If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that challenges at home have often interfered with regular posting. I appreciate your sticking with me. I wanted to let you know that, once again, things are changing around what has variously been called King’s Corner and Speaking Impact.
Some of you have probably forgotten that you even subscribed! Others have come on board in recent weeks, usually via a post on Medium, where I have been doing most of my short-form writing in the last year or so. You may decide to unsubscribe with the recent updates, and if so, no hard feelings, and I wish good things for you. But you might want to browse through this post before deciding to do so. Continue reading
Pan containing 40 1/2 oz of gold, value $650.00, on Mr. Low’s claim. From Flickr
I enjoy teaching, and have been fortunate to have good classes throughout the last year. It was fascinating watching the process of them starting with something that is often very general and then slicing it down to fit the time limit, while developing enough depth to interest an audience.
In the process of doing that, many of them got excited as they made the topic truly their own. Continue reading
You really can only set about one solid idea every 10 minutes or so. That happens to also be about the length of time you can hold someone’s attention. I believe the two are closely related. Continue reading
There are a lot of reasons Lois Creamer is one of my speaking heroes. Here are just a few of them.
We haven’t had this conversation, but in my observation, I don’t think Lois thinks of herself as a speaker. She might call herself a speaking professional. Certainly, she is an expert who speaks… and writes… and blogs… and produces CDs and audio products… in other words, she knows something, and will share it in any way she can.
If anyone understands the importance of focus, it is Lois. As long as I have known her (which must be over 15 years), she has focused on working with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes.
She doesn’t confuse simple and easy. She takes things that scare people and tells them a simple way to do what needs doing. But she doesn’t tell you it’s easy. That part depends on what you do with it.
She walks her talk. (Focus, sticking with your niche, positioning statements.) So she’s a great model.
She doesn’t quit. I won’t go into personal circumstances I happen to know about. Let’s just say she doesn’t let what happens outside the business interfere with the business. (And I suspect she doesn’t let business interfere with what happens outside the business, either.)
She has figured out how to manage the balance of business and personal connections. I think she’s a great friend, and in a people business, that can potentially be a problem. If you give away the store to your friends, you will starve, and then you won’t be able to help anyone! She’s done a fantastic job of being a friend, and also knowing when an interaction needs to cross into “on the clock.”
As I said, there are lots of other reasons. These are just a few. If you have a chance to hear Lois, take it. If you have a chance to work with her, take it. Your business will be better as a result.
I once had a student who was stuck. She was supposed to speak in a speech round starting on Friday, and she came to me on Wednesday complaining that she couldn’t get started. She had come up with about a minute’s worth of material.
“What are you trying to develop a topic on?” I asked.
I’ve noticed the last few years that students seem to bring a slightly higher degree of beginning presentation skills into the classroom. I suspect this comes from growing up surrounded by hundreds of cable channels and YouTube.
It has even reached the point where the old saw about public speaking being the number one fear is no longer true. I thought perhaps it was, indeed, a steady trend of increasing confidence. If so, this semester doesn’t fit the trend. In fact, students have generally had more trouble with the second speech round than the first speech round. Continue reading
As Caldwell’s research reveals, true passion can’t be forced. You can participate in personality tests and self-reflection exercises until you drop from exhaustion, but it’s unstructured exploration coupled with aggressive follow-ups that most consistently leads people to a life-consuming interest.
He gives several practical examples. It’s worthwhile reading the article, and then thinking about what it means in your life, which is probably cram packed with activities. In light of Newport’s ideas, no wonder we have trouble finding or remembering our passion in life!