My Will to Live, R.I.P.

graveThroughout my life I’ve had the chance to meet a wide variety of people. While the color of their skin, the language they speak or the entity they worship may differ, one thing is always the same – we all face challenges at different points in our lives. Of course, the way people handle those challenges varies but the good thing is that it’s something that we can control. And in many cases, it’s this way of handling challenges that dictates whether we stay in the game or go home in defeat.

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Public Speaking Success: Speaking to Groups of Children

students by guillermo ossaChildren can be the most delightful human beings one day and seems like the spawn of the devil the following day, but one thing is for certain, children are unpredictable. This adds a new twist to public speaking when your audiences are typically made up of children (or worse, the dreaded teenager). The good thing is there are a few steps you can take to avoid the majority of problems you can run into.

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Social Media vs. Traditional Networking – Which is better for you?

networking-phoneOver the last few years I’ve met people that swear by social media saying that they never have to go to another in-person networking event. I’ve also met my share of people who feel that social media is merely a distraction with no real value. How do I feel? Well, given that I offer courses in both traditional networking and social media I’m sure you can tell that I believe there’s value in both. And like most things in life, where you get the most benefit will depend on your situation. I will say that completely discounting either method of making new connections is a mistake. I have had successes using both methods and I know many others that have as well.

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Toastmaster or Terrorist?

bombImagine walking into a conference room and finding a strange device. The device has a timer attached to it and three lights – red, yellow and green. You’ve never seen such a device before so you wonder what it is. Could it be a bomb?

Well a few days ago at a corporate building for Chase Banks in Columbus, Ohio, such a device was found and it caused quite a scare. Thousands of people evacuated the building while police investigated. What was this device? Well if you’re familiar with Toastmasters, you may recognize it as a set of timing lights for speeches. In fact, an employee of Chase hooked up the device to use to time a presentation. Who would have thought that someone simply trying to time a presentation could have caused such chaos?

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Are Your Services Priced Correctly?

Last week I received an email from a speaker that we’ll call “Ken” (obviously not his real name). After a few tips and quotes about public speaking, Ken had a very nice looking coupon. The coupon had attractive fonts, good use of color and even had a professionally taken picture of Ken. But the thing that caught my attention was the large text that read “all services 80% off.”

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Why People Don’t Like You

despairNone of us like the feeling of being rejected but it’s even more difficult to swallow when something like friendship, which has a relatively low social risk, is rejected. With much of our social interactions moving on-line and the anonymity of the internet, this type of rejection is becoming especially common. But it being common doesn’t necessarily lower the impact it has on our self-esteem.

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It’s the Audience, Stupid

bored audienceWhy do so many speakers insist on using their audience as a form of group therapy for their own personal issues? I’ve seen speakers (including those that were paid to give their talk) use their presentation (I don’t dare call it training) to enact revenge, guilt the audience into cheering for them and to get things off their chests. Why?

Giving a speech is not about you – it’s about the audience. Someone has invited you to share your knowledge, wisdom or experience to their audience. They’re not interested in hearing about the guy that flipped you off in traffic, the cab driver that ran four lights on your trip from the airport or something idiotic that your Senator did (unless that’s the purpose of your speech).

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