We all make mistakes. After twenty years on the platform, I still make them. They might not be as frequent or as bad as in my early days of giving presentations, but this last one was definitely a rookie mistake. When I arrive at any event, I usually look around and listen to the buzz […]

Do you study people who are the best in any industry to see how their expertise applies to you? On Mother’s Day I took my girlfriend Cathey to see Neil Diamond in concert. He is an amazing performer, especially considering that he is 74 years old. When I am sitting in an audience, it is […]

In 2001, while practicing my speech “Ouch!” in front of an Advanced Toastmasters Club, I was shocked and perplexed by a comment from two of the advanced members. At this point I had given my speech several times and had received an enormous variety of feedback. I thought I had heard it all. This comment, […]

It was 1998. I had been a Toastmaster for four years and was starting to get paid for my keynote speeches. I was sitting in my seat, eagerly awaiting the announcements of the Division Humorous Speech contest. I had worked hard on my speech; it was completely original, and I had gotten some good laughs. […]

When I was growing up, it was always exciting to go snowmobiling at my uncle’s farm in western Massachusetts. This is a picture of my uncle and my mom back in the 70’s. My uncle, also my godfather, could fix anything, and he always made me feel loved. Unfortunately he passed away last week. Though […]

Did you hear what he said? What I mean is did you really hear what he said? In the midst of passion and laughter, sometimes the listener doesn’t hear quiet brilliance. How closely are you listening? This year at Lady & the Champs, we had a special guest, Patricia Fripp’s brother, Robert Fripp. Rolling Stone […]

Would you be willing to spend two days and pay people to help you reevaluate your entire business? Honestly, I was always a bit too cheap to do that and didn’t think it was really a good use of time. I finally smartened up a bit and realized I was wasting valuable resources in the […]

One of my dad’s nicknames is Geppetto. Like Pinocchio’s father, my dad is amazing at creating and carving in wood. He was eager to share his woodworking passion with me as I was growing up, and he taught me everything about it. One of the very first things he taught me was that a piece […]

How would you answer if I were to ask you to name your presentation strength? Maybe it’s your natural ability to tell stories? Maybe it’s your stage presence? How about the visuals you create? How about your ability to make complex ideas simple? Pick something. What would you say to me? Did you ever stop […]

It happens every year about this time. It is speech contest time in Toastmasters world. 35,000 contestants from around the world are competing to become the World Champion of Public Speaking. Whether or not you are a speech contestant, there is a lesson here for you and me. I admire people who have the courage […]