How to Become Captivating in 2022

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( Comic by José María Nieto @humorjmnieto)



Happy New Year!


Why happy? Because I’m choosing to make it happy.


Don’t get me wrong – it would be easy to join the blamers, complainers and nay-sayers. After all:


  • Most of my family had some (thankfully minor) version of Covid over Christmas
  • New Years Eve traditions were abandoned in favor of quarantine and watching the Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up” – which should have been entitled “Don’t Look at ALL”: despite a star-studded cast, it was 2.5 hours of my life I will never get back
  • The news is as depressing as ever, regardless of what outlet you dare to listen to

and the list could go on, but why bother?


I’d much rather focus on other facts:

  • 2021 was my best business year ever, and 2022 looks even more promising
  • I just got to spend three uninterrupted weeks with my oldest son who is home from college.It was 60 degrees over the weekend – crazy New Year weather for Philadelphia, and I got to go for a jog in fresh air for the first time in months
  • Apparently most of my extended family decided my 5-year-old needed to jump the loose energy out of his system, as three different people sent him “stomp rockets” for Christmas, which proved to be TONS of fun

and THAT list goes on too.


As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I did on New Years Eve: I sat down for about 90 minutes, combing through my calendar entries from 2021, and made a 5-page success/gratitude journal for the year.


There is nothing more inspiring than taking stock of all the good things that happen, large and small alike, whether daily, weekly, monthly or as often as possible. And the funny thing is that the more items you can list from the past, the more inspired you become for the future.


And inspiration is captivating.


Now let me clarify something: The word “captivate” simply means to attract and hold someone’s attention, generally through positive means.


What’s most exciting about this simplicity is that it’s completely achievable by anyone – even those who wouldn’t normally consider themselves to be “captivating.”


Think about it: Look back on 2021 and ask yourself a very simple question, “At any time, was I able to positively attract and hold someone’s attention?”


If so, congratulations! You were captivating! And if you did it once, I’ll bet you did it more often than you realize, and better yet, you absolutely can do it again – and frequently – if you just put a bit of conscious effort into it.


But if you’d like a little extra guidance on how to captivate people regularly and effectively, look no further than this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence.


Our first guest for 2022 is Sam Katz, award-winning documentary film creator and founder of History Making Productions.



Sam – a former aspiring-politician-turned-filmmaker – went straight to the heart of the matter: To educate (i.e. to persuade) people in today’s world, you’ll be far more successful if you can also find a way to inspire and entertain them in the process.


(I suddenly had a flashback to the lyric from the musical Mary Poppins, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down…” My apologies to those of you who will now be humming it to yourselves all day. Hey, why should I be the only one?)


Educating people through inspiring and entertaining them is exactly what he set out to do with History Making Productions. During our conversation, he shared numerous insights regarding how to educate, inspire and entertain people in our own personal and professional lives, including:


  • how he manages to collaborate with both creatives and community members to create legacy-worthy films that captivate audiences and tell stories that represent the viewpoint of all stakeholder groups
  • how to find the balance between informing and entertaining what it takes to captivate an audience, and
  • how to align verbal, vocal, and visual content for effective communication.


Plus, he gives us all direct instruction about how to be more effective on video. Heck, who better to get “how to be awesome on video” tips from than an award-winning film maker??


(Of course, if he inspires you to really get your act together and up your virtual game for the new year, you can always check out my online course, Virtual Influence for a comprehensive deep dive into how to do it quickly and easily, and even enjoy the process!)


Catch the full conversation here or on your favorite platform.


If you want to learn even more about how to confidently captivate any audience, don’t forget that my book, Speaking to Influence: Mastering Your Leadership Voice, is always available to you, and is chock-full of mindset tips, strategies and tactics to help you do exactly that.


You will learn how to command the room (or screen), get the full respect that you deserve and the results you want. What better way to start the new year?


So decide today how you are going to choose to be a more captivating, inspiring leader in 2022.


Remember – last week, I shared a smorgasbord of 24-hour influence challenges from 2021. Which challenge(s) have you accepted so far? If you need a refresher, check out the show notes here. I’ve heard from some of you and have loved the stories you’ve shared! Can’t wait to hear more.

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