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Hope the Mother’s Day Weekend was all you wanted.  I miss my parents everyday of the year.

Have you ever come across a product that you hoped would live up to the hype, the technology would be advanced enough to give you the level of satisfaction you seek?

Recently I thought I found something that would be a tremendous way to promote the new speaking/writing course Painting My Room In A Colorful Way.  It’s a software that converts text from an article to a video.

There is some work involved and it isn’t as user friendly as it should be but if it had made the grade of at least a B+ I could overlook the imperfections.  The short story on the inner workings is you take an article and paste the title and the text into the appropriate boxes.  You can upload a photo if you would like or use one of their stock images.  You have the opportunity to upload audio or use one of their files.  They offer different type of backgrounds and fonts but not font sizes (that is one of the many facets that needs improving).

Once you have pasted the text in the box you are forced to make the words separate paragraphs regardless of how you feel about this.  Each paragraph gives you the opportunity to use 1 of 8 voices (4 female and 4 male).  An imperfection that came up right away was sometimes only one voice would work.  Other times all eight could be selected but a few sounded overly robotic.

The text must all be in English and the software doesn’t understand ” or ‘ so you have to make sure to remove those before getting into the final phases.  Another surprising failure is at times a basic word is not understood.  If you could imagine my surprise when “Dog” freaked out the system.  None of the voices understood the word but could read circumvent or superlative.

There were times I had to close out of the software because the voices picked up completely unrelated gibberish.  Instead of reading the text a series of numbers that had nothing to do with the article were being articulated.

The overall start to finish time is about 3 minutes per article but it would be far better to be 10 and have the error rate go down considerably.

My first inclination and using the product only enhanced my view is that it was released too soon.  There are so many issues that could use tweaking.  At the very end of the video the author’s information is shown in such small font Superman couldn’t read it with X-Ray vision.  The eight voices are not recorded at the same level so there is not a consistent tone throughout the presentation.

I have a link to a video I uploaded and the result isn’t bad but it is only because as a former disc-jockey and somebody that has been around audio/video forever I was able to use some tricks of the trade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geUgs-pDTjM

Thanks for your time and enjoy the day.
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Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, and phone coaching).  He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite.  Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

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Painting My Room In A Colorful Way is the ultimate guide to better speaking, writing, and self-confidence with a book, audio files, email support, and phone coaching. With a price that won’t leave you speechless. Includes a money back guarantee.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

One of the latest social networking phenomenons is Twitter.  It seems to be on the mind of every celebrity, politician, student, business owner, and social maven.

If you aren’t aware of what Twitter is, here is a brief description.  Twitter lets you post (the catch is 140 characters total or less) what you are doing, thoughts on a subject, a plug for a product, or a hello to your friends.  You follow Twitter users and they can follow you as well.

Here is where I have found a new use of the site.  One of the exercises I am currently teaching is how to say what you need to in articulate sentences while still staying in the 140 character restriction.

Yes, there are ways to circumvent the limitations such as using u for you or 4 and not 4 but when you can get a full impact to the reader without having to abbreviate your thoughts, you have learned a valuable tool.

When you speak or write the key is to keep the attention of those that you are communicating with.  We often find ourselves endlessly explaining something that could be stated in more concise patterns.

The exercise is can be advantageous for the sports commentator that has to get his point across between each pitch of a baseball game or in between downs of a National Football League broadcast.  It can help somebody on a job interview think faster and better their choice of words.  Maybe you are a business owner and need to get the attention of a future client in a couple of sentences, or you are writing a headline for a blog post.

Whatever the reason why not try this.  Think of a message you want to get across to friends, family, co-workers, and so on.  Start to write the contents in Microsoft Word.  When you have finished check the character count and if it is over 140 try to condense it without using abbreviations and losing the meaning of your thoughts.  The next thing you can do is to take something that you have already posted or written that is over 140 characters and see if you can truncate this as well.  It is not always feasible to be effective with a word or character limitation but for practice it can only benefit your speaking and writing capabilities today, tomorrow, and further down the road.  What have you got to loose but a few words.   Good luck!

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Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, and phone coaching).  He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite.  Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.
http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com
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