How to Recover From A Bad First Impression

Patti was interviewed by the Toronto Sun on how to recover from a bad first impression.  Read her tips below!

You Blew It! Now What?
How to Recover From
A Bad First Impression
Special to Postmedia Network

Your gut tells you that you messed up, but you don’t get
a second chance at making a good first impression right?

Well, possibly you do but you must go in prepared. A
recovery mission to alter an initial perception requires

According to experts, if you’ve made a bad first
impression, people then search for behaviors that
backup their initial perception, and ignore information
that conflicts with what they already believe. Beliefs stick
and may limit opportunities in many areas of life.

According to body language expert Patti Wood,
( first impressions are made within seconds
and it can take up to six months of continuous face-to-
face interaction to change an incorrect first impression.
First impressions are stubborn, social psychologist Heidi
Grant Halvorson tells Business Insider. “And they can
Sometimes be way, way off.” If you’ve stumbled, here’s how
 to recover and make a great impression — the second
time around!
Set a new intention, recommends
Patti Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First
Impressions, Body Language and Charisma. Think of the
new impression you want to send. Anchor it with a specific
set of behaviors you will do at a specific time.
“Let’s say you are seen as overly critical in meetings so
at each meeting you set the intention: I will give one piece
of praise by midway in each meeting and smile and look
at the person or group as I say it,” says Wood.
Provide the perceiver with abundant evidence that they
are dead wrong about you, suggests Grant Halvorson in
Business Insider.
Repeat your evidence behavior over and over.
Piling it on will need to go on for quite
some time. Adds Wood: “If you want to change your
impression you will have to give your better impression
over and over and again to build trust. Don’t be discouraged.
Keep trying. Your consistent positive behavior
will nurture a more accurate healthy impression and long
lasting healthy relationships.”

Show a different, better side
of your personality to help reshape perception, recommends
Wood. “If you come across as gruff, turn and show
your sense of humor. If you come across a cold, show your
warmth — perhaps by showing the way you are a good listener
by leaning forward, paying attention. “If you come across as critical,
show you are actually a positive person who notices
good things by making a comment about a great movie you
just saw or giving a concrete piece of praise,” says Wood.


Interact in a different place.

“Research on first impressions
says they are more likely to change if the person sees you
in a different environment,” says Wood, so if the blunder
happened in a meeting room, stop and chat in the hall or
break room. “If you interact every day in the office, go out
with the office staff to lunch. Mix your environments.”
Watch and listen to yourself. Wood says to use your
phone to audio or video tape yourself to see what it is
you are doing that sets a bad impression. “Then watch the
tape and write out the behaviors or have someone else
listen to or look at the tapes and give you feedback.”
Check in at the start and end of interactions.

Be aware of your first and lasts
The first thing and last thing you do in an interaction has the greatest
impact on your impression, says Wood, so be sure to take
note of what you’re doing and make adjustments in your
behavior at those times.

Ask for a do-over
Consider a do-over. If you really messed up and are
committed to reversing that bad first impression, then
apologize and start over. Be profuse and gracious with
your apology, recommends Vicky Oliver, author of 301
Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions. This must be
done with integrity to work, adds Wood. You must sincerely
wish to improve how you are. “A very brave way to change
a bad first impression is to ask for a do-over then ask that very person to tell you the
one small behavior you can change to begin to heal and
change their impression of you.,” says Wood.

“A very brave way to change a
bad first impression is to ask that very
person to tell you the one small
behavior you can change to begin
to heal and change their
impression of you.”
Patti Wood

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

Body Language of Leaders of China and Japan

Notice the body language, the sour downward looks in the leader of China (Xi Jinping) and leader of Japan (Shinzo Abe) Also notice how they pull away from each other in the photo below.

The leaders of China (Xi Jinping) and Japan (Shinzo Abe) held an ice-breaking summit this morning, after two years of dangerous animosity.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

Verbal and Body Language Signs You're Neglecting Your Husband, Your Husband is Unhappy and or is Mad at You, and May Want to Leave You

Verbal and Body Language Signs You're Neglecting Your Husband, Your Husband is Unhappy and or is Mad at You, and May Want to Leave You
By Patti Wood MA, CSP
Author of
SNAP Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma

He does not spend time with you
He does not want to be in the same room
He does not want to have meals with you
He is always tired
He picks silly fights and complains about small things
He makes you wait. Time is an important non-verbal communicator. If he keeps you waiting, it's a sign his interest is waning and a sign of disrespect. This is true for dates as well. If he starts waiting until the very last minute to make date plans with you, it's likely he's lost interest, or he's hoping something better will come along and he's using you as a back-up.
He declines sex and intimacy. There is a dramatic change in sexual behavior.  This can mean two things: (1) He wants to avoid any situation where he might have to express emotion or attachment to you, or (2) He's getting it somewhere else.

Here are some specific nonverbal behaviors.

Feet Behavior

He points his feet away from you. The feet are the most honest portion of the body.  Look at your sweetie's feet when you are out with other people. If they are pointed at you, great. If they're pointed at someone else, your partner may be looking to walk.

Eye Behavior

1. Avoids making eye contact with you despite the fact that you are looking directly at him.

2. He knows that you are looking at him instead tries to make eye contact with someone else, look at the ceiling or to another point in the room.

3. Stares at you with dead eyes and the corners of his mouth turned downward with compressed lips.
4. Stares at you with a sneer - the corners of his mouth twisted and his nose wrinkled.

5. Turns his head and looks away while you are speaking.

6. Shakes his head, rolls eyes or yawns.

Body Behavior

1. Thrusts one or both hands into the pockets of his pants when talking to you.

2. Places his arms and hands against the chest and inserted the hands through the gaps made near the armpits.

3. Whether he’s sitting or standing, he keeps his legs closed tightly together or very far apart.

4. Leans back in his chair positioning himself at a distance from you.

5. He does not mirror you and or you notice you’re mirroring his negative body language. People mirror each other's body language when they are in love with similar gestures, voice volume, etc. If you're noticing the two of you are out of sync, you probably are. That's not all.

6. He closes his body windows. When a sweetie is unhappy they will display a lack of open "windows" towards you. "Windows" being his heart, eyes, neck and palms. If your man turns his heart (the center of his chest) away from you as you are talking to each other.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

10 Relaxation Tips for Kids

Wouldn’t it be great if you had learned effective ways to relax and calm your anger when you were a kid? Here are 10 relaxation tips for kids that I just read on a babysitting website. Read them, post them, and have them on your phone so you can teach your children techniques they can really use!
10 Relaxation Techniques for Kids

While it may seem unnatural for children to experience stress, many children actually do have high levels of stress.  Children are worried about doing well in school, winning sports games, pleasing their parents and fitting in with their friends.  As most adults know, living up to others expectations can be very stressful.
If you find your child is experiencing stress, here are some relaxation techniques that you can try with him.

  1. Deep breathing.  The convenient thing about this technique is that it can be done at anytime, anywhere.  Have your child close his eyes and take a deep breath in through his nose and fill his tummy with air.  Do this step slowly and then blow the air out of his mouth all at once.  Sometimes having him think about breathing in the good and blowing out the bad will also help to relax him. 
  2. Visualization.  Visualization can provide a vacation from the mind. The first couple of times you can help your child do this technique, and then after some practice she should be able to do it herself.  Have her sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close her eyes.  Ask her to picture herself in her favorite vacation spot.  Is it on a boat or at the beach?  Wherever it is help her intensify her visualization by asking her if she can feel the wind on her skin or the spray of the waves hitting her face.  Then move on to her sense of smell and ask her if she can smell the sea water or the flowers nearby.  Move on to her sense of hearing and ask her to listen for the sea gulls or the laughter of other children.  Once you’ve made it through all of the senses let her stay in that visualization for a few minutes as she releases stress.    
  3. Exercising.  The freedom of running causes your body to release endorphins that flood your brain and make you feel better.  Sometimes exercise can help clear his mind and reduce his stress levels.  Making a habit of regularly exercising will help him learn to cope better with stress. 
  4. Listening to calming music.  Music can be naturally relaxing. The human body is an amazing thing, and often our moods will adapt to the type of music we’re listening to.  If she listens to loud angry music she may begin to feel angry and stressed. If she listens to soft calming music it will lower her heart rate and drop her blood pressure.  These things will help relax her overall and can even be used to help her fall asleep at night.  If she’s using music as a sleep aid try to avoid music with lyrics or use the same one over and over so that she doesn’t listen to the words.   
  5. Laughter. Laughter is one of the biggest stress relievers for both adults and kids alike.  Read a joke book with him or take him to a really funny movie.  Watch a comedy on TV.  Tickle him.  Anything to get him to laugh.  The longer he laughs the more tension he will release.
  6. Meditation or prayer. Meditation or prayer is very relaxingBy removing herself from distractions and sitting or lying in a comfortable spot she can begin to meditate or pray.  Meditation requires that she closes her eyes, clears her mind, and focuses on her breathing.  Prayer can be done with her eyes closed, and as she is talking to God she can unload her burdens.  Either method she chooses will have a relaxing effect on her.
  7. Massage. Massages will help kids relax.  While this isn’t the time for a deep tissue rub down, a relaxing massage is done with soft hands and a tender touch.  Gently squeeze the shoulders to release the tension that sits there.  Rub his scalp and as it becomes looser any tension headache should ease.  If no one is available to give him a massage have him rub his own feet.  This self-massage will encourage blood flow and help manage stress.
  8. Release muscles. A muscle relaxation technique will help loosen tight muscles.  Have her lay down on her back on the floor or bed.  No pillow should be used during this exercise.  Tell her to close her eyes and scrunch her toes as tight as she can and have her hold that for 20 seconds if she can and then relax her feet.  Continue having her tense her calves and hold it for 20 seconds and then relax her calves.  Moving muscle group by muscle group continue up the body to the head.  Once she has scrunched her face and then relaxed tell her to imagine that she is a sponge and just let her lie like that for a while.
  9. Mindful walking. The mindful walking technique is an easy one to teach to kids.  Start this technique by sitting down on the floor with your child.  Have him close his eyes and concentrate on his breathing for a few minutes.  As soon as he is calm have him stand up and start walking around the room.  Have him concentrate on his feet.  How they bend and how they touch the floor and roll off the floor.  First one foot and then the other foot.  Continue to walk mindfully for 10 minutes.
  10. Cuddling. Cuddling with a parent or pet will reduce stress.  Just petting a pet can relieve stress and improve a person’s mood.  It’s hard to be upset when a pet is cuddling with you, believes Richard Timmons DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine).  If you don’t have a pet then cuddling with a parent or caregiver can be just as soothing. 

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

How to Yell at Your Child Less

Yell at Your Child Less
Last week I spoke at the Parent Teachers Association of the International School and when I ran across this article today I thought parents would find it interesting if they need ways to deal with difficult children. 
                                                          How to Talk More, Yell Less
April 11th, 2013 by admin
Caring for children, whether you’re a parent or a professional, requires an indefatigable well of patience. While losing that patience from time to time is both normal and natural, it can still leave you plagued with guilt and doubts about your ability to nurture the little ones under your care. Learning how to talk to your children more and to yell at them less may not eliminate those moments of lost control altogether, but they can make a difference in the way you communicate as a whole.
Take Care of Yourself
Managing the busy schedules of everyone in your household, staying on top of the chores required to run that household properly and making sure that everyone is fed on a regular basis doesn’t leave much time for parental pampering, but caring for yourself is an essential part of caring for your children. When you’re struggling with your own fatigue and are feeling hungry, stressed or overwhelmed, your patience is the first thing to go. Make sure that you carve out a bit of time for yourself over the course of the day, even if it’s just a few minutes. You’ll find that you’re better equipped to handle situations as they arise, and less likely to resort to raised voices when you reach the end of your proverbial rope.
Be Prepared
Embarking on a journey that hasn’t been properly planned or running with no real plan of action in place for how to handle your seemingly-endless to-do list is just asking for trouble. When you’re trying to get reluctant kids to get in the car or to stop dawdling and you’re attempting to keep to your hasty, ill-formed schedule or running at full tilt to get to the store before it closes, you’re naturally going to be running on empty. Just a bit of preparation in advance can help you create a structured schedule that still has a bit of wiggle room, leaving you under less stress and far less likely to scream at everyone around you when the pressure becomes too much to handle.
Learn Deep Breathing Techniques
Before you lose your temper and start shouting to get your point across, take a moment to stop and breathe deeply for a few seconds. When you hold your breath, you become even tenser and exhaust what little patience you have left. Take deep, slow breaths that you hold for a few seconds before exhaling, or even walk out of the room for a few seconds to regain your composure. As an added bonus, practicing deep breathing in front of your children models effective and productive ways of managing frustration. Remember that your kids will mimic almost everything you do, especially when they’re small. Seeing you take deep breaths and a short time out to keep your temper in check may rub off on them, and it will certainly help you to keep your emotions in check.
Set Clear Consequences, and Adhere to Them
Shouting happens when you’ve threatened your child with dire consequences if he doesn’t cease his misbehavior or follow directions, but continue to issue those empty threats rather than delivering on real consequences. Setting actual boundaries for your children and letting them know the consequences of choosing not to heed your warning is one thing, but you’ll have to follow through. Don’t allow yourself to be dissuaded from allowing those consequences to manifest, or your kids will just start to believe that your threats are empty.
Be Firm, Not Mean
There’s a difference between being firm and being downright mean, and you’ll have to learn to strike that balance if you’re looking to facilitate real and productive conversations with your children. No one wants to talk with someone they think is just going to be mean, even if that person is Mom or Dad. Make sure that you’re never crossing the line from stern into cruel territory, and make sure that you’re truly listening when your kids share their opinions.
It’s important to remember that yelling only breeds more yelling, which leads to major confrontations and hurt feelings. Trying to keep your temper under some semblance of control is a very real challenge, but it’s one that will make all of the difference in your household.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

Good Interview Questions for Sales Jobs

Here are some good tips on interview questions to use when interviewing a potential salesperson.

February 2015 

Most companies struggle with hiring competent sales people.  Recently I was helping a client hire sales people by pre-screening them on the phone.  I asked the same questions of at least 10 different candidates to make sure there was a certain continuity and consistency.  Rarely do I spend too much credence or time looking at their résumé. WHY?  If I look at anything I will look and see what they have accomplished.  My emphasis is on their behaviors, motivation, and skills and NOT experience.

It was amazing to me that each person I spoke to was an “experienced and successful salesperson”, many of whom have gone through well-known and respected sales training.  Some had worked for major corporations.  And yet, I noticed that there were some very disturbing traits in almost all the candidates.

Let me set the scene.  I first called and if they did not answer I sent an e-mail asking to set up a time to talk.  I did not want to interview them immediately because from experience many of them were applying to other jobs and this would give them time to prepare.  Here were some of the common issues I discovered:
  1. Most of the candidates did not read the Job Description thoroughly.  We had Sales Managers applying for a Sales Representative job.   Maybe the Job Description title was misleading.  However, I believe that is no excuse for not taking the time to read the job description.  What does that tell you about future responses and actions when a customer requests something in writing or following up skills?
  2. One of the first questions I asked was “From the website what can you tell me about the company?”  Despite giving them at least a day to prepare many had not even looked at the website. Zero went beyond looking at the website and finding out more about the company or the industry or industry trends.  Do you want a salesperson that does not do their research before calling on a buyer? Are they really interested in finding a job?  Will they be customer centric and try to understand the customer’s business so they can service them better?
  3. I asked “How do you sell?” – Many answered, “I build great relationships” but what does this mean? I am not diminishing the importance of relationships in selling but is this what today’s buyers want to hear?  We can have a great relationship and go out for a beer, but you may not trust me or my company’s services or products. Do I want to buy from someone who wants to build a relationship with me alone or someone who I believe is an authority in their field and can collaborate with me on solutions to my problems and opportunities?
  4. “What do you do to keep up with your profession?” This was probably the most interesting question I asked.  If you want to know how truly motivated for work a person really is than ask this question.  If one has the mind-set of constant improvement and learning I want them on my team.  Answering networking or going to trade shows to keep up with the profession is not an acceptable answer.  Reading books, articles, scoping out competition, and self-improvement courses show a need to be better at what you do.
  5. Ask the interviewer questions – Come on people you are in sales.  You tell me that what helps you build relationships is asking questions and listening.  Yet most of the candidates never asked me any questions.  Does this mean they will have difficulty asking the customer for next steps, or worse yet asking for the order?
  6. Say Thank you – Only 1 in 10 of the interviewees actually took the time to write me a short thank you for interviewing them.  Yes, I understand I am not with the company.  However, isn’t it a common practice in sales to thank someone, or reconfirm how much you want the opportunity?
For further information, please contact me at, call at 480.220.4296 or join the conversation


If you or your group are looking for a speaker at a conference, seminar, or workshop, please contact me at


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

VIDEO of Little Boy & Girl Latin Dancing - "UP" Body Language

VIDEO of little boy and girl Latin Dancing
“Up” body language in dancing children. UP body language in others makes us feel up.
See how watching the video of these little kids Latin dancing makes you feel up and happy!

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

List of Patti Wood’s Most Popular Speeches and Training Programs as a Body Language Expert and Professional Speaker

List of Patti Wood’s Most Popular Speeches and Training Programs as a Body Language Expert and Professional Speaker

First Impressions and Body Language
You meet someone, and on average, within 10 seconds you decide whether or not you like them. How is that first impression formed? Is your gut reaction accurate?  In this program you will learn to read the thousands of nonverbal cues hidden in the hello and the handshake that can make your interactions more genuine and more productive. Patti has done years of research on the topic to create this high-energy interactive program. It is great for an opening keynote or after dinner speech as participants practice their 10-count intuition, 3-pump handshake, bubble breaking and head nods throughout the convention or meeting.

Reach Out - Communication That Transforms (Motivational Speech)
When was the last time you had a conversation that affected you profoundly? What are you saying to people that can influence them in a positive way?
Do you feel that people are paying attention to what you have to say? In this motivational program, rich with stories, tears and laughter, you will learn ways to communicate and to transform by establishing meaningful rapport, uncovering commonalties that connect, discovering what makes each person unique and methods to be more receptive and open to others.

Success Signals —
Body Language in Business
Have you ever been in a business meeting and wondered what someone was thinking? Would you like to change your power and confidence through a simple shift in body language? Would you like to have the winning edge in sales and negotiations? Do you know how to spot a liar? Eye blinks to head tilts, palms up to leg locks, this extremely popular program, based on Patti’s’ research and book, teaches you how to read and use body language to become aware of hundreds of secret messages. The insights will help you gain and maintain your business relationships.

The Conflict Cure
Like traffic and taxes, conflict is inevitable. So many times when you’re dealing with a difficult person or situation you feel powerless. You think, "There is nothing I can do." But you do have power. You do have choices. In a conflict, you can see the other person as the enemy or choose non-defensive Options.  In this program, you will learn clear, effective choices to handle attacks and criticisms.  This program helps you: analyze the choices that you make in conflict, understand the origin of conflict, utilize the seven Handshake Options, and integrate conflict management tools into your daily life.

You Can Depend on Me — Teamwork, Team play and Teambuilding
Support, sharing, synergy. This program is a highly participative formula for creating esprit de corps. Participants walk out with a feeling of connectedness and have specific tools for nurturing teamwork. The program can also include: strategic planning, creating vision and mission statements, using personality type assessment, developing creative problem solving, learning team project tools and mastering change.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at

How to be Prepared for a Medical Emergency during Travel

How to be prepared for a Medical Emergency during Travel

Twenty years ago I got a kidney stone while traveling. I was very lucky and I had my insurance information with me and all was well, but after that experience I realized the importance of being prepared for emergencies. I have frequently shared with anyone I know that travels to have their critical information listed under ICE on their phones and on a card in their wallet.  This even prepared me years later when my boyfriend (at the time) had a stroke and I knew he had all his doctors numbers and medications listed on his phone and I was able to call the pharmacy to make sure none of his medication was causing his severe headache so he could quickly get the stroke medication that saved his life!  The following is a great reminder of what you need to do right now to prepare for an emergency at any time.

Travel 911- How to be prepared for a Medical Emergency during Travel. Karcu 17 2015 By Kristina Portilo, CPT, MS

Recently a close friend was experiencing intense side pain that required an unplanned visit to an urgent care. The physician at the urgent care determined the pain was coming from her gall bladder, and the next thing she knew she was in a hospital getting ready for surgery. Did I forget to mention she was 1,000 miles away from home on a business trip when this happened?
This experience left me feeling unprepared. Just like any other traveler, I have experienced my share of colds, flu, migraines and food poisoning, but nothing that landed me in urgent care or in the emergency room. A trip to the hospital during travel was not even on my radar until this happened.
Similar to preparing for other emergency situations, planning is the key to preparing for a medical emergency during travel.  Here are the factors you need to consider.

Emergency Contact

This is the emergency dial screen on my Galaxy S5. The three ICE contacts can be dialed even when my phone is locked.
Every smart phone has the “in case of emergency” (ICE) contact list. This is a list of contacts you select that can be accessed without unlocking your phone. If you are involved in an accident, or taken ill, the ICE contact could provide critical information for paramedics.
Your ICE contact should know:

·         Pertinent medical history and allergies.
·         How to access a current list of your other medical information such as primary care physician, specialists, and medications.
·         How to contact your immediate family and employer.

Choose your emergency contact strategically. It does not have to be a family member but it should be someone who is aware of health concerns or any on-going medical issues. Here are a few tips for setting up the ICE list in your phone:

·         Have more than one ICE contact in case one is unavailable or one is traveling with you.
·         Do not use choose two ICE contacts that could be traveling with you at the same time (i.e.: spouse and child).
·         Include every method of communication you have for each ICE contact (cell phone, work phone, home phone, and email).

Medication and Allergies
Many prescription drugs like warfarin have side effects that could land you in the hospital when mixed with certain foods, supplements, or antibiotics.  To avoid making a medical situation worse, it is critical to know the types of medication you are taking. In addition to medication, you need to remember vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products. Lastly, if you have any reactions or allergies to certain medication or something like latex, make a note on your medication list.

If this is how you travel with your pills, make sure you have documented the type and dosage of each.
If you are traveling, more than likely you will not have the full size medication bottles with you. Here are three ways to document your medications and allergies:

·         Create a gallery in your phone and take a photo of each bottle to show the label including dosage and ingredients (if it has other ingredients).
·         Create a contact in your phone called “medications” and list each medication and dosage in the notes section of the contact. Include this contact as an ICE*.
·         Hand write a list of your medications with dosage information and place it in your wallet.

It is not necessary to expect your ICE contact to have this information memorized, but it is important that your ICE contact knows exactly where to find it. Make sure you share the location or provide them with a copy.

Even with the best intentions, it is not a guarantee you will have your insurance card if you have a medical emergency during travel. I took mine out one time to provide my insurance information over the phone before an appointment, it got lost in the shuffle, and I found it at the end of the year when I was scanning receipts. Take a photo of your insurance card and make sure at least one of your ICE contacts has a copy of it. Alternatively, you could create a contact in your phone called ICE-Insurance and enter basic information into your phone.

Travel and Meetings Schedule
Your ICE contact needs to be aware of your travel and meeting schedule.  This is especially important if you do not have an assistant or you are a solopreneur.
If you are in the hospital, your client needs to know as soon as possible that you are not coming due to an emergency, and that you will reschedule when you are feeling better. If you are dealing with an emergency, you are not going to be able to make these calls, but someone will need to. Your health is your main priority, but you certainly do not want to have a “no call, no show” with someone who is a potential customer or who may have already paid you to be there.

·         Make sure someone has access to, or knows how to gain access to, your calendar.
·         Enter specific information on your calendar for appointments including meeting location, contact name, and phone number.
·         Enter your travel itinerary onto your calendar including confirmation numbers. Services like TripIt make this really easy.

After the important issues are hashed out, make sure your ICE contact or assistant calls your airline and cancels or reschedules your return flight. Do not expect the airline to refund your ticket if you are hospitalized, there are no laws requiring them to do so. If you have a priority status, your airline may decide to waive your rebooking fee, but unless you are flying on Southwest you will likely have to pay a rebooking fee.

Start Planning
While we all hope to never actually need to use an emergency medical plan during a business trip, it is a good idea to have all the information in an easy to access location. I designed a simple checklist for you to use to create your emergency medical plan along with a one page document to print. I followed the checklist and it took 20 minutes of my Sunday afternoon to complete. I will gladly trade 20 minutes of my Sunday afternoon now to prevent wasting precious time during an emergency medical situation trying to locate this important information.

*When using the ICE function on your phone you may be required to use a number in order for the contact to appear on your lock screen. You do not need an actual phone number, a single number will do.
Providing nationwide nutrition and fitness concierge services, Business Travel Life seamlessly integrates a healthy lifestyle into corporate and business travel . We partner with our clients to provide nutrition plans and workouts that are achievable on the road. Our clients benefit from the customized level of service and ongoing support we provide. Check out our online store before your next trip to shop for healthy travel snacks, travel friendly workout tools, and accessories that make healthy travel easier.
March 18, 2015 Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS

About the author
Kristina Portillo, MS, is the founder of Business Travel Life. Kristina is a National Association of Fitness Certification (NAFC) credentialed Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach. There are two things that she has been passionate about most of her life. Travel & Fitness.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at