September 23, 2014

Do You Have "The Gift"?

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a pair of lips and teeth

What’s the key to a succesful DJ career?

Music programing? Sure, the floors need to be rotated to maximize fun and liquor sales.

But you don’t get behind the console, and don’t get to accept the check, unless you have The Gift.

The Gift is this: The ability to treat every sales call or pitch, no matter how formal, as a conversation, using volume, pacing, and pitch to speak more effectively. For example, Maria Guida, president of Successful Speaker, Inc. advises that you project, so that people furthest away from you can hear easily, and always maintain a conversational tone. “To emphasize key points, pause and then slow down,” she says. “Vary your pitch, and become aware of the pitch glide at the end of your statements. An upward glide communicates a yes/no question. Ending a statement with a pitch glide upward, therefore, projects a questioning intention and a lack of confidence. To command authority, be sure to end your statements with a pitch glide downward.”

You can increase your speaking power by reducing your use of fillers (“um,” “uh,” “you know,” etc.) How? Set a timer for three minutes and tape yourself as you speak in extended sentences on any topic of your choice. As you speak, imagine that your words create a long string of pearls that are connected with no breaks. When you feel the urge to use a filler, stop yourself, pause, and then say the filler silently to yourself. Play back the tape and monitor your speech for fillers. If you practice this exercise each week, you will begin to use fillers less and less frequently.

If you use these techniques to project confidence and professionalism, you’re guaranteed to enhance your power to persuade your listener.

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