“Slow down” doesn’t work. Here are some alternatives

Yes, slowness signals mastery.  Being rushed and out of control doesn’t. So many communications professionals (PR, Exec Comms, Internal Comms, Event producers) desperately want and need your leadership and stage talent to demonstrate mastery, presence and clarity and you give feedback to that end…over and over. “Slow down” you say.  “It would be better if you slowed down” you offer. “Try to slow down” you suggest and yet…no change in your Exec’s delivery. Instead they nod their head, say thanks for the feedback and bounce right back to what they were doing before.  Rushing, looking a little frantic and letting …

Freedom to Inspire

Organizational leaders live inside the business environment,  where things are tempered.  There are communications guardrails to operate in during the work day, an expected range of modulation and expression that is all middle-of-the-road, strong and steady.  Perceived or real these guardrails help create a steadiness to leadership communication that is valuable to teams and organizations so that those teams and organizations can find a way forward in the ever changing world of work.   There is a need to be a calming but forceful presence in the beautiful chaos of distributed teams all working, in their own way toward a goal. …

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 …

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 …