Leadership Coaching

Why can't every talk be a TED talk?

TEDxUCLA TED talks are the “it-girl” of speaking. Everyone wants their presentation to be as cool as a TED talk, as profound as a TED talk, and as viral as a TED talk. I’m a huge fan of TED talks (and their locally-produced TEDx brethren). I’ve written about many of them here on Speak Schmeak, in fact. I admire the…

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Leadership Coaching

Being vs. becoming

Twice in conversations with a client, she’s told me, “I’m not a writer.” And yet, she is a writer, because she writes! Perhaps I’m oversimplifying a bit, because I suppose there’s a difference between someone who writes all the time and enjoys it (whether or not they receive income from it), and a person who writes sometimes and finds it…

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Leadership Coaching

Speaking tips from "Serial"

I finally got around to finishing the original season of the podcast “Serial,” in which the case of convicted murder Adnan Syed is re-evaluated in detail by investigative journalist Sarah Koenig. I had listened to the first four episodes on a road trip last year, but never picked it up again. As I’ve been driving back and forth to Sacramento…

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Leadership Coaching

Storytelling in 30 seconds – can you do it?

It’s been a while since I posted about a TV commercial (ah, the beauty of the DVR), but here’s one I came across recently that perfectly demonstrates the concepts of concise, compelling and clear storytelling. The message is delivered in 30 seconds, through visuals, music and exactly two spoken sentences. Can you be this concise, compelling and clear in your…

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Leadership Coaching

Create a safe space for group interaction

The other day, I was talking to a client about some problems she had experienced during a presentation. She had encountered a group who was resistant to some of her ideas and essentially put up a roadblock to any further discussion. She didn’t realize her topic was going to be so divisive and contentious and hadn’t planned for how to…

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Leadership Coaching

Good things take time

Okay, maybe not all good things take time. I mean, a quick summer salad of ripe tomatoes, fresh burrata cheese and a drizzle of olive oil takes about five minutes, but it’s delicious. And I’m sure you’ve been struck by inspiration before, where instead of struggling with a solution for weeks, the idea came to you instantly and you were…

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Leadership Coaching

My theory about "winging it"

Check this out: People who “wing it” are far more afraid of failure and rejection than those who prepare, although it might seem to be the opposite. See, if you wing it and succeed – your audience applauds, your jokes land, you come across as articulate and compelling, and people want to connect with you afterward – then you can…

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Leadership Coaching

Workable idea + bad execution = puppymonkeybaby

If you didn’t see the Super Bowl ad with the puppymonkeybaby, you may or may not want to watch this. It’s pretty creepy and disturbing. So let’s just get it out of the way, shall we? ———————— First of all, I had no recollection of what company this ad represented, nor could I even remember anything about the product it…

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