September 2010

Congratulations on L’Epée Coaching & Consulting’s Twelfth Anniversary

I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful support and share with you one of the anniversary wishes I received this summer.

My congratulations and compliments, indeed.

Today, we live in a decimal framework, but ‘a dozen’ used to be a unit of merchants’ counting for centuries (at least in the middle of Europe). From this perspective, you have finished a complete unit 😉

And thanks for making our life more optimistic and rich thanks your activities connecting interesting people, intermediating distinct views and providing insight into diverse cultures.

Best wishes into the next dozen (or at least a decade),

Eva P.

Fall 2010 Power Lunch Series: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work

L’Epée Coaching & Consulting is proud to continue its successful Power Lunch series this fall. Executives and managers will again have the opportunity to learn, share ideas and exchange experiences while exploring a diverse range of management- and business-related issues.

This fall 2010 series will also mark the seventh year of Power Lunches and will focus on The Unexpected Benefits of defying Logic at Work, based on Dan Ariely’s recent book “The Upside of Irrationality”.

The first lunch in the series, which takes place on September 7th, asks the question What can Legos teach us about the Joy of Work? We will learn how our happiness and willingness to work depends to a large degree on how much meaning we can attribute to our own labor.

  • Dates: Sept. 7, Oct. 5, Nov. 9, Dec. 14
  • Place: The Palace Hotel
  • Time: 12:00-14:00

For more information about the series, click here.

Prague Speakers Forum: The Three Challenges of Public Speaking

All of us are public speakers, and yet, most of us see public speaking as an almost insurmountable challenge. The upcoming Fall 2010 Prague Speakers Forum series will address three of the most common challenges of people face when speaking in front of an audience, namely:

1. Fear (a lack of confidence),

2. Dullness (boring delivery)

3. Disconnection (no connection with the audience)

This Prague Speakers Forum series offers you a unique chance to overcome these challenges and practice speaking publically in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.

  • Dates: September 14th, October 12th, and November 16th.
  • Place: The Palace Hotel
  • Time: 18:00-20:30

Some of the feedback that has been given about the Prague Speakers Forum includes:

“Everybody is motivated by you to give the best and that the feedback after a presentation is honest and detailed.”

“Your seminar is very helpful and lively – I am always going home with the feeling to have learned a lot.”

“The informal and trusting environment…allows participants to take risks.”

“The mix of people means an interesting range of feedback.”

Highway to Charity on Saturday September 18

Two days before the official opening of the new ring road near Zbraslav on September 20, the Rotary Club of Prague invites you to participate in a unique charity event organized to raise money for life saving equipment for the Motol Hospital’s Children Department.

The events for the day include a 5- and 10-kilometer running race, a wheel chair obstacle course, where able-bodied people can experience the difficulties that handicapped people have getting around in a wheelchair, a children’s skate/scooter race, and an office chair race .

The Rotary Club also needs your help, and is looking for volunteers to help out at the event from 08:00 to 17.00 (or at least for half a day!). Volunteers can help with the organization of the events, or by collecting donations as the public are bussed onto the longest bridge in the Czech Republic (across the Beroun/Vltava) from Smichovske Nadrazi (50 buses an hour!).

To register, visit You will be contacted with further details before the event. Any questions can be directed to Irena Brichta at the Rotary Club Prague International (; mob. +420 602 200 882)

Calendar of Events & Activities

September 7 Power Lunch: What Legos can teach us about the Joy of Work
September 14 Prague Speakers Forum: Fear
September 18 Highway to Charity (Rotary Club Prague International)
September 23-26 AIN in Amsterdam (
October 9 Power Lunch: Topic TBA
October 12 Prague Speakers Forum: Dullness
November 9 Power Lunch: Topic TBA
November 16 Prague Speaker Forum: Disconnection
December 4-5 Creating and Developing your professional image at the SITE conference in Cape Town (
December 14 Power Lunch: Topic TBA

Public Speaking Coaching Can Make a Difference

It is always gratifying when I see my coaching efforts generate concrete results. Here is a testimonial about the recent success achieved by Anezka Novak, Voice Coach / Actor, and Vice President-Education, Bohemian Toastmasters.

In May, I was preparing for the Toastmasters divisional speech competition in Vienna. I had successfully moved through two earlier rounds, with the goal of being a finalist in the European Toastmasters District 59 International Speech Competition, to be held in The Hague, in the Netherlands. Vienna was to be a big challenge.

Two days before the competition, I had a session with Karin. I had substantially rewritten my speech only four days before the Vienna contest, was quickly running out of rehearsal time, and was pretty stressed about whether I would even remember the speech!

The one-on-one session I had with Karin really helped me to focus on the delivery aspects of the speech – appearing confident in the opening (even if I didn’t feel it!), working out the best places to pause, and focusing on the audience.

We also went through the psychology of winning and losing. It made me believe I did have a winning speech, whether I won or lost. That may sound paradoxical, but being a good loser is as important as being a winner, and despite years of performing experience as an actor, I always find giving a speech a challenge.

Giving a speech in competition is even more challenging, and the subject matter of my speech was not the usual “overcoming adversity” self-development speech that is common in the Toastmasters environment. Instead, it was a reflection on violence entitled “Time to Kill,” and made particular reference to the mass killings in Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia in 1995.

I was concerned about the audience reaction in Vienna, but Karin convinced me that it was a question of packaging my message correctly; the way in which you convey information and your message is as important as the message itself.

I also began to realize that making a speech was like running a race. You need to be prepared physically and mentally. And giving a speech in a competition series is a bit like a marathon race, as the whole process goes on for nearly two months. There are times when you simply want to give up. That was certainly how I sometimes felt in the run-up to the Vienna competition, especially because I was struggling with how to present the re-written speech most effectively.

I had not realized the importance of coaching and mentoring for speakers until that point. I am now sure that without the ongoing assistance of fellow Toastmasters and the coaching of Karin, I would not have got as far as I did. How far? First place in Vienna and the spot I coveted in the European District finals at The Hague.

Anezka Novak, Voice Coach / Actor and Vice President-Education, Bohemian Toastmasters, Prague