Tag Archives: success

TED Talk of the Day: Diana Nyad Finds a Way


Alex Rister of Creating Communication has been posting a series of articles on the subject of resilience, failure, and success. This theme was echoed today during a consultation with a student who is preparing for her first speech in Professional Communication and Presentation, an analysis of Diana Nyad’s latest TED talk, “Never, ever give up.” If you are not familiar with Nyad, she is the incredible human who swam from Cuba to Florida through 100 miles of shark-infested waters at 60-years old. Her completion of this task was the culmination of a 40-year long dream, her answer to the question “how much life is there left?”

Nyad’s talk is inspiring; it emphasizes the importance of failure and fearlessness as keys to achieving a goal. This is a key mindset shift that every student of presenting and public speaking (even teachers themselves) must make in order to truly grow into the type of communicator who can inspire and move others. The belief that only those who we deem amazing public speakers (Jobs, King, Churchill) have the ability to succeed in a speech situation is what keeps many of us from even trying or tackling a public speaking challenge in the first place. Without a willingness to be vulnerable, to be open to failure, to expect that yes, you will fail at giving an amazing speech or moving others, you will never be able to push and grow and change enough to finally succeed.

But, Nyad teaches us another important lesson related to presenting. Sometimes, even the most impacting and empowering ideas mean nothing unless they are communicated and delivered in a certain way. From her first incredible pause and beautifully vivid description to her honest retelling of the triumphs and trials of her experience, the audience is hooked. Nyad brings her words to life, she empowers the audience not only with her words but also with the way her words meet her audience’s ears. Check out Nyad’s talk below–not only will you learn a bit more about how resilience can help you reach those public speaking, teaching, communicating, designing, or living horizons but you’ll also see just how much power the delivery of an idea can have on that idea’s ability to live.

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Slideshare of the Day: Advice for Graduates


Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn has written one of my new favorite books and produced two decks that have absolutely inspired me as we move into the second half of the new year. The Start Up of You explains how an entrepreneurial spirit and approach can help all professionals (even us teachers) grow and develop.

His second deck, “The Three Secrets of Highly Successful Graduates”, is a must share (and view) from teachers to students. It’s also inspired me to add a few bits of Hoffman insight to my latest deck, “Tweak Your Resume”. Check out the deck below:

Tweak Your Resume Preview

Tweak Your Resume1.013

I felt Hoffman’s discussion of what competitive advantage means fit right in with why a visual resume is so useful.

What are your assets, aspirations, and how do those fit in with what your industry wants and needs?

What are your assets, aspirations, and how do those fit in with what your industry wants and needs?

Finally, here is draft two of my unemployment slide. What do you think, Margaret?

Tweak Your Resume1.012

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April’s Communication Goals


Today in Professional Communication and Presentation, Alex led her students and me through an awesome exercise (and not just for the first day of class). Alex asked us to come up with three presentation/communication goals for this month’s class. She shared her goals with the class and also with her readers on Creating Communication. The students’ goals inspired me to choose three goals for the month of April. Here goes!

Goal #1: Launch an educator round table


Two months ago, our Director of Liberal Studies and superwoman, Dr. Kim Murray, sent around a newsletter featuring some of our faculty’s current projects and work. Liberal Studies is a large school that houses six different departments, including mine, the English department. Our faculty don’t get much of a chance to collaborate with those outside of our immediate departments, though, unless we take the initiative to reach across departments. In the brief newsletter, I learned that our faculty were doing amazing things both in and out of the classroom. This inspired me to bring the idea of collaboration between the departments to  faculty and management. After a bit of planning and meeting, the first round table discussion is set to take place this month, with the English department being the first to take the reins in terms of choosing, presenting, and discussing our first topic, creating a teaching persona. I am taking a supporting and facilitating role in this initiative and I’m really enjoying the hustle of marketing, scheduling, and organizing this project.

Goal #2: Don’t let the lizard brain sabotage me


While I’ve conquered and defeated the public-speaking/presenting lizard brain, I definitely feel much anxiety in other situations in which I feel either out of control or as if there’s a more perceived sense of judgment involved. The biggest one for me has to be the job interview. I believe that twice in the past, my nervousness, insecurity, and lack of polish during interviews have sabotaged my chances. I’ll be interviewing this Wednesday and am using a combination of Amy Cuddy’s power pose and in-depth audience analysis/prep to help me quiet the lizard within.

Goal #3: Post the simple design series on Tweak Your Slides


Blogging is my bane but also my love. I am great at keeping up a schedule with teaching, gyming, and socializing, but I cannot seem to get the rhythm of the blog down. So, my challenge for this month is to post a six-part article series on design. I won’t put a specific date on this, but I will say, look for a brief introduction to the acronym SIMPLE in the next few days.

Do you set goals each day, week, or month? What are your goals for April?

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Tweak Your Slides Debut: What I Carry

noun_project_3359.015 Slideshare.net has recently launched a content sharing partnership with LinkedIn’s Influencer program, which allows LinkedIn users to gain insight from the top thought leaders in the world today (across a variety of disciplines).

click to learn more about LinkedIn's influencers.

Click to learn more about LinkedIn’s influencers.

One of the topics covered by LinkedIn is “The Things I Carry: My Everyday Tools for Success.” In conjunction with the LinkedIn series, Slideshare is running a special trend based on the same topic. They’ve called on Slideshare users to share their everyday tools for success, and I’ve taken up the call. Here are the things I carry (note: a cat is not a thing, but daily moments with my friend, Juana, makes for a happy Chiara):

So, what are your tools for success? What do you need to be a successful you?

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TED Educators: John Wooden and Dave Eggers

John Wooden on true success

As an erstwhile college sports fan (I really only paid attention when I was in school), I don’t know much about the greats of college sports lore, apart from the once great Steve Spurrier. So, one must forgive my lack of know how about the late John Wooden, arguably the best college sports coach of all time. Once I watched this talk though, I realized his true impact as a coach came not from wins and championships, but from his understanding of the true meaning of success–hard work, a positive impact on the world, and always doing one’s best.

Dave Eggers’ wish: Once upon a school

One of my favorite facets of TED is the TED prize, which is awarded each year to one idea that would benefit from the kind of exposure and support the TED organization has the ability to offer. Dave Eggers recounts the story of 826 Valencia, an after school program that pairs writers with students in a unique tutoring experiment. Eggers’ enthusiasm, humility, and passion for helping others inspires the superteacher in me to do more.

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