Happy New Year


I hope you are loving this time of year. I guess there are as many reasons as there are individuals of us. Maybe it’s time off work. Maybe it’s time with family. Maybe it’s just the sense of community that is generated by a shared holiday.

I think all of those apply to me. It is also a time of year I can reflect on the year just gone – what worked and what didn’t, and what to do next. I have always loved the sense of a new journal, a new slate, a clean page that comes with a new calendar.

There is such hope for better things, a better person, better times.

I have put together a page again this year of ideas, resources and inspirations for the new year and for your planning.

You can visit it at http://bit.ly/g7ApeP

And finally this post brings my best wishes to you and yours for exciting new challenges in the new year and for times of peace and prosperity.



This week’s read – Writing great speeches

Writing Great Speeches: Professional Techniques You Can Use (Part of the Essence of Public Speaking Series) 

by Alan M. Perlman

With endorsements from two of the largest and most influential public speaking groups — the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters International — this book is written by an expert speechwriter whose eloquent voice leads readers through the difficult process of writing a great speech. In these pages a seasoned speechwriter reveals his trade secrets – from analyzing the needs of an audience to leaving them with a satisfying sense of closure – as he guides readers through the process of planning, writing, and honing an outstanding speech.

How to Deliver and Outstanding introduction for a Keynote Speaker

image source

As the introducer, you are the connector – the broker – between the speaker and the audience.

The article is short yes, but oh so to the point. All are excellent reminders.

How to Tell a Great Story

by Martin Jugmans

Everybody has a great story. To tell a story well it must be lovingly crafted and tailor-made.
We want to capture the audience’s attention and convey a memorable message.

We need to know who the audience is and what is the purpose of our story. Will it be a group of workers on an oil rig or school children? By making references within our story that directly relates to the audience’s interests will keep them engaged. Asking and remembering people’s names and asking questions we can get a good idea of who will be present.

By writing down the purpose of the story in one short sentence, we establish a clear direction that our story will take.

As an example, we are going to speak to a group of teenagers about “The Power of Writing Down Your Goals”.

What would interest a group of teenagers to write down their goals? What are their dreams and desires, to be a great football player, to have the latest gadget, money or a new car, travel or clothes? What are their fears? Exams, failing, lack of self-esteem. Doing this research pays dividends.

Before creating the actual content we need to determine how we want the audience to feel at the end of our story. Write this down:

We want the audience to feel empowered and inspired.

Now we can start looking for a story in our own personal experience that shows the benefits and illustrates “The Power of Writing Down Your Goals”. We want our story to show the audience that they can attain their goals and dreams and it starts by forming a clear picture in their minds.

If you don’t have a story of your own, (which I’m sure you do) perhaps you have a friend who in spite of hardship and difficulty went on to be great. Adapt the story.

The opening is vital. Pause for a breath or two and begin. Ask a question or invoke the audience’s anticipation and curiosity.

To make our story work we inject liberal amounts of sincere emotion and feelings. Excitement, difficulties and obstacles, disappointment, courage and joy. Above all, humour. Used appropriately, showing sincere emotion in tone of voice and body movements will colour our story and paint pictures in the minds of the audience. Find ways to include fun twists and turns and use an element of surprise. Make descriptions vivid and use poetic licence. Pauses and voice variations can be used to enhance effect. Consider yourself doing a masterful performance.
Masters practice and refine.

Eliminate all that does not help to convey the message (in this example) of empowerment and inspiration. Mould the story until it really begins to shine.

Spend time formulating a conclusion that is grabbing. We want to give our audience something to remember. A conclusion that wraps it all up, is decisive and leaves the audience feeling empowered and inspired.

Do you need to be truthful in order to persuade?

Edward R. Murrow, and American Journalist early in the twentieth century said, “To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.”

Do you agree?


Turn Your Content into e-Learning for Steady Income

You’ve got content from your keynotes and trainings. You know you could reach more people and make more money if you turned your intellectual capital into an online course — or maybe even an online academy. But how do you do that quickly, easily and inexpensively? Doesn’t it take an instructional designer and tech expert? Aren’t those folks hard to find and expensive? Plus, how do you sell the course?

Is it possible to do all this oneself without lots of frustration? YES! Brian will show you how he did it with his speaking and training business and how YOU can do it with yours. He’ll walk you through his website examples in real time so you can see how it all works. And by the way, Brian doubled his revenue thanks to his e-Learning programs!

With the cutbacks in travel, conference speakers, and in-house training, NOW is the time for you to take the next step to creating your own online learning center.
John Chambers, Chairman of Cisco Systems, said about e-Learning: “The next big killer application on the Internet is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make email usage look like a rounding error.”
In this webinar you will learn how to:
• turn your slides, books, and videos into fun and interactive training courses
• create interactive quizzes and learning games with easy-to-use software
• develop your own branded online learning center and charge for courses
• make money from anywhere!
In this one-hour webinar, we’ll share with you the essential tools of creating your own e-Learning programs.
If there is ever a webinar you absolutely cannot miss, it is this one. So mark Dec 21 in your calendar. Because it will be that day that you look back on as the day in your business when your sales, profits, and income grew — without your having to get on a plane! See you there!

Register or order the CD or MP3 recording. Note: people who register for the teleseminar will get the MP3 recording of the session for free. Also, everyone who registers for the webinar session or orders the recording will get a link to the recorded video of the online webinar.

Develop public speaking confidence without the audience

You will read about, or have heard about, strategies to overcome public speaking nerves. In preparation for implementing those strategies in front of an audience, you can try them out in ordinary, non-threatening situations first.

For example, take note of how you conduct a conversation – with strangers in particular, for example a shop keeper, bus conductor, or a person to whom you are introduced at a party or function. The communication and confidence strategies you find yourself using naturally can be used in your public speaking.

And, conversely, if you want to improve the communication skills and the confidence, try practicing some of the strategies you have been gathering for public speaking, in those conversations.

Inspiration for the start of the working week

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The 2010 Slideshare Competition Winner – best slideshow!

The winning entry was created by Empowered Presentations

I love Slideshare – it is always an inspiration. But I am left so dissatisfied, because what I want to see is the speech that went with the visuals.

Still there is always lots to learn about design. What did you think of this one?

Four Persuasive Presentation Secrets

Being able to communicate persuasively with any audience is not just about what you say, it’s also about what you do. Here are four tips for making your communication more persuasive

1. Take Time to Build Rapport

When rapport exists, there is a sense of trust and confidence between people that makes each more likely to respond positively to the other. Although there are techniques you can use to accelerate rapport, it has to be earned.

You create rapport by being willing to meet the other person where they are rather than trying to drag them where you want them to be. The biggest mistake most people make in any type of communication is trying to communicate from their own perspective rather than trying to relate to where their audience currently is.

If you take time to understand your audience, whether it’s one person or a thousand, you will find it much easier to build rapport and communicate with them more successfully. You create rapport when you use that knowledge to change the way you communicate to suit your audience.

2. Model Successful Communicators

One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to notice what works well for others and then to incorporate elements of what you see into your own behavior. Modeling is not about copying people. That’s often illegal and it doesn’t usually work. However, if you learn what makes other people good at something, you can use that experience to improve your own performance.

The key to successful modeling is that it’s not just about watching what people do, it’s as much about understanding how they think and what they believe. Take advantage of any opportunity to talk to speakers you admire and read as much as possible about them.

3. Always Be Authentic

To become a great presenter, you need to be yourself. One of the secrets of the best speakers is that they appear natural. They are the same on stage as they are in person. Too many people try to invent a persona that they use in presentations as they think that’s what is needed. And many people hold off from speaking because they compare themselves unfavorably to other people. The truth is it doesn’t matter. People are interested in what you have to say not in your speaking abilities.

Former US President Ronald Reagan is now called the Great Communicator but that’s as much for the way his natural personality shows through as for great public speaking skills.

You can improve your speaking skills by enhancing your abilities. But speaking successfully is about using your existing abilities to their full advantage. Just be yourself and you will get the results that you want.

4. Value and Respond to Feedback

Like most things in life, giving presentations is a process of constant improvement – no matter how good you are.

In order to be able to improve, you must:

– Be willing to accept feedback constructively: If you want to improve, listen to what people say and incorporate it next time. Accepting feedback doesn’t mean you have to do what others say but all feedback helps you be aware of what works for you most of the time and what doesn’t.

– Actively seek opportunities for feedback: If you seriously want to improve your presentation skills, you should actively encourage feedback. Hand out surveys at the end of a presentation or ask someone you know well in the audience for some comments. Try to find people who will be both honest and encouraging.

– Keep doing more: The best way to improve is to keep getting more practice so that you improve your skills, incorporate more of what you learn and build your confidence.

Following these four secrets will help you build your persuasive presentation skills easily and confidently.

Robert Greenshields is a copywriter and marketing coach who helps consultants, coaches and other independent professionals attract more clients and make more profit by packaging and promoting their expertise as a high-value product. Download his free Profit from Presentations report at www.persuasivepresentationpower.com