Blog

The Art of the Intro Jan 18, 2018

Part of my role as a board member with the Association for Talent Development is to introduce speakers at chapter meetings.  Once, in a multi-chapter event, the President of the other organization (who I'd just met), decided at the last minute that she was going to introduce me. ...

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The Alchemy of Performance Practice Oct 03, 2017

Bill Treasurer, Courage Guru and former member of the US High Diving Team, was a high-school swimmer when his coach saw an opportunity to get him a college scholarship -- by taking his effortless dive and moving it up. Way, way up. The problem was, Bill was afraid of heights. So they agreed to...

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Broad-Shouldered Leadership - aka - A Narrative for Neanderthals Mar 08, 2017

Since President Trump's Congressional Address last week, I heard Vice President Mike Pence in several interviews put 'great leader' and 'broad shoulders' in the same sentence.  He received a lot of attention around this 'broad-shouldered leadership' narrative during the presidential...

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Falling Forward Sep 20, 2016

I’m crammed into a small plane with three other people, I have no idea how high we are, but definitely too high to feel safe.

One of the instructors releases the latch on the door, letting it fly open in the wind. Newport and the bay, usually so beautiful and serene, suddenly look...

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Clarity Begins with Simple Steps Jan 07, 2016
Musicians practice scales. Prima ballerinas work at pliés, over and over. Discovering and rediscovering the basics is never a waste of time. When trying to improve your accent and speech, it can be tempting to try to move forward too fast. If you focus on practicing the basics,...
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Public Speaking for Introverts Part 3 - SHOWTIME! Sep 30, 2015

By now you’ve crafted and practiced your message in a down-to-earth, user-friendly, conversational style and It’s Show Time!  But be prepared -- despite all that practice and your hard-won confidence, you could still experience a physical anxiety response, just as you prepare to...

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Public Speaking for Introverts Part 2 - Presentation Prep Sep 23, 2015

If you think of yourself as an Introvert, or if you're anyone who falls into the category of “fears public speaking more than death,” you probably know you’re not alone. Many people find it intimidating and distracting to speak before a crowd, and are more comfortable expressing...

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Public Speaking for Introverts - Part 1 Sep 16, 2015

Speaking in public is stressful for just about everyone, but for those who think of themselves as introverts, it can also feel like pressure to act like someone they're not, and don't really want to be -- an extrovert.   We all know those people who are born to the spotlight, who crave...

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Fear Hates Focus Sep 18, 2014
“Fear hates focus,” says Carey Lohrenz, and she should know. Carey is the first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot in the US Navy (roar). I heard her speak at a conference recently, and as you can imagine, she spoke with authority about how to function flawlessly in the face of fear and...
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Huh? Addressing the Challenge of Heavy Accents Aug 18, 2014

When I tell people I help non-native English speakers to become better communicators, I often get this response -- “There’s this guy I work with … How do I tell him I can’t understand him without insulting him, or coming across as condescending?”  

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Sound is Touch at a Distance Jun 17, 2014

I heard that once, on the radio, and it stuck. It's so true -- We don’t just hear sound, we feel it. Sound doesn't just trickle into our ears, it goes straight to our guts -- and that visceral reaction communicates a myriad of messages, whether we mean it to or not.  

Picture yourself...

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Laughter Makes You Smarter -- And More Effective Mar 11, 2014
It's helpful, according to humorist Dave Barry, that “TV news personalities make sad faces for sad stories and happy faces for happy stories." Otherwise, he says, we wouldn't know how we're supposed to feel.
 
He might have been joking, but it's often true that a speaker's expressions...
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