as a door-to-door salesperson at age 11, selling burglar alarm warning stickers to people
who could not afford a real system! At age 16, I became known as "The Peep-Hole
Boy" of Ft. Lauderdale. When I knocked on your door and you asked, "Who is it?"
I would reply, "For $10 I'll install a peep-hole in your door, and you'll never
have to ask that question again!" Since then, I've learned that we're all
My first audience was in junior high
school—Mrs. Weir’s Sixth-grade English class. Oral book reports.
I approached the front of the room, clenched the
lectern for support and managed to squeak out five words: 'Good
afternoon, my name is.' I completely froze, forgot my name, and
never even started the book report!
When I entered the workplace, working
for companies such as IBM and AT&T, I realized
the importance of being an effective communicator
and a friend convinced me to join a
Toastmasters club. Reluctantly I went to my first meeting. After a few
months of sitting in the back row, I gathered enough courage to give my
During my "Icebreaker" speech, I saw the club President turn to
another woman and whisper, "He’s a natural!" I felt so proud, even
though I knew it was not all natural ability—I had learned a lot
from observing the other presenters and had practiced my speech
at least twenty times. When I finished,
I was awarded a plastic golden trophy --
"Best Speaker of the Evening." Everything changed
That evening I discovered that if one learns how to
prepare and practice, public speaking could be a wonderfully rewarding
experience. I studied the best communicators and, though still nervous, I sought every opportunity to speak.
Eventually I won several speaking competitions. Oglethorpe University in Atlanta hired me to teach their
executive presentation skills classes and people from all types of
organizations called me to help them improve their communication skills.
In 1988, my company, Simply Speaking, Inc.®, was born and
a decade later, the National Speakers Association honored me with their
highest-earned award, the Certified Speaking Professional. The "CSP"
designation is held by less than 7% of the organization’s four thousand
My goal is not to impress you, but rather to
impress upon you that no matter where you or your team may be on the spectrum of
communication skills, with the right tools, the right coaching methods, and the right
support, virtually anyone can be a highly effective and respected communicator.
During the past
26+ years I've assembled a
stellar team of professional coaches and trainers.
Together we have helped more than 100,000 top professionals from Savannah to Singapore
to develop extraordinary communication skills.
include leading organizations such as American Express, Deloitte,
GE, The Hershey Company, Hewlett-Packard, Johnson & Johnson, and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
Being a powerful communicator has a tremendous transfer value to everything we
do. Through our
private coaching and
workshops, I have witnessed transformations
going far beyond improved presentation skills, including increased
self-esteem, greater self-confidence and an increased desire to tackle
other challenges. For these reasons, when I'm not working with my
professional clients, it's one of my greatest rewards to help youth
around the globe to develop these essential skills.
I have personally felt the debilitating fear
of public speaking, and I know what it is like to bask in the applause
and "great presentation" accolades. That is the feeling I want all
of our program participants to experience.
contact us to discuss your situation and
to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
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