Bonus 001-037: Stroke Survivor Radio Story

For World Stroke Day on October 29, 2018, the American Heart Association asked me to share my story with the WA News Service, an organization that distributes content to radio stations all over WA state.

This bonus episode is the story they produced. You can also read the article here: https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-10-29/health-issues/a-washington-survivor-ways-to-recover-after-a-stroke/a64451-1

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 085 -- Take a Beat and Tips on Apologies


2-Minute Tip: Take a Beat


Have you ever noticed that a speaker will step up to their speaking spot (fancy technical term there), look down, then up, scan the room silently, and then start speaking? They're taking a moment to prep themselves for the talk they are about to deliver. While that whole ritual may be a little much, there is value in taking a moment to take a breath and plant your feet before speaking.


It gives you the opportunity to shift from prep mode into speaking mode. When you are prepping for a talk, you are reviewing what you want to say, making last minute adjustments based on the audience, double-checking your gear, reviewing site lines, going through sound check, turning off your phone, emptying your pockets and more. When it's time to speak, prep time is over. You have to put aside all the to do items of prep and now let their value come through. It's time to focus on delivering your message.


Taking a moment at the very start to clear your head and change your thinking allows you to do that.


You don't have to do it literally on the stage. You can take your beat in the wings just before you go on stage. Make your walk to your speaking spot part of your presentation. Be in speaking mode the moment you come out.


Regardless of exactly where you do it, take that deep breath and take that moment because now it's showtime.


Post Tip Discussion: Tips on Apologies


Sometimes an apology is all it takes to fix a problem. Many times, someone who has been wronged simply wants the transgressor to acknowledge they were wrong and validate the reality of a situation.


Too often, though, we apologize ineffectively or inappropriately and we do so from the stage. To be a more effective speaker, consider these 5 tips to apologize from stage:


  1. Don't say, "I'm sorry." Say, "I apologize."
  2. Be sure you actually need to apologize.
  3. If the audience doesn't know something went wrong and they got a less than perfect experience, don't break their illusion by apologizing.
  4. An apology-nerves spiral can be painful. Avoid apologizing frequently from stage.
  5. Substitute the word "and" for the word "but" whenever possible.





Call To Action


  1. I recorded this on World Stroke Day. Get your blood pressure checked and manage it appropriately. Issues with blood pressure are a leading cause of stroke and long term disability. Learn more about stroke at http://strokecast.com.
  2. Visit other articles at 2-Minute Talk Tips for more tips to be a more effective speaker.
  3. Take a beat before your next talk.
  4. Don't get best...get better.




Check out this episode!


Episode 037 -- Meet Whitney Morean


World Stroke Day

World Stroke day is October 29th. Are you planning to do something for it? Make sure everyone talk with knows how important it is to BE FAST.

Stroke symptom graphic


Meet Whitney Morean

Whitney Morean was a healthy, athletic 28 year-old in the summer of 2016. She voluntarily ran 5 miles a day. A bright student, she was excited to start graduate school that fall in clinical psychology.

Then on August 23, 2016, she had a mysterious, hemorrhagic stroke in her right, parietal lobe that would stump neurologists. Grad school would have to wait.

I met Whitney through the Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors group.

Now, Whitney is back in grad school, pursuing a Masters in Rehab Psychology, to help other survivors get even more comprehensive care. We met up a few week's ago in Seattle's Wayward Coffeehouse.

You can reach Whitney here.

We covered quite a bit in this episode including some new-ish vocabulary.

Whitney spent time in both acute and sub-acute facilities. Acute is an inpatient hospital setting. A sub-acute facility is somewhere in between a skilled nursing facility and a hospital. 

She also talks about getting to point of being "community ambulatory." That basically means being able to walk around the neighborhood.

I learned that the brain has ventricles. 

We also touch on something not often talked about. The insurance system and medical care system are focused on getting you back to a minimum standard -- not to where you were before the stroke. If you were well above the average or age appropriate criteria before stroke, you have to get back there on your own.

Whitney also discusses experiencing disability accommodations for education for the first time in her life later in life. Many folks who need accommodations in grad school have already had to go through the process much earlier in their schooling.

I could go on about the topics, but why spoil the fun of the episode? 

Hack of the Week

Practice patience.

It's a muscle and it takes work to get good at it. After a stroke, it's more important than ever to be more patient with yourself, especially if your previous life was a fast-paced, intense one. 

Doing "ordinary" things will simply take more time and getting annoyed at that won't make it any better. So be kind to yourself.

And practice patience.

Like most thing with stroke and life, it gets easier with time and practice.

Where do we go from here?

  • What aspect of this discussion did you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend caregiver or grad student, by sending them to http://strokecast.com/whitney.
  • If you're feeling depressed, or having challenges dealing with grief and emotions, after a stroke, let your caregiver or medical team know. There is help available.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 084 -- Control the Lights and 9 Ways to Get More Speaking Time

2-Minute Tip: Control the Lights


An important part of room setup is the lighting. You want folks to see you and any visual aids you are using without straining them selves so lighting matters. What does good lighting look like? Well, it depends. 


If you are using a data projector, you likely need to minimize sunlight and dim the lights near the screen while keeping the rest of the room well lit.


In an auditorium, you may get better results dimming the lights above the audience to focus on the stage.


If you ask your audience to do something during your presentation, you may need to bring the lights up for that activity and dim them again when it's time for you to be the focus again.


While the details will vary, the important thing is for you to make deliberate decisions about the lights during your talk to make sure they support your goals.



Post Tip Discussion: 9 Ways to Get more Speaking Time


The best way to become a better speaker is to speak more. But you don't have to just wait for opportunities to come along. You can take proactive steps to make more opportunities. Here are 9 Ways to Get More Speaking Time


Class Projects

If you are in a training program or a class that has group projects, volunteer to be the group spokesperson. Others may be relieved to not have to do it.



If you attend a house or space of worship, consider volunteering to do readings, run discussion groups, or participate in other speaking related tasks. Ask the appropriate leader what opportunities there might be.


Ask Your Boss

If you'd like to speak more at work, let your boss know. There may be opportunities they would be happy to give you, but they can't accommodate your desire to speak more if they don't know about your desire to speak more.



Toastmasters clubs are popular around the world as a forum where professionals can go to improve their public speaking skills. 


Volunteer Groups

Look for groups in your community that you can support. There may be chances to volunteer there, support a mission you care about, and get some speaking time in the process.


Community Theater

Joining a local theater program will help you grow your acting skills and get you on the stage in front of an audience. The skills aren't exactly the same as those in public speaking, but they can certainly add more depth and flavor to your speaking skills. Plus, stage time is still stage time.


Facebook Live

This is a great tool to easily start speaking to the world about things you care about. You can use your PC or phone. You are probably listening to this episode on a live, international, broadcasting tool. It's easy to start and the videos are easy to share and review so you can continue to get better. You'll find the Facebook Live videos that I've done here.



Start a podcast and you have another speaking channel under your control. If you don't want to do the work of running your own show, look for opportunities to be a guest on shows you enjoy and reach out to the producers.


Build Your Own Stage

You don't have to wait for someone to give you a stage. Go ahead and build your own. Start your own event. The technology and reach of social media makes it possible in ways unimaginable 20 years ago. Back in Episode 077, I talked with Patricia Missakian who wanted to speak in Brazil, so she created her own event there from the US and flew down when it was time.



Call To Action


  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, or relative by giving them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/stage
  • Control the lighting at your next event
  • Seek out more opportunities to speak
  • Don't get best...get better






Check out this episode!


Episode 036 -- Meet Dan Oosterhous


This week, I got to chat with stroke survivor Dan Oosterhous, former pilot, current US Air Force Academy Tennis Coach, and 2-time stroke survivor.

Dan's story is one of seeing a problem and trying to fix it. During his rehab, he worked closely with the therapists, always pushing for more. He asked questions, asked for additional resources to learn more about anatomy and physiology, and generally focused on what was going on with his body and how he could get better.

[bctt tweet="'I got on the internet on my tablet and just typed in some of the symptoms I was having and the first thing that came up was stroke. And it took me 6 hours to realize that's what was going on.' -- @DOosterhous #stroke" username="CurrentlyBill"]

Aside from it being an important element of his recovery, I found that when I am more engaged in my recovery and ask a lot of questions, my therapists are more engaged, too.

What I hear when I listen back to this week's episode is how much Dan's problem-solving drive helped him get to where he is today.


Who is Dan Oosterhous?


Dan Oosterhous head shotAfter a day spent coaching the men's tennis team at the United States Air Force Academy in 2013, Dan Oosterhous suffered two brain stem strokes that resulted in a substantial loss of function in his left arm and leg.  Since then, Dan has made significant strides in his recovery, owing much to the support of his three children, Emma, Anna, and Andrew, and the rehabilitative power of competition.  Dan has fueled his recovery through opportunities in adaptive sports as a member of the 2014 Air Force Wounded Warrior team and a member of the 2014 and 2016 USA Invictus Games team.  Dan has earned medals in swimming at the 2014 Warrior Games and in cycling at the 2016 Invictus Games.  In 2014, he received USAFA’s General Mal Wakin Character and Leadership Award for his inspirational work with cadets and resiliency during recovery.

A native of Texarkana, Texas, Dan graduated from USAFA in 1993 and remains one of the best tennis players in the team’s history.  Dan ranks fifth on the all-time list for most wins at #1 singles and second on the career list at #1 doubles.  He was selected to the all-conference team all four years and received the team’s Most Valuable Player award three times.  During his 21-year Air Force career, Dan accumulated over 3,100 hours as an instructor pilot in three aircraft: the C-5, C-21 and T-53.

After retiring early from the Air Force as a pilot due to his stroke he continues to serve as the Men's Tennis coach, doing it all with one good arm and one good leg. He loves sharing his message about the importance of a positive attitude in recovery.


Hack of the Week

Dan's hack is to use your tone. Just because an effected limb doesn't work right, doesn't mean it gets a free pass. Make it work for you.

With some creative thinking you can wrap things around the fist or use it to brace things or help with your shoes.

Too often we assume that since it doesn't work like a hand used to work, that means it can't do anything, but that's not the case. Think about creative non-hand ways you can work with the tone in your hand to accomplish your goals.



Dan Oosterhous on Twitter


Dan Oosterhous Email


US Air Force Academy Athletics


US Air Force Academy Men's Tennis


Invictus Games


US Air Force Wounded Warriors


Dan Oosterhous in Airman Magazine



Where do we go from here?


Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 083 -- Note Something Interesting and The Six Ps of Presenting

2-Minute Tip: Note Something interesting Everyday 


It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are not creative. Or that we have nothing to say beyond the basics of our message. Or that writer's block is impenetrable. Or that we are just going to bore our audience.


That can happen because we take our own experiences for granted. We think our lives are just boring or normal. The reality is we all have a unique assortment of experiences -- some big and some small. We just forget about them or write them off as they pass, and then we forget about them when they could be helpful to us as speakers.


Back in Episode 024, I challenged you to take 5 pictures a day to flesh out your personal library of photos to use in future presentations.


This week, I say write down something interesting that you saw, did, or learned. It doesn't have to be a big deal or something anyone else would care about. Just do it daily. at the end of a year, you'll have hundreds of theses observations and tidbits that you can incorporate into a presentation as an aside, to illustrate a point, to build rapport with the audience, or any number of other rhetorical tools.


Best of all, it's a personal list. It's a list of things that you found interesting. That makes it even easier to speak with passion.


Post Tip Discussion: The Six Ps of Presenting


Over the past couple years, I've talked about a lot of strategies and tactics to make you a more effective presenter. Today we take a step back and look at the broader framework of how theses elements fit together.


The Six Ps of Presenting are:


  1. Preparation
  2. Production
  3. Pactice
  4. Preshow Inspection
  5. Present
  6. Post-Mortem


In Preparation, you define your goals, figure out the messages you want to land to get there, reseach your audience, consult with subject matter experts, figure out where and what type the venue is, understand the timing, and more. Basically you get all the knowledge you'll likely need. At the end of this phase, you'll have an out line for your talk and know how you plan to work with the speaking environment.


In Production, you open up PowerPoint and build your slides. You assemble other visual aides. You get the signage and handouts together, if relevant. Basically, you are assembling all the gear and intellectual property you need for the presentation.


In Practice, you practice your presentation. try to make it as real world as possible. Stand up. Use your slides. Execute your demos, Then do it again. Fix problems you encounter with the material and practice some more.


In the Preshow Inspection, you visit the venue before you speak -- preferably the day before. you want to make sure it is setup right. Ensure you understand how to hook up the projector, if needed. Confirm any sound system you need works. Make sure you know how to work the room lights. Basically, figure out if there are any problems with the space so you can fix them before it's time to start presenting.


Then Present at the right time. start and finish on time. wow your audience. Move them to take the action you want them to take. This is what it's all been leading up to.


Finally, do your Post-Mortem. What went well? What didn't go well? What do you want to do differently next time? What action items did you commit to? Do this as soon as possible because otherwise the details will slip away. Take all that you learn and feed it back in to your next presentation.


Call To Action


  • What do you think of this framework? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Note something interesting everyday.
  • Do you like 2-Minute Talk Tip? Leave a rating and review in Apple podcasts.
  • Don't get best...get better


Check out this episode!


Episode 034 -- Meet Author Ted Baxter

Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk

I'm participating in the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk on October 13. If you'd like to contribute to the fundraiser, please visit Strokecast.com/Facebook.

Chatting with Ted Baxter

Over the summer, I heard about Ted W Baxter's new book Relentless: How a massive stroke changed my Life for the Better. His team sent me a copy of the book and arranged an interview.

In 20015, Ted had a massive stroke. The hemiparesis was one thing to deal with, but Ted was more concerned with the Global Aphasia he developed. What followed was months and years of intense therapy -- most of it traditional, some of it less so, as Ted worked not to get his life back but to build a new life. This book is Ted's story of that journey.

Ted and I talked about the book, of course, but we also covered a lot of other ground as we talked about life as survivors and the broader stroke survivor community

We have an interesting discussion about English as a Second Language. The idea of of treating your native language as a foreign one to reacquire it after stroke is fascinating. There's a lot of interesting stuff to think about in this book and episode.

More about Ted

Ted W Baxter HeadshotAfter spending 22 years in the financial industry, Ted W. Baxter retired as a global finance executive with a large hedge investment firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, Ted was a managing director for a global investment bank and he was a Price Waterhouse partner and a consultant concentrated on banks and securities, risk management, financial products, and strategic planning. Internationally, he spent 6 years working and living in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Ted now resides in Newport Beach, CA where he volunteers at several health-related institutions and hospitals in Orange County, leading groups in a stroke-related communication recovery program, and is a member of the Board of Directors at the American Heart and Stroke Association. He is the author of Relentless: How A Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better. 

Hack of the Week

Today is another chance to get better.

It's seems simple and obvious but this basic mindset shift is critical to recovery.

Recovery doesn't have a deadline. Despite what you may have heard, recovery doesn't stop at 6 months, 12 moths, or 2 years. It's ongoing. Every day is another chance to do more. To pursue better results. We're alive which means we have another chance to get better each and every today.


Where do we go from here

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 082 -- Act as If and Impostor Syndrome

2-Minute Tip: Act as If


When you are nervous, or think you don't see,m confident, don't tell yourself not to be nervous or just be more confident. That rarely works; it usually just makes things worse. Instead, think about other speakers you know who don't appear nervous (they might actually be). How do the act? Can you adopt some of those behaviors? Try to act like you're not nervous. The more you act like you're comfortable, the more likely you'll feel comfortable. 


The brain wants consistency. If your physical mannerisms say you're not nervous, your mind will make you feel less nervous. Act as if you're not nervous to in fact become less nervous.


Post Tip Discussion


Often in my life life, I've felt like a fraud. Like I was about to be found out or caught. That I had no business teaching people or speaking to an audience or managing a million-dollar-plus budget for an organization. But you know what? That was just my own brain messing with me. I learned to accept that. The doubt was always going to be with me even though it was illegitimate.


Most people have this feeling at one time or another. Your friends. Your colleagues. Your boss. Their boss. Your subordinates. Nearly everyone is afraid they're going to be revealed as a sham, even when they are not.


It's called Impostor Syndrome. And it's an insidious source of stress for billions of people. Some respond with fear and nerves. Others with defensiveness and anger. Some embrace it. Others simply accept it and move on.


This affects many speakers when we get on stage. We start thinking, "Who am I to command the attention of dozens or hundreds or thousands of speakers?"


Well, you're the expert. You're the one who does in fact have value to contribute to this event. You were chosen by smart people to talk to the audience. It's an audience that is there because they believe this is the best use of their time at the moment.


Acknowledge the impost syndrome when you feel it creep up on you to take away it's power. Do the things that are within your control. Do the work. Practice. Deliver a great talk. And wow your audience.


Call to Action


  • How do you deal with Impostor Syndrome? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Next time you're nervous, act as if you're not
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!