July 30, 2021

Brands. Door. Money.



I, like most people these days, avoid commercials as much as possible by streaming and recording shows and movies. But from time to time, I catch a glimpse of something as I'm skipping through them that makes me stop and watch. Yes, I actually choose to watch an occasional commercial.

TV commercials are mini-presentations, mini-stories. Each commercial is trying to get a message across and influence those watching to do something, whether it's to buy (most commercials), to join, or to give.

Just like presentations, some commercials are engaging, some are boring, some are just idiotic. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking and some leave us angry.

But one thing all commercials have in common is their brevity. Commercials range from 15 seconds to a minute, with the majority falling into the 30-second range. You struggle to get your message across in ten minutes or an hour? Commercials don't have that luxury (when they do, they're called infomercials, but that's not what I'm addressing here).

What's the difference between your presentation and a commercial? Not much. Both must engage, inform, influence, and entertain. People act out stories in commercials, and presenters tell stories. Both use visuals, sometimes but not always.

Presenters can learn a lot from commercials, especially about getting your message across in a concise and brief manner.

Here's an old favorite for brevity and conciseness that I share when I'm delivering my workshops on micro-presentations. There's nothing superfluous here. There's no confusion about the main points or message. Visuals are simple and so is content. And yet, it catches your attention with both its simplicity and its originality. And it's only 15 seconds long.



What commercials have going for them is that those who produce them are expected to be creative and imaginative. Creativity is not only expected but welcomed and celebrated. 

This is not necessarily the case with business presentations, whose producers seem to believe that there is no place for creativity in a business setting. Hence the dry and boring presentations we're subjected to on a daily basis.

What can you learn from TV commercials that you can implement in your presentations?

How can you apply creative ideas and ingenuity to your presentations so they don't blend in with every other drab presentation your audiences have to sit through?

How can you use brevity and conciseness to get your most critical points across with nothing extraneous or irrelevant to cloud your message?

What commercials have you enjoyed as good presentation models?


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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!

July 28, 2021

What if you lost your words?



Remember how boring "vocab" was when we were in school? Learning the meanings of endless words that we probably would never use? 

I don't think of vocabulary very often, but since my dad had a stroke on Tuesday, it's been top of mind. He briefly lost his ability to communicate, and even hours later, was still transposing words and unable to capture the words he wanted to say.

My dad is a COMMUNICATOR, in all caps! He's always loved words and language, and when I was growing up, "Get out the dictionary" was our most-repeated command! I get my love of language and words from my dad, most definitely. ๐Ÿ“š

He reminded me the other day, from his hospital bed, of the enormous vocabulary I had as a child. He said, "Remember when they tested your vocabulary in elementary school? Remember how many words you knew?" I don't remember the number, but apparently it was impressive.

He reflected on how it's better to start out with a huge vocabulary, then if you have a stroke and lose some of your words, you'll still have plenty to work with! Haha - My dad and I are both optimists. We're all about the silver lining. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️๐ŸŒฅ

How is vocabulary relevant for you as a speaker and communicator?

First of all, don't go out and start using a bunch of big fancy words in your presentations. 

๐ŸšซNever use language to distance yourself from your audience.๐Ÿšซ

But consider how you use vocabulary to express yourself in a way that's aligned with your personality, your speaking style and your intellectual property. 

Are you still learning new ways of expressing yourself? Are you still building your vocabulary?

My favorite vocab-builder is the old-timey thesaurus (and I still love the dictionary), but I don't use it to find words or expressions that are not authentic to me. I use the thesaurus to find words that fit my communication style, but ones I haven't remembered or that express my idea better than the original word on my mind.

Of course, reading is always a great way of improving vocabulary, as well as actually using new words in context in conversation.

I know that the older I get, the more I lose vocabulary. I forget words I once knew because I'm not using them regularly or I haven't come across them in my reading.

I'd love to know if you are a ๐Ÿค“word nerd๐Ÿค“ or a ๐Ÿ’language lover!๐Ÿ’ Comment below. ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

And my dad is doing great. He had a second stroke in the hospital, but sounds like his old self and will hopefully be going home tomorrow. We're having long conversations at his bedside, which I hope are helping his brain retain his words!



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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!

July 22, 2021

You will be judged



I haven't been completely honest with you.

I've been posting a lot lately about body positivity and age positivity because so many women hold themselves back from getting in front of an audience because of shame or embarrassment about their bodies and their appearance.

I've been telling you that you have to get out there anyway. And I stand by what I've said! But I've omitted something.

You may be lucky enough not to have any trolls or haters, but the truth is, others will judge you. This is really what lies at the root of avoiding public speaking. Avoiding judgment.

Whether your concern is losing your place, boring the audience, getting tongue-tied, or being unable to answer questions, these all come down to a fear of being judged.

Judged inadequate. Judged incompetent. Judged insufficient. Rejected.

And as much as I remind my clients that audiences want you to succeed, there is a legit reality here:

We're judging and critiquing people all the time.

We walk down the street noting what people are wearing, what they're saying, what they're holding, what they're doing. We notice, we filter, and then we move on.

We do this to determine lots of things, but mostly: Is this person like me? How much is this person LIKE me or DIFFERENT from me?

We're always subconsciously trying to figure out our relationship to others. Should I smile? Should I be threatened? Is he trustworthy? Does she want something from me? Can I connect with him?

We're social animals. Pack animals. Herd animals. We rely on the herd for our survival, so in a sense, we're like any suspicious and wary animal. Yes, we are like dogs sniffing butts.

So you ARE being judged. But not in the way you think. The audience is trying to determine their relationship with you. Can they trust you? Will you listen to them and understand where they're coming from? Is this relationship worth their time and money?

Your job on stage is to connect, relate, serve and deliver.

You don't have to be LIKE your audience to do so. but you do have to honor what the audience needs, wants, and cares about. Your words have to be consistent and aligned with your actions and emotions. You have to be sincere, authentic, and focused on serving the audience.

If you make a mistake, this doesn't damage your relationship with the audience. They won't judge you for forgetting what you were saying or having an equipment snafu. It's not the technicalities that interfere with your relationship.

What DOES damage your relationship with the audience is lack of connection, lack of understanding of who they are and what they want, not putting in the time to provide an excellent experience, and overly anxious concern for your own well-being.

When you get past that, nothing can scare you anymore.


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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!

July 15, 2021

Stop hiding [part 3]



Remember last year, when no one could get their hair cut or colored professionally? There was a huge panic among women...especially around those silver roots๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿผ‍๐Ÿฆณ.

Remember what happened? Thousands, maybe millions, of women went natural! The Instagram #SilverSisters hashtag BLEW UP, as well as #GrayHairDontCare and #SilverHairDontCare.

Some of my speaker friends thought they would never get another gig if they went silver... but we now see that, while the pandemic definitely made it hard to get work, it was never about the hair.⠀⠀⠀

Other speaker friends freaked out about having headshots that were different from their real hair... so they went to Fiverr and got their headshots doctored to show the new silver hairdos!

One friend mentioned she was ordering purple hair color because "It's not like I'm going to be doing any speaking any time soon!"

I replied "Why not? The world has gone virtual, and so can you!"

Her answer "Maybe after I do the purple—right now I look like Cruella de Ville and I think I would scare small children!" (Which would be a problem if small children attended her presentations.)

Look: If we can't be human and authentic right now, in this time and place, when we've all been forced to peel back the layers of our souls, when can we?

You have ALL the tools you need. People still need your expertise, your brilliance, your unique perspective and voice.

Your hair (your body, your appearance, your age) is not the problem.⠀⠀

๐Ÿ‘‚๐ŸผWhat's holding you back is between your ears.๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿผ

Let's get back out there and keep on #SpeakingUpForChange!

Reach out for a free consultation: I can help you get your message out to the world!


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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!

July 14, 2021

Stop hiding [part 2]



"Forgive the no-makeup face!"

"Please don’t judge the 'fresh face.'"

"Ignore the no-makeup morning face."

"Forgive the 'I work from home' messy bun and lack of makeup."

Have you apologized for your appearance on social media?

This is a picture I deleted the other day instead of posting. I didn't love how the lighting brought out my rosacea and my blemishes, so took a couple more that were more flattering.

I see multiple women EVERY DAY apologizing for looking like themselves, for showing their real faces. I see even more women who won't even post a picture without makeup or a heavy filter.⠀

You are not your appearance. You are SO MUCH MORE THAN WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE!

Check out all those red marks on my face, my wrinkles, my not-plucked eyebrows, my blotchy chest, my chin scar and spider veins from having my chin bashed in in a car accident.

Are you judging me? Do you dislike me? Are you embarrassed or sad for me? If so, buh-bye. I don't need you here. But if you're thinking, "Of course I'm not judging you for looking like a 56-year-old woman who's had a LIFE," then I would like you to apply that to yourself!

As I said in my previous post, I talk to so many women who are afraid of being judged on their appearance, who are hiding, avoiding speaking, avoiding shooting video, avoiding being seen.⠀⠀⠀⠀

And I will say it again: The world still needs to see you, hear your message, learn from you. You have SO MUCH TO GIVE. And we really don't care how you look while you're giving it!

And people who DO care? F#ck 'em.


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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!

July 13, 2021

Stop hiding [part 1]



I consider this to be a horribly unflattering picture of me. Not only is my hair thinning, I have a couple of bald spots that happened spontaneously a couple of years ago that never grew back.

I don't like how my aging body looks a lot of the time. I have a weird hump that's probably from years of bad posture and leaning into a computer screen. I've lost my confident stride since I broke my leg and foot last year, hobbling around like a little old lady.

But guess what: THIS IS HOW I LOOK. When I go out into the world to get my mail, to see friends, to go grocery shopping... this is how I look. Do I stay home all the time so no one will see me? Of course not! This is how I look in the world.

I've heard from SO many women that they don't want to speak in front of an audience, or even shoot video, until they lose weight. Or they don't want to be seen because they have crooked teeth or some other perceived flaw. 

But guess what: THIS IS HOW THE WORLD SEES YOU. Unless you hide in your house 24/7, people have seen you, at your current weight, with your crooked teeth, or thinning hair, or accent, or whatever else you think is "wrong" with you.

It doesn't matter what you look like. The world still needs to see you, hear your message, learn from you. You have so much to give. Get in front of the ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘งaudience. Shoot the ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿคณ๐Ÿผvideo.

Need some support? Let's talk! I will gently push you out of your comfort zone!


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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!

July 6, 2021

They don't even notice



Do you see my tattoo? Most people don't.

My first two tattoos were on my back, and after listening to me whine about wanting another one for, um, several years, my husband gave me a gift certificate to a tattoo artist for our 14th anniversary (now 18 years ago). ๐Ÿ˜‚

Putting a tattoo on my wrist felt SUPER RISKY at the time. Unless I want to wear long sleeves (which I hate), it's going to be visible ALL THE TIME. At the time, I wore a watch on that wrist and I thought "Well, the tattoo will peek out from under the watch occasionally. That'll be cute." But during the period of healing, I had to stop wearing the watch. And I never put it back on.

Now here's the funny thing. It felt SO RISKY to have a visible tattoo, and yet NOBODY NOTICED.

I've had friends and colleagues ask me when I got the tattoo, because they've never seen it. At a quick glance, it just appears to be a bracelet. It is literally hiding in plain sight. 

See, I didn't realize that everyone is so busy worrying about their own shit, they don't notice other people's shit. (Not that my tattoo is shit, mind you!)

We're often afraid to put ourselves out into the world because we think people are going to notice all the things we want to hide. So many women I work with don't want to be seen on camera because their roots are showing or their teeth are crooked or they've got speech impediment or they need to lose 10 pounds.

People literally DO NOT NOTICE!

I'll acknowledge that there are haters and there are trolls. Those are sad little meanies who actually DO look for the stuff that's not "perfect." But we don't care about trolls, right? They've got their OWN shit.

Get visible. Share your message. I'm here for 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 fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

Can your audience identify themselves?



I had a revelation a couple of years ago. The people I was trying to reach with my public speaking coaching services didn't know they were speakers! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Turns out that a lot of people who give presentations to promote their work and grow their businesses don't see themselves as speakers. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️๐Ÿคฏ

Sure, they record online courses, webinars and masterclasses, and shoot FB lives, TikToks, Reels, and YouTube videos, and get in front of groups to give various types and lengths of presentations... but the word "speaker" doesn't resonate with them!

So over time, I reframed the people I work with as business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and entrepreneurs—who use speaking to build visibility, credibility, and awareness for their work. And THAT makes sense to my clients. They now see themselves in my marketing and on my website.

Language is tricky, whether you're writing or speaking. You may not be reaching the people you want to reach with your message, because your message fits your understanding of what you do, but not your potential clients' understanding of who they are.

If you want to deliver a more meaningful and memorable message to your audiences—however you choose to speak it—reach out and let's schedule a time to chat about your needs!

And yes, I used to sell these mugs and magnets from a CafePress store years ago. You like? ๐Ÿ˜⠀⠀

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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!

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