Deb Sofield Opening the First Monday Meeting

Deb Sofield Opening the First Monday Meeting

Deb Sofield has been a great addition to the Blumer & Associates CPA client list.  Her wit and humor lighten up our office when she comes in (especially when she is bringing donuts).  And her abilities to inspire us and the surrounding Greenville area make you wonder why she never ran for political office.  Oh yeah.  Deb has been on the political scene for quite some time.  She was elected to the Greenville City Council and elected to the Commission of Public Works for the Water System (the first woman to ever hold this position).  Anyway, we love to see Deb coming because we know we are going to enjoy the visit.  She just makes you feel good when you hang around her! 
Which is what makes her good at her job – an Executive Speech and Presentations Coach.  If you need polishing, Deb is the woman for the job!  From a simple interview to a major award acceptance to the inaugural address, she can make any “Joe” become a blazing ball of speech-induced fire which rains down a wrath of words wrought for memorizing effectiveness upon your feeble ears!  Bow, you fool, to the awesomeness that is “Deb Sofield.”  Just ask Lockheed Martin, or Michelin North America, or the Greenville Hospital System, or Harvard University, or the Yale Women’s Campaign College, or any of her other amazing clients that rely on Deb to help them wade through the difficult world of speech-making (or maybe that’s “speech-giving”).
Anyway, if you talk then you need to hire Deb Sofield.  You’ll talk better… we promise.  You can see the 15 pages of awards she has won on her website here:
Deb giving the jokes to open the meeting... a very popular time at the First Monday meetings

Deb giving the jokes to open the meeting... a very popular time at the First Monday meetings

1.  What have you done to remain competitive and successful? 

I speak nationwide and am fortunate that one event always leads to three more. I work at being the best in my business. I have a large private client business and that keeps me constantly working to make sure my coaching is up to date with the current media saturated environment. I do a good bit of work in the area of spokesperson training and media coaching simply because if the client makes a fumble – someone has to pick up the ball and keep going – I help the team pick up the ball. The majority of my work is in training for public speaking and presentation skills, and job interviews. I do a good bit of work with young people who are looking to get into college, law school, or medical school. Interview training is a great investment if your young person is heading out to the job market. And for those who have been kicked around in this job market it is good to polish up your interview skills so you will land the job you desire.

2.  What do you foresee as the greatest business obstacle in the near future?

It is a catch 22 – people say they cannot afford a speech and presentations coach – when in reality if you believe you make an impression within 7-22 sec. you need to understand just how critical that split sec. is when it comes to people viewing you as a successful, intelligent, articulate person. Spending money on yourself is the greatest investment you can make.

That being said, taking care of others always gets in the way of taking care of you. And if truth were told – most people think they are “good enough”. I find that concept interesting – presidents of corporations, politicians, road show guys, sales teams, think they get by because they are the top dog – when in reality (and they know it) most folks who have to listen to them think they are a dud because they do not care enough about the staff or audience to take the time to be excellent. Excellent comes with practice. I know – I know I hear it all the time – “well I just speak off the cuff…” good for you – in your small world to think your audience is not worthy of your best.  I would never hit the stage without a coach.

Another avenue is media – do you have a crisis plan – who will be the company spokesperson, who will assure the public your product is safe, who represents you? If you have not taken the time to create your future – those who hope and wish and pray that you fail will create your future for you. Media is 24/7 – you’re dreaming if you think your day is not coming around the track. Be prepared.

3.  What do you enjoy most about your work?

I am an executive speech and presentations coach and what I can teach you can change the way you are perceived in today’s marketplace. From the minute you walk in to the moment until you walk out – you make a statement. And unfortunately, for many people they don’t even know what they are saying. It’s really more than your clothes (although that is important) its your mannerisms and gestures and twitches and mouth movements and all the little things you should have listened to your mother about but did not and now you are wondering why you are not more successful.

I have the most amazing job that is two fold – you’re speaking ability and your person. With regard to your speaking ability within the first hour I can see someone change right before my eyes. When folks come in with a presentation that must be amazing and their fear is high – many times by restructuring the presentation, adding in stories or one liners or quotes or a great thought for the day – you can take an average presentation/speech/talk and make it interesting and memorable. Now not everyone is a wow type of person but a good coach can polish you and your presentation to a shine in such a way that it does not overshadow the natural you.

You want people to say, “I could have heard him all day…” instead of “he went on all day…” with a sigh. Executive Speech and Presentations coaching helps you craft a message that can be remembered and repeated. I heard a speaker once say; each sentence is worth $30.00 now give me your 3 $10.00 words. What that is saying is without a good speech coach you’re wasting time – the audience’s and frankly your own. Why be average – when you could be great.

On the personal side, the first thing I focus on is the actual person sitting in front of me. How do you look, for so many men – I have to be the barer of bad tidings that they have nose hair, or ear hair, or the back of the neck hair that would scare a small child, or they need a new belt, polished shoes, a new tie (if threads are springing forth at the knot – toss it) or a new suit in a color that blends with their skin tone. For men – many times my initial work focuses on the physical and then we begin the discovery of their verbal and personal power needs.

For women it may be the curve of the eyebrow or a hair color that looks a little more natural with your skin tone.

With women my work does not focus as much on the physical part – but more in the direction of self-esteem and personal power. As women, because we are taught at an early age to be small and petite and pretty…. we lose the nerve to be big, bold, beautiful and articulate.

4.  What has the Blumer firm done to assist you in furthering your business and its operations?

Sitting with Jason and him understanding how my job is in the realm of creative and not 9-5 helped me structure the financials so it is easy input on the computer for my financial files. I travel worldwide and I needed a financial structure that could take advantage of all the legal deductions to keep me in line with my taxes – and I have full confidence in the firm to make sure I am taking care of business…so I can take care of business. I really like the Thriveal blog – it is a good read when I am on the road or just working in my office. Frankly, I like a firm that is technologically savvy to keep up with this ever-changing world. Thanks guys!

Deb Sofield and Jason M. Blumer, CPA (yes, I'm at the The Poinsett Club without a coat and tie on)

Deb Sofield and Jason M. Blumer, CPA

Deb and Jason beat-boxing "America, the Beautiful" for an adoring crowd

Deb and Jason beat-boxing "America, the Beautiful"