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:

πŸ₯š determining your objectives for the presentation

πŸ₯š researching your audience and location

πŸ₯š choosing content that's most relevant and useful to your audience

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

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

πŸ₯š practicing your presentation to establish a flow and estimate how much time each element takes

πŸ₯š 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. 🐦πŸ₯šπŸ£

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! πŸ¦…


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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! 



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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 10, 2022

My 4 speaking nonnegotiables



What's your biggest concern about speaking? (You don't have to answer out loud.)

Whatever it is, I have 4 simple solutions that will address it!

The first one is preparation. I know everyone hates preparation. Nobody wants to make time for it. Preparation is just unloved. But you can't deliver the same presentation to an audience of travel agents that you're going to deliver to an audience of accountants.

Each audience is different and you can't approach different audiences with the exact same presentation. So preparation is that really boring thing that you have to do in advance so your presentations are tailored to the people you're speaking to.

Next is engagement. This is absolutely critical to creating an experience for your audience that they'll remember, that they'll take with them, that will motivate them to take action.

Engagement is how you actually get their brains to retain your information. Engagement doesn't mean being silly or pulling out a ukulele or making the audience all high-five each other.

There are a lot of things we hate in presentations. And one of these is when a speaker tries to engage us in a contrived way. But there are a lot of ways to engage your audience that can be authentic to you and not contrived.

Third is mindset. Probably most of the negative thoughts you have about getting in front of an audience aren't based in reality. It's all imagined. And because of that, you can change your mindset.

Mindset is both internal and external: it's how you perceive yourself, and it's also the outward manifestation of that perception of yourself. Developing a positive mindset is something I work on with a LOT of my clients.

The last thing is differentiating yourself by embracing your unique voice, personality and point of view. Being real creates connection. There's no substitute for getting on stage and connecting, bringing your own special qualities every time you get in front of an audience.

Which one of these four pillars of successful speaking would solve your biggest speaking concern? Reach out if you need support!



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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!

Following my calling



A colleague of mine told me I left her hanging when I stopped posting my #ThisIsWhatProfessionalLooksLike campaign. She said that I had been on πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ and then everything stopped.

And she's right. The truth is, I felt uncertain about what to do next, where to go next. I got stuck. I froze. I dropped off. I felt like I needed a plan or a direction and because I don't, I got cold feet and quit posting.

I feel so CALLED to share my personal vision of inclusivity - that whatever your ethnic, religious or educational background, your age, weight, size, gender identity, race, appearance, mental health status, hair color or style, skin color or skin decoration, choice of personal self-expression, ability or disability, or sexual orientation, that πŸ‘‰πŸΌπŸ‘‰πŸΎπŸ‘‰πŸ»πŸ‘‰πŸΏπŸ‘‰YOU πŸ”΄πŸŸ πŸŸ‘πŸŸ’πŸ”΅πŸŸ£ are [what a professional looks like.]

My friend reminded me that I don't have to know what comes next. I don't have to control the outcome. I just have to keep showing up, spreading the word and #SpeakingUpForChange.

But I need your help, peeps.

I can represent myself: the middle-aged white, cisgender straight woman with pink hair, giant earrings, bright multi-patterned outfits, no makeup (okay, in this pic I was FULLY made up for my course filming with Madecraft!), flat shoes, bare arms, big mouth and bold opinions.

But I can't represent ALL the people who are diminished, overlooked and outright discriminated against because they don't fit a particular "socially-acceptable" norm.

I need voices to amplify, and I need fellow warriors!

This is where all of you can help spread the word that THIS IS WHAT PROFESSIONAL LOOKS LIKE!

I need the pink- and purple-haired warriors, the tattooed warriors, the trans warriors, the disability warriors, the nonbinary warriors, the nonconforming-and-self-expressed-in-other-ways warriors, everyone who's out there keepin' it real, and so many more of you I can't even tag here.

πŸ†Pro tip: You don't have to be a diversity and inclusion specialist to speak up for inclusion!

πŸ†You don't need to be a mental health expert to share your experiences.

πŸ†You don't have to be an expert on anything to speak your truth about what it means to be marginalized as a professional and to inspire others (who are still hiding) by your visibility.

So I need to unfreeze, unblock and unstick myself. Get back to work amplifying the professionals who inspire me with their willingness to show up in their fully human form. And keep showing up in mine.

Because if there's one group I can relate to almost more than any other, it's the UNPROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL! πŸ˜‰

Join us on LinkedIn and don't forget the hashtag... #ThisIsWhatProfessionalLooksLike



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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!

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