You’re standing face to face. Your eyes are locked. You begin to tilt your head. Your partner follows. No, you’re not going in for a kiss. You’re playing an improv game called “The Mirror Exercise,” an acting game designed to teach people empathy—how to be in sync with others. It’s also a great way to improve your speaking skills, whether you’re talking one-on-one or speaking to a group. I first started using this improv exercise when I was teaching public speaking to high schoolers over 15 … [Read more...] about This Improv Game Could Make You an A+ Communicator
The house was eerily quiet this morning. After sitting on the porch for my usual early morning cup of coffee, I came back in and noticed the utter silence of the house—an empty, hollow feeling, like all the molecules of energy had been sucked out. Yesterday, my hubby Bill and I became empty nesters after we dropped our youngest off at college. I didn’t know our house could sound so quiet. Typically, I love silence. In our family, I’m known as the noise Nazi, especially when it comes to the … [Read more...] about Empty Nesters
What a difference a question makes. I woke up this morning and immediately started in on my current litany of worry-wart woes. You’ve been there, right? Maybe it’s your kids or money or too much to do. But this morning as my stomach tightened with anxiety, I suddenly remembered two questions I had written down in the front of the book I was reading yesterday: “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” And there it was--the answer in those questions. I felt … [Read more...] about What Are You Willing To Struggle For?
As I looked out my bedroom window this morning, I was struck by the lovely jonquils "fluttering and dancing in the breeze." It reminded me of my freshman year of college when I fell in love with Wordsworth. It was my poetry class that Friday before Labor Day weekend. On the train ride back home for a brief Labor Day visit, I pulled out my Norton Anthology, flipped open to Wordsworth's section and started to memorize "I wandered lonely as a cloud/That floats on high o'er vales and hills,/When all … [Read more...] about Why I Memorize Poetry
A week ago today, I was standing at the head of the table in the conference room at the National Fair Housing Alliance in D.C. doing a 3 hour public speaking training for their staff. Straightaway I told them that out of everything I could share with them about communicating effectively the most important thing was to be themselves--to be authentic. Authenticity is the foundation for everything else. When I first started teaching high school English, I wanted to be just like my dad. He was … [Read more...] about Authenticity: Find YOUR Voice