• List of Blog Entries (from newest to oldest)

    What Were You Doing at 16?

    Words Matter

    Knock on Someone’s Door and Apologize

    Make your Audience your Alternator

    Making S*%# Up

    “Please Hold your Questions ‘Til the End.”

    They Don’t Want to Be There

    What Makes a Great Thank-You Note?

    Think you Own It? Think Again!

    Some Privacy, Please?

    Competing with a Trashcan

    Showing Up at the Wrong Place

    She was Cramping my Style

    Waiting for People who Are Tardy

    I Called a Her a Him

    Please, Earth! Swallow Me Whole!

    The Disappearing Audience

    Should you Eat Prior to Speaking?

    Being Handed a Germy Microphone

    A New Rule in My Classroom

    Skeptical People in your Audience

    The Life-Changing Power of “Thank You”

    Don’t Be Honest About These Two Things

    Create a Recognizable Brand

    Do you Believe in Magic?

    Show Respect and End on Time

    Choose the Right Channel

    When Did you Say “No Way” to Public Speaking?

    Could you Stand Alone?

    The Crucial First Five Seconds

    Pack Lightly

    “I Didn’t Have a Chance”

    Is “Busy” Good?

    Nix the Chips!

    Steve Jobs Against PowerPoint

    Leave Better than How they Arrived

    Annoying Habits to Avoid

    Mastering the Q&A

    Stage Fright is Natural

    Draw your Talk

    Create Us-ness

    “Hoping for Heckling”

    Remove the Empty Chair

    Text During the Break, Please

    Speaking at a Lunch Event? Beware!


  • What Were You Doing at 16?

    Meet Sean Talbert. He is a home-schooled sixteen-year-old who voluntarily enrolled in my public speaking class. The other students—adults in the business world—were mightily impressed by his courage and commitment to himself. Everyone said things like, “When I was 16, I would never have taken a class like this.” 

    When I was his age, I could hardly stand being around adults. Even more appalling would have been the thought of speaking in front of them, and then standing at attention to receive their critique!

    Sean was curious and responsive throughout the series. We all admired and adored him. 

    After he graduated, he went on to write a Google review of my class, saying that the course “saved his life” from being forever crippled by his fear of public speaking. Now, he has “the confidence to speak to any group at any time.”

    I intend to stay in touch with this fine young man because he is going places and I don’t want to miss a minute of it!



  • Are You a Wallflower?

    Are you perceived as a “wallflower”? You sit silently in staff meetings. You speak only when spoken to. 

    If you want to advance in your career, this has to change. At every meeting, gathering, party, or networking event, make yourself do these three things:

    1. Ask a question.
    2. Offer an opinion.
    3. Make a suggestion. 

    These three things alone — anything else is icing on the cake.

    After a short time, you will be perceived as a participant. AND, notice that you don’t need to be an expert to ask a question, offer an opinion, or make a suggestion.

    All you need to do is be bold enough to put yourself out there a little bit. 

  • Words Matter

    I was sitting at the outdoor lobby of Pioneer Plaza when a man approached me and introduced himself. He said, “You may not remember me, but more than twenty years ago, I attended one of your classes at the Chamber of Commerce. You told me, in front of everyone, that I seemed ‘leader-like.’ No one had ever told me that before. I treasured those words and wanted to live up to that image. I started out small, leading a short-term work project. Over the years I gained confidence and took on bigger leadership roles. I eventually became the president of my Rotary Club and now I run my own printing company with several employees. So, if you ever wonder if you make a difference, know that you do.”

    He warmly shook my hand and departed.

    I share this story, not to praise myself, but to afirm that our words have incredible power. The adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is simply not true. Words can hurt. Words can help. Words matter.