Can you explain what HE does??

Frustrating!!!!  I ran into Kevin the other day.  We first met when he and I started going to National Speaker Association meetings.  We both completed the number of paid engagements we needed to join and we went out for coffee to talk about our experience in the process.  I felt I had a complete understanding of what he did.

A few years ago, he put on a presentation of what he was doing to get ahead.  It was so compelling, I began the same process.  Kevin has earned a CSP…only a few have this certification.  Kevin is among the top speakers in the industry.

So why am I telling you this?

My wife saw me say hello to Kevin and later, asked me how I knew Kevin.  I quickly answered “he is in the NSA with me.” But when my wife asked me what he did, I could’t answer.  I knew exactly what he did… and I could picture what he did…I just couldn’t articulate it.

I guess the same thing goes on in my mind when I try to say what I do.   I know it… but I can’t explain it.

Frustrating is the word that comes to mind..but I can’t do anything to change that. So to me, everything is fantastic.  Just don’t ask me open ended questions..and I will be fine.

More Good News: Supplemental Health, DI & Long Term Care Conference

Dear Gordon & Jill Viggiano :

I want to thank you for the wonderful presentation you two did at our Supplemental Health, DI & Long Term Care conference. You were wonderfully inspiring!

Several people I spoke with thought that you were terrific. You reminded them of “why they do what they do”, which is wonderful because home office people sometimes get disconnected from the people who their products are designed to help.

You are a testament to “never giving up” and keeping the faith! Conference attendees were very appreciate of having a copy of Painful Blessing –which I highly recommended. Jill’s book journaling your recovery was a difficult and heartwarming story.

The feedback we gathered from our attendee survey was very positive too. We certainly hope to have you and Jill join us at another conference we host.



Stacey D. Quance | CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, ALMI, ACS
Sr. Associate Information Operations & Information Management | LIMRA | LOMA6190 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 600, Atlanta, GA, 30339
t: (770) 984-6448 |



Do you want to see some more good news?

WOW…I was amazed by the kind words of the people attending.  They did a survey of the conference attendees…and this is what they said.  I included “Gordon and Jill Viggiano were excellent” only one time because it was said by SO MANY people:

It was all good, but the Viggiano’s personal story of overcoming his stroke really drove home the importance of what we do. Very moving!

Behavioral Economics, Brain Has a Hole In It

Gordon and Jill Viggiano were excellent!  (A lot of people said this!)

Great presentation. Inspirational.

Amazing story; very inspiring!

The general session with the Viggiano’s was incredible.

Spoke greatly to my day to day in communicating the importance of a DI policy.

Very inspiring. Good choice to have someone speaks who has benefited from one of our products.

Amazing and inspiring story!!

I am going through something similar with my husband so this hits home.  I’m going to share the info with him.

Very thought provoking!  Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your story and vulnerability. It’s a poignant reminder of why we do the work we do.

Very moving!

Such a powerful story!  I enjoyed both aspects. Nobody is immune so being protected is so important.

Very moving and it tells as excellent story as to why insurance is so important.

Very inspiring. Good choice to have someone speaks who has benefited from one of our products.

Very inspiration, touching and motivating. People with different abilities can still be contributing members of society and Gordon is living proof.  Never give up!  You both are amazing! I’m glad you had the disability coverage to help you financially. Keep the faith and continue to inspire others!

This was a wonderful presentation!

I am back from speaking in California…a TOUGH day!

Man…it was a tough day!

Because of snow on the ground, we got up at 3:30 AM;  I felt pretty good. We arrived at the airport, went thru my TSA approved line, and had a great breakfast at Capers Cafe. We boarded; no problem.

When we arrived at the airport, Uber picked us up and brought me the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.  What a fabulous place.

Eileen told me I was to go on at 11:00am and I would have 5 minutes to set up.  They had a couple of AV people so I felt confident I could do it in the time frame.  Usually, if everything works, it takes me 2 minutes.  When I hooked up my computer to the projector, I was told it was washed out.  I couldn’t see the presentation; I was just hearing from one of the AV guys.  That didn’t seem to bother them; they got different connectors, different connectors to plug into my computer and lots of other contraptions.  Nothing worked!

After 10 minutes, we told Eileen that we will have a little delay. That was a relief! One  of the AV guys said that he has a Mac.  If I could get my presentation to his machine, it would work. I closed out the presentation and started to transfer it.  Then, all of a sudden, it was fixed!

But now, I couldn’t find my presentation!  A third AV guy came in. He was a pro and a true Mac guy.    Luckily, I had a version of it on my hard drive.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what slides I have added!   So I began my presentation with a little hesitance.  As I got though the slides, they all worked; talk about blessings!

How Did I Do In New Orleans?

We have to wait until later this week for their report.  I THINK it went ok. They laughed at all the right places.  I tried 3 different things:  First, I gave away books to 25% of the audience and they ALL found a home!  Second, I said if you give me a lead and it turns into an engagement, I will send you a FREE iPad mini.  I got 15 back.   Normally, when I ask my meeting planner, I get 3. I will let you know how I do.  I am look forward to the results.

And third, I asked for an evaluation of how I did in the presentation. The results:

  • 80% said I was GREAT
  • 9% gave me a 9
  • 9% gave me an 8
  • 1% gave me a 7
  • 1% gave me a 0!!!!  I guess he didn’t think the story was funny!

Our hosts, Kristel and Jennifer, invited us all out to dinner the night before we spoke.  We have a chance to meet the two other speakers. It was such a great time learning from each other.  We agreed that we would all watch one another and give our feedback.  One of the speakers flaked out…but that was to be expected.

The other speaker, James, was fantastic!  He was quiet…then loud.  He paused frequently….and thought about was he was going to say…..even though he gave this speech almost 1000 times.  It was like the first time he was giving it.  ….and he got laughs!  I really admire James and hope to be like him someday.

Did I mention that he was a former minister?? He was a true pro. I feel blessed to know him!


That was Jill.  Truly amazing!  I hate to gush…but I will.  It is Sunday night.  Your probably preparing for your Monday as you read this.

I head this speech a lot…but this time it was different. As she addressed the group, I could “FEEL” each slide.  Does that make sense?  Her presentation was spot on.  Her annunciation….her pauses…. her timing….her jokes….were perfect. I can’t praise Jill enough.

Jill’s presentation is about MY recovery…from HER perspective…not MY perspective.  In her speech, she covers:


  • How bad I really was
  • Risk of raising our 2 children
  • Long, long road of recovery
  • My crazy path of recovery and all the different stages
  • Changes she faced
  • What she learned as a result of the experience
  • How she is different now

Jill completes her talk with:

I am ok with my weakness! I am a better person for it.  I am wiser and more compassionate.  I try to live with gratitude and a cheerful heart.  Reaching this place of peace in my life has been a Painful Blessing, but a blessing all the same.


Where is that list again?

It is so simple…a fifth grader can do it.  So why do I have such a hard time remembering
what to bring to my presentations..even after 2 years of doing it?  Jill created her famous CheckList.  She has a list for everything: shopping, travel, Costco, Target, Christmas,Things To Do, etc.  EVERYTHING.

At first, I said “Don’t be silly.  I don’t need a CheckList.”  But, she still prepared one for me “just in case.”  And I am glad she did.  I only had 5 things to remember…and I forgot the slide show!  How could I do that?  I was proud that I remembered the Speaker Introduction, my water, the speakers, and iPad….but I forgot the slide show.  Fortunately, we didn’t leave and Jill quickly handed me her CheckList, which you will see below.  Now, every time, I go over the CheckList.   Each time (and I have given over 100 presentations) I say “thank you so much for doing this for me.”  Jill is a star!  She just smiles.


-Take Picture


-A table (close by): I use my laptop so I can see the slides being projected

-I have a few video clips that must have sound; (I will need to make sure that the sound from the video goes thru the sound system)

-Cordless lapel mic

-20 Minute Presentation

-30 Minute SALES Presentation

-40 Minute Keynote

-Painful Blessing

-Q & A -Jill Viggiano

-Emailed CORRECT version to iPad

-RECEIVED Correct Version




-Small speakers

-Speaker Introduction/Summary


-Business Cards



-Everyone need Bookmarks

-Clip board with emails

-Count Attendees

-Count Inquires

-Books Delivered

-Books Sold

-Avg price per book


-Ask for Refs

What was I going to write about again?

Did you ever get that feeling?

I finished my last blog and was really excited to get to my next blog; the idea was VERY clear and I couldn’t wait to write it.   Since it was SO clear, I decided I didn’t need to write it down.  How could I forget something so fantastic as that?

Well…. I forgot it!  I have no idea what I was going to write about.  Maybe it was a continuation of my “no presentation” talk.  Or, maybe it was the details of putting my speech on the USB?

BUT I got something out my frustration.  I will write down my ideas on the NEXT blog; I just won’t publish them until I am ready.  See, I got something positive out of it!

Time For Jill To Speak!

Jill had a busy week!

We showed up at AM Northwest, and completed the interview. Then we went to our first Painful Blessing presentation:IMG_0330 Courtyard at Mt. Tabor.  The group was fantastic and they gave us lots of tips. Jill listened to many all of them.

The second one was two days later at Durham & Bates. I was a little nervous and I don’t know why!  I arrived early so I could hook up the system.  The projector was mounted on the ceiling and I found the remote to turn it on. I felt good at that point (a mistake) and just had to the right input. I couldn’t do it.  Their IT person showed up and HE couldn’t do it either!  He asked me if I had it on a USB drive so he can put it in his computer.   I didn’t. We were running on MAC and I didn’t think it was necessary.  Jill was going to have to give her presentation… without any slides. Can she do this?   It’s only her second time. Won’t that mess her up?

When I deliver my speech, I can’t do it without having my presentation!  My presentation has still photos and video clips thoughout which tie the whole thing together.  Plus, I get thirsty; I have time to drink during the presentation while the video played.  How can I help her with this terrible situation?

She didn’t need any help. Effortlessly, she delivered her speech, with NO presentation… flawlessly.  She was absolutely amazing!

And yes, when I got home I put Jill’s presentation on a USB so we will be prepared next time.

You um…. eh;;;; It is… um

How do you put a presentation into Keynote?  This was PERFECT for me to help another person.  I have done it many times with my wife.  Now I have  the chance of helping someone else.

We were in a Birrdsong meeting and I was asked to help this person with his presentation. I said “Sure” and said I would talk to him after the meeting.

After the meeting. I asked about his project.  He said he had the entire presentation already written.  This was huge!  All that was left was picking out the images.  So I started to explain,  “????????”  I couldn’t get my words out.  I knew exactly what to say, but couldn’t say it!  I kept trying, but could’t seem to get the right words out in any order.  I took a couple of more tries and I said “put the words in BLUE ink that you want to show an image.”  I THINK that made sense.  We will see what he comes up with.

My wife wasn’t there, or she would have laughed.  Sometimes you have to find joy in everything.  Jill does that really well and I admire that trait.