Ep 099 -- The Importance of an Advocate with Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran was a consultant who worded with entrepreneurs and helped the write business plans. Her pplan did not include a stroke in 2014, but no one’s does. Since then those skills have helped her advocate for herself and take the small steps she needed to in order to begin her recovery.

Marcia shares her story in this episode, talks about how she’s doing it, and discusses the importance of having or being an advocate.


From Marcia’s website:

Marcia Moran headshot

After successfully building her business over the last twenty-plus years, Marcia  Moran thought she had life by the tail. Little did she know what was in store.

Marcia Moran has written over fifty business plans, and helped entrepreneurs strategize over how to differentiate their companies in changing environments. Her experience led her to found her own firm, Performance Architect in 2012.  She also co-founded Positive Business DC, an organization designed to increase well-being in the workforce in 2012.

After suffering a major stroke in 2014, Marcia applied her skills in planning and strategy as she strived to become whole. She never gave up. Over time she learned to walk again, but Marcia struggled with aphasia, a language disorder. She joined Toastmasters International hoping to regain her speaking abilities. It helped marginally, but in August 2017 she discovered a technological breakthrough that minimized her speaking disability. She then pushed beyond her comfort zone to become a Toastmasters International Club Officer in 2017, followed by Area Director in 2019. 

Marcia created Stroke FORWARD because she felt there is a need to share hope to stroke survivors and their caretakers. Learning to become her own health advocate one step a time and exploring holistic methods for healing were keys to her recovery. Marcia speaks and shares her message of hope, inspiration, healing, and a way forward as she goes across the country. She welcomes new opportunities to help individuals affected by major health crises move forward.

Book cover of Stroke Forward, by Marcia Moran

Marcia lives with her husband Jim, two very loud cats, and two birds near Washington, DC. Jim played a role of caretaker and advocate and contributed to Stroke FORWARD. His observations and experiences are captured in the book.

On weekends, Marcia, Jim, and the cats go to Deep Creek, Maryland where Marcia paints watercolors. In the evening Marcia and Jim sit out on the deck and watch fireflies flit by.

Marcia holds a B.S. in Political Science with a magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s in Business Administration, from Chapman University in California. She attended Skirinssal Folkehoyskole in Sandefjord, Norway and studied art. She also earned a certificate in Well-being Foundations of Personal Transformation from the Personal Transformation and Courage Institute in Virginia. She volunteers at Brain Injury Services, supporting their Speakers Bureau program.

Small Steps

Marcia talks about working towards her goals by breaking down the process into small steps, and then figuring out how to achieve each step. Sometimes she succeeded and sometimes she did not.

That’s how most recovery goes. It’s about figuring out we want to walk. Then we look at what we need to do to get there. Maybe we need to be able to stand first. Before standing maybe we need to be able to sit up. The key is to break down the big goal into smaller goals we can work towards. This is how our rehab specialists work with us — piece by piece.

It’s not something exclusive to rehab. This is how most productivity plans tell you how to a chieve a goal. It’s the basic model behind project management. It’s how everything from sheets of paper to baseball stadia get built.

Celebrate the Small Victories

In this conversation, you hear a lot of “Woo-hoo!” from Marcia as she celebrated accomplishments large and small along the path of her recovery.

Those small victories matter. When you feel the slightest improvement, celebrate it. Recognize it for what it is — a piece of the puzzle.

I was excited when I could feel my left index finger almost begin to move. Focus on those small movements, improvements in speech, a slight win in memory — whatever it is. Let your brain feed on the positivity of a win, however small so it can continue to give you more of them.


Toastmasters is a group with more than a thousand chapters around the world that helps folks grow an improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Marcia found great value in the work and the community. 

Many of the guest on my other show, 2-Minute Talk Tips have been involved with Toastmasters. You can hear some of them and learn more about the program at http://2MinuteTalkTips.com/Toastmasters

Hack of the Week

Get a heating pad.

A heating pad is great for sore and aching muscles. The pain in those muscles may be a direct result of stroke or an indirect result due to a wonky gait, new use after a period of activity, or over use. Many survivors often find their affected side may be cold due to the lack of muscle use and less intense circulation.

A heating pad may relieve some pain without additional medication and make it more comfortable to sleep. And sleep is when the brain does a lot of its repair and rebuilding.


Marcia’s Website


Marcia on Twitter


Marcia on LinkedIn


Marcia on Facebook


Marcia’s book on Amazon


Toastmasters on 2-Minute Talk Tips


Norman Doidge


Diane M. Needham (Book Shephard)


COVID-19 and Stroke — New England Journal of Medicine


Stroke and COVID-19 with Dr. Middleton


Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 139 -- Words and Stories Mean More than Picture with Ken Moscowitz

2-Minute Tip : The Stage as War Zone


Think of the stage as a war zone. Not in the sense that the audience is an enemy. The enemy is the way many folks hold back and don’t spend all their energy on stage.


To mix metaphors even further, the stage is that poker hand where you need to go all in./ If you hold chips back — if you hold energy or enthusiasm back — you won’t win. You won’t accomplish your goal.


When you get off stage, you want to be exhausted and drained because you left it all out there.


Post Tip Discussion


One reason I like talking about public speaking is because the content is ever green. By that I mean the strategies for effectively speaking today, are the same ones that will be effective next year. Or that were effective last year.


  • Define your goal.
  • Tell a story.
  • Do it with enthusiasm.
  • Be bigger on stage than you might be in private conversation.
  • Do it all with authenticity.


As I write this, it is April 2020 and we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and shut downs of various sorts. As more people speak via webinars and video conferences, think about how those core principle change.


They don’t.


You still need to:


  • Define your goal.
  • Tell a story.
  • Do it with enthusiasm.
  • Be bigger on stage than you might be in private conversation.
  • Do it all with authenticity.


This interview is one I recorded a year ago, and it’s just as relevant today. And it will be just as relevant 5 or 10 years from now.


In this conversation with Ken Moscowitz, we talk about the importance of your energy level and how to have to give it your all every time.


We also talk about how just because your story has become boring for you because you tell it all the time, it’s still new to your audience and can be just as powerful and illustrative now as the first time you told it.


And we wade into the discussion about which is more powerful: words or pictures.




From Ken’s website:


As a father of 5, this man knows how to multitask. OK, his wife does the multitasking, but Spanky’s a close second.


Spanky started his creative career in New York City and quickly rose to the top of the broadcast creative industry. He’s led re-branding and resurrection efforts for many major and smaller brands over the last three decades; like the Indy 500, Frito-Lay, Samuel Adams, Coca Cola, M&M Mars and many more. He also revitalized ailing broadcast outlets and sports franchise brands across the country.


Spanky’s unique approach to creative and fun, yet memorable branding, sets him apart in the industry. His approach is at times edgy, always unique, but very memorable.


Following the advice of his mentor and friend Gary Vaynerchuk, Spanky built his business by jabbing (that’s Gary Vee’s shorthand for providing value). It worked so well that he wrote a best-selling book: Jab Till It Hurts: How Following Gary Vaynerchuk’s Advice Helped Me Build A 7-Figure Brand.


Hop over to SpankyMoskowitz.com to get to know Ken better, find out where he’ll be next, and book him for consulting or speaking opportunities.




Ken ” Spanky” Mokowitz


Ad Zombies


Ad Zombies on Facebook


Ad Zombies on Twitter


Ad Zombies on Instagram


Ad Zombies on LinkedIn


Ad Zombies on YouTube


 Jab Till It Hurts: How Following Gary Vaynerchuk’s Advice Helped Me Build A 7-Figure Brand



Gary Vaynerchuck


Tony Robbins


Episode 119 — Staying in Your Lane with Chandler Walker


Ep 098 — COVID-19 and Stroke



Call To Action


  • To learn more about Ken, be sure to check out Ad Zombies everywhere, including the links above
  • Check out Ken’s book from your favorite online bookstore, library, or read chapters on the Ad Zombies blog
  • Subscribe to 2MinuteTalkTips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • And, as always, don’t get best…get better.

Check out this episode!


Ep -- 098 COVID-19 and Stroke

This situation the world is facing with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is unlike anything we’ve seen for a 100 years. In just a few months, it has put the entire world economy on pause as hundreds of thousands of people test positive for this deadly disease.

What does this mean for stroke survivors? Are we at higher risk?

Neuro-Physiatrist Dr. Kim Middleton joins us to answer that question and more in this episode of Strokecast.


Dr. Kimberly Middleton completed medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine before doing her residency at the University of Washington.

She is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR).

Dr. Middleton was one of the doctors who cared for me during the month I lived at the hospital following my stroke. I continue to see her on a regular basis for my Botox/Dysport injections to treat my tone and spasticity.

You can learn more about Dr. Middleton’s background here: https://www.swedish.org/swedish-physicians/profile.aspx?name=kimberley+w+middleton&id=160439

10 Tips to Protect Yourself From COVID-19

  1. Wash your hands again. Yes, again.
  2. Don’t touch your face.
  3. Continue taking your meds.
  4. Practice physical social distancing, but continue to connect online.
  5. Disinfect your home and deliveries you receive. Cleaning is good home OT.
  6. Eat healthful meals to keep your nutrition up.
  7. Consider taking supplements like vitamin C.
  8. Keep your body strong with exercise.
  9. Prioritize sleep.
  10. Go deep into that home exercise program your PT or OT  gave you.

Handwashing One Handed

Washing our hands is the cheapest and probably most effective way to minimize the chances of catching COVID-19 and hundreds of other conditions. But how do you do it effectively when hemiparesis leaves you with one functional hand?

One way is to use your unaffected hand to wash your affected one. Sure, that one’s probably not as dirty since it’s mainly been hanging around as just a fist, but the act of washing it will wash and scrub the washer. Plus it’s a great opportunity to get some more finger stretches in.

Here are some examples of other techniques.


Dr. Kimberly Middleton at Swedish https://www.swedish.org/swedish-physicians/profile.aspx?name=kimberley+w+middleton&id=160439
COVID-19 Info from Swedish Medical Center https://www.swedish.org/patient-visitor-info/coronavirus-advisory
WHO on the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
NIH on the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus
CDC on the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Stroke.org home exercises https://www.stroke.org/en/help-and-support/resource-library/post-stroke-exercise-videos
COVID-19 on the AHA https://www.stroke.org/en/about-us/coronavirus-covid-19-resources
Stroke.Org Interview with Dr. Eduardo Sanchez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW7zNAz9gA0&feature=emb_logo
Home Exercise from Disability Horizons https://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/10/top-10-exercises-disabled-people/
Home Exercises from silver Sneakers https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/total-body-chair-workout-for-older-adults/
Sitting Exercises from Britain’s NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/

Where do we go from here?

  • Share this episode with others or post about it to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram with the link http://Strokecast.com/covid-19
  • Check out the links above to keep your exercise going.
  • Stay safe.
  • Don’t get best…get better

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 138 -- Build a Speaking Business with Grant Baldwin

2-Minute Tip: Tell Stories


Stories are how humans connect. They form the basis of our social relationships. They’re how we share history.


As a speaker, one of the best ways to make sure you connect with your audience is to tell stories — and not just one. Illustrate your talk with as many stories as possible. Generic ones are okay, but authentic, personal stories will bring you the most success.


Post Tip Discussion


Grant Baldwin has built a business speaking to speakers about the business of speaking. He hosts the Speaker Lab podcast, which is in my weekly must listen to list. His Speaker Lab company runs the popular Booked and Paid to Speak program. And now he has a new book coming out next week on February 18, 2020 called The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform.


As a long-time fan, I was thrilled to talk with Grant for this episode. I think I’ve listened to every episode of his podcast. Now I just need to put it all into action.


If you’ve ever wondered how keynote and other professional speaker make their living and how you can too, Grant is the guy to listen to.




Grant Baldwin is against a slate background, looking straight at the camera.

Grant Baldwin is the founder of The Speaker Lab, a training company that helps public speakers learn how to find and book speaking gigs. Through his popular podcast The Speaker Lab and flagship coaching program Booked and Paid to Speak he has coached and worked with thousands of speakers. As a keynote speaker, Grant has delivered nearly one thousand presentations to over 500,000 people in 47 states and has keynoted events for audiences as large as 13,000. Grant has also been featured in national media including Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post.


He now lives near Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Sheila, and their three daughters.


5 Basic things Effective Speakers Do


Grant shared this list of characteristics of effective speakers. The key thing here is that all the required skills are ones that anyone can develop.


  1. They are comfortable with their content.
  2. They are familiar with their content.
  3. They understand pacing and pausing.
  4. They tell a good story
  5. They keep an audience engaged


5 Steps to a Successful Speaking Career


S – Select a problem to solve.

P – Prepare and deliver your talk.

E – Establish your expertise.

A – Acquire paid speaking gigs.

K – Know when to scale


This is the framework Grant covers in The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform.




The Speaker Lab


The Speaker Lab Podcast


Grant on Facebook


Grant on Instagram


Free Speaker Workshop


The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform


Speaker Fee Calculator


Wall Drug



Call To Action


Check out this episode!


Ep 097 -- A Stroke in her 20s became a stroke of luck for Maddi Niebanck

I love the stroke survivor community on Instagram. So many survivors share their victories, their struggles, and their lives there, it really shows we are not alone.

It’s also where I met Maddi Niebanck (@MaddiStrokeOfLuck). She regularly does live broadcasts there and includes guests from time-to-time. After one of those broadcasts, I knew I wanted to talk with her on the show.

Maddi had her stroke a few days before I had mine. We were both going through rehab thousands of miles away from each other at the same time.

And now she has a new book coming out. We talk about that and more in this episode.


Madeline Niebanck stands by a window in a high-rise wearing a black jacket and big scarf

Madeline Niebanck graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in May of 2017. A few days later she went to the hospital for a planned surgery to treat an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). An untreated AVM can result in a serious stroke. During a pre-surgery procedure, though, that AVM gave way and Maddi suffered a stroke.

While going through recovery, Maddi wrote her first book, Fashion Fwd: How Today’s Culture Shapes Tomorrow’s Fashion. Readers loved the book, but especially connected with Maddi’s story of stroke recovery.

That response inspired her to write her second book, Fast Fwd: The Fully Recovered Mindset. It will be available in April, 2020.

Trailer for Fast Fwd

Hack of the Week

Try an ice bath to deal with tone and spasticity. Plunging your and or arm into a pitcher of ice water may relax the tone or spasticity you are experiencing and allow you to get more out of the exercises you do to recover function.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your therapist or doctor before trying something like this, but it may be just the thing to open that hand.


Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 096 -- Write a Memoir with Christine H. Lee

I’m typing this on January 1, but whenever you read this, it is the first day of the next year of your life, and that’s a great time to start sharing your story.

As a stroke survivor, survivor of some other acute or chronic trauma, care giver, professional, or just someone who has lived some life, you have a story to tell. You have experiences to share. You’ve worked through some emotional stuff. Or you haven’ worked through it, but it’s sill there.

And maybe you’ve thought about writing a memoir.

Christine H. Lee joined us last year to talk about her memoir, Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember. She is an author, teacher, and stroke survivor. Today, she’s back to help you start writing your own memoir.

7 Lessons in this Episode

  • An autobiography is about a person. A memoir is about a person’s experience.
  • Understand the roles of author, character, and narrator.
  • There is universality in the particular.
  • The Oxford Comma is awesome.
  • Get a cohort.
  • We are about more than stroke.
  • Keep writing.


Christine H Lee Headshot

Christine H. Lee is the author of a memoir (TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER), which was featured in Self magazineTimeThe New York Times, and NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVAGuernicaThe RumpusThe New York Times, and BuzzFeed, among other publications. She also has an urban farm–you can read about her farm exploits at Backyard Politics. Her novel is forthcoming from Ecco / Harper Collins.

Born in New York City, Christine earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and her MFA at Mills College. She has been awarded a residency at Hedgebrook, and her pieces have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and placed in competitions such as the Poets and Writers’ Magazine Writers Exchange Contest, Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and others. She is currently a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Saint Mary’s College of California’s MFA program and an Editor at The Rumpus.

If you would like to order a signed copy of TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU DON’T REMEMBER, you may order it from East Bay Booksellers and specify in the notes section that you would like a signed copy (or two or three) and any customization (if it should be addressed to a particular person). They will then fulfill it with signature. And you would be supporting a local bookstore, which warms Christine’s heart.

Trailer for Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember

Oxford Comma

Consider these two sentences:

  1. At the support group, we learned about the main causes of stroke, kittens, and Barb’s muffins.
  2. At the support group, we learned about the main causes of stroke, kittens and Barb’s muffins.

The first sentence says that we learned about 3 things:

  • The main causes of stroke
  • Kittens
  • Barb’s muffins

The second sentence says that we learned about the main causes of stroke. Those causes are:

  • Kittens
  • Barb’s muffins

The words are the same. The difference is that comma after kittens. That comma is called the Oxford Comma, and it’s somewhat controversial.

Many folks feel you should only use it if it clarifies the sentence. Otherwise you should leave it out.

I’m of the school of thought that we should always use it when writing a sentence with three or more things in a list like that.

There have even been lawsuits where the decision came down to whether the comma was in the written law or not.

Here is the Wikipedia article with more information.

Understanding the Memoir

One of the big lessons for me was understanding just what a memoir is.

It’s not an autobiography, which recounts the history of the person. As I think about writing my own book, I was getting hung up on this idea. Why is my life interesting enough that someone should read about it? What is the value for the reader?

But that’s not what a memoir is. A memoir is about an aspect of the author’s life and the impact it had on the author’s life. It’s not about the author’s life itself.

People read autobiographies to learn about the person, but that’s not why the read memoirs. As Christine said, “People read memoirs because of the subject, theme, or writing style.”

In other words, it’s not about me.

It’s funny because the obvious things sometimes elude me most strongly.

On mt other show, 2-Minute Talk Tips, that’s one of the key lessons I teach about public speaking. If you’re afraid of public speaking, remember, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.

It’s about your audience.
It’s about your message.
It’s about your goal or call to action.
It’s about what you hope to achieve by delivering that talk.

It’s not about you.

The story you want to tell and the lessons you want to share — they’re about more than your ego.

That makes it a lot easier.

Author — Narrator — Character

This is another structure that Christine shared that helps in writing. We got into it when I started talking about Pathos, Logos, and Ethos in public speaking. You can learn more about that concept here.

In many books, these concepts are more distinct. In fiction, especially, a character is different from the author.

In a memoir, it can get a bit squishy. A writer needs to understand what role the words on the page are serving.

The author is writing and knows the whole story.

The narrator can provide hindsight and wisdom the character hasn’t acquired yet.

The character is going through it as the story progresses.

Understanding those relationships helps you write a stronger book.

That is some advanced stuff, and Christine does a much better job explaining it in the interview.

For my part, this is a structure I’m going to need to explore and noodle on a bit more.

A Cohort

A stroke survivor benefits greatly from a support group. We need that connection to other people living through something similar. We can share our victories and losses. It can help us cut through the isolation and loneliness that many survivors experience.

Writers need a group, too. Find your writing cohort. Maybe it’s a group you take a class with. Maybe it’s a writing group you form through school or that you find in your community.

Find a group of people that you can share experiences with — where you can celebrate one another’s wins and support each other through your struggles.

Writing can be an isolating experience. It’s just you and a blank piece of paper or a blinking cursor. That’s why it’s so important to find your cohort.

Stroke is part of us, but it’s not us

Christine and I, of course, talked about our strokes because they make us who we are today. At the same time though, the conversation itself isn’t about stroke. It’s about writing and what authors need to know. Christine’s advice isn’t specific to stroke survivors; it applies to anyone who has gone through a major event and wants to share it with the world.

In a stroke focused podcast, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of stroke. It’s why we are part of this community. It informs who we are, but it doesn’t define who we are. We are writers, speakers, teachers, trainers, Harry Potter fans, parents, kids, friends, co-workers, bus passengers, and so much more.

Stroke and disability impact all those relationships and characteristics, but they don’t erase them. A conversation like we had today lets us share the expertise we do have beyond our stroke survivor status.

Walk into any stroke support group meeting and listen to people’s stories. The things we have in common are healing and empowering. The things about us that are different are fascinating. The roads and lives that got us in that same room are different with their own flavor. We bring varied lives to this community and we live varied lives as part of the community.

And that’s why despite all the survivor stories that have already been written, there’s still room for your personal, powerful, one-of-a-kind story.

Hack of the Week

The biggest tip to writing is just to keep writing. That’s it.

You don’t have to get it right and perfect at the start. Just keep writing. Revisions and edits are what turn it into the final product.

Walking into any book store or library, and do you know what you will not find on the shelves?

First drafts!

Just keep writing. If you get stuck, just write about being stuck.

If you can’t think of anything “good” to write, try to write badly. Try writing the most cheesy, confusing, inappropriate, meandering, and cliched thing you can.

But keep writing.

Don’t worry about grammar and spelling.

Just keep writing.

Because wonderful things can happen when you keep writing.


Christine H. Lee Website


Christine’s previous blog


Christine on Twitter


Christine on Instagram


Christine’s Mailing List


Christine’s Buzzfeed article that started it all


Buy the book at East Bay Booksellers


Buy the Book on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Tell-Everything-You-Dont-Remember-ebook/dp/B01EFLYG UO/ref=sr_1_

Christine on Catapult


Stroke Net


Oxford Comma on Wikipedia


Oxford Comma Lawsuit


Pathos, Logos, and Ethos


Where do we go from here?

  • To learn more about Christine, find her book, or check out her classes, or learn about her chickens, visit the links above.
  • Share this episode with your stroke support group, Instagram family,writing group, aspiring writers you know, English teachers, or anyone else who may have a story to tell. Give them the link http://Strokecast.com/writeyourstory
  • Start working on your memoir, and let me know about it.
  • Don’t get best…get better.

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 095 — 19 Holiday Tips for Stroke Survivors

The Holidays are a wonderful time, and it can be a stressful time. Here are 19 Holiday Tips for Stroke Survivors. I explore them in greater detail in the episode.

  1. Use Spoon Theory to explain disabilities
  2. Nap when you can
  3. Warn a host you may need a break
  4. Keep blankets in your car
  5. Dry your cane tip
  6. Update note cards and laminate them
  7. Cold drives tone. Ask your doctor about adjusting meds
  8. Stretch
  9. Be careful with alcohol. It can affect you differently now
  10. Talk about Pba and emotional lability. It’s not shameful.
  11. Get extra traction for your shoes
  12. Use an ally at parties
  13. Decorate a cane for the holidays
  14. Send Thank you notes to your team
  15. Make a list and check it twice
  16. Use project planning tools like Planner and Trello to organize your endeavors
  17. Help others
  18. Create an Amazon wish list
  19. Adjust your expectations

Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 137 -- Bigger than Yourself with Kira Ming

2-Minute Tip: Be Authentic and Tell Your Story


Across the different guests I talk with, the theme of authenticity keeps coming up in the tips. It’s similar in many of them which demonstrates just how important it is. Also interesting is how each of them brings their own angle to the concept.


When you tell your story and use it to connect with the message you want to convey, it’s much easier to have a memorable and authentic impact on your audience. And that’s ultimately what you want.


When you are talking about things that aren’t about you specifically, you can still let your authentic self come through. It’s in your enthusiasm or feeling about the topic your discussing. It’s in the analogies you use. It’s in how you dress and how you carry yourself. It’s in how you relate to the folks in your audience.


Sharing your story and being authentic doesn’t mean you have to share your detailed biography, especially when it’s not relevant to your topic. But you may have had an experience or anecdote that helps explain something. It doesn’t have to be a major thing in your life. It just needs to be something that will help make your point and help you achieve your goal.


Meet Kira Ming


Kira is a writer at heart. As she became more and more successful, she received more invitations to speak. And that helped her writing business. Which got her more speaking opportunities. Ultimately she learned that people want to hear from the person behind a brand.


The point is, she didn’t seek the stage.


And when she found herself on it, she had to learn fast. She had to learn to be bigger than herself — to push beyond her own limiting beliefs about what she was capable of to share her story with her audience and how her company could help them achieve their goals.




The Real Kira Ming stands outdoors in profit and looks towards the camera

Kira Ming’s background in publishing spans over 15 years and involves the creation of her own successful publication. Over the past decade she’s had the pleasure of interviewing some of entertainment’s biggest names, and has been involved in many legendary events within entertainment both as a host and media sponsor.


She’s spent the past few years developing tools, resources, marketing material, and several types of content for businesses, editing numerous projects, and contributing articles to major platforms including Huffington Post. As a result of her success within publishing, content marketing, and business strategy, she felt it only necessary to write Small Business, Big Success – a straight to the point guide for small business owners. Kira Ming has served as keynote speaker, a panelist, and workshop conductor for numerous events, and she’s excited to continue giving value when it comes to her expertise.


3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Speak


  1. It increases the audience for your product, service, or content
  2. Others want you to speak on their platform. And that will further expand your audience and potential customer base.
  3. It has a high conversion rate. People are more interested in buying from someone  they’ve personally seen and heard


Personal Branding


We talked about this topic a bit. A lot of people don’t like the idea because they feel, “I’m a human being — an individual. I’m not a brand.”


This is a short sighted approach. A brand is really  a mental shortcut that we all use that is a summary of our thoughts and feelings about a person, an organization, a topic, etc.


We all have a brand whether we want one or not. Personal branding is about taking an active role in influencing how people think about and see you.


It’s essential in the modern social media landscape we live in. And people will create it for you if you don’t protect it yourself.


It’s a modern way of caring about your reputation.





Call To Action



2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that helps you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

Check out this episode!


Ep 094 — Positive Outcomes with Julia Fox Garrison

There are a lot of amazing people in the stroke community, and I get to talk with a lot of them. #PodcastPrivilege.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Debra Myerson about her book, Identity Theft. In that book, she wrote about a couple dozen other stroke survivors, including Julia Fox Garrison.

Julia joins us in this episode to talk about her journey, her book, Don’t Leave Me this Way, and her philosophy of Positive Outlook = Positive Outcome.

And, of course, the importance of humor in dealing with difficulty in our lives.


Julia Fox Garrison holds a cane in her left hand. She curves her right hand. Together they make a heart.

Julia is the author of Don’t Leave Me This Way (or when I get back on my feet you’ll be sorry), Harper Collins Publisher. A memoir that chronicles her struggle to regain control over her life and her body following a massive hemorrhage resulting in a paralyzing stroke. The success of the book and the message it conveys led to a new career path for Julia as a motivational speaker, evangelizing for humanity in health care, our work, and in our personal relationships. Her message is universal and transcends far beyond a survivor’s handbook. It is not only about facing adversity and overcoming, but to live life to the fullest regardless of circumstances. Julia presents at doctor, nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, case manager, social worker conferences, as well as to patient advocacy groups, women’s conferences, businesses, and communities, where she shares her story of personal triumph against overwhelming odds. Julia’s life lessons will transform how to overcome and empower when the intruder called adversity knocks at our door. She will provide strategies on how to answer through attitude, choice and purpose.

Two foxes cuddle forming a heart. Their tails form the U in the word HUGS. The caption says, "Humor Ultimately Gives Strength."

Julia has more than ten years of experience as an acclaimed national speaker. She is passionate about her message and relishes sharing it with receptive audiences. Most noteworthy about Julia’s success as a speaker is that all of her engagements are the result of word-of- mouth– someone hears her speak, believes in the message and, in turn, enthusiastically recommends her to some other organization. The distinguished list of client organizations continues to grow and broaden as Julia’s message touches more and more people.

An Eye chart that spells out Positive Outlook = Positive Outcome Stay True To Your Vision

Before her stroke, Julia had a successful career as a manager in software customer support. Rapid advancement through the ranks of her company was within her grasp when she suffered the debilitating injury, effectively ending her career in the corporate world. And thus began her journey of rediscovery and reinvention as author, health care advocate and motivational speaker.

Julia was raised in Andover, MA, in a loving if chaotic household with eight brothers, an upbringing that no doubt made her battle-ready for the literal fight for her life. Julia lives with her husband Jim, son Rory, and dog Shaggy in a suburb outside Boston, where she is working on writing projects as she continues to overcome the effects of stroke.

Julia’s Theme Song

Here is Christina Aguilera’s Fighter

‘Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Heavenly Puss

It’s funny how things from your childhood stick with you.

When Julia mentioned choosing to climb the ladder between life and death — between Heaven and Earth — I flashed back to an old episode of Tom and Jerry where Tom has the chance to revisit his life choices.

Here’s a clip.


Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 136 -- Be Brave and Commit with Heather Vickery

2-Minute Tip: Be Your True and Honest Self


We talk a lot about authenticity because it matters. And while it may seem daunting, it can actually make things easier. When you don’t try to fake it, you don’t waste brain cycles and energy trying to maintain a fa├žade.


There are 3 questions to ask yourself when you prepare to talk to an audience:


  1. Who are you really?
  2. What do you have to offer your audience?
  3. What do you have to gain from the experience?


Integrate this framework into your prep work to put yourself on the path to success.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Heather Vickery


“Man up,” is a phrase I don’t like. Most folks understand it to mean that it’s time to just do something that’s hard or that you’re afraid to do it.


But obviously, it’s sexist. It implies that being afraid to do things is womanly and doing the tough stuff despite fear is manly.


I prefer the exhortation to, “Fortify!” instead of “man up.” Sometimes you do need to muster all your energy and willpower to accomplish something tough. “Fortify” captures that spirit without insulting a significant portion of your audience.


I’m thinking about this today because today’s guest is host of The Brave Files podcast, personal coach, speaker, author, and musical theater enthusiast, Heather Vickery. Heather often finds herself telling clients, “So what? Do it scared.”




Heather Vickery stands against a stone wall in a flowery dress

Heather Vickery is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, keynote speaker, business owner, and transformational coach. But Heather isn’t just a savvy businesswoman − she’s an inspiration.


The founder of Vickery and Co., Heather helps organizations build an environment of honoring “The Whole Employee” so that they have empowered team members, happier clients, higher retention and make more money!


Heather is a featured expert on achieving an authentic and meaningful life and designing your own roadmap for balance and success.


A mother of four, Heather’s world turned upside down after a major life transformation and divorce, suddenly, she had the freedom to be her most authentic self. She discovered that this same authenticity empowered her with the confidence she needed to repair, rebuild, and reach her life’s vision and goals. Today, Heather leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment. Through her story of personal bravery, perseverance, and resilience, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and meaningful lives. A strong believer in strengthening her community, Heather also serves as vice president for The Children’s School and as a board member for the About Face Theatre, Chicago’s premiere LGBTQ theatre.


Heather is the executive producer and host of The Brave Files Podcast featuring real stories from people living courageously.


Heather is the author of “Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus.”


She works with people all around the globe to help them build Brave and empowered life’s.


Heather’s Speaker Demo





It’s great that I get to share Heather’s conversation this week. As I write this we are just a few days away from the Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States.


Giving thanks and expressing gratitude is an important life skill, and on December 3, Heather can help with that.


Heather’s new book, Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families will be released on December 3rd.


This book is designed to help you create intentional and impactful conversations with kids about gratitude. Doing so will lead to life-changing habits that increase their own happiness and wellbeing and give you delightful quality time together.


The second edition of Heather’s earlier book, Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus is also available.  This beautiful journal offers space to record gratitude, personal wins (high fives), and 180 unique prompts to help you connect with gratitude in unique and often surprising ways.


What I think is important about these books is that the focus isn’t just on being grateful because it’s the right moral, ethical, or spiritual thing to do. Heather talks about gratitude as something that is good for you. It raises your spirits and helps you feel better.


These can be great presents for various holiday events, or they can even help you kick start a gratitude practice for yourself or your kids as we approach the time for New Year’s resolutions.




Heather’s Website


Heather’s Podcast — The Brave Files


Heather on Twitter


Heather on LinkedIn


Heather on Facebook


Heather on YouTube


Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families


Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus



Call To Action


  • Don’t, “Man up.” Fortify instead.
  • Check out Heather’s Brave Files podcast and books at the links above.
  • Share this episode with one other pers0n by giving them the link http://2MinuteTalkTips.com/Heather.
  • Don’t get best…get better.


2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that helps you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

Check out this episode!


Ep 093 -- The Grace of Stroke with Vince Holland

There is beauty in social media. Not in the trolling, harassment, or fake news it too often promotes, but in the connections it facilitates.

My work on the show and Instagram brought me in contact with Vince Holland. This week, he shares his perspective on stroke and recovery.


Vince Holland looks straight at the camera in this headshot.

Vince Holland was a busy many. He worked 2 jobs and was raising a family.  He approached everything with a go go go attitude. He lifted weights, kept his weight under control, watched his blood pressure — basically did everything you’re supposed to do to prevent a stroke.

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, it wasn’t enough in his case.

On July 4, 2016, he found himself laying on his parents’ kitchen floor while his Navy Corpsman brother worked to assess his condition. He had suffered a cryptogenic, ischemic stroke. That means a blood clot appeared in his brain, and doctors still have no idea how it happened.

And thus began his new life.

Three key lessons


If you suspect someone is having a stroke, call an ambulance. Do not drive yourself or them to the hospital. Even if you think an ambulance might take longer, remember that triage will happen in that ambulance, and treatment can start in that ambulance. And when you get to the ER, you don’t have to start triage there surrounded by other patients.

Also, if you call an ambulance, they can drive you or the person you called about to the right hospital and avoid wasting time going to a hospital that may not be able to treat the stroke properly and promptly.


There is tremendous power in goal setting. Vince talked about how valuable goals were for his recovery and how they can still support it. Goal setting has been a big theme recently on this show. Last week, I talked with Restorative Therapies about how their gear can measure progress towards goals. A few weeks ago, I talked about both e the importance of the Quantified Self, and how to set SMART Goals.


Vince talked about the grace of the stroke. Joe from Neuro Nerds talked about his stroke as a blessing. Jan Douglas named her book, A Wonderful Stroke of luck. In “Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember,” Christine Lee said about her stroke that she, “learned to accept that bad events do not have to remain bad events.”

It’s not an uncommon refrain, though I know many survivors don’t feel the same way. The point is good can come from this trauma. Hope can come from this trauma. A new life can come from this trauma.

No one is recommending that someone go have a stroke to improve their lives. That would be a terrible idea. But once we’ve been through this maelstrom, we have to stop and ask, “What now?” What do I do with this new life I have ahead of me? What can I learn and grow from this? And how can I live my best life going forward.

Hack of the Week

Use whatever tools you have available to supplement your memory. These days, you don’t need to have a great memory. Calendar and Notes apps on smart phones are great. So are digital assistants like Siri or Google Assistant.

Cameras in phones are also under appreciated. From pictures of your license plate or parking spot, to the door of the appointment your supposed to go to the empty spice bottle you need from the grocery store, taking pictures of things you need to remember can be invaluable.


Vince Holland on Instagram


Vince Holland on Twitter


Vince Holland on Snapchat


Vince Holland On The Stromies’ Blog


Ram Dasss


Stroke Comeback Center


Slow Road to Better on Strokecast


Christine Lee on Strokecast


Joe Borges on Strokecast


Jan Douglas on Strokecast




Quantified Self


Restorative Therapies on Strokecast


The Stromies on Strokecast


Where do we go from here?

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Ep 092 -- FES for Stroke Survivors

Olivia and Emilee were my two, awesome inpatient OTs a couple years ago, and we stayed in touch after I left the hospital.

One day, Olivia told me about the amazing new $40K rehab bike they just got. They were getting great results with patients. It’s too bad my stroke didn’t happen a year later.

The new device was the RT300. It combines therapy, eStim, and data with exercise to help patients improve their core, their leg use, their arm use, or all three at once.

So Olivia put me in touch with Restorative therapies.


The brain controls the muscles and makes us move by sending electrical signals through our nerves with various chemical processes. After stroke the brain may no longer be able to do that to certain muscles. That’s how we get paralysis, hemiparesis, and all sorts of similar issues.

That also means that we can bypass the brain and move those muscles by sending an electrical signal directly to the nerves at the muscle to stimulate them to make them move. This is great because movement is important to both health and recovery.

And that’s what eStim does.

The most popular eStim for Stroke survivors is TENS. This is the type I used in the hospital and later at home. I attach a couple electrodes to my affected arm, and for 30 minutes, my hand will open and close. Or my wrist will go up and down. Or I’ll do something with my shoulder.

Combining eStim with exercise is great therapy and promotes recovery.

And the units cost about $40 on Amazon.

FES is the type of eStim you’ll find in the Bioness products and the WalkAide. These devices use eStim to prevent foot drop and replace an AFO. The user wears it strapped below the knee as they walk, and it stimulates the muscle that lifts your foot as you walk.

I tried them both and had some good results with the WalkAide. At $5,000, though, it didn’t make enough of a change in my life to justify buying it.

IFES is the technology Restorative Therapies uses in their RT300 bike and Xcite treatment device. The use eStim on up to 12 muscles at once in a specific, timed pattern to accomplish a task. It’s complex, but it can help the brain relearn to do these things in the future.

Restorative Therapies Team

Jim Janicki Headshot

Jim Janicki is the President and CEO of Restorative Therapies. Jim has an extensive management background in sales, R&D,  and operations in the chemical, medical, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. He joined Restorative Therapies in 2018.

Wendy Warfield headshot

Wendy Warfield is the Clinical Education Manager. She makes sure that patients, therapists, physicians, and researchers understand how to most effectively use the Restorative Therapies devices. Wendy is well-suited for this role . She began working at an Occupational Therapist in 2003, and bring that survivor focused perspective to the work that she does.

Me and the xCite

Some weeks back, I got to try the xCite. I got to work with the reps Stephanie and Michael when they visited the Seattle areas.

Unlike the bike, the Xcite is only for clinical use. It features a series of preprogrammed activities like reaching for a water bottle or brushing your hair. It fires the nerves in sequence so the muscles do what they need to do for me to complete the act.

Here are some pictures and a video from my experience.

Stroke Stories

On another note, Stroke Stories, a UK podcast focused on, well, stroke survivor stories, featured my story on episode 50. You can listen to it here:

The show mostly features UK survivors, but more recently has been including folks from other parts of the worlds. I enjoy listening for the wide range of folks the bring on the show.

It’s also different from other podcasts in that it features a narrator rather than a host and a guest. Basically, the person who interviewed me does not appear in the show. His job was to help me tell my story and get out of the way. In that respect, it’s more like a radio show.

Definitely check it out and add it to the list of podcasts you regularly listen to.

Hack of the Week

Wendy’s hack for us is to keep moving. Movement is important to recovery. It keeps the muscles and tendons healthy and flexible. It’s important for cardio vascular exercise.

Getting the appropriate exercise helps with heart health, blood pressure, and can reduce the risk of another stroke.

Even if we have physical limitations today, moving as much as possible makes future recovery more realistic.

While some exercises may be better than others, you don’t have to get caught up in details. The important thing is to just keep moving.


Restorative Therapies on the web


Restorative Therapies on Twitter


Restorative Therapies on Instagram


Restorative Therapies on YouTube


Restorative Therapies on LinkedIn


Restorative Therapies on Facebook


Kennedy Krieger Institute






TENS on Amazon


Emilee on Strokecast


Lana Malovana on Strokecast


Dr. Shah and Sentinel Healthcare


Lauren Sheehan on Strokecast






Jim janicki on LinkedIn


Stroke Stories Podcast


Bill on Stroke Stories


Where do we go from here?

  • To learn more about the RT300 bike, the Xcite device, or Restorative Therapies, check out their website at  https://restorative-therapies.com/.
  • Ask your PT or OT about their thoughts on IFES.
  • Share this episode with someone in your life by giving them the link http://Strokecast.com/RSI
  • Subscribe to Strokecast and Stroke Stories in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode
  • Don’t get best…get better.

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast