Episode 010 -- Joint Pain and Science-y Stuff


I'd been experiencing hip pain for several months when I tried to move my affected leg. My therapists tried to figure out the cause and couldn't quite pinpoint it. Eventually, I got a referral to and ultrasound specialist.

He quickly found the issue -- it was a tendon. He gave me a steroid injection and after a few days most of the pain was gone.

The main cause was my gait. Basically, because I don't walk like I use to (I tend to swing my leg out, lock my knee and lift my hip) I irritated the tendon, and it screamed at me whenever I tried to use it.

The short term solution is the injection. That will last a few months. The longer term solution is to strengthen my knee and leg-brain connections so I can learn to walk again with a more traditional gait.

And Evening with Neuroscience

I attended a panel Q&A with a bunch of neurologists last week, and it was a fascinating 2 hours. I spent the time soaking in all sorts of information and tweeting about it.




It was sponsored by Grey Matters, an neurology journal published by University of Washington under grads. One goal of the event is to connect more of the broader community with science and the brain. If you get a chance to go to something similar, and you like science, I recommend it.

An announcement for the Evening with Neuroscience event on 2018-04-13

PT and the Stationary Bike

I wrote about this study in a separate post here on Strokecast.

Basically, 30 minutes a day of both PT and Stationary bike work results in much better balance and walking performance alone. If your Doctor or medical team approves, and a stationary bike ride to your exercise routine can be quite helpful.

Hack of the Week

Play Pokémon Go or Ingress on your smart phone.

These are augmented reality games. That means you have to leave your home to play. The games send you to different locations in your community to complete tasks, like catching cute, virtual critters.

As stroke survivors, we know that most of us need to leave home from time-to-time to get exercise, improve our walking, stimulate our brains with the real world, and more. Sometimes, that's not a good enough reason. We need a more concrete and immediate goal. Pokémon Go and Ingress give us those concrete goals.

Plus, they're fun and are a great way to connect with friends and family who are already playing.

Where do we go from here?

  • Talk to your medical team about pains you have and keep giving them data so they can help point you in the right direction.
  • Find local events you can attend to learn more about the brain
  • Add an exercise bike to your routine, if your Doctor approves.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 058 -- Schedule Practice and 3 Myths and 1 Mindset for Nervous Speakers



2-Minute Tip: Schedule Your Practice


We mean well. We put "practice" and "rehearse" on our To Do lists. Unfortunately, that often gets bumped by other, more urgent matters. Or meetings get scheduled in our open blocks of time.


That's why it's important to schedule practice time on your calendar. Set up a meeting with yourself to rehearse. Reserve a conference room if you don't have a private office.


When you have practice actually on your calendar, you are more likely to actually do it and less likely to have that time stolen away by another meeting.



Program Notes



2-Minute Talk Tips was named to Nikki's Podcasts' list of the 6 Inspiring Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Check out the story and the other podcasts on the list here.


Libsyn is featuring my story along with Strokecast and 2-Minute Talk Tips as the Rockin' Libsyn Podcaster this week. You can find the article here.



Post Tip Discussion: 3 Myths and 1 Mindset for Nervous Speakers



There is a lot of advice out there to help speakers deal with stage fright or fear of speaking. Some of it is good. Some of it is really bad.


Here are 3 Myths about dealing with nerves:


  • You should have a drink.
  • You should imagine the audience naked.
  • You should skip practice.


These are all terrible ideas. They are unlikely to be effective, and ultimately you want to be effective to land your message or inspire folks to take a particular action.


An excellent way to deal with nerves is to shift your mindset and remember it's not about you.


It's about your audience, and that's where you ought to focus. Your audience wants you to succeed. They want to have a good experience and get value out of your talk. That's why they are there.


Keep your focus on the audience and value you are delivering.


Because it's not about you.



Call To Action:


  • How do you deal with nerves? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • Schedule practice time for your next talk.
  • Don't get best…get better

Check out this episode!


Episode 009 -- Meet Gabriela Condrea of TangoStride

Tango is like a puzzle with your body

-- Gabriela Condrea

Last week, I sat down at my current favorite Starbucks location with Gabriela Condrea to talk about dance, connection, stroke survivors doing the Tango, and TangoStride. We talked about how she got into Tango, how anyone who can stand (with assistance) and bear weight for 10 seconds, can dance. Her students tell stories of having a great time, meeting new people, improving their balance, and getting better at walking while having fun.

Gabriela first connected with the Tango in Peru nearly 10 years ago. Before she discovered hw powerful it could be for folks with disabilities, she wrote a book of life lessons she learned on the dance floor. When 1+1=1: That "Impossible" Connection came out in 2011 and was a natural project for this language arts teacher.

In the ensuing years Gabriela would continue to travel, to teach, and to learn as she developed the program that would first come to be known as NeuroTango and now as TangoStride.

Dance is no replacement for traditional therapy on a mat table, but it's a fantastic supplement for survivors and their partners. Check out some of Gabriela's videos here:


If you'd like to know more about TangoStride, see more videos, or connect with classes, check out these links.

Tango Is About the Connection (Gabriela's main site) http://tangoisabouttheconnection.com
1+1=1 (Gabriela's book on Amazon) https://amzn.to/2JG6D6u
Tango Classes www.tangoisabouttheconnection.com/classes/
Gabriela's YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/gabrielacondrea
Facebook: Tango is About the Connection https://www.facebook.com/TangoisAbouttheConnection
Instagram: Tango is About the Connection https://www.instagram.com/tangonconnection/
Gabriela on Twitter http://twitter.com/gcondrea
TangoStride on Twitter https://twitter.com/TangoStride
Tango Happy Hour on Twitter https://twitter.com/TangoHappyHour
Personal website http://gabrielacondrea.com/

Some of my students physically need support to stand, but all of my students need each other to dance.
--Gabriela Condrea

Hack of the Week

Jar opener installed under kitchen cabinet

Opening tight jars is hard enough with two-hands, and it's extra frustrating with only one. I just want my darn pickles!

The solution I found is the EZ Off Jar Opener (Amazon affiliate link). It attaches under my kitchen cabinets. It grips the jar lid so I can hold and turn just the jar with my unaffected hand. Since it's permanently attached, I don't have to hunt for it in draws when I want it.

It also works for closing jars.


Were do we go from here?

  • To learn more about Gabriela or TangoStride, click here.
  • Do you have experience with dance as a stroke survivor or a desire to dance? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 057 -- Photograph Your Space and Digital Ink in PowerPoint



2-Minute Tip: Photograph Your Space


The brain plays tricks on us. It can be difficult to see clutter and distractions in the space around us because we tune them out. That can be true in a home office, in a conference room, or on a presentation stage.


Try taking a picture of your presentation space with your phone. Better yet, have someone take a picture, or several pictures from different angles, of you standing in your speaking spot.


Then look at the background in those pictures. You're more likely to spot potential issues by looking at those pictures than by just looking at the real world.



Post Tip Discussion: Digital Ink in PowerPoint


Digital Ink is feature of modern PCs, especially pen-enabled PC. In PowerPoint, it means you can draw on your slides with a digital pen, your mouse, or even your finger.


There are two contexts for digital ink in PowerPoint

  1. Reviewing Content
  2. Presenting Content


Reviewing Content


I like to use ink to review slide decks while sitting on the couch. By getting away from my desktop monitor, keyboard, mouse, and desk, it helps shift the context of my thinking. I can more easily apply a critical eye to content because it forces me out of "author mode."


To review content with ink:

  1. Open the slide deck in slide sorter view
  2. Click on the "Draw" tab
  3. Choose "Draw with touch"


Now, I can make notes directly on the slides I'm reviewing, circle typos, ask questions, sketch out additional slides, and more.


Then I can save the file with all that ink and send it back to the author to update. Even if that author is me.


Presenting Content


When presenting content, ink annotations let us do things we used to do with grease pencils and overhead transparencies 40 years ago. We can draw on our slides.


To turn on ink annotations during a presentation:


  1. Launch slideshow mode
  2. Hover your pointing device in the lower left of the screen
  3. Look for the transparent icons
  4. Choose the writing implements button
  5. When that pops up the choices, choose the pen

PowerPoint slide showing the ink annotations menu

Now you can draw on your slides while the audience watches.


What can you do with this function? You have a bunch of options, including:


  • Emphasize a point
  • Mark up a picture
  • Interactively label parts of a diagram
  • Make note of questions or follow-up items
  • Create a virtual whiteboard


After your presentation, you can choose to keep or delete your annotations.


Call To Action:


  • Use digital ink in one of your presentations.
  • Have you use this feature in the past? Tell us about it in the comments below.
  • Photograph your next speaking space to identify distractions.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app
  • Don't get best…get better

Check out this episode!