Wednesday Wisdom: Steadfastness

Keep on trucking…do you remember that 70’s saying? If not, that phrase was common then as a motivator to be steadfast in what you are pursuing.  Trucking on is as valuable today as it was then.  Steadfastness is a goal-maker.

“Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more. ” ~ Lou Vickery

Do a little bit more today. Serve your solid sense of responsibility. Take pride in both your work and your reputation for responsible, responsive action.  Make the effort to stretch your current boundaries; commit to delivering even more than is expected…keep trucking a little longer.

Steadfastness extends beyond merely meeting deadlines; rather, it is a dedication to reach a level not experienced before that gives you a glimpse of your inner strength and pure power.  You may choose to exercise five minutes more today. It may mean that you conclude a project not only before the deadline but that you expand the dimensions by going beyond what was expected. Steadfastness connotes delivery, taking concrete action to finish with flourish.

Steadfast behavior builds capacity. We all have the capacity to do more, go beyond your thought and action boundaries today-add one more step, reach beyond the goal post. See yourself expand…be steadfast and grow.

Keep on trucking, baby.

Speak with Power: 7 Power Tips

Audience

How did you learn to speak so well?

This is the question I get asked most after I finish a presentation. My answer is with power. Power is a verb. I gained public speaking power after I became a charter member of the Dawn-Breakers Toastmasters Club. Even though I had spoken in front of audiences before, very few people haven’t, I corralled my vocal power by taking this active step to learn the mechanics of better communication.

Speaking with power is earned. As a speaker, you must work to earn the power of the platform.

Here are seven public speaking power tips:

  1. Plan your presentation or speech. Know what you want to say. The best way to plan your speech is to write it down. Begin with a free-flow of what you want your audience to learn; diagram it out in a logical sequence. Once your thoughts are in order, write the entire presentation/speech down and then read it aloud.
  2. Practice, pay attention to your vocal delivery. At this point you are saying what you wrote out loud. Some practice in front of a mirror, I do not. Pay attention to your delivery – make a note to indicate where you are making a pause. Underline the points you want to emphasize. Listen to your voice tone. Underscore where you need to pace yourself.
  3. Presence, presence, presence. The time has arrived for you to speak to an audience. You have planned your presentation and practiced until you are dry-mouthed. Now, all you need to remember is to be present. Seriously. Presence, presence, presence is the mantra for public speaking power. This means that you are in the moment, present with your authentic presence. Be real, that’s what audiences adore. Even though you may be nervous, you can overcome that with a delightful, engaging presence. People are there to hear you, not judge you. Be yourself!
  4. Punch them.  Speaking is not a drab recitation of what you wrote. No one in the audience wants to see or hear you read from a paper. Instead, punch them with emotion, stories, gestures, antidotes, clean humor practical tips, and a call-to-action. Remember, you have practiced your speech enough at this point to talk from your soul – do that. Enliven what you have practiced, even if it is a technical talk, by adding audience punches which excite, engage and entertain them. Be at ease.
  5. Power your voice. Brevity is the voice of power. The main purpose of planning your speech is to say what you mean and mean what you say. Speak clearly, enunciate well, and talk in a loud enough conversational tone. Real speaking power is when you concisely say what you mean. Precision is endearing. Keep on point, talk precisely about what you want the audience to learn. Stick to the point and audiences will stick with you.
  6. Personalize the speech. Even if you do not know anyone in the audience, make what you are saying personal. One way to do that is to get to the room early and introduce yourself to people and then use their first name when you are making a point. Another way to personalize is to add tidbits about the company if it is a corporate presentation. Lastly, you personalize when you conclude smoothly and properly. Wrap up your presentation with an enthusiastic summary of your learning points and sit down.
  7. Write your introduction. Submit your introduction, which relates to your topic, in advance rather than rely on a person to fittingly set-up your speech for you.

Communicators relate to others. The essence of public speaking power is communicating and relating.

Check It Off

One way to measure your success steps is to check off every task, the reading and research done, each mentoring session, networking event, relationship, meeting, publicity effort, or social media entry you do. This way you not only have a visual progress report but the salient fact is that you are definite about what you want to achieve.

Definite purpose of achievement equals 75% achievement.  Behaviorists certify that if your actions are synchronized with your achievement goals, you will tend to stay on track. If not, there’s a disconnect from purpose and you are far more likely to lose focus and become distracted and thereby mismanage your achievement.

Be driven, but not myopic. Yes, have your checklist and check off each active effort but be mindful that you also need to stay open and expectant of opportunities you may have never dreamed off. There is no way you can think of or know everything, absolutely no way. But, with a mentor or by consulting with others about what you intend to achieve, you open to the universe of limitless options.

See yourself.  People who consistently win self-evaluate. They achieve based on fact or evidence and have limited space for denial, fantasy or fiction. Achievers, for the most part, are self-critical rather than delusional about their dream and they hold themselves to higher, realistic standards.  Outcome based people embrace the truth about themselves and about what they intend to achieve, since they recognize that nothing else will make their vision obtainable.

The other 25% in the success quotient is persistence. Diligence pays off. Success requires finish line management. Those who achieve, regardless of what it is they want to do, consistently manage their challenges according to the top priority. They commit to managing their first priority first rather than follow the shibboleth of reverse priority that oftentimes becomes a destructive distraction. Winners check off priority one.

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” ~Thomas Edison

Perceived obstacles crumble against persistent desire. Do the work and not just appear busy checking off the small, less impact things on your priority checklist. Effective, efficient action is the best check it off success system you can have.

Pebbles

Small gray pebbles covering the ground.

Small gray pebbles covering the ground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus.

Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified.

Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its natural setting; just one more tiny bump on the pathway to life.” ~Cecilia Luce

Increase Power in Your Life

Life is the performance of function. The degree to which you strengthen and leverage your active functioning determines the level of power in your life.

Power is managed control of fear.

Two days ago I was kicked out of boot-camp because I had an episode of spiked high blood pressure which frightened the trainer but not me. My power reaction was to consent to him calling paramedics which confirmed my blood pressure was dangerously high; I felt real bad but I had no intention of stopping my goal of exercising to get fit and lose weight.

After a visit to my cardiologist, my next power move was to talk to another fitness camp trainer and enroll in a new program.   Monday is the new start date – that’s the exercise of power.

When you know your goal and why, and the reasons are compelling and felt from your soul, that is unstoppable power. Where is your power cord? What are you so determined to do that the achievement finish line is all you align your activity to match?

What is power to you?

Send in your answer to this question along with a dialogue about why staying in your power, in spite of obstacles, is important to you. Share your feelings and experiences so that we collectively learn how to increase power in all life situations.   As a reward, I will send you a FREE copy of my book, For the BEST of You, and post your comments on the blog. Let’s power light up the world by inspiring others to know their power and increase the wattage of why in their lives.

You are powerful!

All Year Resolutions

Views of spacetime along the world line of a r...

Image via Wikipedia

All Year Resolutions have nothing to do with chronological time, but everything to do with living in the present.

 

Forget the calendar for a moment. Instead think with me about a span of time, that you get to choose, and make a strong resolution to change one thing in your life. You may decide that today, right now, is your best moment – and you are right! Or, you may select another time of the day or even another day – and you are right then too!  Whatever time you make a focused resolution to made a change in your life is the right time.

Oftentimes, especially at the close of one year and the beginning of the new year, frantic energy is concentrated upon making changes such as loosing weight, finding a new love, getting a better job, or acquiring material things. We design dream boards, make pledges, write new year resolutions, and join a gym and then by May guilt sets in because our resolve to complete the major resolutions faltered.

I suggest that you make all year resolutions which you set up with specific time frames and specific one goal focus. For example, you may decide on Ma 20th to begin reading one book on goal setting for one week. So, your resolution time frame for this goal is May 20-27th.

Next you may decide to exercise more. Thus, you may decide that your start date is April 21st, the start of a new season and you may choose to close out this goal on November 21st as another example. Your all year resolution in this case would be to start exercising more on April 21 through November 21.

You get the gist. The power point here is that you:
1. Control the time frame rather than be controlled by social standard
2. Fix a definite goal
3. Establish a defined time-line to begin and end your resolution
4. Begin and start your resolution activity as planned

A fifth power point is to write your goal and time frame down. Henriette Klausser in Write it Down and Make it Happen, posits that writing down your resolution goal and time frame is the single most important step to internalizing and achieving your goal.

Inculcate your resolution. Make it yours. Own it and the time frame in which you pledge to begin and stop that particular resolution and begin your all year resolutions any time you recognize its your time to change, do something different, and alter your attraction so that you complete in phased steps your intention.

Resolve. Realign. Respond. Rewrite. Results.

Build your success, one resolution – sorted out by you all year – at a time.

 

 

Clear Your Fear

Learn How to Face Your Fears (from the book Climb Every Obstacle: Eliminate Your Limits!)

This exercise is designed to give you pause time to stop and objectively evaluate your fears. Be honest, the outcome depends on it. Repeat often until it becomes a first response habit.

 

1.       Identify three of your greatest fears. Write them down

A.      ________________________________________

 

B.      ________________________________________

 

C.       ________________________________________

 

2.       Acknowledge each fear; say each one out loud using I am statements. (Example: I am afraid of ……….) For each fear write: Is it real or imagined. Be honest.

 

Fear A:     ___________________________

 

Fear B:    ___________________________

 

Fear C:    ___________________________

 

3.       Educate yourself about each one. Re-write your script using I statements. (Example: I will control my response to singing in public by taking voice lessons)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.       Write three affirmations you will use to overcome fear

 

A.

 

 

 

B.

 

 

 

C.

 

 

5.        Set a deadline to gradually eliminate/minimize each fear; i.e., public speaking, for example, until you conquer it.

 

GOAL 1:

 

 

GOAL 2:

 

 

GOAL 3:

 

 

Business Resolutions for 2011

If you resolve to be in business in 2011, then these resolutions can solidify your efforts to keep the doors open.

Resolution 1: Love your customers/clients. Oftentimes business owners, large and small, eventually neglect their primary money stream usually because they get busy and mis-direct their focus on operations. A stay-in-business rule is to nurture your customers/clients with attention and appreciation.

Resolution 2: Streamline operations. Take a hard look at how you operate your business. Look for industrial efficiency in every process you use.  When, not if,  you find redundancy modify the process right away. Streamlining saves money, but more importantly it allows you to stay customer focused and lean.

Resolution 3: Consult. Now that you have returned your business focus to your customers and have evaluated the efficiency of your operations the next resolution should be to consult with staff, customers, and other stakeholders to find out even more ways to retain your customer base but to expand your market share. You get what you request and reward.  Use performance management listening mechanisms such as:

  • Become an “undercover boss”
  • face-to-face meetings with key players in the company,
  • surveys to all stakeholders that include incentives so that you really get a listening pulse about your business
  • benchmark research – know your competition and work to gain an edge

Howard Schultz summarizes the point this way, “You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the expectations of management.”

Resolution 4: Study your business mission statement. Often a corporate mission statement is overlooked. Why? Because it becomes like white paper on white walls – you just pass it by even though it is posted right in front of your eyes. Make it your business mission resolution to “see” your mission statement every day and make a comparison with what you say is of value to your business and what you are actually doing. If your business is out of alignment with the mission statement do one of two things: 1. Get back in alignment or 2. modify your mission to reflect the changed direction of your business.

Resolution 5: Enjoy what you do. The honorable way to maintain a healthy business and a healthy you is to live with two principles: the highest ethics and integrity and balance. Superior business leaders know that integrity in all things is the best policy. Ask yourself if you are in complete integrity with your word, within your personal life, with your customers and staff, with yourself. If you find any area of integrity misalignment, fix it! Last, ask yourself if you are in balance – do you take vacation, are you happy, do you like being a business owner? The answer to these pivotal questions formulate the solid base for all of your business resolutions for 2011.

Your business will exceed growth and profit expectations in 2011 with strong resolutions. Be resolute. Work your business, using these resolutions, and it will work for you.

 

Speak Up: Speaking Tips that Count

Reader Question: What should I do to control my nervousness when I make presentations at work?

ANSWER:I have a few tips for you but first….

Why are you nervous?

Oftentimes being nervous in front of an audience is a learned response based on an erroneous perception that the audience will hate you.  False! It is not true that audiences will hate you and blast what you have to say with heckles and laughter.

Audiences love speakers – at least those who speak up and say what they have to say. There is little tolerance for an unprepared speaker and there really should not be. Being prepared means that you have researched and rehearsed your material in advance and is ready to present a well-thought message.

Presentations at work or for work should follow the same format. You are the speaker who has an obligation to share information in a way that the audience will understand you and get learning-points that make their attention worthwhile.

Period. That is your mission – to research, rehearse (not memorize), and present a worthwhile message.

Toastmasters International teaches speaking tips which members practice in Club meetings before an audience of their peers.  Joining Toastmasters is one way to work on a newly created project and test its cogency and receive usable feedback.  Let the Club members be your test audience as you practice your speech.

Other speaking tips are:

Have a topic – think of clever ways to engage your audience interest right from the start with a “hook” topic.  Be creative-open up your mind and you will surely capture your audience. For example: Making Money is too broad and bland. BUT Millions At the Bottom of a Fishpond will surely make my ears perk up.

Write for the Audience – never write just for yourself. Instead, write complete sentences and concepts that build upon a message for your audience. Take the title, Millions at the Bottom of a Fishpond as a creative suggested from above, you can break that title down into speaking points such as money, millions, a story about fishing and finding a treasure, bottoming out and coming back up…let the ideas flow.

Be symmetrical.   Make what you write make sense. Build your opening, speech information, and conclusion around your central topic that relates to your title.  Let each sentence guide your audience to a “dramatic” conclusion.

Add on – regardless of your title or topic, add on humor, quotes, and stories.  Embellish what you want to say with personal tales, advice, a challenge, humor, quotes or other material that punctuate your speaking points.

Be natural – just be yourself. They invited you to speak and not some artificial, unfamiliar clone of you. Speak in your natural voice, have a friendly, confident tone, and use voice inflections and simple natural gestures to underscore a point.

Sit down – say it, say it well and then sit down. Audiences love brevity. The world is moving so fast and information is delivered with such speed that competent brevity is prized.  Don’t linger trying to fill up time unless you plan to add a question and answer session after you have concluded your presentation.

Say it well and sit down. Absorb the applause. Bask in the emotion of a job well done.

Count it off…three, two, one. My job is done.

Speak up and make what you say count.

Live and Not Be Weary

If you are reading this post then you are alive. But, are you living? Better yet, have you checked your life pulse to see how you are living lately?

Well, it’s time to do so. Take some pause time today, preferably right now before something else pops up to distract you from this critical business at hand. I promise you that starting this “How You Are Living” inventory will only take a minute or two, but it may well be the most critical few minutes you will spend with yourself today.

Okay. Are you ready? Is the television, telephone, and computer off? Shut everything down for a few minutes and only have an open listening ear for the internal answer you will receive.

Next, do this:
1. Speak out loud a positive affirmation. If you are not already doing this, make it a multiple use habit to repeat your affirmation every day.

2. Speak out loud one thing that you are grateful for right now. There should be a plethora of things that come to your mind, but isolate just one for now.

CAUTION: If you are struggling with finding your gratitude point, it is little wonder that you are weary. Re-cast your focus immediately from the frenzied chaos that is blocking your inner peace and find something for which you are grateful. Do it now and then proclaim it out loud!

3. Give yourself some praise. I am sure you find it easy to praise someone else (and if not begin to work on offering more praise to others). Women especially may find it difficult to hug yourself with honest, intentional praise but you will find this easier to do with repetitive practice . Stop the ego-tripping and give yourself some praise. Whew! You feel better already.

4. Take a deep breath and stay with these moments of inner richness. Bask in the glow of positive hearing for a few more seconds and then slowly re-introduce yourself to the external life; you may find it easier to do so when you start by listening to soothing music or humming a nice tune to yourself. Then turn back to the computer and other daily necessities feeling stronger and refreshed.

Repeat these exercises evveryday. Soon the routine will become so habitual that you will not end a day without living.

I compliment you and honor the soul-rested you.
Live your life, who has time to be weary. You don’t!