I am speaking about culture at DisruptHR in New York City on Thursday.

culture is a lie

The event benefits breast cancer patients under the age of forty. It hits close to home. I have a few friends under 40 who are battling breast cancer, and participating in DisruptHR NYC is my way to honor their struggles without telling their very private stories.

I have been working on my public speaking skills, by the way. Sharpening the saw, if you will. I partnered with my good friend, Ita Olsen, and worked on calming my brain down on stage, which is a more recent struggle for me.

Ita and I held our coaching sessions via Skype. We did relaxation and breathing exercises. We worked on improved posture and, of course, vocal intonation. More importantly, Ita told me that I will be a more powerful speaker if I love my audience.


Loving my audience is my biggest public speaking challenge. I’ve addressed tens of thousands of HR professionals in the past seven years. There’s nothing like giving everything you have to a room full of SHRM members and then reading feedback on tattoos and shoes.

But that’s in the past. And internalizing all of that old feedback makes me angry, amateurish and ineffective.

I’m ready for a fresh start as a speaker, and Ita Olsen is helping me to think about my audience differently. She constantly reminds me that my audience is full of delightful individuals who love me and need to hear my message. My job is to love them back.

She’s right.

So come and watch me talk about culture — and how it’s a fat lie, suckers! — on Thursday in New York City. We will have fun, I will shower you with love, and you will meet other great leaders and support an amazing cause.


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