THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE

For several years, I’ve been talking about pursuing excellence in communication, and that is often interpreted to mean excellence as a speaker or a trainer. That doesn’t surprise me, especially since I’ve been doing significantly more speaker coaching since the pandemic hit in early 2020, and they all want to excel on the platform. However,…

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SIMPLE STEPS FOR RAPID GROWTH

As a speaking coach, I work with presenters who want to be better immediately…which is understandable. Of course, the most common suggestion for rapid growth is to SPEAK. Often. At every opportunity. As my friend, associate and fellow World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix says, “STAGE TIME, STAGE TIME, STAGE TIME!” One critical factor…

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The Eyes of The COACH

It’s that time of year again. Toastmasters the world over are entering the International Speech Contest in the hope of becoming the next World Champion of Public Speaking. No doubt many of the hopefuls are competing for the first time, uncertain about the road ahead. Believe me, I understand completely. In 1994 I entered my…

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FORGET New Year Resolutions!

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash   That title may have gotten your attention, and if so, GREAT! For most of my life I’ve heard people talk about, decree and declare, make promises and tell the world about their New Year Resolutions. Many years ago I participated in programs like ‘A NEW YEAR, A NEW…

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Boring, or BRILLIANT?

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash “They seemed nice, but…their stories were SO BORING!” None of us wants to hear THAT in response to our presentations. We would rather hear, “That was BRILLIANT!” Now, I can’t guarantee that by reading this brief article you will automatically achieve perpetual brilliance on stage and online. However, I’m confident…

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TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

Stories are critical components of every speaker’s arsenal and I encourage my coaching clients to mine their lives and experiences to uncover stories from their past. That process can be laborious and intimidating…especially to presenters who don’t think that their lives are interesting. I’ve even encountered speakers who told intriguing, dramatic stories, only to learn…

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The Moment

In 1972, the Academy Award-winning crime drama ‘The Godfather’ was released, chronicling the lives of the Corleones, an organized crime family. Early in the film we meet Michael, the youngest son of the family patriarch Don Vito Corleone. Michael is a war hero, and he who wants NOTHING to do with ‘the family business’. After…

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Find Inspiration Closer To Home

Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash   Several years ago, I heard what can best be described as an ‘inspirational’ speech, in which the presenter…whom I’ll call Jessy…shared  one long story about a single main character…whom I’ll call our hero. Now if you’re thinking, “Not another HERO’S JOURNEY article!”, please stay with me. Believe me,…

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Rely On The REPLAY

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash “I want to get better FASTER!” That’s how many emerging presenters think, and that’s what many say. There are certainly many ways to quickly improve in the myriad areas of speaking. When it comes to platform presentation, there’s one simple discipline that has served me well for more…

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I Messed Up!

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)   I still remember it. The youth conference in Upstate New York. The event planner knew that I spoke to youth and had asked me to make a presentation to a small group of high school students. Truly, I didn’t want to accept the invitation to speak, but I…

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A Flower In The Snow

(Photo by Luke Richardson on Unsplash) 2020 was a difficult year for many of us, and I am no exception. When I hear people talk about 2020, it’s sometimes with painful memories about the global pandemic, with anger about the injustices that we witnessed, with animosity towards people who don’t share their political views, with…

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Conduct a Quality Q & A

  You’ve just NAILED your presentation, and to add value, you decide to include…questions-and-answers. Yes…the infamous Q & A SESSION! For many speakers, the Q & A has become the standard way to conclude their program, but that leads, interestingly enough, to a few QUESTIONS,  four of which I’ll answer here…in a Q & A…

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