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

Last week 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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When you meet Cindy, you can’t help but feel engaged and pay attention. She clearly is an outstanding communications professional. The way she took the stage, conveyed her message and shared her approach to storytelling at the recent conference was mesmerizing.

Cindy made me rethink my approach to storytelling that I had used in my client work for many years. Cindy’s workshop alone made my trip to Denver worthwhile.

Ruth Winden, Executive Coach (UK)

“As a professional speaker, I know the value of getting feedback before giving an important speech. As I prepared my TEDx talk, Cindy was the perfect person to give me outside perspective. She did a beautiful job taking the many ideas I had floating around in my head and helping me select what to use, how to organize them, and how to tie it all together.

I love the way she coached, not trying to make her words my own, but instead, considering what I was trying to achieve and helping me stay true to my voice. If you have to stand and deliver a great talk, working with Cindy can help you ensure you’re at your best!”

Tanis Roeder, Elevate Your Communication

You are a wonderful presenter Cindy! I have taken so much from your presentation at the conference. I noticed when you speak, you at times lowered your volume in a way where we still heard you, but it PULLED the audience in, as if you were confiding in us.

Your vocal variety was lovely, (as well as your content, of course!). The advice to gather your stories from your past and weave them into your presentations is spot on.

Julie Roberts, Linked In profile writer|Coach

“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: 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