Fresh Communications

Public Speakingions

Blog Entries

view:  full / summary

It's a Choice

Posted by Jeff Jewett on June 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I used to think that I had to feel forgiveness order to the forgive people who did me wrong. I was waiting for something to motivate me to let them off the hook. I used to think that I had to stand up to the ones who had done me wrong and extract an apology in order for my negative feelings toward them to subside. I remember one day in particular, going about my day and every one of my thoughts was consumed with remembering the wrong that had been committed against me by a certain individual. I relived and relived the experience of their words and actions against me. Oh, how I wanted to get even. I played over and over the words I would use next time I saw them and how I would get them to pay for what they had done. As I fueled my daily activities with anger and I chose the exact phrases with which to accost them, a thought dawned on my spiteful, clouded mind. What if I never saw them again? What if I never had a chance for my sweet revenge? What would I do? Would I have to live with the storm that was raging with in me? There had to be a way to get through this and I wondered...did the subject of my anger have to face this same rage? Probably not, I was the one caught in this dilemma, they probably don't even know what they did! I realized that I needed to find a way to forgive them because I was wasting time obsessing about my experience. I was burning up inside and peace was so very far from my mind. Then I came across this idea, "Forgiveness is a choice". I decided to try it. I said out loud, I forgive you ________. I said specifically, out loud what I felt they had done to me. Then to my relief I began to feel the anger subside. It was sort of like how soap washes dirt from the hands. You have to scrub a bit but it washed away. I began to feel more peaceful. It worked and every time I remembered what they did to me, I said it again and experienced the same peace. Try it out. "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong" Gandhi

Complain, Hope for Change, Adjust your sails

Posted by Jeff Jewett on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Several summers ago my family and I had the opportunity use a motorboat. We were told before we left the shore, that the lake was notorious for generating quick storms. Of course we had never been on that lake in a motorboat and had never experienced what they were talking about. I reasoned with myself, what would the storm look like? When they say quick storms, how quick do they mean? How much time would we have to get back to the shore? How fast could the boat go? Hopefully none of my questions would need to be answered. After all it was a bright sunny day. Surely no storms could ruin our adventure. We crossed the lake with the carefree attitude of people with no worries, on holiday. When I navigated the boat for the return voyage the sky presented itself in a threatening manner. It became obvious that we were in for a storm. Our advisers were right, the storm did appear very quickly. What began with such delight was quickly becoming a scary situation. Being a novice boater I had no idea how much gas it would take for the return journey. My worries began to mount as I realized that the waves on the lake were getting higher the wind was getting stronger and the attitudes of my fellow voyagers was matching the color of the clouds. I began to work scenarios in my mind. What should we do in the event of… types of scenarios. What if the boat ran out of gas? What if the boat capsized? Would our holiday end in disaster? While pondering these questions another reality presented itself. My worries escalating to the realm of panic and the fear spread like a thick cloud to the rest of my crew. My wife and I decided that the only logical choice was to press on. (she has always shown such wonderful perseverance). With that resolve, the atmosphere of the journey changed from a sense of forboding to an adventure. it became the kind of thing that bonds relationships and builds trust. Fortunately, the skys did not open and pour out their contents on us. The waves did not sink us and we did not run out of gas. None of our fears were realized. From that experience I pass on these comments.

When the storms of life come on us, in my opinion you have three choices: 1. Complaint 2. Hope for change 3. Adjust your sails. 

Carolyn Gorrill's Secret to a Worry Free Day

Posted by Jeff Jewett on May 24, 2014 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I met Carolyn at the Ups and Down Conference where I was doing a drama session. I found the experience to be thoroughly enjoyable. The participants were so expressive and creative. Ups and Downs serves individuals with Down Syndrome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. After that experience I wanted to know more about Carolyn and her work. Here are the answers to my questions.


Jeff: Carolyn, can you tell us about you and your involvement in your agency?

Carolyn: I’ve been in the not-for-profit for 12 years. I am the Executive Director of Ups and Downs.

Jeff: What are the mission and goals of your agency?

Carolyn: To be a vibrant family support group that enriches the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome and their families by providing a network of resources, sharing common experiences, learning together, and creating awareness in the broader community. Our goals are for a future where all individuals with Down Syndrome and their families feel supported and connected in the community that fosters an environment of acceptance.

Jeff: What kind of things do you do to promote your agency?

Carolyn: I network and partner with many other local groups to grow the awareness of Down Syndrome in our community. We’re a member based organization. We promote our organization by providing hospitals with our Visiting Parent Packages, sending bi-monthly newsletters and running events for our members.


Jeff: Can you tell me any stories that you cherish about your work?

Carolyn: No matter how tough my day is, when I speak with an individual who has Down Syndrome my day becomes brighter and worry-free. A child, teen or young adult with Down Syndrome have such amazing personalities, hearts bigger than the moon and so much unconditional love to give, that my day ends up to be so much happier.


Jeff: Why do you do this work?

Carolyn: I do this work because I believe that every person deserves to be equal, and that it shouldn’t matter what colour you are or if you have a disability- we should all be able to have our voices heard.


Jeff: How are you at Public Speaking?

Carolyn: I find being interviewed and speaking in public a little terrifying but I hope to work on my skills to someday gain the self-confidence to speak in front of a large group of people.


Jeff: I love that statement “When I speak with an individual who has Down Syndrome my day becomes brighter and worry-free.” Thank you to Carolyn for the work you do to make our world a better place and I hope you have many more “worry free” days.


The Wonder Vitamin

Posted by Jeff Jewett on May 10, 2014 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

What if you could take a vitamin that would solve your most difficult life communication issues?

Just imagine, you are having a disagreement with someone and the results of the discussion need to go in your favour because it is linked to your success. You take your wonder vitamin and all of a sudden you become convincing and you come up with brilliant ideas and reasons why they should take your perspective and you win the argument or get the contract or your intimate relationship goes from challenging to brilliant. Not only that, because of your communication prowess you gain the respect of your peers, friends and family. Yahoo! You have got it made! (On top of all of this, the vitamins taste good too.)

If you ever discover these vitamins or the fountain of youth please put me on your need to know list. Until then, let me tell you about something that can change the course of communication in a favourable way. Here it is. Compliment your listener(s). Yes, give them a sincere compliment and watch what happens.

Free Freeman

Posted by Jeff Jewett on May 2, 2014 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)




Free Freeman, wait, what? Anyone with a name like Freeman was already free. He certainly should be free, why his very name stands for freedom. What hypocrisy, to be named for freedom and yet not be free. So if he isn't free, then what has him behind bars? What could possible keep a free man imprisoned? What does he need to be free from?

This oxymoron depicts a human conundrum. I think it would be fair to say, without exaggerating that everyone wants to be free. Most of human struggle is wrapped around the need for freedom. We all face some form of restriction that holds us back from what we really envision our life should be like. We are all restricted in some form of mental, physical or spiritual suffering. What's yours. If you could truly be free what would you need to be free from? What do you need to be liberated from??

In a recent conversation with Life Coach Eric Dulong, we discussed the concept of the voice of freedom that speaks to us all. Since I'm the originator of Freeman, he asked me, "what does Freeman say to you?" (Since I invented him, I should know shouldn't I?) Well, that really stopped me in my tracks.

After a lengthy pause, I said that Freedom is the voice of wisdom and experience that says to me that I should not listen to the fears that come from my previous failures that I should realize that my mistakes can lead me to freedom and success. In our conversation, it dawned on me that my greatest restriction is fear. My own fear of failure. Not lack of finances, not social standing, not my looks, (dashing as I am), not my employment, not my physical stature, not my past failures. Eric can be quite profound. He went on to say, "the first time we make a mistake is an accident the next time we make the same mistake it is a choice." (Oh Eric, why did you say that? Now I have to do something with that, either ignore it or believe it. Why did you have to say that?) His statement sounded like truth. You know what they say, "the truth will set you free." So, I thought, failure comes from a series of repeated mistakes. Freedom can come from learning from those mistakes and choosing to end the repetition.

Let's track it through. I make a mistake, I repeat the mistake and reap the benefits....failure. I make the same mistake, I suffer the consequences of the failure, loss of self respect, loss of respect from others. Then Fear jumps in and says, "look at you, look what happened, you had better not try something else, you tried before and look what happened. People will think that you are a looser. This the point at which I become a captive to fear, sound familiar?

You might argue. It's not my failures that hold me back. It's what others have said to me. That is where the problem is. I can't get over their rejection. Their words of rejection, their nonverbal treatment of me and their physical actions towards me. On the other hand isn't it your choice if you allow the thoughts and actions of others to control your freedom? There are other options. You could forgive them or apologize.


Now, back to Freeman. I believe that we are our own jailers. Yes, there are outside forces that influence our decisions, but we are the ones who decide who has the control of our lives. We hold the keys to our freedom. In order to free our Freeman, we need to acknowledge that we are trapped by our own fears and our choice for freedom can lead to our liberation. So, here is my call to all women and men. Be free. You possess something in your person that is absolutely brilliant, yes you. If you allow it to be locked up inside you will rob the world of something of worth. You can affect the world for good with the wealth you have. You have something that can change peoples' lives.

Listen to the voice of Freeman, the voice of wisdom that says that you can learn from your failures and be free. Make the decision now to evaluate the mistakes you have made and allow them to be the keys to your release, will you?


Guest Blogger Michael Kerr, Celebrate Your Speaking Bloopers & Blunders

Posted by Jeff Jewett on April 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

How to Add Fun to Your Business Presentations: Celebrate Your Speaking Bloopers and Blunders

Get over it. No matter how much you prepare and plan ahead, speaking bloopers will happen, and some of them, despite all your planning, will be beyond your control. Instead of dreading those blunders, however, here are a few good reasons to learn to love, and more importantly, laugh at your speaking blunders:

1. They can be a source of humor – depending on how you react. And spontaneous humor is often the funniest humor there is. If you use a humorous recovery line or a little self deprecating humor after making a blunder, it sends the message that a) you’re human, b) you take yourself lightly and c) you’re not on autopilot (okay, that’s three messages, even better). Remember – audiences are very forgiving. What they won’t forgive is a speaker who takes themselves too seriously.

2. Bloopers are a great learning source. It’s a cliché to say we learn from our mistakes, but it’s true. Each time a blunder happens, ask yourself three questions: a) what did you learn from it, b) what can you do to prevent it from happening again, c) if it does happen again, how will you react to it the next time?

3. Bloopers keep us humble. Speaking can be a very ego-expanding experience when things go great. Remembering and sharing our past blunders can help us keep our feet planted firmly on the ground.

4. Bloopers remind us that life happens. Speaking can be a very ego-destroying experience when things go bad. Remembering to laugh at our blunders can remind us not to take things too seriously and offer some much needed perspective when things go wrong.

5. Laughing at our blunders can minimize our speaking jitters by reminding ourselves a) if something goes wrong, I’m humorously prepared for it and b) if something goes wrong it’s not the end of the world.

6. Laughing at ourselves keeps the audience relaxed, too. Audiences mirror the speaker, so if you get nervous, they get nervous. But if you laugh first and beat them to the punch line, you’ll minimize the nerves they feel for you, and they’ll laugh with you, not at you.

7. Laughing at our blunders reduces our stress levels and minimizes the odds of suffering from that horrible affliction, “perfectionitis.” Trying to be our best each and every time out is a positive, healthy outlook. Trying to be perfect, probably isn’t it.

Remember, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ll leave the job the others!

Michael Kerr. Michael is an international business speaker and author of the book, "The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing all the Way to the Bank."


Posted by Jeff Jewett on April 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

About 5 years ago I was teaching a public speaking course at a local university. Unbeknownst to me there were twin girls who were attending the class. I say I didn't know it, because they took turns attending class. Now that I think of it, that's a rather clever way to save money. They were paying tuition for one and alternating the days they attended. So, they took notes and shared the information. One day while walking down the hallway I saw them both standing together at their locker. When they saw me coming they began to look rather guilty. At first I didn't get it and then the truth exploded in my brain. Twin 1 and Twin 2 were being tricky twins.

"Did you notice?" said Twin 1, and then came the confession, "we have been taking turns attending your class."

"How could I possibly know, you are identical?", I exclaimed.

"Oh, but that is where you are wrong, no identical twins are exactly identical", explained Twin 2.

With that she pointed to a mole on the right cheek of Twin 1.

"See, we are not the same. In fact my sister is nothing like me. I am very outspoken and she is rather quiet. Didn't you notice?"

I know that students often think that their professors know everything but I had to confess that I had not noticed and probably would never have noticed unless they had pointed it out. We all had a great laugh and they promised that only Twin 1 (the quiet one) would attend the class because she was the one that needed it the most. As I recall, she ended up completing the course with a more than passing grade. (I think Twin 2 gave her some coaching). I walked away from that chance encounter with a profound realization. We are all so individually unique. There is only one you. There will be people who look like you, walk like you, sound like you, eat like you, think like you but there will never ever be another you. So, you have an exciting opportunity. Find out who you are, then get busy and BU.

You Will Never Know What Hit You

Posted by Jeff Jewett on April 11, 2014 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A sloth called the police to report that he had been attacked by a gang of turtles. When the police asked him to discribe the attack, he replied: "I... dooooon"t..........knoooooow........It......all.....happend........soooooo....fassst."

The moral of the story is, If you are hanging like a sloth, you will never know what hit you.


Posted by Jeff Jewett on April 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

SQUIZZLEBIT is a theme I invented. It is a "bit" of information that has the ability to dynamically change a communication experience. It is based on a research project I did on communication and it identifies 3 different comments that you can use to turn the tables on communication experiences both interpersonal and public.

The 3 comments are:

Buoyant positive phrases-good job

Nonverbal signals-thumbs up etc.

Specific phrases-what I really like about you is.....


Posted by Jeff Jewett on April 5, 2014 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)


There are several things in this life that can make us wobbly. Needles, weddings, performance reviews, public speaking.

I was once at the wedding of a friend. There were 3 grooms men and 1/2 way through the ceremony the tuxedo clad gentle man on the end of the wedding party started to wobble back and forth. At fIrst I thought he was just changing his footing but he continued to wobble more and more dramatically until suddenly he went over like a fallen tree. The crowd gasped and the ceremony came to an abrupt halt. I don't think he ever lived that experience down. Imagine bringing your best friends wedding to a screeching end. No body knew what to do. The bride looked at the bridegroom, they both looked to the minister, the minister finally asked if there was a doctor or nurse in the place. Eventually, someone from the medical profession came forward just in time to see the grooms man come to his senses and they helped him off to the sidelines to recover. Fortunately, the ceremony continued without anymore falling participant. 

Have you ever considered the physiology behind the wobbly experience? Light headedness, difficulty thinking, shaking and racing heart. After researching this I realized that much of the anxiety issue has to do with a very basic life necessity. BREATHING! Think about it. Your heart is racing (approx 130 bpm) and you are trying to show that you are totally in-control of yourself but inside you feel like you're on a roller coaster that is totally out of control. Your body is screaming for oxygen but you go into economy breathing because you can't bear the thought of letting anyone how you are really doing. No wonder we oxygen! When under stress try breathing in on the count of 3 and out on the count of 6. Nice deep breaths.