Sunday, August 2, 2009

July's top 10 tips: tests & inspiration

You shared your tips, told us your tests, took one of ours--in the form of contest entries--and looked to this blog for inspiring role models among some of today's most powerful women speakers, CEOs and public servants. Here are the July posts that captured and held your attention the most:
  1. Testing yourself as a speaker is tops: Our 15 Weeks to Step Up Your Speaking contest was this month's most popular post, far and away--July was the month to mull and prepare your entries. We've got a great group of entrants and you'll be reading more about them in August.
  2. Q&A wins the day: You may have practiced your presentation, but what about those questions from the audience? It's not just the extemporaneous speaking portion, but the chance the Qs will throw you off your topic. Two readers asked for help on this and the result is the Graceful Ways with Q&A post, our 2nd most-popular July offering.
  3. Readers rule: Seven readers shared with us their answers to this question: What's the best speaking advice you've received--and put into actual use? And you sought out their suggestions!
  4. Speaking fear inspires a CEO: We pointed you to a profile of Carol Smith, senior VP of the Elle Group, who says she's "most proud" of overcoming her fear of public speaking.
  5. Secretaries, listen up: In a month of inspiring posts, we caught this speech opener by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who talks about how she was almost steered into a clerical position, but made it to the Cabinet. It's a great opening line and a moving inspiration.
  6. Words DO matter: This funny video animaton debunks the "Mehrabian myth" that says your audience focuses most on what they see, not what you say. But it's not quite that easy--check this out!
  7. Say it out loud: To mark the 4th of July, the U.S. Independence Day, we use National Public Radio's reading of the Declaration of Independence as a vocalizing exercise--a great way to practice on a text other than your own.
  8. Ginsberg tells all: Do you get ignored in meetings or hear others claim your ideas as their own well after you brought the thought up? Know that no less a powerhouse than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg understands what you're experiencing.
  9. More role models: We can't get enough video examples for you to watch of top women speakers online, so enjoy these new videos from Mashable's top 7 places to watch great minds in action.
  10. CEO says go on speaking: Kenneth Cole CEO Jill Granoff rounds out this month's inspiration, talking about how speaking and presenting advanced her career.