• May 2015

Prepare to Nail Your Objective!

By Hilary Blair
CEO and Lead Coach

and Robin A. Miller, PhD
COO and Lead Coach

ARTiculate Real & Clear: Real Communication Is an ART
and ARTiculateTV.com

I often look at a note that I carefully inscribed in a notebook more than 30 years ago. It said:

“Nail Your Objective: By what means, for what purpose, and to what effect?”

It is circled and highlighted and attributed to my fabulous acting teacher, Carol Rosenfeld. An addendum from her simply said: “Objective needs to be strong so there is somewhere to go.”

In acting, your objective needs to be taught and practiced and honed and constantly refined. You need to consider: Is the objective strong enough? Does it drive you?

The reason is obvious: You need to know what you want. Without an objective there is no direction to go in. And, without a “super objective” — the big-picture reason that answers the question “why” — there is no purpose!

It also begs the question: Why do we need a purpose?

Plenty of authors and even entire businesses teach us to focus on what motivates us, and how we can harness that knowledge to be more successful.

One of the key tenets in our acting training is to identify and commit to an objective. We repeatedly tell our students, “Don’t just walk around saying your lines! Have an objective. Know what you want. Know why you want it.”

When you know that, the scene comes alive. Without it, the scene falls flat.

How does this same approach apply to the business world?

Try integrating the following three techniques into your business this month:

  1. Take a moment before you enter any meeting, write a presentation, or pick up the phone to call someone, and ask yourself: What is my objective? Why am I calling? Why do I need to speak to them, and why do I need their time and their input? Know specifically — not vaguely. Find verbs that matter to you.
  2. Once you know, make sure your objective has power and energy. Some folks will say, “I’m leading this meeting to deliver some information” — ugh!
    Or, “I’m giving this presentation to update the team” — ugh! Get specific and energized — make it sexy! “I’m firing up my team.” “We’re celebrating how this policy is going to change our bottom line.” “Your input is critical in order to move forward.”
  3. Be engaged, and engage others. Use the action words that resonate with you, and will draw in your audience.
  • Pause
  • What is your objective? Why are you even doing this? Nail that first.
  • Find a verb that gets you excited to start the meeting or talk.
  • Believe, commit, and go for it!
  • Accept the thanks you’ll receive from colleagues for using their time well.

The bottom line: Clarifying the objective empowers an actor on stage and brings the performance to life. In business, the same approach will empower your team to focus. Not only will you see improved results, but when you clarify your objective, you will be present, connected, and committed. And, you prevent yourself and your team from wasting time and money.

Don’t stop now! Click here to watch Hilary and Robin’s latest video on this topic on ARTiculateTV.com.


Click “Play” to watch Blair talk about this interesting topic on ARTiculateTV.com.

About Hilary Blair

CEO and lead coach for ARTiculate: Real & Clear, Hilary Blair, MFA, is an admitted breath snob. A presentation and speaking voice expert, Blair is a highly regarded coach and facilitator working extensively across the United States with businesses that include American Express, Janus Funds, Staples, Liberty Global, and Hunter Douglas. She uses her skills and experience as a stage, film, and voice-over actor, teacher, and voice coach to help people in a variety of positions, including entrepreneurs, CEOs, writers, and project managers — high achievers craving feedback in order to grow.

Her coaching is informed by what is unique and authentic in the individual or group. In addition, she facilitates workshops that use improvisation to improve leadership skills, team-building, and creativity. She is on the faculty of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and has been an adjunct faculty member at a number of universities. An active member of Toastmasters and a board member of VASTA — the Voice and Speech Trainers Association — she holds an MFA in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a BA from Yale University.

About Robin A. Miller

Robin Miller is an energetic, motivational keynote speaker who has also spent more than 20 years in teaching, training, and coaching. Her specialty is in guiding the well-thought individual to become confidently well-spoken in settings such as interviews, meetings, and keynotes. Her clients include Coors, the University of Denver, and Sterisil.

She has performed vocally and conducted numerous musical groups throughout her career, as well as taught music at Baylor University, the University of North Texas, and Texas Christian University. Her expertise in navigating customer communication derives from her experience as a customer relationship manager in the financial industry, and as a development specialist in some of Denver’s leading Level 1 trauma centers, as well as her advanced training in mediation and crucial conversations. She earned an MM in music from Baylor University, a PhD in Musicology from the University of North Texas, and a MDiv from the Iliff School of Theology.

Blair and Miller acknowledge the amazing voice teachers with whom they have had the privilege of working: Chuck Jones, Rocco Dal Vera, Gary Logan, Patsy Rodenburg, Catherine Fitzmaurice, and Kristen Linklater, to name a few.

For more information, visit ARTiculate Real & Clear: Real Communication Is an Art, at ARTiculateRC.com