PTSD Doesn’t Take A Vacation

Posted: April 8, 2013 in General

Tough Being a SoldierWith the prevalence of stress in the workplace and the world, I offer trauma recovery coaching for people who have gone through extreme events in their life and are working hard to hold it together. Most of the time, a person dealing with any kind of PTSD needs extra tools in understanding what is happening in their life and how to hold it together as they recover from whatever happened to them.

From war to domestic violence, big time dysfunction is rampant in our world. Many of us have a hard time coping with what is happening in the world. Often we can simply turn off the news and live in our self-imposed but safe feeling world. Other times, a trauma comes into our life and we no longer feel safe.

A traumatic event is defined by the National Institute of Health as an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.

A traumatic event may involve:

  • A move to a new location
  • Leaving or being fired from a job
  • Death of a friend, family member, or pet
  • Divorce, separation or end of a close relationship
  • Hospitalization
  • Physical injury or illness
  • Separation from loved ones, or as a child, from parents
  • Terrorism
  • Mass disaster (ie: flood, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc)
  • Violence
  • War

At the time of a traumatic event, the person experiencing the event is usually in disbelief and then shock, and often does not know how to respond. The mind usually wants to forget and move on – rationalizing and minimizing the impact of the traumatic event on one’s life. We often do not realize how traumatic our event was until we start telling people about it and see their shocked reaction. The mind is brilliant at helping us deny the experience, especially if we came close to dying. This is important to remember as we heal – that we employ defense mechanisms that help us cope, but we are still suffering from the impact if we are not able to live our regular life.

Sometimes after a traumatic event, a person becomes helpless, fearful, or even horrified at things that never bothered them before. Common feelings that people experience after a trauma are anxiety, panic, fear, loss of trust, and blankness. It is very common to not even know the feelings you are feeling since you have never felt them before at this level. All you know, is often you feel uneasy, tense, you can’t breathe, you can’t concentrate, you don’t want to be around people, and often you just don’t feel anything at all.

After a while, you don’t want to talk about it or revisit the story with anyone, you just want to get back to normal life, so you refuse to talk about it and dismiss the painful feelings that came along with it. Even when you feel irritated at someone for no good reason or deal with a situation poorly with fear, panic, or blankness – you know something is off inside but you don’t know what to do about it. You long to be like you were before the trauma happened and you may even deny that you are triggered even though everyone is looking at you like you are nuts. And you suffer inside with this imbalance, while pretending everything is ok.

Traumatic events certainly change how we see ourselves and the world.

I have had a dual career in business and counseling and help people who are have dealt with especially traumatic events.

I teach PTSD recovery classes that are informational in nature. I coach clients and teach tools to aid people in their recovery. Much of the time people do not understand what is happening with their system and why they are still feeling so stressed after a traumatic event has long passed.

My own counseling education and work started before I was carjacked at gunpoint. I had symptoms that did not subside even after a year of therapy, medication and chiropractic. I needed to educate myself and I took a holistic approach to my healing.

I employ a somatic approach so you can start to master what is happening in your body. You know you don’t feel your regular self anymore and have a hard time coping with things that never bothered you before.

Trauma causes a physiological (not necessarily a psychological) disruption that needs to be inspected in the body rather than the mind in order to heal the whole person. We can accomplish this through a complete inventory of your life, going over several areas to see where your weak link is and strengthen it. We also use holistic exercise (yoga, qi gong, tai chi for example) as a way to help you focus your entire self (mind and body) on something that is beneficial to you. Nutrition is also necessary to address to see if you are eating the most beneficial foods for your healing.

I teach my students how to work with their physiological (adrenaline and cortisol) experience, dealing with intrusive thoughts, and reframing their experience teaching knowledge from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Somatic Experiencing.

My main orientation is Nonviolent (Compassionate) Communication as it helps a you communicate your needs in way that helps you connect again with others. The result can be a deeper sense of empathy and love for people around you, and the ability to distinguish between safe and not safe when feeling triggered.

Classes are custom designed based on your individual or organizational need.  I use a lot of empathy, knowledge, and healing skills. Please visit for more information.


Speak into the MicrophoneBy Michelle Pate, MA, MBA

I started doing work as a presentation coach a little over sixteen years ago. I was a coach for a large company’s leadership program, and because I had become known for my style, I was asked to coach people on their presentation. Our group was fabulous: community leaders, executives, university students, and doctors.

On my first night, I went to town on my coaching.

I told a seminar leader to start wearing heels. She said she never wore heels. I told her to bring some flats to wear except when she was presenting. But for her, the heels gave her an authority she did not have in flats. Even her voice changed when she was in heels.

I told a doctor to wear a silky shirt instead of his formal wear. And he needed a haircut because he kept pulling his hair out of his eyes. DISTRACTING. And to stop cussing! Had to actually tell a doctor to stop cussing. Sigh.

I told a community leader to NOT wear a tie, and to wear something that reflected his ethicity. And I had to explain to him why he had to stop looking so angry – so people would actually be able to approach him.

I told the senator wannabe to stop saying “you know” and “um” and start doing yoga because he had a stiffness that was going to come across as insincere and stuffy.

I told the university student to wear a tie. He didn’t have a tie. The doctor gave him one. And I coached him how to project his voice so we could actually hear what he was saying.

And on and on it went, with hair, makeup, coloring, and all sorts of tweeks to pretty up our group. The next week, our motley crew was transformed. An outsider would have thought it was a beauty pageant by the way every looked so polished. One by one, they came into our presentation room, and I was like a mamma on graduation day, so proud!

Each one of them delivered their presentations with gusto that night. Every single person was in amazement how much everyone improved with some simple dress and delivery techniques. The leadership instructor said I was a genius. This was one of the times I felt my talents were put to an excellent use.

But that is exactly how we need to look when we are delivering any kind of presentation. We need to look like a professional.

I have assisted with presentation coaching for several years now. Coaching on presentations is an art. I love it. If you feel you need to brush up on your presentation skills, or want to look great for that interview or special date, give me a call and we can talk rates. I guarantee I will put your confidence through the roof.

408-438-8153 – Michelle Pate, MA, MBA –

Charismatic Leadership Presentation
When Your Company Needs an Impressive Executive Presentation

Connected PlanetHaving an effective presentation is not just about your verbal delivery. Today’s presentations need to be interesting and dramatic to be remembered.

Executives have a full schedule and don’t have time to hunt down graphics, movies, chart data and information to make an impressive presentation. Engineers are excellent at getting your data and information, but aren’t known for their visual and artistic abilities.

Your staff needs a highly imaginative and reliable presentation specialist who is knowledgable about company vision, branding and financials in order to prepare dynamic, attractive and accurate presentations for your company. A good presentation specialist will be able to understand your audience and tailor your presentation to their tastes.

Technical presentations is well known to be dry and boring – they needs to be ESPECIALLY eye catching and interesting to keep your audience’s attention. There are many interesting technical stock photos on the market today that will give your presentations depth and context for your audience. Add some offbeat fonts and dramatic colors to create intense presentations that get noticed. Don’t forget to add pictures of your staff as well as charts with pictures to personalize your presentation.

You want your audience to be wowed and remember what you had to say well into the future. Be trendy and interesting.

Click here to see PARADIGM NETWORKS Presentation.

When the Hype Isn’t Working

So, your company has been on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for a while and you haven’t seen many results other than a number of people following your page and liking your comments. You frequently share your products and services online, but people aren’t lining up to buy from you.


A Valuable Presentation

Posted: October 12, 2012 in General
Create a High Class, High Tech Presentation

When you deliver a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to a potential client, your job as presenter is to be enthusiastic and clear about your product/service. This creates interest and helps them engage in the benefits of buying from you…

When you create slides, you want to make sure everything is visible to your audience. Do not clutter your slide or place more than five lines of text on each slide. Its better to have more slides than to have cluttered slides.

Your opening slide should be colorful and dramatic which shows your audience that something exciting is ahead. Share a bit about why you are doing this business and are interested in talking with your audience. Who has benefitted from your business and how will THIS audience benefit?

Share a bit about your background. What do you do, how long have you been in business, and what are your experience and credentials? Show pictures of your main players.

What are the benefits of working with your company? Many companies focus on something tangible such as saving time and money, making money, losing weight or becoming more fit. Others provide something more subjective but still valuable such as increased confidence, more satisfaction in life, and better relationships. Still others provide products that help people get something done. State the benefits your company provides. Have an engaging picture that draws in your audience. If your customer wants your benefit and like your product, they will buy.

Share your financials for the last five years. Your audience wants to know that you have been successful and that you are going to be around in the future. Use bar charts to create a visual of your progression.

What does your company do? What does your product or service do? What programs do you have? Show another engaging photo of people having fun.

Who is your market? Who is most interested in your product or service and why? Use a pie chart if your population is widespread.

If you have training available, what are the specifics for that? Expand your specs to create more interest. Provide another engaging picture.

Provide testimonials from previous customers. Your audience wants to know what other people have to say about your company and how they benefitted from working with you or buying your product.

If you want to register anyone or have them buy your product right then, let them know how to do that.

Thank your audience for participating, and give them ways to contact you to follow up. Show that you have a website and are on social media and how to find you. Make sure you get their contact information.

Lastly, show a video clip or commercial that shows them a bit more about your product or service. A visual is worth a lot!

Following you will find a link to a simple but powerful presentation that explains a company offering:

Awakened Bellydance Productions

And don’t forget to write your script. Visuals are used to describe main points. Don’t read from your slides. Practice your presentation until you know it completely.

Script for Awakened Bellydance PowerPoint presentation

Soon you will find yourself creating amazing presentations and delivering them powerfully.

Result: Increased consumer interest and higher revenues.

By Michelle Pate, MA, MBA

Online affiliate programs are used by a company who sells its products and services online. You contract with affiliate marketing companies whose main purpose is to market and/or sell your company’s products and services. The affiliate marketers may have huge lists or niche markets they target, therefore, expanding your marketing and/or sales reach online. The affiliate marketers are paid a commission for selling your wares online.

Use this checklist within your company to help develop your strategic marketing program with affiliates. An affiliate program is usually very easy to develop if you write out a detailed plan.

Affiliate Marketing Program Checklist

  1. Determine your niche market
    1. Zero in on specific population and understand their needs
  2. Research your niche partners
    1. Determine top like-minded niche subjects
    2. Research businesses/websites that are engaged with your niche market
    3. Look for businesses that have developed traffic to their site
    4. Determine how businesses will benefit from your affiliate program
    5. Consider affiliate companies who specialize in selling products like yours
  3. Develop affiliate program offerings for:
    1. Selling products /services (give them full descriptions)
    2. Signing up customers for your newsletter (determine acceptable customers)
    3. Gathering viable leads (determine acceptable leads)
  4. Develop affiliate program incentives
  5. Give affiliate partners promotional materials for your company
    1. Goal is for easy and quick conversion – give them what they need
  6. Develop affiliate customer support plan
    1. Updates on your products/services
    2. Sales and marketing tips
    3. Help desk
    4. Tracking tools
    5. Commissions and pay out schedule
  7. Determine more niche subjects and businesses/websites to expand affiliate program

By Michelle Pate, MA, MBA

People go to social events to have fun,  hopefully meet other fun and interesting people to talk with at the event, and possibly become friends in the future.

Most people bring their “persona” to the party, and because they are nervous or excited, they can interact with strangers in an more exaggerated manner than how they regularly interact with known associates.

For example, an introverted person will listen more than normal and an extrovert will talk more than usual. Someone who drinks regularly will drink more, and an anxious person will have more stomach problems and headaches. All in all, because of the nervousness or excitability a social event can provoke, people are not always on their most thoughtful and mindful behavior.

Though a networking event is social in nature, it is NOT a social event. Too many people mix this up. Going to a networking event is more like going to an interview. Treat a networking event as a possible interview. You might meet a potential employer and be pulled into a spontaneous interview. It happens. I have been there.

Your mantras: Be prepared. Be mindful. Be thoughtful.

To be effective, people need to look at networking events as more of a business meeting than a social event. Many people take these events seriously and are there to find a job or prospects for business. Don’t waste their time. Prepare yourself and put your best foot forward.

Radiate Confidence

I understand that the economy is tough and many people are discouraged about work, but when you go to networking events, you must put on your best game face. Dress up like you are going to an interview or out to a nice dinner. How you look is 90% of what people remember, over what you say. People will often forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Make it matter.

Having performed on stage and in sports, I learned very quickly that you must put on a positive, happy and energetic face to the world, even when you don’t feel like it. Like we say in show business, “the show must go on”! Whether you just got laid off, your spouse left you, or you have been looking for a job for two years without success, you must present a together and polished look when you go to a networking event.

For several years, I worked at a place where I had to put on my happiest public face. Every day right before I’d walk through those doors, I would take a deep breath, leave myself and my life problems at the door and take on my confident happy work alter ego. I smiled when I didn’t feel like it, and worked hard even when exhausted. Several times I got overwhelmed. I went into the back and cried. I got it out, dried my eyes, used a little Visine and put my makeup on all over again. I went out and smiled real hard at everyone and was pleasant. Nobody was the wiser.

It’s what we need to do sometimes in order to make it in life. There are some companies who will fire people who bring their problems to work, and you can lose contracts if you aren’t cheerful and helpful with your clients. Putting your best foot forward is sometimes all you have to make it to the next day. This is especially tough to do in these economic times because there are a LOT of people who are very negative and distressed about their current situation. But do whatever you can to keep a positive face to the world. It matters.

You must always be on your toes, because you don’t know if the next person you talk to is going to be your next contract or employer.

You are the CEO of your life, act like it.

Read More of This Article… >>> Promoting Yourself at Networking Events