public speaking

6 Jun Paraphrase When Communicating and Coaching Others

Paraphrasing is repeating in your words what you interpret someone else to be saying. Paraphrasing is a powerful approach to furthering the understanding of the other person and yourself and can significantly increase the impact of another’s comments.

As coaches, we know paraphrasing is incredibly difficult because we often need to listen deeply, a skill you must purposefully cultivate. Despite appearing attentive, our minds are churning with various thoughts, beliefs, defenses, distractions, and redirections.

The best way to practice paraphrasing is in your personal life. You can apply this powerful skill at work once you get the reps in with your husband, wife, kids, cousins, or friends.

When paraphrasing:

  • Focus your paraphrase on what the other person implied rather than what you wish they meant. For example, avoid saying, “So you’re saying you have NO homework? Instead, say, “If I understand correctly, you finished all your schoolwork during study hall?”
  • Put the focus of the paraphrase on the other person, e.g., if the person said, “I had a horrible night; I didn’t sleep more than four hours,” then don’t paraphrase, “Well, I WISH I got four hours; I had an even worse sleep; I was up all night.” Instead, say, “Oh no, you only got four hours of sleep?”
  • Put the ownership of the paraphrase on yourself, e.g., “If I’m hearing you right…” or “If I understand you correctly…”
  • Put the ownership of the other person’s words on them, e.g., say, “If I understand you right, you’re saying that…” or “Do you believe that…” or “Do you feel that…”

In the paraphrase, use some of the other person’s words. For example, if the other person said, “I think we should do more fun outings as a family. We never go anywhere,” You might paraphrase, “If I’m hearing you right, you feel like we need to schedule more outings we can enjoy together as a family?”

Don’t judge or evaluate the other person’s comments, e.g., don’t say, “Don’t you think you should be calmer when we drive in rush-hour traffic?”

You can use a paraphrase to validate your impression of the other’s comments; e.g., you could say, “So you were frustrated when…?”

The paraphrase should be shorter than the original comments made by the other person. Be brief and concise. It’s not about you!

31 May MassBioEd Course: Presenting with Persuasion, Clarity & Strength

Join Robin Golinski, Executive Communication Coach and our partner, MassBioEd on June 13, 2024 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Presenting with Persuasion, Clarity & Strength provides professionals with key skills to comfortably speak in a clear and confident manner. Whether presenting internally or externally, telling your story effectively, delivering meaningful messages, being persuasive, and speaking confidently in a variety of settings takes skill development and practice. The course is taught with role-playing and exercises.

“I learned that non-verbal aspects when speaking were very important to be aware of. Most of the time, people do not know they are ‘presenting’ before actually speaking.” – Attendee, September 2021


  • Sharing Communication Challenges
  • Understanding the Listener’s Needs
  • Understanding the Communication Environment
  • Identifying Theme
  • Being Persuasive
  • Using Notes & Visual Aids
  • Best Practices for Presenting Virtually
  • Handling Questions
  • Practice Strategies
  • Deliver a Presentation to the Group

MassBio Member Rate: $850
Non Member Rate: $970

To register:


30 May Answering Challenging Questions on Your Feet (30 min recorded lesson)

Watch our free, 30-minute recorded lesson

When at work, questions are continuously being tossed out to us. At times,

We don’t know the answer and feel like we should.
We can’t answer the question.
We don’t have a good answer.
We know the question will cause conflict if we choose to answer it.

Anticipating questions can create anxiety, stress, and loss of productivity. There is a way to prepare for these questions so you feel more confident through giving information to others. In this 30-minute lesson, we focus on real-world skills and give you the tools so you can be on top of your game when these challenging questions arise at work.

Join Robin Golinski, Executive Communication Coach for an entertaining and informative, free 30-minute recorded session.


22 Apr How Not to Digest the Political Sandwich of  Balderdash – Doublespeak – Bullxxxx

Technically speaking, each of these three things is slightly different. Practically speaking, they are all the same in the attempt to confuse, distract, and deceive the reader, listener, buyer, and voter. We all know that each of these verbal tactics is normal behavior for most politicians and slick salespeople. They are prevalent at this time of year—election season.

During this political season, when you are facing several important decisions on issues ranging from birth and abortion to death and war, it is helpful to know how to protect yourself from being manipulated by these B-D-B tactics.

You will vote on issues, items, people, and policies based on one or more of the following things:

1)  the known credibility, morals, ethics, or behaviors exhibited by a person or evidence provided.

2)  the feelings and emotions that are created by that person or evidence provided.

3)  the logic and experience given by that person or the evidence provided.

Your decision to vote, one way or another, will be based on one or more of those three things.

Balderdash, doublespeak, and bullxxxxare all being used frequently and passionately by politicians and others during this season. They are planned, delivered, and repeated in an effort to sway your clear decision-making. When you think about it, you’ll find it challenging to identify any politician or others from any political party or organization who do not use one or more forms of B-D-B.

The most common use of B-D-B is when an issue that requires a logical decision is presented to you wrapped in emotion (sort of a logic sandwich, with the logic encased in the middle and surrounded by a lot of emotion).  This is designed to confuse and control your decision-making and voting.

What should you do? Read and listen critically to arguments for or against any issues, items, people, or policies during this election period. Refuse to consume a logic sandwich that comes wrapped in emotion. B-D-B comes wrapped in all kinds of emotion that is delivered with fanfare, folly, fun, pomposity, groupthink, and all sorts of shiny objects.

Enjoy them if you must, but remember they are only the emotional wrappings around the logic. Listen carefully, be curious, and have the courage to ask questions. Make decisions based on your personal assessment of the logic surrounding the issue, item, person, or project. That’s how smart you are.

2 Apr Ponderous Prepositions and Prefixes

Nothing is more symptomatic of our declining language skills than the increased misuse of prepositions and prefixes. People today feel compelled to tinker with proper word usage in speech by adding those handy prepositions and prefixes. Take traffic reports, for instance. Traffic on Route 1 is “easing up,” “easing down,” “easing off,” or “easing out,” but never just “easing.” What is “easing up” traffic?  Is that when cars levitate? Levitating cars certainly would ease traffic.

We truly have an “up” fixation. Let’s not forget “shine up,” “smash up,” “stand up,” “fix up,” “patch up,” “wait up,” “lighten up” (this is just before we levitate), and “listen up.” We also like to use the word “of” where it is unnecessary. Why do we need to get off of the couch? Why not get off the couch?

How about adding prefixes to words to make hyphenated words? These days, we “on-load” a truck and “off-load” a truck. Whatever happened to the utilitarian “load and unload” of a truck? A favorite business word with an unneeded prefix is “pre-planning.” What does one do in “pre-planning”? Stare out the window? Twiddle thumbs? Plan the planning? Whatever that is!

So, remember to enhance the meaning and power of your speech; use prepositions and prefixes sparingly. Don’t spend time fixing something that doesn’t need fixing. Instead, consider adding those extra prepositions and prefixes purposefully to enrich your verbal expression.

13 Mar Motivating Others

In this 30-minute recorded webinar, you will learn the difference between inspiration and motivation. We will introduce the unique Motivation Matrix and use it to identify the six elements needed to motivate anyone.