Because I Can

I have entitled this video ‘Because I Can’.

This is an unscheduled video. We had a beautiful snowfall her today and I wanted to share its beauty. There is a little bit of a message about goal setting, Mostly it is about the beautiful backdrop.

I hope you enjoy it.
 
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2017 Has Arrived!

I hope that you had an enjoyable holiday and that you got to experience quality time with family and friends. For me it was a tremendous opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate.

A popular activity for this time of year is to set New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a lot of success achieving my past New Year’s resolutions. I like to set goals instead.

Resolutions seem to be linked specifically to the start of the New Year. Goals however can be made anytime through the year. Whether you call them resolutions or goals there are still a couple of things you have to consider.

The first thing you need is a strategy. It can be a strategy for your professional life, your personal life or both. Your strategy becomes your vision. It gives you a big picture to navigate against. Once you have your strategy created you can then set goals for achieving it.

The second one is that your goals/resolutions need to have plans for how you are going to achieve them. A goal without a plan is just a dream. You have to take action in order to make them happen.

As you progress towards your goals it is important to assess them against your strategy. Are they still supporting the strategy? You may need to make some adjustments. At the same time you should check your strategy. The new knowledge you gained while working towards your goals may inspire you to make tweaks to your strategy.

I wish you much prosperity and success as you strive to achieve your goals/resolutions for 2017.
 
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Merry Christmas!!

Thank you for your interest in 2016. I hope you found the video blog and Joel’s Minute helpful and informative.

I hope that you have a wonderful Holiday and that you get to experience quality time with family and friends.

I wish you much success in the New Year.

I look forward to serving you in 2017 and to continuing to help you Make Your Voice Heard!




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It’s Not a Secret Pill

No, it’s not a secret pill, but I think this third instalment on how to effectively handle speaking speaking anxiety is as close as it gets.

In the first post I spoke about the importance of preparation. If you are not prepared it is almost impossible to be confident and comfortable speaking. Remember that preparation includes proper rehearsal of your delivery.

In the second post I talked about converting the negative energy that goes into being anxious and converting it to positive energy by focusing on something constructive like eye contact, vocal variety, facial expression, etc.

In this post I share the power of breathing. I have often heard it said that you should take a few deep breaths before you start to calm yourself down. I agree with the concept and have taken it even further. About two months ago I viewed a short video on meditation done by a monk. He advised that we can meditate anytime, anywhere. He spoke about how we all have monkey brains that are constantly chattering. In order to quiet the chatter he suggested that we give our monkey brain a task. The task he suggested was to pay attention to our breath; “breathing in, breathing out”. We only need to do it 2-3 times to reap benefits from it. Using this technique just before we speak can be very effective at managing our anxieties.

Yes, breathing is good but focusing on our breathing is even more powerful.
 
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Are You Still Looking for a Secret Pill?

In a previous post I identified preparation as the most important consideration for managing your speaking anxiety.

In this post I speak about how converting negative energy to positive energy can have a significant impact on your anxiety levels. You only have so much energy. When you are anxious about public speaking most of that energy is channelled in a negative way. You become keenly aware of your anxiety that it is your focus of attention.

Shifting that focus to something constructive can convert that energy in a positive way. If you put emphasis on eye contact when you speak you peel away some of the negative energy. The same is true if you focus on other aspects such as vocal variety, facial expression, gestures and body language. All of these are positive uses of your energy and leave less energy for being anxious.

When you focus on your audience and how you deliver your message you shift your energy to something constructive and reduce your speaking anxiety.
 
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Are You Looking for a Secret Pill?

Are you looking for a secret pill to help deal with your speaking anxiety?

Many individuals are looking for a quick fix to their speaking anxiety. The reality is that there is no quick fix. It took us years to learn our public speaking anxiety. The good news is that we can ‘unlearn’ it. It will require patience, commitment and participation. It will take time.

You do not mange your anxiety by focusing on ‘tricks’ such as imaging your audience in their underwear. I had a hard enough time when they were fully dressed. Another trick that doesn’t work is to find a spot on the back wall and look at it while you speak. One of the core skills of public speaking and all types of oral communication is to engage your audience. The best way to do that is through eye contact. So staring at a spot on the wall won’t work.  

There are more practical ways to manage your speaking anxiety. The most important one is preparation. If you are not prepared you have set yourself up for failure. You have to know your content well and be clear on the most effective way to deliver it. Preparation includes rehearsal. 

Preparation gives you a solid foundation to work with. My next post will show you how to build on that foundation and how that will lead to you managing your speaking anxiety.
 
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What Are They Saying About You?

In an earlier blog post I spoke about the importance of reflecting on what virtues we want to be known for when we speak. This post is somewhat related and takes a more holistic approach to it.

It is about letting our positive aspects shine through. Each of us have unique things that make up our personalities and we are all different. Most of them can be described with a single word; authentic, passionate, knowledgeable, sincere, etc. I could easily list another dozen or more.

When we speak or present we want to bring all of our positive traits to the forefront. We want to ensure that we are displaying the best version of ourselves. We owe it to our audience and ourselves.

If you wan them to say positive things you have to strive to deliver your best every time.

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A Smile Costs Nothing But Gives Much

A Smile Costs Nothing But gives Much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give.

Never underestimate the power of a smile. It only takes a moment yet it has the power to change someones day in a positive way.

Most people would rather be around a pleasant person. It just feels good. Also, it is good exercise for your face. It has been proven that it takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown. So exercise your face, give someone you know, or better yet, a stranger, one of your smiles. It will enrich, both, your day and their’s.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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They Will Remember How You Made Them Feel

We use words to communicate with our audience, but it is how we package those words that will determine what is actually communicated. How we deliver our message and engage our audience plays a big role in how they interpret what we are saying.

The reality is that they will forget the actual words quite quickly. However they will remember how we made them feel a lot longer.

The more adept we are at making those feelings as strong as possible the more memorable we will be as speakers.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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Ink It When You Think It

A few years ago I attended a speakers convention in Toronto and had the privilege to take in a workshop delivered by Sam Horn. Sam shared several things and one really resonated with me. It was the concept of “Ink when you think it.”

In the past I had experienced many times where I had a great idea, someone recommended a book, or I needed to capture some piece of information for future reference. I didn’t have anyway to immediately record it so I had to wait until I got to my desk to write it down. By that time I had usually forgotten what it was and I was unable to get back to the same mindset to retrieve it. So it was lost.

Sam suggested we have a piece of paper or a journal nearby to capture the information. This wasn’t a practical option for me.

A few months after Sam’s workshop I attended another session by David Gouthro. David gave each attendee a small pocket notebook to jot down key thoughts. I finally had a way to ‘ink it when I think it’ no matter where I was. I have completed close to a dozen of these books and have built an inventory of thoughts and ideas that I refer to daily.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.