How the Ruthless Streets Created a Poet

On Monday night, a young man who calls himself an “unsigned artist” on Clubhouse was in a room (similar to a chat) with me and 250 others.

The topic was speaking with confidence

The man raised his hand, asking for feedback on a poem about the ruthless streets and people he’s known all his life.  

Clubhouse is an audio-only app, so everyone in the room could only hear this man’s voice.

A deep baritone enveloped with the thickness of the streets. 

His avatar was a logo; we had no idea what he looked like.  

We went merely by the sound of his voice, his mumbled words, his quick cadence.

It was nearly impossible to understand his words.

He raced awkwardly through his poem and asked for feedback.

He apologized for sounding “so ghetto."

One of the moderators on stage with me asked him respectfully to slow down, enunciate and recite the poem again.

He did.  

The feedback came in heaps of praise and love for this young man who...

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The Confidence to Receive

We’re so quick to compliment others.

Still, most of us struggle to receive praise and kind words.

How do you respond when someone commends you on a business report, new hairstyle or an impressive run on the ski slopes?  

Do you smile and gracefully thank the other person?

Or do you deflect their comments and start overtalking?

Consider this scenario: A friend says, “I love your shirt; is it new?”  

One typical response is: “Yes, I got it on clearance and saved $20. I couldn’t have afforded the full price. The car broke down last week...”

Another common reply: “No, I’ve had this since last year; the button’s missing from the sleeve. Gosh, I’ve gotta buy some new clothes!”  

The best answer, however, is one that is uplifting, positive and shows your own deep confidence.

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How to Captivate Audiences with Heartfelt Stories

He had the stories in his heart and his head.

But David couldn’t get them out on paper.

No, it wasn’t a sales presentation or media coaching.

David was an accomplished project manager and engineer who was referred to me by a mutual business acquaintance.

He had a personal communication project that was new to me.   

Look, I had ghostwritten nearly 1,000 posts, articles, bios, speeches, editorials and messages during my 35  years in the news and communication industry.

But never one like this.

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David needed a Father of the Bride speech for his daughter Melissa’s rehearsal dinner.

This was big; 150 people at the dinner and 500 for the wedding the next day. David knew some of the guests intimately; the others he had never met.

People would be watching.

And judging.

It could be a tough crowd.

And David—whom...

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Do This and You'll Quickly Grow Your Business

Stories around the holiday season run rampant.

From family and generational tales to Biblical passages, stories bring us together as human beings. 

It is the words within the stories that wield true power. 

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Words move us deeply.

We listen, watch and read with wonderment, curiosity and emotion. Well-written and well-told stories have the power to move us to laughter...and to tears.

One thing I’ve noticed in business as “Life’s Little Observer” (being a people-watcher and listening with a keen ear as a news reporter) is this...

The highest paid people in the room are exceptional storytellers.

Believe me, I have interviewed everyone from homeless people to presidents. During my 35-year career, I have seen it all! 

My point for everyday business pros like you is this: 

  • Nail...
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How to Stand Out on Social Media

So many  folks are grappling with the question: How can I get noticed when there  are millions of people on the internet?

I get this question time and time again so I want to share my secret stand out skills. They apply to you as well. 

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Let's go back to pre-social media before t{he onslaught of technology. 

Think 1970-ish. Think experiential learning. 

The real lessons on how to stand out for me came from my home life, not my work life.

It's done the same way today, whether you're on Zoom webinar, a group meeting or in person. We are all...still people.  

Finding your way

I learned how to get people's attention from my extended family, especially on my mom's side. We are all incredibly close with cherished relationships with many cousins and relatives.

East Coast. Boisterous. Quick-witted.

And there are a lot of us. 

Even though I’m the...

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