Sunday, January 24, 2016

Generating a New WWW: The Wild & Wired Webinar – Part I

Ever wonder why webinar presentations can be so uneven?  Some are engaging while others, well…”At least I can get some work done.”  Assuming the technology is “good enough,” how can the content design and delivery increase the likelihood that it’s a “3 ‘M’” webinar experience – meaningful, motivational, and memorable?

Consider some feedback from a recent one-hour "Leading with Passion Power:  Inspiring Others with Courage, Clarity & Creativity" webinar for Sovereign Health Group/Treatment Centers.  HQ’d in San Clemente, participants were coast-to-coast.

Subject:  Great talk! Love your authenticity!
Date:  1/20/2016

Dear Stress Doc,

Just want you to know how much I enjoyed your lecture today.  You made many great points and I will keep you in mind if anyone asks me about someone to have come and speak!

Deborah McMahon
Hugs from The Hug Doctor

We are continuously receiving mails of appreciation from the audience.  People are excited to watch your presentation on our website.  We also received lots of appreciation messages and questions during the presentation.  However, keeping in mind the time frame, we were not able to ask you all the questions.

Shruti Vashisht
Sovereign Webinar Team

How do you project “authenticity” when folks can’t look into the windows of your soul?  As a presenter, how do you create “excitement” when you cannot see your audience, you cannot reach out and literally touch someone.  And the way the webcast was structured, the tech support person could only read the Qs in the last ten minutes of the program.  How do you generate an overflow of questions?  Participants clearly wanted to hear and learn more.

And perhaps that last sentence is key:  With audience numbers approaching 100, how do you turn passive, solitary listeners (if you’re fortunate) into engaged and enquiring participants?

Top Ten Webinar Engagement Tips and Techniques (plus a little lagniappe):

1.  Ask a Brief Number of Concise and Powerful Questions.  After reviewing the key program objectives, I announced that the essence of the program can be captured by three questions:
1) Are you courageously developing and passionately projecting your unique energy and experience, strengths and skills?
2) Are you truly “being heard or are you just making noise?”
3) Are you developing collaborative, mutually productive, and innovative partnerships?

It’s hard to be unresponsive when someone’s grabbing at your head- and heartstrings.

2.  Start with an Identifiable, Playful-Edgy Opening.  A light repartee that speaks your audience’s language is an effective and “Emotionally Intelligent” way to quickly get or sustain attention.  As these were employees or affiliates of substance abuse treatment centers, the soon to be delivered punchline was particularly apt.  After announcing that “my goal is to help an audience become more FIT – by making the presentation FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking – and sharing my Triple ‘A’ Method – “to help folks grapple with anxiety, act out a little aggression, and engage life’s ‘slings and arrows’ with playful yet purposeful absurdity”…I then add:  “FIT, Triple ‘A’….you already know something about me: that I’ve been living in the DC area way too long.  I’m convinced if you’ve been in the DC area for a year or have to deal regularly with government regulations, you should be mandated to a 12-Step AA Group – Acronyms Anonymous!

In addition, I lay down another challenge while also skewering an all too recognizable target.  Letting folks know that, “this program won’t be all fun and games…I can be tough.  During a resilience workshop, I recall a somewhat pompous State Dept. Manager less asking, more declaring, ‘what do you call if you don’t have any stress!?’  My immediate reply, Denial,” never fails to generate some appreciative laughter.

3.  Do an Abrupt 180.  Now to be truly surprising, to once again grab people’s attention, as well as to keep them in a state of “what’s coming next?” anticipation, throw the group a major curve.  One preferred method: to suddenly close down the opening banter and ask, “What do think of this guy up here, so far, just after five minutes, even without visuals?”  No one expects this maneuver.  As it was a “muted” webinar, I supplied possible answers, including both positives and negatives, such as “you enjoy your work,” “you like to talk about yourself (or, even better, have others talking about you”), and that “I need to be center stage.”  (Once an audience member somewhat derisively predicted I would talk about my deprived childhood. ;-)  I must confess, there are times when I do like being the focus of attention.  Naturally, I remind the group of the old adage:  Vanity thy name is Gorkin!  People appreciate when a leader does not take himself so seriously; can poke fun at him- or herself.

Especially in a webinar, I want people absorbed in the message along with my animated verbal style and tone.  As Marshall McLuhan noted, radio is a “hot” medium; it embraces intensity and meaningful possibility.  I want speaker-audience interaction that stimulates compelling mental images.  I want folks entertaining my supposition that people are already sensing this webcast “energy” and “passion.”

Yes, there is method to my message and media madness…With a series of personal questions, I’m about to plug energy and ideas into their heads and hearts.

4.  Speak to and Engage an Audience’s Head and Heart.  And the spark comes from my paraphrasing key questions off a Power Point Slide:
a) when and where, that is, in what circumstances, do you have your best energy (apart from the bedroom; this is a PG presentation?),
b) what internal or external factors encourage “out of the box” or “head and heart flow?”,
c) what factors impede this flow, that is, shut down your creative juices?, and
d) what’s the connection between purpose, passion, and pain?

I then highlight specific dynamics that impede focus and flow, which drain energy and feed procrastination – such as rigid perfection, not embracing the learning value of error and “failure,” avoidance, when it comes to protecting your “time and space,” an inability to say “No,” not knowing how to start slow or small, 11th hour arrogance, etc.  I succinctly capture issues and interventions with which all can relate.  (Email for more information on “Emancipation Procrastination” and other performance enhancing techniques.)

5.  Use Bullet Point Acronyms, Aphorisms and Analogies.  In addition to those “big questions,” some other laser techniques and pointers keep speaker and audience on the same screen:

a. Acronyms:  As alluded to above, I shared some of my PANIC acronym for overcoming “procrastination” – “Perfection, “(Overcoming) Avoidance,” “No & Negotiate,” “Initiation,” and “Compartmentalization.”  Another favorite is “Confronting Your Intimate FOE:  Fear of Exposure!”  The value of acronyms is clear:  they capture key points in a concise and meaningful as well as memorable fashion.  Or they can have a surprising, insightful, and/or humorous impact, such as FOE or, in a stress workshop, the real meaning of the stress signal, TMJ:  Too Many Jerks!

b. Aphorisms:  I like providing pity and poetic passages that touch and challenge people in deep places and spaces.  For example, my burnout prevention mantra – “The Vital Lesson of the Four ‘R’s”:  If no matter what you do or how hard you try, Results, Rewards, Recognition, and Relief are not forthcoming, and you can’t say “No” or won’t let go (because you’ve invested so much time, identity money, and energy-ego – TIME), trouble awaits.  The groundwork is being laid for apathy, callousness, and despair!  (I told you I am the founder of Acronyms Anonymous.)

c. Analogies:  And a final rhythmic, prose-poetic, highly visual, Phoenix-like metaphor on the awesome “nature” of generative grief:  Whether the loss is a key person, a desired position, or a powerful illusion, each deserves the respect of a mourning.  The pit in the stomach, the clenched fists and quivering jaw, the anguished sobs prove catalytic in time.  In mystical fashion, like spring upon winter, the seeds of dissolution bear fruitful renewal.

Closing Summary

Part I has outlined five of the Stress Doc’s Top Ten Webinar Engagement Tips and Techniques for insuring a more “Wild & Wired Webinar” experience.  These are:

1.  Ask a Brief Number of Concise and Powerful Questions
2.  Start with an Identifiable, Playful-Edgy Opening
3.  Do an Abrupt 180
4.  Speak to and Engage an Audience’s Head and Heart
5.  Use Bullet Point Acronyms, Aphorisms and Analogies

Part II will conclude with the final tips and techniques:

6.  Launch into Stories.  Lawyer Bob
7.  Be Out-Rage-ous!.
8.  Be a Role Model.
9.  Project Your Emotions into Almost Every Word.
10.  Provide a Mantra and a Model.
And a little lagniappe:
11.  Use a Posed Question for Last Personal Sharing.

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a nationally acclaimed speaker, writer, and "Psychohumorist" ™, is a former psychotherapist and Stress & Violence Prevention Consultant for the U.S. Postal Service.  Mark is a Trauma Debriefing and Critical Incident Consultant for variety of organizations, including the national post-earthquake, Nepali Behavioral Health & Wellness Initiative. He has led numerous Pre-Deployment Stress Resilience-Humor-Team Building Retreats for US Army Senior Officers and Sergeants. The Doc is the author of Practice Safe Stress, The Four Faces of Anger, and Resiliency Rap ™.  His latest, soon to be published book, Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:  Relearning to Let Go, Laugh, and Love.  Mark’s award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" – was called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR).  Email for more info.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Launching A) Radio Show/Blog and B) New Book of Resiliency Poetry and Shrink Rap ™: Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss


It’s been a creative busy week:  Launching A) Radio Show/Blog and B) New Book of Resiliency Poetry and Shrink Rap ™:  Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:  Relearning to Let Go, Laugh & Love

A)  Radio/Audio Blog

First, Emily Livelsberger, a Communications Strategist/Coach and I launched a radio show/audio blog this past week.  The inaugural program was on “Jumpstarting the New Year.”  We took a look at the “Dark side of resolutions: Procrastination.” The title of the radio show is "Partnerships that Drive Performance."

A pre-final edit show description:

Dueling yet collaborative mind-behavior-interaction strategy experts blur the lines of conventional wisdom in their quest to pull back the curtain on communication, creativity, and collaboration -- that is, on "Partnerships the Drive Performance."

Show #2 is tomorrow, Tues. night at 8:30; the topic is “Performance Anxiety – from the Boardroom to the Bedroom.”  (When Emily’s kids are snugly tucked in bed.  Her husband, Joel, is our studio engineer.)

In case you didn't catch us live, you can listen at your convenience:
FYI, the Stress Doc and the Communication Strategist have launched a radio show/audio blog.  Catch us tonight at 8:30 EST. Tune in and listen live, or check it out later at Dial-ins welcome!  All feedback much appreciated.  Mark and Emily

B)  New Book

And here’s and Overview and Introduction to:

Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:  Relearning to Let Go, Laugh & Love
Through Resiliency Poetry and Shrink Rap ™

[Right after Table of Contents, see “Overview Benefits and Features”]

Table of Contents

I.    Overview of Benefits and Features                                                        2-4

II.   Introduction:  Why & How                                                                  4-10

III.  Fierce Longing

  • Singular Man                                                          © 1994                                   11-13
  • Cool Moon Cat                                                       © 1992                                   13-15
  • The Electrifying Lady                                           © 1992                                   15-17
  • The Love Trade                                                      © 1992                                   17-19
  • Kindred Eyes                                                          © 1992                                   19-22
  • Welfare Momma Lion                                            © 1992                                  22-24
  • A Charlotte Trio                                                                                                          
Where Is Charlotte                                              © 2014                                   24-25
Charlotte, Charlotte, Near or Far                      © 2014                                        25
Charlotte Is the Bumper Jumper                        © 2014                                   25-26
  • Again…Again                                                         © 2014                                   26-28
  • Goodbye Little Charlotte                                      © 2015                                   28-30

IV.  Fiery Loss

    • Grief Ghosts                                                 © 2013                                    30-31
  • Grief to Rebirth: Three Poetic Passages              [dates unknown]                   31-33
  • Who KNOWS War                                                 © 1998                                    33-35
  • Gravity’s Edge                                                        © 1992                                    35-37
  • Who’s Coming through the Door Again?             © 2015                                   37-39
  • Soul Mate Surgery                                                  © 2015                                   39-42
  • The Search for Peace                                              © 2015                                   42-45
  • A Question of “Ageless Passion”                           © 2015                                   45-46

V.   Relearning to Let Go, Laugh & Love

  • On the Ode to “Letting Go”                                  © 2015                                   46-48
  • Cowardice or Choice:  From Vice to Voice         © 2014                                   48-49
  • WHY’s  UP:  20 Questions                                    [date unknown]                    49-50
  • A Mistake Is but an Error                                     © 2014                                   50-53
  • UNDERage:  A Father’s Volcano                         © 2015                                   54-56
  • The Alchemy of Miss P                                          © 2002                                   56-59
  • Double-Edged Depression                                     © 1994                                   59-60
  • The Paradoxical Dream and/or Delusion            © 2014                                    60-61
  • Mountain Vision                                                     © 1992                                   61-65
  • Are You a Commitment-Phobe?                           © 2016                                   65-68

VI.  Addendum:  Grief Journaling

  • Growing Pains Intersection of Passion & Purpose, Prose & Poetry                    68
  • A Seven Year Old’s Eulogy                                  © 1994                                    68-70
  • A Requiem for a “Last Angry Man”                   © 2011                                   70-73

I. Overview of Benefits and Features

A.  AI3 Poetry & Self-Discovery Platform:  Benefits

Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:  Relearning to Let Go, Laugh & Love is an AI3 Poetry & Self-Discovery Platform:  On this personal and shared mind, heart, and soul journey, interact with and discover AI3 Passion Power ™ through the collection’s:

Ø  Accessibility & Intensity
Ø  Analogy & Insight
Ø  Authenticity & Intimacy

In our TNT – Time-Numbers-Technology – Driven and Distracted Web-World, more than ever we need real time and space to transform pain and pressure into healing and hope, into learning and love; we need to embrace Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:

  • Bathe in luminous lyrics, and humorous “Shrink Raps” – from dysfunction and dependence to the “Resiliency Poetry” of mindful and “out of mind” transcendence

  • Encounter vivid and visual ideas and images, insightful and inspiring analogies and strategies for once again “letting go, laughing, and loving”

  • Enjoy the paradoxical and ironical, mirthful musings and mental meanderings of the one-of-a-kind Stress Doc ™, “Shrink Rapper” ™, and “Psychohumorist” ™

  • Appreciate the Stress Doc’s “New KISS” technique:  Keep It Short & Smart!

  • Yet also recognize a dangerous “3-D” Worldview:  Denial, Delusion, and Dysfunction

  • Be purposefully and provocatively aroused:  grapple with and consciously mute demeaning inner voices; work through meaningful relationship anger

  • Internalize the difference between “feeling sorry for yourself and feeling your sorrow”

  • Discover the psychological power and passion as well as compassion in and even “mystical fashion” of grieving and “letting go”

  • Be motivated to embark on your own self-inventory and voyage of self-discovery

  • Engage with the distinctive three-part structure of Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss – Creative Context, Poetic Piece, and Discussion Questions

  • Each poem, rap, and lyric is snugly sandwiched between: 1) a mostly concise contextual essay highlighting the genesis or personal slant or significance of the verse and 2) head-and heart-provoking “Discussion Questions” to deepen, expand, and focus your “R & R” – Reading & Reflection – experience

  • Use Resiliency Poetry & Shrink Rap ™ as a learning-discussion tool in a variety of classroom/learning settings as well as psychoeducational support, study, and book groups

If a picture is worth a thousand words then, by Gorkinian psycho-meta-metrics, a thought-inspiring, heart-jolting, or side-splitting metaphor or poetic visual is worth at least one hundred psychological perceptions, deep-seated projections, and untamed associations!

B.  Dynamic Dozen:  A Sample of Features

Absorbing yourself in Fierce Longing…Fiery Loss:  Relearning to Let Go, Laugh & Love is its own reward.  You will:

Ø  Savor the mind-provoking comparisons and compelling archetypal auras of powerful female-types (and some male projections) – as explored in Cool Moon Cats and Momma Lions, Kindred Eyes and The Electrifying Lady

Ø  Play hide-and-seek with a child while singing engaging words to the tune of “Frere Jacques” or serenade a child with a variation on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Ø  Experience the rollercoaster of emotions as family life slides from the joyful to the dark and dysfunctional…yet with an enduring, albeit small, voice and spark of hope!

Ø  Encounter a little Moon-Boy’s poignantly elusive and daring search for his burnt-out Father-Sun and their ultimate dynamic-cosmic connection and destiny

Ø  Reflect on the exquisite beauty of inner child love and the excruciating pain and sadness when it is abruptly terminated

Ø  Achieve “good enough” yet affirming peace when you cannot “forgive and forget”

Ø  Witness the poignant psychological impact of war on soldiers, family, and friends

Ø  Ponder an inspiring ode to “Cowardice or Choice” and an “in your head and heart” poetic questionnaire on creative sensibility

Ø  Laugh at the outrageously double-edged, creative sides of depression

Ø  Discover the adventurous and risk-taking parallels between climbing a mountain and building an intimate relationship

Ø  Assess whether one can rest on an ironical “single and singular” laurel or is this more a defensive ploy and, perhaps, a “commitment-phobe” omen?

Ø  Explore “Grief Journaling” – The Growing Pains Intersection of Passion & Purpose, Prose & Poetry – to work through pain, anger, and loss…and to keep the inner-eternal soul flame alive!