significant loss of clarity, ease, and depth.  You struggle to convey the lightness of tone you want in an email, and risk offending your colleague because the smile doesn’t come through.  You tune out during an audio conference because some connection is missing […]