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 -