It’s In The Presentation!

Culinary Presentation

The above photo is spot on! Most people would choose the dish on the right. How much extra effort did it take to construct the one on the right?

ANSWER: Not much!

I draw three powerful lessons here:

1. Presentation is important

  • Makes your product/service seem more valuable
  • Makes your customer think highly of you
  • Makes you look credible

2. It is very easy to do – a small reorganization of the same ingredients (data) is all it takes (as you see in the photo).

  • It’s not revolutionary changes, it is small improvements that make the difference (e.g. are you starting strong?, are you passionate?, are you engaging?)!

3. First impressions do matter

  • When you hear, “That doesn’t look very good”, what are they chances they will try it?
  • Professional speakers and trainers have long asserted that people make up their minds about people they meet for the first time within two minutes (It is actually less than that according to the book, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell).

How can you step up your presentation game (client meetings, relationships, business meetings, etc.)? When was the last time you took a class or asked for feedback on the way you look, talk, and engage?

Stop being normal and start being gourmet!

(Hint: Anyone can do it!)
Drew Patterson, MBA



I recently took a two-week hiatus from working out. In the past, I would bike, run, and go to the gym 3-4 times a week. Last Thursday, I finally returned to running. Upon commencing the run, my motivation and stamina were severely lacking. I told myself, “Just keep going, and it will eventually be ok.” While this positive-self-talk was somewhat encouraging, I was nonetheless physically suffering! I thought to myself, “This is what aging feels like. It sucks!” I did not have the recovery that I had ten, or even five years ago.

I am, however, always aiming to find a lesson or positive outcome from most situations. So, after having reflected upon this less than encouraging physical activity, I told myself I had to gain something. The lesson here is that starting is often the hardest part. But, it’s not the whole story. I also learned that consistency is key. Three workouts in, I’m feeling great, and now I have the momentum and mindset to keep going.



Drew Patterson, MBA

Give Thanks

As my three day weekend comes to an end, I have a lot to be thankful for; my beautiful fiancé, family, friends, and being able to spend quality time with all of them.

There is a lesson to be learned here. Our daily lives and workloads can be awfully stressful, and can put a strain on relationships. It is important to unwind and spend quality time with our loved ones so we can grow those relationships and refocus ourselves for the future..

Drew Patterson, MBA

Visiting Berney Falls in California 5/25/14

Visiting Berney Falls in California 5/25/14

Eat the Frog

If you’re scratching your head at the title of this post, it’s likely because you have not read the book by Brian Tracy titled, unsurprisingly, Eat that Frog! The concept of eating said amphibian is simple: if we tackle the hardest task first thing every day, the rest of the day will be much more relaxed, fun, and we will accomplish a lot more. After implementing this practice in my life, I have come to notice the rewarding results.

Even on the weekends, the first thing I do is tackle my workout. If I don’t do it in the morning I will likely talk myself out of it later in the day! Once my workout is done I can look forward to spending relaxing time with my fiancé and Sheila(my dog).

Another benefit of eating the frog is that you’ll reduce the likelihood of things blowing up in your face. You know the old saying — “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Well, think of “eating the frog” as your prevention. Get your oil changed on your lunch break and avoid car trouble next month. Call that challenging client this morning and you won’t have to worry about an angry call later this week. Clean your house before leaving for the weekend and avoid a headache come Sunday night…. Get the idea?

You can apply this to every aspect of your life. I promise you will get more done and be happier knowing that the difficult things are over. Give it a try! I leave a fake frog on my desk at home to remind me to implement this concept into my daily life.


Drew Patterson, MBA


Time is an interesting thing.  One thing stands true no matter what — we all have a finite amount of time.

Spiral Time


Recently, I have been thinking about all the things I do every day: brushing my teeth, taking out the trash, commuting to work, going online, etc. I realized how much time these activities take out of my day and asked myself, why do I do them in the first place? Some things need to be done, of course. But, there is a lot that you can eliminate.

I came up with two solutions:

1.)    Stop doing all the activities you don’t want to do, if at all possible. You don’t have to visit all of your friends. You don’t have to go to the store every week.

2.)    Combine activities. For example, I listen to audiobooks when I walk my dog.

Even if you just think about all the things you do, you are making a step to get more done and have more time doing the things you enjoy!

Drew Patterson, MBA

Bad Filler Words

Two filler words I hear A LOT that take away from conversations:

“obviously” and “um”

“Obviously” can be used in many ways. I think it can be used well in a humorous conversation. However, when you are speaking to someone that you do not have an established relationship with, this word obviously can come across as condescending and assumptive. What if instead you ask a question to see if they do know? Or simply  ask “does that make sense?”

My main concern with obviously is what if it is not so obvious? How would the other person feel?

And, rid yourself of the word “um”. I realize that eliminating a filler word like “um” (or its cousins “uh,”  “ya know,”  and “like”) is easier said than done. People naturally use filler words to not only to fill pauses conversations, but also to help us sort out we are going to say next (source: However, excessive use of filler words make you come across as unsure of yourself, unconvincing, and at worst, annoying! Keep in mind that taking a pause in your speech can be positive: Pauses drives home important points, suggest confidence, and help speakers gain respect!

One of the best ways to become a better speaker is to be more conscious of your speaking and record yourself! It is not just um and obviously. You might notice you say other words that don’t add any value to your conversations.

Remember, say less to say more!

Drew Patterson, MBA

Too Many Choices II (response)

As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to list a few things that I do, (based on experience and mentors) that you can try, too:

1.)    Simplify your life, give yourself less choices!

2.)    When choosing something, go with your initial gut feeling.

3.)    After you make a choice, own it and be “good” with it.

Yes, certain choices in life are not that simple. However, you would be amazed how living in the moment will bring you more happiness and fulfillment than a 1000 choices.

Drew Patterson, MBA

choose gut feeling

Yes or No?