A portrait of Cyndi Maxey


Speak Up and Stand Out!

Association for Physician Leadership

Summer Institute 2015

"I've heard nothing but wonderful things from the participants. My committee members have already started talking about having you back for next year." - Educational Director, APIC, Washington DC

"Thank you for the wonderful job you did. You got high scores across the board. Everybody loved you. This was a wonderful retreat and everyone was very happy." - Education Project Manager, MGMA, Denver Colorado

"...you have the keen ability to read people which enhances the presenters' learning experience and your calm demeanor is so reassuring - as a presenter, I felt a level of trust that allowed me to open up. - Manager, Curriculum Delivery, Institute of Real Estate Management

"I just wanted to thank you for a fabulous class. It exceeded my expectations and I plan on using many of tips you taught on an upcoming presentation at a Nursing Informatics conference." - MSN, RN, College of American Pathologists

In all of the workshops I've ever had, you were the FIRST who really broke down the necessary components to making effective presentations. Thank you so much!" - West America Mortgage Company

Thanks again for your expertise on Navigating the Business Social Event. The fact that your presentations are interactive and provide concrete tips set you apart as an excellent speaker! - Samantha Breeden, Program Chair, Arlington Heights Professional Women's Council

You helped the National Association for Down Syndrome parent trainees begin on their journey to public speaking. You interacted beautifully with the audience. - Linda Smarto, Program Coordinator, National Association for Down Syndrome

My team is so grateful for "Fearless Facilitation" and is using chapters of your book as a discussion item at department meetings. You really made a significant impact on our work. - Beth Glaister, Director, Professional Development -Prevention First

Thank you very much for a wonderful workshop. The feedback from others was over the top. You created a warm, fun, safe environment in which we all felt comfortable to experiment. Cyndi, you've got a rare talent! - Jenifer C Simson | Managing Partner | Quantum Insights, LLC

You really were spectacular and one of the best programs we've had, which is saying a lot because we've had some really terrific programs. I would absolutely highly recommend you to any group looking for a dynamic speaker. - Jessica Gardner, Team Leader, Mary Kay Cosmetics

Many thanks for your presentation "Speak UP and Stand OUT: Finding Your Influential Voice." Feedback from participants was: "Re-energizing, engaging, fun, informative, educational, excellent, thought-provoking" - Norma Kaplan CCASTD President

Wow - I learned so much and freshened my presentation toolbox. My goal was to take away one key action item and I did: I now have a new way of thinking about how to position and present myself to new clients. - Ruthie Feinstein, Qualitative Research & Brand Strategy Consulting

Thanks again, Cyndi, for a great program. You made the whole process so easy and I've received nothing but excellent feedback". - Steve Collard, President, Healthcare Financial Management Association - Eastern Michigan Chapter

"I have had a lot of great feedback about the class and your style. The consortium members enjoyed the day and learned so much. " - Diane, Consortium Director, BJC Healthcare, St. Louis, MO

Thanks again for conducting such an effective workshop last Saturday at Loyola. There was definitely a lot of learning going on. You also modeled so well all that you were trying to teach us." - Catherine B. Marquis, J.D, Director, Planned Giving, Illinois Institute of Technology

"I had to take the time to tell you what an amazing experience this past Saturday was. I learned so many pointers that will help in my professional as well as personal communication. It was well worth every penny spent." - Tonie Golden

Cyndi Maxey's certifications, Member, National Speakers Association, National Speakers Association of Illinois, Certified Speaking Professional

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Macmillan Speakers

How the Fearless Facilitator Handles the Unexpected, Unleashed, and Unmotivated

June 7th, 2015 Posted in: Leading Learning

My mature Labrador Retriever, Max, likes to sit on the front porch and watch and sniff passers by. Normally this is quite a staid activity characterized by ear wags, nose action, head tilts, and now and then a tail thump. But occasionally something unexpected happens – like the time a cat went by and Max took off after it into the street putting himself in danger and causing fear in his owner – me! If I had been observing more closely this would not have happened. I just wasn’t expecting it!

For those of us in charge of leading meetings of all kinds (training, teambuilding, department, Board), unexpected behavior can cause the meeting to run amuck and us to look less than professional. This is not the time to criticize, to hunt down, and to cause further angst and disruption. Instead it is the time to observe, ask, clarify, and move forward.

The Fearless Facilitator knows what to do:

The unexpected (growler)
Often a meeting is going along quite smoothly when someone makes an unexpected comment. For example, the normally agreeable team member argues a long-held belief, or the typically prepared supervisor has outdated data. Or the enthusiastic marketer takes credit for another’s idea.
Fearless Facilitator: “Megan, if I’ve got this right, your concern is the turn-around time. Is that correct? How have things changed since your initial support of the idea?” OR “ Joe, if I’ve heard your report correctly, the data ends with winter quarter. Do you have the spring results?” OR “ Bob, I hear you; you’re building on Frank’s idea, right?”

The unleashed (barker)
We all have trigger points that unveil our values; for example, innovation, loyalty, honesty, hard work, or fun. If a meeting’s direction undercuts a core value, we tend to get emotional when we should be business-like.
Fearless Facilitator: “You feel strongly about this issue. What are you specifically referring to?” The idea is to acknowledge the feeling first, then get to specifics about the facts. Sometimes this must go off-line, as in, “ Yes, Kevin, company loyalty is key and your point is well taken. Let’s look at the immediate issue first.”

The unmotivated (whimperer)
Some people just don’t want to be there. They sit silently – even begrudgingly with ever-present cell phone texting or disruptive side conversing. Here the facilitator gently corrects (or not so gently depending on the rules). Bringing aboard the whiner happens outside of the meeting but during it, the behavior is acknowledged in subtle ways
Fearless Facilitator: “Dr. Jones, what do you do in your area?” or “Sheila, Jenny, is there a question?”
As you may have noticed, Fearless Facilitators have a mental “script” that kicks in when these three behaviors occur. Observe, ask, clarify, and move forward and your professional meeting facilitation will get results.
For more tips, check out our book Fearless Facilitation: the Ultimate Field Guide to Engaging and Involving (!) your Audience by Cyndi Maxey and Kevin O’Connor (Pfeiffer/Wiley, 2013). Available on barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, and more.

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