Bimbo Banter


Media Training Guru Merrie Spaeth Joins Sunwest Communications

Acquisition of Spaeth Communications brings renowned methodology for media training and witness preparation, elevating Sunwest’s client services DALLAS (Oct. 18, 2023) – Sunwest Communications has acquired Spaeth Communications, bringing together two legendary Dallas-based public relations firms. Nationally recognized for her…more 


Leadership Communication Advice for President Biden

There’s been much discussion following recent tragic and inexcusable events in Washington about how words influence behavior. President Biden has an opportunity to articulate clearly what he expects from those joining his administration. He should listen to critically important advice…more 

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An Important, Personal Story

Those of you who know me know that I am a glass-half-full person. I believe there is always something positive on which to focus. That’s the purpose of this post, as well as to share an intensely personal story on…more 


Looking for the Hero

When audiences can choose to watch Netflix while getting their news on Twitter, what’s to incentivize them to tune in to the evening news? Reporters have responded with longform, sensational investigative stories. In a crisis situation, this means they have…more 


Should A CEO Be Spontaneous?

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer: Expectations for CEOs revealed that people (63 percent of respondents) want a CEO who “speaks spontaneously over one who delivers well-rehearsed speeches.” We submit this is a totally false choice. What people are really asking for…more 


A CEO’s Survival Guide

The Wall Street Journal just savaged GE’s new CEO, Larry Culp. Many of their criticisms are unfair but reporter John Stoll’s column provides an excellent coaching tool for communication staff. Culp went on CNBC, and the company stock fell 10…more 


Believe in Memphis

Sometimes you get to see the heart and soul of a city. Yesterday was one of those times for anyone at the memorial service in Memphis for a man named Phil Trenary. Phil was the former CEO of Pinnacle Airlines…more 


Why Presentation Skills Training Will Elevate Your Everyday

We’ve just wrapped a week of a two-part series of Persuasive Presentation SkillsSM trainings in the UK. While many of our clients come to us seeking a specific need (“I have a speech coming up”), an increasing amount are looking…more 


Can Smiling Improve Performance?

I’m frequently asked “What kind of research backs up your teaching?” While we believe that our thirty years of experience is our first credential, we also voraciously look for studies and other material we can apply. We pay attention to…more 


President Trump Appropriately Prepared

Stop with the criticism of President Trump for using notes during his visit with the victims and families of the Florida school shooting. I tell all my clients that it’s ok and even desirable to use notes. It’s very easy…more 


Communication as a Core Competency

A version of this article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Human Resource Executive Magazine. Communication is a hot topic for HR professionals these days. The importance of communication popped up in HRE’s coverage, “Building a Team of Teams,” in…more 


A recipe for Networking Mixers - Equal parts talking and listening

What comes to mind when you think of networking mixers? Is it a vision of those weak cocktails in plasticware combined with awkward conversation and way too many business cards?. If the thought of attending one fills you with dread,…more 


Ready, Set, Go: The Power of a Good Introduction

Delphi, the automotive parts supplier, recently hosted a matchmaking event in El Paso. They brought together about 200 women- and minority-owned businesses (for the 22nd time, in fact!) from parts manufacturers to promotional products companies to staffing agencies to communications…more 


Strategies that Stick

According to the latest annual survey by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) developing strategy is an important goal for corporate directors. Of the over 50 percent of directors who claim to care deeply about strategy, I hope their…more 


It’s Snowing Communication Lessons

Since the chances of a white Christmas in Dallas are generally slim, I jumped at the chance to see snow in the Rockies for a client this week. We always tell people to ask “Who’s my audience?” That became scarily…more 


Cracking the Glass Ceiling: a Look at the Numbers

The dream of a woman president is still alive, and it all starts with an example of one of our favorite memory drivers:  statistics. Remember, numbers always need context or they are meaningless to your audience. It has taken almost…more 


Shattering the Ceiling

I recently returned from the Great Lakes Women’s Business Conference in Novi, Michigan full of knowledge and inspiration. We were delighted to receive our certification as a Women-Owned Business earlier this year. If you’re familiar with Spaeth, you’ll know we’re…more 


The Ten Laws of Trust: Important Lessons from a Great Leader

Joel Peterson, the chairman of JetBlue and former managing partner of the Trammell Crow Company (full disclosure, we worked for Joel for a number of years in the 1990s) has written a slim but important book distilling his decades of…more 


Trump Rehearses and Follows the Rules – Successfully

Donald Trump finally got religion – at least as far as speech giving is concerned. He obviously rehearsed; he had a structured presentation and incorporated the basic lesson that all executives (and candidates!) need to learn. Let’s tick them off:…more 


Dancing Dubya

While Dallas still reels from the last week’s deadly attacks on our police force, the nation has begun to chatter about a local resident dancing at a memorial service. Tuesday’s visit from President Obama was a somber one. He joined…more 


Building a Strong Communication Foundation

I recently had the opportunity to visit with some of the brightest minds in construction project management. ARCO recruits its PMs (project managers) from top schools in civil or structural engineering. In addition to a strong foundation (pun intended) in…more 


Why Bankers Need to Learn to Tell Stories to Prevent the End of the World as We Know It

Every banker should pay attention to the topics discussed at the Massachusetts Bankers Association’s Women in Banking Conference. Topics drifted from Storytelling as a Leadership Tool (my portion) to how to develop your personal brand and technology game changers. As…more 


Bad Advice

Regular readers of our blog know one of my rants is how much you can pay for bad advice. That seems to be particularly true about advice about presentation skills, specifically in the category of body language. Once more—for the…more 


The Super Bowl of Communication

Let’s just say you’re a star NFL quarterback. You’re a household name nearing the end of your career, ready for retirement. But if the right offer comes along, you may decide to don a new jersey for a season or…more 


Twitter and Your C-Suite Executives

Scores of C-Suite executives are watching the presidential campaigns with an attitude of amused detachment. Surely the primary sniping, posturing and preening doesn’t affect them, does it? Yes, it does. USA Today summed it up nicely:  “Though not a single…more 


Debate Icebergs

Nine tenths of the volume of an iceberg is unseen, below water. It’s the same thing with the upcoming debates for the Republican presidential candidates. Critical strategic decisions are being made now, before the TV cameras turn on, because Thursday…more 


3 Lessons from Infographics

We’ve written on the Spaeth blog before about some useful tips when using infographics (hint: the same rules apply), but what can we learn from infographics? I don’t mean interpreting an actual image but looking at infographics as a subject.…more 


Why Pete Rose Should Be in the Hall of Fame

The annual All-Star Game has given Pete Rose another chance to be in the Hall of Fame, and the familiar arguments have resurrected. One topic that never gets addressed is the role of Pete’s lawyers in the original deal where…more 


Ruling the Stage:  How Packaging and Practice Reigns

Who are the most important people in the room: those on the stage or those in their seats? The answer is always “the audience” and their tastes are changing. TED Talks are one of the best things to happen to…more 


Make it Right

On a recent business trip, I faced the best of both worlds in customer service. It was a quick day trip so I was taking the first flight out and returning on the last flight back. Unfortunately, I reached my…more 


After the Disaster

Responding, Carrying on and Lasting Consequences It was a great honor to be a panelist at the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resource’s (SEER) 2015 conference. The charge of the panel was to outline the necessary action…more 


What do the Kleiner Perkins Trial and the Anti-Fracking Movement Demonstrate?

Here’s a reminder that people are your most powerful weapon. I recently read an interesting article in USA Today about the Pao trial (the former partner of Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins that is suing the firm for discrimination)…more 


Happy Birthday, President Reagan!

Today would have been the 40th president’s 104th birthday. There is growing recognition of President Reagan’s accomplishments, intellect, abilities and the role that his optimistic attitude played to encourage Americans to listen to and trust him. Another 40 years from…more 


Story is the Ultimate Strategy

Here at Spaeth, we talk often about influencing through the power of storytelling. Merrie even teaches a seminar on it to MBA students at SMU Cox School of Business (where she just received her 30th Teaching Excellence Award!). Last year, I…more 


Be As Good As This

You may know I worked for President Reagan but this week I give my commendations to President Obama, regardless of how I feel about his policies. The president does a superb job of talking to each one of us individually…more 


Ambassadors Come In All Shapes

Ambassadors come in all shapes, sizes and, I’ve discovered…breeds. Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stay in a boutique hotel that has its very own four-legged ambassador, a sweet terrier mix named Huey. He greets guests upon arrival,…more 


Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice! How do you ensure your presentation stands out? Rehearse. We recently had the privilege of working with two teams of presenters from the Momentous Institute, the school supported by the Dallas Salesmanship…more 


Putting the Care into Your Health

Health care is a common denominator throughout our lives. Who doesn’t want the very best? Having worked with many health care industry clients over the years, I can tell you firsthand that the vast majority of health care leaders want…more 


When it comes to TV interviews, what’s more important: what you say or how you say it?

Spoiler: It’s what you say. Why? Because if you make a horrible comment, no one will care that you delivered it with charisma, conviction and perfect eye contact. In fact, if you really put your foot in your mouth, your…more 


You Can Pay a Lot for Bad Advice

People always ask me for advice when they’re preparing a presentation. Enough with good advice. Here are the top five worst pieces of advice I’ve ever heard: 1. Your hand gestures should match your words. “Thus, I (point to self)…more 


The ROI of an Extra Look

Since the majority owner of the Atlanta Hawks, Bruce Levenson, surrendered his interest in the team because of an easily misinterpreted email from 2012, our clients have been asking, “Would you eyeball this email/memo/text/letter?” In the email, Levenson was describing…more 


Permission to Say “IDK”

Here at Spaeth, we are officially giving you permission to utter those three little words “I don’t know” or IDK in text speak. “I don’t know” is not a stranger to our list of Acknowledgment PhrasesTM (the name Spaethites will…more 


If I Were 22 Again

Looking back across decades, I’ll share a few things that I believe I did well – even if it was due to luck (My late father used to say, ‘It’s better to be lucky than smart and the trick is knowing…more 


Communication Commandments

Are You Ready for Right Now, Let Alone the Future? My late husband, Tex Lezar, was fond of a story about Justice Oliver Wendell  Holmes. The distinguished jurist was traveling by train to give a speech. The conductor approached and…more 


Why Resilience Is the Next Priority for Companies

As leaders in our profession, we pride ourselves on anticipating issues. With all of the uncertainty — economic and otherwise — that we need to manage, I believe that the next quality that PR professionals should be prepared to champion…more 


What the Board Should Know About Communication

This commentary is based on Merrie’s remarks to the National Association of Corporate Directors in Austin, Texas on December 3, 2010. Henry Kissinger is supposed to have said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” I’m not…more 

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