I was working with a CEO recently who had to give an all-important speech.
It meant a lot to him, both personally and professionally.
The thing is, he struggled with some words that popped up in his talk.
Words like ‘compulsory’, ‘psychological’, ‘beneficiary’, and ‘affiliation’.
Those would make any mouth stumble, especially with the added pressure that thousands would be watching or listening to this speech.
I shared a simple, concrete tip with him that really changed the game.
Happy to share it here with all of you!
When you have a challenging word or phrase in your text, song lyric, voiceover script, or screenplay (or just about anything else you are reading or using for preparation…), these challenging words usually just jump out and bite you on the booty when you least expect it.
I call them ninjas. You don’t know they are there until it’s too late.
Then your mouth starts trying desperately to wrap itself around these words and not sound like an idiot.
You feel like a fraud, stupid, and unprepared.
But you’re not!
So this is how we stop those ninjas.
When you are preparing, highlight in a bright color (don’t just make the font in bold, but really highlight it with a color that stands out!). These are the words you need to focus on. Say them separately, and sloooowly. Then see what word is before and after this word. Try to ‘hook’ it into the previous word or following word to see if you can ‘blend’ it in naturally, after mastering the word alone.
And here’s the coolest part: Your eyes now get to train your mouth, by seeing the color coming up and anticipating this word. This way, whether it be on paper or on a screen, while you are rehearsing, preparing, or reading through it, your eyes can tell your mouth ‘Hey, watch out! A challenging word is coming up! In the next paragraph……in the next sentence….in the next word….oh, here it IS!’
And your mouth be like ‘Ok, babe, I got this. I’m ready now. Thanks for the heads up!’
Your eyes and your mouth can work beautifully together.
I’ve seen people apply this for the first time right in front of me, and the difference is astounding.
From shaky to success in just a few simple steps!
So, just to recap:
1. Identify challenging words or phrases.
2. Highlight them with a bright color (not in bold, that doesn’t stand out enough).
3. Say each word slowly – break it down into syllables, then put it back together.
4. See what word comes before/after this word – can you ‘hook’ it into those words?
5. When reading the text, your eyes will tell your mouth that a tricky word is coming up.
6. You are READY TO SLAY THE WORD NINJAS, YOUNG GRASSHOPPER!
You got this!
Try it and let me know how it goes!
Buffi The Ninja Slayer