Do you want to become a great public speaker or hone your existing speaking skills?

Have you been asked to give a presentation and are scared to death and aren’t sure how to pull it off?

Do you want to really wow your audience/client and get spin off speaking gigs?

Look no further!

SpeakUpSummerCamp-fireThe Speak Up Summer Camp is a coaching and training program for aspiring speakers, as well as speakers with experience that want to “up their game” and knock it out of the park! Drawing upon my background as a performer, lawyer, professional speaker, and speaker coach, I will pull the speaker out of you so that you can ace your speaking engagements with confidence.

I have successfully presented this speaking program live in many locations across the U.S., including New York, Seattle and New Orleans. Now I am offering it as a virtual program so that you can take advantage of it no matter where you live from the comfort of your own home or office. No travel expenses involved! It is ultra-convenient. All you need is a phone and/or computer.

Lisa_and_Monica-NAPOAnd it gets even better! I’ve invited a colleague to be a guest faculty member for this LMG University program, and co-facilitate it along with me. And she’s not just anyone. My partner in crime is Monica Ricci, who is an accomplished speaker extraordinaire. In fact, Monica and I have shared the stage together a few times now with amazing results. We have been called The Dynamic Duo! (Click here to check out my blog post about how Monica and I came together to present this program live last year in New Orleans!)

Please join us for this amazing 8 week teleclass-based group program (with video components included) that will help you:

checkbox Conduct engaging, informative and interactive presentations for audiences large and small.
checkbox Learn how to prepare and deliver presentations of different types, lengths, and targeted to different audiences.
checkbox Improve your oral and nonverbal communication styles.
checkbox Inspire and motivate participants, exude confidence and enthusiasm, and establish credibility.
checkbox Overcome your fear of public speaking and use that fear to your advantage.
checkbox Increase speaking confidence.
checkbox Discover how to connect with the audience, use humor, and let your unique personality and style shine.
checkbox Learn how to effectively handle speaking snafus, such as interruptions, hecklers, and technical difficulties.
checkbox Get coaching and feedback from two professional speakers who make a significant portion of their income through speaking.
checkbox Learn how to use speaking as an income stream and a marketing funnel to build your business.

Whether conducting trainings, workshops, keynotes, or any other type of presentation, this program will help you become a more dynamic speaker!

Summer is the Perfect Time to Participate in a Program Like This.

summer_campWe’ll start Thursday, June 12th and go for 8 weeks (jumping over the July 4th week). This program can be done from the comfort of your own home or office. You can be lounging by your pool, swinging in the hammock, or sitting on your deck with a glass of lemonade. That is the beauty of a virtual program. All you need is your telephone, and perhaps a computer/tablet/smart phone if you want to take it a step further.

We named this the Speak Up Summer Camp Program for a reason. Su mmer is a perfect time to take a virtual program. You want to enjoy your summer, and any travel you do will most likely be a family vacation. We get that!

See all of the Speak Up Summer Camp Program schedule and description of services here: https://www.lisamontanaro.com/speakup

bonusSpecial Bonus for the First 5 People to Register:

If you are one of the first 5 to register, you get a bonus pre-program call with Lisa & Monica. In this hour long call, Lisa & Monica will share bonus content about how speaking catapulted their businesses, how it fits into their current business model, and some other juicy nuggets about speaking to whet your appetite. You will also have the opportunity to share your background with regard to speaking, share your reasons for registering, and set goals and intentions for the program. This is ONLY available to the first 5 people that register, so hurry up and join us to get in on this bonus call!

Psst… I’m even offering an early bird registration rate so you don’t have to dip into your summer fun stash! Check it out.

There’s a concept that keeps coming up lately when I’m doing coaching and consulting with my clients. It’s the concept of experiencing the valley of your “new normal.” It could be a huge change that you’re making to your business, like adding on a new income stream, or closing down a division that no longer gets you jazzed. Or maybe it’s changing careers or getting a promotion that you’ve been dying for, but are scared to death of now that you’ve been handed it. Maybe you’re relocating, starting a new relationship, getting organized, or working on a health and fitness plan.

Continue Reading…

Earlier this year, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at The Big Event in Sacramento hosted by Brian Sharp. What a fabulous experience! 400 people attended, and each speaker gave a 25 minute TED-style talk telling our story of how we became an entrepreneur. Think business meets motivation!

My topic was “Create Your Purpose, Live Your Passion.” In this video, I share my story… the behind-the-scenes (and from the beginning) of how I went from an aspiring Broadway performer to practicing lawyer to successful entrepreneur. People often tell me how cool or strange it is to them that I “effortlessly” just made this shift from performer to lawyer to owner of a coaching/consulting/speaking company. “Effortless” is not a word I would use to describe my journey. Rewarding, yes. Makes a lot of sense looking through the rear-view mirror? Absolutely. But not effortless. This video reveals how it happened… the good, the bad, the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up, and the ugly (can you say FEAR)?

It is my desire that this video will both deeply move you and inspire you to take action to propel your own dreams forward. Wherever you came from and whatever has happened in your life, you have the power to rewrite your story starting today — if you want to, of course. You may be exactly where you want to be. If so, enjoy it, my friend.

What’s YOUR story? How did you get to this point? Do you plan to change it? I would love to hear from you!

I hope March is unfolding beautifully for you. I’m in awe that we’re almost through the first quarter of the year. Time flies…

time_for_changeMy coaching request to you is this: As we near the end of March and begin the second quarter of 2014, I want you to reflect on your life, business, and career. If you could change one aspect of your business, career or life, what would it be? What single thing would add the most to your happiness and success?

You know my next question.

With that aim in mind, can you come up with concrete, manageable steps that would help you accomplish that one change?

In the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of studying productivity, success, happiness, business and entrepreneurship. I’ve worked closely with clients to improve their careers, businesses and lives. And I’ve noticed how easy it is for people to be dissatisfied with some aspect of their career, business or life, but somehow never try to do anything to change it. Or they don’t know what to do to change it.

Changing behavior still remains a difficult process for many people. And yet, once people start the change process, it often isn’t as hard as they anticipated, and almost always results in bigger and better rewards than they first thought possible. They have a “new normal” on the other side that feels natural and awesome. It is the “getting started” part that is the hardest.

In case you need a gentle push (or a big kick!) in the right direction, the timing is perfect if you are ready to take action now.

I have a few Platinum level coaching clients “graduating” from their programs, which opens some private coaching slots on my calendar. If you think this may be for you, email me to get the details and set up a complimentary Discovery Call to see if we are a good match and which program level is the right one for you. I offer 3, 6 and 12 month Platinum Coaching Programs, which provide a full access pass to me with support, accountability, and expertise, and allow us to fully partner together to create the business, life or career that you want.

If going Platinum isn’t for you, there are 3 other ways to work with me:

  • Email Coaching (an entirely virtual and affordable option for someone that wants to do coaching by email)
  • Strategy Sessions (75 minute targeted sessions by phone, Skype or in person)
  • VIP Intensives (half day, full day or 2 day options by phone, Skype or in person)

Check out the different types of coaching/consulting I offer on my site’s Coaching page.

business_excellenceBut hurry… and here’s why (and this isn’t a sales tactic, but the truth based on years of experience)! I am speaking at two big conferences in April and May, and I always book up my coaching calendar afterwards.

So if you want to explore this before I head out for those speaking engagements, email me to set up a complimentary 25 minute Discovery Call. We’ll explore where you want to go in your life, career or business, what’s been keeping you from getting there, and come up with the best solution for you.

I look forward to possibly working with you!

Happy Spring,

Lisa

do_not_disturbThere is a common misconception that all introverts like to, and want to, be alone most of the time, and all extroverts like to, and want to, be with other people almost all of the time. In my experience, I haven’t found this generalization to be true.

Take me, for example. I am categorized as an extrovert on almost every personality type test that I take. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, I come up as an ENTJ, which stands for Extrovert, Intuitive, Thinker, and Judger (which by the way, refers to someone that prefers structure, is decisive and wants things completed, not to someone that is judgmental of others).

working_outsideBecause of my “extrovert” label, it often comes as a huge surprise when people learn that I really like to be alone. No, actually, I love to be alone. I love to be with others also, but I very much crave and need my alone time. I actually spend enormous amounts of time alone these days. Since relocating from New York to California, my husband maintains a grueling residency schedule which means he is not home as often as he used to be when we lived in NY. As a self-employed entrepreneur who does a lot of virtual work with my clients by phone and video conference, many of my work days are spent here at my home office… alone.

I think there is a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. When I’m alone, I enjoy passing the time by being productive through working or maintaining my life and home, or engaging in some of the many hobbies and passions that I enjoy doing. Do I ever get lonely? Not really. I do miss certain people a lot. I think missing people and feeling lonely are two different things though.

I know some introverts that do enjoy being around other people very much. Some introverts can be extremely outgoing and crave social interaction, as long as they then have time to be alone to rejuvenate and re-energize. And then there are extroverts like me, that can be jazzed about standing up in front of 500 people to do a speaking engagement, but really enjoy being alone before and after that speaking engagement so that I can regroup, reflect, and re-energize.

In her well-researched and fascinating book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” author Susan Cain discusses the concept of a Restorative Niche. Restorative Niche is the term for the place you go when you want to return to your true self. Even if you sometimes adapt to the situation and force yourself to take on more extroverted or introverted traits, you need a safe place to return to where your true traits are able to shine through. It can be a physical place, like the woods on a hike, an office with a closed door, etc., or a temporal one, like taking a break between phone calls. It can mean staying alone in the hotel room at a big conference instead of with a colleague, being alone before or after you go on stage as a speaker, saying no to social plans many nights in a row, etc. I love this concept, and have seen it at work in my own life, and that of my family, friends, colleagues, and clients.

When choosing a work environment, give consideration to whether there is an opportunity to engage in Restorative Niches for yourself.

Introverts may want to ask themselves:

  • timid_boldWill the work allow me to spend time doing in-character activities like reading, strategizing, writing, and researching?
  • Will I have a private workspace or be subject to the constant demands of an open office plan?
  • If the work itself doesn’t provide enough restorative niches, will I have enough free time on evenings and weekends to grant them to myself?

Extroverts will want to look for restorative niches too.

  • Does the work involve talking, traveling and meeting new people?
  • Is the environment stimulating enough?
  • Will I be stuck sitting at a desk behind a computer screen all day with no human interaction?
  • If the job isn’t a perfect fit, are the hours flexible enough that I can blow off steam after work?

Sometimes people find Restorative Niches in professions where you’d least expect them. An attorney that is able to spend time alone researching and writing all day. An actress that has a career as a voice over artist recording audio books alone in a studio. It’s not important what your job title is, or whether you own your own business, etc. What’s important is whether your work matches your personality type, or if you can find Restorative Niches when you need them. For me, being a self-employed entrepreneur does mean a lot of time at home, but it also means having the opportunity to connect with people at networking events, when I’m on stage as a speaker, and through doing my private and group coaching and consulting. It also means that if I have been sitting at my desk too long with no human interaction, that I can go out and join a group for a bike ride, or meet a friend or colleague for coffee. In other words, my work has built in opportunities for Restorative Niches.

be_yourselfWhat about you? Are you an extrovert that surprisingly loves being alone? Or are you an introvert that does enjoy a lot of social interaction? Let’s not limit ourselves to labels. Using Restorative Niches can help us go back to our true self when we need to, but sometimes we may not even need them in the first place. Sometimes we are who we are, and it’s just right — no matter what the labels say.

I think this quote says it all:

bombeck-quoteWhatever that larger vision for your life is… that’s what La Dolce Vita is all about.

Isn’t it time you fell in love with your life again???

You might think that it’s selfish to invest in yourself… but your happiness depends on YOU… and you deserve it.

So won’t you join me for this amazing 6 week group program? We start this Thursday, February 20th (tomorrow). Come join La Dolce Vita now.

P.S. And don’t forget, if you take La Dolce Vita and plan to use it to satisfy a CE requirement, I am happy to issue a certificate for topics that may qualify like productivity, life-work balance, etc.

time_to_liveIn honor of Valentine’s Day, my gift to you is that I am extending the early bird rate for the La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program… until the day the program starts! Yes, that’s right. The price will stay at $299 for good.

Why, you ask?

Because I want you to be able to take the program if is it “calling” you without worrying about breaking your budget. It is a fabulous program that will deliver excellent value and change your life. But if you can’t afford it at the higher rate, then that means you miss out. And one of the reasons I am offering group programs through LMG University in the first place is to be able to help as many people as possible while keeping the programs affordable. So the price for La Dolce Vita stays at $299.

Now all you need to do is take action to join us!

How much longer are you willing to wait to live the life you want? When will you decide that you deserve to be really happy and live The Sweet Life?

The La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program is a broad based group life coaching program that covers many topics to help you improve your life. You can use the content to hyper focus on one area or to get a nice overview of what it takes to live your best life.

Dates: Thursday evenings, February 20 to March 27, 2014 (6 weeks)
Time: 4:30 pm PST / 5:30 pm MST / 6:30 pm CST / 7:30 pm EST
Location: From the comfort of your own home or office via Teleclass line.

What are you waiting for? Come join La Dolce Vita now.

P.S.
And don’t forget, if you take La Dolce Vita and plan to use it to satisfy a CE requirement, I am happy to issue a certificate for topics that may qualify like productivity, life-work balance, etc.

the_artists_wayIn the amazing book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she discusses the concept that all of us have an “art” that runs deep within us yearning to break out. This art can literally be an artistic talent like painting, writing, or performing, but it could also be something else entirely. It can be connecting, teaching, being funny, etc. For some people, they find this art at a very young age, and they build a career and a life around it. For others, they may find this art, but decide not to do anything with it, or fight it tooth and nail. Some abandon it, never to let it come to the surface again. The people that bury their art often wind up being extremely unhappy in their careers and their lives. The ones that pursue it wholeheartedly are usually profoundly happy and feel they are living out their calling.

But is there an in between? I believe so. There are some people that do not pursue their art directly, but indirectly it becomes a part of their life or career. Cameron calls this being a shadow artist. For example, the class clown who decides not to pursue a career using humor directly as a stand-up comedian, but becomes a professional speaker whose humor is a big part of how he connects so deeply with his audiences. The painter or sculptor that decides that she doesn’t want to be a struggling artist trying to get her work into art galleries, but instead decides to become an art teacher and share her passion and talent with the next generation of artists. Or a dancer who decides to become a choreographer helping other dancers create art on stage. But beware — being a shadow artist can be a negative experience, as in the case of someone that is deeply resentful of not pursuing his or her art directly. The key is to make sure that your art indirectly manifests itself in your life or your career in a positive manner so that it still remains a part of your life, while not being resentful that you’re not pursuing it directly.

attorneyMany people struggle with having spent so much time training and preparing for their art, that they dig their heels in stubbornly refusing to abandon it, or incorporate it into their life in another way. I was once in this position. I convinced myself that I was an attorney at heart. I badly wanted to believe it, as I had invested so much time, money and energy training to become a lawyer. Much about that world was alluring. It was intellectual, paid extremely well, was high powered, and was well respected, while giving me the sense that I was helping others in a meaningful way. It was enticing the way a drug would be. Plus, I was really good at it. It took me almost a decade to understand that the law was not the right fit for me — or maybe not to understand it, but to accept it and move on. I realized that law was not my true art. Instead, my true art was to help, guide, teach, motivate and inspire others. Unfortunately, the way that my art manifested through my being an attorney was a huge disconnect. It was too negative, too stressful, and not as directly helpful as I had hoped it would be and wanted it to be. I had the right intentions but chose the wrong package to house them in. Once I realized this, I had to make a change. And I did. I now get to enjoy being a coach, consultant, speaker, and author using my true art in a way that feels positive, and is a perfect fit for me.

Having spent so much time navigating my own successful career transition and guiding others through theirs, I have found that there are 3 key steps to identifying your own art.

1) What did you want to be when you grew up? Not the specific answer… but the underlying impulse. What is the archetype that is deep within you? What is your true art? I wanted to be a stage actress, singer, and dancer. When I dug deep, it was more about the art and craft of performing, and connecting with the audience than being famous, so it was easy to make that a hobby, and incorporate some aspects of it into my work as a professional speaker. I wanted to teach the deaf as I was so inspired by Helen Keller and my deaf family members. I did teach and interpret for three years and it was a wonderful experience. The teacher archetype runs strong in me to this day and all of my work incorporates it.

snowboarder2) Pay attention to the work you gravitate to in your “day job,” as well as your volunteer activities. Often, it’s not the position, title, company, or anything official that shows us our true art, but the actual work. What work puts you in “flow” state? What gets you jazzed, taps into your passions, or is just plain fun or interesting to you?

3) Pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy may be an ugly emotion, but it often uncovers our true desires or tells the truth in some form. It may not be the exact thing you envy, but some version of it. When I first decided not to pursue Broadway as a career, it was often difficult for me at that time to go see a show. I realized I still had some envy around that choice and had to really examine whether I had made the right decisions with abandoning that dream. Over the years, it became clear that I could keep a foot in the theater world through performing in community and regional theater, and I would not be resentful, envious or jealous of those that had pursued this art directly and made it on Broadway. With this sense of peace and acceptance around my decision, I am able to fully enjoy theater as a participant, and as an audience member.

It’s obvious that people flourish when they’re engaged in occupations, roles or settings that are aligned with their personalities. But I think it goes deeper. Your true art doesn’t have to come out in the work you do at all. However, I believe it has to come out somehow. So if the work you do doesn’t allow you to integrate your art at all, make sure that you’re able to express your art in your personal life. Your art should strongly arouse your passions and provide a welcome place to express yourself. It should be like an emotional vacation. Think about what your art is, and then be sure that you integrate it into your life somehow. Because the last thing you want is to wake up one day and realize that you have been burying your art your entire life. That would be not only be a shame for you, but the world.

Interested in delving further on this issue, or other aspects of your life, career or business? I offer one-on-one private coaching/consulting, group coaching programs, corporate consulting and executive coaching, and speaking programs. Contact me so we can explore the possibility of working together!

welcome_to_CAIn July 2012, my husband and I sold our house in Warwick, New York and moved over 3,000 miles across the United States to the town of Davis, California. What prompted this move was that my husband was accepted into a prestigious residency to specialize in veterinary internal medicine at the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This required that we sell our home in New York, and rent a home in Davis, as the residency is for a three-year period, and we have no idea if we will be sticking around after it ends.

On our first trip to Davis in November 2011 for his interview, we toured the town of Davis and got an idea of the real estate. Most of the homes are either mid-century modern (in the Northeast we just call this a “ranch”), Spanish mission style, or bungalow style. Square footage wise, they are much smaller than the homes back in the Hudson River Valley of New York. Although our NY home was a modest Cape Cod style, by Davis standards, it was quite large. It was approximately 2,000 square feet of living space, plus a 2.5 car garage, a full basement, an attic, and a shed out in the yard. I considered us to live a somewhat uncluttered lifestyle in NY, but after seeing how much smaller the living and storage spaces were in Davis, it dawned on us that we needed to downsize.  The rental home that we wound up signing a lease for is 1,400 square feet of living space, with a one car garage, no basement, and no shed out in the yard.

house_in_ny

Our house in New York.

And so the downsizing began. Some items were easy to part with: anything that had to do with the winter weather could be sold or donated. That included our snowblower, shovels, etc. Also, anything having to do with our pool could be sold or donated, as we would no longer have a pool in our yard in California (ironically, we now have a fireplace which we did not have in New York, but no pool!). We also had about 3/4 of an acre in New York, and here in California we have a small compact yard with a little grass and a lot more patio and garden areas, which would be tended to by our new landlord. This meant that we could also sell our ride-on lawnmower, and other yard equipment. (Interestingly enough, the items that were the hottest tickets for sale were our ladders! We had several people call up and ask us to save them until they could come by, and they wound up getting into a bidding war. Who knew!)

I made a list of every item on a room-by-room basis that was going to California, versus every item that could be sold or donated. Our landlord took measurements for us of the smaller rental home in California so that we knew what could fit. We then had a huge moving sale on a weekend day. We hung up flyers around town, spread the word, and then lugged everything into the garage and organized it all by category. We had some helpers, which we were very thankful for. In the long run, we wound up selling pretty much everything we wanted to, and the few items that didn’t sell got donated.

We then had movers put the remaining items in a moving truck, which we then were reunited with a few weeks later in California when we were moving into the rental home. Because my husband had already started his busy residency, it was my job to unpack, organize, and put everything away in the new home. And here’s what was so fascinating about it. Although I had spent years as a hands-on professional organizer, I was actually nervous! The house was so much smaller. Yes we downsized, but I was still concerned about whether everything would fit. So I took my time, examining each item carefully, checking through the storage in the home, measuring, trying items in certain places, etc. In the long run, we didn’t just fit everything, we even had extra space available. And I loved it.

I really thought I would miss certain items. In fact, that’s one of the biggest things that holds back people from decluttering in the first place — the fear that you’ll release something and then immediately miss it or want it back. That wasn’t the case for me, not in the least. There were a few sentimental items that I even had to part with, like my beloved mother’s couch and love seat (sadly, my Mom passed away in 2010). But these items were given to close friends and family, which made me feel like I was sharing her with them.

officeNow as I sit here, a year and a half after relocating, I realize that downsizing was an amazing opportunity to revisit some old friends, send them on their way, sell or donate items to people that really wanted and needed them, and move to our California home with a fresh perspective and the clean slate that we wanted. I love having less things, and knowing that pretty much everything I need fits into a small space. It actually can become addictive. I was always one to think carefully about not acquiring too many things, and practiced what I preached as a professional organizer. But going through this type of downsizing myself gave me a renewed appreciation and understanding for how some of my clients felt over the years after they decluttered. This downsizing process made me realize that I can keep stripping down further and further. It’s very freeing. You have more flexibility and mobility, less to take care of, less to insure, less to worry about. Just… Less. Which in the long run gives you a feeling of abundance. And that is how I discovered the upside of downsizing.

If you want to work on some home projects, including getting more organized, check out my new La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program. One of the topics we will cover is getting your “house” in order – literally and figuratively. It’s an opportunity for you to focus on all of those home projects that you’ve been putting aside. But that’s just one of the awesome topics that we will be covering in the program. We will also be covering productivity, life-work balance, health and fitness, relationships, and finances. It’s powerful, but affordable. We start on February 20, with early bird rate in effect until February 13. Visit LisaMontanaro.com/lmg-university/LaDolceVita for details and registration.

tuscany-viewWhat’s YOUR version of The Sweet Life? The La Dolce Vita lifestyle is about following your dream, deciding not to play small anymore, living your life to the fullest, and allowing the real you to shine through!

Join me for the La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program, starting Thursday, February 20, 2014. We will enjoy 6 weeks of open-line calls (recorded for your convenience), powerful content and exercises, a private Facebook group, and much more! All designed to help you make significant changes in your life so that you can adopt a La Dolce Vita kind of lifestyle no matter where you live.

Maybe for you “The Sweet Life” means:
Saying no to a toxic relationship that doesn’t serve you.

  • Cultivating a hobby or passion that you have always wanted to try.
  • Adding a little romance (or a lot!) into your life.
  • Taking better care of your body or spirit.
  • Going to bed at night feeling peaceful and waking up looking forward to the day.
  • Changing careers.
  • Enjoying quality time with your family and friends.
  • Writing a book (its been on your bucket list for years).
  • Running a marathon or some other type of active pursuit.
  • Traveling – finally giving in to that wanderlust!
  • Saying ‘No’ more often.
  • Saying ‘Yes’ more fully.

Whatever that larger vision for your life is… that’s what La Dolce Vita is all about.

Many of you have expressed interest in coaching with me, but can’t afford the one-on-one price. This is an ideal way to get the coaching you crave at a rate that meets you where you are. This program is powerful, yet affordable. Early bird rate is only $299 if you register by February 13th. $359 thereafter. There’s even a handy 2-pay option if you need to spread payments out.

NOTE: For those of you that need or want continuing education units (CEUs), you may be able to use some of the topics for CEUs depending on the guidelines of your certification and whether you will use the content for yourself, your business, and/or your clients. If you are a coach or organizer, for example, many of the topics may qualify for CEUs. So keep that in mind!

If you want results and are ready to live The Sweet Life, then join us!

Ciao!