The Hack for Going Blank During a Talk

During his popular, one-man comedy Defending the Caveman, actor Rob Becker went mute. He couldn’t remember the lines of a show he’d written and performed hundreds of times. Apologizing to thousands in the audience, Becker exited the stage. Days later, recovered, he...

Rabbit Trails

After “Joseph” pitched his new company, a chorus of potential investors tossed questions out like excited birds chirping in a zoo aviary. But no one in the throng asked the “right” question. Instead, the group of smart, seasoned executives were led down a rabbit trail...

Supreme-Court Smile

There’s a scene in the current movie On the Bases of Sex relevant to anyone making a presentation. It’s the story of struggling young attorney Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s game-changing court case before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, a court one-step below the US...

Mr. Very Cool Did It Again

West Pointer, former Harvard team quarterback, and investor with an impressive track record, Mr. Very Cool pointed his charm my way for “a little presentation feedback” at a recent event. As he explained his project, I had to restrain myself from tsk, tsk-ing and...

Politics Aren’t the Only Tough Topics

Confronting prickly employees and underperformers rarely tops anyone’s list of favorite tasks. Nobody at the office wants to talk about difficult topics or deliver bad news. Most managers secretly wish that frustrating employees would stop making life so difficult and...

When Zombies Talk or Death by Teleprompter

At a recent conference, several otherwise charming speakers, blew it by teleprompter. In front of 6,000 people. Management thought a teleprompter would rescue their group from poor speaking skills. Unfortunately, speaking by teleprompter is just as deadly to an...

The Bearathon

Jeremy is a genius at motivation. His gift is one we can all take to heart: Lighten up. Three times a week, during an early morning YMCA Pilates class, he inspires me and about 40 people of all ages. And he’s been doing it for more than 15 years. No one ever wants to...

Ugly Stove, Pretty Party & Spooky Timing

My ideal Saturday night includes one dinner guest who stirs a copper pot of fresh seafood on “the Beast.” That’s my ancient, restaurant-retrieved gas oven. It is so old no one will even repair it any longer. It is so battered I’ve developed a pioneer-woman knack for...

Café Nuts

“Turn left,” I said. “No, right. No, left. Oh, goodness, I’ve lost the GPS. ” That’s when my son said, “Try again, and search for Café Nuts. It’s a famous place there.” From my passenger seat, I looked at him with raised eyebrows. We were driving the heavily forested,...

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