Category Archives: Restaurant Rants and/or Reviews

Recipe Friday

Here are a few links to what I’m thinking of making this weekend. Enjoy.

Granola Chicken Salad Sandwhiches

Oatmeal Crusted Chicken Tenders

Classic Macaroni Salad

Your Turn:  Have any easy favorites that you make often? Share them below.

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5 Tips for Writers When Speaking Publicly

As writers, some of us speak publicly at conferences, clubs, expos, and what have you. It’s essential that when you decide to incorporate public speaking into your arena of work that you are calm and collected when promoting your endeavors and helping others understand theirs.

These five steps are the ones that have helped me prepare when I am asked to do any type of public speaking and I hope that when it’s your turn to speak that they will help you prepare as well.

Five Tips for Preparing Writers When Speaking Publicly:

1.     Know Your Material: This is step number one because it is so crucial. Just because you’re being asked to speak to fellow writers about your newly published book, doesn’t mean that you can go up in front of the crowd and wing it. Yes, you wrote the book and you know your material well, but there’s always room for advancement. Do more research, bring an article and visual aid along to share with your audience that relates to your niche, or ask a fellow colleague to speak with you to help further the importance of your findings. Don’t stop learning because you’re published, you’ll short change yourself as well as your audience.

2.     Practice, Practice, Practice: Once your speech has been prepared and edited for clarity and time restraints, your next step will be to practice it aloud. Make sure you’re speaking slowly, clearly, and pronouncing all of your words correctly. If you’re from Boston but speaking in Texas, this is one of those times when your accent may hinder your depiction. To prevent any lapse in understanding from your audience, this is where your practice shall make perfect. By continuously speaking your speech aloud, you’ll unconsciously train not only your brain to semi-memorize your words, but also your tongue and mouth to form them correctly. Also, practice in front of people outside your comfort zone. Your husband and mother have a favorable bias of you so it’s best to ask someone other than your immediate friends and family to listen to your speech.

3.     Know Your Audience: Do your research on who will be attending and great as many audience members as you can before the talk. Is it just freelance writers who will be attending or will the local news reporters be there as well, perhaps the mayor will be sitting in? These are all key questions to seek answers to well in advance of your speaking commitment so that you won’t be totally blindsided when being asked questions before, during, and after your presentation.

4.     Know the Room: Arrive early, super early, to your venue and walk it. Breathe it in. Touch the seat backs and allow the scent to become embedded in your conscience. No one can work a room or their audience unless you’ve been in their position before. During this time, check your equipment as well. Do sound checks and go through your presentation if you have enough time before guests start arriving.

5.     Relax and Remain Calm: Easier said than done, I know. But like anything, the more you speak publicly the easier it gets. Your mistakes you make along the way are easier corrected with repetitiveness. If you knocked over the mic stand at your first public speaking presentation, then you’ll know to place it well out of your way at your subsequent presentations. Some people are born being utterly calm and collected in front of an audience and others have to work at it. Regardless, knowing your material, your room, and your audience members is a recipe for success that anyone who speaks publicly can’t deny.

Please share your public speaking experiences with us. We learn best when it’s from each other.


Filed under Blogging, Book Reviews, freelancing, Movie Reviews, parenting, Random Thoughts, Restaurant Rants and/or Reviews, Uncategorized, writing, Writing Tips

Restaurant Rant/Review: Chili’s East Providence

Let me start by saying that my friend and I have eaten at this particular restaurant numerous times considering we live in the area, this way my readers will be in the know that this incident I’m writing about isn’t just a one time thing.  Each time I have frequented it, I’ve noticed that when you are first seated the waitress comes around your table frequently.  To take your order…get you drinks…and what have you.  But after you receive your order it never fails, your waitress disappears.  She becomes Houdini and is no where to be found.  I’m not exaggerating either, your plates of food get put down in front of you, and then you and your dining partner(s) are on your own until your plate is empty…or you’ve been done eating and haven’t moved your jaw to chew anything in about fifteen minutes…whatever comes first.  When you’re literally just about to the point of aggravation, here comes your waitress with the bill in hand.  So if you did happen to want anything else, another drink or desert let’s say, you’re out of luck…you’re DONE.  You get a half-smiled “thanks so much” as she puts the bill down and that’s literally the extent that you interact with your waitress while you visit Chili’s.  

Now, I’m sure you wondering why I continue to eat there…yes? This is where the “review” part kicks in.  To be honest…the food’s good.  I happen to like the chicken taco’s and the new chicken finger platters they have so I see no harm in returning…as long as I can look past the Houdini -trained waitresses. Also I tend to get desert there because they have this insanely awesome chocolate molten cake.  It’s this mouthwatering, rich, chocolate cake that has a “molten” center, if you will.  So that when you insert your spoon (or fork…whatever you prefer to eat your desert with) into the center of the cake, hot liquid chocolate comes oozing out.  They top it with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate hard shell coating….and it’s Heaven in my book.  I’ve gone there JUST for this desert and I’m not ashamed to admit that.

In closing this blog, let me add that I am in no way saying that I will not frequent my local Chili’s again….that I will.  I’m just pointing out that the food is great but the service isn’t as high ranked.  I haven’t had an unpleasant waitress per say, just ones that come back to your table out of habit rather than want.

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