Did He Just Yawn?

After 23 years teaching high school, I’m still not immune to disinterested and dissatisfied attendee’s expressions. As I begin a training for 15 company managers, Jerri’s expression says, “I don’t want to be here and I’m pissed that I am.” You’ve seen them, attending your meeting, speech or participating in your training: yawning, looking at their watch, checking text messages or slumped …

How To Listen With Your Senses

Lynn and Daniel, her adult son, are sitting side-by-side. After mentioning his tubing trip, she asks, “did you go alone?” He enthusiastically answers, “yes.” “Were other people there?” she asks. He answers, “No, it was a very quiet day.” Silence. Daniel goes on to describe the water level and pace of the river. He missed it – Lynn’s real question. And she still hasn’t …

I Made a Mistake!

While moving at lightning speed, from one detail to the next to organize and stage TEDx Asheville 2022, I made a big mistake. If it was a detail on the website – easy fix. If I forgot to arrange a projector, a call would right that wrong. This mistake required I apologize. Even with that creepy-crawly feeling of shame and embarrassment in …

From Square Screens to Shared Spaces

We’ve gone from square screens to shared spaces. Muting the audience and “no video” is no longer an option. You are seen & heard.   During the height of the pandemic and through the lens of zoom, our non-verbal communication got a break. It was impossible to see your foot shaking or your arms crossed. Those subconsciously evident facial expressions were off-limits in your tiny …

How To Reduce Nervous Anticipation

I walk ahead of myself in perpetual expectancy of miracles.  ~Anais Nin   My UNCA student’s 3rd speech assignment is due and they’ve claimed their spot in the cue. But, there’s no eye contact, zero smiles, energy is subdued and panic reads on their faces. I ask, “help me understand what goes on for you as you prepare to speak.” …