January 13, 2022

Are you shaming yourself for surviving?



I was brought to tears this week listening to a client talk about her current situation.

Like many in the speaking and training industry, which is deeply intertwined with the hospitality and travel industries, she's had to find another source of income during the past two years.

Some of my friends and colleagues have left the industry completely, leaving entrepreneurship behind for the security of a paycheck so they can keep a roof over their head and feed their families.

Others are barely hanging on, still pursuing opportunities while taking on part-time gig work like driving for Uber or doing Instacart shopping.

The shame and embarrassment that's hanging over the heads of so many entrepreneurs for having to supplement their income during this pandemic really hit me the other day, and the weight of it all brought me to tears.

There's a lot about this pandemic to bring someone to tears, of course.

But for those who are doing what they can to keep food on the table, and pay bills and rent, I want to honor you.

There's nothing to be embarrassed about or feel ashamed of.

I know it's easy for me to say that, and it's not easy to let go of shame.

For many of us, our work is a huge part of our identity, especially when we've built a business that has our face on the front of it.

What do you say when people ask "what do you do?" and you've been a speaker, trainer, financial advisor, coach, chef, bookstore owner, tour operator or something else you've created from scratch... and you've had to close your business or find other work?

Who are you now?

It feels so heavy to hold onto the identity. To hope and dream of going back to that work. To feel ashamed or embarrassed about "failing" and being unable to keep it all together.

If you need permission to let go of it all, maybe I can give you that permission. If you can't give yourself grace, maybe I can help by seeing you, hearing you, crying with you.

You're still worthy. You're still brilliant. You're still the person you've always been. You did not fail. You're SURVIVING.

This shit is HARD. I read a post today that said "You can have a better year *just* [my emphasis] by changing the way you think about things." Gee, that sounds great, but it's not that easy.

I'm no therapist, so I'm sharing with you what I need to also do for me:

🔸Be gentle with myself.

🔸Be caring and compassionate toward myself.

🔸Stop telling myself I "should" be in a different place than where I am.

🔸Stop comparing myself to others, because I have NO idea what's really going on with them. Lots of people are good at hiding their struggles.

🔸Focus on what I CAN control in my life. I cannot control the pandemic or what it's doing to my industry.

🔸Be here now, but stay optimistic about the future, whatever it holds.

What would you add?

Sending you all love and kindness. 💗

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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

December 8, 2021

Gardening, not architecture



This is a quote from a card in the Oblique Strategies deck created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. The deck was created with a variety of prompts and constraints to help artists and musicians break through creative blocks.

This is also a great tip for anyone creating a presentation, and especially as I delivered my micro-presentations training four times on Monday and Tuesday - in a micro-presentations format - I'm going to be sharing this concept further in my trainings and coaching!

Architecture implies that you first design a structure, and then you build the structure as designed.

Gardening, however, is a process. You may design the garden in a particular way, but the garden will not always grow as you envision it.

You'll have weeds. You'll have some plants that take over and kill other plants. You'll have some plants that just don't thrive. You'll have others that thrive during part of the year, but are dormant at other times of the year. And you'll have plants that only thrive when they're pruned and trimmed.

All of these things are true of your presentation.

You can design the "perfect" presentation, down to the last detail of every slide and the exact perfect wording.

But you'll get in front of your participants and guess what: Your technology will fail. Your story will go too long. You'll lose your place. Your humor will fall flat. You'll mess up your transitions. Your participants will interrupt or take too long with their questions. You'll run out of time, leaving your best example on the cutting room floor.

Your presentation is a LIVING THING. It only comes to life when you bring it to an audience, and every time you deliver it, you're facing a new set of circumstances.

Every audience is different. Every situation is different. Sometimes you'll present hours after a school shooting. Sometimes you'll present the day after a national election. Sometimes you'll present on two hours of sleep.

This week, I delivered my micro-presentations training on one day to Canadian professional speakers and on one day to an LGBTQIA audience. And then I went back to scripting the same workshop into micro-segments for a professionally filmed course that will likely go out to corporate audiences.

Your presentation is not architecture. It's a garden, and it continues to grow, shrink, die back and thrive again with the constraints/pruning required of each new situation and audience. 



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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

November 30, 2021

How's your mental game?




Athletes know that a major component of being successful in sports is having the right mental attitude or mindset. Presenting is a lot like playing a sport both in the physical and mental preparation aspects, but a lot of presenters' mental game is not up to the challenge.

What do I mean by "mental game?"

1. Anticipate, plan and prepare for anything that might go wrong

What happens if your computer crashes while you're showing slides? What happens if you lose your place? What happens if someone challenges your facts during Q&A?

Sometimes you're prepared to speak for an hour, but the meeting before you goes long and your time gets cut. Sometimes you expect an audience of fifty and you get an audience of five.

Having a strong mental game means being able to shift gears at a moment's notice, take what you're given, and run with it.

2. Reframe nervousness into positive attitude and energy

There's no difference between "bad" and "good" adrenaline - your thoughts assign adrenaline negative or positive value. Thought stopping, positive self-talk, relaxation and other mental and physical tools can get you in a calmer state to face your audience.

3. Visualize yourself relaxed and connecting with the audience

Envision yourself nailing your presentation in front of a satisfied and smiling audience. Elite athletes use visualization and mental rehearsal both to imagine a successful outcome of an event and to rest and relax.

4. Give 100% when you only feel 50%

I've presented with a 104-degree fever. I've given a training on two hours of sleep. I've delivered workshops while dealing with grief and loss. Your audience deserves your very best. If you can't reschedule (and I would've if I could've!), give them what they came for and recover later.

5. Accept that mishaps will happen, and handle them with grace and humor

Everyone makes mistakes, and most of the time your audience doesn't even know you've messed up. Suck it up, laugh it off, and move on!

The mental game of speaking parallels the mental game of sports, and speakers can learn a lot from athletes who use these tools.

What else would you add to my list? Please share!



____________________________________________________
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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

November 5, 2021

Five free and low-cost ways to learn about public speaking!













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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

November 3, 2021

Three options for when you have to speak after "that guy"















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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

October 28, 2021

Price is not the same as value



Our bath towels have been looking ratty for a while. I don't care so much about my own use, but I've been looking for a new set for when guests come over.

There are so many deals on towels out there! And I kept reading reviews and thinking, "Wow, this is a great deal, but are they good towels?"

And then it hit me.

We haven't bought towels in over a decade. 🤯 And yet, very few of them are actually shredded or in bad enough shape that we can't use them. I started to wonder what the cost per use had turned out to be. Pennies? Fractions of pennies?

I told my husband about a set of towels I found for $100 and how they sounded really great but really expensive, and he pointed out how long towels last and how many uses we get out of them. If these towels last another 20 or 30 years, is $100 a good value?

As a speaking coach, I get a lot of tire-kickers, people who are looking for the cheapest option, not the best value.

And I've done the same over the years. It took me a LONG time to start investing REAL money in my business, in my learning, in my coaching.

And what happened when I stopped looking for the cheapest products and services? I found exceptional value: Programs and products that would serve me for YEARS, much longer than the actual amount of time I spent in the program or working with the coach.

Some of my investments pay off immediately; some pay off over time.

That's not to say that every high-priced offer is worth it. Research is required, and sometimes we're disappointed with the outcomes.

(And sometimes we're disappointed with the outcomes because we didn't do the work!

Sometimes good value comes at a low-low price. But pay attention to the "cost per use."

Pay attention to the long-term value you'll get from working with an experienced and knowledgeable coach. It might cost more, but it'll be worth it when you're still using what you learned years later!


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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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

October 27, 2021

Put me in your pocket for just-in-time coaching



Who needs a speaking coach in your back pocket? 🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️ 

My Unlimited Quick Results Laser Coaching program is for experienced speakers and leaders who want to grow your visibility and credibility, and still need regular tweaks, updates and refreshers (don’t we all?) to your presentation, your vision, your mindset, your positioning and your next right action. 

🌠 Clarify and strengthen your core message 
🌠 Check the flow of your ideas and audience journey 
🌠 Create an engagement strategy 
🌠 Develop or practice your powerful opening or closing 
🌠 Lay out your content structure and timing (especially for those micro-presentations that are popping up all over!) 
🌠 Make sure your unique style and personality is coming through 
🌠 Brush up on your remote delivery, engagement tools or tech 
🌠 Practice any of the above 
🌠 Work on any aspect of your content, mindset, or delivery that’s holding you back from being your best self in front of your in-person or remote audience 
🌠 Create your speaking vision, plan, process and action steps to get you where you want to be!

Reserve your 1:1 spot with me here.


____________________________________________________
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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

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