Motivation

I’m Going to Kill Myself This Week

It’s amazing what can happen when someone overhears something out of context. Frankly, some of the word choices we make can be improved significantly, mainly the way we talk about ourselves. A lot of us are guilty of self-depreciation – I tend to use it a lot in my classes just to add some humor and levity to the class. But I’ve seen some people take it a bit far where their entire personality is dumping on themselves. It’s not the best way to become a confident and successful person.

Three Ways to Amp Up Your Presentations

Let’s face it, speeches are a lot more fun to watch when the speaker is energized and engaging. Plus you also pay closer attention and learn more too. Chances are that if you’ve ever fallen asleep during a presentation, the presenter’s style had more to do with it than the content of the presentation. I’ve seen presenters take a dry topic such as software testing and make it entertaining. I’ve also seen presenters take an exciting topic like getting rich and bore the audience to sleep. And yes, I’ve been guilty of giving a less than enthusiastic talk and could feel the drain of energy in the room.

So how can you take your speech and make it more fun and interesting for the audience? Well, first you don’t want to overdo it. A lot of speakers, especially those whose speaking experience is primarily at Toastmasters clubs, tend to overdo it. They overuse gestures and body language, do goofy things to get the audience’s attention like shout or make them do silly exercises or they throw excess humor into their talks. The good news is that you don’t have to go through all that bother. Simply be excited about your talk and do what comes natural. Here are the three areas to focus on.

Success is Simple – Just Follow the Instructions

One of the things I’ve learned recently as I’ve started to seriously workout again is that achieving a goal is a lot less complex than we make it out to be. Really, there are three basic steps: set the goal, create the action plan and then follow through with it. As I’m sure you can guess, most people fail on one of the last two steps.

Don’t Be a Matt Foley Speaker

The late Chris Farley was an amazing actor and comedian. It’s a shame that he died so early and so young. One of his more famous roles (and one of my favorites) was Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker. If you’ve never seen the skit on Saturday Night Live, here is a short clip.

The character is interesting because he’s the complete opposite of what most of us think of when we think of motivational speakers. He’s grossly overweight, sloppily dressed, rude to his audience and speaks in a condescending and angry tone. And of course, that’s the point of the character and why it’s funny. You might be surprised, but I’ve seen a number of supposed motivational speakers that fit into one or more of these categories. And in many cases, it lessens the effect of their message on the audience.

A New Direction

Okay, you might have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a while – a long while. Was I too busy? Something bad happened? No ideas for writing? Well, fortunately nothing bad (at least nothing too bad) has happened and I have a lot of ideas for writing. But truthfully, I’ve been really busy with a lot of other things going on my life and I’ve been rethinking a lot of things. I know, sounds heavy but don’t worry – it’s nothing too crazy.

The big change in my life is that I started seriously working out. You may wonder what that means as it can mean practically anything. To me, it means a structured weekly workout programs created with targeted goals in mind. In my case, I have some pretty particular goals for how I want to look and feel so I train seven days a week with a mix of cardio and weights. Today, I just completed day 52 and it feels great.

A Primer for Attending Your First Toastmasters Meeting as a Guest

Whether it’s a goal, resolution or something in your life has made it you no longer able to procrastinate it away, you’ve decided to finally attend a Toastmasters meeting. If you keep in mind that the two biggest social fears are public speaking and meeting new people, you can probably see that going to a Toastmasters meeting for the first time is a double challenge. So here’s some of the advice that I give to those who attend my public speaking classes that are interested in Toastmasters. Much of this advice is applicable to attending any club meeting for the first time – I share most of this with those who attend my Networking classes.

Nighttime Courage

I couldn’t sleep one night last week so to be productive, I decided to follow up on some emails. Many of these emails were things that I had put off because I wanted to word them the right way. For example, I had to nudge a few people who I was awaiting a response from. But that night, I didn’t seem to care; no more beating around the bush – I was direct and to the point.

After that, I logged into the various social media sites to see what my friends were up to and saw some posts from friends from high school. I immediately thought about how life would have been different at that stage of my life had I had social media. No more waiting until school the next day for communicating – I could just send an email whenever. And that got me thinking about how today’s technology could have certainly made things interesting back then.

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