Successfully Speaking

 "Achieve Excellence in Communication"
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Lynda Katz Wilner, M.S., CCC-SLP is a corporate communication trainer and 
a Speech and Language Pathologist.
She is the founder and director of Successfully Speaking, a woman-owned communication consulting firm, which specializes in professional speaking skills, foreign accent modification, and regional dialect reduction for native and non-native speakers.

Ms. Wilner developed and published Medically Speaking: Accent Modification for the Medical Profession, The Medically Speaking Inventory: Assessment of Accented Speech, and collaborated with Marjorie Feinstein-Whittaker in the development of  RULES, Medically Speaking RULES, Medically Speaking Idioms, RULES BY THE SOUND, and Boston RULES. She trains individuals, groups, and trainers around the United States with her unique programs. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about you or your employees. For your convenience, I can meet with you and/or your staff at your workplace. Otherwise, we can arrange a complimentary telephone or web-conferencing meeting.


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CHRA Annual Spring Conference
I look forward to seeing you if you plan to attend the Annual Spring Conference on April 28th at the Hunt Valley Marriott. Please stop by the Successfully Speaking table to say hello!
February 2011



This month, I'd like to take the opportunity to talk about a local workshop I attended. 


The topic of the "Intergenerational Workplace" is popping up at many professional meetings such as CHRA (Chesapeake Human Resource Association) and ASTD Maryland (American Society for Training and Development), to name a few. In January, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent education session sponsored by CHRA. Hile Rutledge presented "Boomers, Blackberries, and Tweets - Navigating the Generational Minefield." The presentation was well-attended and centered on a discussion regarding four generations, Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials, working side-by-side in today's workforce.

There are many different perspectives, values, and ethics attributable to each respective generation. As a communication trainer, I could not help but ponder the alternative communication approaches amongst the four groups and the subsequent challenges each group faces when stepping out of his or her own communication comfort zone.

With each passing day, communication methods evolve. Traditionalists and Baby Boomers have lived through massive communicative technological change: the advent of answering machines, voicemail, the revolutionary portable wireless phone, and now Smartphones and mobile devices. With that being said, these generations are still more comfortable with face-to-face interaction and telephone conversation.

Generation X and Millennials, on the other hand, take such technological advances for granted; thus, their comfort zone relative to technology is quite different. One such example comes in the form of texting: text messages happen before consideration of picking up a telephone, and responses to voicemail or email are circumvented in favor of a text.

These different preferences of communication modes bring potential conflict and challenges with intergenerational dialogues.

Furthermore, the pervasive use of texting directly impacts the written and vocal skills of Generation X and the Millennials. Texting and truncating messages for expediency and to meet character restrictions of micro-blogging platforms, such as Twitter, have altered spelling, abbreviations, and punctuation. Additionally, fewer opportunities to polish vocal communication skills required in telephone and face-to-face conversations place many employees of these generations at a disadvantage.

The onset of such technologies raises questions about how we should "advance." It is generally believed that hand-written letters, face-to-face dialogues, and voice-to-voice conversations should not be completely discarded in favor of the less personal, one-dimensional modes of communication such as Facebook, Twitter, and even e-mail. However, not all technology is one-dimensional: advancements, such as Skype and video-conferencing, provide a more personal touch.

We should embrace the new technology but realize its limitations; few things beat face-to-face communication and the precious interpersonal skills that are developed through that medium.

For more information about Millennials in the workplace, see this video.


New Publications


Successfully Speaking has added another book to our ESL RULES line boston rulesof training materials. We have developed a training program, Boston RULES, for individuals trying to modify their Boston accent or even to learn how to add a Boston accent for those aspiring actors. Of course, the number of Bostonians in the Baltimore area is limited, but we wanted to let you know. Audio files will be available soon to complement the book. 


Check out our other products for your international employees.

Our Vision
Successfully Speaking enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to achieve excellence in communication and maximize their professional success.
Warm regards, 

Lynda Katz Wilner
Successfully Speaking
Telephone/Fax: 410.356.5666