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Ruth Milligan
When Thomas Jefferson was President, he didn’t give a State of the Union. And it wasn’t until 26 Presidents later that Woodrow Wilson took up the tradition again. History reports that Jefferson thought it was too monarchial like the Speech from the Throne, the equivalent talk in the House of Parliament kicking off a new session....
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“I guess I just want to get it over with. ” – Julie, an ar.tic.u.la.tion client. When someone is either bored with their content, nervous to speak or unable to engage their audience, the focus isn’t always the message, it’s the finish line. As a result, a mini-crisis happens when no one is happy with your talk....
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  ​​SLXLM ​Yesterday I attended the 69th inauguration of a governor in Ohio, this time for Gov. John Kasich.  His personal brand is immutable:  he’s driven by a higher force, is fiercely devoted to his family, and is determined to not let special interests get in the way of fixing Ohio (we have a $10...
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Last year when we launched ar.tic.u.la.tion in mid-summer, we had no idea that we’d get the overwhelming response that we did.  Between individual style coaching, signature story development advising and some unique teaching opportunities, we feel very lucky.  But we know we need to work hard for that luck, so here are the top 11...
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Here’s my list of bad to beautiful public speaking moments for 2010: 10.  We’ll start with bad:  I’m still amazed that this guy made it onto national news after the viral explosion of his supposed nomination speech at a political event in NE Ohio.  Nonetheless, I’ll chalk it up to good acting as there’s no way someone sober...
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While executing a public speaking and presentation training for rising executive at a national manufacturer recently, we inadvertently found a deep breaking point. While she broke down weeping we knew that it meant one thing: we found her pain. Her boss had employed us for a day of evaluation and experimentation.  She suspected that there...
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If you were invited to share your story or idea at an event with 400 progressive minds in a contemporary art museum, how could you refuse, right? Welcome to Pecha Kucha.  It means “chit chat” in Japanese and the concept started about 7 years ago and is now in over 350 cities worldwide.  Around 10 talks...
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Two weeks ago we produced the second TEDxColumbus.  Huzzah!!!  A wonderfully moving and inspiring afternoon of 13 different short talks and performances over 5 hours.  I adored helping talented, articulate people find their inner voice to share their riveting ideas.   And from our feedback and evaluations, we gave 400 enlightened audience members a moment (or...
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In our Influential Storytelling class at ar.tic.u.la.tion, we apply critical thinking methodologies to help properly frame a story. So on our summer family vacation a week ago, I thought I’d test the logic with my 7 year old daughter.  What better story to practice than “what I did this summer,” knowing she’d be quizzed upon returning to school...
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A college professor commented that his students were giving him a wide range of feedback on his lectures. “Some students think I’m the second coming and others think I’m a train wreck.  What gives?” Having heard him speak at a public forum and also having had many conversations with him, the answer was pretty simple....
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Today I found a little black dress. There it was hanging on the clearance rack, all unassuming, half-dangling from the hanger, slotted in the wrong size, looking plain, simple and even a bit forlorn. In my desperation to get a dress -any dress-  for an upcoming special occasion, I grabbed it, raced to the fitting...
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On Wednesday this week, Jan and I attended the ‘final exam’ in Alaina Sheer’s presentation transformation.   I hadn’t written about our style and delivery session that we had a few weeks ago as I knew there was some additional work to be done before she was really ready to present. Tuesday night we had a chance...
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Every May and June for 15 years I’d tune into CSPAN and watch graduation speeches. Thank goodness I got married one June and now have a few better things to do with my leisure time. But hearing about graduation speakers the last few weeks brings back some of those memories and how I would look...
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From fairy tales to extreme makeovers, who doesn’t love a good before-and-after story? HGTV has built an empire around ’em (with good reason) and TLC offers a veritable pantheon of makeover shows about babies, weddings and beauty. So Ruth and I thought it would be fun and, more importantly, helpful and enlightening, to feature a before-and-after story of...
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In today’s New York Times, an illuminating story about multi-tasking adorned the front page.  It’s disintegrating our ability to focus, the research argues (I would personally agree!).  And indeed, checking email, texting, facebooking, skyping, webinaring- whatever the task- must all be but aside for the careful work that is presentation preparation. I recently queried a PR...
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