Speaking

Communication, Speaking, Women in Business

Feet First …

Feet first. Where are your feet? Seriously. Check in and notice your feet now. Are you sitting at a desk with your legs crossed or are both feet on the floor? Sprawled in a comfy chair, your feet tucked up beside you? You could even be lying in bed, checking your email before you get up and start your day. Any of those positions are fine for article-reading. A friend reminded me the other day how important our feet are in other situations. “People need to be more grounded,” he said. And he’s right. In meetings, in virtual presentations, even in casual conversations, your feet set the stage for what we hear from you. Our conversation about being grounded took me back to a Sunday morning, and a group of seven or eight, sitting in a circle of folding chairs. Each of us with a chance to express our experience, our emotions, and our point of view.

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Business Communication, Speaking

Starting Fresh

Starting fresh. You may know that I’ve been very much occupied caring for my husband, Frank, and wrapping things up after his death in November. The question confronting me now is, “What’s next?” And that’s where you come in. Even as a full-time caregiver, I was doing a bit of part-time coaching with clients who wanted to be better at speaking and networking, and were willing to give me some grace if I needed to interrupt our work to tend to Frank. Speaking? That’s been off the table since I had to call a friend to fill in for a gig back in June. I was headed to the ER—again!—instead of Zooming into a meeting to coach jobseekers about framing their talents and skills for their interviews. I stopped scheduling speaking engagements after that. Well, the New Year is a perfect time to relaunch, isn’t it?

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photo of Catherine and Frank on Frank's 80th birthday.
Business Communication, Communication, Speaking, Writing

Speak Their Language

Speak their language. What do you say? A better question might be “How do you say it?”.
Marketing genius Seth Godin was writing about writing this week. I had speaking in mind, though, when I read this in his newsletter: “It’s tempting to simply focus our attention on the text itself… But messages merely begin with the text. The rhythm, presentation, source, and context deliver most of what we take away from a message.” Amen to that! A client preparing for an important speech came to my office dining room table this week with a copy of her speech. It was fine. And “fine” isn’t exactly a home run, is it? My job is to help my client bring this talk from fine to fabulous.

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Mindset, Speaking

The Confidence Question—and an Answer

The Confidence Question—and an Answer: It was a familiar request. So many clients come to me with the same goal. “I want,” she said, “to sound and feel more confident when speaking in person and on Zoom, especially when introducing myself and explaining what I do.” You know I don’t offer myself as a mindset coach, although people often do change their mindset during our work together. In a way, I’m more of a bodyset coach. Seems to me that one good path to a new way of thinking and feeling is through the body. And it starts, of all places, with the feet.

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Business Communication, Speaking

You’re speaking. Something goes wrong…

You’re speaking. Something goes wrong…

What do you do when you’re in front of an audience and suddenly the unexpected happens? You wouldn’t be the first, that’s for sure. You do enough speaking, and sooner or later you’ll run into a SITUATION. Like this… I had just begun my talk at a professional association meeting. It was a late night; those folks had been in that room for hours. They’d listened to a bunch of updates and award-giving and plans for the coming year. The energy in the room was low. That put some pressure on me to liven things up. Interaction almost always helps…so I invited questions and comments from the get-go.

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photo of Catherine John's fashionable jacket