Episode 032 -- Meet Tom Hannon

I had an interesting chat with Entrepreneur and stroke survivor Tom Hannon. Tom had his stroke about two years ago due to a vertebral artery dissection and has made a remarkable recovery. His background as a triathlete certainly helped from both a physical and a mental perspective. He lives on Cape Cod, outside of Boston in the US.

One of the first things you'll notice is that he has a New England accent. Of course that also brings out my New York accent. It's funny out that comes out when I talk with some else who speak with a similar accent.


Tom Hannon Profile PictureTom Hannon is a serial entrepreneur who has started, bought and sold 12+ businesses during his 30+ career. Most of those businesses focused on magazines, advertising and magazine distribution.  

He also helps entrepreneurs learn to effectively sell their businesses when the time is right. You can visit Win Your Exit for more details on that program.

He is also a sales and marketing educator who with his wife Linda has now launched a financial educate class called, 6 Steps to Mastering Your Money and Creating a Path to Financial Freedom on www.realfamilyfinance.com. Tom is also an avid baseball fan who owned a historical baseball website and once built a replica of the Brooklyn Dodgers former home, Ebbets Field.
He was also an avid triathlete and while training for the epic Ironman triathlon, he suffered a verbal artery dissection, which caused 6 mini strokes. So he can now add stroke survivor onto his resume. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife Linda.   

Tom has taken approaches to his recovery that go beyond traditional medicine. He shifted to a plant-based diet. He's gone for myofascia treatments. He uses biofeedback that reads his brain waves. What I like about Tom's approach to things like this is that he doesn't insist this is a cure-all for stroke conditions. These are things he has used in his own recovery, with which he's gotten good results. And that's how he tells the story.

We also talk about the importance of goal setting and knowing what you are working towards. This is a common theme among many of the survivors and medical professionals I talk with on the show. It's also something I talk about extensively over at 2-Minute Talk Tips.

So…there's a lot of stuff here.

Hack of the Week

Tom's hack is to listen to your body. It's something he didn't do pre-stroke, but is helpful as he continues his recovery. If you focus on what your body is telling you, you'll be in a better position to know when:

  • You're pushing too hard
  • You're not pushing hard enough
  • You need to drink more water
  • You need to get more sleep
  • …and so much more

But you have to listen.


Tom Hanon on LinkedIn


Tom on Twitter


Tom on Facebook


Tom on Email


Tom's Consulting and Training Program


Tom and Linda's Financial Education Program


My Stoke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor


Healing Into Possibility by Alison Shapiro


Myofascial Therapy



Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Tome story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • To connect with Tom and explore the resources we talked about, check out the links above.
  • Share this episode with someone else today. Just give them the link strokecast.com/Tom
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 080 -- Thread a Story Through your Talk and Meet Diana Wink


2-Minute Tip: Thread a story through your talk


Figure out how to tell a story in your talk. Story telling is a powerful tool and is a great way to engage your audience from the moment you step in front of the crowd. Don't stop at opening with the story, though. Weave that same story through your talk and keep coming back to it, either to reference it or to advance it. It provides a simple, entertaining way for your audience to remain engaged while you speak and to better understand the context of the various points in your talk.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Diana Wink


Diana Wink HeadshotDiana is an author and a coach who writes dystopian novels set in Scotland from her base in Germany while helping folks around the world learn the crafts of story telling and creativity. She studied film making in school, but ultimately made her initial career in writing due to the economics of the fields. Ultimately those 2 media are just different takes on her core passion -- story telling. 


There are  lots of compelling lessons in this episodes both big and small. Three of them are:



  1. Creativity and story telling are crafts, not talents.
  2. When speaking to another culture, try to connect with the stories they grew up with.
  3. Make your stories personal and detailed.


Diana Wink is a mountain child from the depths of middle Asia, striving to kidnap her readers into make-believe worlds, blend the borders between past and future, and master her own curiosity. In her spare time, she directs movies and rewatches Christopher Nolan films, empowers creatives to tell stories themselves and explores theaters, cities and wilderness with her bearded dancer husband. They have their base in Germany, but who knows where they are currently to be found?


Diana's first novel in the Prometheus Rising Trilogy is available on Amazon and in most other places that you find books.

Prometheus Rising Cover


You can download a free copy of the novella Shanakee's tale -- the prequel to the Prometheus Rising Trilogy from Diana's website here.

Shanakee's Tale Cover





Call To Action


Check out this episode!


Episode 031 -- Meet Physical Therapist Dr. Brandon Smith DPT, MPH

Dr. Brandon Smith and I had an interesting discussion about his experience as a physical therapist.

Though Brandon's background is mostly in orthopedic manual therapy and therapeutic exercise at the elite levels, it also consist of public health, strength and nutrition certifications, time spent in Surgical ICU wound care, Cardiac ICU, Neurological ICU, Critical Care ICU, and has recently led him into geriatrics (all affiliated settings) and home care. He uses his eclectic background to provide a comprehensive and tailored approach to each patient/client. Whether that's in the home, telehealth, or remote performance and nutrition coaching.

Brandon Smith and Yong KimWhat's really interesting is that he got into PT to work with high-performance athletes and then discovered the work wasn't fulfilling enough. He made the switch to neuro patients and found the work much more rewarding.

To help teach more people outside the PT world about things happening within the PT world, he partnered with colleague and former class mate Yong Kim to launch the Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast.


Strokecast is on Facebook. I use that page for less formal thoughts on stroke and recovery. I also post videos of demos and other topics. Just recently, I created a video talking about my experience with different AFOs.

Head on over to Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos.

Hack of the Week

Being a stroke survivor is complex. We have physical, medical, and daily living needs. There can also be special nutritional, social, or spiritual needs. Regardless of the need, we don't have to do it alone. There are professionals who can help.

If you have needs, or think you might, ask your doctor or other member of your medical team to point you in the direction of the appropriate professional. They're out there.


Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast


Physical Therapy Unleashed on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith on Twitter


Dr. Brandon Smith on LinkedIn


Dr. Brandon Smith on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith Consulting


Yong Kim Wellness


Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Brandon's story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Ask you physical therapist what their thoughts on Brandon's perspective are. Give them the link strokecast.com/brandon
  • Strokecast is on Facebook. Visit Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos
  • Seek out the appropriate professionals for your needs
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 079 -- Know You Can Do It and Meet Dr. Denise Vaughan


2-Minute Tip -- Know You can do It


The first thing to know about a talk is that this IS something you can do. You can get out on stage. You can move around deliberately to make the points that you want to make. If you're not comfortable with eye contact, that's fine. You can come up with a solution.


But regardless of the challenges, go into it knowing that you can do this.


Post Tip Discussion -- Meet Denise Vaughan


Denise and I were both members of the Carroll College Talking Saints Speech and Debate team back in the early 90s. Being a part of that team was a powerful experience that had a major impact on the person I am today. The things I learned and skills I acquired as part of that experience are the ones that I still use today.


Denise Vaughan headshot

Denise and I recently met up in real life for the first time since college to catch up and talk about public speaking, speech and debate, and the power of rhetoric.


We recorded this episode at one of my favorite interview locations -- the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle.


Dr. Denise Vaughan has a BA from Carroll College and an MA and PhD from Washington State University. Today, she teaches courses in Debate, Oral Communication, and Debate and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington -- Bothell.  Denise is a firm believer in the ability of rhetoric to shape the world and empower students.  Through the use of a variety of outside sources and the interests of students themselves, she seeks to create connections between the world they study in the classroom and their interactions outside the classroom.  She sees the classroom as a collaborative experience where students and faculty interact with the material and educate one another.  Her courses focus on experiential learning and problem solving. Denise is also the Director of Forensics, at University of Washington Bothell, and coaches the award-winning, nationally ranked Speech and Debate team.





Call To Action


  • What are your thoughts on this episode? Let us know in the comments below.
  • You can connect with Denise via email or LinkedIn. You can find those links above.
  • Do you know a high school or college student thinking about speech and debate? Encourage them to try it at their school. The value is immense.
  • Share this episode with someone else by giving them the link http://2minutetalktips.com/denise
  • Don't get best…get better


Check out this episode!


Episode 030 -- Meet Nursepreneur Catie Harris


Catie Harris Headshot

Catie Harris has the unique distinction of being the first guest to appear on both Strokecast and 2-Minute Talk Tips. Actually this is the third episode we recorded, since I lost the first one through a silly mistake that I made. I'm glad we could make this happen.

We talk about how she got into neuro care and how she now runs her own business and helps other nurses make the transition from hospital work to the next phase of their careers.


Catie Harris, PhD, MBA, and Registered Nurse is the NursePreneur Mentor who has empowered hundreds of nurses to monetize their knowledge and skills in business, while inspiring them to change the way healthcare is perceived and delivered. She strives to undo the perception that nursing care is limited to the hospital setting.  Through her intensive mentorship program, Catie shows nurses how their nursing knowledge can transcend the hospital system into a profitable business.

Catie mentors through one-on-one coaching, live events and her signature yearlong mentoring program: the NursePreneur Business Academy which can be found at www.CatieHarris.com/training

Catie is an international speaker who has been featured in ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and Huffington Post. She has also share her innovative mentorship work on National and International Podcasts and TV including Be Efficient TV, Dubai One and Copy Chief with Kevin Rogers.

Catie is a serial NursePreneur and single mom living in Philadelphia with her son Matthew.


Catie Harris on the web


Training with Catie


Catie Harris on Twitter


Nurse Stories


NursePreneur Podcast


NursePreneurs on Facebook


Catie Harris on LinkedIn


Pill Bottle video


Catie on 2-Minute Talk Tips


Hack of the Week

Pill bottles can be tough to open with 2 functional hands and even tougher with only one functional hand. Fortunately, there are some options.

First, ask your pharmacy about non-childproof lids. They may be able to accommodate this request.

Secondly, some of the new designs allow you to flip the lid and use it as a basic screw on/screw off lid. This is what those bottles look like.

You can also see a video demo in this Facebook Live video.


[caption id="attachment_403" align="aligncenter" width="203"]Prescription Bottle in childproof mode This is how the pharmacy typically hands you the bottle.[/caption][caption id="attachment_402" align="aligncenter" width="171"]Prescription pill bottle with lid upside down This is what you can do with many lids. It has threads on top so you can turn it over and bypass child proof systems.[/caption]

Here is the video demonstration.



Where do we go from here?

  • What has been your experience working with neuro nurses? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out CatieHarris.com to learn more about Catie and her programs.
  • To hear Catie talk more about public speaking, check out the other conversation we had over at 2-Minute Talk Tips.
  • If you're a nurse looking for the next phase of your career, check out Catie's NursePreneur Business Academy.
  • Take the easy way out with alternative ways to open your pill bottles.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 078 -- Focus on Feeling and Meet Hilary Billings

[bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


2-Minute Tip: Focus on how you make your audience feel


[bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


Hilary tells us about her experience interviewing mega-star interviewer, host, and generally larger-than-life character Ryan Seacrest. It's intimidating to talk to someone that big for the first time. An experience like that can overwhelm the content of the actual conversation. But when she described her experience, the main thing Ryan did was help her feel at ease. He was nice, accommodating, and respectful of an up-and-coming interviewer.


Focus on the feeling you want your audience to take away from the talk you are giving because that's what will stick with them. Tell a story,. Share an emotion, and respect your audience. They'll remember that long after they forgotten any slide, factoid, or statistic.


Post Tip Discussion


Hilary Billings Headshot

I first met Hilary Billings several years ago at the Toshiba booth during the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. I ran partner training and evangelism programs for the company year round. Hilary was brought in to talk to press and customers during the show. And the company would continue to bring her back year after year.


During breaks and between customers, a bunch of us would chat about the business and the paths that brought us to that show floor. In the ensuing years, it was always great to catch up with Hilary learn about her latest adventures as a speaker, blogger, on camera personality, and, oh yeah, beauty queen.


During today's chat we talk about her journey and how speaking plays a part in it. We talk about the importance of High School Speech and Debate. And about the importance of pursuing your passions through adversity to live the life you want to live.



[bctt tweet="'In some weird way, pageants still provided a microphone for women and an opportunity for them to share what was important to them and give back to their community.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


Hilary guides her life around 4 core values that she shares right up front:

  1. Embrace adversity
  2. Experience everyday adventures
  3. Find humor in everyday situations
  4. Build Community


Hilary Billings is a burn survivor turned Miss Nevada United States 2013. She is accomplished in journalism, on-camera hosting, and public speaking. She's contributed hundreds of articles to national outlets including USA Today, Huffington Post, has been featured on Extra! Entertainment Television and worked for E! News. She's now the face for Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship for their in-room streaming entertainment, and had a co-starring role in the final season of Nashville.

Most recently she's been responsible for creating viral social media content and is about to launch her newest venture, a podcast series focused on self-growth called The Iceberg Effect. She also travels and speaks to Universities and corporations about embracing adversity and seeking out everyday adventures.






Call to Action


  • What does this conversation make you think about? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Connect with Hilary on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Do you know someone else who might find this conversation interesting? Send them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/hilary.
  • Be on the lookout for The Ice Berg Effect -- Hilary's new podcast.
  • Focus on how you can make your audience feel in your next talk.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Check out this episode!


Episode 029 -- Meet Ocular Stroke Survivor Richard Kaufman


Richard Kaufman has had a fascinating life. At various points he has been...

An addict


In the Army

Wounded in a Humvee

A retail salesperson

A survivor of an ocular stroke



Richard Kaufman headshot

He talks about these assorted adventures this week as he shares lessons he's learned from life.

An ocular stroke is similar to the brain stroke we are all too familiar with. Basically a clot cuts off the blood supply to the retina or optic nerve and cells die. Partial blindness is often the result.

Things we can do to reduce the risk of an ocular stroke are the same things we do to reduce our risk of a brain stroke.


Control cholesterol and blood pressure. Manage blood sugar. Live a heart healthy lifestyle. And get checked for glaucoma.




Richard's Hashtag


Richard's Website


Richard on Twitter


#Supplementguynj on Facebook


#supplementguynj on Instagram


Richard's "Recovery and Redemption" Podcast



Where do we go from here?

  • What does this episode make you think about? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out Richard's various sites and podcasts in the links section above.
  • If you listen on the Apple platform, leave a rating and review for Strokecast in Apple Podcasts.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 077 -- Influence One Person and Meet Patricia Missakian

2-Minute Tip


Influencing dozens or hundreds or thousands of people can be intimidating. That's a lot of work, and it's a lot of minds to change. So how do you do that when the public speaking jitters start rattling your stomach? Don't.


Think about influencing one person in your audience, instead. Then that person can influence others and help spread your message.


The interesting thing about this mindset is that the bigger the crowd, the less intimidating the goal. Influencing one person in a group of five is tough. Influencing one person in a group of 500 is easy.


Post Tip Discussion


Patricia Missakian PortraitPatricia Missakian is the founder of the Akashic Records Institute. While Akashic Records as a concept has hundreds of years as a spiritual element, for our purposes, it can be thought of simply as the collection of conscious and unconscious memories we start building the day we are born.


Those memories -- our early wins and traumas help form the adults we grow up to be. Those memories and patterns can block our success. They contribute to how we sometimes "can't get out of our own way."


Patricia helps folks work through those patterns to be more successful.


In this episodes, we talk about how those patterns impact our public speaking.


We also talk about how and why she became an international speaker by leveraging technology and social media to create her own stage.


Patricia Missakian is an international speaker, coach, and spiritual teacher. She is the founder of the Akashic Records Institute, a school for spiritual development, specializes in uncovering and releasing the old beliefs that block success in finances, relationships and health.


Accessing the Akashic Records, Patricia guides clients to align themselves, pinpoint money blocks and discover how to break through these blocks to achieve full potential.


Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Patricia now lives in Glendale, CA with her family, enjoying her kids, and working with clients. She brings together her Brazilian roots, colorful creativity, positive energy, genuine happiness, advanced training and unquestionable mystical connection to everything that she does.


Relevant Links


Akashic Records Institute


Akashic Records Institute on YouTube


Akashic Records Institute on Facebook


Patricia's Facebook Live Videos


Patricia on Twitter




Call To Action


  • What are thoughts on breaking through blocks to unlock your success? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Visit http://akashicrecordsinstitute.com to learn more about Patricia's program and how you can work with her.
  • Adapt your mindset to influence one person in your audience.
  • Do you know someone who might benefit from this episode? Send them to http://2minutetalktips.com/patricia to listen.
  • Don't get best…get better.


Check out this episode!


Episode 028 -- The Slow Road to Better

Shortly after my stroke, I wanted to learn more about just what was going on with my brain. Naturally, I turned to a combination of podcasts and book. There weren't a whole lot of podcasts, though. That's one reason I started this one, But there were a few.

Slow Road to Better podcast logo

One of them was The Slow Road to Better. This podcast, from the Stroke Comeback Center in Vienna, VA, is about life with aphasia. But it's not just by aphasia researchers. The show is a panel discussion by folks living with aphasia and working to recover more and more of their language skills every day.

This week I talk with the folks from The Slow Road to Better. We explore what they get out of doing the show, what the wish other folks knew about aphasia, and much more.

Technical Notes

Usually when I do a remote interview, I conduct it over Skype or Zoom. This time, it was a little different. We needed to accommodate 5 people in Virginia plus my connection and maximize the audio quality in the process. Since they are already podcasters, that meant we could do a double ender.

That means Melissa recorded their end of the conversation, while I recorded mine. We talked with each other via cell phone. I had my phone headset on while they put me on speakerphone on a cell phone in the middle of the conference table.

Melissa then sent her recording in Audacity to me via Dropbox, and I stitched them together. It came out fairly well.


Hack of the week

The group had two main tips for living life with aphasia.

First find a support group. Look for other folks navigating life with aphasia and share your experience.

Second, if you find a task is too frustrating and you keep trying again and again and again, and it's just not working. Take a break from it and work on some other aspect of your recovery. There's always plenty of stuff to work on.


Related Links

The Slow Road to Better on Apple Podcasts



Stroke Comeback Center


Stroke Comeback Center on Facebook


Stroke Comeback Center on Twitter


National Aphasia Association


Bill's conversation about aphasia with Reva Zimmerman


Hand in Hand Show


Enable Me



Where do we go from here?

  • What's your reaction to this episode? Let us know in the comments below.Visit the Stroke Comeback Center on Facebook and say "Hi," to the team.
  • If you are a survivor or caregiver, find a support in real life or online. It can make a big difference.
  • When you encounter folks with aphasia, be patient. They are smart folks who've simply lost access to some of their language skills.
  • Subscribe for free to the Slow Road to Better in your favorite podcast app.
  • Subscribe for free to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best…get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 076 -- Make Eye Contact and Meet Social Media Consultant Louise Brogan

2-Minute Tip: Make Eye Contact


Making eye contact with your audience is a great way to show them that you care and are interested in their success. It's much more effective than looking down and a script or shuffling note cards around.


Bonus Tip: Watch the Air Quality


Before you go someplace to speak, check the air quality in the city. A simple web search should bring up the latest data. For example, the air quality in Seattle right now is 153. That's unhealthy. Good air quality is between 0 and 50. In our case, it's because of forest fires throughout the US and Canada.


This means speakers who spend a lot of time outdoors may have problems with the throat. A speaker may find themselves sneezing a lot more or generally stuffed up. We may fatigue more. Our lung capacity may seem lower because we're inhaling so much more than just air.


Plan for local air quality. That may mean you bring more tissues or lozenges. You should probably drink more water. Consider wearing a mask while out and about. Reduce your exposure to outside air.


In general, protect your voice.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Louise Brogan


Louise Brogan headshot

Louise Brogan (Social Bee) is a social media consultant and trainer, who teaches entrepreneurs and established companies and organizations to market their business online. Louise's aim is to explain how to do things online in a simple, straightforward way.


Louise has been working with organizations and small businesses for over five years. In 2017, Louise was listed in the Small Business Saturday Top 100 Small Businesses in the UK, and in March 2018, Louise was awarded Top 50 Small Business Advisors in the UK by Enterprise Nation


As you would expect, our discussion focused on the intersection of public speaking and social media.


There were a number of key lessons I found in this episode.


  1. Reach out to local councils, governmental organizations, or Chambers of Commerce about speaking opportunities they may have available. Some of these gigs may or may not be paid, but they can be great for lead generation.
  2. Use LinkedIn to make sure your professional network knows you're a speaker. It's a great tool for finding those opportunities.
  3. As a business, focus on only 1 or 2 social media platforms where your customers are most likely to be and are most likely in their customer mindset.
  4. Speaking because you have the fire for it is great, but there's also tremendous value in it if you don't like speaking for speaking's sake.
  5. Social media for business is profoundly different from social media for personal use.


Relevant Links



Call to Action


  • What are your thoughts on speaking and social media? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Be sure to subscribe for free to the Social Bee Podcast, and, of course 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Does someone you know run social media for their small business? Send them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/socialbeeni, and ask what they think about it.
  • Make eye contact with your audience
  • Don't get best…get better.


Check out this episode!


Episode 027 -- Meet Neurologist Dr. Nirav H Shah


Shortly after I started this show I began asking folks at Swedish about who I should speak with about this project. I got really lucky, and the team there connected me with Dr. Nirav H Shah. He's involved with research, clinical patient care, and development of new technologies.


What's really awesome is how his face lights up when he talks not only about his work, but the work other researchers are doing in this field to improve the quality of life of stroke survivors and to reduce the amount of strokes to begin with.



Dr. Nirav H Shah HeadshotDr Nirav H Shah a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in t: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. H enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.


Notes on Audio Quality

My audio is not great this week. I think the batteries were too low in my recorder when we met onsite at Swedish. This mainly affected my side of the conversation. I spent some time tweaking it and pulling it out from the low-volume graveyard to get it to the point where it works, but you'll notice it seems a little thinner this week.

Relevant Links


Where do we go from here?

  • What questions do you have about neurology? What would you like Nirav to talk more about in the future? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Do you know anyone else who finds brains interesting? Send them the link http://strokecast.com/nirav so they can listen, too.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 075 -- Write Your Thoughts Down and Meet Magician Victoria Mavis


2-Minute Tip: Write it Down


In the run up to a talk, our minds can go all over the place. Thoughts come and go, and it can get pretty loud inside our heads. It becomes hard to focus on what we need to do and to be present like we ought to be to maximize our success.


One way to deal with this is to write down all those thoughts on a piece (or pieces) of paper. That gets them out of your head and your brain can let them go since you can deal with them later if you choose.


I find this helpful at other times, too, when I get overwhelmed with stress or my mind starts racing. Just write it all down and get on with the things you need to do.


Post Tip Discussion


Victoria Mavis profile picture

Victoria and I talked about this focus and the importance of being present for the audience and in conversation. We also talked about the power of speaking to an audience and the possibilities with podcasting today.

Victoria Mavis is worldwide one of only a few professional female magicians. She started doing magic at the age of 4 and had her first stage show at the age of 7. She has two academic degrees, a background in hypnosis, is a member of the magic circle in Germany as well as Rotary International. She also published her first book in 2017. While performing a lot of mental magic on stage she started getting closer to the real secrets of magic... tools that can improve our lives, bringing us closer to our dreams, break through blocks and even get in touch with quantum physics.


One thing stage magic and public speaking have in common is the importance of being present. A magician uses discipline, focus, and misdirection to create an experience that challenges an audience's perception of reality and tries to interrupt the patterns the live their life with. That requires tremendous effort and skill on the part of the magician. They can't just let their mind wander on stage.


As a speaker you need to be focused on your audience, delivering the message, and driving to your goal of what you want the audience to do.


Relevant Links

Victoria's Website


Victoria on Twitter


Pure Mind Magic Podcast


Pure Mind Magic on Facebook


Was, wenn alles möglich wäre? (Victoria's first book)


How Podcasting Can Change Your Life: Unleash Endless Possibilities (Victoria's new book)


Get Chapter 1 of the new book



Call To Action


  • What do you think of the intersection between magic and public speaking? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out the Pure Mind Magic Podcast in your favorite podcast app.
  • Check out Victoria's new book and get chapter 1 here.
  • Write down your thoughts before your next talk.
  • Don't get best…get better.



Check out this episode!


Episode 074 -- Use a Checklist and Thoughts on Crowd Size

2-Minute Tip: Use a Checklist

Everyday, thousands of airline pilots around the world pull out the same task list them read hundred or thousands of times and it out loud to their colleague. Even though they have the whole thing memorized by now, they still refer back to that list to nearly guarantee they don't forget anything. The consequences of failure are huge. Forgetting one thing can cost hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in damage. So the use a check list.


The consequences for skipping a step in your talk are not nearly as serious. No one is going to die if we make a mistake. That doesn't mean we should skip check lists as speakers, though. Working from a checklist as we prepare a talk, pack our bag, and wrap-up an event can make a big difference in our effectiveness. We come across as more professional when we have those procedures in place, and we get to off load some of the cognitive load from our brains. We don't have to remember to not forget things because we can work from the list.


Sample check lists include: 

  • What to pack
    • Luggage
      • Day 1 Shirt
      • Day 2 shirt
      • Pants
      • Workout shoes
    • Presentation kit
      • Projector cable
      • Timer
      • Slide clicker
      • HDMI adapter
      • Tissues
      • Gaffers tape
  • Actions at event
    • Greet organizer
    • Greet AV Tech
    • Check room sight lines
    • Confirm projector works
    • Find rest room
  • Tear down
    • Shut off computer
    • Shut off projector
    • Pack extension cable
    • Pack notes
  • Follow up
    • Thank the organizer
    • Complete event report
    • Follow up on questions you said you would follow up on
    • Submit expense report


I'm sure you can come up with more things for theses check lists.


Post Tip Discussion: Thoughts on Crowd Size


The size of the crowd you are speaking to determines how you deliver your message. It impacts the content and activities that are part of you presentation. It even impacts what you wear to an event.


Some folks might say that the bigger a crowd gets, the harder it is to deliver a talk, but that's not necessarily true. There are different strategies to deploy in a large group versus a small one, and there are different results you can expect. Here are some thoughts of crowd size. Theses are ideas to get you thinking about what you'll do in your talk, but the are not strict absolutes -- merely a starting points that inform your prep work.


  • Small Crowd (under 15 people)
    • It's probably a meeting
    • A conversational approach works best
    • Interactivity is key
    • Time management can be harder since folks are more likely to pursue tangents and cross talk
    • Group dynamics play a big role
    • They might make a decision
  • Medium Crowd (15-50 people)
    • Likely a class or educational seminar
    • Small group activities are more practical
    • Speaker appears to be an authority figure
    • Sessions can run multiple hours
  • Large Crowd (51-100 people)
    • Presentation is more formal
    • Small group activities are less practical
    • Folks will help you control the room
    • Need to determine if you are addressing all of them or a subset of them
  • Auditorium (100+)
    • Beyond 100 people the crowd tends to blur together
    • Often lights block most of the crowd
    • Allow time for humor to work
    • Timing is critical
    • Clothes should accommodate a mic pack
    • Stage location may be important


The key with any talk is to get the information you need ahead of time so you can bring the right sized talk to the right sized crowd.


Call To Action


  • What's the toughest size crowd for you? How do you adapt to crowd size? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Build checklists for your next talk.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Check out this episode!


Episode 025 -- Meet Aphasia Researcher Reva Zimmerman


I met Reva back in October when I first joined the Young Adult Stroke Survivors group. She is a doctoral student at the University of Washington studying aphasia. She also coordinates the UW student volunteers who help make the YASS meetings function and ensure a pleasant experience for attendees, be they survivors, caregivers, or guest speakers.

We met up last week at the Wayward Coffee House on a bright summer day. I secured a good parking spot on the street. Reva trekked over on her bike and we found some comfy seats in the back. We geeked out about language and the work Reva does while surrounded by Firefly, Star Trek, and Star Wars stuff. This might be my new favorite coffee shop to record at.

Many stroke survivors live with aphasia and struggle to communicate. Speech Therapists, like Reva, help folks recover those language skills, but they also do so much more. They help with memory and cognition. They even help with fundamental human functions like swallowing and breathing. The field is incredibly complex and fascinating.

Did you ever wonder about the difference among aphasia, apraxia, and dyarthria? We cover it here.

Reva's Bio

Reva M Zimmerman

Reva Zimmerman headshot

Research Assistant, Doctoral Student


University of British Columbia, MSc in Speech-Language Pathology

University of Washington, BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences

University of Washington, BA in Linguistics


Reva M. Zimmerman, MSc, CCC-SLP, is a PhD student and research associate on the Clinical TALSA study in the Aphasia Research Lab. She currently serves as a research associate on a multi-site study to create a clinical test of verbal short-term memory in aphasia (PI Nadine Martin, Ph.D., Temple University). She also recently completed work on a study exploring conflict resolution and short-term memory in aphasic comprehension (PI Malcolm McNeil, Ph.D., VA Pittsburgh). Reva also coordinates UW student volunteers for the Young Adult Stroke Survivor group. In her free time, she enjoys chasing her preschooler, dancing, and engaging in activities to uplift students of color at the UW.


Links from Episode 025

Reva M Zimmerman Email 1


Reva M Zimmerman Email 2


Reva's Profile


University of Washington Aphasia Research Lab


Northwest Aphasia Registry and Repository


Wayward Coffee House


Strokecast Episode 7 -- Meet Gerrit Barrere


Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors Group


University of Washington Speech and Hearing Services on Facebook


University of Washington
Speech and Hearing Services Blog


Where do we go from here?

  • What did you think about our chat? Let us know in the comments below.
  • If you live with aphasia in the Pacific Northwest, or care for someone who does, check out the Northwest Aphasia Registry and Repository. If you live elsewhere, check with local Universities for research opportunities.
  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague or relative by giving the link http://strokecast.com/reva
  • Don't get best...get better


Image used to evaluate cognitive skills that CurrentlyBill described as 1956

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 073 -- Connect with your Audience and Meet NursePreneur Catie Harris


2-Minute Tip: Connect with your Audience


Often you don't need to adopt a high energy approach and dance around the stage. Focus instead on making a connection with your audience. Share stories. Help them see the things they have in common with you. That makes your presentation more credible and memorable.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet NursePreneur Catie Harris


I connected initially with Catie Harris through the work I do with Strokecast.


Catie has a background in nursing, specializing in neuro patients, like stroke survivors. After working in a clinical setting for years she decided to leverage that experience to pursue other opportunities in transitional care, and now in helping other nurses pursue the next chapter of their lives as business owners. Speaking has played a key role in her career both at the hospital and in her current endeavors.


Theses are the 4 most important lessons to come out of this episode:


  1.  Speaking helps establish your credibility. If you want to be seen as an expert, looking for and accepting speaking opportunities is a great way to do it.
  2. The worst of the speaking anxiety is before you start talking. Once you start, for many folks it goes away. It's one reason I recommend memorizing your intro.
  3. The stories you tell are how you connect with your audience and are the things they will remember most.
  4. Begin with the end in mind. Figure out your goal and build the rest of the talk around that.


Relevant Links



Call To Action


  • What are your thoughts on Catie's story? Share them in the comments below.
  • Check out CatieHarris.com to learn more about Catie and her NursePreneur Training Program.
  • Share this episode with friends and colleagues through email, social media, or text message by sending the the link http://2minutetalktips.com/catie
  • Connect with your audience through storytelling.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Check out this episode!


Episode 024 -- Meet Mark French

Produced in Washington, DC, A Teachable Moment focuses on four local survivors that represent the greater story of stroke in the United States. LAI Video also speaks with loved ones and medical experts to clearly describe the disease, its debilitating impact and the tangible steps anyone can take to reduce the risk of a stroke. The documentary uses contemporary animation to better illustrate the science behind stroke, available treatments and preventable risk factors.

I first heard about “A Teachable Moment” through an article on StrokeSmart.org.   This is a film about four DC-are stroke survivors and their experiences as the go through this life changing event.

The film premiered in Washington, DC, on May 17, and is available to groups interested in hosting a private screening.

If this seems familiar, it's because I talked about this movie back in Episode 014 with Anne Dailey, one of the featured survivors.

This week, I speak with Mark French. Mark is not only one of the other featured survivors. His organization produced the film.

Here is the trailer:


Our discussion included Mark's story, why he made the film, the importance of sharing stories and an introduction to AFib.


Relevant Links

Where do we go from here?


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 072 -- Use a Big Face and How to Memorize a Speech


2-Minute Tip


Much of the communication we have with folks is non-verbal, and facial expressions play a big part in that.


When we conduct a presentation, though, we lose much of that subtlety because we are further from our audience. Instead of 2 feet away we are 10 or 20 feet away. To make up for that, we need to use much bigger and more dramatic facial expressions. Smile bigger. Open your eyes wider. Exaggerate your head tilt.


In practice it may feel like you are going too far and becoming silly. That's okay. Your probably still not going far enough.


When you use bigger expressions on stage, folks will see you as more lively and will pick up more on your meaning, even if they're not sure why.


Post Tip Discussion: How to Memorize a Speech


Generally -- don't. Don't memorize, internalize. Know your material well enough that you can generate the speech each time you rehearse or give it.


Of course there are some parts you should memorize.

  • Intro
  • Conclusion
  • Structure
  • Quotes.


There are some excellent reasons not to memorize the rest.


  • Lot of work. Rehearsal is a better use of your time.
  • A brain freeze where you go blank is more likely.
  • Getting back where you belong if you lose your place is tougher.
  • You're more likely to sound robotic.
  • It's harder to adapt if something changes at the last minute


That said, sometimes the detailed script matters a lot more, whether that's due to an approval process, legal/financial disclosure, crisis management, or some other reason. Business reason sometimes demand strict adherence to the text. In that case, follow these 8 steps to memorize your talk.

  1. Be one of the script writers.
  2. Don't start memorizing until the final version.
  3. Read the whole thing out loud.
  4. Memorize the structure.
  5. Repeat the structure until you have it memorized
  6. Go paragraph by paragraph, memorizing in pairs - 1 and 2, then 2 and 3, then 3 and 4, etc.
  7. Repeat the whole thing from memory.
  8. Record yourself reading it and play it back in the background to lock it in.


Then you can move on to rehearsals.


Call to Action


  • Don't memorize, internalize
  • If you do have to memorize, what steps do you use? Let us know in the comments here.
  • Use big facial expressions.
  • Share this episode with a colleague and subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!


Episode 023 -- Work Analogies

The medical and stroke industries can be complicated places. They have arcane jargon and complicated processes. And that's important. The detailed knowledge and industry shorthand helps folks within the field communicate quickly and clearly with each other to provide the best care possible. It's just different from what non-medical folks deal with.

But is it really all that different? What I'm finding in my personal experience is that it has a lot more in common with my own field of Adult Learning & Development, sales skills training, and brand evangelism.

For example, the corporate training field and the PT, OT, and Speech fields are all focused on helping folks develop or relearn skills and abilities. We're all working to rewire the brain so the learner/patient can do things they couldn't do before. The therapists rely more on rote memory and process repetition than the corporate trainers due, but it seems like there's an opportunity to study how best practices in each field can help the other.

The ADDIE model is the traditional way instructional designers build learning content.It also applies to the way medical teams put together treatment plans for rehab.

A -- Analyze the opportunity.

What are we working with? What do we want to accomplish? What are the current capabilities of the learner/patient? What resources/limitations do we have to work with? How much time do we have?

D -- Design the program.

Based on the analysis, what sort of program is most appropriate? When and where will we deliver it? What tools will be part of it? What content will we include?

D -- Develop the content/plan.

Assemble the content and build the list of exercises and procedures. Who does what when? Build out the details of the plan

I -- Implement the plan.

Execute the training or treatment plan.

E -- Evaluate the results.

Did we achieve the results we set out to achieve? Did the different elements work the way we wanted them to? What did the learner/patient think? What worked well and what didn't work well? What should we do differently in the future?

It's not just the training model that overlaps with the medical field. It's also the sales model.

My OT the other day talked about "affordances." An affordance is what something does for you. For example a chair might be made from metal or vinyl and that could be the physical description. That's not the important part, though. What really matters is what the chair affords you the opportunity to do -- to sit and rest.

I had never heard that term before, but in sales we talk about the same concept -- benefits. When selling computers, I teach people not to focus the the processor and RAM. That stuff doesn't matter. Focus instead on what that product does for the customer. How does it benefit them? How does it make there life better? How does it help them solve a problem or make their life better? That's the stuff that actually matters. The specs just support that.

When it comes to therapy, I don't really care about my finger extensors. What I care about is being able to open my hand and release my grip on command.

I don't care about my quads or my hamstrings. I care about being able to get myself someplace quickly, easily, safely, and painlessly.

I care about what those muscles afford me the opportunity to do. I care about how they benefit me.


I recently launched a Strokecast page on Facebook. You'll find reposts of these episodes and blog posts there. I'm also publishing Facebook Live videos there for more off the cuff discussion.

Check it out here and click the Like button.

Here's a sample: https://www.facebook.com/StrokeCast/videos/241473476461024/

Hack of the week

One challenge when I'm I'm running errands or getting coffee is that I have only one functional hand, and it's usually holding my cane. If I need to pick something up, where do I put my cane?

I picked up a cane clip that I move from cane-to-cane depending on my mood. You can find the one I uses here (affiliate link).

It makes it easy to hang my cane on my belt, waist band, or even pocket so I can pick up my coffee at the counter and carry it to my table without dropping my cane in the process.

Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 071 -- Zoom In and Read Ted Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking

2-Minute Tip: Zoom In


With you present during a webinar, there are lots of things to consider. I talked about several of them way back in Episode 014.


This week, I add to that list by suggesting you zoom in the web cam tighter on your face. This will block some of the clutter in your background and it will make it easier for the camera to focus and get the exposure right. Plus it helps emphasize the personal connection folks try to achieve by being on camera.


That doesn't mean your face should fill the entire frame to the edges; that would be creepy.Too many presenters pull back too far, though.


You can see my example in the Facebook Live videos I've been doing for me other show. Take a look here.


Post Tip Discussion: Read Ted Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking


Chris Anderson, the owner of the TED conference wrote this book of advice for TED speakers. While we shouldn't try to turn every speech into a TED Talk, there is still a lot of good advice in here that long-time listeners of this show will recognize.

  • It's not about you.
  • It is about your message.
  • Bad slides are worse than no slides.
  • Know your goal.
  • Practice and rehearse.


Those all appear in the book(affliate link) in various incarnations


The book also contains stories and anecdotes about past TED speakers. Some named and some (mercifully) unnamed. There's also some history of the conference and how it evolved the way it did.


It's an entertaing and informative book. Check it out from your library, or order from your favorite bookstore (affiliate link).


Call To Action



Check out this episode!


Episode 022 -- Meet Craig Martin, The Online Busker

A few weeks ago, I was visiting the Reddit Stroke forum (r/stroke) and saw some posts from The Online Busker. I checked out his site, and thought his music was great so I invited him on the show.


Craig was a professional musician and guitarist before his stroke. He made a nice living playing in the bars and restaurants of Portugal and Gran Canaria. He moved to the Spanish mainland and began teaching English in Salamanca. When his stroke happened he had to make some decisions.


Craig worked to relearn how to play guitar. He adopted several strategies, including the use of double-stick tape. You can see the results in this video, and you can see a whole lot more over at OnlineBusker.net


During our chat, Craig also talked about one of his more popular videos with some tips for playing guitar after a stroke.You can check that out here.

Craig wanted to help others with his music. On his website, you can tip his virtual guitar case. Half of all the funds he raises there go to the World Stroke Organization.

One thing that has made Craig successful in recovering as many of his abilities as he has is that he set a goal of producing and publishing his performances. The public goal of doing that creates a level of commitment to others that means you HAVE to do the work. That approach drove him to practice, rehearse, and record.

Links from Today

Hack of the Week

Craig, born in Manchester England suggested using cell-o-tape to tape a pen into your writing hand. It can be a great way to start writing with an affected hand.

In the US, I believe cell-o-tape would translate to Scotch tape. I imagine referring to Scotch tape in the UK would be more complicated.

This also makes the appearance of spell-o-tape in the Harry Potter novels more sensible.

Where do we go from here?


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 070 -- Speak about your Fire and Meet Dr. Melissa Bird


2-Minute Tip -- Know the thing that lights you on fire


Melissa Bird explains that the key to success is to know what lights you on fire. When you know that fire and can speak to your passion, it becomes so much easier to let your voice through regardless of the audience size.


But how do you figure out what your fire is if you don't already know? Here's where I think pen and paper and a quiet corner or coffee shop can help.


Give yourself 15 minutes and write down the answers to these questions. Don't worry about getting it "right" or making it presentable. All you want is ink or graphite on paper.

  • What do you talk about with friends?
  • What do you post about most on social media?
  • What angers you most in the news?
  • What is your go-to advice for folks?


Odds are something you are passionate about will be on that list.


That's great for personal stuff, but I know most folks want to improve their speaking skill at work and prefer to keep politics and life issues separate because they may not be directly related to your quarterly sales presentation or negotiating skills seminar. That's fine. Simply at "at work" to each of those questions and the exercise will still help. It will help you identify the issues at work you most need to speak about.


Post-Tip Discussion


Melissa Bird HeadshotMelissa Bird, PhD, MSW is a passionate feminist whose education in social work has led to a career advocating for children, women, and their families. She is a fierce believer in social justice advocacy and preparing women for leadership roles in politics. She has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens.


As a writer, professor and fiery public speaker, Dr. Bird creates the genesis for a new brand of leadership. Her words awaken revolutionaries, trailblazers and powerful innovators in the quest for justice. When she’s not building her public speaking Empire, she can be found reading trashy novels, drinking fine whiskey, playing mom to three delicious humans, and loving her punk rock scientist James Thomas Kelly.


I met Melissa Through Melanie Childers who you heard from in episode 68.



Melissa's experience with speaking began with dealing with tremendous speaking anxiety in high school, in front of an audience of 15 other students. A great teacher helped her through it and pushed her to succeed, providing the basic tools she needed for success.


Melissa would later go on to speak at political rallies to audiences large and small, to conferences for social workers, and to anywhere she could share message of social justice or finding your voice.



We also talked a lot about Facebook live. Melissa regularly uses the platform to connect with her audience and to work out ideas and thoughts she may want to talk about in the future. It's a fascinating platform that frequently draws a larger audience than expected.



The discussion has me thinking about ways to incorporate Facebook Live into 2-Minute Talk Tips and Strokecast. After show, anyone?


Links related to this Episode



Call To Action


  • What do you think about finding your voice or working things out through Facebook Live? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Would you like to share your literal voice? Leave a message at 650-TalkTip (650-825-5847)
  • To share this episode on Facebook or the social media platform of your choice, click the icon below, or just copy and paste this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/birdgirl
  • To learn more about Melissa's work or to work with her, head on over to birdgirlindustries.com.
  • Make sure you speak about the topics that light you on fire.
  • Don't get best…get better.


Check out this episode!