In recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to interview several Christian publishers. Today, I have the opportunity to introduce you to JoJoTabares of Art of Eloquence and Communication Comedy Network.
Many of you may know her from Grace Talk Soup and Communication FUNdamentals. She is starting a new program called Communication Comedy Network. I listened to her podcast last week, and I plan on working it into my schedule each week. I love that I can listen live, or I can listen later in the day as time permits. The regular scheduled programming is on Thursday mornings.
JoJo, please tell my readers what made you so passionate about communication.
I was a painfully shy child who was always the new kid on the block because every time my father’s company needed a volunteer to uproot his family and take them on a new adventure, my dad’s hand went up! And it was an advanture, too! But as a shy child, I often had trouble making friends. As the new kid, I didn’t even have a history in common with my new friends. I was also kind of a nerd and what they used to call a “goody two shoes.” I really didn’t fit in with many of my new friends. Those factors combined made for an incredibly lonely young lady. I just thought shyness was part of my personality. I was wrong. Through a series of fortunate events in college, I discovered that I was merely untrained in the art of eloquence when it came to social situations. Once I began taking communication classes, I realized that shyness was NOT part of my personality and that I was actually a gregarious goofball who enjoyed socializing and storytelling. I realized that what the ‘beautiful people’ or the popular kids had that I didn’t in high school wasn’t a magic formula or charisma. It was the confidence and knowledge in social situations. That prompted me to want to help others avoid the pain and loneliness I felt as a child.
I raised my children to understand social communication from a very young age. I watched in amazement at the things my children were able to accomplish at such a young age because they had these skills I didn’t until I was an adult.
After I began homeschooling a fellow mom asked me to teach a communication course out of my home that would help her painfully shy daughter. I remembered back to my days as a shy child and knew that a traditional speech course would intimidate the begeebers outta her! It would me at that age! So I began to search for a speech curricula that was creative and fun and taught from a Christian perspective. I found some that were Christian based, but they looked like something that would send those begeebers running for cover! I had been writing since I was 9 years old so I figured I could write my own curricula making it fun and thereby taking the begeeber scaring factor away. Before the books were back from the printer, my class was full and I had parents literally waiting on my doorstep to see if the book was ready for purchase!
I hadn’t thought about selling it, but God opened a door and there seemed a huge need! I started with one general study on basic communication skills, which is now called Say What You Mean for Teens. I soon was asked to create all sorts of communication studies for various ages and situations. Art of Eloquence has studies for all ages including adults. We have studies on speech, conversational topics, defending the faith, leadership and even online audio classes!
I enjoyed reading all the quotes along the side of your blog. Where do you find these gems?
I have collected them for years. I find many of them as I read through God’s Word. I subscribe to various internet newsletters and sites. Some of them come from my podcast listeners or my blog readers or my customers!
Foot-in-Mouth Man (FIMM) is one of my favorite characters. What was your inspiration for him?
Everyone has stuck their foot firmly in their mouth at some time in their lives. FIMM is all of us rolled into one misunderstood character. FIMM sticks his foot in his mouth so often he has Athlete’s Tongue! He makes communication mistakes so you don’t have to. He’s fun to laugh at because he’s not a real person. Ooops! Did I write that out loud? LOL
Please tell my readers what is new at Art of Eloquence?
Well, my podcast is brand new! My co host left the show and I heard the Lord direct met to recreate it in a really fun way. It’s going to be called CCN: The Communication Comedy Network. The network will feature various shows that teach real communication issues in a really funny way. I’ll play all of the characters that host each of about 3 shows per week on the network. I’m going to have a news show with various reporters who report obscure news items that reveal some communication insight. There will be a cable show with a professor who teaches words and grammar. And there will be the main part of each week which will mainly be a talk show. The Talk Talk Show where I play myself as the host. I’ll ask a question of my audience and have an open discussion about experiences as I share tips for better communication in that area. Sometimes the Talk Show will be preempted by an infomercial or a Game Show like a Spelling Bee. Each show is designed to share some insights in a humorous way about communication skills that will be engaging for all ages!
JoJo, thank you for taking the time for this interview. I have enjoyed getting to know you better. And I am sure my readers have enjoyed learning more about you. And I encourage them to tune in tomorrow for your podcast. I know I will be tuning in!