Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Article Selected for Heart of a Woman Book Series

"Being the Right Person in the Right Place at the Right Time" was selected by Sheryl Roush of Sparkle Presentations to be included in her latest Heart of a Woman in Business. I was first introduced to Sheryl when she gave a presentation in the "Speak Your Way to Wealth" seminar and she really did sparkle. I loved her joy, her generosity and, I guess you could say, my heart went out to her. Her newest Heart of a Woman book is filled with personal stories to empower women in business - stories that other women have written about how creativity, hard work, intuition, inspiration and even a few lucky breaks played roles in their success. Be sure to explore this and Sheryl's entire Heart of a Woman series at And find out what it takes to be "the right person in the right place at the right time."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Signing in the Midpoint Booth at the Book Expo America

It's the huge Book Expo America and this year it was at the Convention Center in Los Angeles. Yeahhhh! My distributor is Midpoint Trade Books and here I am in the Midpoint Booth with Laurie Little, the Executive Assistant who first contacted me about being a client. A graduate of Pepperdine in Malibu and a musical theater afficianada, Laurie now resides in New York City. I did a book-signing here which was great fun because I got to meet a flurry of book-industry people and sign their copies of "Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!" Among these were librarians, other authors, publicists and several young men and women who said they were frightened of public speaking and grateful to get my book!

Thank you, Laurie, Julie, Chad, Kevin, Alex and everyone in the booth who helped me out and at Midpoint for everything you've done for "Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rubbing Elbows with the Executive Producer of Leimert Park Book Fair, Cynthia Exum

It's the night before the Leimert Park Village Book Fair and I'm here at the opening ceremonies and awards presentations with the woman who made it happen, Cynthia Exum. Cynthia's vision for the fair was inspired by the 2007 Harlem Book Fair in New York and she did an incredible job of pulling everything together - writers, workshops, entertainment, city officials, celebrities - and an amazing spread of speakers, singers and foods, including chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. The setting was a lovely Spanish-style patio in the heart of this beautiful and historic neighborhood.

Councilman Bernard Parks Encourages Participation at Leimert Book Fair

Councilman Bernard Parks welcomes
all the speakers, writers, volunteers, entertainers and visitors to the Leimert Park Village Book Fair.
He encouraged visitors to support the local businesses surrounding us in this lovely neighborhood and to buy books. He also shared his vision of combining this book fair with an art fair next year - with the continuing emphasis on African-American writers and artists.
Several acts appeared throughout the day on the stage where the Councilman stands. Although I was at my booth interacting with patrons and zipping around meeting other authors, I did manage to get completely hooked by several wonderful jazz singers and rap groups who were terrific!

Popular Actress and I Share Table at Leimert Book Fair

You've probably seen this adorable actress many times on your television screen. She's Vernee Watson and not only has she been making commercials and appearing on series for years, but she also gives on-camera commercial workshops based on her two books, Kids in the TV Commercial Biz and Commercials, Just My Speed!

Powerful Author and Speaker Joins My Workshop at Leimert Book Fair

Derrick O'Neal generated a shock wave in my morning workshop, "The Secret to Great Speaking: Pour in the Juice!", when he shared the story he depicts in his book, The Game is Ova'. Derrick turned his life around and does the same for youth at risk with his powerful, personal story of having it all, losing it all and transforming it all.

Go to, and

Inspiring Community Leader at the Leimert Book Fair

The halo surrounding Wanda Combs Moore drew me to her table. Wanda is the author of Never, Never Give Up!, which delivers a message of hope and determination that she embodies. She is a coach, inspirational speaker, seminar leader, celebrity and powerful community leader who has received many honors and awards. Wanda began her public service as the Chief Administrative Assistant and Personal Advisor in the 20 year administration of the late Mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley.

Learn more about Wanda at

Changing African American Attitudes about Health at Leimert Book Fair

When Lottie Perkins shared her book, Eating to Die, with me and her mission of changing African American attitudes about health and food, her passion and power blew me away. She's a prolific speaker and has a weekly radio show, "Step Up to Wellness!" at

Read about Lottie and her ground-breaking book at

I Meet Up with Another Author from Long Beach at Leimert Book Fair

While buzzing around the fair, I met another author and a book seller from Long Beach, where I live - the dynamic Sunny Nash, Executive Producer of KSUN Inc. and Cindy Patterson, the Community Relations Manager at Barnes and Noble. I'm looking forward to getting to know both of them better, since we're in each other's back yards.

Read about Sunny's book, Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's, at and visit her website at

Friday, May 23, 2008

Carolyn Howard-Johnson Shares "How to Say It Better"

Visiting my public speaking class recently was Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Carolyn knows about being effective and producing results. She's an author who has published novels, poetry, short stories and "how to" books. She has won oodles of awards and honors. She's a speaker, teacher, actress and community leader. And, as the founder of Authors' Coalition, she is a guide and mentor for other authors. In short, Carolyn is a "whirling dervish!" So who better qualified to coach my UCLA Extension public speaking students on "how to say it better?" After each presentation, Carolyn shared her feedback. Some of her tips included (1) to use stories and anecdotes to bring your points to life (2) to replace the impersonal "people" and "they," which are distancing, with the personal and unifying "I" and "we" and (3) to eliminate slang and filler words ("like", "you know"). Little changes like this make the difference in coming across as a professional with credibility. Thank you, Carolyn, for your time and coaching!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Student's Name Selected in Drawing for Book Festival!

Ali Khosravi dropped by my booth at the Festival of Books and entered his name in my drawings. He was selected to win an hour of coaching. Here we are in my accent reduction course, Speak with Clarity, as Ali receives his prize. Ali, originally from Persia, received his education in one of his passions, photography, and has run a successful photography business for 25 years - a rare feat! You can read about his company at Ali is also fascinated with the roots of words, a subject he has studied for over 40 years, and enjoys sharing about in our vocabulary and pronunciation-oriented class.

Ali and I must have been on the same wave length. Look at our color coordination!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Book Publicists of So Cal at the LA Times Festival of Books!

In the red tee, dressed for our 90's heat wave, is the indefatigable Irwin Zucker, the Hollywood publicist who heads Promotion in Motion and founder of the Book Publicists of Southern California. Next to Irwin is Yan Sai, an affiliate with and my sponsor to Hello World. Yan is a natural-born publicist - she was passing out flyers for Authors' Coalition and insisted on carrying the big poster of my book cover for people to see when we were walking to and from the parking structure. Yan is an angel who is focused on helping others fulfill their dreams. Thank you,Yan! On the other side of me is Annette Fix, also with the Authors' Coalition and the fantastic associate editor at and author of "The Break-Up Diet." What a great title!

Flying High with Rey Ybarra at the LA Times Festival of Books!

Here I am with Rey Ybarra, founder and host of Best Selling Author
Television. Rey is passionate and powerful, he asks penetrating questions and then really listens. I felt very comfortable and enlivened by his fantastic interview of me. In fact, it took me a few minutes to come back down to earth afterwards! Please catch us at - I must also mention Rey's fabulous videographer and photographer, Randy Detroit. Thank you, Rey and Randy! And thank you, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, for connecting Authors' Coalition with Rey Ybarra!

Celebrating with Authors' Coalition at the LA Times Festival of Books!

April 27 is a red-letter day!
It's the first anniversary of "Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!" and this year I spent it in the shade of the Authors' Coalition booth at the LA Times Festival of Books, on a very hot day. Last year, I received my book on April 27 and the very next day was getting my first taste as an author at this book festival - the nation's largest fair for book lovers - 135,000 people and hundreds of booths, speakers, panels and events! It was overwhelming and this past year has challenged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone of coaching, teaching and training. I did and went to this year's festival fully loaded and ready for action. Look at all these mugshots of me! I had drawings and gave away CDs, books, my accent reduction workbook and CDs; I greeted students, signed books and gave interviews. It was a fantastic day and I'm glad I got to spend it in the Authors' Coalition booth with founder, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, also a UCLA Extension instructor. See the photo of the lady in the yellow shirt just to the right of my head? That's Carolyn, who has published many award-winning books, including the HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers. Carolyn is a terrific mentor for authors and her support helped carry me over the hurdle. She's also going to be sharing her tips for "Saying it better" with my students in "Public Speaking for Professionals" later this month.
If you're an author, check out and
When you're ready to give interviews and speak up for your book, see me -

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Red Hot Mama's Guide to "Communicating with VaVoom!"

Lynn Ward, on the right, invited me to partner with her on the "Red Hot Mama!" articles (below), a podcast interview and teleclasses. We met during the October CEO Space trade show ( and Lynn is a fabulous life coach who makes the interview and teleclass process easy, gentle and fun, like dancing, which is what she compares her coaching to. Lynn asks the kinds of questions her clients would ask, many of whom are individuals in transition, and has me apply what I teach to different kinds of situations, and not just to business communications. Since teaching is my passion, I love dancing with Lynn, appreciate her invitation and the opportunity to touch more of you! Learn more about Lynn at and

Listen to our introductory teleclass, "Communicating with VaVoom!" at

I discovered my passion for teaching (which hasn't diminished in over 20 years!) when, as a New York stage actress, I flew to Los Angeles on vacation, took one look at the Hollywood Hills and re-located. Through a miraculous moment of serendipity, a teaching job seemed to drop out of the heavens into my lap. From my first day in front of a voice and speech class at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts West, I have been passionately in love with teaching... like zillions of souls before me... (Imagine how Socrates and his student, Plato, inspired each other; or Aristotle and his pupil, Alexander the Great? Picture the delight young Shakespeare's teacher would have taken in his little Bard)... and zillions of souls after me. Teaching may not be the oldest profession, but it has to be the most satisfying!

I'd love to hear from you: When you think of your favorite teachers, what is it about them that makes them your favorite?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Part 3: Express Your Inner Red Hot Mama and Papa!

Previously, we’ve looked at 4 steps to expressing your inner Red Hot Mama and Papa: Clarify your desires, take action on them, identify limiting beliefs and replace them with inspiring assertions.

5 - Find Your Big Purpose and Devote Yourself to It

The final piece in the process of expressing your inner Red Hot Mama and Papa is to discover your big, important mission in life and, like Joan of Arc, to devote yourself to it. Having a big purpose allows you to shift the focus off yourself and onto something that inspires you. A purpose larger than yourself calls forth your greatness and puts any fear, sadness or anger into perspective. In “Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!”, I present “big purpose” as one of the tools for overcoming the fear of public speaking.

Erin Brockovich demonstrates the power of the big purpose. Most of us have seen the movie about this real-life character, so vividly brought to life by Julia Roberts. At first, Erin was just trying to survive, shunning her bills to buy food for her children. But then her Inner Red Hot Mama guided her into a situation that brought out her greatness and revealed her life’s mission – to restore justice. From inside this bigger context, Erin’s flamboyance and street smarts became focused, courageous and powerful; her family’s survival got handled and her bills were paid.

  • Then there’s movie star, Katherine Hepburn, who was devoted to Spencer Tracy for many years, until his death. Because of his religious beliefs, he chose not to divorce his wife in order to marry Hepburn. Did Katy struggle and suffer about this? Perhaps, but listen to how she describes the big purpose of their relationship:

    Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving.
  • To assist you in finding your big purpose, write down everything you want to be, do and have in each of these areas –
    Your personal life
    Your professional life
    Your friends and family
    Your organization
    Your community
    Your nation
    Your planet

  • Now look for an underlying theme. Perhaps it has to do with continually growing and being more, with challenging yourself and doing more, stretching yourself and having more.

  • Put your theme into words that inspire you, write them down, speak them out loud and remind yourself often that this is what you’re up to.

    6 - Laugh

In love, Hepburn held nothing back. Gazing at life from the pinnacle of her higher purpose gave her a sense of perspective - and a sense of humor too. In a situation where others might feel sorry for themselves, this Red Hot Mama quipped, “If you obey all the rules, you’ll miss all the fun!”

Red Hot Mamas and Papas have a sense of humor and laugh easily and heartily. In addition to having more endorphins and a stronger immune system, this is part of their irrefutable magnetism – a gusto for life, which comes from living the life of their dreams and fully expressing the fire within - which is why they’re red hot!
  • Cultivate your sense of humor by paying attention to it, set a goal to grow it, adopt a playful attitude, study humor. Years ago, I used to recommend “What Mona Lisa Knew” by Dr. Barbara Mackoff and “The Healing Power of Humor” by Allen Klein.

  • The next time you’re suffering, imagine yourself in an episode of "I Love Lucy." How would Lucy respond?

By taking these 6 steps, you’re well on your way. If Oprah, Joan of Arc, Erin Brockovich, Katherine Hepburn, your neighbor down the street and Lucille Ball can express their inner Red Hot Mamas and Papas, so can you!

Tune into my interview with Red Hot Life Coach, Lynn Ward, on and claim your fame when you join us for our free teleclass on Jan 9, "Communicating with Va'Voom!"