• September 2014

Don't Underestimate the Power of a New School Lunch Box

By Robin A. Miller, PhD
COO/Lead Coach, and
Hilary Blair
Head ARTiculator and Coach
Articulate Real & Clear: Clear Communication Is an Art, ARTiculateRC.com

A no. 2 pencil. A writing pad. Extra erasers for mistakes, which all learners make. School clothes and new shoes. But more importantly, I always looked forward to buying a brand new lunch box!

Oh, there were so many choices. Would I pick the one featuring Scooby-Doo or the Osmonds? Maybe the Partridge Family or The Jackson 5? It didn’t really matter. I was just so excited to be walking through the aisles, smelling that sweet aroma of plastic, trying to figure out who would accompany me every day during lunch.


Because my lunch box was the one item that would come to school with me throughout the entire year. During lunch, I always looked forward to seeing those TV celebrity faces smiling back at me, telling me that no matter what happened that day, or that year, it was all going to be okay.

Also special were the contents inside the lunch box. I was always happy to discover the answer to the burning question, “Which nutritious goodies did my mom pack for me today?”

Whether you are going back to school or back to work—even if you worked all summer—you might be feeling what seems to be a universal excitement and nervousness about the fresh start fall brings.

Heading “back to school” is in our muscle memory. When September arrives, we want to look good, we want to feel good, and we want to do good—and do it well. In this new school year, we get to decide how to start over.

As you embark on this “school” year, know that you can choose to study more, play more, make different friends, and get involved in activities that support your growth.

When it comes to improving your speaking skills, keep this in mind:

  1. Work on your executive presence and ability to communicate well by honing your verbal and nonverbal skills.
  2. Take out a big fat eraser and decide to erase things that didn’t work for you last year, and pick up a no. 2 pencil and begin to write a different storyline for this year.
  3. Buy a new lunch box. While the Partridge Family may be a tad vintage, find new ways to nourish yourself and to feed your professional growth.

What special lunch box will accompany you to work this year? Be sure it’s something that will encourage your spirit when you flip open the clasp and look inside. It’s your choice with a fresh fall start. Happy “Back to School”!

Question: Which lunch box did I pick?

About Robin A. Miller

Robin Miller is an energetic, motivational keynote speaker who has also spent more than 20 years in teaching, training, and coaching. She specializes in guiding the well-thought individual to become confidently well-spoken in settings such as interviews, meetings, and keynotes. Her clients include Coors, the University of Denver, and Sterisil.

She has performed vocally and conducted numerous musical groups throughout her career, as well as taught music at Baylor University, the University of North Texas, and Texas Christian University. Her expertise in navigating customer communication derives from her experience as a customer relationship manager in the financial industry, and as a development specialist in some of Denver’s leading Level 1 trauma centers, as well as her advanced training in mediation and crucial conversations. She earned an MM in Music, a PhD from the University of North Texas in Musicology, and a Master of Divinity from Iliff School of Theology.

About Hilary Blair

CEO and lead coach for Articulate: Real & Clear, Hilary Blair, MFA, with physiological guidance from Jennifer Spielman, MM, MA, CCC-SLP, is an admitted breath snob.

A presentation and speaking voice expert, Blair is a highly regarded coach and facilitator working extensively across the United States with businesses that include American Express, Janus Funds, Staples, Liberty Global, and Hunter Douglas. She uses her skills and experience as a stage, film, and voice-over actor, teacher, and voice coach to help people in a variety of positions, including entrepreneurs, CEOs, writers, and project managers.

Her coaching is informed by what is unique and authentic in the individual or group. In addition, she facilitates workshops that use improvisation to improve leadership skills, team-building, and creativity. She is on the faculty of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and has been adjunct faculty for a number of universities. An active member of Toastmasters and a board member of VASTA—the Voice and Speech Trainers Association—she holds an MFA in acting from the National Theatre Conservatory and a BA from Yale University.

Blair and Miller acknowledge the amazing voice teachers with whom they have had the privilege of working: Chuck Jones, Rocco Dal Vera, Gary Logan, Patsy Rodenburg, Catherine Fitzmaurice, and Kristen Linklater, to name a few.

For more information, visit Articulate Real & Clear: Clear Communication Is an Art, at ARTiculateRC.com