Speak Schmeak

Rise up out of the noise

Speak Schmeak

Every day, I see more of my friends and colleagues speaking out against injustice, finding their voices, and speaking their truth. Just yesterday I wrote about a conversation with a friend who was feeling hopeless.

2020 173

How to be comfortable with uncertainty

Speak Schmeak

I had an enlightening conversation with my acupuncturist yesterday about the uncertainty of life, that triggered a revelation I want to share with you as a lesson for public speaking. But first, let's go back to December 1, 1990.

2020 158

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Your presentation needs osteoclasts

Speak Schmeak

Nerd alert! ?? I have become obsessed with the process of bone healing! On July 4, I lost my footing on the stairs in my home and suffered a compound fracture in my right leg, an "open tib-fib" in medical shorthand. I'm calling it "The Saga of the Four Fractures."

2020 130

Embrace imperfect action

Speak Schmeak

"It's always easier to just say no. It's always easier to say 'We can't do it.' Because when you say 'We will try to do it,' now you're changing things, and whenever you change, there's opposition. Every time. So it's always easier just to stay status quo. It's always easier not to risk, not to try to raise the bar. Because maybe you can't do it, maybe there will be problems. So it's easier just to say no, it's easier to say 'This is all we can do. It's impossible.'

2020 143

Adjust your expectations of virtual presenting

Speak Schmeak

One of the things that presenters love so much about being in front of a live audience is the instant gratification of your audience's responses. We're in direct contact with the emotional impact of our words and delivery. The audience smiles, they laugh, their body language changes and shifts. They murmur to their neighbors. They raise their hands. They frown and grimace. We can immediately see and hear their reactions; their reactions feed into what we do next. We respond to their responses.

2020 133

Moving on to 2nd Round of the 250-word Microfiction Challenge!

Speak Schmeak

Like many people, I'm very happy in my comfort zone. I mean, it's comfy, right? That's why we stay there. At the same time, I know that if I don't force myself out of my comfort zone, I won't grow as a person or as a professional. And communication challenges are particularly interesting to me, as a way to expand the skills I use and teach as a public speaking coach.

2019 146

I have a secret.

Speak Schmeak

There are so many great online programs out there, and I have several coaches whose programs I'm pretty much always going to join. But most programs have a Facebook group component, and this is where I find myself holding back from signing up for a program, especially if I know that this program has 50 or 100 people in it. When I'm about to join a group with 50+ people all doing the same homework every day, I get super anxious.

2020 116

I dare you to be expressive

Speak Schmeak

One of my clients has been working her way through the upper levels of her organization with a culture-changing idea for her company. She flies jumbo jets, and her idea would impact all pilots in her airline, and ideally, pilots across all of aviation. After her first presentation, to which she had invited some of her peers for support, she felt really good about her performance.

2019 158

Don't let the words distract you from the work

Speak Schmeak

Equating racism with hate is a red herring for white people. (Or Or maybe just liberal "enlightened" white people.) Making hatred the defining characteristic of a racist person allows white people to disengage from the exploration of white privilege and implicit bias.

2020 109

How can I help?

Speak Schmeak

You don't need any advice from me on hand-washing or social distancing. I'm not going to share "how The LisaB Company is responding to COVID-19." Pretty sure you don't care. ?? I'm not a mental health expert, a scientist or a life coach, and I know you can find resources on how to cope elsewhere. What am I good at? How can I help? Especially from afar, from my living room, from my laptop? Which, honestly, is my favorite place to be.) ??

2020 122

Being vs. becoming

Speak Schmeak

Twice in conversations with a client, she's told me, "I'm not a writer." And yet, she is a writer, because she writes ! Perhaps I'm oversimplifying a bit, because I suppose there's a difference between someone who writes all the time and enjoys it (whether or not they receive income from it), and a person who writes sometimes and finds it a struggle.

2019 153

8 steps to ditching perfection and creating connection

Speak Schmeak

Even if we've mastered our perfectionist tendencies, these new challenges of presenting virtually seem to be bringing them all back up again. (At At least for me. ??) So I'm launching a new workshop on ditching perfection and creating connection, based on the concepts in my book. Ready to ??"let let it go?"?? This will be a deeper dive into my core teachings, with 8 clear action steps to ditching perfection and creating connection.

2020 109

Is busyness a competition?

Speak Schmeak

People are busy. People are overwhelmed. People have too much on their plates. And yet, the complaint is often laced with pride. We can't wait to tell everyone how busy we are. How are you?" "SO SO busy!" Perhaps busyness triggers our competitive nature. At least, I think it triggered mine. Back in the late 90s, after having started and run my nonprofit organization for several years while also working a full-time job, I started noticing a tendency to brag about my busyness.

2020 109

Your voice: small pebble. big ripples

Speak Schmeak

A few years ago, I was taking my usual shortcut through Earl Warren Showgrounds on my daily walk, when I was stopped by a family in an SUV. They had a couple of questions about the Fiesta rodeo, a longstanding Santa Barbara tradition that's part of our annual Old Spanish Days festivities. How is the rodeo?" they asked. "Is Is it suitable for children?" And. "Is Is it violent?"

2019 140

It's not fair

Speak Schmeak

Last week, as many of my speaker colleagues packed and prepared to attend our annual convention, I saw a repeated refrain in our comment threads, all a variation of: "I have to get a blow out, spray tan, hair colored and cut, teeth whitened, nails done, legs waxed, lashes extended, eyebrows dyed, shop for makeup and new outfits, find my Spanx, and find a gown to wear to the gala that I haven't worn before."

2019 136

Four reasons to stop using PowerPoint

Speak Schmeak

Many of my speaker colleagues reject the use of slides. They say slides are boring, prevent engagement, and distract the audience away from the speaker's message. And yep, they do. Especially when they look like this: or this: are loaded with cliches like this: or packed with bullets like this: or when the presenter looks like this: or when your images look like this: So here are four reasons to stop using slides: 1.

2018 159

Do you need massive action or fine-tuning?

Speak Schmeak

One of my clients just emailed out his speaking schedule, inviting colleagues to attend. I was mistakenly added to the group—wrong Lisa! Here's what I saw: 29 speaking engagements. over 3 months. across five midwestern states (they drive to the majority of their engagements). And they do this every year.

2019 122

Why can't every talk be a TED talk?

Speak Schmeak

TEDxUCLA TED talks are the "it-girl" of speaking. Everyone wants their presentation to be as cool as a TED talk, as profound as a TED talk, and as viral as a TED talk. I'm a huge fan of TED talks (and their locally-produced TEDx brethren). I've written about many of them here on Speak Schmeak, in fact. I admire the ability of TED speakers to quickly and concisely express their big idea in a compelling way, using stories, analogies and sometimes visuals to share their message.

2019 141

Empowering women means paying them

Speak Schmeak

After yet another request from a women's organization asking me to speak for free, I wrote this post on Facebook. I then posted it on Instagram and Twitter, and as an article on LinkedIn. My speaking colleagues are sharing it and getting lots of comments! It's the closest thing I've ever had to a viral post. ?? Feel free to share the LinkedIn article or this post, as this message needs to be shared widely!

2020 109

Did you get your free gift?

Speak Schmeak

Hey peeps! I created a new free offering last year and I want to make sure you got yours! In case this fell through the cracks, here's the info on my new-ish Easy Speaker Proposal Template and tracking sheet ! Are you a business or nonprofit leader or entrepreneur who wants to speak at more conferences and events—but submitting speaking proposals is a mind-numbing time and energy drain? It doesn't have to be! My Easy Speaker Proposal Template will: ??Tell

2020 109

Your audience needs you - now

Speak Schmeak

??What are you holding back on releasing to the world because you're still getting ready. to get ready. to get ready? ??Are Are you delaying the release of a new program, a new product, a new virtual training? ??What What could you accomplish - right now - if you could just get over your need to be a "perfect" presenter? Ditch??it! Dump???it! Kick???? it to the curb! Perfection, that is.

2020 100

Put this in your pocket for later

Speak Schmeak

Will you have a speaking engagement between now and April? Will you be: ??Speaking Speaking to the board of your organization? ??Introducing Introducing your business at a networking event? ??Sharing Sharing your big idea at a work meeting? ??Reaching Reaching out to the community for donations? ??Engaging Engaging community members who've already donated? ??Orienting Orienting volunteers or new employees? ??Giving Giving a speech at a special event? ??Delivering

2019 109

I'm still in it - are you?

Speak Schmeak

It's two days after Christmas, and I'm working. Am I a workaholic? Am I under the thumb of a mean boss? Nope. (My My boss is pretty swell, actually.) Am I working by choice? Absolutely! Because my boss is ME, I get to decide when to work and when not to work. And because my husband is in the specialty foods retail industry, and it's the holiday season, this is his busiest time of the year! My rule is: When hubby works, I work. When hubby's off, I'm off.

2019 109

BF + SBS + Cyber Monday + Free Gift = Today!

Speak Schmeak

I hope you're enjoying the long weekend (if you're in the US)! I realized that my friends in other countries now do Black Friday, even though there is no Thanksgiving on the preceding Thursday! Wow, talk about spreading American culture worldwide. Personally, I don't shop on Black Friday. I enjoy the practice of "Buy Nothing Day" on the Friday after Thanksgiving because honestly, I'm not always proud of my own shopping habits.

2019 109

10 reasons to join the Presenting for Humans Success Circle

Speak Schmeak

Are you thinking about joining the Presenting for Humans Success Circle , but not sure if it's right for you? Perhaps I can help you decide with these points about the benefits of the program to you! Author-led discussion: Most book clubs and study groups are not led by the author, the person who knows more than anyone else about the process for the book, the premise of the book, the core message and teachings, and the whys, whats and hows of the book.

2018 158

You don't need a stage to need stage presence

Speak Schmeak

I was recently contacted by a woman who manages a small team of young, inexperienced salespeople. She was primarily concerned with their lack of self-awareness; their behaviors in front of clients and prospects were less-than-stellar. One person bites their nails in meetings. Another person avoids eye contact. Another is a pen-clicker. And yet another makes elaborate faces when trying to conceal a yawn. Most of us have habits we're not aware of.

Stage 164

Fear isn't the reason you avoid speaking.

Speak Schmeak

Not Alex Honnold. Raise your hand if you watched "Free Solo," the documentary about Alex Honnold's untethered climb of El Capitan's 900-meter vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. Now raise your hand if you watched with one eye closed, hands in front of your face, hiding in a closet! Sometimes even watching someone else do something frightening scares us: even when we know he emerges unscathed!

2019 109

I can't believe I've never taught this.

Speak Schmeak

this is weird. I just realized something yesterday when going through the surveys I've sent to my peeps about what kind of help they need with their public speaking. What do you think shows up higher on the list than building confidence, reducing anxiety and engaging the audience? answer coming.). ????This: This: Knowing what to say and how to say it in an organized and compelling fashion!?? Did you guess correctly?)

2019 109

Why your role model doesn't have all the answers

Speak Schmeak

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once. But don't ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." ~ Michelle Obama Michelle Obama is one of our country's most beloved role models.

2019 109

Claim the Stage podcast interview with Angela Lussier

Speak Schmeak

Listen in on my conversation with Angela Lussier about ditching perfection and creating connection as a speaker! Authenticity Interviews Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Quick Fixes

2019 109

Your voice matters

Speak Schmeak

You're probably hearing a lot right now about using your voice. With elections coming up, it's important to be reminded that our voices—via our votes—really do make a difference. I know. sometimes it doesn't feel that way. Sometimes we feel small, we feel powerless, and we feel disheartened. But those aren't good enough reasons not to vote! Now, how about your actual voice? What are you dying to express?

2018 130

Is your life a constant audition?

Speak Schmeak

“I was so happy with how Freaks and Geeks came out, that in my head I thought 'my career is basically over.' I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, and everything else is gravy. And so nothing else matters. I can experiment. I can do anything. Because I did what I wanted to do, perfectly, once.” ~ Judd Apatow How many of us can say we've done something perfectly, once? Probably a lot of us!

2018 138

Let go instead of holding on (to your content)

Speak Schmeak

"Perfection is finally attained, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, aircraft designer and author of The Little Prince I'm fortunate that, in most of my speaking, I'm not required to be particularly concise. My speaking engagements are mostly trainings that range from three hours to three days, and there's a lot of room for spontaneous stories and discussion built into my workshops.

2018 139

I can do anything better than I can

Speak Schmeak

Maybe you've heard the song "Anything You Can Do" from the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." It's a classic duet with the characters Annie Oakley and Frank Butler attempting to prove their ability to outdo each other in a variety of tasks. Some people are more competitive than others; I'm not a fan of my competitive side (I take competition a little too seriously, so I choose not to compete with others), but I do enjoy competing with myself!

2018 141

She nailed it!

Speak Schmeak

I started working with a client last month who was tapped to give a presentation at a leadership conference within her industry. The audience was made up of younger versions of herself (don't you wish you could always speak to younger versions of yourself?), and she was challenged to share her story while also teaching leadership lessons.

2019 100

Your lizard brain doesn't want you to speak

Speak Schmeak

My clients will frequently say to me, "I don't understand why I'm so nervous. There must be something wrong with me." Well, if it's wrong to be human, I guess we all have something wrong with us! What we forget is that, while we are indeed human, we are also animals. Human animals, but still animals.

2018 126

Why you need to take every speaking opportunity

Speak Schmeak

I forgot my stuff. I had a workshop Friday morning, and I thought I was ready, but I wasn't. I had finished my slides, I had finished my notes, I had printed my handouts. I always have my tools in my bag, like my presentation remote, my VGA-to-USB adapter cable, markers and other items I take to my presentations. Except I didn't. I drove 45 minutes from Ojai to Santa Barbara, feeling relaxed and confident.

2017 151

Speaking tips from "Serial"

Speak Schmeak

I finally got around to finishing the original season of the podcast "Serial," in which the case of convicted murder Adnan Syed is re-evaluated in detail by investigative journalist Sarah Koenig. I had listened to the first four episodes on a road trip last year, but never picked it up again. As I've been driving back and forth to Sacramento regularly for two months (a 6-hour drive), I decided to give investigative reporting podcasts another look, and finally finished "Serial."

2019 109

Get your free copy of Presenting for Humans before April 15

Speak Schmeak

Hey y'all! I'm giving away 100 digital copies of Presenting for Humans: Insights for Speakers on Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection ! I'm celebrating the second anniversary of publishing my first book on April 14 and I want you to have a copy! The giveaway started today and 51 copies are already gone, so if you're a Goodreads member, get over there ASAP to reserve your free digital download.

2019 109

Learning is not a one-way street

Speak Schmeak

I frequently hear colleagues and friends complain about all the money they’ve spent on coaching or training with disappointing results. Literally never have I heard someone complain about all the work and effort they put into coaching or training, with disappointing results. I’m going to flip our usual conversation on its head and instead of talking about your job as the one providing service, I’m going to talk about your job as the one receiving service.

2019 109

How is dating like public speaking?

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever been on a date? Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? You've probably had both experiences! Did you ask the other person out? Did they ask you out? Maybe you've just kind of eased into it by saying "We should do something sometime." (I I used that one on my hubby when we were still getting to know each other.) Did/do you find dating stressful? Scary? Uncomfortable? Nervewracking? Did/do you feel like you were on display? Being judged?

2015 198

Lessons from driving: Don't be a mechanical speaker

Speak Schmeak

(c) Jenny Rollo Do you remember what it was like when you were learning how to drive? There were so many things to pay attention to, so many details. Where do I put my hands and my feet? When is it too soon or too late to press the brake pedal? How much pressure do I put on the gas? How exactly can I keep my eyes on the road if I'm also trying to look into two rear-view mirrors? And how exactly do I change the radio station while keeping both hands on the wheel?

2015 193

Big fish or little fish. what's right for you?

Speak Schmeak

It's a new year, and with a new year comes lots of marketing hyperbole. Lots of "New year, new you!" and "Step into your greatness!" kinds of posts, articles and of course, paid programs. Every January, I feel the pressure. Do you feel the pressure? To be bigger, bolder, more recognized, more successful (on someone else's terms.)? I feel the pressure to have big events, make big money (used to be just six figures—now I'm seeing a lot more seven figure pressure), get big name clients.

2017 158