Opportunity Knocks

As Hall of Fame speaker Patricia Fripp says, “Opportunity doesn’t knock just once, it knocks all the time”.  If you go back in your life, you may be like me and agree with that sentiment.  Last November, I started a new career (to go with my other two) by joining the Send Out Cards team.  I never thought I’d get involved with Network Marketing, but boy am I glad I did.  The product is a perfect tool for any business – keeping in touch with your clients and building relationships that will last a long time.  The investment was nearly nothing.  The paychecks are real. 

You can become a business owner even if you have a day job.  If you’ve read the Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series, you’d have read how Mr. Kiyosaki advocates that everyone have some sort of business that they do – even if it’s small.  Network marketing – whether it be Send Out Cards, Pre-Paid Legal, or any other that you have a passion in, can give you that opportunity.

Below, you will find a brief video from Robert Kiyosaki.  You will learn about the power of network marketing and how it can make a difference in your life and income.  This isn’t a plug for my business.  It’s a plug for you to become your own business owner and find the values it brings to your life.  I hope you enjoy…

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Oh Bugger!

Tar and Feather

Have you ever been tarred and feathered?  Here I am with Fire Chief Jim Shields at our Poulsbo Rotary annual auction.  This year’s theme was the Pirates of Poulsbo.  I came dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.  I left smelling like molasses and honey.  We raised an extra $2,600 for this jocularity so it was worth it.

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The End of the Line…

Have you ever thought a project would never end?  It’s hard to believe that this Rotary auction that became my baby is almost here.  I formed a committee of dedicated Rotarians about what seems to be a gabillion months ago.  Now, the online auction ends tomorrow at midnight (EST) and the LIVE auction and event is on Saturday.  Whew! 

I wonder what I’ll do to take up the extra time I will have now?  Hmm…maybe preparing for my year as President will fill that slot ;-]

The value of competition

I was fortunate to win the next step in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the Area level last night. As always, the competition gets better at each succesive round.

There is great value to competing at a speech contest for even speakers who focus just on their professional development. Why? Simple…you have a tremendous opportunity to truly simulate pressure.

In the business world, you are constantly giving presentations that impact your career and pay check, right? Patricia Fripp says that “life is a series of sales situations”, and she is correct. In many cases, you may have to give a timed presentation to a prospect, group of investors, or a conference room of people. Nothing prepares you better than competing.

Consider it like shooting free throws in basketball. You can practice all you want but you can never truly simulate the pressure of making two free throws when you are down by one point with one second to go in the game. In speaking, you can more closely get game pressure when you compete against a group of excellent speakers, in front of a large audience, and you are being judged. regardless of you experience, that gets your heart pumping!

If you’re not in Toastmasters, you should consider it. If you are and aren’t competing, you should do it the next time. Whether you’re trying to close a big sale or talk to your teenager about the birds and the bees (do we still do that or does TV do that for us), it is an excellent test of winning those sales situations.

Cheers,

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The Value of Recording Yourself

I’ve always been an advocate of recording your speeches and presentations.  Regardless of whether you use audio or video, the opportunity to review your work is critical.  That point was really driven home to me last night.

On Tuesday, I gave my club contest speech for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest.  I was fortunate to finish in first place as I had good competition.  For the first effort, I rated it a “B”.  I’d made a few mistakes but overall I was pleased.  Until I watched the video…

In reviewing it, I was horrified to see that I missed a KEY TRANSITION between stories!  Three critical sentences that tied my message together at the mid-point of my speech.  In fact, looking back I wondered at the time why I seemed to be ahead of my pace.  Now I know!  I guarantee that section will never be missed again.

I would have never known this had I not recorded myself.  My wife, who has the burden of being at all my practice sessions, didn’t even pick up on it.  The chance to repeat that mistake was very real.  Now, it won’t be.

So what did I learn from this?

  1. I wasn’t as well prepared in my memorization as I should have been.  I now recall times I had missed this section before in my practices.  It carried over into the “real” speech.
  2. The addition of the missed lines will add time to my speech. In a contest, you can go over time and be disqualified…I need to be more alert at the next level.
  3. Learn from every speech.  Even though I’m disappointed that I didn’t “nail” it; I received a valuable wake-up call that will make me better the next time around.

If you learn only one thing from this article, I hope it is this…

Always take the time to record yourself when giving a speech or business presentation.  It’s like reviewing a game film for a basketball or football coach.  The video (or audio) never lies.  Use it to improve your skills.

 

New Blog Site

OK…I’ve made the jump to Word Press.  There are many reasons for the switch but the one you need to be most happy with is that now everyone can post…not just Google members.  I hope you will take advantage and post early and often.  Please add me to your RSS Feeder so you won’t miss any posts.  Thank you for your support!

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P.S.  I can now put my own signature in.  How cool is that?  Well, it’s pretty cool for me!

The Three Essentials for a Great Presentation

Last Saturday, I was in attendance at the NSA Northwest meeting featuring Hall of Fame speaker Patricia Fripp. You should have been there (maybe you were!). If you were, you would know why Patricia is one of the foremost speech coaches in the world.

She reminded all of us of the three (3) essential parts of a great presentation (not just speech). It’s pretty basic bit if you’re like me you need to be reminded all the time!

The three key components are your:

  • Structure – How is your presentation laid out? Is it logical and understandable?
  • Material – What you know; your message; your services
  • Delivery – How do you say it?

She also reminded us that our presentation needs to be memorable and repeatable. Hmm. Can you imagine if your audience, regardless of who it is, could remember and repeat your product, service or message?

If you ever have the opportunity to watch Patricia live, do it. You won’t regret your decision.

Learn more about Patricia Fripp at her web site – http://www.fripp.com/

Cheers,

Dan

Simple is better…

As I prepare my speech for the 2008 Toastmasters International Speech Competition, I realize the importance of brevity. The speech contest requires your speech to be from 5 to 7 minutes with a 30 second grace period either way. As I started writing this speech, I was well over 8 and a half minutes!

This happens all the time as I then take out my scalpel and start trimming words. It’s important not to become too attached to any of your speech because you never know when you have to give a part of it the ax.

In the end, it’s important to gaining a clearer message so your audience will “get it”. Jerry Seinfeld has said that he will spend hours taking a 15 word joke down to 8 words. Why? Because brevity is important. It creates a clearer message for your audience. Remember “Keep it Simple Stupid” (KISS)? That mantra holds true for your speeches and presentations, too!

Dan

P.S. I’m getting closer to announcing my boot camp and workshop dates for the rest of the year. Stay tuned. The best way to do that is to sign up for my FREE e-newsletter. You can do that by going to my website.