Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book Spotlight Speaking with Strategic Impact by Kate LeVan

This book is a must-read if you’re a consultant, analyst, pitch team leader, roadshow executive, technology specialist, project manager, internal or external marketer, sales rep, subject matter expert or innovator.

Book Details:

Book Title: Speaking with Strategic Impact: Four Steps to Extraordinary Presence & Persuasion
​Author: Kate LeVan
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 152 pages
Genre: Business
Publisher: Delton Press
Release date: May 24, 2017
Tour dates: June 12 to 30, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Speaking with Strategic Impact is for business people who make their living—or their mark—through presentations long and short.

It’s a must-read if you’re a consultant, analyst, pitch team leader, roadshow executive, technology specialist, project manager, internal or external marketer, sales rep, subject matter expert or innovator.

Do your presentations unexpectedly fall flat? Do others hijack your meetings? Do you spend more time compiling slide decks than actually influencing decision-makers? Has someone vaguely told you that you “should look more confident up there” or that you “lack gravitas”? Have you watched TED Talks but wonder how you can bring that level of effectiveness into real business presentations?

Speaking with Strategic Impact gives you the key to leadership presence and persuasion. More than just tips and tricks, it outlines a discipline for navigating real business situations with consistently superior outcomes that’s favored by top business schools and Fortune 500 companies. You’ll get specific strategic and tactical advice to keep you on the mark in your presentations and meetings—and differentiate you from the vast majority of business presenters.

Read Speaking with Strategic Impact to master the means by which you make a living and a difference in the world!

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Kate LeVan trains, coaches and collaborates on business communication effectiveness with major corporations worldwide and as an instructor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her training consistently receives top ratings from executive development program participants for its simplicity, applicability and career-changing impact.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

1.Why did you write this book?
I’ve been training and coaching executives in effective business communication for almost 20 years now.  I estimate that I’ve seen, evaluated, or helped develop about 2,000 business presentations in that time.  I figure this is a solid enough sample from which to draw some conclusions!

I do think that the book has a bias toward helping Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), though.  All those salt-of-the-earth, analytical types who see the possibilities or problems and get it done. I especially want to reach the ones who aspire to be leaders, but think they don’t have the chops.  

You see, this does NOT describe me.  I’m an ex-advertising and marketing executive for whom high-stakes pitches were my stock and trade.  I often got promoted or recognized during my career over these SMEs because I knew how to be seen and heard.  So, as I say in my book, I like to think that I’m giving people like those I describe—and whom I deeply admire—the key to mastering the means by which they make a living and a difference in the world.

2.  Why now?  Was there a catalyst for your book?

There’s a lot of buzz out there about TED Talks and Steve Jobs as representing the gold standard for presenting.  I don’t disagree.  But the reality is that the majority of business presenters don’t do those kinds of presentations.  They mostly do everything after the “ta-da” concept has been revealed.  The work sessions, the conference calls, the management updates and the occasional town hall meeting or industry forum that—while lower profile—tend to unnerve them and feel just as “high stakes.”  

My book doesn’t give them a bunch of templates to fill in, nor does it simply suggest that they throw in more stories and pictures.  I give them a well-honed and proven discipline around strategically assessing what an audience needs in a given situation.  Then I add a few fundamental tools and techniques.  Taken together, it’s a process that let’s them do what they know how to do so well—THINK.  But think about something their academic training never required them to consider:  staying strategically focused on their decision-makers in order to be better seen and heard and accomplish their objectives.

3.  In the book you say, “You have to BE present to have PRESENCE.”  What does that mean?

There is a tendency in business to use words like “Presence” and “Gravitas” as though they are woo-woo elements on the periodic table that are present in some people and not in others.  I do think people may display more or less of them depending on certain factors—like life experience and comfort with an audience.  I can’t give people a greater knowledge base or more years of experience than they already have.  But I can give them a method to focus and calm their energy so that they are less mired in their self-centered details and fears and more aware of what can and should be done in the moment for the audience to be effective.  I call that Presence.

4.What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you in a presentation?

Maybe the craziest was when I was supposed to present to 50 Chicago business leaders who were guests of my banking client.  We were using the bank’s conference facilities that evening.  When they hooked up their laptop to project my slides for the presentation, it died. I told them, no worries, they could use my laptop as a backup.  They plugged it in— and it sparked and died too.  By now it was 10 minutes before start time and all the guests had arrived.  The host from the bank was mortified and said he wouldn’t expect me to do anything, since I had no slides.  I asked for a flip chart and some markers instead.

The presentation began with my client apologizing profusely and taking full responsibility for the compromised situation I was in and the compromised presentation they would see.
Of course, I had rehearsed my presentation; so, all I did was list my main points on separate charts and flip to them as I got to that part of my presentation.  I wrote in key words or important details as I needed to, and moved around the room when I wasn’t referring to anything on the charts.  

At the end of my presentation, the group applauded, but my client was overjoyed.  He repeated his apologies and the story about how everything had gone awry despite their best efforts.  The business leaders politely listened to my frazzled client’s explanation.  Finally, one of them disclosed what many had assumed—that all this was an elaborate hoax to demonstrate that they didn’t need slides and could do just as effective a presentation without them.  

I guess I couldn’t have had a more effective session.  But, as I shared with the audience, I really did need a drink!

5.What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
What comes up for me is one of those instances of facing one’s own fear.

I had just gone through a divorce and was at risk of losing my home, when I managed to secure a job with a Chicago advertising agency.  I thought everything was golden.  After about 3 months, the longtime agency account that I had been hired to manage went away through no fault of my own.   Apparently, they had been planning on taking things in house for some time.  I figured I was on the ropes again.  Then the agency president offered me a position on a liquor account.  It would require that I work with some unsavory characters in my book with lots of travel and after-hours drinking.  It just wasn’t me.  But I so needed the money.  

I can almost feel now that same pit in my stomach that I had while driving down Lake Shore Drive, knowing I was about to refuse the job without any other safety net.  I remember reciting the poem my Dad once gave me about “speak your truth quietly and clearly.”  I did manage that day--with a tremble in my voice—to explain to the agency president that I just couldn’t do this to myself and I’d rather take my chances.  As I left his office, he stopped me and came to the door.  All he said was, “You know, it took a lot to do what you just did.”

Later that week I got called into his office again—to be given the lead on the biggest pitch the agency had ever taken on.  Needless to say, we won.  

5. If anyone in the world could review your book, who would you pick and what would you hope they’d say?

My Dad, God rest his soul.  And I would hope he’d say, “You know, it took a lot to do what you just did.” J

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Monday, June 12, 2017

One Is A Promise Book By Pam Godwin

One is a Promise

One promise. One forever.
One look and I knew Cole was mine. My dark rebel in leather. My powerhouse of passion, devastating smiles, and impulsiveness. When his job sends him overseas, he promises to return to me. A promise that’s destroyed in the most irrevocable way.
Two years later, an arrogant suit invades my heartbroken loneliness.
Clean-cut and stern, Trace is everything Cole wasn’t. At first, he’s a job that will rescue my dance company. But as he intrudes on my life, our hostile relationship evolves. He knows I’m still in love with Cole, but his dedication is my undoing.
Then a catastrophic moment changes everything.
Promises resurface. Lies entangle. And an impossible choice shatters my world.
I love two men, and I can only have one.

I rated this book 5 *****'s 
What a roller coaster ride of emotions
This is only the first book of the series. Wow! what a roller coaster ride of emotions. I loved Ms. Pam Godwin's new book. This book is beyond beautiful. The story is so mesmerizing especially Danni and Trace. This is two keeps pulling me through from the start to the finish. I loved these two characters. They are my favorite.
This book is emotional, funny and so hot. One hot scene is about up in the air, that scene is not only hot but so unique.  Trace drives me insane. This guy is mysterious, yet sweet and romantic. I wish Danni will pick him in the end of the series but we will see.
I liked the songs too.  I loved how the illustration in every chapters. It is adorable. I am looking forward to read the second book from the series.
If you loved to dance, this book is I recommend aside from the family love and romance. You should check this series out. You will loved it.

Coming Soon!

Two is a Lie

Release Date: July 11, 2017 Amazon | Other retailers | Goodreads
Two lies. Two men who don’t share.
I never stopped loving Cole. Not when he left me. Not when he disappeared for three years. Not when he crashed back into my life in a violent explosion of testosterone and fury. His sudden reappearance questions everything I thought I knew, including how I came to love another man.
Trace is an intoxicating breeze of seduction over ice. My rock. My second chance at forever. And he’s committed to annihilating the competition.
The battle that ensues wrenches me back and forth between them. Fighting and fucking. Resisting and submitting.
Together, they entangle me in a web of lies, rivalry, and desire that weaves as deeply as their devotion to me.
I love two men, and if I can only have one, I choose none.

Three is a War

Release Date: August 29, 2017 Preorder Links | Goodreads
Three means war. Three sides vying for forever.
Cole. My first love. The bad boy with the dangerous smile and passionate temper draws attention like a lit fuse on dynamite. But his dark molten eyes spark only for me.
Trace. My second chance. Over six feet of Norse god in a tailored suit, he calculates every move and seizes my hungry breaths with an iron fist.
Me. The free-spirited dancer, torn between two men with no resolution in sight. I tried leaving, staying, refusing, and surrendering. What options do I have left?
I love two men, and I do the only thing I can. I fight.

Pam Godwin

Pam Godwin Books GrayScale
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Other books by Pam Godwin

Friday, June 2, 2017

IN Doubt (An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 3) (Redemption Thriller Series) by John W Mefford


When lives are shattered, can the bond of friendship survive the suspicion of guilt?

Just as she feels her world caving in around her, Ivy Nash realizes that there are no guarantees in life...for her or for those she cares about.

Ivy must protect an adorable little girl from a wealthy egomaniac hell-bent on revenge, as a monster from Cristina's past returns with a fury.

When the dust settles, will those that live have any life to speak of? And will Ivy ever be able to stop looking over her shoulder for the man she knows will never stop until she's destroyed?

Available to buy from....   Barnes and Noble    iBooks   Kobo   Paperback

"Rife with deceit and deception and characters that leap off the page, this story is told with confidence through a sure hand, engaging both the mind and the heart. A compelling treat." -- Steve Berry, New York Times Bestselling Author

"I love the way that Mefford writes, seamlessly jumping between characters and time frames with no confusion, and he is extremely descriptive of the setting . You almost feel like you are watching a movie instead of reading a book!" -- Hilary Mahoney, Elusive Red Tiger

"Mefford wrote her character with depth and you can feel her passion for her job throughout the entire book." -- Shelly Maynard, Lynchburg Mama

Above reviews from An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 1, IN Defiance

Books in the Alex Troutt Thriller Series:
AT Bay AT Large
AT Once
AT Dawn
AT Dusk
AT Last

Books in the Ivy Nash Thriller Series:
IN Defiance
IN Pursuit
IN Doubt
Coming soon....
Break IN
IN Control
IN The End

Q&A with author John W. Mefford: 
Q: What do the Ivy Nash Thrillers have to do with the Redemption Thriller Series?

JWM: The Ivy Nash Thrillers comprise the second sub-series in the Redemption Thriller Series. The Alex Troutt Thrillers are the first sub-series. While I'll eventually write a series that connects the major characters and plots from all the sub-series, you don't have to read the AT books prior to the IN books. But I have to say, the AT thrillers are darn good.

Q: So you're saying you don't have to read the Alex Troutt Thrillers before the Ivy Nash Thrillers?

JWM: Nope. While a few of the characters might occasionally overlap between the series, they can be read as stand-alone. And then I'll wrap everything up in a final set of six novels that connects all of the main characters and stories from each sub-series. If you haven't read any of the Alex Troutt thrillers yet, you can try out the first three at a pretty nice discount. Just search for Alex Troutt Box Set.

Q: Can you give some insight into how Ivy Nash might connect to Alex Troutt down the line?

JWM: Sure…and then I'll send over a hit squad. Seriously, I'll be sprinkling in a few clues along the way for those who pay close attention to the details, but it will all come together in that final six novels of the Redemption Thriller Series. And it will be explosive and gut-wrenching at the same time.

Q: How many different sub-series are you planning to have in the Redemption Thriller Series?

JWM: Right now, I see four sub-series in the Redemption Thriller Series, with six novels in each. It's the most challenging and fulfilling creative endeavor I've undertaken. I hope you enjoy the journey.

About the Author
A veteran of the corporate wars, former journalist, and true studier of human and social behavior, best-selling author John W. Mefford has been writing novels since he first entered the work force twenty-five years ago, although he never put words on paper until late 2009.

John writes novels full of intrigue, suspense, and thrills, but they also evoke an emotional connection with the characters.

When he’s not writing, he chases three kids around, slaves away in the yard, reads, takes in as many sports as time allows, watches all sorts of movies, and continues to make mental notes of people and societies across the land.

John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife, three opinionated kids, and a feisty fat cat who rules the world.

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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