About Catherine

Catherine JohnsIf there’s one thing I’ve discovered from 25 years of high profile presenting it’s this: The main thing the audience wants from you is – YOU!

Problem is … there’s a good chance they’re not getting YOU. Sure, you deliver a proficient presentation. A satisfactory speech. A polished performance. But you may be missing the mark (and the money!) because you’re failing to connect on a human level with the individuals in your audience.

My years of experience in radio, speaking from the platform and hosting my own events have made it clear. Connection equals cash. And Presence trumps everything.

People can get your information from your website, an email, a Tweet or a text. When they’re face to face with you, they want so much more than content. They crave connection.

That’s exactly what I coach my clients to create when they speak, whether it’s face-to-face or screen-to-screen.

And when I’m speaking, it’s all about conversation instead of presentation.

That comes from my broadcasting background.

As a news anchor, morning show side-chick and talk show host, I moved from one market to another working my way to Chicago. Where I spent 20 years on the air having conversations.

Radio is an intimate medium. Just think about it. There I was in the studio literally talking to thousands of people at once … and yet reaching them one listener at a time. My voice, my words, my Presence – just for them. In their car or their kitchen or coming out of their earphones while they worked out.

Bob from Berwyn, North Aurora Nora, that guy who’d call in from his tractor near Kankakee … they heard me and they felt heard by me. The connection was palpable.

I bring that kind of Presence to every keynote, every workshop, and every coaching session.

And I push my clients to be open enough, vulnerable enough and confident enough to do the same thing.

I have a special interest in women who’ve been hiding their light.

I wrote a book about being taken seriously.  Making sure your ideas are heard in a meeting.

And some guy doesn’t get the credit for them.  Taking your place at the table.  Or creating a table of your own.

Giving up hiding once and for all – because you can’t be a secret and be a success. Sounding strong – not like a man but like a full-grown adult woman instead of some teenager at the mall with a tiny little voice and a question mark at the end of every sentence?

I believe the whole world will be a better place when women Show Up and Shine.

And in case you’re wondering, I know something about stepping out from that hiding place. I didn’t always have a powerful presence. In fact, I have a vivid memory of a high school girlfriend’s mother telling me, with pity in her voice, “You’re just a late bloomer.”

One thing I learned—wall flowers get stepped on and crushed.

I bloomed, learning to hold my own in the boys’ club of broadcasting. It takes a ton of confidence and a way with words to play full out on the radio with colleagues and callers, not to mention those pesky program directors.

With radio in the rearview mirror, it’s good to be with real live, flesh and blood audiences, right there in the room with me. I’m all about interactive, whether it’s a conversation from the stage or my weekly newsletter; it’s always a gas to hear your reactions.

And I thrive on conversation apart from my work; it’s my joy to sit with a girlfriend, sip an Americano and talk. And listen. Especially, listen.

I’m good with virtual conversation too. I’m a Facebook fan, fashionable as it is to mock it. Yes, I know, 2300 people aren’t real friends. But I dig their online conversation anyway. (Feel free to friend me!) I know I should do more with LinkedIn and I keep saying I will.

Online videos make me impatient; most of them are too long and many are way too stilted.

Some coach, consultant or other expert reading a script at me makes me nuts.

Relationships mean a lot to me.

Friends from first grade — and that brand new friend I met last month – they’re all part of my life. (If you’re into StrengthsFinder you’ll recognize WOO and Relator.)

Those friends would tell you I cut through the b.s., get right to the heart of the matter, and tell them the things they need to hear. Also I make them laugh. A lot. My brother says I’m bossy.

And others? You’ll see comments from clients on these pages. They appreciate feedback that’s candid but not cutting. Strong skill-building support. And the opportunity, even the obligation, to get better with every session. To cultivate the Presence that trumps everything, that makes them magnetic. So they attract clients and customers and cash.

People who hear me speak say I’m powerful. And fun. They comment on my Presence, energy and ability to dance with whatever comes up.

I love to cook. I have a stack of books I’m going to get around to reading any day now. Really.

I’m a bad but enthusiastic singer; my husband Frank says I sing every single song in the key of Catherine.

Luckily I talk better than I sing.

And I’m looking forward to talking with you.