Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Public Speaking Do's and Don'ts Number #1 When In Wisconsin in February

When in Wisconsin in February:

DO realize that it might be colder outside than in a deep freezer.

DO bring winter boots with you.  They can even be adorable (picture to be posted soon).

DON'T act surprised when you go for a pleasant mid-day stroll and get frostbite on your ears.  Okay, according to the Mayo Clinic, what I had was probably Frost Nip, but saying I had Frost Bite sounds way more dramatic.

DO retell your Wisconsin stories using dramatic overstatements like "Frost Bite" as opposed to "Frost Nip," because 1) you will sound like an adventurer, even if you were just trying to find a Starbucks and 2) future venues will know that you're willing to die for the cause.

DO tell all of the lovely people you meet (most of whom will be hard to see because they'll be covered in layer upon layer of fabrics created in a lab to withstand the coldest temperatures) that you'd be happy to return to Wisconsin to share the story with more people, as long as it's in July.

DO realize that many of Wisconsin's towns are connected by land and nothing else.  I just completed six talks in four days in four cities and there isn't a greyhound or train that travels between them.  At first I thought I could rent a car, then realized that if it was snowing and I rented a car - well, I am from California, so basically it wasn't going to happen.

DO Remember to thank the amazing people who made it all worthwhile.  Most of the venues were kind enough to drive me all over the state (note the use of dramatic overstatement) in order to make it to my events.  THANK YOU Melanie, William, Marvette, Dorothea, Josephine, and the sweet ladies (whose names I don't even know) who drove me back to my hotel tonight.  All of these wonderful people endured  my presence in their warm vehicles for hours on end so that I could share my grandfather's story.

Even though you were colder than Alaska in February (and I know because I was in Alaska last February) I LOVE YOU, Wisconsin.  Remember, "Ya Gotta Keep That Smile"!!!


  1. Thank you so much for braving the cold and snow to share your and your family's stories. I can't wait to read your upcoming book. Please come again . . . its beautiful here in fall :)

    1. Thank you, Karri! I had a wonderful stay...even if I did get frost nip!