Onlee Bowden

Onlee Appears on Michigan’s Big Show

Posted by dgs_admin on October 8th, 2015 at 10:07am

Onlee Bowden was a guest on Michigan’s Big Show, a statewide radio network show, with host Michael Patrick Shiels on Thursday, October 8. Listen in to hear Onlee talk about the story behind her new book, Flip It On Its Ear: A Radical Approach to Public Speaking.

It’s not just about being in front of a podium. The skills you can acquire through proper public speaking training can help you in everyday life.

Listen to the entire segment below.

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Naked Audiences and Your Concentration

Posted by Onlee Bowden on September 8th, 2015 at 1:15pm

Have you heard the advice to imagine your audience naked, but what if this really happened? Well it happened to me!

I was teaching at a school in a small mountain village in Haiti. We were sitting outside and I was teaching on the topic of imagination when I noticed all the kids were giggling and looking behind me. Out of the corner of my eye I see what has their attention. It was a poor man with no clothes and he was leaning on the fence listening.

What would you have done? Concentration is a critical skill when speaking and learning how to handle distractions is your responsibility.

This is what I did. I said, “I know there is a naked man standing behind me. I’m going to ask you to return your eyes to me. I’m also going to remind you to be thankful that you are in school with clothes on your body. Not everyone is as fortunate as you.”

I’m grateful I’ve trained myself in concentration, I’m grateful I handled this situation with grace and sureness.

Concentration is within your grasp. Begin today to sharpen it.

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Get My New Book

Posted by Onlee Bowden on September 5th, 2015 at 11:55am

I have just released a new book based on my 30 years of teaching people how to become more accomplished public speakers. It’s called “Flip It On Its Ear: A Radical Approach to Public Speaking.” It’s radical because it teaches you how to strip away the fear most people have about public speaking, and then gives you tools to confidently say what you want to say. Thousands have taken my class over the years. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned about what works in public speaking, and included it in this new book.

I’m very excited to share this knowledge with everyone that has ever wanted to speak but cannot. Or anyone that wants to be more comfortable and confident when they need to speak in public. Check out the book now, available at my new website!

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Break Fear Patterns! New Studio Class Offering.

Posted by Onlee Bowden on November 4th, 2013 at 8:34am

Are you tired of walking away thinking, “I wish I would have said something?” This Friday you can change that.

Dates: November 8, 15, 22, December 6, 13
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Place: 211 Studio, Traverse City

for pricing and other information please contact me at

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Introducing “Teach Here, Teach There” fundraiser

Posted by Onlee Bowden on July 19th, 2012 at 2:57pm

If you believe that education is the way out of poverty for women right here in the United States as well as for women in third world countries, then I am asking you to become involved in this project.  Please click through to to learn about the work I am doing as a teacher. 

I also need your help. At my last fundraising event for Haiti I spent more money than I brought in. My numbers were down, but my financial output was not. The bottom line is that I purchased 200 T-shirts and only sold a few. These are very cool T’s.  Check them out on my site and then purchase for yourself and a friend or two.

I have to make a significant installment on my next trip to Haiti and I am simply coming up short. Please get all your friends to purchase a tee! My site is set up through PayPal so it is simple and secure.

This is what you need to do:
1. Go to site:
2. Click on “Donate Now”
3. Choose a size (tee’s tend to run small, I am wearing a medium)
4. Make your payment through PayPal.

Thank you for your love and support, Onlee

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Posted by Onlee Bowden on March 20th, 2012 at 3:24pm




Are you tired of walking away and feeling you didn’t really say what you wanted?  Perhaps you’re good in small, informal groups but feel like it all goes out the window the moment you’re asked to speak in front of a group.  Maybe you’ve been in my classes already and you’re ready to get more experience.  April is the time to make all this happen.

This is an exciting spring with crazy warm weather and so many clients ready to move further down the path of speaking in front of others. 

New classes are being offered at the BEGINNING, INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED levels.


Dates and Times:  Fridays 10-noon.  April 6, 13, 20, 27 and May 4.


open only to those who have completed Level 1, Beginning

Dates and Time:  Tuesdays 10-n00n.  April 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8.


opened by inviation only and only to those who have completed level one and level two.

This is designed for those who are ready to deliver a presentation to a larger audience usually held at the InsideOut Gallery. 

This springs theme is “Faith Journey”  and all who participate will work for several weeks on bringing the art of speaking to the floor.  It’s an amazing experience for my advanced class as well as the audience. 

Dates and Times for Advance Class:  Tuesdays 3pm-5pm.  April 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8, 15


Level One and Level Two meet for 5 sessions for a total of 10 training hours = $510.00 per person

Level Three meets for 6 sessions plus one performace evening for a total of 16 training hours = $570.00


I like to talk with people who are signing up so please call me at 231 590-1499 and I’ll sign you up from there.


All classes are held in my studio located at 221 Garland Street, Traverse City MI 49686



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Your Voice Can Make It Happen

Posted by Onlee Bowden on December 22nd, 2011 at 3:54pm

Greetings to my friends.

Many of you showed overwhelming support when I traveled to Haiti in November. My time was amazing and the work is really just beginning. We are now sending a teaching team to begin the work of providing a handful of girls, who were orphaned after the earthquake, with pathways out of nothingness. This will be an ongoing effort over the next several years as the younger girls become older. Please understand these girls have nothing and no one to help them through this. Imagine girls from 5 years old to 22 years old with no one except us. I have to be there… I just know I have to. So… I’m part of a teaching /mentoring / give these girls a momma, team and I need to be able to afford to make this happen.

I’m not comfortable asking for money so I’m asking for something different. You’re receiving this email because you are already one of my champions. If I can fill my upcoming classes I can go back to Pignon in February.

What I need from you is promotion. Please get on the phone and tell your friends about the upcoming classes. Send the email along and sing my praises. Do whatever you can to get that one person off the mark and to take the class. If both classes filled at 10 participants, I can afford to go.

Thank you for support and your confidence. Onlee

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New January Classes

Posted by Onlee Bowden on December 16th, 2011 at 9:11am





public speaking


2012 Class Offerings


Turn Public Speaking on it’s Ear!


Each class meets for 5 sessions

Dates: Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

10:00 am—12:00 noon


1:00—3:00 pm

To sign up please choose one of the

above time slots and call me with

your preference.

Space is limited call now to reserve

Cell: 231 590-1499





Group Rate $510.00 per person


Credit Card, Checks Payment Plans Accepted




The Warehouse Studio in the




with onlee




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Throw Networking Out the Window!

Posted by Onlee Bowden on March 2nd, 2011 at 12:55pm

I bristle when someone says, “I’m networking!” These two words just hit me the wrong way.  In fact, I’ve reached the clear conclusion that I’m not a fan of networking as a verb.  I have no desire to go into a room full of strangers with the sole purpose to “network,” and if you agree… give me an “amen.” 

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute! Aren’t you the communications pro, the one teaching people about presenting, attending events, and the one I meet for coffee?”  I am! I am that person… and I feel this makes me a reasonable candidate to suggest that we finally throw, “I’m Networking!” out the window. 

For the record, I truly enjoy meeting people. I love laughing and joking -hearing stories and telling stories. In short, I love the whole thing of making friends. What I don’t like is walking into a social situation where people are more worried about collecting cards and working the room then actually meeting someone. I hear the same reaction from clients whom will freely admit they hate networking because of the pressure, the fakeness, and the hype.

I think what creates this feeling of dread with networking is the same culprit that creates our feeling of dread toward public speaking. Like public speaking, when we engage in the act of networking we feel pressure to become someone smarter, smoother, and bigger than we are. We feel tremendous pressure to impress so we try too hard and overshoot. Often the very act of ‘trying’ leaves us feeling a little fake and superficial.  Then we look around and notice others doing exactly the same thing – quick conversations, eyes not making real eye contact but darting over people, overzealous handshakes and very little real interaction.  We begin to feel disconnected, stressful, and unreal. 

Not that many years ago large face-to-face networking events was THE WAY to touch many people at one time. In fact the widely taught strategy to effective networking was to move through the room with the goal to replace all your business cards with the business cards of others.  Today over four hundred million people are on Facebook alone, not to mention all the other forms of social media. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you want to touch many people at one time social media is the medium, not face-to-face events. Social media in all its forms allow you to promote, promote, promote…your business, my business, any business or any thing for that matter. The internet allows us to have at our finger tips resources and information within seconds.    

 The good news:

This shift in social media turns networking on its ear. It freed us… it released us from the burden and the fear of attending events to “network” and places the focus on attending events to build friendships rather than to promote brands or make the pitch. Even better news…the communication skills we use to make friends are the skills we take with us to events and conferences.  It’s sometimes hard to believe and even harder to accept but the vast majority of us has the necessary skills inside us already – the skill of making friends. So take some pressure off your next conference or social event and consider some of the following ideas:

Go to events to meet one person, not a crowd. Go prepared to smile and relax.  If you’re uncomfortable walking into a place by yourself take a good friend – someone you really enjoy – your ‘event buddy.’   Then go with the sole purpose that together you’ll befriend someone who either looks interesting or looks like they could use a friend.

Attend events because you want to and you’re interested.  Volunteer your time and help others because you feel moved. Be involved in activities that reflect your values and you’re automatically surrounded by people who share some common goals.

 Don’t feel any pressure to talk about your service or businesses when you first  meet someone instead concentrate on striking up something real.  You’ll know when to talk about your business because that person will ask; “What do you do?”  Then be gracefully short about your response, and get back to the business of   building relationships. When you become genuinely interested in others people will sense this and will become more interested in you. Honestly, free yourself of the sales pitch because events are neither the time nor the place.

Focus your energy on talking about what others do and introducing people.  This will get you out of the frantic I need your business so here’s my elevator pitch – which feels so fake!  I mean think about it, how many people would say they didn’t need more business?  Exactly… we’re all in the same boat so let’s just chill and enjoy the journey and friends make the journey worth while.

Building friendships is just plain good business. We all prefer to do business with people whom we know, like, and trust.  When a client becomes a friend both parties are motivated to promote and do business with one another.  Through social media we have a free stage to promote one another and that my friend is the power of the network in action.  A network is the natural outcome of interconnected people and strongest when it’s based on friendships.  I say ditch the pitch and the networking – throw them right out the window and go out there and be real and meet some other real people.

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Posted by Onlee Bowden on February 7th, 2011 at 2:22pm

Let’s get right to right to the heart of the matter – there is only one truly compelling reason to take a public speaking class… it flat out it works

Public speaking has an unfair rep as a life-sucking experience that leaves you wishing you were the one in the casket instead of the one delivering the eulogy. (Okay not my joke, Jerry Seinfeld’s.) 

The thing is, public speaking is tragically misunderstood and feared leaving most of us just praying we don’t have to bump into it.  We believe at some deep level that we have to be BIGGER& BETTER than ourselves to stand up and talk, and this is simply not true!

Conventional thinking and teaching of public speaking often misses the most important mark which is we already have the skills inside us and we really don’t need to become some fake feeling other person

Public Speaking pulls from our most used and most effective CORE communication skills;  organization, thinking on our feet, letting go of distracting thoughts, and paying genuine attention to whom we’re speaking with is what we need to do every single day – for real relationships… REAL COMMUNICATION.

This is possible and within your reach… and here’s the kicker – when you’re stronger at your core, you’re just plain stronger overall.   


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