“Personal effectiveness is the core of our business.”
- Sheila Viesca, TalkShop

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cross Cultural Communication Issues

Proficiency in  English, the global language, is not a guarantee that a foreigner will be able to easily adopt to another culture, even one that is well-versed in English.  Add to this the pressure of addressing differences in world views and acceptance of varying points of references. Not only do words and expressions vary among cultures, there is also the consideration of tonality and gestures that can make one interpret expressions differently.  Foreigners have to consider many things beyond the language to avoid potential conflicts resulting from misunderstanding. Slight mistakes from lack of awareness and sensibility can be costly.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why Bruce Wayne Does Not Appeal to Me

I'm sure everyone's excited about the new Batman movie: The Dark Knight Rises.  I'm also sure it will be a big hit. I can already see the guys lined up to buy the early bird tickets as their girlfriends wonder why they're so obsessed with a man who dresses up like a bat. It must be the high-tech gadgets and tank-like cars which, I assure you, looks nowhere near as stylish as the previous versions of the batmobile.

Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire playboy and philanthropist. And yes, he's another rich playboy just like the man dressed in iron. But despite the reputation of being a mega playboy, I still can't understand how any woman would allow herself to fall for someone like Bruce Wayne. I'm sure most guys would beg to disagree but let me explain why he does not appeal to me:

Which Public Toilet Should Transgender People Use?

Which toilet should transgender people use? I never bothered with this seemingly trivial matter until one day at a mall toilet I witnessed how a few of them got shooed out by the guard on duty. After doing some research, I gathered some straightforward definition of the transgender terms we usually encounter. I hope they help as TalkShop invites you to share your views on the topic.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Road to Language Mastery

"You need more training, Daniel-san."
The road to mastery is never easy, but at least it exists. In the heart of many is the desire to master a craft, a skill, a song, a hobby, a profession, a direction. How does one move from a hopeless starting point to an excellent path? More than anything, believe that you can do it. Whether your desire is to be a prolific writer, outstanding speaker, the best educator - all you have to do is to believe that you can be that. And then start.

Harv Eker is indeed accurate when he immortalized the line "every master was once a disaster." No one starts at the point of excellence. Everything that is worth mastering has first been learned painfully. Despite the desire to be the best in a certain endeavor, regardless of the motivation one has, or even the confidence he gets from supportive individuals, he will usually struggle in the beginning. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writing by Hand Makes You Smarter

When Typing On A Keyboard, This Process May Be Impaired

Associate professor Anne Mangen at the University of Stavanger's Reading Centre asks if something is lost in switching from book to computer screen, and from pen to keyboard. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Science of Body Language: Signs of Confidence

We've all heard it before; actions speak louder than words. It's because of this phrase that many people have started studying body language as a science and an art. The uses can be extensive from corporate meetings to picking up girls in a club. What's amazing is even if you're not drop-dead gorgeous or the C.E.O. of a multinational company, the right body language can be your golden ticket to looking confident. So let's discuss the key signs of body language that can unlock your hidden potential.

1. Open Up

Friday, July 06, 2012

Write to Sell

After all, the pen is more profitable than the sword.

What is the point of writing if no one is going to buy your ideas?  Even seasoned writers tend to get carried away with impressive vocabulary and complicated explanations, not minding how easy they lull their readers to sleep.  Whatever you want to say or sell, you improve your chances when you focus on achieving these writing goals:

1. Always have the reader in mind.  Plan your composition and presentation according to what will be pleasing and relevant to the reader.  The reader's concern and perspective is your North star in writing.

2. Know the rules of the game.  Be polite and professional.  Be sure to give sincere compliments and non-offensive observations if you have to.  Also, be friendly without over-fraternizing.  Your written expressions should be conversational, but remember that you are having a conversation with a client, not a childhood chum.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

How to Be Yourself

While most of us worry about how we look and act in front of other people, nothing beats the saying "be yourself". We've heard it a thousand times and this advice has been used for just about anything. The more casual questions would include: What should I wear to the party tonight? How should I approach my crush? and What will the popular kids think of me?

Even for corporate scenarios "be yourself" has become the all-around solution to: How can I impress my boss? What's the best way to close a client? and Is there a short-cut to delivering a great presentation?

While it's safe to say this advice was meant to do more good than harm, its vagueness makes it difficult to grasp the concept of being yourself. In a speech it's always important to share yourself instead of pretending to be a radio announcer. People who pretend to be someone else are called posers. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Creativity in Teaching

The most interesting teachers have mastered creativity.  What can we learn from the best educators who have made a difference in our life as students?

First of all, let us establish that your being new or seasoned in your teaching career does not necessarily equate to your mastery of this very important skill.   Therefore, there is great hope for those who are just starting and still some fresh techniques to learn for those who have been teaching for years.

Here are some lessons I have learned and used over the years.  And even on my most hectic days teaching, I never felt like I was working:

The 5 Worst Habits in Public Speaking

Most seasoned speakers prepare themselves through practice and careful preparation whereas novice speakers believe their natural talent and ability is enough to get them through the presentation. NEVER wing your presentation. This is because no matter how good you are, your natural tendencies will get the best of you. So here's a list of the top 5 worst habits unprepared speakers make in their speech.