Return to Newsletter Archive

February 2016 Newsletter


Communicate with Courage and Confidence in 2016!


People have different takes on death and religions have different views on the afterlife. Almost ten years after my Dad's death, I realize how often I think of him. It's like he is on a different channel. Remember before Cable or DIRECT TV, you would channel surf and come upon a channel with a lot of static. You could see an image but very fuzzy compared to the then networks. It's like my Dad is on another network. Not as close or clear, but still somewhere in my world.

ask leslie

Every Toast needs a Ghost. A ghost writer that is! One of Cleveland's morning shows agrees, and has invited me to be a guest on February 16. Watch the 7 am segment or set your DVR for Channel 19/43 unless the U.S. invades China and we are re-scheduled.

mishmash of value

1. Cam Newton - A Dab Won't Do You

Brylcreem was a men's hair product of the 50's that came with the advertising jingle, a little dab! Do ya! Cam Newton, Panthers QB, made dabbing a part of pop culture. Dabbing refers to his dance steps in the end zone after a touchdown.

Lesson Learned: Then came his under 3 minute after Super Bowl press conference where he became the Incredible Sulk. Often tuxedo clad in his press conferences, he showed up in a hoodie, wearing the hood. He answered 15 questions in under 3 minutes, stood up and said it's over, and sulked away. If you want to be stellar in victory, you need to be stellar in defeat.

2. What is a Plus Size?

The headline read: Sports Illustrated uses first plus size model. The good news is that the magazine feature actually used a model with meat on her bones. How encouraging to normal women everywhere. When I clicked on the photo, my first thought was, "this is plus size?"

Lesson Learned: The audience decides if we are good, we don't get to just say we were good. SI decided this model was plus size. It will be interesting if once the issue is out in the public, if the public thinks this is plus size. From a communication perspective, the audience always decides.


In my prior newsletter, I talked about when people ask for help and why they don't ask for help. From a communication perspective, I love that Chris Martin of Coldplay asked Queen Bey and Bruno Mars to participate in the half-time show. Some people made fun of him calling for assistance. If George Armstrong Custer would have asked for help, his division would not have been massacred.

Lesson Learned: Part of the challenge is that when we most need help, we may not be able to assess the situation accurately; Outside perspective can help make that decision. I think it enhanced Coldplay to be surrounded by more talent. That Super Bowl stage is a big stage for anyone person. Is it strength or is it a weakness to ask?

4. A Football Player and a Zen Master

Phil Jackson fires Knicks head coach Derek Fisher and turns to Twitter to explain his decision. The Zen master can't explain his decision without referencing Carl Rogers and the humanistic movement. This reference made Mike Golic's head of Mike & Mike spin out of control.

Lesson Learned: Although Phil Jackson with his 11 NBA rings is called the Zen master, this is still basketball. It's basketball. Not rocket science not a cure for AIDS, it's still just basketball. One coach accepted mediocrity and the new one doesn't. Maybe he could have just said that. How clear can you be?

5. Puppy-Monkey-Baby

Fusion is a popular term for creating American food with an Asian influence. It works well on food. Some elements need not be merged. The bright minds of the advertising world thought merging three popular Super Bowl commercials themes was a good idea. Not so much.

Lesson Learned: We are thrilled that someone merged peanut butter and jelly and puppies and Clydesdales. Some things are stronger for being merged and others are not. Be careful what you merge. AND please bring back the Budweiser puppies... just puppies! What value do you add to by adding and what value do you decrease by adding?

ask leslie

Forum 360 with Leslie as Moderator

Upcoming Shows:
Political Primaries
Guest: Dr. David Cohen

THE Shul Boys
Guest: Bob Cohen and Bruce Ente

Watch/ Listen to Forum 360:
Western Reserve Public Media, PBS-TV, PBS Fusion Channels 45 & 49 (Time Warner channel 993) - Mondays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 5:00 pm. After the show airs, you can download it here.

WONE FM 97.5 Sunday 6 am
For online streaming go to and click Listen Live.

WAKR AM 1590 Sunday, 5:00 pm, Monday 12:30 am
For online streaming go to and click Listen Live.

ask leslie

I have a cousin who has a radio show on Sirius on the POTUS channel 124. The show is called Steele & Ungar. Michael Steele is the former head of the RNC and my cousin is my cousin. Steele represents one side of the aisle and my cousin the other. My cousin Rick is a liberal D if we are going to label people. He assures me that he not only likes his co-host, he is besties with Sean Hannity! He assures me that Sean is a good guy with whom he enjoys a great friendship. So if two pundits can put aside name calling and polarized gestures, why can't the candidates?

ask leslie

March 15 is a breakfast edition of Video & You. Breakfast during our unique video opportunity. Come and practice some new material or practice old material with a new audience.

Email us at for further information or to RSVP to this boot camp. For more information visit our website


Ask me about my 10 in 10!
In 2016 we wipe the slate clean
and start a new list topped out at 10.

Connect with Leslie!