Winter 2020

A Personal Note Halloween, we continued to give out books to trick-or-treaters. I started Books for Treats in 2001, after giving out books at my home the previous 5 years. This year, we gave out 10,000 new books at 4 local sites, plus dozens around the country. People give books at their homes as well as community trick or treating events.

If you’re interested in exploring this, there’s a free downloadable PDF with instructions at the Books for Treats site.

If you’d prefer I not stay in touch, just click the unsubscribe link at bottom.


New Demo Video

I invite you to view my new 7-minute demo video with clips from some recent keynotes.

View it here.


Commit to Continuous Personal Improvement


People I admire strive to become better as a partner, parent, child, friend, boss, coworker or human being. They are continually looking for ways to improve, whether for their relationships, or to create more effective habits for themselves.

I’ve noticed three ways these people improve themselves.


Act On Your Curiosity

Rebecca Morgan quote

Photo: Rebecca Morgan, Cappadocia, Turkey

In the first chapter of Give and Take, author Adam Grant features Adam Rifkin, who was dubbed Fortune magazine’s Best Networker (he has the most LinkedIn connections to Fortune’s 640 most powerful people). I decided to invite him to connect on LinkedIn.

Wanting to personalize my invitation to increase the likelihood he’d accept, I read his profile. He lives in Silicon Valley, 10 miles from me! He hosts a monthly meet up for start ups. I click on the link and discover the meet up is today in Palo Alto, 20 miles from me. I have the evening open, so I drive to the meet up.

Find out how I learned a great lesson that day.


Create a Slook: Turn Your Slides into a Book in a Month


Would you like an easy way to create a new book in 2020? My 3-part live, interactive, virtual course will guide you through the process of creating a slook(tm) — a robust book featuring your speech slides and the content of your talk. I created a 172-page slook(tm) in a month for a popular talk. You can too!

Details Email me if you’d like to be notified of the January course dates.


Humor, At Someone Else’s Expense, Can Cut More Deeply Than You’ll Ever Know


In my family caustic teasing was de rigueur. We would be teased about anything the teaser thought was funny, no matter how humiliating, and with no thought to how it would leave the receiver feeling. Didn’t do well on a test? You’d be teased about being dumb. Boyfriend broke up with you? He must have finally figured out you are a loser. Lose the student election? They could see you are a follower, not a leader.

The more humiliating the better, from the teaser’s perspective. This wasn’t limited to us kids teasing each other; our parents joined in — or initiated — with glee. The more sensitive the receiver was about the topic, the more the tormentor enjoyed it.

Have you ever teased others about something you knew they were sensitive?


Become a Time-Conscious Communicator


I’ve noticed a lot of people — maybe 90% — aren’t very conscious of their conversational habits. The most common habit I’ve noticed is no awareness of the relevance of what the speaker is saying to their conversational partner.

I began to wonder how much more productive we would be if we focused our comments on only those of importance to our listeners. Granted, we can’t always know what the other would find important, and sometimes, with close friends and family, we want to share something that is significant to us as a way of sharing ourselves, but may only be interesting to our loved one because they care about us.

But let’s focus on workplace conversations.


Lessons Learned from Doing Stand-Up Comedy

In August, I decided I wanted to add more humor to my content-rich presentations. I can be funny among friends, but I was having trouble finding humor for my keynotes and trainings.

I researched nearby stand-up comedy classes starting around Oct. 1. However, my friend Jeanne Robertson encouraged me to enter a video for her annual comedy competition — with a Sept. 9 deadline. Not being a professional humorist, I had only one five-year-old video of my doing a funny bit in front of about 30 friends. I had no illusions of ever winning, but thought, “What the heck.”

Read more of my experience and lessons that are relevant to you.