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Location for Free, Royalty-Free Pictures Has Changed! SXC.hu Is Now FreeImages.com

by Kelly Vandever

I’ve mentioned a great location for free, royalty-free pictures in one of my most popular posts.  Recently I discovered that the “name” of the website has changed.

Since Getty Images bought out iStockphoto.com, and iStockphoto had owned sxc.hu,  I guess the new owners decided to rename the site FreeImages.com.

Everything appears to have remained the same, including the terms of use.  But from now on, …

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Seeking Your Business Presentation Stories!



by Kelly Vandever

I’ve written several posts about storytelling and included stories in a majority of my blog posts.


Now, it’s your turn to tell me stories!


I’m in the process of co-authoring a book with my NSA colleague Bob Goodyear.  While we will certainly be telling stories from our experiences and coaching, we’d love to hear stories from you!


Specifically, we’re looking for stories of good and bad business presentation experiences.



Business Presentations You’ve …

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Book Review – “Lead with a Story” by Paul Smith

by Kelly Vandever
Experience is the best teacher.  A compelling story is a close second.      – Paul Smith, Author of Lead with a Story
I’ve been searching for an excellent book on storytelling in business.  And I found it:  Paul Smith’s Lead with a Story.

Lead with a Story encourages leaders to use the power of stories to engage their audiences and move them toward the desired business action.  Smith practices what he preaches by sharing over 100 stories which he then …

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Love Your Neighbors Now

by Kelly Vandever

One year ago today, I was practicing one more time for the presentation that I’d deliver that night. Down our street, my neighbors started their days doing the activities they do any typical Tuesday.  Going to work.  Attending school.   Entertaining out of town guests.  It was a “normal” day by all accounts.

But by 7:30 PM on March 12th, the lives of those of us living on Silhouette Court would be changed forever.

My husband is a prosecuting attorney.  He has seen hundreds of jurors …

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Practice Responsible Storytelling: 5 Guidelines for Telling Stories in Business Presentations


by Kelly Vandever

I’ve done a few posts encouraging you to include stories in your business presentations.  Stories can be very powerful in making a connection with your audience and to increase retention of your key points.

But it’s important that you practice responsible storytelling!  Here are five guidelines to help!
1.  You Need to Have a Point to Your Story
Following one of my sessions on developing stories to use in business presentations, one of the audience members came up to me and said …

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Did You Know that Audiences Can Pick Out Inauthentic Speakers – Even If You’re Not Pinocchio?

by Kelly Vandever

The moment I saw the latest, GEICO commercial, “Did You Know Pinocchio Was a Bad Motivational Speaker,” I started formulating this post!

If you haven’t seen the commercial yet, watch the video below.


Audiences Can Sense Inauthentic Speakers
My contention is that audiences pick up on inauthentic speakers.  Disingenuous speakers leak out signals through their body language even if those signs are more subtly than Pinocchio’s growing nose.  And audiences, either through years of experience or human …

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How to Craft Stories within Your Business Presentations – Use the Hero’s Journey Framework

by Kelly Vandever



“I know a story would work great but I’m just having trouble getting started.”

These words came from a young, eager sales professional who was in the midst of preparing a presentation.

He knew purposefully crafting a story would be beneficial to him, both as a presenter and as a sales professional, because…

Stories capture an audience’s attention

Stories help audience members see their own challenges within the stories of others making the experience more personal

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Stop Wasting My Time: What Executives Really Think about Your Presentation – Guest Tyler Jones of Carmichael Consulting Solutions

by Kelly Vandever
Stop Wasting My Time:  What Executives Really Think about Your Presentation
Speaking Practically’s Kelly Vandever interviews executives to find out what they really think about your business presentations.  Listen and learn how you can better present to the executives, prospects and customers in your world!
This session’s guest is Tyler Jones, owner of Carmichael Consulting Solutions
Learn more about this guest at www.linkedin.com/in/tylerhjones.

Click here to learn more about Carmichael Consulting Solutions.

Need Help Presenting to Executives?
If you need help presenting internally within your …

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Leadership Presentations: Addressing Your Team When Dealing With Difficult Situations

by Kelly Vandever

I survived the great Atlanta snowpocalypse of January 2014.

Even though we live in the metro Atlanta area, snowpocalypse wasn’t hard for me. I was working at home when the snow began to fall.

My husband’s ride home took 2 hours — it’s usual a 45 minute commute.  My son-in-law took 2.5 hours to get home.  But anyone who’s watched the national news on January 29th and January 30th, 2014 knows that they were among the lucky ones.

As we watched …

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Want to Inspire Your Work Team? Tell Your Organization’s Stories!

by Kelly Vandever


My second tour in the Navy, I worked at the Personnel Support Detachment in Pensacola, Florida.  For those of you who weren’t in the Navy, Personnel Support Detachments – which we called PSD for short – are the equivalent of a Human Resources department in a company.  In our case, we handled the pay and personnel records for all the Navy personnel stationed at NAS Pensacola which included the famous Blue Angels flight demonstrations team.

If …

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