Blog

[On] Point to Ponder: If You Don’t Ask Questions, This Could Happen to You.

Last week Forbes.com sought to debunk the myth that asking questions makes people look “dumb.” I promised a follow up post. What follows is the story about the day I learned the value of asking questions at work…and what can happen to you and your team when you don’t: BBDO Chicago, 1990s: It was a pretty big moment for the creative team. We were about to gather in Tonise’s office (the CEO) to reveal the top 3 campaigns for our client. The creative team, sporting button downs and decent looking jeans (a major improvement) was ready to go. They’d been…

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[On] Point to Ponder: “Dear iPhone, Happy Anniversary! Steve Jobs, We Miss You.”

This week is the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone. (Ten years? Really? Wow.) I read an article recently about Steve Jobs. The point was, he’s missed. People miss his passion. The industry misses his fantastic, electric presentations. The author of the article watched the unveiling of the iPhone 7 last September, but found the presentation to be rather…blah. The presenter just didn’t have what Steve Jobs had.  So what exactly did Jobs have? Unrivaled passion for his product? Of course. But to be sure, he had mastered not just his message, but more specifically …his slide deck. Last week, my husband pulled…

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[On] Point to Ponder: So Close…and yet So Far.

It happens every once in a while. And the truth is, it’s frustrating. Conflicting.  I’m in the audience, watching a presentation, and everything is going great. The speaker is high energy, knowledgeable, loud enough (thank you!), speaks slowly enough, and even involves the audience.  It’s clear that significant time went into rehearsing the talk. Then there’s the slide presentation. On its own, it’s not bad – it’s really not. It’s got a strong title slide and an interesting hook. There are pictures to bring ideas to life. The font is big enough. There’s plenty of white space. Someone spent a…

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[On] Point to Ponder: How do Authors Think Effectually?

When the 2008 recession hit, small business owners had to start thinking differently. Big budgets were rewritten. Marketing plans revised. Avenues for growth re-evaluated. In some cases, company mission and vision statements changed. As noted in this recent article, Ft. Collins author Harrison Hand was one such business owner, and he did think differently. He thought effectually. In 2008, Hand postponed turning his screenplay into a motion picture (Plan A) and embarked upon a new path (Plan B).  Dr. Saras Sarasvathy, professor at the University of Virginia, authored the theory of effectuation right around the 2008 recession. She posits that the effectual entrepreneur…

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[On] Point to Ponder: The Rhetorical Triangle (…the What?)

In the last 3 posts, we’ve pondered the speaker (author), the audience, and how to craft your message (or text). If you’ve read those, congratulations! You’ve just completed a crash course in Rhetorical Criticism. These 3 components are the essence of Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle. “Sounds intriguing, but what kind of triangle is that?” Well, it’s a triangle we all use every day. Let’s substitute “persuasive” for the word “rhetorical” – as in, “Aristotle’s Persuasive Triangle.” This ancient triangle dates back to the 4th century BC when Aristotle pondered the question, “How do people persuade their audiences?” His pondering led to a definition a diagram. He defined rhetoric: “The ability…

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Testimonials

When speaking at the CTL conference this spring, I had the privilege to sit in on Cindy’s Storytelling talk. Cindy has an impressive background, and a wonderful approach to helping you present more effectively. Telling a compelling story is crucial for effective presentations that connect with your audience, and Cindy can equip you to prepare and present in a structured, but seemingly unrehearsed way.

Kristin Sherry, Author|Speaker|Coach

“Cindy: You know what, empathic emotion does sell. I would have been all numbers. I learned a big lesson. Thank you so much.”

2017 Go Code Colorado finalist

Cindy, you were immensely helpful in narrowing down the story part of our pitch. With your guidance, we were able to make a very complicated technical problem relatable to a mixed audience. We still can’t believe the first questions was, “it sounds too good to be true.” That is so much better than the feared, “I do understand what your product does.” Thank you for your professional help and support. RVC knew what they were doing bringing you in as a pitch coach.”

Samuel Thomas Elliott|Co-Founder, Tejon Technologies

“Cindy, Your coaching was fantastic. You are so good at this. I have done a lot of this too, but I am in awe of your approach, the simplicity of your suggestions and your general professionalism. Thank you.”

Susan Strong, Director at SAGE Boulder

“Cindy, BRAVO! The Colloquium was a splendid success. Thank you for your hard work. I’m very proud of how it turned out. Very truly yours, Bob Schaffer”

Principal, Liberty Common Schools