On the Air


Here’s something a little different: a radio interview with my good friend, L. Jaye Bell. I was delighted to be L. Jaye’s first guest in 2013 on her program Destination Maine. I hope you’ll enjoy listening. I see it’s not showing up as a link, so please copy and paste it!


Best wishes for a productive and stretching year ahead,


Umission: supporting you having a wonderful life

What an honor to have been selected as Umission’s Person of the Week.


Here’s to freedom,


“Solutionaries” — an excellent subject presented with naturalness, freedom and focus

Here is a TED talk that’s got everything good going for it:

I love the way Zoe expresses her passion for her subject with calm clarity, vision, humor, originality and assurance.

What else keeps you watching her presentation?

Until next time,


“Celebrate your freedom from self-consciousness!”

     I’m offering a 2-hour Mini-Course, co-sposored by the Camden Public Library. “Celebrate your freedom from self-consciousness!” on Monday, July 2, 2012, from 2 to 4 pm, in the library’s Jean Picker Room.
     If you’re ever in a situation in which people are watching you — presenting to a group, playing a sport, performing on a stage, or even just standing around at a party — and you feel awkward about it, come discover ways to address and eliminate that discomfort. Find tools to redirect your energy, get your thought off yourself, appreciate your audience, and feel a sense of calm assurance, poise and naturalness.
     In honor of Independence Day, this mini-course is offered FREE of charge. I would appreciate knowing how many visitors to expect, so please RSVP with the number of guests you plan to take on Monday, July 2nd, from 2 to 4 pm: beverly@freeyourtalents.com.
     Hope to hear from you soon and to see you there!
     Until next time,

Attention! Attention!

Getting and holding your audience’s attention is one important thing that makes your presentation a presentation (and not just another rehearsal).

Here’s a helpful clip on this subject. I wish I could find the name of the man who is speaking so that I can give him credit directly.

Doesn’t he come across in a natural, uncomplicated way? I like watching him and I like listening to him. I hope you do, too.


What are some ways you have garnered your audience’s attention — and held onto it?

Until next time,



[For reasons unknown to me, I cannot get the usual spacing between paragraphs in this post. I don't like the way this looks, but here's today's offering, anyhow.]

Is it a word: um? I’ve just visited Webster’s online dictionary and see this:

Definition of UM

—used to indicate hesitation <well, um, I don’t know>
“Um” is an interjection. It doesn’t tell us what, where or how something is, give a sense of action or purpose, nor does it offer clarity. It’s a filler, a place taker, and indicates that we’re lost, confused, puzzled and most likely uncomfortable. When you use “um” a lot, people lose interest. It’s a habit well dismissed.
A pause is more effective than mindlessly “um”-ing and will help you get back on track. Rather than fill the air with “um” (or “uh,” “welllllll,” “aaaaand,” “hmm,” or “y’know”), just be still. Be quiet a second. Breathe in. Pay attention to what you want to say. Then say it. Let the “um” go away. It’s not a helpful utterance.
Start to notice “um” in your conversations and presentations. Then, pause instead before you continue speaking. You’ll feel clearer, and your listeners will follow you much more easily. I think you’ll find that you communicate much better without “um.”
Isn’t that a happy thought?

Who determines how well you perform in front of a group?

“I’m fine talking to people I work with; they already know my flaws so it’s no big deal if they see me goof up. It’s when I’m in front of strangers that I freak out.”

“Give me a group of people I don’t know; they’ll never see me again so I don’t really care. Make me speak to coworkers and I fall apart; they’ll hammer me!”

“I don’t mind talking to an audience of under a hundred people; once it gets over 100, I’m a nervous wreck.”

“Big crowds don’t bother me; hey, I can’t even see who’s out there. But if there are only 10 or 20 listeners, I get all fidgety, sweat like crazy and can’t remember what I want to say.”

On it goes. People can be amazed that other folks don’t share their specific worries regarding audiences. It all boils down to this question: “Do your listeners actually determine whether or not you can feel at ease, clear-minded and capable?”

(Answer: They don’t.)




What is involved in speaking spontaneously?

Here’s a little exercise. Choose one of the words below. Be quiet for a minute or so and ponder the word and what it makes you remember. Be still and open-minded, tuning in to hear a specific true story the word inspires. Do not jump in and start talking before you’ve quieted yourself. Set a timer for one minute; speak during that time. Get to the point. Stay on topic. Speak until the timer rings; when it does, finish your sentence and stop speaking.

bug          light          bowl        gum          card       string       rod          can         rip

wall          stand        log          wire          ramp      soap        book       edge       spot

Did the idea for a story came to you? Could you speak about it briefly but clearly? Did it surprise you that it was easy to do? Or were you stumped? Did you go blank? Did you try another word? Were you able to tell a story the second time?

Spontaneity is not impulsiveness. It calls for a quiet thought, a listening attitude, a receptivity to ideas and to your ability to express them clearly. It’s a good thing!

Until tomorrow,






What must happen for you to feel comfortable in front of a crowd?


Are you laughing (or crying) at that question? Do you think it has no answer?

It’s a great question, actually. I hope you’ll consider it.

Perhaps you may not suffer from sweaty palms, dry mouth, a pit in your stomach, shaky knees, and a distinct feeling that you’d much rather be climbing Mt. Everest. You might love presenting to an audience and feel completely at peace about it. Perhaps you look forward to it with delight, give the presentation with naturalness and assurance, and look back on it with gratitude that it was so enjoyable.

If, however, even the thought of standing up and speaking (or singing, acting, dancing, or playing the bagpipes) with people watching you makes you feel queasy, please pause. Ponder the question. Write down any thoughts that come to you — whether they’re silly, sarcastic or sincere. Live with them awhile. Honor the best of them.

Can you be yourself in front of a group, feel comfortable and natural, and present your talents with grace and ease?

(I know the answer to that one.)


Assuredly yours,