Where Do You Live – Past, Present, Or Future?

What does your past have in common with Jimmy Hoffa? They are both dead!

I have a dear friend who is agonizing over a decision he made several weeks ago. He had to fire someone. It was a good decision, and one that was actually necessary to preserve his own integrity in his business. The person was being paid a high salary, and with that comes responsibility for leadership and willingness to learn new things (especially since it was a position in information technology.) But this person refused to learn anything new. He wanted to show up every day and do the same things he always did. He also had to be spoon-fed assignments. While he was supposed to be my friend’s backup, he showed no leadership potential nor desire to develop it. And, he was using company time to do his side job.

So why is my friend suffering over this? He is a good person, and he thinks he hurt the person he fired. The truth is, he did this guy a favor by giving him a wake-up call. But my real point is this:

What possible benefit do we get from reliving the past? None! After we accept any lesson we needed to learn, it is time to move on. Driving with your eyes on the rear view mirror is dangerous!

That being said, we need a healthy balance between:

Visualizing our future
Living in the present, to take action
In “Think And Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill’s Self Confidence Formula challenges you to spend 30 minutes daily thinking about the person you want to become. But he also says to transform that picture into reality through practical service and to spend 10 minutes daily to develop the factors named in his “The Law of Success” book. One of the principles he teaches is that you need definite plans and you need to put them into action. But without the visualization of where you are trying to go, “any road will do.”

I personally believe some of us spend too much time in the past because we are afraid to move forward. We think if we keep going over what already happened, the success formula for the future will become evident. But it doesn’t work that way. We need to decide where we want to go, and let the Universe show the way.

Setting forth bold intentions and burning the bridges of escape, as Mr. Hill teaches, is very scary! And yet he also teaches us that temporary defeat is to be expected and accepted. There is no reason to fear temporary defeat, as long as it is temporary. The point is to persist and never give up on that burning desire you create in your mind.

Spend just enough time in the future to know what it looks like, and reflect on it daily. But don’t spend all day visualizing! Once the picture is clear each day, live in the present and use all of your senses to get the messages the Universe sends you about the correct actions to take.

And remember, as Mr. Hill teaches, “Through the principle of auto-suggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of realizing it.”

Public Speaking – How to Deliver a Better Business Presentation

Public speaking is an important topic especially in the business world. Everyone in the business world has to speak in public at some point in time. And one of the best ways to get a raise in pay is to totally blow your boss away. Giving a good speech or presentation in public can extremely boost your career.

How do you deliver a better presentation? I hope to answer this question in the following article.

Use Visual Elements
Studies have shown that people are better able to remember something when it’s something visual like a picture or a chart. You can of course use that to your advantage in your presentation. Make a nice chart on your topic which includes lots of relevant information reproduced in a new way. You can also simply use flip charts or draw something on a board. But don’t use too much images otherwise your listeners will be distracted by them and won’t listen to you anymore.

Good Body Language
Body language is something that is often forgotten when holding a presentation. But there isn’t almost anything that is more essential than a good posture. To appear confident you should straighten yourself and set your feet shoulder-wide apart. Chest out, shoulders back. Then the last thing you need to keep in mind is your eye contact. It should feel natural looking at your listeners. Don’t look at them for too long but also don’t look at them for a glimpse of a second.

Videotape Yourself
Taping yourself while holding a speech is one of the best ways to get better at public speaking. The reason is that normally you do things you don’t even notice while holding your presentation. The videotape will help you see these things and will help you correct them by making your more aware of them. Bit by bit you will get better.

Your Presentation Skills May Be Great, But What About the Sound of Your Speaking Voice?

I have belonged to a public speaking network for some time now and it never ceases to amaze me that the members do not talk about the actual sound of the speaking voice. From topics covering the value of content versus delivery to the elimination of nervousness and even ways to find speaking engagements, they never discuss the image of the voice and what it says about them.

If your delivery is dynamic but your diction is hard to understand, then it really doesn’t matter how great your presentation skills because your audience is left unable to receive your message. Perhaps you speak too softly and they cannot hear you comfortably. On the other hand, maybe you are too loud and your sound being amplified by a speaker is painful to your listeners’ ears.

Your voice may be excessively nasal, whiny, shrill, wimpy, young-sounding, old-sounding, hoarse, gravelly, quivering, or just plain unattractive. What do you think any one of those characteristics would say about you? As a public speaker, your voice is the vehicle for your words. If you take courses in and read articles about presentation skills, would you not want to do something about your vocal image – that which is transporting your message? (By the way, I’m talking about the voice you hear on your answering machine, not the one you hear in your head!)

What is fascinating is that we all have a better voice inside, we’re just not aware of it. It is richer, warmer, deeper in pitch, resonant, and has the ability to be projected without shouting. In addition, your ‘real’ voice – versus your habitual one – can last for greater lengths of time without doing damage to your throat and vocal folds (cords). This is known as vocal abuse and is common among politicians and public speakers. Hilary Clinton and Anthony Robbins are two very good examples of vocal abuse. The latter’s voice has deteriorated to such a degree that he needs steroids in order to speak for great lengths of time. That should never have happened.

Voice training is something all public speakers should consider because the voice is truly the fundamental, the building block. Everything else is the icing on the cake. Without a voice, there is no public speaking. Without the cake, the icing really doesn’t matter.

I discovered my real voice many years ago and it is only improving with age. It’s a marvelous feeling to have total control over your voice no matter what the situation. What image is your voice projecting?