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Cicero Speechwriting Winner 2020
Cicero Speechwriting Award Winner 2017
Cicero Speechwriting Award Winner 2015

As a former journalist for CNN and E! News Daily, I'd been trained to identify newsworthy stories. So when I moved on from news, and applied those skills to corporate events, the shift felt like a seamless transition. 

​But in 2008, when the bottom dropped out of the corporate events business—I’d produced and directed shows for Amgen, Cisco, Glaxo, Intel, and Nike. Production work dried up for the foreseeable future. Outside circumstances had forced me to do what I’d been avoiding in my all consuming role in production—to stop and start over. 

Newly married, and burned out from years of work related travel, I sat on the sofa and stared at the wall. The voice I'd been squelching for ions was tired of being ignored. Barbara, do what you've always wanted to do. Now is the time—write dammit, write!

As a kid I dreamt of being a writer, but the fear of the actual writing felt insurmountable. To ease the intense discomfort, I waded into the writing waters by telling stories for someone else. ​

Entrepreneurship was beginning to take off, so I volunteered to write for a fast-pitch competition. Each contestant had to pitch their idea and their company—in less than 60 seconds! Not getting paid was the best decision I made because it gave me permission to play, taking the pressure off my penchant for perfectionistic tendencies. 

For the next three years, I helped entrepreneurs craft and deliver their pitches. I not only learned to keenly identify the key ingredients of a compelling story, but the quality of the pitches and presentations soared! The level of storytelling and delivery made the competition next level, making it feel like a professional production for all who attended. 

Before I knew it Southern California universities, venture capitalists and businesses were calling. One after the next asking if I could help their academics, deans, doctors, lawyers and executives create compelling pitches. While I loved working with this amazing group of thinkers, deep down inside I felt a longing for something more. 

In 2011, TEDx was a new and up and coming event. My goal was to write longer format speeches, so I once again volunteered at several local events in the county where I live—for four years. By the end, and after writing close to one hundred and fifty speeches, I felt I’d finally apprenticed enough to officially call myself a speechwriter. 

And the rest, as they say, is history. Since beginning, I’ve worked with the most thought-provoking humans on every subject imaginable —everything from novel paper sensor technology to green burials. 

But as they say, all good things must come to an end… or in my case, a new beginning. I’m creating a cost effective on-demand course for those interested in learning how to weave compelling stories and present them with heart. 

If you’re interested, sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you updates as I roll out each new course.

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