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The “Free Skate” Is Not Really Free

Breathless and inspired, I watched every hour of coverage of the biggest annual event in figure skating: the World Championships. Best in the world. Foreshadowing the 2022 Olympics. What strikes me, now that I’m deep into coaching speakers for TED Talks and other speaking occasions, is there is an order to the skating program, just…

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4 Steps to Managing Anyone

These steps have not changed throughout my many-year career. Managing means getting results through people. We do this all the time. If you are alive, you have already been a manager. You’ve managed delivery people, repair people, pets, children, in-laws, spouses and more. One myth is that you need to throw money at people to…

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Can Your Serious Speech Be Fun?

Last month, my blog was “Do I Have to Be Funny?” My conclusion is “Not necessarily – – but it wouldn’t hurt!” The gift of laughter connects you to your listener. Here are three humor techniques you can incorporate into your driest information: 1. The act-out This technique is widely used in comedy. You’ve even…

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Do I Have to be Funny?

“Do I have to be funny?” the speaker asked. “Only if you want to get paid,” the speaker agent snapped back. We were at the annual convention of NSA – National Speakers Association – with 1200 people in the room. It’s a whole new world. People want to be entertained. The truth is if you’re…

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Flashback Friday: What’s Your “Why” Story? It’s Your Legacy.

tedtalk-brene brown

It’s time for Flashback Friday! The following is one of my favorite blog posts from 2017. It received great response and it’s something I coach my clients every day, so I’m sharing it with you again. If you had 10 minutes to speak about what has been most important in your life, what would your…

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You Can Lead a Speaker to a Speech…

My TEDx event at Loyola Marymount University is fast approaching on October 27. I’m the speaker coach for all nine speakers! And I’m the emcee! The speeches are written, edited, fine-tuned. Now the work begins. I say “You can lead a speaker to a speech, but you can’t make them learn it.” And you need…

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Does the coach need a coach?

Does the coach need a coach? Female referee signaling time out

So the coach needs a coach…really? YES! Over a year ago, I was asked to do a SUE Talk—not TED—SUE. It stands for Successful Unstoppable Empowering women—and they are. As the website says, “Join us for one incredible evening of bold, passionate and inspiring talks by successful, unstoppable and empowering women changing the face of…

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Mostly, Your Stuff is for Your Book . . .

Years ago, I asked, ”What’s a keynote?” My client answered, “We just want the funny, pithy parts.” I’ve never forgotten that. And now, in the age of TED Talks with an 18-minute limit, it’s even more relevant. Attention spans have shortened. You cannot afford potential eye-rollers, like “Let me tell you the whooole story from…

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Resist the Urge to Overshare

Ever thought “Why is she telling me this?” “Why am I listening?” “I want the last 10 minutes of my life back.” My client was at a conference. She introduced herself to the woman sitting next to her – – and the floodgates opened. The woman started talking about her hip! And her surgery. And…

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Make the Second Half Count

Are you over 50? What if, for everything you do in the second half of life, you get extra credit? It’s true in figure skating scoring. I’ve been wanting to write this to you since the Olympics a few months ago. Not only do I adore figure skating, but I’m fascinated by this fact: In…

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