Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ideas for Healthy Eating During Career Transition

Healthy Eating During Career Transition
As I talk about in my book, a season of career transition can be a great time to make adjustments to your exercise routine and eating habits. This month’s guest blog is a book review by my colleague, Dave Carew. –Kurt

Can losing weight and getting healthy be fun, nutritious, and delicious? It can be when Kelly Ann Monahan is your guide! Beloved as the WSM radio personality and health correspondent for World Christian Broadcasting, Kelly Ann released her first ever cookbook for those who want to lose weight, gain energy, and achieve optimum health. It’s called Sweet Healthy Living: Delicious, Easy Recipes and is available as an e-book at Sweetie Pie Health or at Amazon.

Why is Sweet Healthy Living a different kind of cookbook? Because its scrumptious recipes—for everything from dinners to salads to smoothies to desserts—will help your body minimize inflammation, a strong contributor to everything from obesity to arthritis to diabetes to heart disease to cancer.

In fact, Kelly Ann herself is living proof of how well Sweet Healthy Living can work. She used these nutritious, easy-to-make, “to die for” recipes to lose 80 pounds, gain an all-new energy and love of life, eliminate a pile of prescription medications, and successfully manage her Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a rare connective-tissue disease that causes terrible pain and fatigue, and which, in Kelly Ann’s case, went undiagnosed for years).

Among the mouth-watering recipes featured in Sweet Healthy Living are Veggie Pot Pie, White Bean Burritos, Healthy Pizza Plate, Simply Delicious Salad Dressing, Berry Blast Breakfast Smoothie, Iced Lite Latte, Foo Foo Frappuccino, and wondrous, healthy deserts such as Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Chia Cakes.

To order or for more information, please visit:

–Dave Carew

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville and Voice from the Gutter, both available at and Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

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What You Should Know About Giving Great Presentations at Work – Part IV: Calm Your Nerves & Build Your Confidence

Calming nervousness before a speech
Photo by Ken Keirns

You may be wondering, “What’s up with the image for this blog post? Star Wars lover he must be.” Nope, that’s not it. Nancy Duarte, a marketing and communications expert and owner of the Silicon Valley design firm Duarte, Inc., reminds us to “Be Yoda” when we are speaking. You’re the one that’s imparting wisdom and knowledge to “Luke,” or in this case, your audience, to help them perform, react, or live better. You’re helping them take away nuggets of valuable knowledge and put them to use. As you share what you’ve prepared, model for the audience how you want them to feel…excited, concerned, proactive, etc.

Kayla Barrett’s (President/CEO of Organization Impact) mantra is short and to the point: “Prepare, Practice, Present!” This pretty much sums up everything I’ve covered in this series. But what else can you do to calm your nerves and boost your confidence as the time draws near to deliver your wonderful speech? 

As we touched on a few weeks ago, remember to imagine success! Never undertake anything you want to accomplish thinking about defeat. Have the attitude of “It’s easily in my power to deliver a compelling, persuasive, effective talk. I will succeed!” Believe this firmly, then do what’s necessary to bring about success.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Fake it till you make it”? Well, when you’re developing your presentation prowess, it’s definitely the time for this approach. Usually the best way to start feeling courage or confidence when you don’t have it is to act like you do until it is part of you. Also, the more presentations you do, the more the fear of the unknown will dissipate. You’ll know how to give a great speech, what works and what doesn’t, and will feel like more of an expert. This will lend to your confidence as well.

What do self-confidence and the ability to talk more effectively mean to you? Ponder what you feel is the answer to that question for you as you near the date of your presentation.

Remember that you are more qualified than any member of the audience to give this talk, and that you’re going to do your best to get the ideas across. You have EARNED the right to speak from experience and study. And you’ve put a lot of time into preparing this talk.

Before you go up to begin, keep your attention off yourself. I’ve never thought of this…it’s so simple but makes such sense. Swimming in your own pool of anxiety is not going to help you give a great presentation. Get your focus off yourself, and remember you are there to help your listeners. Visualize them as eager to hear what you have to say.

For some, a pretend state of mind can help. Expert speaker and creator of the famous course on public speaking Dale Carnegie recommends this: Imagine that everyone in attendance is there to petition you for an extension of credit.

Finally, know that once your speech is underway and you’re at ease with the audience, you’re not likely to hold yourself back when it comes to the normal, everyday expression of your opinions. From this point on it will be easier to express your ideas and talk naturally with the group—like you’re presenting to a bunch of folks you know and are comfortable being around.

I hope this series has been helpful to all of you who have speeches as part of your work. What have you done that’s helped ease tension before a presentation?

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What You Should Know About Giving Great Presentations at Work – Part III: Delivery

Delivering a great speech
Photo by The Parkie

In this section of my series on effective speaking, I’ll cover what you should know about giving your presentation. 

  • Never apologize for your newness as a speaker or mention that you’re nervous. You’ve researched, prepared, practiced and have every right to be speaking on this topic.
  • Show respect and (genuine) affection for the audience. Empty compliments or uniformed comments will not endear an audience.
  • Be excited about speaking and your topic. Speak with vitality, aliveness, and enthusiasm. If you believe a thing earnestly enough and say it sincerely enough, you’ll gain adherents to your cause.
  • Talk just as directly as you would in a one-on-one chat with someone but with greater energy. This is necessary when talking to a large group. Speak naturally but with force.
  • Be relaxed, confident, and engaging in your delivery—like you have chosen one person in the audience to talk to, imagining she has asked you a question.
  • Talk with your audience, not at them.
  • Use “you” rather than “they” as you present.
  • As we discussed in the last post, engaging the audience is always good and holds attention. If you know ahead of time that the audience will be small enough, you can prepare questions, ask them, and have them raise their hands and verbally answer. Start these questions about a quarter of the way in (when they’re comfortable with you and you’ve won them over!)
  • You want listeners to:
    – Feel what you feel
    – Enjoy and re-live the experiences you choose to share
    – Agree with your point of view
    – Do what you think is right for them to do

What has been effective for you in the way you deliver a speech? Has anything caused applause during or after your talk?

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