Do You Talk Too Much? Here’s How to Tell.


Most people talk too much. That’s a given. People love the sound of their own voice, and truthfully it happens for a number of reasons. As Mark Goulston says in the Harvard Business Review:  “First, is the very simple reason that all human beings have a hunger to be listened to. But second, because the process of talking about ourselves releases dopamine, the pleasure hormone. One of the reasons gabby people keep gabbing is because they become addicted to that pleasure.”  But overly chatty people drive everyone else crazy. So how can you tell you’re talking too much?

Want To Be More Interesting? Start By Asking Better Questions


Today’s post is a guest column from branding expert Krysta Masciale of Big Deal Branding. She’s brilliant at networking, and has pinpointed one of the biggest challenges people experience engaging other people. Ever felt awkward meeting an important professional in your business? Or struggled engaging people at conferences, parties, or other events? Chances are, you’re not asking the right questions. So here’s Krysta’s key questions you should think about the next time you cross paths with a thought leader:

It’s Time to Point With the Sword of Truth Instead of Chopping


One of my favorite quotes is from writer Anne Lamott: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth, you can point with it too.” In the age of the internet, most of us do a lot of chopping and not enough pointing. In the best instances, we’re upset and trying to right a wrong, and in the worst instances, Internet anonymity has created vicious critics and quite a few crazy loons. Either way, I think

Like Why Don’t We Make Inspiring Speeches Anymore?


My wife Kathleen and I visited the amazing exhibit on President Abraham Lincoln at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here in California this weekend. Done in partnership with Dreamworks Studios, it was an incredibly unique and eclectic collection of Lincoln memorabilia from numerous private collections. During the tour, I was reading one of Lincoln’s personal letters with a group of young men in their twenties. After reading Lincoln’s letter this is

It’s Time to Drop These Words and Phrases


Perhaps since I’m a writer, I’m a bit overly sensitive, but there’s a growing list of words and phrases that I’m really tired of reading in print or online, and hearing on TV. (TV newspeople are the worst.) Here’s my latest candidates for obliterating from the language (or at least parking them for awhile.)  Read it over and let me know if you have any additions:

Are You A Good Listener? Learn The Keys to “Selective Listening:”


Are you a good listener?  You’re not learning if you’re doing all the talking, and far too many people think they need to talk to get noticed.  So I asked the founder and CEO of Infinity Concepts, Mark Dreistadt, the secrets of listening well.  Have you ever been accused of “selective hearing?”  You know – the process that happens when you intentionally don’t want to hear something.  Well, there are actually five different ways we listen.  So here’s the 5 secrets to what Mark calls “Selective Listening” – how many have you experienced?

When You Confront an Adversary, Give Them a Way Out


A few years ago, a friend discovered wrongdoing on the part of her boss – who happened to also be her brother.  She was perplexed about how to reveal the deceit, but eventually decided to act.  Her problem was she went way over the top, and exposed her brother in a very public and humiliating way.  Reacting in anger and being forced to retaliate, he ended up having her fired, and in the process, was able to sweep his wrongdoing under the rug.  So what could have been an important revelation that could have benefitted the company, as well as my friend, only ended up 

When To Stop Talking


For some reason, I’ve been meeting a lot of people who don’t know when it’s time to stop talking.  Most of the time they’re meeting me after I teach, or it’s an interview, and I know they mean well, but it’s driving me nuts.  Obviously, they’re nervous, and most people talk when they’re nervous.  Plus, I think they feel an obligation to pitch themselves and simply don’t know when to stop.  I keep looking for openings to jump in and change the subject or bring the conversation to a halt, but with some folks, that’s nearly impossible.  So here’s my advice: 

The Power of Great Stories


“How can you be a Christian in Hollywood?”  The question still gets asked by well meaning believers, and I’m often stopped at conferences and workshops and asked to share the experience of how I ended up in the entertainment industry.  I was raised a “preacher’s kid,” so early on in my life, I understood the power of great preaching, and the importance of communicating effectively – although I never had the slightest desire to be a preacher myself.  But it wasn’t long before I discovered the