In the Spotlight: Michelle Sellke, Nat’l Acct Exec, Rapid7

We're thrilled to share another installment of In the Spotlight with Michelle Sellke. Let's go! What does “success” in sales looks like for you? I used to be more short-sighted in the sales cycle, but I’ve learned to think for the long game. Up front I spend a lot of...

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Fostering Female Talent

This article is in honor of International Women's Day 2020. In a recent workshop, a high-achieving female shared a story that nearly crushed our spirits. Having worked in the leadership communication field for over 15 years, we like to think we've made progress in...

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Be Aware, Not Self-Consciousness

Name one non-professional speaker who doesn’t manifest a physical quirk or tic when they present to a group. You’ve seen the subtle or not so subtle signals of discomfort: the crossed legs, hands in pockets, eyes glued to the back of the room, hanging onto the podium...

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There’s a Fine Line Between Can and Can’t

We just finished a busy season of leadership development programs and public speaking bootcamps. Once again we are amazed at the caliber of professionals we get to work with. Some show up fully focused and powerfully present. We call them them the explorers. They can...

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When You Speak, Is it all a Blur?

When You Speak, Is it all a Blur?

One of our most successful and funniest clients simply hates public speaking. As the founder of a booming enterprise, he travels all over the world, presenting cutting-edge, breakthrough ideas (he's a little bit famous). And he dreads public speaking. In the first...

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The Most Important Visual in Your Presentation is You

During a recent coaching session, a successful CEO was watching himself on playback speaking to 2,000 people who came to hear his big ideas. While there was a lot of listening, laughing and interaction, one bad habit stood out: he repeatedly undermined his performance...

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The Bells and Whistles of Presentations

The Bells and Whistles of Presentations

Do you have a preferred slide advancer for your presentation? Have you ever considered that question? Inspired by a conversation with my business partner, I contacted two experienced A/V principals, Mike Hennessy of Resonate Video and Joe Rogers of Visionaries Events...

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Memorizing is for Passwords – Not Presentations

The Chief Marketing Officer was half-way through her perfectly memorized presentation to the sales team when it hit her:  no one was listening. All that time spent memorizing her speech so she could avoid a brain freeze, and look what she got: boredom. Does this sound...

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ZZZZZZzzzzzz…Your Introduction is Booorrrrring

It's hard to argue with people who claim that the human attention span has shrunk to an all-time low. Depending on who you listen to, it now hovers somewhere between eight seconds and 21 minutes.  And since we don't like to cite statistics we can't back up (even if...

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What’s the Enemy of Engagement?

What’s the Enemy of Engagement?

During a recent practice session, a speaker said to me, “I know you're going to yell at me, but I just have to move anyway!”  That statement is funny for two reasons. First, I never yell. And second, it’s a scientific fact that movement stimulates the brain and helps...

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Three Public Speaking Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Three Public Speaking Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Yes, I am jumping on the bandwagon of New Year's Resolutions. Not only is it that time of year when many of us feel inspired to push the re-set button, but I have been thinking a lot about how easy it is to improve a presentation without pulling a muscle. After...

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It’s the Last Lap of 2016: How’s Your Focus?

It’s the Last Lap of 2016: How’s Your Focus?

Raise your hand if you saw the 1500 Meter men's race last month. Matt Centrowitz was the first U.S. athlete to win the gold since 1908. I'm not sure who was more excited by the result - Matt or his family in the stands. When he was interviewed after the race, he...

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Talk Nonverbally to Me

Talk Nonverbally to Me

Raise your hand if you need a break from all the crazy hand gestures made by Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Good. That's what I thought. In my humble opinion, they are all demonstrating what not to do. But what should a speaker do with their hands...

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Harper Lee: Clarity, Coherence, Cadence

Every morning, coffee in hand, I look forward to two things – The SKIMM,a breezily written daily news summary,and the poem sent from The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Honestly, you should get them both: one is news, the other is art. What’s cool about the...

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