How To Find the Truth

With all the advertisements, media spin, rumors, sales pitches and more that come our way, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make correct decisions based on fact. Have you ever wondered how to find out the truth? One way is to become a critical thinker. Critical thinking means disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence. The most important part of that sentence is "informed by evidence," meaning the decision you are making is based on verifiable, factual evidence. Here are a few tips on cutting through propaganda…

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VOTER SUPPRESSION 101

Voter Suppression. It's something I hadn't spent much time thinking about until this election cycle. The GOP has driven so far to the right that their base threw up their hands and went for a non-politician. The Democratic Party also shifted so far to the right that a progressive movement rose up and got behind the campaign of a not-widely known Senator from Vermont.  Big money and Super Pacs have been deciding elections, the mainstream media's been selling everyone a line and people have finally begun to notice. It's been…

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THREE QUICK TIPS FOR TACKLING TOXIC PEOPLE

          Know-It-Alls, Bullies, Whiners, Gossips, Angry Aggressors, Passives...           We've all come across toxic people, in both our work and personal lives. But what do you do when you're stuck dealing with one for more than a prolonged encounter? During a recent seminar I taught on how to read body language, an attendee had a question. It began with him describing how a co-worker sat with one hand behind his head and what that meant. This was easy to decipher. The guy was practically yelling "I'm…

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How To Be a More Effective Communicator Than the President

I've been a fan of Marc Maron's WTF podcast quite awhile and was surprised President Barack Obama had decided to visit Marc's garage in LA and give an interview. Then I listened to it. And I got annoyed. (And for anyone who thinks I'm going down Politics Road, sorry to disappoint.) President Obama is known for giving moving and commanding speeches. However, delivering a prepared speech (read from a teleprompter, notes or even from memory) is a lot different than answering extemporaneous questions or giving an interview. If you want…

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Adding Drama to Public Speaking

Every time we talk, we use different tones of voice, gestures and body language. When it comes to public speaking, it's no different. After determining what message you want to convey and crafting a speech, be it inspirational, educational or humorous, the hard work has just begun, because it's time to determine how to present your material. To give perspective, imagine that tonight you're attending a charity event where the keynote speaker is going to advocate for those who suffer from Alzheimer's. The speaker comes on stage, stops in the…

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Nine Inch Nails and My Spontaneous Life

Yesterday I was reading the local paper (don't ask me why I still do this) and noticed that Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden were playing a concert at the Chula Vista Ampitheater, formerly Coors Ampitheater, now Sleep Train Ampitheater, which is rather embarrassing to even say. I knew NIN was my daughter's favorite band. We've been under a lot of stress packing and getting ready to move so I casually ask her "Want to see Nine Inch Nails?" Of course, she does. "When is it?" TONIGHT.I get online and find…

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5 Quick Tips to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Jerry Seinfeld said   “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” Fear of public speaking trumps death! If you're one of many who feel like this, how do you change it? 1. Start small. If you consider it, you're engaged in public speaking all the time. You talk to friends, family, co-workers,…

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The Tale of a Bad Case

This week I had a friend ask me to write about my worst legal experience. I immediately said NO. There have been a lot of gut-wrenching, nightmare making, soul searching cases that I choose not to relive. The more I thought about this, I did recall one I don't mind sharing. I had been a prosecutor for about three years and was assigned to do misdemeanor trials. Today, prosecutors are assigned their cases ahead of time and have a chance to review them. Then, in the days of "Wild West"…

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