Jul 08

What Doesn’t Kill You

By Celeste DeCamps | Uncategorized

I love reading a good story that I can escape into. I enjoy movies for the same reason.  Disney always has beautiful animations and can really bring a story to life.  What I don’t like is that many of their stories start with the premise that someone, usually a parent, has to die. 
Cinderella and Snow White lose their mothers and then their dads make terrible choices of a new wife.  To make matters worse, the dads die too. Both young girls are left with jealous, horrible stepmothers. Snow White’s stepmom wants to have her killed because she may be prettier than her. 
In The Lion King, Simba’s father is killed by wildebeests right in front of him. Luckily, Simba gets over it by singing Hakuna Matada which means No Worries. He just saw his dad killed but it’s all ok now because we just heard a happy song.
In Frozen, both parents die. In Finding Nemo, the father loses his wife, and all of his children except one, who gets lost. The most traumatic by far, is Bambi. Bambi is just a baby deer when his mother gets shot. I am still not over it. 
Are you feeling uplifted yet? 
Why do these movies, meant for children, have to be so disturbing? I’m pretty sure you can get children interested in a fun story and keep them entertained without a murder taking place.
I resent the stories that prey on children’s darkest fear, which is losing their parents. 
I don’t believe that children should have to face that reality when they just want to be transported to a fantasy world. I still feel that way as an adult. 
I understand that in telling a good story there should be conflict, tragedy, overcoming a dark past filled with bad decisions. I wouldn’t have any good stories if I didn’t make some pretty bad decisions. 
We all want the happy ending that comes from a long, hard journey that is full of redemption, soul searching and finding love. 
Why bring all of this up? I was talking to Wen, a friend of mine, and she gave me a nice compliment. She said that my speeches always make her smile. She said that I never tell sad stories. I said “Yes, that’s true. It’s by choice.” Now, if you know Wen, you can’t get away with an answer like that. She wants to know why. Why make that choice? 
I don’t think I ever put into words why I wouldn’t tell a sad story. I have said that I prefer to tell stories to make people laugh but never really explained why I won’t tell a sad story from my past.
Wen said It takes courage to open up in front of an audience and tell of painful, sometimes heartbreaking experiences. I agree. I would never tell someone not to tell their story. If they think it’s important to share it, by all means, they should do so.  
I have a different perspective on it. I think I can tell inspiring stories without talking about the pain behind them. I believe my message is still impactful. I would rather make people laugh than cry. 
I also feel that if I were to tell my sad stories, there would be two different reactions. I believe some would hear my story and think, “Wow! That’s very upsetting, I feel sorry for Celeste.” (Thank you for that). I also believe that others would think, “That’s not such a sad story, I have much sadder stories.” 
Everyone has a story. It’s those stories that shape us and make us who we are today. I don’t ignore the past. I acknowledge it, especially if I think that my past hurts are affecting my decision making today. I just have to remember to drink my coffee black, without cream, without sugar, and without bourbon and all will be fine. 
At one time or another we are all faced with challenges. I like the motto “What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger.” Thank you, Nietzsche. I like to remind myself of that from time to time. We are all stronger than we think. 
I know that there is an emotional hook that many speakers use in hopes that the audience will feel compassion. It’s a way to engage the listener to wanting to know how the story ends. I don’t disagree with that method. 
I am talking about my own personal belief of exposing a wound and how I treated it. I don’t feel the need to start my story there. 
I believe in silver linings and sometimes they’re hard to find. I’ll admit even I couldn’t find the bright side to some events in my past. I had to face the fact some things are not in my control. “What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger.”
My hope is that I can inspire people to believe in themselves even when they are dealing with tragedy. For me, having a sense of humor, even in my darkest times, kept me believing in myself. This Should Definitely Kill Me, No? Carry on. 
I will always go for a comedy over a tragic filled movie. That’s how I approach any ideas I want to present. 
We are bombarded everyday with terrible news because of our access to the world in the age of technology. We need comic relief.  
I like hearing comedians take on the current political climate. It’s a real art to be able to make people laugh in the face of possible nuclear destruction. 
My goal in delivering speeches is to guide and entertain. I think we all deal with stress, anxiety and depression. There’s a lot of sadness in this world. I want to be someone who makes others feel happy and encouraged right from the beginning to the very end.
I believe we can deliver our messages of hope without talking about a time of hopelessness. I think we can inspire without talking about a time of great fear. I believe all of us standing here today are all a testament of “What Doesn’t Kill Us Make Us Stronger.” 
Sometimes we need permission to sit in our playpen and be unhappy. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s quite healthy. Eventually, we need to get back to doing our lives. 
I know the cure for me is watching or listening to something funny. To get me out of my head, and focus on the silly side of life. It helps put things into perspective. 
We need to be in the habit of checking in with ourselves. When doom and gloom are threatening to take over, take a moment and breathe.  Make a funny face, do a silly walk or think of someone or something that will brighten your mood. 
When I was a little girl, I was under my mother’s feet a lot. I probably thought I was helping. One day a friend of my mother’s stopped by. She looked at me and said, “Well, hello. What is your name?” Innocently, I replied, “Shit Celeste”.  I heard that so much, I thought that was my name. My poor mother was so embarrassed.
To this day, when I find I’m beating myself up I can hear myself say, “Shit, Celeste.” I end up laughing. 
We should all be able to laugh at ourselves. It makes us instantly feel better. 
I think messages that want the audience feeling better about themselves should be fun. Messages about trying our best to find success should make us smile. Messages that inspire us to take chances should make us laugh.
I’m happy to report that no one was harmed in the making of this article. Today everyone lives. Take that Disney!
Jul 08

Why Should I Smile?

By Celeste DeCamps | Uncategorized


I don’t like being told to smile. Maybe I just got some really bad news and don’t feel the need to be happy for you. Someone telling me to smile makes me want to physically hurt that person. No one wants to smile on command. It’s not a genuine smile and it certainly isn’t going to change anyone’s mood.
What will help to change your mood into a positive one? Smile. Here’s the difference, I want you to smile for yourself, not anyone else. 
Trust me, I’m not asking you to be happy 24/7. I want to give you a valuable tool to use when you need to make a great first impression, or need an energy boost. I want to help you feel good about yourself.
Fun facts: Did you know that babies in the womb smile? They also smile in their sleep. Babies born blind smile like sighted infants. In other words: we were born to smile.
Adults smile more than 20 times a day whereas children will smile 400 times a day. Why do we have to grow up? Maybe the key to feeling and being young, is to remember to smile more. 
Smiling brings numerous health benefits. The simple act of smiling will reduce your anxiety, lower blood pressure, and heart rate. Research has suggested smiling reduces your bodily and mental stress like a good night’s sleep does.
Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains that certain hormones, dopamine and serotonin, are released in our brains when we put on a happy face. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.”
Just picturing yourself smiling will bring up positive memories. This is a great help when you are feeling nervous or tense. It gives you a chance to relax and calm any anxiety you are dealing with. 
Smiling is contagious. When someone smiles at us, we automatically smile back. It’s a wonderful exchange of positive energy. My friend Carolyn, who is a serial smiler, told me the following. One evening she walked out of her office and stood in front of the elevator. An elderly man was waiting there as well. She looked at him and flashed her pearly whites. The man looked at her and broke into a big grin. He said, “Thank you for that smile. I’ve gone all day without anyone even looking at me. Thank you for seeing me and giving me that gift.” The power of a simple smile can lift up our spirits and remind us to share our good thoughts. 
 Smile for yourself, smile for someone who needs some compassion and smile because it’s the fastest way to feel good. Or not, I’m not going to tell you what to do. 

May 20

What is an Elevator Pitch and Why Do I Need One?

By Celeste DeCamps | Uncategorized

Elevator Pitch
Elevator Pitch

Whether you’re looking for a job or attending a networking event, you should have a 30-second elevator pitch in your back pocket. This quick commercial, spotlighting you, is the best way to garner someone’s interest. The goal being, that the person you are meeting will want to know more about you and your service.

Here are 5 tips to think about when you are putting together your elevator pitch:

1.  Just the facts. Write down the answers to these questions: Who are you? What do you do? What benefits do you offer? Who is your ideal customer? It’s important to remember that as much as this is an introduction of yourself, it’s also a chance for you to show how you are going to make someone else’s life better. For example: Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. As a speech coach, I help people have more fun standing in front of an audience. I am always looking for people who need help delivering their message.”

2.  Be specific.You don’t have time to recite your whole resume. Write down your major accomplishments and your specific skill set. Look at your list and take out all unnecessary words. The best way to do this is to say it out loud. Grab a friend and go over it with her. You want to come across as yourself. Memorize your pitch but it needs to come across naturally. The more you practice, the more you fine tune, the more you will find your message coming across smoothly. You want to sound conversational and not like an infomercial. 

3. Write your headline.  When you feel that you have a solid 30-second commercial, try to make it 15-seconds. We don’t always have time to say everything we want. The best bet we have is to be able to say enough to get someone’s attention. Hopefully, that person will ask for your business card and inquire about your services. For example: “Hi, I’m Celeste DeCamps. I will help you deliver your message with confidence.”

4. Be confident. Before you meet someone, check your posture. Walk in the room with your head up and your shoulders back. When you shake the person’s hand, smile, and look him in the eyes. When you introduce yourself, be upbeat, and speak clearly. 

5.  Listen carefully. As much as you want to talk about yourself take time to hear what the other person is saying. The more you pay attention to what the other person’s wants and needs are, the better chance you have of addressing her concerns. When someone feels that they are genuinely being heard, the more she will want to engage with you. Connections and relationships can be formed fairly quickly when there’s respect for each other’s ideas. 

Working on an elevator pitch takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. It gives you the opportunity to promote yourself and gives people an insight into what you can offer. You never know who will meet that can give you the chance of a lifetime.

Oct 20

Life is Improv

By Celeste DeCamps | Interviews

Chris Griswold is the founder and Academic Director of Thunderbolt Comedy and co-founder and chief education officer of Engage: Improv for Life.

Chris also works as a writer and actor in New York City, appearing in a variety of comedy videos, commercials, and PSAs for mental health and equality.

Chris spent years focusing on his teaching, working with more than a dozen teams in a week, teaching in such far-off places as Amsterdam and Kansas City, and working with remote solo clients and groups as far away as South Africa.

Chris is originally self-taught in improv, but he has trained with both the Annoyance Theater and extensively with the Upright Citizens Brigade, where he previously worked as registrar and diversity liaison.

With a history in social media and journalism, Chris also teaches private workshops for business and conferences in topics such as branding, team-building, and creativity training.

For more information:




May 23

How Qigong Can Energize You In 5 Minutes

By Celeste DeCamps | Interviews , Self Improvement

Interview about Qigong

Rhonda Enea is an enthusiastic life practitioner.  She is a Qigong teacher, healer, life coach and aspiring YouTube channel host.  Her specialty is the art of meditation and explores a variety of methods with her students and clients.  She is the owner of Beach Plum Wellness, a network based bio-tech company dedicated to the progressive science of Redox Signaling.
Although her passions are many, her three sons and their partners are the radiant center of her heart, oh, and her pets Li-Li and Priya 😉

Apr 23

The Anti Motivational Talk

By Celeste DeCamps | Featured Articles


I’m sitting with my friend, Michele, in an Irish Pub. We are having a drink and talking about the different aspects of motivational speaking. We are both working on putting out our research in hopes that our findings will help other people. We want to be different and yet we’re worried that we are not saying anything new. 

The realization is not surprising to us. We know we are not reinventing the wheel. Our passion for our projects stems from wanting to solve our own issues. We have both found, through our experiences, that our problems are not unique, but how we handled them are. It’s that perspective that we want to talk about. It’a distilling our scientific findings into something that can be relatable, that we both find overwhelming. We are working together to help each other stay on track and stay motivated. We both have to admit that failing is a real fear and that we may never leave this Irish Pub.

Our conversation turned to the topic of people who want to help others by telling them all of their pitfalls and hurdles that they went through to be successful. The promise is that they will teach you about what to avoid and keep you from making the same mistakes. 

I believe that though the information is being given to help others, I can’t help but feel that everyone will experience setbacks and failures. I don’t think there is any way around it. It’s like trying to teach your children what you’ve learned so that they don’t make the same mistakes. In the end, they will still have to pray to the porcelain bowl because they drank or partied too much. We can’t keep them or ourselves from making mistakes. That’s how we learn.

I’m not saying that there isn’t value in trying to help others succeed and keep them from making bad decisions. I just think it should be said that everyone has their own journey. We will have to face our own challenges. I think that’s why after attending a rousing, energetic speech on being your best self, that a few days later, the energy seems to have dissipated. We have to find our own way of being our own cheerleader. 

It’s great to feel inspired, encouraged and supported. It’s wonderful when you are in a like-minded group and the excitement of endless possibilities is in the air. No one wants that feeling to leave. How do you make it stay? How do you keep that level of enthusiasm going? What kind of Jedi mind tricks will work?

I realize that my road to success is what I make it. There isn’t a magic pill or seminar that’s going to do it for me. I’ve learned to employ different techniques to keep me on my path. I still find myself resorting to playing solitaire or wandering around the kitchen trying to decide what comfort food will eat up my time. I then will go back to my work and plug away.

One of the best things I do is to sit and have a conversation with myself, out loud. Living in my head, leaves me feeling defeated. Talking out loud, I can pay closer attention to how I’m really feeling. I can then counter argue and point out all the great progress I’ve made. I talk about my fears, my procrastination, my self-doubt, all the same things everyone does. So much for being special. 

In his book ” What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. wrote:“The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about, it will create. It has no choice.”

That is what is great about working with a friend. Michele will tell me what she is struggling with and I can easily relate. As I tell her how important her ideas are and that she is on the right track, it reminds me to do the same. 

I believe we all need to feel validated on the work we choose to do. I know that we can all learn from each other and recognize we are all trying to achieve fulfillment in our lives. Listening to someone who wants to motivate you to do that is awesome. Just remember that at the end of the day we need to find that empowerment in ourselves. We will make mistakes. We will not be perfect. We will feel like a fraud. We will also learn about ourselves; we will challenge ourselves and we will accomplish greatness. Or not. And that’s okay too. Because every step we take towards our goal is another reason to celebrate ourselves. 

Whatever we do in this lifetime, to help ourselves and the people around us, makes life meaningful. To learn, to grow, to be content are all valuable goals to attain. It’s nice to be reminded that we are all in this together. The best part, having a good friend to sit and talk to in an Irish Pub. 

1 2 3 4