A shy, middle child, Merri preferred listening to speaking. Her introverted communication style often made her feel incapable or not quite good enough. Encouraged by high school teachers who helped her find her voice, Merri soon realized her nervousness with speaking wasn’t noticeable to others. As she spoke about things meaningful to her, her passion showed up, her poise developed and her motivation for balancing speaking with listening grew.
Merri’s turning point hinged on two things:
- encouragement from others, which an introvert needs
- awareness of 4 communication styles, which taught her there is no single perfect style, but she and others who doubt their abilities all have something to offer those around them
A self-proclaimed introvert and practicing extrovert,
Merri has come to conclusions about how to push herself out of her comfort zone to honor what is important to her and helping others achieve what is important to them (power? pride? pleasure? peace of mind?)
Her mission of helping attorneys and other introverted speakers speak with confidence arose from her own discovery of how she and others get in their own way (create barriers) in every day communication.
Using elements of the DISC communication style profile, her own background in theater performance and her
coaching and teaching background (HS teacher from 1984-2000), Merri helps clients discover their communication strengths and break down barriers to use them for business development, leadership
and influence with listeners as well as for rebooting their own confidence.
By day Merri coaches attorneys in public speaking and communication strategies.
She is an introvert. 64% of lawyers can relate to this temperament.
Although she understands the desire to plan ahead, to avoid self-promotion and to minimize over-stimulation, she knows the power of responding in the moment, voicing one’s personal value, and sharing novel ideas. She helps her clients break down barriers to accomplish this, whether they are introvert, extrovert or ambivert. How? She starts by encouraging them in their natural communication skills.
She is an educator. Attorneys consistently research and interpret.
Merri values depth of study and preparation yet understands the audience needs to understand their own communication style before they can confidently share a clear, honed, relevant message. She helps her clients break down barriers to stay true to what’s important to them while also helping them connect to influence others’ actions and feelings.Graduate of Bowling Green State University, teacher of speech/theatre for 16 years, trainer of the Certified Networker program for 4 years, and trained in adult learning
She is a performer, like the attorney, who needs to get things done. The professional’s ability to shift from anxiety to enthusiasm, when all eyes are on them, is the mark of true performance.
Trained as both a director and performer, Merri helps lawyers relax into the challenging circumstances of having the spotlight on them, of sharing constructive feedback, and of motivating action. Merri workshops and coaches her clients in authentic delivery, full-body expression and best use of voice to perform for best results.
Gregg Goldston School of Mime at Gambier College/Kenyon University; National Shakespeare Conservatory
By night Merri is a singer in a band and a pyromaniac.
Many evenings and weekends Merri builds fires in her wood-burning fireplace to relax and decompress, yet also gets energized by its force. She also rehearses and/or sings with a Toledo-based band, Someone’s Daughter which taps her creative side and keeps her feeling whole. These roles extend Merri’s ability to consistently spark fires that last and perform well when outside her comfort zone. Not only do these things help Merri, they help her relate to her clients.
Columbus Bar Association
Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Ohio Supreme Court
Individual managing partners, firm partners, litigators, leadership teams, associates, new lawyers, interns, paralegals, job seekers, entrepreneurs
Other introvert public speakers