Like Joan of Arc, You Were Born to Make Your Difference

Eleni Kelakos Executive leadership coaching, Peak Performance, Uncategorized

I was shopping at the grocery store, when a quote on a card in the greeting card rack stopped me in my tracks “I am not afraid,” it read. “I was born to do this.” I stepped closer, to read the source of the quote, and was surprised to see that it was attributed to Joan of Arc– a heroine of France who led the French army to victory over the English at Orleans in 1430 when she was eighteen years old. She was ultimately burned at the stake by the English and canonized as a saint. Joan of Arc …

Presentation Skills Tip: To Keep Your Audiences Engaged, “You-nify” Your Presentations

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

As a presentation skills coach and trainer, one of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I keep my audience engaged?”  There are, of course, multiple answers to that question (which I’ve written about here and here and here). But one of my favorite responses and techniques is also one of the simplest: “You-nify” your presentation.  By that I mean, say “you” more. Say the word you more than you say the word I. Say you more, so your audience members can see (and feel) themselves in the story you’re telling, the scenario you’re sharing, or in …

To be a Better Speaker, Honor the Sacred Stage

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

(Or Lessons in Peak Performance from an Italian Waiter) While dining in a rooftop restaurant in Venice, Italy, I was struck by our waiter’s commitment to providing us with a memorable, meaningful dining experience. “Giacomo” made sure to provide every little thing we needed—from changes of silverware between each course, to finger-bowls with lemon after we’d dug into our mussels and clams appetizer. And he plated and served our food with the kind of focus and dramatic flair reserved for top-level magicians or performing artists. As I watched him lovingly twirl a pyramid of pasta onto my plate, and meticulously …