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I Hate Being Blindsided in a Meeting!

It’s one thing to prepare for a speech or a presentation. The environment is controlled, and there are only so many variables we have to consider. But what about when we’re in a meeting or a discussion, and something unexpected happens? Our idea is shot down, our expertise is questioned, or our leadership is challenged? …

The Real Reason You Should Slow Down and Pause

There is a trend in recent years toward more informal, conversational presentations. For the most part, I like it. Knowing that you, as the speaker, can create an atmosphere that feels more like a dialogue with the audience helps people show up confidently and soothes nerves.  But too often, speakers take this informality a step …

What Do You Need to Break in Order to Begin?

A few years ago, the theater that my husband Charlie and I founded, NC Stage Company, needed a facelift. Our lobby wasn’t really working for us, audiences entered the theatre down a long narrow hallway, and things were just looking a little dingy. The staff made a plan. Paint chips! New furniture! We can have …

What on Earth Is There to Be Thankful For?

Gratitude practices and journals have been taking off in recent years, for good reason. Taking a little time to focus on what’s going well, what we appreciate about our lives and each other, can reframe and elevate our experience and even our mental health.  For many reasons, some productive and some less so, most of …

Tackling Tough Talks (at the Thanksgiving Table)

The holidays bring us together with family and friends we love and appreciate. Great! But sometimes these are the very same people with whom we disagree about, well, lots of things. The added pressures of “HOLIDAYS ARE SPECIAL AND GREAT” combined with pre-existing familial baggage make a potent recipe for holiday tension. I got to …

Do What Makes You Happy

I don’t know about you, but everybody I talk to lately is a little burned out, a little stressed, a little out of sorts.  Maybe it’s the lingering effects of Covid and the uncertainty and stress that brings with it. Maybe it’s a tough time of year. Maybe we’re all going through some subterranean slow …

Ignite CSP in the Media–Award-Winning Podcast!

Donna Peters has many accolades, and she carries all of them lightly. Most recently her podcast, The Me-Suite, has won the Best Business Podcast Award for 2020 and 2021.  You understand why when you listen to her insightful conversations with a wide range of guests. She asks thoughtful questions, she’s a great listener, and wow, …

Are You Fine, Really?

We all know the ritual: two people see each other for the first time that day, or that week, or that month, and one says to the other: “How are you?” The other responds: “Fine, how are you?” The first person says, “I’m fine,” and everyone moves on. Recently I had this expectation upended. I …

Fakery and Facebookery

This short video fascinated the Ignite CSP team last week. Mark Zuckerberg sat down with another employee to hype…some video games, I think.  Their conversation is something most viewers can immediately identify as “not authentic.”  It’s scripted and highly choreographed, and the entire premise of the dialogue is dubious. What is their relationship? Why are …

The Danger of Public Speaking “Tips”

In many professions, almost every person above a certain level has had some kind of public speaking or presentation skills training. Maybe they have their own coach, or perhaps they attended a one-day workshop, but they walked away with some idea of what they could apply to be a more effective speaker. So far so …

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