Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of January 14, 2009
Get a Standing Ovation
Anyone who has experienced my library of over 1,000 books knows that my favorite book of all times is typically the one in hand at the moment.  Like you, I am passionate about learning new ways to look at old challenges.  There's so much great material out there.
Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki is my current favorite book.  The subtitle to this book is The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition.  Anytime Guy writes or speaks, I listen.  He is brilliant. 
In Reality Check, Kawasaki provides uncomplicated tools and strategies for literally everything you need to know in business.  What's unique about his approach is that it is quick, bottom line, expert advice in three to four page chapters.
Having spent many years in Toastmasters, I found his work on public speaking to be particularly outstanding.  Each of you must speak publically at some point, some of you, more often than others.  When it's your turn in front of the room, it pays to be prepared. 
Here are some of his suggestions (blended in with my own) to win over a crowd and get your own standing ovation:
  • Prepare: Step away from the computer and prepare the thoughts you wish to communicate from your heart.  You're talking 'with' not 'at' your audience.
  • Customize: In the first five minutes, show your audience that you know who they are, and you'll be set for the rest of the speech.
  • Focus on Entertaining: If people are entertained, you can slip in information, but if your speech is dull, no amount of information will make it great.
  • Avoid Overuse of PowerPoint: Your audience is there to hear you, not read.  If you must use it, use few slides and make them entertaining.
  • Introduction: Your introduction frames your presentation.  Always have someone else introduce you, and hand them the introduction as you want it read.
  • Rehearse: You should rehearse in front of people at least three or four times all the way through and rehearse the first three minutes and closing at least  ten times. 
  • Overdress: To underdress communicates this message: "I'm smarter, richer, more powerful than you. If you underdress, the audience will not take you seriously."
Kawasaki also references the book Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and the website  (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, a prestigious conference where the likes of Al Gore speak) as additional sources to enhance your public communication skills.  And of course, there is the wisdom of this time-old adage: If you want to get better at something, practice makes perfect.
Know that you are always communicating.  Even if it's not in front of 500 people at a time, using your communication talents will still show your audience your skill level. 
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week.

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Hi Ann, I thought you may enjoy knowing that I shared this message with my fellow employees. Wow! There was mixed levels of emotion visible upon reading the message. All positive. A great awakening message to us all. Yes, you do make a difference.
~ Roger, Bend, Oregon

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week for January 14, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.