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Why I’m happy my doctor doesn’t think she knows it all

Has your family doctor ever consulted a reference book while you were present? The first time my GP did so, I was stunned. Even though I’d sought treatment for a wide range of issues from a slew of doctors over the course of more than 40 years, this had never happened before. And it seemed to […]

Why we’re celebrating the addition of Viola Desmond to the $10 bill

    Is putting Viola Desmond on the Canadian $10 bill crass symbolism or a significant step forward? Just ask Adrienne Clarkson. When she served as Governor General, Chinese Canadian girls across the country suddenly experienced a future of expanded possibilities. A refugee who looked like them serving as the head of state suggested there […]

You’re introducing a speaker: can you channel Leonard Cohen?

By Rama – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, Link   Leonard Cohen’s passing offered us all an occasion to re-visit his art and impact. In my fantasy of this singular man, he is introducing me. I don’t even have to be on the stage with him. Or even in the concert hall. I just […]

Less is more (how your mobile’s stop watch will improve your speaking)

My cabinet minister client was a speechwriter’s dream: She had deep knowledge of, inspirational passion for, and a lifetime of stories relevant to her portfolio. She also had a great sense of humour, and a strong and unique voice, which I could hear in my head as I wrote. Because she was a minister, and […]

Trump May Be The Women’s Movements’ Best Recruitment Tool Yet

  Originally published October 17 2016 on Huffington Post Donald Trump may be the best recruitment tool the women’s movement has ever had. That he remains standing as the Republican nominee for president, continuing to enjoy the support of millions of Americans, makes clear that the fight for women’s right to be respected and treated […]

How to Avoid Power Point Crimes

  Power pointers everywhere, can we talk? The time has long passed for you to be creating slides featuring 79 word-paragraphs. It’s not a good idea to share detailed graphs with data that’s indecipherable from even the first row. And no one wants to see your meticulously footnoted sources during a stand-up presentation. That’s what handouts are for […]

How to rescue yourself from a poor introduction

  Three times in recent weeks, women I know and respect have declared, in conversation or in print, “I’m really good at what I do.” In all cases, I knew them to be stating the truth. And because a part of what Informed Opinions does is remind women of the importance of owning their expertise, I […]

Trump’s Terrifying Communication Effectiveness

As professional communicators who advise others on how to improve their ability to connect with audiences, colleague Sarah Neville and I have watched the astonishing ascension of political neophyte and insult-machine Donald Trump with dropped jaws. Here’s our conversation about the lessons to be learned from his fearless communication style, originally published on Huffington Post. SARAH: […]

“They read my entire op-ed in the debate!”

“I nearly fell out of my chair,” laughs Janet McLaughlin, recalling her shock upon hearing the Leader of the Opposition publicly quote her in the Ontario legislature. The House was embroiled in a critical debate about funding for autism programs, an issue McLaughlin cares about deeply. That’s when the Assistant Professor of Health Studies at […]

7 Ways to Get Heard at Meetings

You can tell how old this Punch cartoon is by the honorific applied to the sidelined “Miss” Triggs. But sadly, even though it was first published more than half a century ago, including it in a slide deck in 2016 still elicits the laughter of recognition. What stops you from speaking up at meetings? Even […]