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Speak Well Being

Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

For Your Well Being: The Voice in the GPS

May 17, 2012, Vol. 10, Issue 9

Dear Friends,

I know that every one of you is looking for the formula that will bring out the women in your community, attract people to your conference, and maximize your efforts on behalf of your organization and your sponsors. A familiar “hook” can be just the ticket — someone that everyone can relate to, someone with a familiar voice . . .

Now even if you don’t own a car with a GPS,  you’ve most likely been in one that does, and heard that re-assuring, affirming, and sometimes irritating voice, that says either, “Recalculating,” or “You have reached your destination” . . . and  many instructions in-between. That familiar voice turns out to be a remarkable speaker with important things to say. Who knew?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Karen Jacobsen, the woman Karen Jacobsen, the GPS Girlbehind the voice of “Australian Karen” in GPS units worldwide, in New York City. She’s heard all kinds of fun, crazy, even poignant stories from people just like you, about the conversations and – need we mention? –  arguments, that occur as a result of her directions. And she has her own powerful story about how she navigated her journey from Australia to America.


Karen Jacobsen, The GPS Girl®
Road Map for Your Future

Karen grew up in Mackay, near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef,  and established herself as a professional singer in Sydney before she followed her dream, took a leap of faith, and moved to New York City ten years ago to seek her fame and fortune. Her singing career took an unexpected twist when she was hired for a 50-hour voice-over job. The result was a voice system called “Australian Karen,” now in over 25 million GPS units in four major brands all around the world.

You could say she specializes in telling people where to go.

Karen Jacobsen, the GPS GirlShe found that people were fascinated with her voice. She was being asked to demonstrate those calm and consistent directions in person, and so, in addition to her music performances, she began accepting invitations to speak. Passionate about creating the life she loves, she made the connection between directions in cars and directions in life, and claimed her identity as “The GPS Girl.”  She began sharing her story about how she overcame chronic insecurity and navigated her way from the Great Barrier Reef to the Big Apple, to inspire others to create their own road maps to their futures.

When Karen takes the stage, there is no question that she is in the driver’s seat. “The GPS Girl” gives great tips in a fun and accessible way on how to Put Yourself In the Driver’s Seat by using road rules and directions as an analogy for business and life. Her book The GPS Girl’s Road Map for Your Future shows how to move from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat, to learn to listen to your Inner GPS, and to recalculate at any time in life, just as we do when driving.

It all starts with planning a dream future. “We aren’t very good at creating a road map because we hardly ever do it,” Karen says. “Choosing college classes, planning a wedding and preparing for the arrival of a baby are some of the obvious experiences when we really prepare. We know our destination and we start making decisions. When else in life do we write out our goals and plot our glorious future? It’s such a simple step and one many of us manage to avoid.”

And while it’s important to have a plan, Karen is just as adamant about the importance of recalculating. “Life is one big recalculation. We have a plan, but that plan changes all the time. When we hear the word “Recalculating” from the GPS when we are driving, there may be a moment of irritation, or we may even make ourselves wrong for being off route,” she says. “Recalculating is good news! It means you are now back on track. The word recalculating is supposed to bring comfort. It is designed to give us reassurance. Think of it as an opportunity for a do-over.”

The GPS Girl writes, sings and speaks to groups who want to inspire the best in their people and create roadmaps for their futures.  This applies to any business, for any type of program. She even told me she’d used it in a healthcare setting — creating a road map for wellness. She brings not only her powerful message to your group, but can provide the entire theme for your conference. Start imagining the possibilities of this theme, and give me a call at 503-699-5031 or email me, and we can start exploring!


Meet Me in Grand Central Station

Our meeting was one of those serendipitous occasions that makes life sing. A couple of issues ago, I shared an interview with me that was published in Speaker Magazine, the official magazine for the National Speakers Association. A coach whom Karen is working with saw the article, and called her right away as he thought she’d be a perfect speaker for The Speak Well Being Group. Karen in turn called me, and I think she just about fell out of her chair when I said, “Oh, you’re in New York City? I’m going through there in a couple of weeks — maybe we can meet.”  And so we did.

On my way home from a conference in Stamford, I took the train to Grand Central Station, and she met me under the clock. How fun is that? We went across the street and had tea, and a couple of hours went by in a flash as we laughed, exchanged stories and shared ideas.

The conference I was at was a business development program I’m in, and I had hit a wall during the 3 days of intense seminars. I had felt overwhelmed by demands being made on my time that didn’t make me feel happy or productive, let alone healthy. In fact, they had become so overpowering that I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in the business — not exactly what I expected from a business development program.  But meeting with Karen was a powerful experience; she re-ignited my spirit. Oh yes, I remembered — this is what I love about this business — these fascinating people I meet and get to promote and the happy clients and audiences. This is what makes my heart sing and my spirit soar — not the drudgery of website updates and database upkeep. I felt happy and elated as I headed for the airport. And all the way home, I had openings and revelations about off-loading the taxing items on my agenda, so that I could get back to doing what I love. I think it’s called, “Recalculating.”

Does anything in your life need recalculating? I can recommend Karen’s approach. It works for audiences as well as for individuals. Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.

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