Grammar, vocabulary, and the knowledge of how to use them seem to be eroding skills in our business society. After reading the book by Stephanie Horton titled, “Are Bad Manners Driving Your Clients Crazy?” (see recent post review), I realized poor vocabulary and usage also has bad potential. Namely, your message may not get across clearly and/or your prospect/client thinks your dumb. Neither is good.
This will start a new category aimed at helping business pros (as well as every day pros) improve your vocabulary and grammar. We’ll start with a word for the day.
Last Tuesday, my friend Tim brought in a fabulous word of the day for our Toastmasters meeting. In true Toastmasters style, I’m stealing it. Well, actually let’s just say I’m using it to help others!
You read it right. Not frustrated but flustrated. Here’s what it means…
P.S. Funny thing…my spell check doesn’t like the word “flustrated”.
If you are like me, you have so much to be thankful for at this time of year. Yes, I know there are economic challenges and many people are struggling. That being said, there are still so many blessings we all enjoy.
I am thankful for all of you who read my articles and blog posts. My hope for you is that you will enjoy this weekend with family, friends, and food. Oh yeah…and a little football, too!
Best wishes to all of you and your families.
If you’ve spent any time reading my blog posts or hearing me speak, you’ve heard me talk about my dogs. For the most part, their manners leave much to be desired. Unfortunately, that can happen in business, too.
The book I just finished is by my friend Stephanie Horton, founder of Top Dog Etiquette. Stephanie’s book is titled, “Are Bad Manners Driving Your Clients Crazy?” This is an excellent resource for anyone in business. Stephanie points out guidelines to be used in any business situation from dinner meetings to social gatherings.
If you have questions about how to act so that you don’t take a chance on losing clients, check out this book. You can purchase it by clicking here…
November 19, 1863 – Gettysburg, PA. 145 years ago, Abraham Lincoln gave perhaps the greatest two and a half minute speech ever…
“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”
“We are met on a great battlefield…to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live…But…we cannot dedicate…this ground.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it.”
“It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced…That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure.”
“That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This is an article from my November newsletter…
The other evening I was watching a rerun of Frasier with my daughter Kelli when our one-year old Jack Russell suddenly discovered his tail. You may remember hearing me speak or write about Captain Jack. He’s one “wild and crazy” dog. He found that tail and went berserk chasing it. Occasionally he would catch it, chomp on it, let it go, and start chasing again.
What makes a dog incessantly chase its tail?
Now, having never been a dog that actually chased his tail, I’m assuming there’s a certain level of dizziness that comes into play after seven and a half minutes of spinning in a circle. Crazy.
What about you? Do you ever chase your tail in pursuit of excellence and find yourself with only dizziness to show for it?
If you’re like me, you’ve on occasion chased a dream as vigorously as Captain Jack chases his tail. The only problem was, you were chasing something that only made you dizzy.
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results may be insanity. It certainly isn’t prudent as a business presenter. As a consultant, I have many opportunities to speak publicly. When I first started my practice, I thought I could go off my experience as a presenter, even though I hadn’t studied or practiced new skills in some time. I gave several presentations with mixed reviews. I kept trying harder and harder, but with the same results. I was chasing my tail and only getting dizzy.
Finally, a good friend pointed me in the direction of Toastmasters. I re-joined (after a 16 year absence) and immediately started learning why my presentations were falling flat. I started gaining advice from people better than me at speaking. They were what I wanted to become. So I listened, learned, and eventually hired a couple to mentor me. The results are all I could hope for from the experience. Let’s just say I’m not dizzy anymore (at least in this area).
How do you know if you’re chasing your tail? Here are a few signs:
- Do you give the same boring slide show over and over thinking that magically it will have a different effect on the next audience?
- Do you see your audience looking at their watch rather than sitting on the edge of their seat?
- Do you still get anxious preparing to be introduced, rather than anxiously awaiting your turn to speak?
- Do you get your desired response from the audience? Do you know what you want them to think, say, or do when you’re done?
- Does anyone ever ask you back to speak?
Education is the only way to improve your skills. But as my friend Craig Valentine (the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking) says, “If you’re learning the wrong thing, you’re only getting good at getting bad quicker!”
The solution: Find speakers who are better than you and learn from them. Find presenters who are at the level you want to be. Read their books, listen to their audio, follow their blogs, and/or hire them to mentor you. It’s worth your investment. The quickest way to grow your business is by being a dynamic speaker. Are you committed to taking the right steps to building your skills, or are you just chasing your tail?
P.S. If you’d like to subscribe to my FREE monthly e-newsletter and continue to add to your speaking education, go to my website – http://www.danweedin.com
On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who in defense of our freedom have bravely worn the uniform of the United States.
From the fields and forests of war-torn Europe to the jungles of Southeast Asia, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, brave patriots have protected our Nation’s ideals, rescued millions from tyranny, and helped spread freedom around the globe. America’s veterans answered the call when asked to protect our Nation from some of the most brutal and ruthless tyrants, terrorists, and militaries the world has ever known. They stood tall in the face of grave danger and enabled our Nation to become the greatest force for freedom in human history. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have answered a high calling to serve and have helped secure America at every turn.
Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom’s defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.
With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America’s veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2008, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2008, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to support and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
GEORGE W. BUSH
What do you know, I read another business book…quickly. I just finished Jordan Adler’s book titled, “Beach Money”. It’s short, but full of energy and good ideas. Jordan is the #1 distributor for a network marketing program I’m involved with – Send Out Cards. Network marketing can be a challenging concept to some people – in fact in can get a pretty bad rap. Like all business models – there are good ones and bad ones.
Jordan’s book is a wonderful expose on his life and business and why he is successful at what he does. If you’ve ever wondered about the pros of network marketing, give this book a shot. Grade B+ (I would have liked him to go a little more in depth – but it was a fun read.)
I just finished reading the book “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath. If you are in business, this is a must-read. Why? Your message is vital to getting you business. If people can’t remember you or your message, that’s not a good way to increase your income and brand. Made to Stick” will teach you how to make your ideas and brand “sticky”. Grade – A
Have you heard of Otto the Octopus? If not, check out this story about a juggling octopus. Talk about presentation skills!
Very sad news for the Seattle-area and sports fans. Tuba Man, the beloved gentleman who serenaded fans coming and going from the Kingdome, Key Arena, Qwest Field, and Safeco Field has died. He was murdered by a bunch of gang members in downtown Seattle. What a tragedy.
See the link to the Seattle P-I with a video and story – http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/seattle911/archives/153358.asp