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change, communication, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, entrepreneurs, Literacy, Marketing, Service, speech, Visionary

Are You An Accidental Consultant?

There is a local group in Phoenix for Baby Boomers to connect called Boomerz. A recent notice came to me from them about “accidental consultant.” It tickled me, so, I am addressing the topic here. Rather than take a negative tack, here is my summary of what makes an accidental consultant.

See how you track with this criteria:
1.    The masterful participant has unintentional good luck founded on emotional intelligence. This person knows how to read people and has a high likeability quotient. Listening to contacts and supporting others’ visions is a snap for this one.
2.    Exceptional curiosity about one’s surroundings abounds with this observant individual. This person finds opportunity in a thundercloud and would find a way to sell rain gear rather than give in to the weather.
3.    Networking is a sport and fun for this consultant. The energy of attending events and meeting people stirs this one’s soul. Rather than talking, our accidental consultant is listening around the room for cues, not clues, to engage and share to build rapport.
4.    Genuine humor and patience attract others’ attention. This lively sort emanates attractive energy that makes others curious about this person. There is an air of openness, calm and playfulness (not too serious) while being attentive to what is happening at the moment.
5.    Commitment to lifelong learning is rocket fuel for this energetic leader (perceived as such even if not in the driver’s seat.) This driver sees every situation as a learning laboratory. There is a kernel of knowledge in every circumstance and our Accidental Consultant makes it into viable contacts to pursue similar interests.

I invite your comments. -MC

business coaching, debate, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Literacy, Performance, speech

How Do You Listen?

Coach Cubas’ Debate Post-Mortem—What Can We Learn?

The vice-presidential program ended with a huge sign of relief for the Republicans and Democrats. My comments will reflect tactics and technique rather than my personal comments about the candidates.

This program didn’t resemble typical debate format:
“Debate topics are worded so that one team must succeed and one team must fail or in a draw. They must meet the requirements of the proposition.”

Violation of Rule 10—Any gains made outside of the established procedure are disallowed.
What does it say about a participant who denies the rules. Just to declare that one will answer in her own way was defiant, a tone that later led to Palin’s inability to “hear” what was going on around her as she was fed to the “lions” of blame for a failed campaign.


  • Good use of direct into the camera focus by Palin
  • Biden changed his vocal tone throughout
  • Histrionics—Overstatement, overacting, exaggerated responses like inflections
  • Clichés—sound bites ad nauseum, finger pointing
  • “Over speak”—reminds me of students who learn “big” words to sound smart.
  • Inappropriate word choices like, “You betcha . . .”, to sound folksy instead of connecting on a genuine level
  • Insulting references—defining population segments like Joe 6 Pack and Hockey Moms. These sounded like caricatures out of South Park.
  • Opportunistic moves
  • Spelling bee stature (Chris Matthews’ reference)
  • Staged interview rather than a lively discussion of issues. Waiting to speak rather than an authentic response.

To assist you in planning your next speech or presentation, consider these sample references:

  1. Remember, if you’re listener-centric, you’ll always hit your target.
  2. Give the listener time to process what is being said.
  3. Visual references and metaphors are useful tools to paint mental pictures (memory anchors)
  4. Write the end of your presentation first and work it back. That’s what you want the audience to take away.
  5. Speak in a conversational tone—your listener will appreciate your reaching out to make a connection.

Any questions? Please send me an email if you’re building an idea for a speech or presentation.

Your coach,
Michelle Cubas

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