What’s your origin story?

Start-Up Founders and their audiences have a craving for origin stories- to define and claim a Founder identity that is true, current and unapologetic.  That tiny two or three sentence story that says “This is who I am and it’s why I’m committed.”  This is hard.   There is a temptation and strong pull to craft an origin story like crafting a resume- to list the credentials one has that justifies the position a Founder is in.  That says “Look, I’ve earned the right to be this audacious- to disrupt, to be bold. I belong here.”  Thing is, the resume …

Ladies! Got knocked off your stage game?  Get it back with these strategies:

So many women I work with are used to being a total boss in their subject. In their careers and life and education they are commanding experts and are not easily blown over or sized down.  They have a vision, conviction and a total sense of how best to do what they do.  They know themselves and they know their mind.  And even so, they sometimes get hijacked by a shitty interaction when they’re pitching in a smaller group environment, or thrown off their game by a question that pushed that dormant button that when activated says “YOU’RE A FRAUD! …

First words help us see you

Step into my office.  Maybe it’s a conference room, maybe it’s a green room or maybe we’re standing on stage behind a podium, prepping for your next presentation. So much of rehearsing is about making the space to find your voice.  With production needs all around—lights, time, other panelists—it’s easy to lose ourselves in the details, to get operational. But your audiences don’t want just those nuts and bolts of you.  They want who you are and getting back to that means carving out space, even just a little, so you can find that first word, that right glance or …

Don’t slow down. Take your time.

We all suffer many of the same ailments when it comes to how we appear on stage.  New clients come to me breathlessly listing their insecurities: “I get lost and go blank.” “I’m so monotone.” “I’ve been told I could be more dynamic.” “I get lost in the weeds.” “I speak too fast.”     Let’s focus on that last point today. Speed has lots of dimensions. Sometimes, yes, you speak too fast and end up babbling because you let your talking get away from you. Then you’re lost and go blank and your energy drops and your voice ends …

Practice till you do it well, not till you understand how to do it well:

In presenting, learning takes place in the body.  This is something I know and you know it, too.  But in preparing for a presentation, it’s easy to stop at “Ah, I got it, I understand what I need to do…” I’m on a little bit of a tear about rehearsing right now, so here goes nothing…That’s not enough. I’ve said this before a million times in coaching sessions and I’ll say it again here: Just because you understand what you have to do to be a good water-skier, doesn’t mean you can get dragged behind a boat at 20 mph …