In addition to the Image Building Pyramid, Challenge Your Sphere of Influence offers more in-depth specialized training for the following professions:


Challenge Your Sphere of Influence offers current and aspiring corporate/business leaders with the tools needed to advance in their profession. We also help you execute a plan to maximize your employees’ performance

The Leader
Leaders should first assess their current mastery of the Image Pyramid elements and determine which ones they need to work on. From there, we work with you to customize a training program that matches your pyramid skills and the current or future job you want to hold. Our niche in the business and corporate world is focused on you as an individual, and how you can best present yourself as you aspire to enter the upper echelons of a business /company. There is an overwhelming amount of literature written on business and corporate leadership, so do not try to digest it all. We will help you select the material that most suits your needs. What we do for you is take your pyramid mastery and translate that into helping you successfully carry out the specific duties and responsibilities of your leadership role. We want to take you from where you are and accelerate your growth within the corporate/business bubble, and help you achieve your fullest potential. We are people experts. You are the corporate/business content expert. Remember, in this market, although there are more openings than people to fill them, those who will be selected will have an impressive volunteer background. Today, most businesses want employees who represent them 100%.

Maximizing Employees Performance
Without a doubt, at the top of every employer’s wish list is that each of their employee’s performance reaches the highest level. It is easy to trace the success of a company by the performance of its employees. There is one common thread across all companies and all employees that excel, and that is the ability of its employees to project a strong image, communicate effectively, and execute their responsibilities at the highest caliber. This thread is in effect in the business no matter how many employees or its product or service. Challenge Your Sphere of Influence will use proven techniques to sharpen employees focus and increase their ultimate level of performance. By helping your employees realize their Winning Image, you will see immediate positive results on your customers/clients. Let us help you design a plan for employee renewal that will transform your company from good to great and become a high performing business. You will be surprised at how improving individual employee performance will raise the collective output of the company. As an employee achieves a higher level in the Image Pyramid, that person can help other employees improve their performance. This cooperative work environment will help strengthen the entire organization.


Are you a current politician or anticipate entering the world of politics and seeking office? We are here to help you. In addition to stepping you through Your Image Building Pyramid, we will hone your image and communication skills to set you apart from the competition. The knowledge, skills, and abilities that we will address with you include the following:

Speaking Effectively to an Audience (Public Speaking)

To be successful in politics, you must be able to effectively communicate your ideas and political platform to audiences. It is often said that the only thing scarier than dying is giving a public speech. We at Challenge Your Sphere of Influence are here to tell you that giving a public speech is not only doable, but once you master its techniques, you will be impressed with how you are able to influence people in a large gathering. We will step you through the speech making process and equip you with the skills you will need to become a talented public speaker.

Successfully Communicating with One Person or a Small Group of People (Interpersonal Communication)

Interpersonal communication is defined as interaction with one person or a small group of people. It is the type of communication that you are most involved in daily. As a politician, your ability to effectively communicate with your constituents, or successfully argue your position with fellow politicians will determine how far you are able to go in your political career. It is important that you carefully think through your ideas, research relevant point-counter point positions, and gather the needed evidence to ensure that you carry the argument. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it successfully. However, you can prepare yourself, through acquisition of the necessary knowledge and command of the skills, to carry the conversation and win the argument. The most successful politicians were one-time high school and/or college debaters. We will help you develop basic debate skills to respond to your critics. In the Kennedy-Nixon debate, Nixon appeared ruffled with a coarse delivery, while Kennedy was well spoken and had a calm demeanor. Just as Kennedy’s handlers ensured that he was fit for prime time, we will help you to develop the basic skills to successfully respond to anyone.

Communicating with the Media

Whether communicating with a print journalist or broadcast journalist, knowing how to best present yourself will make the difference between coming across as a well liked and in charge politician, or an unprepared politician with a less than optimal image. There is a lot that goes into communicating with the media. However, by getting yourself ready, and participating in mock media dialogs, you will have the tools to successfully use the media as a platform for your candidacy or your ongoing political career. You will also learn how successfully navigate social media.

Collaborate on Writing and Delivering Powerful Speeches

Speaking just for the sake of speaking is purposeless and unproductive. All your speeches must be carefully written and targeted to the intended audience. Speaking off the cuff will not serve you well. Let us help you prepare your impactful message. Once the words are written, it is just as important to deliver them in such a way that they will have a powerful impact on the audience. Your public speaking skills are essential; however, tailoring your delivery to the message you are communicating and the audience you are speaking to will result in the greatest impact.

Issues and Research Analysis

No matter what type of communication you are involved in or who your audience will be, having a prepared message will contribute to a positive outcome. We can help you conduct the research and analysis, as well as teach you how to be an effective researcher. Just winging your speeches is not only risky but can lead to a lowering of your credibility and political image. Don’t chance it. Be prepared!

Cross Cultural Communication

One of the biggest mistakes that politicians make is believing that one message fits all audiences. In our very diverse society, successful politicians and effective communicators understand that knowing the cultural make-up of an audience can greatly improve how the speech is received. With that understood, messages can be prepared and delivered in such a way as to have the maximum impact on an audience. Failure to consider the cultural make up of who you are communicating with can lead to a missed opportunity of gaining valuable support. The lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity can turn off an important constituency.

We at Challenge Your Sphere of Influence look forward to helping you launch or advance your political career. How you are viewed, and your ability to effectively communicate your message, are the game changers you need in your politician’s toolbox.


Broadcast media talent typically are seen and heard daily. Audiences tend to be critical of how the person looks, what they say, and how they say it. The broadcast talent must also be able to elicit answers from people being interviewed and know how to maximize the desired responses without alienating the person. Challenge Your Sphere of Influence is prepared to take your talent as a broadcaster to the next level. Do not leave it up to chance, because taking a chance with your professional career is quite risky. As your coaches, we will help you master your delivery, present your best look, and become a talented interviewer. In addition to the Image Building Pyramid, the knowledge, skills, and abilities that we will address with you include the following:

Mastering Your Delivery

Delivering the news in a broadcast studio or on site in the community require different skill sets. You will learn how to use your voice, eye contact, nonverbal (facial expressions, gesturing) and movement to communicate your message most effectively. Using mock videotaped sessions, you will see for yourself how your delivery comes across. Together we will help you assess what communication techniques are working and which ones need refinement. Gender is a significant matter too. A women’s voice can sound shrill and weak. A man’s voice can sound domineering and loud. Just a little voice coaching will help eliminate the problem.

Presenting Your Best Look
How you look in person is not always the way you look on the TV screen. Choosing the right attire (to include color combinations, avoiding white), making the best make-up choices, and having an attractive hairstyle, will bring you into the viewers home where you will be warmly received as confident and credible.

Acquiring Effective Interviewing Techniques
Interviewing people in a news setting has some of the same characteristics of a job interview, but also some unique elements that must be considered. Proper use of the voice, eye contact, and gesturing is common to most interview situations. However, as a news interviewer, you will have some unique requirements that must be employed to effectively capture the true voice of the interviewee. Also, you want the interview to go smoothly, which requires putting the person you are interviewing at ease. We will help you with situations where the interviewee refuses to answer your questions. Ultimately, though, when the interview is over, the desired outcome is that the questions you asked were answered, and the audience who will watch the segment will be satisfied with what they saw and heard.

We look forward to being a part of your team. There is no need to go it alone. We will help you step up your game and compete at the highest level in the very competitive broadcast media industry.


.”sAs fellow educators, we have a great appreciation for the work of teachers and administrators in K-12 and higher education. Darlene served as a teacher and administrator at both the K-12 and higher education levels, while Dennis was a teacher and administrator at the higher education level. In those roles, they acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be passed on to prospective and current educators. Below are the areas that we consult on with educators.

Tips to Becoming a Teacher
We can help you realize if teaching is your best career option, and if it is, the path you should follow to becoming a teacher. The requirements for teaching at the K-12 level versus community colleges and four-year colleges and universities are different. Teaching in K-12 accredited educational institutions requires a bachelor’s degree. The grade level you desire to teach will have more specific expectations regarding your major and the number of credit hours. There are also differences across states. What we can do is help you understand where to look for what is required, and how to get connected with a teacher training program that matches your desired teaching field. It can often feel like a never-ending maze. We wish that when we were starting our college careers, we had better insight into what questions to ask, where to look for the answers, and the importance of researching our future profession and the educational requirements needed to get us there. Let us coach you through this challenging maze.

“I Have a Bachelor’s Degree and Would Like to Teach, but Did Not Go Through a Teacher Education Program”
It should be no surprise that sometimes during our career we change our focus and aspire to do something different. If that new job is teaching, we can help you understand what you would need to do to meet the teaching credential requirements of your state and the grade level and subject matter that you desire to teach. Alternative Teacher Certification Programs have been around for over 25 years, and can be your best avenue for becoming a certified teacher without having to go back through a traditional teacher education program. Some Alternative programs allow you to begin teaching while you are taking teacher education courses, while some also lead to your earning a master’s degree. In many school districts, an advanced degree can result in higher pay. Let us guide you so that you make the best decisions considering your individual circumstances. Often times small school districts are the best training ground for prospective teachers.

How Can I Become a Great Teacher
Would it not be wonderful if all teachers were born to be great teachers. Like with many aspects of our life, being good or great at something must be acquired through learning and experience. Let us use our vast education and experience to help you identify the characteristics of great teachers and guide you through the path that these best teachers took to reach the top of their profession. It is not an easy journey, but then again, anything that is worth something takes time and effort to achieve. We look forward to being your partner in your advancing to a higher level of teaching proficiency.

Should I Consider Becoming an Administrator?
If you aspire to become an administrator, and have a few years of successful teaching, we can help guide you. Teacher turnover is high, as is administrator turn over, so you are needed. Since we both served as administrators, we always hated hearing people say “if you cannot teach, become an administrator.” Sometimes the best teachers make the best administrators, but of course, not always. Taking a good teacher out of the classroom can have profound effects on students. It is unfortunate that at times the choice to become an administrator has to do with the salary, and not that your heart and passion is in the role of being an administrator. On the plus side, depending on the administrative position, you may be able to exert influence on the broader educational program, and be a strong supporter of teachers. There are many variables to consider before deciding to jump into an administrative position. We can help you sort through the pros and cons, allowing you to make an informed decision. Hopefully, through this deliberative process, the decision you make is one you can live with.

As an Educator, How Can I Best Help Students Succeed?
The level of education you plan to teach at does impact how you help students succeed. There are some common techniques that typically result in a higher level of student performance. For example, engaging students in activities, projects, etc., versus simply lecturing and reading to them, can create greater student interest, and lead to a higher level of student proficiency. It is not a one size fits all. As the teacher, your cadre of skills and experiences all contribute to how students will respond to your instruction. Also a factor in achieving success is the grade level and subject matter. We can work with you to isolate the student success tools that will work best for you.

Teaching is called a profession. However, it is a shame how we treat teachers, from the way we talk about them to the low salaries they receive. Though we cannot change the entire educational system, we can help you as an educator. Let’s have a conversation and determine what your current situation is and how we can help you move to the next level as an educator.


Law schools do an excellent job providing students with the knowledge they need to be good practitioners in the legal world. However, not all law school graduates possess the personal tools needed to be high performing attorneys. This is where Challenge Your Sphere of Influence comes in. First, we focus on the individual, assuring that he/she masters the stages of the Image Pyramid. With those skills in hand, we then customize a plan that ensures that each person has the ability to excel in their chosen legal specialty: trial attorney, corporate attorney, family attorney, tax lawyer, etc. An integral part of the training focuses on observing the lawyer in action and providing critiques that will be used to identify areas requiring improvement and those areas in which the individual is performing well.

For trial lawyers, there are companies that specialize in high level data analytics that help choose jurors during voir dire. At the end of the day, though, for most trial lawyers, a more simplified approach to assessing prospective jurors is analyzing who they are from their juror information form, combined with their nonverbal communication during voir dire. We can help you develop a matrix that will improve your juror selections.


If you are a current or aspiring professional actor, singer, athlete, published author or other celebrity, Challenge Your Sphere of Influence can offer you the tools to deal with a famous life. Your talent got you where you are. However, that talent does not necessarily ensure that you can optimally manage your daily life performance.

Your Image Pyramid (customized to you)

Your celebrity status requires that the steps in Your Image Pyramid be customized to who you are, what expectations you have, where you are with your non-celebrity image, and how we will work with you to create a specialized plan for developing your non-celebrity Image. Acting as someone else in a role, displaying your talents as a singer, athlete, writer, or other celebrity, does not easily transfer into how you lead your personal life. Outside of your star status, your personal actions, communication, and the way you present yourself, will influence how people view your celebrity status. At Challenge Your Sphere of Influence, we are ready to enhance your personal persona so it will complement your celebrity persona.

Your fan base and the public might be surprised to learn that the high level of confidence you portray while “in” your celebrity persona may not transfer into your real-life persona. Our educational training and years of experience working with people who are being held back by a low level of personal confidence has positioned us the assess your confidence level, and work with you to elevate it to a high achieving level. Everything in the Image Pyramid is important to creating Your Winning Image. To increase your confidence, you will need to have a more desirable image, which you will acquire through mastery of the Pyramid. Let us be your partner in helping you gain the critically important level of confidence that will lead you to many life successes outside your celebrity status. Greta Garbo, 1930s film star and purported Swedish and British spy during World War I, famously said “I just want to be left alone” in the 1932 film Grand Hotel. She learned to overcome social anxiety and a fear of crowds, said author Donna Rifkind. Whatever might be holding you back can be identified, and a plan developed to help you overcome it.

Scripting Your Non-Celebrity Life
Outside the role you play as a celebrity, you must script how to lead your life. Speaking someone else’s words, singing lyrics written to entertain and provoke emotions, exhibiting athletic talent on the field, course, track, or other venue, and writing words to be read by adoring fans, does not directly translate to your personal life’s script. To have balance in your professional and personal lives, you must think through what a scripted personal life looks like. We at Challenge Your Sphere of Influence are not film/TV, music, sports, or author critics. We are, though, highly proficient in helping people manage their personal lives. Let us be your co-authors in scripting a highly successful non-celebrity life

Dealing with the Media
Whether communicating with a print journalist or broadcast journalist, knowing how to best present yourself will make the difference between coming across as a well-liked and in charge person, or an unprepared celebrity with a less than optimal personal (outside you celebrity) image. There is a lot that goes into communicating with the media. However, by getting yourself ready, and participating in mock media dialogs, you will have the tools to successfully use the media as a platform that personifies both your celebrity image as well as your personal image. You will also learn how to successfully navigate social media.

Your Significant Other, Spouse and Children
Oftentimes celebrity’s’ significant other, spouse and children are, by virtue of the relationship to the celebrity, thrust into the limelight and expected to perform at the same high level as their famous partner, spouse, or parent. Preparing those close to you is just as important as preparing you for what your celebrity status brings into your life. We begin by ensuring mastery of their Image Pyramid. This will go a long way toward ensuring that they have the right tools in their image and performance toolbox. At the high level of scrutiny and intrusiveness celebrities face, building confidence becomes an even greater importance for those connected to them. Of course, effective communication and dealing with the media are critical skills that one must possess, even though they may not be the celebrity. Their actions and words reflect on how the celebrity is viewed. As much as you want to shield those close to you from the outside world, the world outside will invariably invade your private life. Consequently, those close to you must be prepared to successfully deal with what they will confront. Let us help prepare them to deal with the reality of your celebrity status.


Holding a small event or a large event and needing someone to serve as the Master of Ceremony (MC)? Then look no further. Drs. Darlene and Dennis Brown have many years of experience in leading meetings and events. We would be happy to discuss with you what you are planning, our ideas for how the MC can best facilitate the event, and what you can expect from our professional facilitation services. Listed below are a few of the event types that we facilitate. However, depending on what you are wanting to do, let’s discuss it and see if we are right for your event.

  • Fund Raisers

  • Employee Celebrations

  • Strategic Planning Sessions

  • Corporate Announcements

  • Award Ceremonies

  • Graduations

  • Weddings, Anniversaries, Quinceaneras

  • Other Celebratory Events

  • Another Type of Event-Let’s Talk

Whether your event is a back yard wedding or a ballroom of convention goers, what is said is very important. We will customize the Master of Ceremony to meet the purpose of the occasion and the message that you want communicated.