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Wisdom vs. Intelligence: Why My 12th level Sorcerer is Easily Fooled

As a professional communicator, I used to be surprised by how often smart people would miss an obvious point I was making.  I imagine I am not alone in this. But I get it now – A core element of our coaching focuses on the idea that there is a difference between what people will see […]

You Can’t Back Up Your Ears

A recent comment got me thinking about the difference between absorbing information I read and absorbing information I hear. If you’ve ever read anything more than a couple of paragraphs long, you know that moment – you’re reading along, and a sentence triggers a thought, and your brain follows that thought for a few seconds. […]

Your Audience is Watching – Will They Know Your Purpose?

As an avid theater-goer, I generally find myself lost in the text of the play, a lyric from a song, or attempting to untangle the crisscrossed plot lines… all in order to make sense of the story and thereby be able to draw a conclusion about what “it” all means. This reflective, almost meditative, state […]

Avoiding the Trap that Can Kill Your Communication

As I write, it’s January 2nd, and I have a shipping box full of Christmas presents sitting in my living room in Washington, D.C. They are not mine. They are for my nieces and nephews in Oregon. I spent a lot of time getting them right – the perfect gift for each person, lovingly wrapped. […]

What I Learned Learning to Tie My Shoes at 41

A couple years ago I saw an article about a 3-minute TED talk, “How to tie your shoes.” I was pretty sure I knew how to tie my shoes. Nope. You’ll want to check out the talk to see what we are all doing wrong. Here’s what happened when I did, and I’ll bet you’ll […]

Distracted Loving and Sticky Language

Saturday morning in the hammock, in the breeze…I was reading the most recent Psychology Today and came across an article titled “Love Interruptus” – about how devices like your smartphone are damaging the quality of your relationships, particularly close, deeply personal partnerships. I found it broadly fascinating because I was already aware of how poorly human […]

How Bad Presentations are Like Flying East: Finding and Losing a Precious Commodity – Time

Sunsets are usually quick. From the time the bottom of the sun hits the horizon, it is just a couple minutes until it is gone. But for me today, that transition took 45 minutes. I also found 3 extra hours in my day today. They cost a bit, and I’ll have to give them back […]

“How did he come up with that?” The Key to Creativity

Recently I was building a sales pitch for a corporate client where one of the important concepts was “Visibility is critical to your business.” The team brainstormed a bit on how to convince audiences of this idea through a powerful illustration. It was fun, and we came up with various possible analogies involving magnifying glasses or foggy days […]

How to Write a Conference Speaking or Session Proposal that Gets Chosen Every Time

You want to speak more about your great idea. You’ve even found a great conference that’s a great match for your goals. You excitedly await the day the “call for speakers” comes… and then you have no idea how to turn your great idea into a great session proposal. Greeeeeeeat. Now what? Actually, it’s pretty […]

Be More Interesting Than Your Refrigerator

We’ve all been there. You’re in a meeting, maybe an important one, but the speaker is speaking in a monotone. And your mind drifts off to an unrelated topic…and after an indeterminate amount of time, you suddenly realize that the speaker has stopped talking…and is looking right at you – clearly expecting a response to […]

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