Your Signature Life: What Will You Create in the New Year?

In the 1916 classic autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, author James Joyce tells of an artist who has his portrait painted in his youth. Over the course of his life as the young man’s character changes, so does the portrait, until it becomes a hideous depiction of his soul as reflected in his face. Though the story is surreal, …Read More

Grading Obama’s Speech

Maybe I should have come up with a different title, but “grading” seemed to be the appropriate word tonight. The president sounded professorial, as if lecturing to high-schoolers about how the administration knew all along about the misfits who hacked into the school computers, stole the social security numbers, changed all the grades, and defaced the cafeteria walls. He had things totally under control and “they would pay.”

Some of the “students” may be …Read More

Top 10 Ways to Communicate Thanks to Dad on Father’s Day

Clean the grill after he cooks the steaks.
Take his car for a spin–then wash it and fill it with gas while you’re gone in memory of all the times he’s done the same for you.
Buy him tickets to see his favorite team play.
Spend an entire day with him, enjoying HIS favorite hobby.
Show him something that he gave you when you were a child, and tell …Read More

Top 10 Most Romantic Things to Say on Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, here are some suggestions to start the wheels turning for ways you may want to communicate your love to that special someone:

1.   “I’m the luckiest man/woman on the planet to have you.”

2.   “The day I met you was the best day of my life.”

3.   “I love you more every year.”

4.   “If I lost everything in the world—and still …Read More

Guess Which Word Was Used Most Often in 2009

If someone asked you to guess the most used word or phrase of 2009 what would you say?




According to The Global Language Monitor, it’s Twitter.

“In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after-effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of The Global …Read More

Consider the Impact of Communicating Your Thanks

“You have a lot of trees back here,” I said to my husband one Sunday afternoon in his backyard after we’d been dating only a few months. 


“I thought you were going to be moving shortly?”

“I probably will.”

“So how long does it take them to grow—won’t you be moved before they’re big enough to give you any shade?”

“Probably. But somebody’ll enjoy them after I’m gone.” He moved …Read More

What’s All the Buzz About?

Last year researchers at Oxford University published a list of the most irritating words and phrases. (Read my blog post and the Oxford list here.) Executives have now come up with their own list of overused clichés in the workplace.

“When business or industry terms become overused, people stop paying attention to them,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps, one of the world’s largest staffing firms, …Read More

Avoid Using These Phrases at Your Next Holiday Party

I’m often asked for tips on creating—and maintaining—executive presence. And while holiday office parties offer great opportunities for networking and image boosting, a verbal blunder can be an image-breaker.

Researchers at Oxford University agree on the importance of language. With their Oxford University Corpus database of the most commonly used phrases in books, papers, magazines, broadcast, the Internet, and other sources, they monitor the most obnoxious. …Read More

The Perfect Presentation Visual: Catch This Commercial Next Time You Turn on Your TV

Maybe you’ve seen this commercial already for, the online job site exclusively for $100K candidates looking for $100K jobs.  (

The commercial opens with a tennis match in progress.  But soon you discover the two players on the court can’t return the ball to each other because random people start running onto the court and getting in their way—very unsuitable people, inappropriately dressed for the …Read More

Lying by Not Telling All

Here is a smattering of yesterday’s headlines:  “Marie Osmond:  Faint or Fake?”   “Miss Puerto Rico:  Pepper-Sprayed or Publicity Stunt?”   Then there’s the ongoing Drew Peterson saga and attempted suicide of the brother:  Was it the blue-barrel episode that instigated guilt or some other death wish?  Intersperse those headlines with the daily litany of politicians spouting statistics about their congressional voting records, Iraqi war statistics, and …Read More