Personal brand

A Personal Brand Guide for Personal Brand Haters

How do you feel about the idea of having a personal brand? If you’re like a lot of people, you may agree with this pithy comment I got on Facebook: “Barf.” That’s an understandable reaction. After all, we are not dish soap (“cuts through grease!”) or paper towels (“the quicker picker upper!”). So let’s dispense […]

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communication framework

A Simple Communication Framework For Crafting Any Message

If you’re struggling to organize your thoughts for a presentation, report or any important message, it’s hard to go wrong with this simple and time-tested communication framework. Known as “Know, Feel, Do” (or sometimes “Think, Feel, Do”), it’s an indispensable tool for creating communications that are compelling and that resonate with your intended audience. I […]

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Improv training

10 Career Boosting Benefits of Improv Training

One of the most important things you can do for your professional development is to get some improv training. I studied improv for several years at Chicago’s Second City Training Center and it changed my life. Improv made me a better communicator, a better team member and a better (and braver) person. Someone in your […]

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how to handle negative feedback

How to Deal With Negative Feedback

It happens to all of us: no matter how much positive feedback we receive, we can’t help but focus on (and obsess over) the negative — even if it represents just a sliver of the overall sentiment. As a speaker (and actor) I get direct feedback all the time, and initially it can be hard […]

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Lessons for Success

All You Need is Love: 9 Lessons for Success from Gilda Radner

There’s a documentary coming out this fall on the late Gilda Radner, one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. Called “Love, Gilda,” it’s getting a lot of buzz. In talking about what made her funny, Radner explained, “My biggest motivation has always been love.” That much is obvious. From the exuberance of her […]

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How to say no

How to Say No and Preserve Your Sanity

I have been asked several times by frazzled colleagues how I manage to avoid being overwhelmed with work. My answer is simple: I know how to say no. It goes back to my agency days. If you’re not careful, your time gets parceled out to so many clients and projects that none get the attention […]

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Communication rules women

Are the Communications Rules Different for Women?

It’s one of the most common questions I’m asked during my talks: are the rules different for women when it comes to communication? My answer is no. AND yes. It’s complicated, so I’ll explain. But first, a story. A Lesson from a Favorite Teacher Among the many classes I took at Second City’s training center was […]

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Communication skills

7 Ways to Bring the Love in Your Communications

On this Valentine’s Day I’m reminded of an important principle of improv comedy: come from a place of love. That’s also useful advice for our everyday communications (and for life in general, of course). So here are seven ways you can bring the love in order to become a more successful communicator. But first, an […]

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This One Word Makes You Sound Like a Jerk

We’re in the thick of Hollywood awards season, and with it come the acceptance speeches, which are sometimes inspiring, sometimes funny and sometimes downright pretentious. Which reminds me of a speech Madonna gave at the Golden Globes ceremony a few years ago that will forever live in my memory — all because of an ordinary, […]

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Surviving a Dysfunctional Family Christmas

10 Steps for Surviving a Dysfunctional Family Christmas

To butcher Tolstoy, all families are dysfunctional in their own way — especially around the holidays, when stress and expectations are sky high. Being a communicator by profession, I naturally believe most problems can be solved with communication (and that poor communication is the root of most problems). Not that I always practice what I preach — […]

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