Jan 182019
 

Technology has broken barriers in speech coaching and therapy

Not only has technology revolutionized the work environment for millions of executives, but it has also introduced alternatives for speech coaching, executive skills training and traditional speech language therapy.

In my practice I have incorporated remote therapy using Skype or FaceTime to help clients in all parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester and Rockland counties, as well as other areas of the United States.  Technology has allowed me to assist clients in Israel and various countries in Europe. 

Virtual platforms have broken down the barriers for communication in revolutionary ways. Busy executives can now utilize my services from their home or office, rather than spending valuable time commuting to an appointment.  

Skype and FaceTime works well for adults and adolescents who have active lives and for whom travel makes coaching and therapy difficult or impossible.

My office in Tarrytown, New York still allows clients to meet in person — which may be preferable in some cases.  Phone conferences can augment face-to-face meetings as well.  

Whether you live in Soho, the east or west side of Manhattan, or as far away as Israel, you can access the services of an experienced speech-language pathologist, communications coach and speech writer.

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Check back soon for more articles on communication coaching, executive function, speech pathology and speech writing.

 

Jan 052018
 

If you’re invited to make a speech, accept an award, introduce an honoree or give a toast, you can have a polished, professional speech written for you no matter where you live.

Gloria Lazar has written customized speeches for clients all over the country.  She creates a presentation to reflect each speaker’s goals and ideas.

You don’t have to live in Westchester county or New York City to use her services.  Clients can communicate through telephone, email, or Skype to discuss their goals and drafts of their speech.

If you need coaching to polish your speaking skills or boost your confidence as a speaker, you can meet in her office in Westchester county — or by using Skype or FaceTime you will have face-to-face practice and feedback from a professional speaking coach.

Employing the skills of a professional speechwriter and speaking coach can make you into a polished speaker.  A speech that influences people begins with a strong script.

That promotion or new business deal you’re hoping for can be even closer now!

 

Free stock photo of earth, guide, universe, travel

Jun 012017
 
  • Isn’t listening easier than speaking?

  • Aren’t listening and paying attention the same?

Most people will answer “yes” to these two questions.  But listening is actually more complicated than most people realize and in some ways, as difficult a process as expressing yourself.

While you must be paying attention in order to “listen” there are actually two types of listening: active vs. passive listening.

  • What is the difference between active and passive listening?

Passive listening involves acknowledging that another person is talking and following the speaker’s line of reasoning.  What’s missing are two critical steps that transform “passive” listening to “active” listening: assimilation and accommodation.

Assimilation is the process of hearing information and comparing it to your own knowledge, the first key to making the transition to active listening.  The next critical step is accommodation acting on the information by responding to it in some way, which might be finding an example from your own experience that illustrates what is being presented.

For the student in class this can mean listening to the teacher, copying notes from the slide or blackboard, acknowledging an understanding (assimilation), then adding a personal observation to the teacher’s idea, either by jotting it to his/her notes or sharing in the discussion (accommodation.)  The process of accommodation extends the student’s thinking beyond what has already been written or spoken.

In an interview this can be illustrated by listening to the interviewer’s question, understanding the question (assimilation), then taking into account the other person’s point of view and deviating from the response you had prepared to answer a specific question (accommodation.)  The prepared, personal “elevator” speech that does not address the topic or question posed can destroy your chances of being hired, making a sale or achieving a promotion. 

If you answered “yes” to the two questions at the beginning of this article you may be practicing “passive” rather than “active” listening.  If your interactions with others involves more of your own speaking, you may be employing only assimilation by following your own line of thought rather than going to the next step, accommodation.  Transforming what you expect to say to actually responding to the other speaker’s words or questions requires “active” listening.

Consider how much this can affect you in your personal as well as your professional life.  Problems of miscommunication between individuals frequently occurs because one person is employing “passive” listening only, not thoroughly engaging with what someone else has said.  This can be illustrated with the famous words, “I thought you said…” The problem of not assimilating and accommodating another speaker’s words and ideas often lies at the bottom of misunderstanding between individuals.  “Active” listening opens up stronger lines of understanding and communicating.

Being an “active” listener can be the key to success in school, business and personal life.

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Check back soon for more articles on communications, speech pathology, writing and executive function skills

 

Jul 052016
 

Interview on WVOX.6.10.13Hear a clip from my latest radio on Peter Moses’ show, “Eye on Westchester” and learn tips on how to be an effective speaker.

Jul 012015
 

TRUE OR FALSE?

  • Writing reports and essays are just requirements for school.
  • Emails don’t count as writing
  • All the grammar and punctuation you learn at school doesn’t apply in today’s technological world.
  • Computer programs and apps can correct mistakes in my writing.

If you believe any of the statements above are “true”, you’re in for a surprise.

Even though a great deal of  business correspondence takes place in the form of email, the fundamentals remain unchanged from the way things have been done for more than a century.  In today’s “real” world, resumes, letters and the traditional forms of business communication that previously took place by snail mail still remain the means for job application and information sharing.

If you apply for a job through an online portal you still need to write a convincing cover letter that makes you a desirable candidate to a potential employer.

If you write a report and email it to your boss, a clearly written document, proofread and without errors, remains the gold standard.

Spell check and grammar check frequently miss errors because the programs fail to identify “real” words (homonyms or homophones) that do not fit appropriately in a particular context.  For example, “There” is a real word, but you may mean “their” and spell check will not make the substitution for you.  The contraction “it’s” is not the same as the possessive pronoun “its” but an app will not catch the error.  Many Android and iPhone users of word prediction can relate embarrassing stories of sending an email that conveyed an entirely different meaning than intended because they didn’t catch the word the app inserted.

Fundamentally, technology functions assistively but computers do not infer a writer’s intention or the logic of an argument.  No computer program creates the sentences that describe a person’s experience or the results of a piece of research.  Technology may even sabotage a well-constructed sentence or paragraph by applying a generic form of spelling or a grammar principle that does not function appropriately in your writing.

In the end, there is no foolproof tool for standard spelling and grammar rules or an assistive device to carefully proofread a document.  Whether mailing a letter or hitting the “send” button, all those sometimes tedious rules of grammar and spelling still count.  In today’s highly competitive world, they count even more.

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Check back soon for more articles on writing, public speaking, speech pathology and executive function skills.

 

 

Jun 022015
 
  • Are the 3 r’s,”reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic” the basics of what one needs to know?

For many years, educators have emphasized “the 3 r’s” as the cornerstone of skills students must have for academic success.  While these remain critical skills, the fourth part of the cornerstone has rarely been given appropriate focus but remains essential for students and later in adulthood. Speaking, the other half of reading/writing, remains a neglected skill in education — but has major significance for students and adults.

Acquiring the ability to find words to express oneself, string them together in phrases and sentences, and articulate these complex sounds with the standard production within one’s spoken language is a process we take for granted.  Only when the process becomes disrupted do we question what is truly a miraculous feature of the human brain and nervous system.

When children have difficulty with developing speech and language — for a variety of reasons — we may come to understand how unique speaking is among all the living species.  So too, only when an adult has an injury or illness that disrupts the normal process of speech and language do we come to realize that these are skills usually taken for granted.

  • What about healthy, educated adults who find expressing themselves difficult?

To those individuals who have difficulty speaking — especially where they’re being judged or evaluated — it may appear that everyone else speaks fluently and easily.  This isn’t the reality, however.  More people have difficulty expressing their thoughts in formal settings than they will admit.  Adding to the pressure to speak well, the contexts for speaking/presenting occur more frequently as one progresses up the professional ladder.

  • Do poor speaking and/or writing skills make a difference in a world where technical knowledge remains most important?

In my practice I have worked with educated, intelligent individuals who need to express their ideas to clients and present their work in public forums.  Even further, they need to create reports and written documents to summarize and illustrate their expertise.

The critical abilities for organizing information and presenting in front of other professionals in a variety of contexts becomes a stumbling block for many people seeking professional development.  The link between the organization of material — focusing on key features (critical for any presentation) — and making a strong verbal presentation involves both writing and speaking skills.

  • Even in our technologically-oriented world, the twin verbal skills of speaking and writing remain critical life skills.

It seems clear that in the 21st century, the “3’r’s” need to be modified to the cornerstone of “3 plus 1”: “reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic, and speaking.”  Technology has become an important tool for information management and presentation, but the spoken/written word remains essential.

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Check back soon for more articles on public speaking, writing, speech pathology and executive function skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 102014
 

Interview on WVOX.6.10.13

 

Tune into Peter Moses’ radio show on WVOX, 1460 AM,  Monday, March 24 at 3 P.M.  We’ll be talking about my work as a speech and communications coach as well as other aspects of my practice as a speech-language pathologist.

I’ll be taking questions from listeners so feel free to call into the program.