Article: Meet Ann Keil Dux of Dux Communications in Coral Gables
Today we’d like to introduce you to Ann Keil Dux.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I was a shy observer so much so that my first-grade teacher took a hard look at passing me. What she did not realize at first is I was simply too afraid to speak up in class. As I grew older, I remember having these very colorful internal monologues but never sharing them out loud. Instead, I wrote for hours and days. I wrote fiction but always preferred non-fiction as evidenced through a recently recovered trunk full of writing my mother saved in an old plastic bin.
Fast-forward to senior year of high school. I was sent into the hallway with a microphone as part of a news production class. We had to rotate roles and responsibilities. I understood that, but I nearly crumbled as pen and paper was my preferred method of communication. Still, I leaned into my weakness around public speaking, making it my mission, my roller coaster thrill ride to overcome the restraints of shyness. Each, small victory conquering fear motivated me through college, grad school and the beginning of my professional career in television news that was terrifyingly intriguing.
My first live shot was as blurry as the writing on my reporter notepad minutes before I appeared on television. I was on the side of a rural Tennessee mountain covering a deadly helicopter crash. The rain and wind were unforgiving leaving a mosaic of illegible blue ink, and I was stuck with only the words in my head: Would I marinate in the familiar feelings of fear and doubt around the spoken word or perform the way I knew I could. My boss did not walk away pleased with that particular live shot and neither did I, but that night is imprinted on my mind as yet another moment in time when I was reminded if I was to share my storytelling craft with purpose, this was the way forward. So, I marched on.
I would spend more than a decade reporting across the country relentlessly in pursuit of storytelling mastery to best keep the public informed. Broadcast journalism had stolen the “shy” away giving me the honor and opportunity to make a positive impact as a reporter and now as a communications coach and consultant. I am, as I always have been, dedicated to others. Only today, my particular focus is equipping professionals with the tools to share their heart, soul, passion, project, presentation or purpose with more clarity, confidence, and power.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have enjoyed a bumpy, curvy road that I have driven down 90 miles an hour once or twice, and some of my darkest hours taught me more about life than when the sun shined brightly overhead. Today, I can confidently say I am many things. I am an Emmy award-winning journalist turned communications consultant, media trainer, accomplished writer, producer, speaker, and public advocate. I am also a wife and a new mother. It is a mouthful, but I take pride in these commas: They say women can do it all. Professionally and personally, we can find great joy, success, and balance with a strong mind and heart. In fact, I would argue that the more intertwined our work and home life are, the more fulfilling our lives become. I was reminded of this truth on an even deeper level when cancer stopped me in my tracks.
I was diagnosed weeks before my wedding. Still, I got married on a Friday, had cancer surgery on my face and neck the following Tuesday and never looked back. Life is short. Some of us say it, but the more important question is, do we digest its significance and live better? I told myself I would as I added cancer survivor to my list of commas and moved on from a reporting job at WSVN-TV. It was a difficult decision as I had spent more than a decade keeping communities informed about what matters most through impactful work, but it was the right one. I would be opening a new door and adding two other commas for coach and entrepreneur with the launch of consulting firm Dux Communications, which in turn, brings me so much joy.
I am thoroughly pleased with where I am today. I see my successes and failures clearly, and in many ways, appreciate those bumps in the road that challenged me to fight and dream again. Cancer was not my first battle, and it will not be my last, but our struggles are what make us human and the way we survive builds character. Think about it this way: each story and each chapter become an opportunity for personal growth and real connection.
Can you tell us a bit more about your work, what you are currently focused on and and other insights into your career and what you are most proud of career-wise.
I serve as principal of Dux Communications providing corporate, governmental, and nonprofit leadership with invaluable services to include strategic communications, public speaking coaching, on-camera media training, and multimedia content creation. I have placed authentic storytelling at the core of my firm’s training curriculum to provide clients with the foundation for an invaluable communications skillset built on a stronger sense of self. After all, human connection is key, and it is becoming ever more important in business across all industries. Leadership must operate and thrive in faster-paced communities where clients, customers, company stakeholders, and the public expect a highly interactive and personalized experience.
As a seasoned journalist and professional speaker, I teach through experience empowering clients to not only create connections for brand growth but establish themselves as experts in their fields. A strong voice builds visibility and credibility, and it is achieved through a trained focus on body language, storytelling structures, fine-tuned vocal variety, and strategic messaging tools. These are skills nurtured through Dux Communications services that cover all public forms of communication from speeches to pitches, media interviews and more. I also lend my voice in the public forum as a professional speaker, host, emcee, moderator, and on-camera spokesperson or contributor. I enjoy bringing authentic energy into a room and creating real moments with grace, humor, depth, and compassion.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I have learned a lifetime of knowledge living my life as I do… digging deep, challenging myself and others to be better, loving hard, having faith, serving my community and fighting for what is right and true.
I would not change a thing.