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If you like the reality TV show “The Voice…”


… then you might want to attend the finale of “The Speech” which will be held in  Singapore later this month!

Back in November of 2015, budding professional speakers auditioned for a mentor at a meeting of the Asia Pacific Speakers association in Singapore.  Just like on the reality TV Show “The Voice,” the mentors “competed” for which speaker/mentor they wanted to work with, and mentors and mentees were paired.

Fast forward to four months later, and now the mentees are taking their learnings from the last few months and competing in the final round, where the audience gets to vote on which finalist delivers the best speech!  I will be serving as a panelist, since I have been mentoring one of the competitors.

This is a great opportunity to experience being an active audience member in a fun show, while also getting to enjoy some great speeches by budding professional speakers.

The Finale will be held Tuesday, March 29 2016, at Sheraton Towers Hotel, from 6 p.m. – 9.30 p.m.  If you want to join the fun, purchase tickets at:

See you there!

Don’t Just Sit There!

SITTING is big news – well, at least the detrimental effects of too much sitting, that is. The scientific community has coined a new phrase to label it — “sitting disease.”  In short, as a friend of mine says, “Sitting is the new smoking.”

But as leaders, our jobs often require that we sit for many hours in a day, working on our computers, attending meetings, and talking on the phone. In fact, my executive coaching clients often tell me they spend so many hours working (and sitting) that they often don’t have time to fit exercise into their schedule.

The harsh truth is that too much sitting is killing us – slowly, but literally.

A few hard facts:

  • According to a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, sitting most of the day makes our risk of heart attack the same as for people who smoke.
  • James Levine, M.D. puts it this way, “Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.”
  • An American Cancer Society study found that women who were inactive and sat over six hours a day were 94% more likely to die during the time period studied than those who were physically active and sat less than 3 hours a day. For men, the statistic isn’t nearly as bad, but it’s still dire at 48% more likely to die. And the physical activity levels of the individuals didn’t matter!
  • A study at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia found that we are 40% at greater risk of death if we sit for long periods. They also found that prolonged sitting disrupts metabolic function and decreases insulin sensitivity, causing blood sugar problems.

Walk While You Work

So, what’s the solution? Since exercising more may not even counter the number of hours we sit, you can either stand more while you work or do what I’m doing now – combine work time with exercise! You can improve your health without the need to find time in your calendar to write “go to the gym.” All you need is my new productivity tool – a Treadmill Desk!

I’ve wanted one for a really long time, but they weren’t available in Singapore. Then, we finally found a company that could offer one. Now, when I would normally have to sit at my desk to do work, I just hop on the treadmill and get in a good walk. I love it! I’m burning calories, staying active, and still accomplishing my “to do” list. It feels great!

“Sounds expensive?” you say? We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the treadmill desk I chose wasn’t as expensive as we thought it would be. In fact, if you are Singapore based, I can get you a good deal. Just email me at if you’re interested, and get yourself moving!


Open, Closed, and Numbers Questions

As a leader of others, the type of questions you ask can make a big difference in how well those questions empower and help team members grow.

First and foremost, think in terms of “open” instead of “closed” questions.

Open questions lead to answers filled with information. Beginning with words such as “who, what, when, where, and how,” open-ended questions are crafted in ways that encourage direct reports to open up and share answers in depth. An example would be, “How would you describe our company’s culture?”

Closed questions can only be answered directly with a word or two, such as “Do you like the culture here?” This limiting question, calling for either a “yes” or “no” answer. This kind of answer doesn’t lead you very far, and it certainly doesn’t kick-start a dialogue.

Use Numbers! Our brains love questions with a number in them! They’re great for stimulating creativity, focusing thoughts, and providing a simple framework within which to work. If you find a team member getting stuck with a particular problem, pose a numbers question, and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised how well it opens up a dialogue and creates a breakthrough.

Here are some examples:

“What are the three major challenges preventing us from reaching our goals?”

“What are the top four approaches we could pursue for the XYZ project …?”

“Let’s brainstorm the five most powerful ways we could …”

“What are the three most important steps we could take to achieve …?”

Brenda Bence Bio

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Powerful Questions

The best way to develop your team is by asking powerful questions. Yes, it’s true that this can take slightly more time than immediately telling employees what to do. But, if you don’t make the time to ask questions of your team members, you will end up being the one answering all of the questions and doing more work than necessary — a sign that your team has become dependent on you. And once that happens, you’ll never step out of that never-ending cycle unless you make the decision to change your behaviors and begin asking vs. telling.

In fact, I believe that asking instead of telling is a fundamental behavior of great leaders. In my shadowing experience, I see that the strongest leaders are those who don’t respond to queries from their staff right off the bat—that is, they don’t tell an staff member what to do and then send the employee away to implement the plan. Instead, they ask powerful questions that get team members to stop, reflect, grow, and challenge him/herself. Read the rest of this entry »

Developing people isn’t a task you do “on the side”

In my upcoming book – Would You Want to Work For YOU? – I argue that building people is an integral, day-to-day part of your job as a leader, and I offer strategies for developing your team members on a moment-by-moment basis.

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BDA International’s Leadership Development Program Ranks Among Top 25 in 2012

CHICAGO – Brand Development Associates International (BDA) has been ranked #23 in the Independent Consultants/Trainers/Coaches category of Leadership Excellence’s annual ranking of the top 500 leadership development programs in the world. The Leadership 500 is a ranking of the best individuals, teams, and organizations in leadership development practices and employee motivation-productivity today.  BDA’s 2012 ranking is up six places from last year’s ranking of #29.

This year’s Leadership 500 was published in the October 2012 Edition of Leadership Excellence magazine, a publication founded by business greats Ken Shelton, Stephen R. Covey, Ken Blanchard, and Charles Garfield. The issue was sent to almost 200,000 of the world’s “movers, shakers, and decision makers.”

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A Unique “Public” Opportunity to Hear Brenda Bence Speak — Singapore PrimeTime on November 8, 2012

Brenda Bence, Dynamic Professional Speaker, Addresses a Conference


Are you going to be in Singapore on November 8?

If so, Brenda Bence will be presenting a one-hour keynote that evening for the PrimeTime organization.

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CHICAGO – June 2012: Author Brenda Bence’s latest book, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank: Five Proven Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now to Build Your Business at Little or No Cost has won a total of seven book awards since its publication in September 2011, including top prizes from the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards, International Book Awards, and National Indie Excellent Awards.

“We are delighted by the response to this book.” Bence said. “Smarter Branding, which is based on one of my highest-demand workshops conducted around the world, is focused on helping businesses with limited budgets successfully promote and grow their brands without the kind of deep pockets enjoyed by big brands.”

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Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank – my new online course!

Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank Online Course

“The definitive guide to buiding a brand on a tight budget.”

Big news!  My new online course, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank, is now “live” on And, for the next 48 hours, it’s on sale for 50% OFF!

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Brenda Bence’s Book, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank, Wins Coveted Axiom Business Books Award

Gold Winner, Advertising/Marketing/PR/Event Planning - Axiom Business Book Awards 2012

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CHICAGO – March 2012. Author Brenda Bence’s latest book, Smarter Branding Without Breaking the Bank: Five Proven Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now to Build Your Business at Little or No Cost is a Gold Medal Winner in the Advertising/Marketing/PR/Event Planning category of the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards.

“This award means a lot to me because we competed with books released by some of the country’s best publishers; plus, I have a lot of respect for the Axiom Awards,” Bence said. “I based this book on one of my workshops that has been in high demand around the world,” she continued, “and my goal behind Smarter Branding is to help small-to-medium enterprises and solo-preneurs learn how they can successfully promote and grow their brands without a ‘big-brand’ budget.”

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