To Give a Great Presentation, Distill Your Message to Just 15 Words
07 Nov 2018

Fearless public speaking is about more than combating nerves. It’s about knowing the technique, the art, and the business of public speaking.

In my two years working as a TedX producer, and my 27 years working in film, television, theater, and events production, I have worked with hundreds of speakers, and with actors including Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken, Susan Sarandon, and the late James Gandolfini. All of the speakers and actors I’ve worked with rely on technique when they walk on to a stage or a set. They don’t simply hope they will connect with the scene or with their scene partner. The same applies to anyone who’s public speaking. While you may not deliver a captivating talk every time, you can learn to apply technique, and in turn, become a fearless speaker every time. But your nerves are not the only thing you have to master. You must also:

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Here’s How Highly Successful People Generate Their Own Good Luck
27 Sep 2018

It can be tempting to look at successful people and think they’ve been luckier than everyone else. Maybe. But more likely they’re just better at creating opportunities and opening doors. Here’s advice from more than a dozen high-achieving executives on how to do it.

1. Perfect your ask.
“Leading a startup accelerator, I can tell you there is no denying the power of a great pitch. No matter your industry, role or goals, good listening skills are a necessity, but it’s critical to perfect your ask. Have a well-honed standard for what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what you’re looking for, and take advantage of every opportunity where you can share that narrative with people who can open doors. Fortune favors the bold.”

–Micah Kotch, managing director of URBAN-X, a startup accelerator backed by MINI, which invests $100,000 in up to 10 startups every six months

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Taking a TEDx Stage
10 Sep 2018

As the executive producer of TEDxLincolnSquare in New York City, I have privilege of working with some amazing speakers. I also get to read hundreds of incredible ideas worth spreading during the application processes each September. Wearing the crown of a TEDx speaker is something authors, speakers, and leaders all want. And the truth is, this red crown, gets you through more doors and gets you more returned calls. But, why does being a TEDx speaker bring on instant credibility? What about taking a TEDx stage is so fancy? I believe it’s the wow factor. The brand TED is super credible. The ideas and speakers who take TED stages are important. Pope Francis spoke at the 2017 conference! And the dream of what could be is alluring. Simon Sinek and Brene Brown became rock stars overnight and that excites people. However, committing to the process of identifying, writing and delivering a TEDx is not easy. TED and TEDx talks are an artform that take time to learn like any other artform. Along with learning the art of TEDx, each event and how to apply successfully, must also be a consideration on this amazing journey. And finally, when you take the stage, be sure to accept the gift of the audience before you give us yours.

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The Art and Commerce of Story-Telling
03 Sep 2018

I have always been a story teller. It started back when I took my first stage. My story, although told with my body through dance, was a total expression of my soul. Story telling is something anyone can take on. And when we decide to become vulnerable, and share our ideas and purpose with the world, it’s possible to create not only magic, but also make an impact that will have a profound effect on every life.

Story telling is an art that may take on many forms. Choreography, filmmaking, literature, and now famously, The TED Talks. TED is a not-for-profit organization standing for technology, entertainment and design, but also includes scientific, cultural and academic topics. The conference, for short form, 18 minute or less talks, started in 1984 and has continued annually since 1990, with curator Chris Anderson at the helm. TED Talks are “ideas worth spreading” and there are over 2,600 TED Talks freely available online. Wikipedia notes that by November 2012, TED Talks have been watched over one billion times worldwide.

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http://swaay.com/art-and-commerce-of-story-telling/

 

3 Theatremakers Poised for Major Career Breakthroughs
27 May 2018

Theatregoers are always hungry for the next big thing. The fact is, theatre takes a long time to incubate and make. (Just ask Tina Fey who thought there was no way it could take five years to adapt her hit movie Mean Girls into a musical—and then it took five years adapt Mean Girls into a musical.) Playbill has been keeping its proverbial ear to the ground about the creators in the theatre community who are working on plays, musicals, and events that could impact the theatre in big ways. Get to know them now:

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Brutal Doesn’t Have to Mean Savage
26 May 2018

I’m a filmmaker. I’m working on a documentary about the new Chaplin at Riker’s Island, Justin von Bujdoss, who’s also a Buddhist. Bujdoss was hired by a female warden and his Chief Officer is also a woman. In our first meeting, he shared with me that they have an unusual combination of deep compassion and almost brutal strength. I think what struck me was that this didn’t strike me as unusual.

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The Power In Saying Yes
26 May 2018

Saying yes means allowing room for opportunity. It means giving myself permission to try and to fail, while knowing you’ll be changed afterwards having learned something new. Saying yes, can be terrifying, but if you say yes, you might be surprised at what is possible.

The first time I realized the power of saying yes was when John Turturro asked me if I would choreograph his feature film, Romance and Cigarettes. Without hesitation, I said yes. I had not choreographed anything except my college comp class, but I knew I could do it. I knew I would do it. It was terrifying. I was terrified, but not uncertain. Those are two things I want to differentiate. I held fear and certainly simultaneously. So I went home and learned the music and made the steps and choreographed my first feature film leading me to a career of directing, writing and choreographing film, television and theater. And I got to work with James Gandolfini, who became a dear friend, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet. I could never have dreamed I would be given an opportunity like that, but by saying yes, an entire world of possibility opened up to me.

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The Extraordinary Power of Collaboration
24 May 2018

Last week I attended TEDxLincolnSquare: Risk Takers and Change Makers. The theater was intimate and cozy, and the messages were big and bold. You could sense the emotion and passion as each of the diverse presenters spoke.

I also had the privilege of meeting up with the organizers, Jamie Broderick and Tricia Brouk. It was easy to see that the two of them encompassed the strength, tenacity, courage, humor, and joy that I experienced throughout the event.

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