Communication has always been my thing. I taught college writing and literature for more than twenty years and worked in publishing before that.
When I taught public speaking at Stanford, I discovered the incomparable power of the spoken word, and my life took a major turn. I left academia, moved back to Boise, Idaho and opened a communications coaching practice in 2011.
I love working with people on cool, worthwhile projects. I’ve worked closely with TEDxBoise since its first show in 2015, coaching speakers as they shape their ideas and get ready to grace the red famous dot. I co-founded Next Level Women Leaders in 2017, helping professional women elevate their platform and communication skills. I get to meet musicians and activists across the nation in my work with Music to Life. And I bare heart and soul, so to speak, as lead singer in The Soulmates.
But it hasn’t always been easy. I was super-shy for much of my life—from sixth grade to the end of my PhD coursework I never said a word in class. Not a word. One grad professor asked me (yes, in class) whether I’d taken a “vow of silence.”
It was a long road from fear and silence into joy and freedom of expression. This is what makes my work meaningful to me: I vividly remember what it’s like to be shut down. But I also know the exhilaration and power of facing your fears, finding your words, and expressing your true self.