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"You Put Your Hand On My Shoulder
and My Whole World Changed . . ."

by Burt Dubin

How a gentle touch, a word, a smile, can make a
lifelong difference . . .
and what you can do with this insight to make
yourself memorable . . .
indelibly memorable, to your audiences:

Where it began:

Milliard J. Bennett came to Philadelphia's Central YMCA at Broad and Arch Streets to speak. I lived there while working my way through Temple University. (Never did get a Degree.)

I listened as he said words that resonated unforgettably throughout my being.

    "Your voice is the instrument on which you play the symphony of your life."

I actually shivered at this concept. A young man with nothing from nowhere, I could create the symphony of my life with my voice.

I felt a thrill. I was empowered. I had a chance. Back then my voice was embedded with an accent known locally as the Philadelphia twang.

    Just about everyone I knew had that twang. (And most of my relatives still have it.) I resolved to get rid of it. But how?

Here's how I did it. For a start, I modeled my articulation after Walter Cronkite and John Chancellor. They were then the top TV news reporters for CBS and NBC.

I didn't stop there. A door-to-door salesman, I'd never seen nor read a sales training book. Across Kensington Avenue from my Uncle Herman's furniture store, out of which I worked, was a dusty, musty, used book store.

I asked the old man who ran it if he had any books on sales. He shrugged, made a face, scratched his head, paused to ponder.

Then he reached under the counter, dusted off an old, large format, clasp-bound mimeographed book by Jack Lacy. He wanted fifty cents for it. I bought it.

An appendix area of that musty book included voice exercises. Sounds to make to relax the lips, tongue, and jaw. Exercises to crisp the B's, P's, and T's. Other sounds to enhance the vowel sounds, a, e, i, o, and u. And more, a whole lot more.

I resolutely rehearsed every day from this Manual. My voice gradually became de-regionalized. Plus this: My self-confidence went up a lot.

    Milliard J. Bennett put his hand on my shoulder . . .and my whole world changed.

What about you?

The brilliant Jack Lacy departed this plane decades ago. And I have the original pages including every voice exercise he taught me. You may have a copy of the whole collation with my compliments.

Simply order any printed or audio product I offer. A physical print or audio product and not a pdf. Ask me to include your complimentary copy of the Jack Lacy voice exercises.

    I want you to put your hand on your audience's shoulder and make their whole world change.

Here's how to do it:

1. Know your stuff:

    Work diligently to make yourself an expert at something. Then, a world-class expert. You can do it. Never stop uncovering new truths, new insights, new strategies.

    Relentlessly refine your processes, your stories, your humor. Be that ever-opening thousand petaled lotus. Continue to evolve as long as you draw breath.

2. Be your message:

    More than anything you say or do, what your audience receives from you is your beingness, your state of being, your essence.

    Elements of your essence include your values, your principles, your personal philosophy. These are seen in your stance, mirrored in your glance, reflected in the resonance of your voice.

    Allow yourself to put your hand on your audience's shoulder and make their whole world change.

3. Resolutely research:

    Make up your mind you will get to know more, share more, give more, than anyone else anywhere. Subscribe to every periodical in your area of expertise. Buy and read every book, every Report, every word treating your specialty.

    Do not stop with hard copies. Investigate internet files. Often an obscure mention can open up new possibilities missed by others.

4. Synthesize and simplify:

    Make your findings as easy as possible to understand and accept. One way to do this is to tell stories of your adventures doing your research.

    Let your stories help you put your hand on your audience's shoulder and make their whole world change.

5. Create a General Session Speech:

    Include your unique take, your insights, your what-to's. Weave these threads together into a fascinating exposition. Include your personal stories, pratfalls and illustrations. Let them amplify and make clearer your points. Share vignettes you alone can tell because you lived them.

6. Produce a Breakout Session Program:

    This may be a how-to seminar. Or a hands-on workshop. This is where you get into the nuts and bolts of your findings.

7. Conclude with an action plan:

  • "Here's what you can do now . . ."
  • "These are the actions I recommend . . ."    
  • "Take these steps and you'll . . ."

Let the experiences you create for your audiences be illuminating, entertaining, laced with touches of humor, and enlivened by your personal stories.

Determine that you will touch people deeply, meaningfully, unforgettable.

Resolve that you will put your hand on their shoulder and cause their whole world to change.



 © Burt Dubin
 1 Speaking Success Road
 Kingman, AZ 86402-6543

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