Real Life

Real Life in a Laboratory

I’m renaming April and May 2017 as Connect, Consult & Celebrate Month. Two months seemed to fly by as one: my weeks were with multiple presentation trainings, a new workshop, co-leading with David LaMotte, remarkable client results and personal breakthroughs.

I’m a true teacher at heart.

There is nothing I love more than welcoming people face-to-face into a physical learning environment. Human-to-human connection is so important because it makes us more alert and speeds up our ability to achieve what we want. 

Colleagues and friends, with best intentions, often suggest I create an on-line training program. I appreciate their interest in my success. But online training is not my cup of tea.

In my 30 years of facilitating groups, the personalized and live, real-time experiences can never replace sitting at home on your computer…especially with communication training.

In person, real-time “showing up” offers an abundance of learning beyond simply the content being delivered. Why? Because…

 It’s real life in a laboratory.


1. You have to deal with real, daily stuff. These little things can trigger your presentation fears OR with the right training, they can quickly become confident interactions: the hello’s, finding your seat, introducing yourself, waiting your turn, engaging in partner activities, giving and receiving feedback.

2. Someone, in addition to the leader, will probably inspire you. You hear an attendee’s story, witness their struggle and hear their resolve. Perhaps this aligns closely with your own personal challenges. A boatload of resources are in the room with you. There is a collective wisdom and it doesn’t always reside with just the leader.


3. Group energy is not a woo-woo notion. Together we are learning, making mistakes, overcoming fears and celebrating our successes. Studies in psychology show that our collective self-esteem rises in a group that works together. Our brains function differently and feel more “at attention” among others, creating a pleasant experience that helps us approach challenges with more resolve.

Here’s some great examples from April and May, demonstrating the results people get just by showing up to Connect, Consult, and Celebrate:

The 4-Week Speaker’s Learning Lab

March 2017

After the first night of the Lab, participant Lisa sent me this email, “Thanks for an awesome first night of our speaker’s workshop!  I enjoyed every minute and didn’t want it to end.”

Another attendee wrote in the final evaluation, “The training was an opportunity to come out of my shell. I can safely say, now I trust myself much more.”

Here’s what happened in between:
Each person tested their comfort zone, stretched into uncharted territory and claimed some new wins for their personal and professional life.

The Real Deal: From Draft to Delivery

 When you have a deadline on the calendar, you push yourself for results! It works for me, and it definitely worked for the 5 attendees of The Real Deal workshop. Almost every person had a real-life deadline they had to meet: an upcoming keynote, a conference speaking gig, a high-stakes business pitch, and a eulogy.

Each session included instruction, practice and keen feedback from me as well as the participants. Even though I was leading the Real Deal, each person contributed to the advancement of everyone’s participation.

How did it turn out?
Katie’s keynote was so well received, she sold numerous books and acquired new clients. Melinda made an impact on her audience of therapist and is now offering two summer follow-up workshops.

And Celia sent this note:
 “I was told I was the best speaker with the exception of a lawyer who spoke after me. I felt okay and happy having done well with what I did deliver. I’m telling you all this, because I cleared a really big hurdle for me, and I owe you most of the credit for walking me though it. Thank you!”

The Art of Listening to Each Other

Collaboration with David Lamotte


 If you want to listen well, you’ve got to show up! Fifteen participants did just that. For 3 weeks, we discovered, as Nancy stated, “listening is both an art and a mystery.” Every attendee was on board for very different reasons, but each came away with a deeper understanding and practice of listening.

“I didn’t realize how listening was far, far more than just paying attention. It is practice I will continue.”

Presentation Training, Macon, Georgia

Most folks respond with, “Oh my!” when I tell them I’m working with engineers, but I really like engineers. We’ve experienced our work world very differently, so it’s a special challenge for me to step into their world and help them see the importance of how they show up in their verbal and non-verbal communication.

The first day, Blake, a full fledged introvert, shook my hand and thanked me for being there. The next day, he commented in class about how he practiced and how he intentionally and consciously tries to connect. He is a perfect example of how we learn from others in a group training. Blake was an inspiration and shining example of self awareness in action.