Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Power of Speaking Out

One of the greatest ways to build your personal profile is to run seminars. In house seminars if you work for an organisation or public seminars - if you run your own business.


For the employee, it’s the key to career advancement and becoming the subject matter expert in your business. For example……Imagine you are the IT expert in the business. You run a monthly GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR COMPUTER workshop FOC for any staff. You can be certain that one month, a member of the Senior Leadership Team will attend your Techniques for Emptying Your Inbox session. I am certain that down the track, if you then applied to be the IT guru transferred to Dubai (if that’s what you want to do?) you would get some preferential treatment.


For the business owner it’s the same gig. You may be one of 25 real estate agents in downtown Manly. If you’re the one running the free quarterly property update on Residex prices, what is selling and why - people will come to know you. The quality of prospect you create is amazing and the standing you get in the community is huge.

Here are some tips for making this work:

1: Don’t be too smart for your own good.

Choose topics that make sense. E.g. How to reduce your inbox to zero / How to speak in public / How to sell your house for the most money in a tough market.

Don’t be too creative

2: Grow your network.

You need a list of people to invite. For the internal employee this is often easy. The 500 staff working in the Melbourne office are a perfect list. Simply go through HR or L&D to gain permissions and the correct approach.

For externals it’s a bit harder. One way is to create a 7-page word document that you can send as a fact sheet/special report or e book. You might then place an add in the local paper, but primarily promote the special report as the reason for contacting you. Then, from the list of people who request the special report - you have your invite list for the event.

If no one requests the free report then at least you know your topic is a fizzer and you have saved yourself the embarrassment of running an event no one turns up to.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stinking Thinking

Rigid thinking, selective thinking and blowing out are poor thinking habits that can sabotage your chance of success and are common problems in the work place.

Are you guilty of this? You may be, without even realising it.

Rigid Thinking

Words like ‘never’ and ‘always’ come out of your mouth often. You judge yourself harshly, have unrealistic expectations and set yourself up for failure by ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’, ‘shouldn’ts’ and ‘oughts’. It’s as if you need to be whipped and punished before you can be expected to do anything.

The emotional consequence is guilt and when you direct these statements towards others, you feel anger, resentment or frustration.

Selective Thinking

This is when you put on a mental filter that picks out a single negative detail and dwells on it exclusively, regardless of tangible positive signs to the contrary.

Anticipating that things will turn out badly, you feel convinced that your prediction is an already established fact. By converting every positive experience into a negative one you often become cynical.

Blowing Out

You’re a catastrophic thinker and exaggerate the importance of things, or inappropriately shrink them until they appear tiny (also called the binocular trick).

So what should you do?

  • Soften the judgements on yourself and others, and make room for greater flexibility.
  • Develop an attitude of gratitude. Start listing what’s good in your life and acknowledge praise genuinely.
  • Avoid comparisons with others and amongst others. Focus on what you admire in each persons behaviour.
  • Take a step back, breathe, and gather all the facts

And most importantly……. Keep a sense of humour!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What do you know?

Have you ever been impressed by an individuals ability to get up and speak off the cuff, with a moments notice and be lucid, logical and make an impact?

They don’t just do this, there is some trickery at work! The seemingly spontaneous comment is actually well planned, crafted and built in advance for just such a moment.

So what's the fix?

You need an index of ideas; a bank of thoughts or modules of thought that can be accessed in a moment and instantly customised to an environment or audience.

It is ironic but the key to spontaneity lies in advance planning and preparation.

Use the following 5 steps when trying to refine what you know.

  • Start with a mind map of all the ideas you have around the point.
  • Come up with a short, sharp slogan that introduces the idea. This becomes the PART A of your point.
  • Review your mind map again and identify what of the related ideas are actually separate points and put them aside so you can work them through this same process later.
  • With the remaining ideas see if there are obvious relationships between words.
  • These relationships are then put into a sentence and become the PART B of your point; the explanatory sentence.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Want Some Sushi with that Beer?

One of the oldest questions in the book is also one of my favourites.

‘I only have one drink a night & exercise regularly, so why can’t I seem to lose weight?'

Well, that may be the case, but the fat cell is a room with a front door ‘in’ and a back door ‘out’. Each door is regulated by a protein, which opens or closes them to release stored fats into the blood stream to use as energy.

All fats you eat have the potential to be stored in a fat cell. Some are held captive while others (such as avocados and olive oil) are more readily released into your system for use as energy.

When you put sugar into your body, insulin is released. Once this happens, everything else in your system (including fat) clears out of the way. Your fat cells then suck up the drifting fat in your blood, allowing the insulin to sweep through.

This is why people put on weight when they drink. Alcohol itself isn’t fattening – but does have the sugar content. Alcohol increases the levels of the protein which opens the ‘in’ door to the fat cell – but keeps the ‘out’ door shut.

That’s OK if your sitting down to a healthy green salad (no dressing) or maybe some sashimi with that glass of chardonnay. But you’re not are you? Chances are you’re consuming handfuls of bar nuts, or enjoying a nice cheese plater.

A ‘beer belly’ is poorly named. It should be called a ‘what you ate when you were drinking beer belly’.

So……who wants fries with that now?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Who Needs That?

There’s no point having something to sell or offer unless you know who to offer it to. Sounds logical doesn’t it?

But how much do you know about your target market?

For at least 3 target groups of people, you need to be answer the 6 key questions listed below to effectively establish yourself as a subject matter in any field.

  • What do they do?
  • How do they like to be sold?
  • What can you do to stand out?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • What do they read?
  • Who do they trust and know?

Answer these questions – and you’re pitch just became a whole lot easier!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Brains

If you were born in 1900, you would have had a life expectancy of just 50 years. Today, it lies somewhere between 75 & 85 years with an increasing number of people living well past 90!

With this in mind, it’s important your mental faculties keep up with the increasing life expectancy. In short….. you need to keep a happy brain.

Preserving your serotonin levels will encourage a mental longevity to accompany your extended biological ageing. The key to increasing serotonin in your brain and achieving a natural high, is to adjust your lifestyle.

Here’s some tips for keeping your brain happy:

  • Allow time to recover – Program some ‘pause’ into your day
  • Get outside – Sunlight provides an instant serotonin hit
  • Adopt regular sleeping habits – Deep sleep lets your body generate serotonin
  • Get touched regularly – If there’s nobody to cuddle, book a massage!
  • Do easy exercise – Exercise elevates your serotonin levels & decreases depression.
  • East more meat – Turkey & red meat (& almonds) have a protein available for the brain to manufacture happy drugs.

When you have enough serotonin, you’re happy, calm, comfortable and satisfied. Your brain will thank you for that.