Growing up in the seaside town of Pacifica, CA, I discovered the power of empathy through acting. Mr. Stuart, my fifth-grade teacher, stretched my imagination with roles like Scrooge, Hamlet and Captain Hook. You can learn so much about people by stepping into someone else's shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. Little did I realize then how critical empathy is to building trust and connection with multi-cultural audiences.
As Communication Strategist, Trusted Advisor and Leadership Development Coach, my passion is empowering leaders to optimize communication potential as dynamic speakers.
Some are investment managers presenting strategy with focus, conviction and warmth. Others are entrepreneurs communicating how artificial intelligence will augment human capability. And there's my favorite legendary athlete-turned-entrepreneur who continues to inspire global audiences with entertaining Keynote speeches.
With attention spans shrinking, building strong connection in our data-rich world is challenging. According to a Microsoft study, the average attention span in 2016 was 8.25 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. Empowering presenters to be heard above the noise is the best adrenaline rush.
For CEOs and senior executives, I'm the invisible symphony conductor guiding them to present in perfect harmony. For entrepreneurs inventing the future, I'm the Trusted Senior Advisor helping them to deliver bold ideas with simplicity. For high potentials, I'm the Leadership Development Coach who helps them amplify brand voice with confidence. Leaders I support trust I'm in their corner to see and fix blind spots with empathy and candor. What these leaders may not know is I can see them command the room before they actually do. Watching their transformation unfold in a short time makes my heart dance.
As an experienced professional actor, I love sharing techniques learned over two decades to help analytical thinkers speak from the heart. Fund managers, data scientists, lawyers, UX researchers, scientists and engineers often find these exercises useful for speaking on-the-fly and staying in the moment.
A good day is when an entrepreneur achieves breakthrough as a thought leader during a tough media interview. A great day is when a new CEO presents to win confidence from her company's Board of Directors. An amazing day is when a business leader delivers a Keynote speech that ends with a standing ovation. These magical moments are music to my ears.
Our words have power. Within each of us lies a vast reservoir of communication potential waiting to be released. Sometimes, a caring coach with a key can make the difference. Add disciplined preparation, determination and commitment, the results can be astounding.
As Thomas Edison reminds us, "If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves."