Teaching Lesson for your Kids

Do you monitor what your kids post on their MySpace and Facebook accounts?

I’m giving a presentation to a group of young adults tomorrow morning.  The majority of my program deals with presentation skills.  We will tackle the dreaded word “like”; learn how to make actual eye contact with another human; and dress for success.

We also will discuss the dangers of having one of your funny posts cost you a job.  If you don’t think employees are using Facebook and MySpace to check out potential employees AND current ones, think again.  In researching this topic, I found a great article on the subject.  It’s a few years old but worth the read…




Patricia Fripp at the 2008 NSA Convention

OK.  When Patricia Fripp comments on one of my posts…I listen.  So should you.  When she gives me a video to watch, I do.  So should you.

From an article I wrote a few days ago, Patricia was kind enough to offer this video for you, my very special readers.  This is a great example of storytelling, connecting with an audience, and delivering a message. 

By the way, once you’re done with this, read her comments on my last article. She offers a nugget of wisdom for you…



Speaking with Reckless Abandon

A funny thing happened last night as my two dogs waited anxiously to escape my bedroom and get to breakfast.  Charlie is my black lab mix and Captain Jack is my Jack Russell terrorist (whoops Terrier).  They both crowded around the door waiting to be the first to exit.  I guess it’s a dog thing.

As I started opening the door, Charlie wiggled his way in using his much larger body to block out Captain Jack.  He would have made a great basketball center.  Jack had other thoughts.  If you are familiar with a Jack Russell terrier, you know they are high energy and live in reckless abandon mode.  Captain Jack got behind Charlie and at the precise moment the door swung open, leaped on Charlie’s back and then in perfect “touch and go” motion, vaulted over his head and out the door.  You can’t make this stuff up!

Captain Jack offers a lesson for all of us in business.  He was focused on the prize.  He was willing to go at it with reckless abandon.  How do you approach your goals?  Do you go after them with that same energy level?

If you’re like me, you’ve seen business speakers who never change positions, voice inflection, or energy level.  Boring doesn’t begin to cover their presentation. Hall of Fame Speaker Patricia Fripp says the number one enemy of a speaker is “sameness”.  Well, “sameness” when it’s uninspired is probably the worst evil for a speaker.

I’m not suggesting you are there to be an over-the-top, Robin Williams-style speaker.  But you do need to be at a higher energy level that your audience.  You do need to engage them by changing your vocal variety, moving on stage appropriately, and being passionate about your message.  If not, you are guaranteed to bore the socks off your audinece.  If that audience is supposed to buy or be interested in your product or service, that’s bad news for you!

The next time you’re up in front of a group – maybe it’s a Chamber of Commerce audience, an investor group, or a networking meeting – gauge the room and make sure you are attacking your message with the same reckless abandon that Captain Jack did.  Just be careful on the landing!



Michael Phelps and Speaking – My Comments in The Baltimore Sun

What does it take to go from superstar athlete to superstar speaker?  Jill Rspeakersosen from the Baltimore Sun interviewed me on Michael Phelps sudden stardom and his speaking opportunities on Oprah, Jay Leno, MTV, and tonight on Saturday Night Live. 

Read the entire article and my thoughts on the subject by clicking here – http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/olympics/bal-phelps0912,0,262210.story



Speaking off the Cuff

As my mentor Patricia Fripp always says, “Life is a series of sales situations”.  How right she is!

Most of the time, you have to give a “presentation” off a question, situation, or mishap that you weren’t expecting.  Are you prepared to do that with confidence?  What happens if you can’t?  Want to learn how?

Below, you will see a video from last Tuesday where I competed in my Toastmasters Club Table Topics competition.  For you non-Toasties, this is an opportunity to speak for 2 minutes to a question that you don’t know is coming.  It’s a great way to simulate business situations.  As you watch the video, I’ve included three strategies I use.  You may find these valuable.

By the way, let’s get one thing out of the way.  This is NOT a professional video shoot!  Yes, it’s dark; I’m not always centered; the lighting is terrible; and oh yes, the video bag is in the way at the start.  Now go find the keys to helping you learn how to speak better off the cuff!