Elizabeth Macdonald

The Verbal Edge provides business professionals with skills that transform how they communicate.

As a communication skills adviser and owner of The Verbal Edge, I get to do what I love: equip individuals and teams to speak, write, present professionally, confidently, and positively.

Typically, my clients are good communicators who want to be even better. They value communication skills and the advantages—personal and professional that result from communicating professionally.

I customize my consultations and workshops to the needs and desired results my clients and I identify. We accomplish that by partnering, collaborating, and brainstorming.

Some of the most-requested topics are:

• Communicating to engage: confidently, clearly, positively, succinctly, professionally.

• Effectively presenting to small and large groups

• Advanced networking

• Professional email writing and formatting

• Speaking and writing with confidence and accuracy (Includes achieving grammar excellence and cultivating a professional vocabulary)

• Customer-focused customer service

• Responding with respect and diplomacy. Dealing assertively with difficult people

• Accomplishing successful TV or Skype guest appearances/interviews

Located in the Tampa Bay area and Fort Wayne, Indiana, we serve individuals and corporations worldwide.

Tell us about your background of your business and yourself.

I draw from my skills from previous careers:

· TV anchor, host, reporter and producer

· Marketing/communications specialist for a school district

· High school English teacher

Add to that 8 years of creating and presenting workshops that are all customized: I do that by collaborating with individuals or corporation leaders to create client-tailored curricula focusing on what that staff or team want to achieve.

As a little girl, I knew that words—the right words—had power. I also knew I was a long way from being someone with an on-demand vocabulary. So, beginning when I was in college, I started buying and studying vocabulary-building books.

Even though people described me as a good communicator, I was still not satisfied. In spite of my self-assessment, I took a risk and applied to San Francisco State University’s graduate school to pursue the dream I’ve had since I was 3 years old: broadcasting.

I was accepted and two years later, after three rounds of auditions with 80 other people, I got my first job: co-hosting and producing an evening TV show called PM Magazine. After that, I hosted and produced a live show and then I transitioned from feature shows to news.

Throughout that wonderfully-challenging time of hosting, reporting, anchoring, writing scripts, emceeing, and living my dream, I was still aware of what my communication skills COULD be. As I look back, I was searching for someone like me to identify my challenges and teach me the skills I needed.

I did experience a huge step closer to being a confident wordsmith when, a few years later, I switched from reporting on education to being an educator myself. I had the privilege of teaching high school English to sophomores, and got to experience what so many adults wish they could: the opportunity to relearn—or learn for the first time—grammar rules, writing, and to create my own vocabulary-building curriculum. My students embraced it without even realizing it. The junior and senior teachers continually told me they could tell who had me as their English teacher by their vocabulary, grammar and writing.

The catalyst for The Verbal Edge was a phone call from a friend who was the general manager of a radio station. She asked if I could work with one of the on-air personalities. His grammar, word choices, and delivery needed to be bumped up several notches. She asked if that was something I could do. At that instant, I experienced my hedgehog, as defined by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. My sweet spot. It all came together and I said, Yes!”