Can you hear me now?


I don’t know about you but I’m drowning in words.  Between the emails, web articles, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, blogs and texts, I am in absolute information overload! I read loads of words and see oodles of images but I’m still not satisfied with my level of connectedness with the world.   This is why I was so happy today when I had an honest to God, real live conversation with a good friend who now resides in Texas.   I realized just how much I missed listening to the feeling and emotion in someone’s voice and I jokingly noted that my friend’s southern accent had thickened since she left Colorado.  After months of catching on Facebook and email, it was heartwarming to hear the inflections, tones and prosody of the live human voice.  The conversation was full, animated and nuanced.  It was so much more satisfying to my heart and soul than our online chats have been.


 After 19 years of giving and listening to live speeches in Toastmasters, I’ve grown very effective and comfortable with verbal communication.  I like speaking.  Using my vocal cords, lips and tongue to get my message across just feels more human than the more recent modes of communication that involve text and images on a glowing, backlit screen. It’s just not the same and I have to admit that I don’t enjoy written communication (not counting a well done novel) nearly as much as the spoken word.  I dislike texting and I’d rather not catch up with a long lost friend via email.  So much is lost with this cold form of expression.

 The other thing that troubles me about the overflowing sea of information in cyberspace is that I feel like my voice and message can’t or won’t be heard.  With the plethora of blogs, articles, IMs and tweets, how can my ideas, thoughts or expressions possibly stand out and connect with others?  To address this I think I’ll take some strategies I learned while I was in the Army and that is:  Be Bold, Be Brief, Be Gone.  It also helps to change things up occasionally, keeping it interesting.  Remember that less is often more and oh, have a point, it makes it so more enjoyable for the audience!

 So, can you hear me now?   These are my ideas and suggestions on how to survive and hopefully thrive in this information- gorged world of ours.   With my friends and family I will reach out touch someone live and in the blogosphere I will be bold, brief and then I’ll be gone.  At 437 words, it’s time to go.  I’ll talk to you soon.

Pairing Passions

I love alliteration, especially when it involves the letter “P”.  That is why I am particularly pleased to share with you the idea that pairing your passions can improve your performance and purpose.  I’ve recently done this matchmaking of interests and have been enjoying myself so much more than before.

 The pairing of passions can help anyone and I have two specific audiences in mind as I write this blog.  One is for the beginner speaker at Toastmasters and the other is the person in going through the dreaded “mid-life crisis”.  I’ll start with the neophyte communicator who often seems to struggle and stress over what their first speech topic should be.  During many a mentor session with new Toastmasters I always go back to the question “ What do you love to do on the weekends when you are not working?” and this usually leads to a smile and a fun and interesting idea for a speech topic.  You see, it is so much easier to talk about something you know well or have a strong interest in rather than gutting your way through a topic that you have no connection to. When the words come from your heart they tend to flow more smoothly and your ability to connect with the audience is greatly enhanced.  Plus it is just more fun!

For those who feel like their lives don’t have enough deep or higher purpose, I submit that when you pair up some of your passions, you will have an increased level of satisfaction and happiness in your pursuits.


My passion pairing occurred last year when, after 18 years of giving general speeches at my Toastmaster clubs, I decided to branch out into the community and focus my communication and leadership skills on helping veterans and their families.  I became an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1 in Denver and was quickly appointed as the Public Affair Officer.  Now my speeches, PR and marketing efforts are more specialized and directed.  I have more enthusiasm in my endeavors because I am speaking and leading with a purpose. My passion for communicating is combined with my strong desire to assist my fellow veterans and the coalescence is powerful and potent (again with the “Ps”).

Just for fun, here are some examples of paired passions that I’ve seen or pursued:

  • Photography and cycling or hiking
  • Public speaking and community activism
  • Storytelling and community outreach
  • Travel and food
  • Food and sex (made for a great Seinfeld episode!)
  • Bowling and social bonding
  • Horses and helping children
  • Reading, book clubs and wine
  • Tandem Bicycling and wine tours (the captain is the designated driver)

I hope that this idea of “Passion Pairing” has sparked some creative ideas about what excites or drives.  Please share your thoughts and comments about your inspirations with me and those following this blog.


Virgin Post

Welcome to Brenda’s Blog-  Strong Words and Simple Truths.

Words have power.  Words inspire.  Words can change your world.

I am a Distinguished Toastmaster and leader within my community.

I am a female US Army veteran having served in the first Gulf war.

I have stories to share and perspectives to uncover.

Ready for some short, simple tidbits on Communication, Leadership and Influence?

Here we go………………….Image