Do you know what your Filler or Crutch words are????

Fillers or Crutch Words

Fillers/ Crutch words are useless words and sounds that continuously creeping into people’s speech.
Fillers words range from repetitious sounds, such as “uh”, “um”, “like” and “ahhh” and more. They also include favourite catch words and phrases, such as; “you know”, “anyway”, “just”, “all right” and “like”.

The problem with using fillers such as these when you speak is that they distract your listener. Fillers weaken our phrases.

The Benefits of Eliminating Fillers

Eliminating crutch words is one of the fastest ways to improve you as a speaker. As your speech fillers decrease, your listeners will: form a better impression of you as you speak and be able to easily digest what you say.

Your audience will be better able to focus on the message you’re communicating, rather than being distracted by the way you’re expressing yourself.

Not only does it display confidence to your audience, but also you become easier to understand as your message gets across.

Here’s what to do to reduce the use of crutch words:

The best way to find what your filler words are is to have some one record you the next time you speak. Then have a watch…you will be able to see what your crutch words or statements are.

Ahhh, ummm, So then, But etc. You may find out that you have more than 1 crutch word. Knowing what your crutch word(s) are is the first step to removing them from your speech.

Now that you are aware of them be intentional about removing them when you talk. A few ways to do that is to;

i) Pause every time you are about to say your crutch word
ii) Breathe in before your crutch word escapes your mouth.

Ideally you want to replace your crutch word, with one of the two strategies above.

It’s time to say good bye to crutch words for good.


Karen D#

The Art of Story Telling

Storytelling can be and is a really effective tool when speaking.

As adults, stories still have that magic and power over us as we did when we were kids.

Why is it that we forget this when we have to give a business presentation?

Don’t we want to engage our audiences?

For some reason, we think that our business audience only wants to hear the facts and figures.

I have to say – that is so not how it works.

Our audiences want to be engaged and intrigued and really -who doesn’t like a good story? That’s right we all do.

Here’s a tid bit on how to use stories during any presentation.

When deciding which story to tell make sure that you have considered your audience, find the right story to illustrate your point. Remember how your parents read great stories to you or shared stories about their childhood experience? It’s time for you to do the same.

Remember the story which I’m almost sure your parents shared with you; I had to walk 8 miles to school each way, every day! lol

When you tell a story with energy, passion and excitement, people are eager to tune in to every word that exits your mouth because they want to hear what happens in the end.

When you illustrate your key point with a story, it almost guarantees that your audience will remember your message.

As humans we are hard wired to receive and register stories at a sub-conscious level.

So no mater what your topic or who’s in your audience, include the art of storytelling…. if your goal is to connect, engage and be memorable.

Stay Amazing!

Karen D

The Science Of Remembering Names

If you are anything like was about 18 months ago, I was the worlds worst rememberer of names (Yes I know this is a bad sentence…but so what – keep reading)

I have to tell you, I never used to be the greatest at remembering names, but now I am 10x better than where I used to be. Here are a few strategies to help you have better success at “remembering names”.

Step I)
Know that remembering names is a skill and you have to intentionally commit to improve at this skill.

Step II)
What you say will materialize. Make a deliberate conscious decision to never again say, “I’m horrible at remembering names”. Get rid of this this self-limiting mindset. Declare what’s possible, for example; “I easily remember names”.

Step III)
Practice, practice again and practice some more. Begin today and use the tips below to learn the names of at least five people. Add one or two to your list every day. The memory muscle grows only with practice.

Try these techniques to help you remember others’ names effectively.

1. Focus on the person. The instant you meet another person, give them your undivided attention. Be fully present, fully face them, look them in the eye and actively listen. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted, and don’t let yourself off the hook by blaming a bad memory. Forgetting names is most often caused by lack of focus and effort.

2. Repeat their name out loud. As soon as you hear their name, immediately repeat their name out loud. By saying the person’s name at least 3 times in the conversation, you engrave their name in your memory.

3. End the interaction by saying their name. As your conversation draws to a close, be sure to say the person’s name one last time, “It was great to meet you, Sam”.

Remembering names is more than chivalry, we all want to feel important, valued and remembered.

“If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them.
If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment;
you indicate that I have made an impression on you.
Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.”
–Dale Carnegie

So use the tips above to easily remember names, create rapport and build a meaningful relationships.

Karen D

Your Belief System Has Everything To Do With Being A Kick Ass Speaker

“You are indeed what you think about all day long”.

This statement is especially true when it comes to public speaking.

As humans we all have this preconceived belief about the things we can do and the things we cannot do.

Once again… “PRECONCEIVED beliefs”.

I often hear people say “Oh…I am such a horrible speaker”, and when I ask them how many times they’ve presented in front of a large group many say “Well… never, or once or twice”.

How can you assume that you are not good at something even before trying it or after trying it once or twice?

Were you a pro driver after the first try, could you quickly tie your shoelace after the first try, so why in heavens name do you believe and expect that by not trying at all or by trying a couple of times you will be amazing at it?
When you change these self – sabotaging beliefs you are holding in your mind, you can accomplish anything you desire and in this case you can and will become a great speaker ONLY when you believe you can.

Karen D

Moving your Business

Moving your Business from Mediocre to Magnificent

You have a fabulous product or service and you know it – people have even told you so. So why aren’t you out there in the world claiming your space????

My friends – enough with showing humility and being humble. The time is NOW to be that magnificent entrepreneur.
Being magnificent means being your authentic self with your quality products or service and sharing this authenticity with everyone around you.

It is time to re-group and re-focus on getting your self out there in a big way.
Use these three tips to catapult yourself into greatness.

1. It all begins with Clarity. Be clear with what you are offering and who you are offering it to.

2. Re-check your mindset and attitude. It needs to positive and ambitious. The beliefs you put in your mind create the actions that you ultimately take. For example, if you tell yourself that you are just okay, you will be just that – okay. What you think about, you will become. Start telling yourself how valuable you and your services are and let your positive attitude and outlook radiate in every facet of your business.

3. Marketing strategy mix up. Take a critical look at your marketing strategy and make an intentional effort to change one thing that you are doing. Unless your marketing strategy is allowing you to rake in your desired income, you need to start doing something differently. Take yourself completely outside of your comfy zone, incorporate a marketing strategy that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. Don’t think too hard and talk yourself out of it – Just do it!

Here are some words that help to re-ignite my fire when I am becoming a bit too comfortable:

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
Arthur C. Clarke

Stay amazing!

Karen Donaldson, Maximizing You.
Copyright © 2014, Karen Donaldson Inc., All Rights Reserved

A Lack of Motivation


Motivation is no one’s “real” problem; it’s a lack of clarity, focus and lack of direction that is the true issue at hand.

The problem is that motivation can be a curse if you lack self-awareness, focus and a commitment to “doing the right things”. Have you ever experienced being totally energized and motivated and by the end of the day you slow down and realize that you really did not get much accomplished? That’s what I mean by a lack of clarity and focus.

When a person is motivated, but that energy and motivation are sending them in the wrong direction or if they have conflicting desires within themselves, that person is going to wear themselves out or become frustrated fast.

This is what causes people to give up and settle.

More important than having motivation is to understand what you are motivated by, and this is why self-awareness if the foundation of personal achievement.

Whenever you venture forward on a new project or professional or personal goal, you must start by asking yourself the following questions and be clear on the answer to every single on of them before proceeding.

1. What do you want? What do you want to achieve?
2. Why do you want to achieve that specific goal?
3. How will it make you feel when you achieve it?
4. What will it look like when you achieve the goal?

You see we get so caught up in the steps and when we feel stuck or like things are at a standstill, it overwhelms and we; slow our pace, get frustrated or stop altogether, or just settle.

And (Yes, yes, I know you’re not supposed to start a sentence with and!) settling is NEVER and option.
Choose to know where you are going and why you are going there before you start.
Stay amazing!

Karen Donaldson, Maximizing You.
Copyright © 20164, Karen Donaldson Inc., All Rights Reserved

8 Habits standing between you and what you want

8 Habits standing between you and what you want

Starting today, stop doing the following…

  1. Playing it safe. – Have you ever tucked something of value “in a safe place” out of fear that someone might ruin it or steal it from you?  And then one day woke to the realization that you had hid it so well that even YOU couldn’t find it?  If so, then you understand the wisdom of leaving your heart and your dreams in the wide open.  To reach for what can be, even when we’re doubtful.  To let go of what is lost, even when it’s painful.  To live as though we’re brave, even when we’re fearful.  These are the trials we face and the choices we make along the path to happiness and success.
  2. Tolerating the influence of negative people. – Sometimes we forgive people simply because we want them in our life, and sometimes we need to let go of them simply because we have had enough.  Saying goodbye is one of the most painful ways to solve a problem, but from time to time it’s necessary.
  3. Letting failed relationships haunt new relationships. – There’s a purpose to every failed relationship.  The purpose is not to lower your expectations, but to raise your standards.  Remember, you don’t want someone who chooses you solely for what’s good about you.  You need someone who sees the bad too, and still appreciates you just the way you are.
  4. Expecting constant bliss. – True happiness is not found just within positivity, it is found within reality, which means accepting the fact that both positivity and negativity coexist.  Trying to be 100% positive all the time is wanting to be an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down.  However, when we recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the same one ocean, we are able to let go and be at peace with the way things are, which leads us to happier, more productive places in the long-term.
  5. Dwelling on the things you’ve lost. – In life, there are some people and things you’re going to have to lose in order to find your best self.  So be grateful for what you have right now, try not to dwell on the things you’ve lost, strive for what you want most, and keep marching forward.
  6. Overlooking the lesson. – Everything happens for a reason – a reason you can learn and grow from.  People change so you can learn how to let go.  Things go wrong so you learn to appreciate things when they go right.  You believe lies at first so you eventually learn who you can truly trust.  And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  7. Being overly critical of yourself. – If you feel like everyone is judging you all the time, realize that we often feel this way when we are too busy judging ourselves.
  8. Letting pessimism feed your procrastination. – We have two choices when we wake up in the morning:  either we go back to sleep and dream, or we wake up and chase that dream.  We often spend way too much time wondering why we’re not good enough, and discrediting ourselves, instead of giving ourselves credit.  We waste too much time with our heads down and hearts closed, never giving ourselves a chance to look up from the ground to see that the sun is shining bright, and that today is another perfect opportunity to take action and pursue our dreams.

This is Karen D signing off… Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Managing Conflict


In any type of relationship conflict is basically inevitable.  But conflict itself is not a problem; it’s all about how it’s handled.  Conflict can either bring people together or completely tear them apart. The next time you’re dealing with conflict, keep these tips on effective communication skills in mind to help  create a more positive outcome.

Tip #1:  Really listen.  Most people often think that they are listening carefully, however they are often thinking about how they will respond and what they will say as soon as the other person stops talking.  Though it might be challenging, try really listening to what the other party is saying.  Don’t interrupt, don’t finish their sentence and don’t get defensive. . Just hear them and reflect back what they’re saying so they know you’ve heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you.

Tip #2: Own What’s Yours: Learn that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong – because it’s ok to do so. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what’s yours. It helps to diffuse the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity.

Tip#3:  Look for Compromise. It is not about winning the argument, instead try to, look for solutions that meet everybody’s needs. Either through compromise, or a new solution that gives you both what you want most, this focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the other’s expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.

Poor communication skills, disagreements and misunderstandings can be a source of anger and distance, or it can be a launch pad to a stronger relationship and more productive future.

This is Karen D signing off…Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Motivation Comes In Small Ways

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” William James

Be creative when it comes to motivation: the little things count.

We all know how challenging it can be to balance the responsibilities of both work and home. The demands at both ends often mean we are stressed for time – and patience. Many of us talk about health and wellness and taking time out for you, but, for some it is just a statement that never comes to fruition.

And according to a Desjardins Financial Security National Health Survey in September 2010, Canadian workers are definitely feeling stressed. Survey participants said that their top stressors were an insufficient salary (30%), work overload (27%), a lack of recognition (22%), a negative work environment (22%) and 14% named work-life imbalance as a source of stress.

Obviously, something has to give sooner or later.

The good news is, employers and senior managers can do a lot without breaking the proverbial bank.

Motivation does not need to be an expensive venture. It can be simple things that allow people to feel recognized, appreciated or respected. So why not show your employees that you care about their health and well-being? For example, at your regular Monday morning status meeting, greet your employees with a cappuccino bar and seated chair massages chair for the first 30 minutes. Or forgo the morning meeting tradition altogether and re-schedule it for mid-afternoon.

Better yet, at around 2 p.m. – during that mid afternoon slump time – hand deliver “pick me up” snack packs to all of your employees – try chocolate covered espresso beans, or an assortment of 100-calorie snack packs, anything that says “take a moment and enjoy.”

Consistent small gestures that say we appreciate your time and effort are far greater motivators in the long run than the occasional big splash.

This is Karen D signing off…Your Next Level Coach for Life
“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~ Karen D

Positivity Equals Profitability

You Will Profit From A Positive Workplace

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.”  ~ Jim Stovall

A great working environment can make a world of difference.

Before the most recent economic recession took hold, Canadians were already struggling with a positive outlook about the workplace. Only six per cent of Canadians and 10 per cent of workers everywhere believed senior management treats people as if they are the most important part of the organization, said the results of a Towers-Perrin survey.
And the survey showed that firms with the highest percentage of engaged employees collectively increased operating income by 19 per cent and earnings per share by 28 per cent year-over-year. Companies with the lowest percentage of engaged employees showed year-over-year declines of 33 per cent in operating income and 11 per cent in earnings per share.

We are know how difficult it can be to maintain a positive attitude at work. We get caught up in the minor things that seem to consume a tremendous amount of our energy. It’s a contagious thing in many workplaces these days. Stresses over workloads, uncertainty and management decisions take hold and productivity declines.

It is important to look after your employees and treat them exactly how you want them to treat and look after your clients. Employees who are happy and content thrive and want to come to work and want to do a good job.  The components to a great environment include; providing employees with what they need in terms of training (soft skills as well as technical knowledge) and genuine support with positive messages where appropriate and constructive feedback where development is needed. Positive messages including praise for accomplishments and thank you’s for the dedication they show to their work.

The wonderful thing about showing appreciation for others is that is doesn’t need to take more than a few words.

Make your goal this summer to provide a great working environment for your employees.


This is Karen D signing off…
Your Next Level Coach for Life

“Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who go out and get it”. ~Karen D