Barbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
What is your story?
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
When I launched NutritionCommunicator.com in 2017, my goal was to guide and encourage other nutrition professionals on their journeys as nutrition communicators.
I wanted the focus to be on all of us as nutrition communicators rather than create the brand: “Barb Mayfield.”
I wanted to create a community of nutrition communicators, providing a platform to share our stories and inspire other nutrition professionals to communicate effectively.
Through nutritioncommunicator.com, weekly blogs, social media, speaking, writing, and coaching, I want to help you effectively communicate using your signature style… a style characterized by your experiences and your interests.
Consider your answers to these questions: What has shaped you into the professional you are? What audiences do you want to reach? What is your message? What creative approaches do you want to use to communicate?
I’ll tell you my story and invite you to write yours…
I have enjoyed teaching and creating educational resources since I was a teenager. My first audience was preschool-age children in my neighborhood in Ithaca, NY. I created a program called “Playschool” and each summer our backyard became a learning playground.
Years later, I built on that experience to create nutrition classes for children in my local WIC program that grew to a national program. Teaching nutrition to children became part of my signature style and my professional expertise. Through resources and workshops, I taught other nutrition professionals effective communication strategies with children. On the Resources page, you can find several free downloadable lessons for teaching children. I enjoy teaching a variety of audiences, but children are a favorite.
Which audiences do you want to reach?
Like many young professionals, I became active in my local dietetic association, now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I gravitated to roles that involved nutrition communication like volunteering to be on television or the radio.
Promoting National Nutrition Month was a personal favorite and my signature style was to write a song that fit the annual theme. I was nicknamed “the singing dietitian” by my peers for this unusual, but effective approach to teach others. Songs were an integral part of my lessons for children and you can find some favorites on the Resources page.
How might you creatively deliver your messages?
The subject matter that we gravitate to is part of our signature style. My 20 years at WIC and raising three children were instrumental in forming interests in building positive feeding relationships, supporting breastfeeding, and promoting family meals. Many of the presentations and resources I created focus on these areas.
What topic areas are you drawn to learn about and communicate with others?
What personal and professional experiences have led to these interests?
An underlying theme to my signature style has been a keen interest in becoming a better communicator.
As both an undergraduate at Purdue University and then as a graduate student at Cornell University, I minored in communication. My continuing education choices have focused on building my communication knowledge and skills. I joined Toastmasters in 2001 and continue to participate in a local club, working to become a better communicator.
How are you interested in building your communication knowledge, skills, and confidence?
For 16 years I taught Nutrition Communications to undergraduate students as a faculty member in Purdue University’s Department of Nutrition Science. It was here I identified and developed my signature style for helping others become more confident and effective nutrition communicators.
I studied and taught the art and science of effective nutrition communication:
-- assessing audience needs, -- creating clear, evidence-based, life-changing messages, and -- selecting & creatively utilizing a wide variety of communication channels: speaking, writing, video & audio production, demos, and more.
Since retiring from Purdue I have taken on the challenge of serving as Editor-in-Chief for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Communicating Nutrition: The Authoritative Guide. This book serves as a legacy for current and future nutrition professionals. It is an honor to use my expertise in such an impactful way.
What is your story? Who is your audience? What is your message? What strategies and channels can you use to creatively share your signature style with the world?
My story can also be found on the Meet Barb Page. Read the stories posted on the community page, then write YOUR story. The Write Your Story tool with helpful prompts has been updated and is easy to follow. Find it on the community page. Use it to write YOUR story! Let’s see how many more stories we can add to our Community page!
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ Mother Teresa
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