This Two Tip Tuesday is inspired by a Broadway show you may have heard of: Hamilton. For some reason (avoiding writing), I was looking through the Hamilton song list. (add to your distraction list here – Then I started singing the Hamilton songs to myself. Next, I put on the soundtrack, re-enacted most of the show and 3 hours later came back to the computer with no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Oh right. Writing. 

Continue reading “Two Tip Tuesday – or Hamilton songs can do even more than you thought.”

‘I’ve never thought about it before’

If you’re a 30 Rock fan, you may remember why Jack should never be allowed on live TV.  He’s referring to having never thought about where his arms are supposed to go. He’s simply working on camera as a SPOKESMAN for GE. Should be a no-brainer. If you haven’t seen it, or don’t remember, here it is:


Of course Jack’s challenge in that clip is an exaggeration. Obviously. It’s funny because it’s a crazy exaggeration. Or is it?

The button on the joke is that it took 5 Days to finish a short promo. Five days. I’ve been on shoots that took way longer than expected, but we didn’t lose days because the lead wanted to hold two coffee mugs to feel more natural. On those shoots and many others, I’ve been approached and asked the question that bonds all on camera appearances: 

‘What do I do with my hands?’

That is the single most common question I’ve gotten with my media coaching clients. Athletes, executives, engineers, thought-leaders, doctors, marketing specialists, salespeople. Everyone.

And the ANSWER I give EVERYONE is the same:

‘How do you normally talk?’
If you’re a handsy talker, use your hands. If you’re not, don’t. Continue reading “The Universal On Camera Question – what do I do with my hands?”

‘We need to SOLVE the problem, PITCH the boss, STRATEGIZE the next move, DEVELOP the story… Let the BRAINSTORMING begin.’

That ‘storm’ begins as a meeting on the calendar. We all get in a conference room, yell out a bunch of ideas. The senior most person in the room takes the ideas they like, redirects the group’s focus and ‘we’ reach an ‘agreed upon outcome.’

That process can work. Just like that. Certainly. It makes sense and many groups have done it that way for quite some time. And will still.

They may not call it BRAINSTORMING, they may call it IDEATING, (and I’ve got thoughts on that word. So. Many. Thoughts.)

Whatever you call it, it’s about sharing ideas and ultimately developing a plan. It’s group work and has all the pitfalls and enormous benefits of collaboration.

It’s one of my favorite ways to work. But it’s not foolproof. And there’s actually different methods that yield different results. Continue reading “Brainstorm – or why are we all yelling the same idea at each other?”


Don’t get it right. Just get it written. – James Thurber

Time to get out that thing you’ve been dying to get out. Or that thing at work that has to be done. It’s your thing and now you just have to START IT.

Ugh. Sooooooo boring… soooooo something…

There’s this thing to say (write, paint, draw, code, whatever) that has to get out. And it’s going to happen, but it’s so                                  (boring, big, naive, hyper-whatever, insert complaint here).

It’s a thing, and it’s going to get done (presentation, slide deck, pitch, bathroom renovation, whatever), so now there’s a million other things to do now that aren’t this THING.  Like it’s better to do anything, ANYTHING. Instead of just starting the thing. That is just there waiting.  It’s going to be waiting. WAITING. No matter what other thing you go and do. 

It’s the FIRST DRAFT of whatever (pitch, script, messaging, poem, backyard deck layout, blog post, website, family budget, parenting plan, mission statement, family pizza dough recipe, whatever).

The FIRST DRAFT is waiting for you to do it. Continue reading “On First Drafts”