Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time

Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time

I’ve been reflecting on my journey as a speaker and I wanted to share my very first professional speaking gig with you. Now pay attention! Not only is this a story that speaks to your journey of a speaker, but it is also a living example of story telling - a skill that every great speaker must master! My philosophy as a professional speaker who coaches others on their public speaking on stage and camera is that we can all learn from everyone’s experiences: good and bad. This one was quite a ride for me! I met a guy named Napolean through a real estate friend who lived in NJ, not too far from me. He was a speaker who was starting to put together workshops locally and he liked my energy. So he invited me to speak at an upcoming event that he was producing. Napolean was charismatic and enrolling and I thought he was cool so I said sure. I did not ask a lot of questions because I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to speak! (lesson #1) I assumed he’d done producing before and so I committed to the date, took off from work, and I declined another gig because I’d already given him my word. (lesson #2) He and I spoke briefly as the date approached and I practiced what I was going to do. It was the first time I’d be telling my addiction stories out in public. I planned to weave in my jokes too, but this was a big step for me. I was excited but also terrified. I arrived at...
Begin Anywhere

Begin Anywhere

The  yoga studio where I practice has some sayings in frames on the walls and this one of them: Begin Anywhere. It’s one of my favorites! I chuckle every time I see it. I laugh because it reminds me of how I have a tendency to overcomplicate a lot of things…and I’ve noticed that many of my clients do the same thing too.  When I am not centered and my monkey mind is racing, my inner critic can be so brutal. “You haven’t been to yoga in 5 days. You used to go all the time. No wonder your arms are getting flabby. You used to be able to do side crow and front arm balance and now you can barely do regular crow. No wonder you’re single right now. You’re losing everything you worked for when you came all the time.” And that’s just in a few seconds in my head. That voice was one of the reasons I used to drink and use drugs. And thank god I have tools and routines now to quiet that voice. It may never completely go away (believe me, I have tried to make it!), but now I can manage it better. Which is why I love the Begin Anywhere sign. And so we begin again. Isn’t that a huge part of life? We start a new job, a new workout, a new relationship, and it’s good at the start, right? Things seem fun and fresh in the beginning. This time I’m going to… And then life happens.  There is a bump or three in the road.  You catch a nasty...
Want to know the secret to stage presence?

Want to know the secret to stage presence?

Want to know the secret to stage presence? People come up to me after they’ve seen me speak and they often say: Wow, you have such stage presence! Which is lovely. I appreciate them. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can cultivate stage presence too. Always come on the stage from a place of movement if at all possible. It’s better if you can be backstage or off camera, stretching, moving, breathing, walking, not pacing, but moving. The worst thing a speaker can do is to have to sit and wait and be nervous and just be shrinking. The tighter you feel, the less you breathe, which causes you to get more nervous, and then even tighter….it’s a vicious cycle. So get off your butt and stretch, move, breathe or at least walk around.  Remember the audience is more scared FOR you than you are of them. They need you to be good. I also want you to take a deep breath the second you step on stage or camera: a deep belly breath. Then take a moment and scan the audience if you’re on a stage or look right into the camera lens if you’re on camera. This pause is powerful. This pause says: Listen, what I’m about to say is important. So you’ll want to lean in and really listen. It’s a way to draw people in. It also conveys that you are powerful, that you’re coming from a place of power. You aren’t rushing because you believe whole heartedly in what you’re about to say. Communication is only 7% words. Body language speaks volumes in seconds.  When you stand up straight and strong, proud and...
Drop the Rock

Drop the Rock

I saw that title and it pierced me in my heart. Drop the rock. Just love the simplicity of it. It made me think of myself and my clients and our “stories”. We get attached to our rocks, our stories, our attachments. I’ve been working with a client named Scott. He is just so much fun to be around. He’s a Brooklyn boy who grew up in a tough family. Scott has a fabulous sense of humor and is a great business coach. He’s never had problems selling products when he worked for other people, but when he started his own business, it was a different game to try to sell his coaching services — and Scott’s not alone. Learning to own our own value and sing our own praises is a whole different can of worms. And I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who hasn’t struggled with this at least a little. As we’ve worked together, he has uncovered his “story” about himself. He has this whole “Not good enough, imposter thing,” going on. We’ve also uncovered “that if he was truly a great coach, he would have already made it,” even though his coaching business is literally only a few months old. I share this with you, dear reader, because I’ve been there and I imagine that you may have been there too. Or maybe you’re there now. We’re human. So therefore, we have limiting beliefs we don’t even know about! And they’re running the show. This is one reason I love coaching: being coached helps you take the blinders off, so you can see. A...