September 18, 2022

One perfect lime



One perfect lime. The only lime our tree produced all year.

To be fair, it's a dwarf lime tree in a pot. So we don't expect dozens of limes.

We might feel disappointed about "only one lime." But on the other hand, this lime made last night's dinner absolutely perfect.

I doubt our little lime tree was disappointed in its efforts. Look what it made! This lime sat patiently on the tree, waiting for its moment to shine. And shine it did!

As a self-proclaimed "chillpreneur," I sometimes get down on myself for not doing more. Not being more. Not shining more.

I like to take things slow and easy. I'm not about the hustle. I'm about creating a lifestyle that keeps me healthy, happy and sane.

But to a client, I might be the "one perfect lime" that comes along at just the right time: doing, being and shining exactly as much as someone needs me to.

Last night's dinner was vegan fish taco bowls with Good Catch
plant-based fish sticks. 

The lime appeared as both juice and zest, in cilantro lime rice and chipotle mayo, and squeezed over the separate elements of the dish, the radishes, arugula microgreens, cilantro, and avocado.

The meal was delicious and the lime was the star! 🌟

Right lime, right place, right time. What more could I ask for?



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

September 3, 2022

Who decides what's "inappropriate?"



She complained that I said "pee."

Once upon a time, an audience member e-mailed me to say that my language was inappropriate and to demand that I send an apology to the audience of 22 women.

(For context, I was explaining that your attendees need breaks during a long workshop or presentation or they'll be resentful when they have to get up to pee and miss some of your content.)

Also, I didn't say "resentful." I said "pissed off." She was offended by that, too.

If I had known the Ministry of Ladylike and Appropriate Language was going to be at my presentation, I would've...

…still said "pee."

I reviewed the evaluations and had a conversation with the president of the organization, one of my 1:1 clients. I had thoroughly researched the group when I accepted the engagement.

She and I concluded that this was the opinion of one person and not of the entire group. My client wasn't offended and apparently, neither was anyone else.

But it did bring up questions. How exactly can you KNOW what's going to offend someone? WHO decides what's "inappropriate?"

She was offended, but was I offensive?

Ideally, some words, attitudes and behaviors would always be considered universally inappropriate (think hate speech or the most vulgar curse words). And it would be easy to know what would offend people.

But we know for a fact that many people are not in agreement over what even constitutes sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, homophobic or transphobic language.

When I shared with my speaker friends that I had never had a complaint about offending someone, one of my colleagues said,

"You pressed the button...but she already had it installed."

Each of us presents on different topics.

Each of us has a unique personality and way of expressing ourselves.

Each audience is different and full of individuals.

The reactions we hope for vary from topic to topic, from attendee to attendee, from speaker to speaker.

Sometimes we're surprised when the reaction we get isn't the reaction we expected!

P.S. If you think my language was inappropriate, there's no need to share your feedback. I processed this incident years ago.


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

July 28, 2022

Stop thinking you have to know everything



Things no one expects you to know (without at least some research):

1. How to pronounce "floccinaucinihilipilification"
2. How to make Kung Pao chicken
3. Every word in the Constitution of the United States
4. What's causing that pain in your lower left abdomen
5. How to fix your own dryer

So why is there so much discomfort around not knowing "business things?"

As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you have to know everything about everything.

But you don't have to become an expert in every aspect of your business.

If your business isn't marketing, you'll have to learn a few things about marketing (or hire someone to do it for you).

If your business isn't bookkeeping, you'll have to learn a few things about bookkeeping (or hire someone to do it for you).

If your business isn't giving presentations, you'll have to learn a few things about effective public speaking.

Except this isn't something you can pay someone else to do!

If you're an entrepreneur, your big why, your one-of-a-kind skills and talents, your area of expertise... you alone can bring that to the world.

You don't have to become a speaking expert to build visibility, awareness, networks, reputation, and lead your people competently and capably.

But speaking is a unique skill that you should be cultivating if you're the face of your organization.

If you don't know how to do it well, that's okay.

If you have some experience, but you're not getting the results you want, that's okay!

If you've been doing it for a long time, but haven't leveled up your skills, that's okay!

Nobody expects you to be an expert.

At the same time...

Your audiences, employees, volunteers, board, stakeholders, and peers do expect a certain level of proficiency, and a level of conscientiousness, effort and thoughtfulness.

And they do expect a level of connection and engagement that's not just lecturing, reading from bullet points, or throwing together a few points at the last minute.

Stop thinking you have to know everything.

Do own and embrace your responsibility to be an effective communicator for understanding, influence, inspiration and relationship-building, and for expressing purpose, vision, values and goals.



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

July 16, 2022

They're never going to be ready for you



Nobody is ever ready for the people who are going to make the biggest impact.

Nobody is ever ready for the outspoken thought leaders with the nontraditional ideas and the bold presence.

They may be craving EXACTLY what you have to offer, but they don't know it yet.

That's the whole point of standing out as a changemaker.

My friend Precious Williams posted the other day "Remember when we all wanted to look, sound, and act successful and polished? Remember when we felt we had to fit in to be successful?" And she asked "Are they ready for the next version of you?"

My reply was "They're never ready, but I'm here anyway."🤷🏻

I'm guessing no one is ready for what they're going to experience when cutting-edge peeps like Joanne Lockwood, Dr. Tina Opie, Madison Butler, Pegine Echevarria and Precious walk into a room.

If they're ready for you, it's too late. You're already one of the crowd.

If they're ready for you, you're already blending in. You're already "safe."

So to me, the question is really "Are you ready for them NOT to be ready for YOU?"

Put yourself out there anyway. You're forging a path and paving the way for others to come behind you.

Someone has to be in front.

It's you.


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

July 8, 2022

You don't have to start a revolution




Guess what! You don't have to start a revolution! The revolution is already happening.

There are plenty of people out there, established groups and organizations that you can join. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. 

Do some research. Look around to see who's already doing what you want to do. And then get involved. You do not have to start from scratch! 

Here are some to get started:

EMILY's List

HIGHER HEIGHTS FOR AMERICA

She Should Run

LGBTQ Victory Institute

Black Girls Vote

National Organization for Women

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda

Red Wine and Blue

Everytown for Gun Safety

Rock the Vote

Postcards to Voters

National Women's Law Center

SisterSong

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Elevated Access

Sister District Project

Southern Poverty Law Center

Anti-Defamation League



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

June 1, 2022

Your presentation is like a bird's nest...



This mama Dark-eyed Junco has been building her nest in a potted plant just outside our front door for a couple weeks. She's been building it in secret; we literally never see her there but when we peek in the nest there's more material.

This made me think about you! And your presentations. 🤭 Inexperienced presenters often think that your performance in front of the audience is the most important thing.

And yes, if it's important to you to change attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with your presentation, then your performance in front of the audience and your ability to engage and persuade is pretty important.

However your live presentation with an audience is just the final result of all the behind-the-scenes work that you should be putting in to ensure that you get the results that you and the audience need, want and care about.

That means:

🥚 determining your objectives for the presentation

🥚 researching your audience and location

🥚 choosing content that's most relevant and useful to your audience

🥚 tailoring, organizing and structuring your content so you lead them down a path to the desired result

🥚 building in engagement, exercises and activities that help your participants apply your content to their lives or work

🥚 practicing your presentation to establish a flow and estimate how much time each element takes

🥚 and understanding and practicing your tech; and cultivating the right mindset and energy management tools for the particular environment you'll be in.

The work that this mama birdie put into finding the right mate (he'll also defend the nest and help feed the nestlings), finding the right location for her nest, finding the right materials for her nest, and building the actual nest is what allows and supports the final result of laying eggs and protecting her offspring until they fledge.

I didn't see all the work that went into this final result, but I know it's there. And without all that work, there would be no nest, no eggs, and no babies. 🐦🥚🐣

The foundational work of a presentation is critical to its success. The presentation itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Or... just one straw in the completion of a successful bird's nest.

P.S. I just went outside to shoot an updated video of the nest, and I saw the mama's head just peeking out. I didn't want to disturb her. So this video is from a few days ago. And babies are on the way! Wish our little family safety and success and protection from predators. Which, luckily, is not something speakers ever have to worry about! 🦅


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

April 16, 2022

Why you should do podcast interviews... and it's not why you think



I just had the most amazing conversation with Karen LaMarsh for her Real Life Startup podcast, and it made me realize why I enjoy being interviewed so much.

Sure, we all want to build our credibility and visibility through sharing our ideas and intellectual property via speaking and interviews.

But here's the REAL reason you should be doing podcasts (and speaking, and creating video, and writing...): Every time you open your mouth to talk about your ideas, they get better.

Especially when you have a host asking you questions and restating your ideas. At least three times today during my conversation with Karen, I had an aha moment about my own message and my own marketing.

She rephrased things I said and reiterated my ideas in a way that helped me gain even deeper insight into what I want my message to be!

When we explain, interpret and clarify our ideas via speaking or writing, our ideas often become more clear to ourselves.

Maybe you'll get more clients and customers if you get interviewed on podcasts or speak in front of an audience. But also, maybe you'll get more clarity on your message, continuing to improve and refine it as you go! 



____________________________________________________
Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to learn about 1:1 coaching with me!

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