Can We Talk?

    For more than 20 years, I’ve noticed that more and more, individuals have their heads buried in their mobile devices, even while in the company of others. On one occasion, I snapped a photo of the 9 other passengers who were with me on a rental car shuttle, and they were completely unaware…

Details

What’s In a WORD?

WHAT’S IN A WORD? OK. I confess. I’m a ‘word-nerd’! When I was 13, I began to read the dictionary, thanks to the extensive vocabulary of English author Thomas Hardy, whose works were required reading in my Grade 9 English Literature class back in Jamaica. The experience was akin to a treasure hunt for me…

Details

DUE DILIGENCE?

  Recently I read a book in which the author quoted a poem, and when I heard it I thought to myself, “Hmmm…that doesn’t sound quite right.” I decided to do some research. It turned out that the poem is called “An Autobiography in FIVE Short Chapters” by Portia Nelson. (My fellow Certified Speaking Professional…

Details

Listen to the Coach!

When I was 14 years old, I began playing football (soccer) competitively in school, and was named captain of the Calabar High School Colts team. (That’s me in the back on the left, beside the coach, showing way too many teeth!) We represented our school at the junior level. To be honest, I can’t recall…

Details

Before and After

During a recent speech coaching session, one of my clients said, “I saw you speak in London a couple of years ago, and I was particularly impressed with your personal stories. They made me feel connected to you.” His words simply reinforced a principle that has come to mean a great deal to me; our…

Details

I Second That Emotion!

Some time ago, I received an e-mail in which a Toastmaster asked me ‘HOW MUCH emotion should be expressed in a speech?” Immediately, my mind ran in rewind to the finals of the 2010 Toastmasters International Speech Contest. That day, David Henderson delivered a stirring speech, and he openly expressed deep emotion during his presentation.…

Details

The Call for CLARITY

  Everyone enjoys a good story, which is why we like intriguing mysteries, sentimental romances, gut-wrenching dramas, horrifying thrillers, and belly-busting comedies…in books, television programs, videos, and movies. Stories that we tell can be just as effective, and most often they are. However, every once in a while we see a film, read a tale,…

Details

Holiday Memories

It’s early January, and Christmas trees have been dragged to curbs to be hauled off with the trash. Pine needles have been ingested by vacuum cleaners around the world. Curios, coffee tables and other furniture have reclaimed their rightful positions in living rooms and dens. Artificial trees have been disassembled and sent into 10-month hibernation…

Details

Use Another Tool!

Several years ago, I discovered some termite damage to floor joists under my house. The damage was in the crawlspace, so it was quite dark, and it was not very easy to notice what the termites had done. I needed a tool…something to illuminate the area so I could see clearly. I chose a flashlight,…

Details