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SpeakStrong Article Index Page

How to Speak Strong:
Meryl’s Article Index

Article Reuse Policy

New Communication Dynamics

1. Losing My Preachiness: An Empowered New Communication
2. The New Dynamics of Communication
Contemporary Influence Principles. How to update your communication skills for today’s new workplace.
3. From a good way to manage a gossip problem to a dynamically great one.
How to turn a communication challenge into an opportunity
4. Wait! I thought we had a relationship!
Fake authenticity in an age of social media
5. Communication Alchemy
The power of “yes, and…”
6. From Rankism to Dynamic Dignity
How to shed hierarchical limits and enliven synergy

Speaking Strong

1. Some Boats Need to be Rocked
We learn not to speak up at a very early age. Meryl shares her personal story of “putting a false front forward,” her wake-up call and transformation.
2. Beyond Blame: The Dos and Don’ts of Responsibility
It’s important to hold people accountable without attack. This article shows you how to call attention to what needs fixing without fixing blame.
3. The SpeakStrong Award
A description of the I Said It Strong Award for powerful communication.
4. A Tale of Pippi and Izzie: How to Elevate Your Word Choice by Elevating Your Thinking
The Metaphor behind the SpeakStrong Award.
5. A Convenient Truth at Toastmasters
A story of how Meryl began to learn and grow from constructive criticism, spoken strong, at a Toastmasters meeting.
6. A Sophisticated Vocabulary of Feelings
A SpeakStrong list of words to describe our feelings.
7. The Good Old Boys Club
Chipping Away at the Legend and the Reality
8. Beyond the Good Old Boys Club
A SpeakStrong Approach to Balancing Power
9. The SpeakStrong “We Use Recycled Packaging” Sticker
A downloadable image for an Avery Sticker Template
10. Take the Time to Say It Right
The folly of gotta-go communication.
11. Reasonableness Is Your Best Revenge
To escalate or not to escalate? You have more options than you think.
12. SpeakStrong in a 60 Second Ad
Ten Steps to a Compelling Message
13. Horton Hears a Who Stirs Controversy: Communication Author Offers a Clarification
14. The Things We (Can’t) Need to Talk About
Staying silent about eight important issues can leave you powerless
15. Risky Conversation Assessment Form
16. Constructive Anger: How to SpeakStrong when you’re seeing red
Seven ways to handle anger
17. Sex and the City provides the role model of sisterly love…sort of: A SpeakStrong definition of friendship
18. The Secret Power of Tears
How to cry your heart open and SpeakStrong in love.
19. Be the Soul, Love Soul to Soul
Reflections on the wisdom of Jeffrey Armstrong
20. A Surprising Way Into a Man’s Heart
21. Adventures in Relationship Marketing
Using your networks and other people’s networks to get the word out
22. Emotional Map: How to Speak Strong when you are unsure of how you feel
23. All Sides of the Moon: A look at change, death, and positive realism
24. Brand Aid: How to Go from Generic Speaker and Trainer to a Thought Leader with Your Own Unique Message
25. Personal Brand Aid: How to clarify and communicate your uniqueness
26. Strategic or habitual silence?
Lessons from a determined mother squirrel and a hapless canine
27. How to Speak Strong to get a doctor to listen to you
It’s my body and I’m telling you, this is not normal
28. Nurture, Nudge, and Sometimes Shove
The importance of SpeakStrong skills for bold people
29. Back off, bully! Stand your ground with PowerPhrases

 Meryl’s Shareable Parables

1. The truth about Truth, and a story about Story
A SpeakStrong rewrite of an Israeli folk tale
2. Fact and Fiction Separate Themselves from Each Other
3. He and She: a Netflix set-up, reckoning, and communion
4. Keep Your Eye on The Ball: Puppy lessons about priorities, distractions, and focus
5. Half Glass’s Egoic Adventures: A lesson in labels, perspectives and identity
6. Cinderella Sequel: Sad and Happy Endings, New Beginnings, and the Flow of Life
7. All Sides of the Moon Lyrics

Assistants, Support Staff and Managing Up

1. Savvy Assistants Speak Strong: Key Conversations for Administrative Assistants
2. Speak Strong, Smart, and Sweet: The 3 Sources of Power for Assistants to Master Tough Conversations
A SpeakStrong PowerPoint Presentation
3. When a Manager Lies PowerPhrases to get your manger to level with you


1. Speak to Create Anticipation: How Foreshadowing Can Hook Your Listeners and Even Get You a Job
How to keep people on the edge of their chair through skillful foreshadowing that creates anticipation.
2. Pippi Power = IQ + EQ + SQ: Speak Smart, Speak Sweet, Speak Strong for Communication Skill
Framing your communications with reason, positive emotions, and strategy for powerful, persuasive communication …Speaking Strong.


1. Don’t Be Seduced by a Shady Sales Rep: Six Indications You’re Talking to a Shark
How to know the difference between talented sales professionals who overcome your objections to help you get something you need and a sales shark who is more;interested in separating you from your money than providing a service.
2. Ten Tips to Speak Strong at a Trade Show
How to communicate at a trade show in a way that closes the sale and gets results.


1. E-mail Mastery: A Speak Strong Approach to Effective E-mails
Four SpeakStrong keys to powerful e-mails. Learn how to write e-mails;that get results the first time.
2. Dos and Don’ts of E-mailing: A Speak Strong Approach to E-mail Mastery
Dos and don’ts of emailing. Article provides suggestions to make your emails more effective. It also provides examples of bad emails and email practices.
3. How to Write Strong Subject Lines in Your E-mails
Top ten dos and don’ts of how to use subject lines more effectively.

Performance Management

1. Free Phrases for Your Employee Performance Review of an Amazing Employee: A Speak Strong Visit to the Bright Side of Performance Review Phrases
An article to counter the vicious performance review phrases that circulate the net with uplifting “bonus superlative” performance review phrases.
2. How to Give a Performance Review- Dos and Don’ts
Tells new and seasoned managers how to give a performance review with ten dos, don’ts PowerPhrases and Poison Phrases.
3. How NOT to Write a Performance Review
A list of humorous but sarcastic actual performance review phrases explained.
4. Employee Review Preparation Form
A list of questions for employees to answer in preparation for their own performance review.
5. Instant Performance Documentation Form
A simple form for ongoing documentation of employee performance, both positive and negative.
6. Bonus Superlative Performance Review Phrases
7. How to Say It Performance Reviews Store Page
Extended information about the book: How to Say It: Performance Reviews.
8. ‘Ask the Right Question’ Problem Solving Worksheet for an Essential Managerial Problem Solving Exercise
A managerial problem solving exercise to walk the manager through the steps of diagnosing employee performance problems.
9. ‘Ask the Right Question’ Problem Solving Worksheet
The blank form for the ‘Ask the Right Question’ Problem Solving Worksheet for an Essential Managerial Problem Solving Exercise.
10. The Totally Integrated Performance System Workshop PDF Flyer
This easy to master and eminently useful system is designed to help supervisors enable their employees to perform their best work. This seminar or workshop provides the understanding you need to implement the system and the words to use in its execution.  – Downloadable PDF flyer.
11. How to Be the Assertive Manager Your Employees Want to Produce Results For: Management Skill Training for Effective Communication
Management Skill Training tips to help managers assertively manage employees.

Workplace Communication

1. How to Stop Passive Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace
Dos and don’ts about dealing with passive-aggressive coworkers, dealing with passive-aggressive coworkers in the workplace and how to stop passive aggressive behavior in the workplace.
2 . How to Tell Someone They Smell Bad at Work: Power Phrases to Address Poor Hygiene
A lighthearted but practical discussion of how to tell someone they smell bad at work – and how NOT to tell them. Provides words to use and not to use.
3. Put Sarcasm in Its Place: How Sarcasm Alerts You to Your Need to Speak Strong
A look at sarcasm and irony, and how to use sarcasm to indicate the need to Speak Strong.
4. How to Tell the Boss He’s Wrong
The dos and don’ts of challenging a decision, questioning a practice, and disagreeing with the boss.
5. How to Ask For a Raise
The Top Ten Dos, Don’ts and PowerPhrases for Getting Paid What You Deserve.
6. How to Use Reflective Listening Scripts: The Top Ten Dos, Don’ts, and PowerPhrases to Promote Understanding
How to use reflective listening scripts to increase clarity and understanding and defuse anger. Useful word phrases in active listening.
7. How to Ask For Equipment
What not to say and how to ask for equipment at work.
8. How to Delegate Work
How to delegate more effectively for great results.
9. How Joel Told His Boss He Was Wrong
The story of how a 17 year old employee told his boss with 40 years of experience that there was a better way to do his job.
10. How to Handle Interruptions
What to say to minimize interruptions at work.
11. Let’s Get Personal
Credible communication is collaborative, even when you’re the expert
12. Secrets to Speaking Strong in Customer Care
A triple team approach to communication mastery
13. From Gobbledygook to PowerPhrases
How to Overcome Bureaucratic Buzzwords and Speak Strong, Smart and Sweet
14. You Don’t Call Me “Old” and I Don’t Call you “Kid”
Intergenerational communication in the workforce
15. The Gift and Poison of Mirrors
How to give and receive feedback that doesn’t take you out

Communication Styles

1. How to Bridge the Four Different Communication Styles: Seven Steps to Communication Style Development
Seven quick tips to help you communicate with the four different communication styles: Achiever. Reflective, Likeable’s, and Visionaries. Bridges the gap between communication styles.
2. The Logician and the Dramatist
Learning How Not to React
3. Six Steps to Rerail the Derailed Discussion
How to Talk to Your Communication Nemesis


1. Meryl Runion’s Biography Page
Meryl’s biography, Founder and President of SpeakStrong, Inc.
2. About Meryl Runion
A more personal introduction to Meryl, author of PowerPhrases!

Sensitive Issues

1. 9/11 and Other Life-Changing Traumas
How and Why We Need to Talk
2. Educate, Don’t Excoriate: SpeakStrong to turn a diversity blunder into a diversity breakthrough
A SpeakStrong approach to stepping through diversity’s minefield.

Book and Movie Reviews

1. Made to Stick Delivers
A book review from the author of PowerPhrases! of how to present ideas in a way that people understand.
2. What Really Ails Our Sicko Healthcare System?
A SpeakStrong Review of Michael Moore’s Latest Documentary
3. Hypnotic Writing is a Persuasive Mixed Bag
A SpeakStrong Review of Joe Vitale’s Marketing Book. How to write persuasively without becoming manipulative
4. Retiring the Generation Gap
A SpeakStrong Book Review of Jennifer Deal’s book on debunking the Generation Gap myth

Reprint/Reuse Policy:

You have permission to use any of Meryl Runion’s web articles in your newsletter, publications, or on your web site. Please:

1. Let us know when and how you are using the article via email:
2. If it is a web posting, please link back to this article.
3. Place Meryl’s tag line at the end of the article with all her contact information. If on-line, please make certain that her web address links to her site,

Tag line:

Meryl Runion and Speak Strong (SpeakStrong) provides Power Phrases (PowerPhrases) and other tools to help you improve communication skills at work and at home.

She is the author of the books Speak Strong, PowerPhrases!, How to Use PowerPhrases, Perfect Phrases for Managers and Supervisors, and How to Say It: Performance Reviews. She can be reached at 719-684-2633 or by email:

You can also follow Meryl on Twitter:

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