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Aug 29, 2017


2 Minute Tip: Sit Up Straight

  Generally it's best to stand while you speak. If you're running a webinar, presenting on a conference call, or going through a phone screen interview for a new job, st6anding may not be feasible. In that case, it's important to sit up straight, just like your kindergarten teacher told you.   When you slouch or lean back in your chair, it changes the quality of your voice. It actually alters the way air flows through your chest and voice box. In my case, when I sit back, my voice develops more vocal fry and loses resonance. You can actually see the difference in the audio wave form here:     The section to the left of the red line is what happens when I slouch. To the right is how it looks when I sit up straight.   So when you speak from a chair, sit up straight.  

Post Tip Discussion: Tell a Story

  This week I told a story about the importance of an LED Backlit keyboard to a laptop customer.   Here are four reasons I like to tell this story:

  • It changes the pace of a presentation or training session.
  • It demonstrates the emotional power of stories
  • It illustrates how we all matter. No matter what our job, we can have a profound impact on people's lives.
  • It illustrates the difference between features and benefits in a sales context, or the importance of WBTU and WIIFM in a presentation context (Why Bring That Up and What's In It For Me).

  Tips to become a more effective Storyteller:

  1. Identify 3 stories a week and write down a one line summary of each one.
  2. Listen to the stories other speakers tell and ask yourself why those stories do or don't work.
  3. Share stories with your colleagues so everyone has more stories to tell
  4. Choose one of your stories each week, and write it out in detail.
  5. List 5 speeches, situations, or circumstances in which you can tell that story.
  6. List out the emotions or feelings that story evokes.
  7. For your next talk, challenge yourself to incorporate at least one relevant story


Call To Action


  1. Work on your own story telling skills using the tips I talked about
  2. Do you have any favorite stories you like to tell? Let us know in the comments below or leave voice feedback at 650-Talk-Tip
  3. Sit up straight in your chair for your next important phone call
  4. Subscribe to 2 Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app
  5. If you found this topic interesting, please share it with a friend or colleague
  6. Becoming a great story teller takes work, but remember…don't get best. Get better. See you next week