The world is in a very fragile state.

Every interaction should imply H.O.P.E.


Open honest communication is always the best way to approach a fragile situation.


Provide people with options: 

Patients: Would you like to reschedule your appointment for June or would you like us to call you when our office is reopened? Please keep in mind we have many patients to re-schedule. You may not get in as quickly as you would like.

Vendors:  Can we place a hold on our auto shipment until we are back in the office, or should we accept the next one and get our office supplies fully stocked.  How are other offices handling this?


Focus on people…not the processes. 

Everyone is feeling isolated and anxious. Take the time to actively listen to everyone you interact with.  It will benefit you in the long game.


Empathy is a gift.

People are in different stages of dealing with this: 

Fear, Acceptance, Opportunistic

Try to recognize where that person is and realize that individuals handle stress differently.

If we can get to Acceptance, that is where we begin to move forward and become creative!

Keep in mind, some people may never be able to leave the fear / impulsive / protection stage.

Copyright 2020 Lisa Copeland. All Rights Reserved

Virtual Presentation Check List

Over 20 years as a corporate speaker, I have presented 100’s of virtual programs, before they were “a thing.” In these times of conference and travel uncertainty, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks that will make your virtual events a success.  Be creative in recognizing the need to modify and adjust your format. YOU CAN DO THIS!


  1. Decrease presentation length
  2. Use high quality camera and microphone
  3. Learn to look into the camera
  4. Properly adjust lighting
  5. Shorten stories while maintaining an emotional connection
  6. Create interactive slides by using: animation, GIF’s, sound
  7. Stand while delivering your presentation
  8. Use text polling for audience engagement
  9. Maximize platform software by incorporate surreys, word clouds, audience competitions, chat box
  10. Relax and have fun


IRONMAN™  training taught me how to be successful in business communication.
As a competitive athlete, I effectively apply lessons learned to help clients transform business communication into profit, performance, and productivity.
My experiences allow me to share meaningful / memorable stories that positively impact your bottom line.  In fact, my iRONMAN Principles of training drive my lessons on the importance of generationally effective communication in business.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa or book her to speak at your event please email or call / text 206.465.1637

Copyright © 2020 | Communicate With Influence | All rights reserved. 

It’s Time to Break Up

Dear Sugar, I am breaking up with you!
From late October to Jan 1, I typically develop a bad habit of eating more sugar, in every form imaginable.
Holiday cookies are my weakness. What’s yours?
As we start the new year, think about the habits that we have developed in our practices and ask your team:
• Why are we doing it this way?
• What can we do to improve?


First, we must be honest with ourselves as a team and reveal the things we are doing that may be toxic to our practice health. Below are two examples of what I call Detect and Correct.

Detect: Do you continually run late?
• According to Dentistry Today, research shows that if a patient waits more than 20 minutes for their scheduled appointment, their overall experience at your office is negative. They are also less likely to follow through with recommended treatment.

• Use a scheduling template, and stick to it, that realistically schedules the amount of time needed for practitioner / procedure length. Keep in mind that we all perform procedures differently. This takes some thought and adjustment to get dialed in, but well worth it.
• Respecting the patients time is critical. Be honest. Let the patient know you are running behind as soon as you know. If it is, or will be, longer than 15 minutes, give the patient a gift card with a sincere apology. Continue to keep them updated. Offer to reschedule if necessary.

Detect: How do you address patient apprehension and fear?
• Sometimes, we become casual about addressing patients fears. It may seem trivial to us, because we hear the same concerns quite often. However, the perception is very real and very important to our patients! We should be acknowledging their concerns.

• Take the time to ask the patient “how are you feeling about the appointment today?” If they express any concern, dive a little deeper into the issue and assure them you will do everything you can to keep them comfortable throughout the appointment. Also, give them permission and a signal they can use at any time if they are feeling anxious.


Start the new year off right. Break up with old habits and develop new, healthy practice habits. Change takes recognition, accountability, and support from the entire team. Let’s do this together!

iRONMAN Communication for Business Success

Lasting First Impressions

June 26th 2005, I was about to compete in my first IRONMAN: 2.4 mile swim, cycling 112 miles, finishing with a full marathon, 26.2 miles.

I signed up to compete in the Coeur d’Alene, ID Ironman one year in advance.  At that moment, mental training began and the physical soon to follow.  I joined a Triathlon team that specialized in IRONMAN training.  Together, the coach and I prepared a detailed customized plan.  One that accommodated my personal and professional lifestyle and took my travel schedule into consideration.  We agreed…it was a plan or a guide, which meant there was always room for adjustments and alterations as the training progressed.

After 72,000 yards of swimming, 800 miles of cycling and 400 miles of running, the event day arrived…and I was ready!

I walked to the front of the swimming pack and turned back to see 1,499 triathletes ready to stampede into the lake.  I whispered my mantra for the day, “Do what you can in the moment, things will get better”, and the cannon blast erupted!

Life offers us many challenges on a daily basis, but what drives us to accept a challenge?  And more importantly, what drives us to keep moving forward towards success?  My IRONMAN events have been a celebration of hard work and dedication.  The planning and the preparation is what played the biggest role in my success.

Having an iRONMAN communication formula for your practice will prepare everyone to deliver an impactful message to clients and patients all day, every day.

We’ll use the iRONMAN acronym to guide us through the process.


A first impression is a lasting impression. Carol Kinsey Goman, a leadership and body language expert, indicates that people develop an impression of you within 7 seconds.  She further states, “First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say”.


The relationships you build with your clients from the very beginning are the cornerstone of your success.   Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.  If people like you and feel emotionally connected with you, they are more likely to follow through with your recommendations, which translates into company growth.  Consistency throughout the company is critical to build trust with clients and employees.


Circling back to first impressions, where are the areas of opportunity we have to improve on in our practices? Phone conversations, reception area decor, office art, operatory / technology updates? Where else?


We all can justify a “want”, that new pair of shoes or a new phone.  Conversely, a “need” is often an optional decision.

According to an article published in Dental Economics by the Levin Group, dentist typically focus on the technical and clinical features of cases, while the patients are more interested in lifestyle benefits. Focus on what the client wants with what they need as the end result.

When patients truly understand the benefits of the care they require AND / OR desire, your practice can deliver higher quality treatment and increase production.


According to Gallup Research, only 25% of employees are happy at work, 51% of employees are actively looking for another job… TODAY!  These statistics represent the national average.  Is your company above or below the median line?  Chances are high that A LOT of lost profits are flowing through your business right now because these statistics lead to employee turnover.

While coworkers and peers can rely on each other, you need to make sure that they can function (and collaborate) without your constant involvement. Encourage bi-directional leadership to reduce turnover, improve employee engagement, and increase productivity.


Always give your clients and employees a call to action with three W’s.

  • What’s next?
  • Who will be following up / completing any needed tasks?
  • When will you be contacting them again?


The area I see communication consistently fall short is in the follow-up.  We all get busy and forget or put it low on the list and then never get to it.  It’s not intentional, it just happens.

A Zoom Info Blog published:  53 Sales Follow Up StatisticsBy leveraging a triple touch approach, you will reap the benefits of success.  A few highlights from each category are:

Email –More than 3 words in subject line open rate decreases by 60%

Phone – The average voicemail response rate is 4.8%.  80% of calls go to voicemail, and 90% of first time voicemails are never returned

Text – Call followed by text message converts at a rate of 40% higher

Social Media – The 2019 Yearly Tech Trend Report by investor Mary Meeker / BOND reports:

  • Americans spend more time on digital media than ever before: 6.3 hours a day in 2018
  • Image-sharing apps such as Instagram are growing in popularity.
  • Images are an increasingly relevant way to communicate!

The Grande Finale’

It’s 8:30 PM. I am running in the dark and I have been on the course 13.5 hours.  The temperature has dropped 20 degrees and the cold rain is stinging when it hits my fatigued muscles.  Every step takes mental and physical effort. My body is exhausted. My husband is riding along side of me on his mountain bike encouraging me to push through it.  “Lisa…keep moving forward”.  “You are so close”!  “I know you can do this”.  I turn the final corner into the finish line “chute” which is 5 blocks long.  I had a renewed jolt of energy as the crowd encouraged me to finish.  The announcer bellowed as I crossed the line.  LISA COPELAND…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!  The grand total for the day 140.3 miles.  Which ironically, was my exact sequence of numbers on the clock as I crossed the line.

WHAT A DAY! The most common question people ask me is:  “What made you keep going”?  My answer to that is simple:  A smile, a positive attitude and a formula that prepared me for anything!



My challenge to you is:  

Develop a communication plan to cross the finish line and deliver an impactful message to your team and clients all day, every day.

Copyright Lisa Copeland, RDH, CSP 2019.  All Rights Reserved

Snap Shot of Generational Work Ethics

Generational Immigrants

Have you ever wondered why your colleagues make the decisions they do at work?  Sometimes I scratch my head in confusion and other times I applaud in awe at the unique and creative approach to an opportunity.  Then I remember, “Its Generational”!  Recognizing this influences positive team harmony and allows everyone to have a voice.

Work ethics and values are influenced, in part, by generational qualities. Superior inter-generational relationships are built from understanding who we are and how we are perceived.

The first question to ask is, “Who am I”?  The categories are based on a particular span of years and the ethics are developed from experiencing world events during that particular time frame.  Keep in mind you may be a “Cusper”, bridging two generations.  That is the category I fall into.  I am born on the last year of the Baby Boomer however, my qualities are predominantly Gen X.

Below are the generational categories and their common workplace values with the most important one highlighted last on the list.

Traditionalists (1927-1945)

Team player, Indirect, Loyal, Hard Worker, Rule follower, Respectful, Seniority and age correlate.  They want to be recognized for their years of experience.

Baby Boomer (1946-1964)          

Optimistic, Creative, Healthy, Enjoy personal gratification, Workaholic, Uncomfortable with conflict, Want respect

Gen X (1965-1977)           

Positive, Impatient, Goal Oriented, Multi-tasker, To-do lists, Self-reliant, Techno-literal, Question authority, Want flexibility to create work-life balance.

Gen Y (1978-1999)           

Confident, Social, Diverse, Techno-savvy, Tenacious, Multi-tasker, Like flexibility, Inclusion with “like” peers is very important.    

Gen Z (2000-Present) 

Entrepreneurial. Progressive, Less Religious, Individualistic, Digital Natives, Lonely, Diverse, Overwhelmed   

Generational Geopardy

Generations working side-by-side is not a new concept. However, recent years have included four and now five generations in the workforce.  Move over Millennials, Gen Z is just starting to enter the workforce.

Now that we understand ourselves and each other better, let’s look at how we can improve on business relationships and interactions with a game I call Generational Geopardy. Please note, Gen Z is not included due to their limited time in the workforce to date.

Fill in the blanks from the word list below to develop a tool you can refer to for inter-generational communication tips. Each word is used only once.

Generational Geopardy Blanks



In-Person / Telephone

Instant Gratification





Although the generations have different values, they also share many similarities and it is wise to recognize them.  Engagement opportunities occur when we respect differences and focus on commonalities such as:

  • We want to be heard.
  • We want to take part in meaningful work.
  • We want to contribute and make a difference.
  • We want to feel genuinely appreciated.
  • We want to be recognized as a person rather than a “number” at work.
  • We want to develop into our full potential.

Generational Communication Application

How do we translate the information we know about each generation into applicable use? Since the Traditionalists comprise less than 2% of our current workforce we’ll work within the other three categories.

One area we could customize is using their preferred method of communication. As a Gen X, I reach out to people via email and text so I can continue to progress through my day efficiently.  That is also the way I prefer people to communicate with me.  However, if I am working with a Baby Boomer, I will either pick up the phone and call or visit their office for an actual conversation!  Oh my!  You might be surprised at the results you get by implementing customized strategies like these.

Generational Geopardy Answers

Success and referrals come from relationship building. Part of that formula is adapting your interaction style.

I challenge you to use the Generational Geopardy worksheet as a guide to customizing your inter-generational communication.  Begin within your team then expand the techniques you master into your company, clients and personal life.

As you strengthen your generational skills and comfort level, you will be perceived differently and respected more by all the generations.

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland, RDH, CSP.  All Rights Reserved

Book More Business That Pays: Professional Speaking Sponsorship Guide


As paid professional speakers, we have all heard the statements or questions below uttered by associations, corporations, meeting planners and non-profit groups.

  • *We do not have a budget to pay you but we would love to have you speak to our group.

*We are always looking for great speakers, but we cannot pay you.

*You will get exposure and business opportunities by presenting at our meeting.

Would you like to know how to turn many of these free speaking opportunities into a paid speaking engagement? Below are basic guidelines to obtaining sponsorship so you can get paid for your expertise.

When having an initial discussion with an organizer and any of the above statements come up, change the direction of the conversation to a positive opportunity.  Suggested verbiage that I have had great success with looks like this:

Sponsorship Conversation Scenario

Sally: (AKA the Meeting Planner)

We are always looking for great speakers, but we cannot pay you.  Do you speak for free?

Professional Speaker (PS):  I completely understand your budget constraints.  Many organizations that approach me to speak at their events are in the same situation.  Have you considered reaching out to your community to request sponsorship for a speaker?

  • Inside scoop: Typically, they are not familiar with the idea of sponsorship for a speaker and become engaged and enthusiastic about the possibilities. 

Sally:  No!  I have never thought of doing that.  How do I start?

  • Inside scoop: This is where you, the professional speaker, will need to understand their business and this process. Begin by educating the meeting planner. 

PS:  Who are the companies in your community that may have an interest in creating a business partnership with you or your attendees?  In other words, who would like to earn your business and would recognize the networking / sales opportunities available by sponsoring this event?

  • Inside scoop: Do your homework about the organization and expected attendees so you can make appropriate industry suggestion for sponsorship.  

Sally:  Well, since we are a dental practice, I would think that vendors who sell dental products may want to support this.  What about an office supply company to support the administrative side of the dental business?  This is a fantastic idea and there several companies I can reach out to.  I am going to start making a list of potential sponsors that we may be able to work with.

PS:  Fantastic!  Can I make a few suggestions on how to approach the potential sponsor?

Sally:  Absolutely!

PS:  The sponsors need to know, up front, WIIFT (What’s In It For Them).  Below is a template that you can customize for your introduction letter.

Sponsorship Email Template


I am Sally, the practice manager for Dr. Wonderful.  We are planning a networking event in May. Our guests will include five to seven general and specialty dental offices in the area. The purpose of the meeting is to establish and improve our dental and medical community relationships so we can work more collaboratively when treating mutual patients. We are expecting 100 dental / medical professionals to attend.

Lisa Copeland, a communication expert on Generational Friction in Clinical Practice, will be our featured speaker.  She is well-known in the industry and lives locally.  I would like to invite you to be a sponsor for her honorarium.

This partnership will help promote (Sponsoring Company name) key marketing objectives:  List their marketing / customer goals if you know them.

  • Increase brand awareness and exposure for (Company name) products
  • Drive sales
  • Expand product exposure

 The sponsored speaker, (Lisa Copeland), will contribute the following to our partnership’s success:

  • Develop and customize a lead generation raffle contest slip requesting specific information regarding the attendees. The winner(s) will receive a (Sponsoring Company name) branded gift /certificate (specific prize to be discussed and determined)  
  • Customize a (Sponsoring Company Name) video “Thank You” to send to all conference attendees following the event
  • Share the (Sponsoring Company Name) twitter mention (@Company name) from the  podium
  • Introduce (Sponsoring Company Name) products and sales consultant (if attending) from the from the podium
  • Include (Sponsoring Company Name) logo on all course advertising materials indicating sponsorship 
  • Include (Sponsoring Company Name) logo / contact information on the attendee’s resource materials

These are just a few examples of how (Sponsoring Company Name) would benefit from sponsoring our event.  I would be happy to discuss additional opportunities and ideas that you have as well.

Let’s schedule a call this week to discuss the details of our partnership. I am available….

Warmest Regards,

This approach has a positive triangulation effect.

  1. The speaker gets paid…YIPEEEEE!
  2. The meeting planner stays within the proposed budget and hires a reputable, professional speaker.
  3. The sponsoring company sells / displays products and interacts with 100 potential clients at one event! The return on investment for the sponsoring company has huge profit potential. The end result being a very successful event!

As a professional speaker, customize this template based on the client / market you will be working with. The proposal and language will become more comfortable as you use it.

Enjoy getting paid to speak!

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.

Body Language That Moves Us

Open Arms Body Language

I recently attended an all-day seminar featuring Traci Brown, a body language expert. It got me thinking about how I connect my body language and my words to convey a positive message to my clients, colleagues and friends.

If our words and movements are not congruent, the audience will have a feeling of unrest.  The bottom line is, the body doesn’t lie.  By becoming a master of our body language we will improve the connections we make with our listeners and allow them to comfortably discover the intended message.

One of the most powerful aspects of using body language correctly is that it gives us a variety of ways to re-engage the audience.   Let’s take a look at some of the basic techniques that we can implement in our communication encounters.


Intentional Movement connects our motion to our words so our body language is supporting our delivery. It shows the audience that you are invested and passionate about your content.   Use the stage space that is rightfully yours to deliver your message with confidence.

An example of this might be sharing a story while standing in one place and before you deliver the critical information: take a few steps, reposition yourself, pause and then execute the most important message.

 Bonus:  If you are presenting on stage and using a screen, position the screen to the left or right.  You, as the speaker, want to command the front and center real estate.   

Body Language Graphic

Which direction should you move and why?

Forward is an aggressive movement.

  • When partnered with powerful words and a loud voice, it can be very effective.
  • “The rollercoaster PLUNGED down the track and banked into the first turn…”

Backwards is submissive.

  • Combining this movement with a soft voice or a whisper is very impactful.
  • Many speakers “retreat” from the audience if they are nervous.  This is a submissive movement that has a negative impact on the audience.

Side to Side can be used to emphasize a linear sequence.

  • Always move in the direction the audience reads (left to right) and mirror image them. This allows the audience to comfortably follow your ascending information.
    • Point #1 – Presenter stands on the far RIGHT of the stage and delivers the least important point
    • Point #2 – Take one step to the LEFT….deliver
    • Point #3 – Another step to the LEFT….deliver
    • Point #4 – Position yourself for the final, most important message to the far left of the stage…deliver

When movement is combined with voice inflection you can re-enlist the attention of you audience often and effectively.



 Eye focus creates credibility and trust.  Without it, you will lose your audience attention quickly and transmit a lack of sincerity.

When speaking to a group, find the friendly faces in the audience and use Eye Connection: One person to the right at 2 o’clock, one in the middle / center and one to the left at 11 o’clock.  The individual that is smiling and nodding will boost your confidence and unknowingly encourage the other attendees to engage.  Even though you are looking at the same 2-3 people, the rest of the audience believes you are speaking to them.

 The Oscillating Fan can be a distraction for everyone.  A constant shifting and darting of the eyes creates distrust.  It is often combined with rotational body movements.  This is a body language that can derail your credibility.



We can use gestures to emphasize a point or embrace emotion by opening up our body language.  Are you a pointer, a palms down or a palms up presenter?  Palms up and open elevates confidence AND makes the audience feel at ease.

Allan Pease presents one of my favorite TEDx Talks, Body Language, the Power is in the Palm of Your Hands.

hand graphic

Synchronizing your body language with other aspects of communication is a critical aspect to presentation success.  By arming yourself with powerful and productive body language, you can transform communication chaos into profit.

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.

Chatter Matters: Using Intentional Vocabulary to Increase Engagement


The way we communicate to one and all,

Can make or break a 1:1, a meeting or even a call.

Be thoughtful when selecting certain words and phrases…choosing the ones that can pay,

Or you could end up having an abrupt ending to a conversation… and a very long, bad day.

If we insert the right word in the most effective place…we will set a better tone,

Small verbal changes lead
to communication profit…in person or on the phone.

A profession that uses the word BUYIt may behoove you to switch,

INVEST implies a profit, or a win….and much less of a sales pitch.

SELL is a word that many dislike… when using or hearing it aloud,

A CUSTOMIZED RECOMMENDATION however… leaves the client feeling special and proud.

CUSTOMER terminology is universal… but overused and dated,

CLIENT is one level up from that and very highly rated.

To make the best impression…a title that will ensure comfort, trust and ease,

Refer to everyone as a GUEST… and include an abundance of touch points, thank you and please!

Chatter That Matters

WAITING ROOM vs. a RECEPTION AREA or LOUNGE …either has a more calming implication,

If your schedule is delayed and the guest awaits…treat them like they’re on a vacation.

COLD CALL can be dis-empowering… for any of us to do,

But an OPPORTUNISTIC VISIT will open doors of unexpected wins…and keep your mindset true.

CLOSING, as in “closing the deal”…can imply termination or the end,

OPEN means the beginning…a partnership in the relationship trend.

EARNINGS gives you an accurate number…and practical information,

PROFIT indicates you have a gain…a positive interpretation.

A BILL gets added to the stack on the desk…to get around to it when you can,

An INVOICE has better credibility… and details the payment plan.

SIGNING a contract or APPROVING a document…which has a better feel?

If you selected APPROVING, you’re on the right track…to better guest appeal.

Select from the chart, one or two words…three if you’re feeling quite smart,

Practice replacing the good with the better…a perfect place to start.

Communication strategies can positively impact… your day to day profit and plan,

You’ll see changes in relationships by implementing positive chatter…and quickly become a fan.

Intentional vocabulary starts with awareness…and a willingness to adjust,

Begin by having a communication plan and a system that you trust.

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.

Networking Communication: Rules and Tools

Networking -Beth Bridges



While attending a networking event recently, in between conversations, I began to observe and categorize the variety of approaches people used to engage with strangers. It became apparent very quickly that 50% or more of the attendees were struggling with networking etiquette.

As I reveal the networking predator’s traits I created, with a side of humor, pay close attention to the underlying messages.  The rules and tools for each situation are guidelines to make networking a valuable experience for all.






The Collector

You know who I mean.  One of the easiest predators to spot.  The sole purpose for the evening is to collect business cards. The next day, they request social media connections (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…) with each person they encountered and add you to their contact data base!  That is a serious offence.

A cultural observation I learned after living in SE Asia for many years was that writing a note on the business card that you were politely offered with two hands and a bow, is both offensive and disrespectful.  To this day, I do not write on a business card!

Rules and Tools:

  • Observe the players before you take the field. Watch and learn who to approach and who to conveniently avoid.
  • Practice casual conversation. Beth Bridges, author of Networking on Purpose, tells us to ask a personal question to break the predators’ elevator speech delivery.  “What do you do for fun?”
  • There is amazing power in small talk.
  • Know your cultural etiquette.
  • Ask permission to connect with someone on a social media platform IF you feel the relationship will be of value to each of you.

The Elevator Operator

They have their elevator speech down!  They believe it is the networking key to building their business.  Delivering it to as many victims as possible is the most important item on their agenda.  If they let you know what they do, surly you will help them.

I am guessing we have all been in a situation where the person you are speaking to is done with their speech and looking over your shoulder for a more influential person to connect with.  De-valuing a person is a sure way to build a bad reputation quickly.

Rules and Tools:

  • SILENT and LISTEN are spelled with the same letters but have very different outcomes. Both are valuable, learned behaviors that take practice and have positive relationship consequences.
  • Silence allows a question to be answered without interruption.
  • Listening means being fully present, attentive and interested in the conversation.

 The “Circle of Us”

networkingA small group of people that chat among themselves in a closed “circle of us”, rather than an open “circle of trust.”  As an outsider, it can be very intimidating to join in with this group due to the blocked entry way.  An introvert would most likely avoid this uninviting group.  As an extrovert and someone who enjoys networking, I too find this to be a challenge.

Rules and Tools:

  • A smile and a firm handshake is a great way to join in. The smile puts people at ease and a firm shake will boost your confidence.
  • If you are speaking to one person, stand shoulder to shoulder vs. facing one another to create an inviting approach for others.
  • When initiating a small group conversation of three or more, intentionally position yourself in a Horseshoe vs. a Huddle format. This will allow people to enter and exit the conversation without pressure.

 The Alcohol Induced Extrovert

They entered the event as an introvert and used the crutch of alcohol to put them at ease.  It is never a good idea to overindulge with alcohol at an event that you have targeted to establish professional relationships.    First impressions are lasting impressions and they are hard for people to forget or forgive.

Rules and Tools:

  • Limit your alcohol intake to decrease your risk of an embarrassing moment.

The Networking Zen Master

This is who we all want to be and meet at a networking event.  The person that can casually work the room while having meaningful conversations with many people throughout the evening.

Rules and Tools of a Zen Master:

  • Engages people in empowering small talk.
  • Asks open ended questions, then actively listens to the answers.
  • Skilled at being approachable: smiling, demonstrating open body language and expressing authenticity and sincerity.
  • Respectfully follows up with the relationships they established at the event.

A Graceful Exit

Before you depart the networking event, be sure to thank the organizer.  Follow-up with an electronic or hand written thank you note, depending on the generational expectation of your contact.  If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know exactly how to interpret the generational aspect!

I challenge you to select a few of networking tools you and give it a try at your next event. Bringing value to yourself and others will create a positive networking experience for all.

Gratification of Speechification (Public Speaking): How to Have a Positive Speaking Experience


According to Psychology Today, “Our fear of standing up in front of people and talking is so great that we fear it more than death.”  Jerry Seinfeld captured it perfectly, “Most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. And yes, Speechification is a real word and one of my new favorites!

To assist you in overcoming Glossophobia, I have developed a 4-step guide that will boost your confidence and decrease your fear.  Are you ready to experience Speechification Gratification?



  1. Planning

Prepare your material well in advance.  I am sure many of you have heard the saying, “Always build a home on a solid foundation.”  The same holds true for creating and delivering a presentation.  Your planning is the foundation that will ensure both confidence and success.

If you are using PowerPoint, follow the   10-20-30 rule by Guy Kawasaki:10-20-30 10 OR LESS slides, every 20 minutes with font no smaller than 30.  Translation:  Use 3 bullets and a visual instead of sentences and paragraphs.  The slides are for the audience to make connections to your words, not a crutch for you.

Visualize a presentation like the stages of a romance:

  • Starts out with a bang
  • Settles into something less intense but still engaging
  • Moments of drama and calm
  • Climax – you either move forward in a commitment or part ways

The beginning and the climax are ALWAYS the most exciting!  That is exactly how you want your presentation structure and delivery to flow!  The idea is to continually re-engage the audience and finish with fireworks!


  1. Rehearsal

Bill Stainton, executive producer, key note speaker and 29-time Emmy Award winner wants his audience to be very clear in knowing the difference between rehearsing vs. practicing. ‘You practice your lines, but the dress rehearsal is walking through the true process of your performance which includes all of the elements.’  Knowing your material puts you and the audience at ease.  Developing trust from the moment you begin allows the audience to relax and enjoy.


  1. Execution

Power Pose



Before you take the stage prepare yourself both mentally and physically with a few exercises.

Practice the Power Pose.  A scientifically proven way to lower cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone, and elevate testosterone which boosts confidence.

Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Hold this position for 2 minutes.  Add a few deep belly breaths and long exhales before taking the stage.




Before starting, open your stance with your feet shoulder width apart and pointing toward the back of the room.  Head should be held straight. Roll your shoulders down and back then place your arms at your sides. BREATH and SMILE.

Ditch the typical, boring and over-used opening lines that everyone defaults to:

  • Thank you for that…
  • I am so happy to be here…
  • Good morning
  • How about that game yesterday…

Begin speaking by breaking the pattern of expectations so your audience listens immediately. A personal story, a video or reference to a current event that is relevant to your topic.  Something you are comfortable with puts you and the audience at ease.


  1. Closing

Remember the dating scenario we discussed in the beginning?  Your closing should be your most powerful connection of the day.  Create the emotional experience you want your audience to remember.  Leave them wanting more…not wanting to find the door!


Be gracious and forgiving of yourself.

No presentation is perfect. You may feel a bit awkward or stumble through some areas at first. This is completely normal.  The beauty of the plan you created is that you can adjust it.  The next time you deliver a message, focus your preparation in the areas you were not as comfortable in. You will improve!

Your audience really does want you to succeed.  You are now one step closer to experiencing Speechification Gratification.

For more information on enhancing your communication skills contact Lisa Copeland Communications.

Learning to Embrace the Generational Friction Factor

Dad and Gardening

Last spring I decided to plant a garden.  Having grown up in the Northeast region of the US, with a father who is a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer, I was accustom to homegrown delicacies year round!  I now live in the Northwest region, where rain is abundant and sunshine scarce…farming would be challenging.  Before starting, I researched the planting zones and visited a local nursery to chat with the experts.   After purchasing the seeds most likely to thrive and the proper fertilizer and soil, I was ready to begin. Each morning started with an evaluation for the need for watering, weeding and feeding to customize a plan accordingly.  Within a month my efforts were rewarded with a beautiful garden.

The lessons learned were simple, but essential for success. Gardens need customized care based on the exposure to elements:  weather, sun and soil.  If any of the essentials were missing, the garden would not thrive.

The same principles can be applied to our current work force environments.  In order for our teams to thrive, we must customize our generational language to create a harmonious team that is empowered to succeed.

A Generational Snapshot

Looking at generational snapshot in the USA, each have personalities influenced by multiple historic events.

  • Traditionalists, 1927-1945: Great Depression, WWII
  • Baby Boomers, 1946-1964: Moon Walk, JFK / MLK Assassination, Vietnam War
  • Generation X, 1965-1977: Watergate, Oil Crisis, AIDS, Dot-Com, Gulf War
  • Generation Y, 1978-1999: Columbine, OK City Bomb, 911, Katrina
  • Generation Z, 2000-Present: Widespread terror alerts, Global unrest, Abundent global access to information

Generations are Colliding

For the first time in history, we currently have four to five generations in the work force and the Friction Factor is real. Companies, large and small, are experiencing dissatisfied employees and high turnover rates. A recent study by Accenture reports the top four reasons people leave a job are:  lack of recognition/appreciation, internal politics, lack of empowerment and they don’t like their boss.  The majority of reasons why employees quit are under the control of the employer.  From a generational perspective, we can customize our language and interaction with each group to support their needs and create a meaningful environment for all. The right question to consider is, “How do we best appeal to each generation and appreciate them in their preferred language”?   First we need know the various generations of the company.  The Traditionalists and the Baby Boomers include our more senior employees.  Generation X are now middle age, taking on management roles, and Y and Z compile the younger team members.  Each category has a unique potential to contribute to company growth IF we speak in the generational language that best appeals to them.

Let’s say you are a Baby Boomer Director of Sales, about to provide feedback to a Generation Y, Professional Sales Representative.  Your interaction with him / her from a verbal, non-verbal and technological standpoint will influence their motivation and productivity.

 Take the Generational Challenge

Below are six examples of how a company can more effectively communicate with varying generations.

  1. Dress to meet the expectations of the oldest generation. Gen Y, if you have a meeting with a Baby Boomer:
    • Men, wear a button down collared shirt, tie and jacket
    • Women, a conservative dress or dress shirt with a skirt or pants
  2. Generation X prefer to maximize efficiency. Email and text is the preferred form communication.
  3. The older the generation, the more they equate title with respect. Call each person by an appropriate title, “Mrs. Hall”, “Dr. Jones”.
  4. When providing support information about your product, determine which type of resource speaks the right language. Tangible paper resources vs. technology.  Traditionalists and Boomers are not as familiar / comfortable with technology as compared to the younger generations. Choose accordingly.
  5. Gen Y and Z are connected 24/7. Technology and flexibility are company cultures they seek.
  6. Senior teammates build relationships first…business second. Follow up with a personal phone call vs. an email or text.

I invite you to select three challenges from above to customize your generational language to increase employee career satisfaction and company growth. To learn more about how you can apply effective generational tactics in your life connect with Lisa Copeland Communications.

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.