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Interview with Dr. Audrey Nelson

In this interview with A-Speakers, keynote speaker Dr. Audrey Nelson answers questions regarding communication, dealing with difficult people, being yourself and speaking publically. Read more below.

What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?

My focus is on enhancing face-to-face communication. I provide hands on skills and my aim is to promote self-management and an increased self awareness. I believe there is a direct correlation between a person’s ability to communication well and their over-all success in life. And I don’t mean just making money. I think communication skills is where success begins and ends.


Do you have a favorite experience from your speaking career?

I have several. Some of the highlights in my 30 year career include an invitation by the State Department to represent the US Embassy in South Korea. I offered training on gender issues in the workplace including communication between the sexes and the status of women to Koreans and the embassy staff. Other notable training includes when I combine consulting. I worked with a semi conductor company that was a joint venture between Lucent and Cirrus Logic. For two years I worked with the management team to create change in their working environment as well as conducting training. It provided the opportunity for me to witness firsthand the difference training can create.


Who or what inspires you?

I am a natural “teacher.” I taught in three universities and won teaching awards in all of them. At the University of Colorado I won the most competitive award, The Teaching Excellence Award. At San Diego State I was awarded a grant from the State of California for my excellence in teaching (I received the highest teaching evaluations in the Communication department).  I have a love of learning and find my research, writing, consulting and training all complement each other. Thirty years ago when I left the university system and started training and conducted keynotes, I carried those skills to a new opportunity. Simply, I like working with people and have a love of learning. I am also a published author. My first book, You Don’t Say: Navigating Nonverbal Communication Between the Sexes (Prentice Hall 2004) was published in six languages. Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen(Alpha Books-Penguin 2009) was my second book and received world wide acclaim. The Gender Communication Handbook: Conquering Conversational Collisions between Men and Women (Pfeiffer) will be released in 2012. This is a professional book intended for HR professionals and trainers.


What are your top 3 tips for dealing with difficult people?

1. Rise one level above them.

2. Don’t provide the payoff.

3. Watch out for reactive responses.


What is the most positive feedback you have gotten?

I was told that my training session created a shift in thinking and behaviors.


What are some of the necessary elements for successful communication?

1. Shut up and listen.

2. Be “other” oriented.

3. The ability to self manage and adjust your communication.

4. Go from automatic to conscious communication.


How are your keynote presentations unique?

The most consistent feedback I receive are my presentations  combine both “entertainment” and “knowledge.” Not just, “fluff” and some laughs, but people walk away with nuggets for change and improvement.


What should event planners keep in mind when booking you for their event?

I am dynamic and my office is very organized. I have conducted keynotes across many industries for both the private and public sector. My largest group (2,500) was a national Jazzercise convention. I adapt my message and individualize my topic content to the group. I have also presented keynotes in 49 states and internationally.


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