Communicate like a Pro to Influence, Engage and Activate 
Mari Pat Varga, Varga Communications 


Tone of Voice - the skewer that secures your brand

Smart brands know exactly who they are and one of the first things
they do well is to make sure that every single touch-point they have with customers is consistent and reflects their brand identity.

Every company has a multitude of communication points - it could be a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, advertising, business cards, a storefront and even what people hear when they call and are put on hold.

Under the Influence's Terry O'Reilly describes the success of a smart brand as adhering to what he calls his "Shiskabob" theory.

Mr. O'Reilly says to think of all those customer touch-points as tasty items on a shish-kabob. There is a piece of beef, a piece of chicken, a tomato, a green pepper and a mushroom.
All different, each with a unique taste and function.
But here's the important part - all these things are held together by a skewer. And that skewer is a consistent tone of voice.  In other words, everything should feel like it's coming from the same place.

If your brand's tone of voice is "Fast, Friendly and Fun" assess all customer touch-points to make sure that tone of voice rings true whether they are visiting your website, talking to staff at check-out or phoning your call center for support.

You also have a personal brand.  Review all the touch-points with your internal and external customers.  If you want others to perceive you as Collaborative, Responsive and Practical -  make sure those qualities are seen and felt during all interactions.

Selling yourself and developing your personal brand may be the most important campaign you ever undertake.
Borrow a page from smart marketers - differentiate yourself. The best brands are the most clearly defined ones. They are ones that are held together by a consistent and compelling tone of voice.  Let your unique personality shine through and build your brand. 
Improve your Presentations with an Actor's Moves

When you go to the theatre and see actors on the stage communicating a story, we get wrapped-up in the action and forget that the lines that are spoken are scripted and the movement on stage is choreographed. If the production and talent are good it all looks and feels organic and yet it was orchestrated well in advance.

Business speakers can use similar techniques when making a presentation or delivering a big conference speech.

Wherever you are presenting - think of it as a stage and remember that your job is to leverage the space wisely. Avoid the trap of standing in one spot or positioning yourself behind a lectern or walking aimlessly.

To command your audience's attention you need to
  • Begin and end your presentation, front and center. Create intimacy with your audience by delivering your opening remarks "downstage" - as close to your audience as is possible.
  • Transition naturally to "stage right" to make your first point. This purposeful and strategic movement will let your audience know you are moving on to your first point.
  • Land on your "mark" and present solidly from that point (keep your feet firmly planted) - this will hold your audience's attention.
  • Move "upstage" on your next point and present from that new location.
  • Round the bend to "stage left" for your final point.
  • Conclude downstage - again, getting close to your audience for your final thoughts.
You can certainly change-up the movement (for instance, going from downstage to stage left, then to stage right, then upstage and finally downstage) but remember that the goal of this technique is to provide your audience with a road map.  Your objective is to organize your listener's thinking and your purposeful movement on the stage or in the room will guide your audience seamlessly from one idea to another. When you stick to one spot in the room it is more difficult for your audience to distinguish the differences between your ideas and main points.
"A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience's attention, then he can teach his lesson" John Henrik Clark
Use your body language and movement to hold your audience's attention and guide them though the message you want them to absorb.

Interested in improving your communication, presentation or leadership skills?  We consult, train and coach.  Let's have a conversation.

  Call us today at 773 989-7348 or email us at
Varga & Associates, Inc. | | 773 989-7348| 
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