Info – Meryl

Clients – International Monetary Fund

logos-imf Again, the individual comments are the ones that touch me most deeply. I recently received a call from a woman who had attended a communication retreat with me. She called to tell me that she had received a promotion to the Board of Directors for the International Monetary Fund. She wanted me to know that getting the promotion was no accident, and that her retreat with me was an important and significant part of her plan.

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Clients – Centura Health

logos-centura I also work quite a bit with healthcare. Cardinal Health System had me in repeatedly. Here is what Christina Bowles, the Leadership Development Director said. “I would like to recommend Meryl Runion as a speaker at your health-care facility. She is one of our most remembered and referred to presenters.” As healthcare increasingly embraces lean principles, The SpeakStrong Method becomes even more relevant.

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Clients – International Association of Administrative Professionals

logos-iaap I love working with Administrative and Office Professionals. I speak at the International Association of Administrative Professionals, and love the comments I received such as: “Excellent speaker. Great concepts, excellent examples and very knowledgeable.” My favorite admin comment was something someone told me personally when she hired me to speak at her association. She told me hearing me speak gave her the tools she needed to forge a great relationship with her new manager, even after he had already told her they would never be able to work together harmoniously.  I have both a keynote and training for admins and office pros.

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Clients – U.S. Army

logos-army I’ve been back many times to work with the Army at Rock Island Arsenal. I particularly enjoyed the Dynamic Leadership Development Series they invited me to do, as well as the Intergenerational Communication Training. The Training Chief wrote: “Meryl exceeded our expectations and delivered an outstanding program.” I presented a “Walk in My Generation’s Shoes” day-long intergenerational communication training. It helps them see how generational mindsets can collide.

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Clients – U.S. Department of Defense

logos-dod Some experiences stand out for me. One was when I did three days of training in Conflict Management with the Department of Defense. They were hostile to each other – to the point of violence. So they called me in! They resisted me big time at first, but after three days, someone wrote on the evaluations, “Meryl brought out the goodness others thought we had lost. We feel good about working together again.”

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Clients – IBM

logos-ibm-1 I’ve given over 1000 presentations around the world. My clients include IBM, Honeywell, the FBI, the IRS. I particularly remember IBM because it was in Canada in the winter and the temperature got below 40 degrees. Oh – the people were very sharp, too, which I always enjoy.

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Clients – YPO

young presidents organization keynoteLast spring I presented half of my Conference Communication Keynote Sandwich for YPO:  Young President’s Organization. It was a lean conference, and I attended the entire session, making notes of the kinds of conversations people were having and the kinds of questions they were asking. I summarized my findings in my closing keynote, which addressed the likely challenges the attendees were likely to experience when they went back to their companies with their new understandings and ideas. I gave lots of phrases, techniques and practical suggestions. 

One attendee emailed me afterwards to say that my session was the most useful since it doesn’t matter how good people’s ideas are if they didn’t know how to talk about them.

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Clients – GBMP

gbmp_logo_lean_continuous improvementLean and Toyota Kata require exceptional communication skills, which is why my session at NE ShingoPrized conference and my joint session with Toyota Kata (TK) Author Mike Rother were so popular. People tend to resist change, even when what they are doing isn’t working. People also resist change when what they are doing IS working, but might be open to improvement. Continuous improvement (CI) doesn’t wait for things to break to fix them. Lean/CI/Tk are based on a paradigm shift, and often where things fall down in practice is in translating lean thinking into lean speaking. 

Dwight Bowen, Continuous Improvement Manager for GBMP remarked that my joint session with Mike Rother was “probably the best session he had ever attended”. That’s because we took the theory to a very practical level that people could relate to.

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Virtual teams forms and resources

Welcome to the SpeakStrong Virtual Teams resource page. Use these forms with the book Perfect Phrases for Virtual Teamwork. You may share, alter, and refine in any way you choose. We have both Word docs and PDFs available to download. Of course the Word doc is the one you’ll want if you plan to make changes, including removing the SpeakStrong header. 

I’d love your feedback and to hear how you use them. If you change them, I’d appreciate knowing what you change—your adaptations might be useful for other readers. Also, let me know if you have recommendations for other Virtual Teamwork resources. 




virtual team forms

Virtual Team Sponsor Best Practices:   Open as a Word Doc    Open as a PDF

Role Matrix Form: Open as a Word Doc   Open as a PDF

Team Meeting Norms  Open as a Word Doc   Open as a PDF

Team Charter Form   Open as a Word Doc  Open as a PDF

Sample Team Charter: Open as a Word Doc    Open as a PDF

Response Times and Availabilty: Open as a Word Doc    Open as a PDF

Voice and Email Norms (Electronic Communication) Open as a Word Doc   Open as a PDF

Team Decision-making Form: Open as a Word Doc     Open as a PDF


Sample dashboards: Sales team dashboard, Sales team dashboard 2, Project team dashboard 

Great site on creating and using dashboards: Dashboard Spy

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Kata Talk

katatalkContinual Improvement Communication Skills
Find your new voice in the world of dynamic growth and change

Does old-school communication block your improvement efforts? 
How could a dynamic new set of communication skills change the way you change?

»Phrases guide kata
      »The kata guide the learning. 
              »The learning leads to advancement.

This one-day onsite or six-week online training features phrases, formulas and kata to help you and your colleagues, employees and team members:

  • work adaptively
  • go from leader-led, to leader-prompted, to leader-full teams
  • get past ego and posturing
  • develop self-efficacy
  • remove obstacles to collaboration
  • coach by clarifying
  • give effective feedback
  • introduce dynamic iterative learning
  • spark synergy and shared learning
  • explore best practices
  • encourage pull communication

And much, much more. With Meryl Runion, CSP, Author of ten books on effective communication skills. Email MerylRunion(at)


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