Example of a Poor Opening Statement – Alicia Silverstone

Here is an example of a poor opening statement.  I’m not hating on this speaker….I just want to show you an example of some of the things I’ve been speaking about regarding weak opening statements.

This is the actress Alicia Silverstone speaking about her book “The Kind Diet” (which I own, by the way).

Start watching at the 0.40 second mark until 1:28.

You’ll notice she does many opening statement mistakes.

  • She looks a little frazzled 
  • She starts by “thanking” everyone.
  • She tells everyone how “honored” she is to be here.
  • She mentions she’s “excited
  • She plays with her hair.
  • She walks away to get a drink of water.
  • She starts speaking, then stops and back tracks, then begins again…….

The Worst Opening Lines When Speaking.


The first 30 seconds of any public talk is your ONE opportunity to reel in the audience. You can grab their attention, hook their interest, OR have them rolling their eyes and fiddling with their iPhones.

If you say any of the lines listed below, you’re more likely to lose your audience before you’ve even really started your talk. Read More

Worst Public Speaking Advice

worst advice

Here’s a list of the worst advice I’ve heard on public speaking:

Just imagine the audience is in their underwear/naked. Who came up with this? And why would anyone be calmer by imaging their entire audience naked? This makes no sense, and in fact it’s distracting, taking you away from the present moment (your speech!), and puts in you the wrong headspace (over analyzing the audience!). Read More

Avoid Using These Awful Words, EVER.


Please do NOT use these words during any type of public speaking.

If someone is being really difficult, never use the word Nazi.  Such as, “oh, my boss is such a Nazi, he never lets us leave work early.”  Really?  Really?  The Nazi’s killed millions of people, and your boss wants to make sure you’re at work actually working for the time you’re being paid for. There’s a difference. My students use this word to describe professors who have too high expectations or require a lot of readings in their course. Honestly, it makes you sound like you need to stay in school a bit longer.  Read More

Books I love…..RU by –Kim Thuy. (2015 Canada Reads Winner)!


RU is written by Kim Thuy and journals her life from the Vietnam war, to a Malaysian refugee camp, and then eventually to Montreal, Quebec. Her writing style is utterly unique and unlike anything you’ve read before as it’s poetic, lyrical, comedic, tragic and poignant.

Her writing makes you realize what a novice you are at the English language. Read More

Do you know how to sit in a chair?? Yeah, seriously.

woman chair 2

I noticed this problem in conferences, meetings and even my own classroom. There is a very clear and distinct difference between how men & women sat in chairs. It seems so simplistic, it’s almost comical, and like do I really need to write about ‘how to sit in chairs’?? –Well,  read on my friend, read on. And see if you’ve ever sat like this in a chair.

How you sit in a chair speaks to your confidence level. It tells other’s how seriously to take you.

Read More

Our responsibilities as women….yeah I’m going to add to the list.

Multiple roles

I know our “responsibilities” as women are multiple & endless (worker, financial planner, mother, parent, chef, nutritionist, appointment maker, cleaner, organizer, dog walker, family event planner, spouse, lover, friend, ‘soul mate,’ driver, stylist, allergist & family enthusiast), but I need to add one more item to this list.

We need to build a coalition of strong, empowered and confident women. And I need your help. Read More



So, I saw Trainwreck this weekend…..and guess what?   It’s SO good. I mean it’s great. When you compare it with the utter nonsense that is a typical Adam Sandler movie, I would have paid double to see Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.

It’s witty, funny, amusing, & SO relatable.  I felt myself nodding in agreement or rather laughing hysterically and clapping my hands in unison with the packed theater.

It’s such a pleasure to watch a movie and not be kicking myself for wasting 2 hours of my life on garbage. This was insightful and such a great opportunity to support a woman, to be happy that another succesful woman is ascending the leadership ladder. She’s so talented, funny and prolific.

I love that she’s successful and hungry for more success and doesn’t feel she needs to apologize for her success.

I love Amy Schumer and you’ll love Trainwreck.


Why you need a pitch. (Everyone is selling something…)


Listen to me, stop being afraid of selling. Everyone is selling something to somebody every hour of the day all over the world. At Starbucks they’re trying to up-sell you with a food product to go along with your $6.00 latte.

At the gym they’re trying to up-sell you personal training, vitamins and protein shakes. At the mall you know you’re being sold as soon as you walk into Sephora. No explanation necessary.

So why do women have such resistance when it comes to selling ourselves, our talents, ideas or experiences?  Read More

Networking TIPS.

fear of networking

Everyone hates networking. It’s terrifying, anxiety-producing and stressful. Ahhhhhhhhh. Ok, lets break it down.

Why is networking so important? 

It’s an opportunity to show others your capabilities, your confidence & skills. It’s about positioning yourself in front of decision makers. It’s about getting comfortable with promoting yourself (oohh, self-promotion….the dirty word!). So how do you network? Here are some tips.

Read More

The Lives of Animals & Women are Connected


This is my Great Dane Cooper. He’s 160 pounds and 22 months old. He’s chewed 2 pairs of booties (see pic below),IMG_20150105_152148 1 slipper, ate my entire winter squash dish, & ripped my winter coat (by accident, he says). He regularly steps on my toes and gives kisses all day long. He also adores and is adored by the whole family, especially my 3 year old daughter.


I love animals. And I also want to empower women to have more control over their lives. How are these two connected?

I’m interested in exploring why we eat animals and actively disengage from the reality of factory farming and slaughterhouse abuses.

Why do people eat animals? Most people eat animals because:  Read More

Why Animals Matter

farm animals 1

I do not need to watch a video of cows being beaten with fists, feet and crow bars to know that horror exists within non-animal humans. Nor do I need a PhD in animal rights to know that the ongoing abuse and cruelty of factory farm animals is morally wrong.  (See ‘Slaughterhouse’ by Eisnitz or Animal Factories by Mason and Singer). Suffering, pain and evil exists in this world, the question is how much of this are you willing to tolerate for your food?

We were recently alerted to the horrendous (but not rare) abuse at Chilliwack Cattle Sales (CCS) farm in B.C.  (see story and video here: Farm Abuse) Read More

Women Don’t Negotiate and it’s Killing Us.

Negotiating 2

Sadly 85% of women sign the 1st contract they’re offered. They just don’t negotiate. And when they do negotiate, they ask for 30% less than their male counterparts!  Is this the 1950s? Am I living in a Leave it to Beaver world where women still don’t know their own value? What is going on here?

I’ve been researching this stuff for years, talking about it to all of my friends, giving workshops on it. I live and breathe this stuff, so when a colleague of mine (highly intelligent, skilled and talented woman) just accepted the 1st offer without even thinking about negotiating, I was crushed. She’s now a part of that 85% statistic. Read More