Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Language of Miss World

The Winners of Miss World 2012

Miss World 2012
Recently Ms. Wenxia Yu from The Peoples Republic of China was crowned Miss World 2012 out of 116 contestants.  The top 2 runners up were Sophie Moulds of Wales and Jessica Kahawaty of Australia. The top contestants of the 62nd Miss World Pageant put on a stunning display in all areas. 

Background & Style
The Miss World Pageant is one of the oldest and most publicized international beauty pageants in the world.  "Beauty with a Purpose" is the Miss World Pageant’s motto and banner program. Along with creating an international beauty contest, the pageant supports charities around the world. 

Speaking Styles
The Miss World beauty contestants use a formalized speaking style when creating statements or answering questions.  Let’s take a look at a few ‘moments in time’ from two of these extraordinary winners of 2012.

Wenxia YU The Language of Miss World
Winner of The Miss World Pageant
The Peoples Republic of ChinaWenxia Yu
"When I was young I felt very lucky because so many people helped me, and I hope in the future I can help more children to feel lucky," Yu, a 23-year-old aspiring music teacher said when asked why she should be crowned.

Although this is an answer to a question, Miss World Wenxia Yu creates a formalized statement.  It is powerful yet subtle.  The new Miss World is essentially saying, “I was lucky and now I hope to create luck for others” or “I was given help and now I hope to give back”.  Instead of just an answer, Wenxia Yu has created her own personal media label in one short positive message. 

Jessica Kahawaty  The Language of Miss World
2nd Runner-up for The Miss World Crown
Australia – Jessica Kahawaty
Here is an answer from Jessica Kahawaty when she was competing in Australia to become Miss World Australia. 

Question:  Are pageants still relevant in this day and age?

Jessica Kahawaty’s Answer:  They definitely are.  Pageants are an opportunity for women to be ambassadors for their countries and use their title for beneficial social and charitable purposes. Pageants also yield self-confidence for women. Miss World in particular does so, as it allows contestants to demonstrate their talents and fitness abilities.

Jessica Kahawaty’s answer is succinct and logical.  First, Jessica answers that pageants are definitely relevant in this day age.  Next, she supports her idea with 4 reasons: (1) opportunity for women to be ambassadors, (2) use their title for beneficial social and charitable purposes, (3) yield self-confidence for women, (4) contestants can demonstrate their talents and fitness abilities.  Also, because Miss World is her goal, she highlights the singularity of the Miss World organization as being a self-confidence booster and a demonstration of talent and fitness ability.  Moreover, these ideas speak in a positive way to the negative nuance of the question, which infers that beauty contests are relics from a crass, male dominated society.  Jessica Kahawaty finessed the question like a pro speaker.

Miss World!
 A final key element that can be seen in both of the ladies speaking styles is 'formality'.  Unlike a speaker using a more casual style to communicate, they implement a
formalized presentation style that might also be found in high school, university, science, or business.   You won’t hear the contestants using speaking fillers/pauses such as aaahhh, ummh, well, let me think, or let’s see.  These are considered errors in this style of speech.  The answers need to be strong, logical, and without pause. Casual speaking fillers and pausing don’t convey these speaking/presentation ideals. 

Congratulations to all of the Miss World participants!
See you next week,
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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Glamour & Beauty & Talking Style with Jennifer Lopez!

Jennifer Lopez Glamour & Beauty
Beauty & Glamour are constantly talked about on TV, in magazines, and with friends from the block.  Jennifer Lopez, recording artist, actress, businesswoman, and mother, exudes Glamour and Beauty.  She has been a trendsetter for many years and is considered by some to have redefined beauty in Hollywood.  Jenny from the block has become a Glamour & Beauty Icon for the ages!

“The 40+-year-old says she loves to get glammed up but looking good is hard work.  I don't want anybody thinking it's easy. It does take time and it's hard work. HDTV wide-screen is nobody's friend!”  ~ Jennifer Lopez - Glamour & Beauty Statement ~


Interviewer:  What is your beauty routine?

J-Lo (Jennifer Lopez): My routine is really basic. I don't have any crazy secrets, like sleeping upside down or whatever! I just try to take care of myself, because it's so easy to get lazy, and not cleanse your skin and not put moisturizer on before you go to bed, or not use conditioner on your hair when you can.

Interviewer:  What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

J-Lo: I have a shower to get that fresh, clean feeling I love, and then I put on my moisturizer. I always use lots of moisturizer.

Interviewer:  How do you get that wonderful glow to your skin?

J-Lo: I've always taken good care of my skin. I protect it from the sun and, because it is normal to dry, I try to keep it moisturized, especially when I'm flying. To get a natural, radiant look I choose neutral shades of make-up for my lips and eyes - the more nude, the better.

Interviewer:  What products are always in your beauty bag?

J-Lo: I usually have lip gloss in there, and perfume, mascara and moisturizer. That's about it. Oh, and I love bronzer too.

Talking Style

Jennifer Lopez has a reputation as being a Diva but in an interview she comes across as very down to earth, friendly, and approachable.  J-Lo is enthusiastic and happy to share information about the topic of Glamour & Beauty.  She gives lots of detailed information about her techniques.  Jennifer’s speaking style is as smooth as her skin and glows with a natural beauty that the listener can relate to even if we aren’t glamour and beauty icons. 

For example:

“The 41-year-old says she loves to get glammed up but looking good is hard work.”
~ In other words, no untouchable Celeb magic just hard work.  You know the feeling. ~

“My routine is really basic. I don't have any crazy secrets, like sleeping upside down or whatever!” 
~ In other words, anyone can follow my routine.  I am not hiding any beauty secrets from you. ~

“J-Lo: I usually have lip gloss in there, and perfume, mascara and moisturizer. That's about it. Oh, and I love bronzer too”  ~ In other words, nothing exotic.  Any lady can have these beauty tools in their beauty bag. ~

Relating to the listener or your audience is an important point in presenting yourself in conversation or to the public.  When the listener feels they are relating to your ideas, then they listen more, want more, and ask more questions.  It also creates a sense of empowerment, for those listening, that you can do it too! It’s not magic or out of reach.  It is just good old fashioned, down to earth, hard work.  But at the same J-Lo gives the listener a boost by sharing her thoughts on Glamour & Beauty.  It is nice to hear this advice from a pro because, for most of us, we struggle on a daily bases about how look good!  Jennifer Lopez is reassuring and empowering at the same time. 


The above ideas can be transferred -super effectively- into conversational situations if you are the speaker.  It will make people want to listen to you while feeling good about themselves.  This strategy is creates a type of magnetism around the speaker.  The listener feels they can trust the speaker or relate to you because you are like them.  However, consciously or subconsciously, the listener feels you (the speaker) are in some way ahead of them or doing better than them in some aspect of life.  Listeners will be drawn to you.  With this feeling developed in the listener, the speaker can then create a sense of empowerment: ‘You can do it to!’ or ‘You can be like me! It’s not impossible!’ With these emotions established within the listener, the listener will listen more, want more, and ask more questions.  And if they try and use your ideas successfully, they will come back for more.  As adult relationship research has revealed, people tend to respond positively to people they feel are similar to themselves even if they are not in reality.  J-Lo is a master! The listener feels like J-Lo and is empowered to become like J-Lo without even knowing it.  And of course, in reality, not many people in the world are  even close to having similar lives as J-Lo.  J-Lo is a superstar celebrity that is off the charts in music, acting, beauty, glamour, and a thousand other things!  However, we will happily come back for more!

Give it a Try! Let your J-Lo loose!
Try it out with a friend!  It can be a lot of fun!  To come across smooth, confident, and enthusiastic, a speaker’s answers must be practiced and detailed.  Over time you will refine them to suite your style! 

Here some fill in the blanks with your own Glamour & Beauty Style.  Fill in the blanks might feel a bit weird or phony but, in reality, celebrities also script their answers for the media. 

Question 1: What is your beauty routine?

Your Glamorous Answer 1: My routine is really basic. I don't have any crazy secrets, like __________ or whatever! I just try to take care of myself, because it's so easy to get lazy, and not ___________________________________________________.

Question 2: What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Answer 2: I ___________________________________________________.

Question 3: How do you get that wonderful glow to your skin?

Answer 3: I've always taken good care of my skin. I ___________________________________________________.

Question 4: What products are always in your beauty bag?

Answer 4: J-Lo: I usually have lip gloss in there, and ________, ________ and ________. That's about it. Oh, and I love ________ too.

If you are finding it a bit difficult try what J-Lo does, make a Glamour & Beauty statement.  Don’t worry about spelling or grammar! Just write an idea or two.  Don’t stress out about it!  Leave it for a day and then look at it again.  It will help you to rough out your own personal ideas of Glamour & Beauty!

Take care Glamour & Beauty Icons and I will see you next week! 
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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Olympian Michael Phelps - Behind the Scenes!

Olympian Michael Phelps
With 22 Olympic medals, Michael Phelps has set a new record! Michael also now holds the record for having the most gold medals – 18.  He is truly an incredible aquatic athlete getting a lot of world attention! 
This week let’s take a look at one of Michael’s key supporters – his mom - Debbie Phelps.  I always find it interesting to take a behind the scenes look at people who achieve greatness.  Specifically, I am interested in language and ideas.  So, this week is an excerpt of Debbie Phelps’ parenting ideas and talking style. 
Olympian Michael Phelps and Mother
Interviewer: What types of ideas do you feel are important for raising a child?

Debbie Phelps:  Kids, they need boundaries, limitations, routine and consistency.  That’s what I tried to do with Michael. Every day after school, he would put his back pack in the same place in our house, maybe go shoot some hoops, come in for a nutritious snack, and then pack his bag for swim practice. He followed his daily schedule on a regular basis. He knew his stuff had to be done in order to go swimming.

Interviewer:  So did you say to him "Michael, you can't go to swimming unless your stuff is done?"

Debbie Phelps:  The words "no" and "can't" aren't really in my vocabulary, so I would just say, "before you go to swimming, you need to do your work. Are you able to accomplish that?”

Interviewer:  So swimming helped him get organized.

Debbie Phelps:  Absolutely. Any sport teaches kids the characteristics and strengths they need - respect, responsibility, getting along with others, success, and taking unsuccessful moments and turning them around to something positive. The pool was really good for Michael. It's a huge rectangle with boundaries. In a pool, there are only so many places you can go. Just back and forth, back and forth. So he was always within his element, within his comfort zone.

With regards to raising a child, structured consistency in a safe environment seems to be one of the more important ideas for Debbie.  Debbie feels that the sports, and particularly a swimming pool setting, are ideal growth environments along with ideas such as respect, responsibility, socialization, success, and creating positive situations from negative ones.  Moreover, setting boundaries with a positive question style is another corner stone to Debbie’s beliefs.   Debbie uses swimming as a reward tool.  If your work (school work) is done, then you can go enjoy swimming. 

Language Style
“The words ‘no’ and ‘can't’ aren't really in my vocabulary…”

Debbie presents herself as a positive role model in that she avoids the use of ‘no’ and ‘can’t’.  Michael was always told that he needed to finish his work first and then he could swim.  An interesting, positive question Debbie used was: “Are you able to accomplish that?”  In other words, Can you handle school and sports commitments at the same time?  School comes first and sports next in Debbie’s thoughts.  She could have said, “You can’t go swimming unless you finish your homework! or “No swimming until your homework is done!”  Instead she talked to her young son, as a young adult.  Debbie is firm but fair and positively oriented at the same time.  Pretty cool!  She is probably quite a positive, social person herself. 

How about you?  What do you think?

1.What do you think are important ideas for raising a child?

2.What are your personal experiences with sports and personal growth?

3.What are some positive ways we can ask or get people to do what we want/need without saying ‘no’ or ‘can’t’? 

Celebrity Language and Culture!

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