Raise your hand if you're scared of public speaking! Don't Worry, I've got your back! by Tania Katan

 photo by Elijah Tiegs

photo by Elijah Tiegs

Raise your hand if you're scared of public speaking. It’s ok, you’re not alone! In fact, public speaking is the biggest fear of all Americans. It even beats out heights, zombies, clowns and roaches! But here’s the skinny:

With clear tools, confidence and exercises you can present, pitch and panel like an oratory rock star!

So, the question is: If you had the tools, confidence and work-out plan to flex your public speaking muscles; How soon will you start using your voice to inspire a team, enliven data, charm investors, get funding, and move an audience of 10 or 10,000 to champion an idea/cause/concern that just might change the world??

This holiday season give yourself the gift of Public Speaking!

We will find:

  • Voice: Develop it and bring out all your unique goodies, allowing your speech to shine!
  • Story: Writing a dynamic and powerful story / presentation / speech that connects to, and engages, a specific audience.
  • Confidence: Gaining the real confidence and strength needed to speak in front of 10 or 10,000 people.
  • Humor: Infusing humor into your speeches, especially difficult and downright heartbreaking ones.
  • Physicality: Physical presence, vocalization, projection, breathing and embodying your speech.
  • Overcoming: Learning how to work with and through fear and anxiety on stage and on the page.

If you ever wanted to engage, entertain and inspire audiences to take action…Let’s Speak!

"I hired Tania to help refine one of my talks and it was some of the best money I've ever spent. Not only is Tania a genius writer who helped make my script waaaay more concise, organized and, of course, hilarious, but her wise input on how to command the stage, move my body, what the hell I should do with my hands, etc. was priceless. She is a natural born storyteller, gifted performer and an excellent coach. I give her an A+"
—Jen Sincero, #1 NY Times Bestselling Author

3 Creative Ways to #GiveTuesday and Beyond! by Tania Katan


'Tis the season to spend money, time and energy investing in crappy plastic stuff or... Creative ideas, organizations and mighty actions! Here are 3 ways to support creativity this holiday season!

1. Support a museum that exists inside of you!

Museum of Walking founded in 2014, in one of the least walkable cities in the nation, Phoenix, Museum of Walking (MoW) is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the practice of walking as an art form. How effing cool is that?! Answer: Very. OH, and the physical museum space is in a super small, rundown office! The point? That the museum of walking is inside of us!

There are regular artist-lead walks that invite us to disconnect from technology in order to reconnect with each other and move with the landscape in a mindful way. As an active walker, these walks are transformative, leading us from the poetic to the political, the mundane to the ceremonial, and promoting a way of listening to the world.

Donate a few tax-deductible shekels to MoW

2. Give the gift that matters...grey matter!

It’s time to Pick My Brain! What better gift to give a colleague, friend, parent, stressed out boss, mentee than a little piece of my wildly creative, caring and focused brain! For. Real.

'Tis the season to take your idea, company, team, and creative mojo to the next level and I've got the brain to help you do just that. My brain has come up with some awesome ideas for even awesomer people and companies (A+E, HBO, CEOs, Authors, Curators, Social Workers, People of all stripes + more).

For a 60-minute phone call or Skype session I charge 350 clams (although my mom says I should charge a million), however, from now until January 3rd, you can pick this gray matter for $297!

To give the gift of grey matter...click HERE

 3. Be mighty!

There, I said it. How many times (a day) are you like:

I want to give a TED talk someday.
I’m ready to start a movement!
I’m gonna ask for a freaking raise already!

And then, how many times (a day) are you like:

Public speaking is the number fear of most people, so I’ll just pace myself.
I’ll totally start a movement after I’m finished watching Season 3 of Transparent.
My salary is 50% less than the national average, and my boss is kind of a bully, but I’ve been in abusive relationships before, only this one pays me, so it’s not that bad...right?

This holiday season give yourself the gift of being mighty! It starts with taking action. Just one teeny tiny action a day towards something that you’ve dreamed of doing and that totally terrifies you.

Today's Teeny Tiny Action:

  • Write the title of your speech.
  • Come up with one concern or cause that you want to champion.Acknowledge one skill that you bring to your work that is totally unique.
  • Hire a coach, create a support team or commit to journal writing....develop a regular rhythm of accountability.
  • Tomorrow: Add another tiny action, freak out, move forward anyway, celebrate often, repeat. 

For more creative inspiration, listen to my recent interview on NPR’s Arizona affiliate, KJZZ!

Want MORE Creativity At Work? Time To Think INSIDE The Box! by Tania Katan

 Art by  Mayme Kratz

We are constantly bombarded with messaging, brands, and well-meaning friends telling us that the answer to ALL of our work and life problems is simply to: Think Outside the Box! Like that will magically help get us unstuck?? The fact is, if we take the time to explore what’s inside the box and reframe it, we’ll start to see everyday situations, symbols, and tasks as opportunities to create fun and freedom inside some of the most rigid or mundane settings. Even if those places are, ahem, our own minds

So, today, we’ll start with an easy exercise I call: Reframe Your Little Box! (Job Title, duh.) It’s quick, invigorating and F-ing fun! And you can do it at work, hell, you can even make it a company-wide game!

Here’s How:

  • Make a list of all the tasks you actually do at work: process orders, design stuff for people, maintain relationships, eat snacks when nobody is looking, build websites for schools, etc. 

  • Take a look at your tasks and find alternative words and ideas that, basically, mean the same thing as what you do everyday, e.g. If you “design stuff for people” perhaps you are an Art Conduit and if you “eat snacks when nobody is looking” maybe you are “CEO of Devouring Mischief.”

Do it as a team building exercise. Exchange your list with a colleague’s list and come up with Job Titles for each other!

I do this all the time, it’s a great way to stretch your creative muscles and be open to creative possibilities in work, in title, and in the least likely places!

In fact, a friend of mine who’s an Architect, inspired this exercise. During a casual Saturday morning coffee together he said, “Tania, I really want a cool job title like the Imageneers at Disney!” So, I’m like, “Ooh! What about…. Erectioneer! Cuz, you know, you erect buildings and then, the eer part from Disney and, it’s funny, cuz you know, you have the capability of getting an…!”

So, remember, if you’re a Front Desk Manager who has a killer sense of humor, puts everyone at ease, answers the phone, responds to and writes emails, mails letters and packages. Maybe, in fact, you’re the Curator of Communications, Dispatching Diva or Fabulous Confabulator!

Have fun with it, dig deep and write down all the things you really do at work to come up with ways to reframe all the good stuff already inside of your box! Ok, that did sound dirty, you know what I mean.

Share your reimagined job titles @taniakatan, I'll pick the most, ahem, compelling one and give that person/team a free 30-minute Creative Coaching Session!

More tips, tricks and exercises for Creative Trespassing coming into your inbox!

Art by Mayme Kratz

TEDx: It Was Never a Dress... by Tania Katan

This TEDx Talk is mostly about suspension of disbelief and the power of risk-taking insiders, like Axosoft, as well as creative instigators, and the possibilities to shift perceptions and assumptions when the two combine forces!

It Was Never A Dress. by Tania Katan

So, as you know, I’m an artist, writer, performer that works for a software company in Arizona, Axosoft. This, in itself should be a radical notion, right? I mean, it’s kind of the ultimate intervention or disruption to hire someone who doesn’t belong and then offer her/him the support, collaborative team, and time to explore and develop ideas. And, well…I came up with an idea. And, with an amazingly collaborative and smart team, we were able to launch it to an unbelievable response!

We launched #ItWasNeverADress at the Girls in Tech Conference in Arizona 4 days ago. As of right now, the hashtag “itwasneveradress” is reaching over 3 million people on Twitter and Instagram has over 2,000 posts referencing the campaign.

This idea came out of belonging. Out of women who belong in technology—and every other space—but are often overlooked, uninvited, or just plain dismissed. Not cool! I started thinking about symbols that represent women, and that are easily identifiable for mass culture. I thought of the bathroom lady. We’ve all seen her. She’s been in that stiff, triangle dress, looking uncomfortable for a long time. And if she’s a symbol that represents women, then no wonder we’re feeling trapped, rigid and uncomfortable!

So, I set out to see that symbol differently. What if we were just seeing her from the wrong side? Are we staring at her back? What if it was never a dress, but really a cape? What is she is a superhero?!

I made a photocopy of the vector, took out a pen and, in literally four lines, there was a super woman revealed right there. She was there this whole time. It was a profound perception shift. 

What a privilege to be a part of a much larger conversation. Right now, people are challenging notions of gender, of strength, of self-worth, of equality. The conversations are joyous, heated, necessary and unfolding. Looking forward to hearing from you! itwasneveradress.com

I Licked a Wall Made Out of Sugar…Ask Me How! by Tania Katan


I am still high on PHXStartup Week! People like Marco Ceglie and Brian Critchfeild digging into narrative arc to connect with people; learning new acronyms: KPI, ROI—and my fave—CTA; and being immersed in the collective energy of people generating NEW ideas! Since last Monday, ideas have been leaking out of my brain and making their way into blank journal pages in the middle of the night. And, at the peak of my high (Thursday) I was invited to keynote at House of Genius!

House of Genius is awesome! It brings together 18 diverse, smart, and creative minds (attached to bodies, of course), once a month to listen to 3 entrepreneurs share a problem in their business. Then, the 18 take turns freely offering ideas, insights, and resources.

So, they wanted me to talk about storytelling. And, as if I needed an additional selling point, they said the walls were made out of sugar and I could lick them. If that’s not a house of genius… What is?!

I made my way up to the 12th floor of a building that felt like it was transporting me to New York or LA. When exiting the elevator the first thing I noticed was a sparkly, textured, edible wall. YUM. I casually inquired about licking the wall and received a smirk, “Oh, we just tell people that because they look like sugar. They’re just stone.”

Did that stop me from licking the wall? Hell NO! People laughed, we got settled in, and then I began to talk about storytelling.

“As a budding playwright in school…” I started, “All of your teaches, cohorts, and audience members give you the freedom and trust to create an entirely new world! But in order to create a new world, you have to SEE the world around you first. You have to see the everyday as extraordinary, dull as delightful, and the mundane as magnificent!”

As I talked about the tools I was given to see the ordinary as extraordinary: narrative arc, Aristotle, eavesdropping, empathy, conceptual and critical thinking, reading books/plays/poetry, attending poetry readings/plays/dance performances, visiting museums, watching films, I had a HUGE realization!

If businesses and organizations want the edge on engaging customers through storytelling, they NEED to hire people who have been trained to create entirely new worlds just by looking at the world around them!

So, I’m proposing a NEW idea: We rewrite the story of Why, How, and Who we HIRE. We start by going to plays, dance performances, poetry readings, art installations, and then we find out who the playwright is, the choreographer, the poet, the artist, and we invite them into our companies and organizations, and we offer them the freedom and trust to create and grow an entirely new world with us!

Let’s hire people who are trained to see a plain ol’ stone wall as one made out of sugar and who are brave enough to lick it!