Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In Contrast to the Supreme Court’s Last Term, Which “Looked Like a Desert, This New Term Looks Like a Tropical Rainforest”; “The Natural Regenerative Juices of Capitalism”—Use of Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize One’s Point

Will be completed by this coming weekend.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Have you checked out the latest edition (July/ August 2017) of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, which has been online since early August? Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rdEdition”):

1. indecorous
2. platitudinous
3. palpable
4. calcified
5. fusillade
6. encomium

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

High-Impact Public Speaking: a 30-Second Clip Displaying Stunning Vocal Variety by the Great Christopher Plummer

[Rewritten September 13, 2017]
The video clip below is from “The Exception,” a recent movie set in 1940 and centered on the last German Kaiser (Wilhelm II, played by actor extraordinaire Christopher Plummer) who, at the time, was living in exile in Holland.  

Background: For much of the 30-second clip, you see the Plummer character in a rage--he is fulminating because, moments earlier, a young guest at the dinner table had (naively) spoken about the privations suffered by his family in the aftermath of Germany’s defeat in WWI. To the Kaiser, the lament is a personal affront and hence the tantrum. [The opening words in the clip: “And this is my thanks? Nobody cares! My navy betrayed me...my army fell apart...”] 

Discussion of Plummer’s exemplary display of vocal variety, which is a key ingredient of highly effective public speaking: Beginning at the nine-second mark, we hear the Kaiser blame (General) Ludendorff, (Naval Minister) Tirpitz, and one other former official for his nation’s defeat, followed by “They stabbed me in the back. They lost me the war.” Then comes one of the most exceptional demonstrations of vocal variety I’ve ever seen: To give strong emphasis to his concluding words “They lost me my country,” Plummer takes a long, pregnant pause before uttering them in a dramatically lower voice volume and pitch. Public speaking at its absolute finest! 

BTW, just last week, one of my clients (an executive VP at a large healthcare firm here in Houston) was inspired by this very clip to inject some extraordinary--and extremely effective--vocal variety during the conclusion of a pep talk to her employees.

© Copyright 2017  V. J. Singal

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Neil Gorsuch Sure Doesn’t Know How to Pick a Necktie; If You Have a Low-Contrast Face, Like His, You Can do Much Better!

Neil Gorsuch, the newest addition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s lofty bench of nine justices, is undoubtedly one of the finest and most competent jurists in the land. But with respect to attire--specifically, in the matter of picking a necktie for, say, special occasions--I’m afraid this judge extraordinaire doesn’t seem to have a clue.

[Yes, some aspects of Neil Gorsuch’s ideology are antithetical to mine. Yet, I must admit, I was extremely impressed by the gravitas he displayed during his Senate confirmation hearings this past March.]

Discussion of the clip below, which is from early February when, following his nomination by President Trump, Gorsuch began calling on prominent U.S. senators, as do all Supreme Court nominees prior to their confirmation hearings. The moment you launch the video clip--I’m afraid it’s only three seconds long--your eyes will be captured by Gorsuch’s extremely high contrast tie. Of course, you will then look at his face but only momentarily because the low center of gravity of his overall attire (thanks to that attention grabbing neckwear) will force down your gaze and keep it there.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts on men’s attire, you’ll see my point. If not, and for tips on how someone who, like Gorsuch, has a low contrast visage can sharply enhance their appearance and add a glow to their face, start with the November 27, 2011, post and then look at some of the more recent ones bearing the label “men’s attire.” You’ll find the ones featuring Sen. Bob Corker to be particularly useful.

A request to any reader who has a hotline to Justice Gorsuch: Please convey the following offer to the illustrious judge: “Even though I do not share some of your extremely conservative ideology, I’ll be thrilled to give you a free coaching session on how to sharpen your appearance. The only cost to you: the roundtrip fare from Houston to Washington D.C.”

© Copyright 2017  V. J. Singal

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Have you checked out the May/June 2017 of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, which has been online since about a month ago? Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rdEdition”):

1. abstruse
2. bellicose
3. smorgasbord
4. egomaniacal
5. saliency
6. obeisant

 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“Trying to Remodel the Kitchen While You’re Also Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner”; “Powerful Women are like Napalm to me”; “the Picasso of Passive-Aggressive Karate”--Use of Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize One’s Point

[Rewritten July 31, 2017]

Here are some recent examples of highly effective communicators using a vivid, evocative expression while emphasizing something and thus making their assertion indelible--examples which, I hope, will inspire the rest of us into similarly imaginative analogies, especially when we are trying to break through the clutter.

  • Discussing the steep challenges being faced during the construction of an all-new terminal complex at Salt Lake City International Airport, their Director of Operations, Peter Higgins, telling PBS’s “Nightly Business Report” earlier this year: “In many cases--airports particularly--you end up building on the same footprint you're occupying. So, oftentimes, you're trying to remodel the kitchen while you're trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner!
 
  • [From my 2014 archives.] In response to Charlie Rose’s comment “You also create good roles for women,” famous movie director David O. Russell saying: “Yes, powerful women have become the napalm to me as a filmmaker...Melissa Leo in ‘The Fighter,’ Amy Adams in ‘American Hustle,’ Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’... Powerful women who can clean your clock in a way you never see coming. They can surprise you; they can, as Irving (Christian Bale’s character in ‘American Hustle’) says of the Jennifer Lawrence character: ‘She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate.’ I love every aspect of (Jennifer and Amy)--from the glamor to the rawness.” 
   
© Copyright 2017  V. J. Singal

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Just realized that I had not announced in this blog the last edition (March/ April 2017) of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature. It has been online since the end of March. Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The ArticulateProfessional-3rd Edition”): 

1. tribune
2. vapid
3. redolent
4. sophomoric
5. mendacious
6. vivify

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Vocabulary Expansion Words: New Edition of “Words of the Month”

Have you checked out the latest edition (January/ February 2017) of Words of the Month,” my free vocabulary enrichment feature, which has been online since about a month ago? Here are the six featured words, all of which lie within the conversational vocabulary of America’s most articulate (as is the case with all of the words featured in my book, The Articulate Professional-3rdEdition”):

1. studied
2. detritus
3. assuage
4. inexplicable
5. predilection
6. volte-face

 
 
 

Friday, January 27, 2017

“Great Art Has Been Put Into a Coma”; “Sears is Like the Mythical Headless Horseman Wandering Aimlessly In the Night Looking for its Lost, Never-To-Be-Found Head”--Use of Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize One's Point

[Rewritten on May 27, 2017]

Here are some recent examples of highly effective communicators using a vivid, evocative expression while emphasizing something and thus making their assertion indelible--examples which, I hope, will inspire the rest of us into similarly imaginative use of the language, especially when we are trying to break through the clutter.
 
  • (From a BBC TV news report earlier this year) Commenting on the Geneva Freeport--one of the largest such fortified storage facilities in the world and which houses in secrecy over a million works of art (including hundreds of Picassos), most of which are destined not to be seen by the public for decades--a curator lamenting: Great art has been put into a coma.”
 
A quick 101 on “free ports”: Described by some as “the greatest museums no one can see,” free ports are tax-free facilities for goods in transit and, according to the BBC, these are places “where the super-rich can secretly store their priceless art works that often include smuggled, even Nazi-looted, paintings. (As a result) great masterpieces can be incarcerated here for decades!” Thus, these free ports are a serious impediment to stamping out the illegal art trade.
 
  • With reference to the fast declining fortunes of Sears (stock price plummeting over 40% in the past year and 70% in the most recent three years; sales down from $41b in 2012 to $22b in 2016), Mark Cohen, former CEO of Sears Canada and now a marketing professor at Columbia Business School, telling PBS’s “Nightly Business Report” this past winter: “Sears Holding is like the mythical headless horseman wandering aimlessly in the night looking for its lost, never-to-be-found head.”
© Copyright 2017  V. J. Singal