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Being an Intentional Guest

I am a huge fan of Priya Parker and her book, “The Art of Gathering.” If the word “gathering” makes you think of something lofty and unusual, and maybe not applicable to you, I urge you to reconsider! Parker is using the word in its most expansive sense, both as a noun and as a …

Gratitude on the Off-days

It’s easy to remember to be grateful when it’s brought to our attention. Thanksgiving? I’m grateful! Close call with illness? Grateful! Unexpected gorgeous day? Oh, yes, grateful! What does it take to cultivate gratitude on the off-days? The times when we’re just chugging along, doing our thing? Or when it feels like nothing is going …

In-corporate

One meaning of to incorporate is to make physical, to embody. When we learn something in our brain, we have to figure out a way to bring it into our understanding, our embodied knowledge. For example, you can watch YouTube videos for days about the perfect golf swing, but until you start to incorporate the information, …

Fitting It in Around the Edges

I have coached a lot of people who are preparing for big presentations: to get promotions, interview for jobs, or speak in front of high-stakes audiences. Recently, for the first time, a client asked me: “When you’ve coached people before who have been successful at this, what is the common thread? Is there something they …

“The Way You Listen to Me is Not My Fault”

“The way you listen to me is not my fault.”  This gem comes to you courtesy of my husband, Charlie. We were chatting recently as we both got ready for the day, and as sometimes happens, my mouth got way ahead of my ears. I had asked him several questions, then barreled on, not really …

The Wise World of Sports

“If you do it in practice, you’ll do it in a game.” I don’t know who said this originally, but it’s a piece of sports wisdom that jumps right off the page at me. When I came across it recently, the person saying it meant that if you do it right in practice, you’ll do …

The Work, and Skill, It Takes to Make It Simple

A director friend of mine told me a story once about a theatrical piece he worked on. The piece was primarily musical, but it included staged elements. He lobbied for a specific, very talented, top-of-the-line lighting designer to be part of the artistic team for the piece. As my friend tells it, the lighting designer …

How to Know If You Need More Practice

If you haven’t thought: That’s not how I want to say that This part will work better in a different place I need to pause That phrase worked better on paper than when I said it out loud Let me try this again Then you haven’t practiced enough. 

How Do You Know What the Audience Wants?

Audiences are such interesting creatures. They are, of course, made up of many people with different backgrounds, hopes, reasons to be there, and preoccupations. At the same time, as any actor or public speaker can attest, each audience has a unified personality.  Some audiences are quiet. Some are raucous. Some give off a “I’ll let …

Don’t Look Rushed

Even if you’re late to the meeting, don’t look rushed. Even if the speaker before you cut into your time by ten minutes, don’t look rushed. Even if you overcommitted and have two other places to be, don’t look rushed. Looking rushed is a default intention. It’s an effort we’re making to make sure other …

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