A Vaccine Against Chicken Speech

2nd August, 2014 - Posted by janebeard

When I read this blog post by the brilliant Seth Godin today, I groaned out loud. And I bookmarked the piece to come back to as often as needed. Just this week, I was doing some laser coaching with a speaker to create and deliver a message that would rock the audience. That was her […] Read More


2nd April, 2014 - Posted by janebeard

In a word where hashtags like “#fail” and sentence fragments like “this” now communicate volumes in few words, you better believe your audience can grasp more messages in fewer words than ever before. The hash tag phenomenon has gone overboard in many ways. Jimmy Fallon has a series of sketches making fun of #hashtags, like […] Read More

Faux-pology versus Apology

9th January, 2014 - Posted by janebeard

Governor Chris Christie just finished a nearly two-hour long press conference to respond to the news that members of his administration used lane closures to access the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee to retaliate against the mayor of that city. Here’s an article about the press conference. If you want more articles, they’re all […] Read More

No Points for Style

16th August, 2013 - Posted by janebeard

The 1999 way of presenting gives you lots of points for style. Are your slides peppy? Check! Do you have words zinging in and out and things spinning around? Do you have sound effects? Check! Are you paying a lot of attention to body language and posture? Are you vanquishing all your “ums” and “uhs”? […] Read More

Don’t Duck the Bad News

29th February, 2012 - Posted by janebeard

Good business leaders speak the truth. Leaders of past eras used to be able to get away with soft peddling bad news. Slide it in under the radar, they thought, and that was just easier for everyone. Refer to things obliquely and everyone will know what you’re talking about. It just makes for a more […] Read More

Kitchen Sink Meeting Themes: They Never Help

15th February, 2012 - Posted by janebeard

We know you’re spending a lot of money on your meeting. We know a committee of people is creating the agenda, and each member has an idea about what he or she wants the audience to take away from the meeting. And we know you’re all basically polite people, who want your colleagues to be […] Read More

No More Bad Updates

30th November, 2011 - Posted by janebeard

We just came back from working with a team of 15 people, each of whom swore that the majority of presentations they gave were, “just updates.” As such, they argued, there was no responsibility to change the audience. “All they want is a straight update. There is no way to empower them.” Not so fast, […] Read More

It’s Inevitable

17th January, 2011 - Posted by janebeard

Here’s the thing. By the time you finish talking, your audience is guaranteed to be different than they were before they heard you speak. We may be bored, or we may be excited. We may be more confused than when we arrived, or we may see a clearer path to a goal. But we will […] Read More

The Wisdom of Jack Johnson

19th November, 2010 - Posted by janebeard

Just heard this old Jack Johnson song, Sitting, Waiting, Wishing…and thought of a bunch of audiences we’ve sat in recently. If they weren’t singing his refrain in their heads, they could have been. We watched audience sitting, waiting for some content they didn’t already know, and wishing they were anywhere BUT in that room. They […] Read More

Help Us Eavesdrop

23rd September, 2010 - Posted by janebeard

It’s pretty common that, in any given audience, there will be a couple of groups who have different status, and different message needs. How do you talk to all of them without watering down your message? Simple: you talk to one group at a time and let the others eavesdrop. One audience group might need […] Read More

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