Is to BE, don’t seek or try.  Be QUIET and hear your breath doing it’s job.  Listen to the wind’s music and the baby’s laughter.  Let GO of life as you wish it to be and see/feel the PRESENT as it is.  One wise person wrote:
“You’ve already found.  You already have.  You already know.  You already are.”  Recharge you with a special experience.  When I experience a sense of awe, I am inspired to volunteer more, become less impatient, and feel more satisfied.  And you?
The Coach asks . . . that you join me in invoking wisdom and peace, mindfulness and compassion as we prepare to enter 2013.

(C)2012                   www.schrift.com      

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I have learned that full awareness in the present moment constitutes my meditation practice. And yet, my mind has a mind of its own – it wanders! Does yours? This is my first insight and I need to retrain my mind to stay in the present . . . moment by moment. Whew! This is a lot of effort. “Right (wise) effort” tells me to stay present with it. “Unwise effort” is when I try to make something happen – but this never works because my experience is always changing. I can’t control my displeasure or prevent pleasure from passing away.

The Coach thinks . . . there is a strength in awareness.

(c)2012     www.schrift.com

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A great public speaker knows that not everyone in the audience will agree with his/her point(s). Hey, if everyone in the room agreed with you, would you need to make a presentation? The reason you make a presentation is to make a “point,” to sell your ideas so that when people leave, they will begin to think/act differently. To do this, you need to provide your audience with great content and great delivery. Logic needs to be coupled with feelings. We need to know, but we also need to feel in order to take action.

The Coach sez . . . tell your audience what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. Deep down, that’s what we all want.

 (C)  2012                   www.schrift.com

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Do You Have A Good Story?

Over the years, while listening to professional speakers, I noticed that the best story tellers deliver a speech with several stories that are accented by their points. They understand that it isn’t just providing content that impacts their audience, but their story. A way to inspire, motivate and get people to take some action, think differently. To make the emotional connection with your audience, try Pareto’s Principle: 80% story and 20% content. You must reach their hearts and their souls.

The Coach sez . . . people need to know as well as feel to be inspired to make a change.

(c)2012 www.schrift.com

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Why Do We Hold Hands?

I love when I can hold hands with one or more people. It feels like we are caring and cared for – feeling connected. My children and I held hands when we crossed the street and when they needed emotional support. Author Robert Fulghum, of All I Really need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, wrote: “When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.” Andy Smallman tells a story about an older couple who were married for 72 years died an hour apart. They were in an auto accident and brought to the emergency room where they were placed side by side. Guess what they did? They held hands and when they died soon after, they were still holding hands. The husband died one hour before his wife and his wife’s heartbeat was visible on his heart monitor. . . because they were holding hands!

The Coach sez . . . who can you hold hands with today?

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I always advise my clients to start with the end in mind. What do you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation? Think differently? Act differently? Then create a speech that takes your audience there. For example: Make sure your business spends less than it makes so you can create a profit. And then give them a few steps to follow to make this happen.

Do you speak from your heart? Are you authentic? When I watch speakers who demonstrate their passion for what they are saying, I see an audience who is moved and responsive to the words they are hearing.

Be conversational with your audience. Do you know about your audience before you address them? A true professional speaker never gives the same speech twice. They know their audience is always different, so they vary their tone, material and delivery to fit the group.

Tell a story. Do you tell your own story or stories? They are the best to share. Use statistics often to provide your audience with concrete facts.

Stories and statistics are all around us – start collecting them now.

The Coach sez . . . stay spontaneous but practice, practice, practice. Ovid, 43 B.C. –A.D. said it best : “Practice is the best of all instructors.”

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Tell me a story

Have you ever thought about how storytelling helps us create a better life and a better place in the real world? Storytelling is becoming increasingly popular, not just with the professional speaker, but with novices. We all have our stories to tell and we now realize that it helps feed our need for connection and more recently for social change. “The story revival is over. The story revolution has begun.” I find audiences are listening to each other better when they have a direct exchange. When we hear a story (without the glitz and manipulation) we begin to delineate our thoughts visually and remember the story long after we hear it. On a neurological level, studies tell us that we really do feel the storyteller’s pain, joy, grief and hope. Do you love your audience enough to tell your story in an authentic and vulnerable way?

The Coach sez . . . forget the data and use your stories to intrigue and inspire your audience to feel hope and optimism.

(C) 2012 www.schrift.com

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Your body language, nonverbal cues, tells a lot about how you perform at a job, career and on stage as a public speaker. Research suggests that nonverbal cues are more important than verbal ones. I came across one study that spoke about “body language comprises 55% of the force of any response, whereas the verbal content only provides 7%, and ‘paralanguage,’ or the intonation, pauses and sighs given when answering or speaking, represents 38% of the emphasis.

Our schools put more emphasis on the spoken word. I suggest you learn to use a few simple tips to accentuate your body language as a public speaker or even interview for a job.

Always lean forward. You will appear to be an interested listener. Leaning back projects lack of confidence.

Never look down. Maintain eye control at all times. This creates openness and honesty. As a speaker, face your audience left of center, right of center and center.

Have a relaxed, open posture with your arms in a comfortable position. Don’t fold your arms – this makes you appear hostile.

Make sure your facial expressions match your message. If you are speaking about something very sad, don’t smile! However, do smile when you are talking about something upbeat and positive.

If you want to appear confident and expressive, strive for a posture that is free and natural to your speaking style.

You can practice your stance by standing with your feet less than shoulder width apart. Stand tall, not slouched.

AND never put your hands in your pockets. Men often do this and even jingle their change. This is a No, No.

Want to practice your body language? Use a mirror and better yet, get a friend to take video footage of your talk.

Need some help? Get a speaker coach . . . like me! Email me at sandra@schrift.com

Finally, don’t overdue your hand gestures. I have seen some speakers who constantly flail their hands around – this is distracting and annoying. If you have a tendency to do this, use a hand-held microphone to keep your hands busy.

(c) 2012 www.schrift.com

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I was reading Spider-Man to one of my grandchildren last week and some other stories from his bookshelves. I noticed that most of the good stories have a hero, a serious challenge and learning something as a result. Good public speakers tell a story that helps the audience identify with themselves, their problems, their needs, their solutions. So how can you help them make their lives better? If you are sharing one of your personal stories, it is best to tell how you overcame your challenge – and that they can too! A story with hope, a story with a happy ending. Then they can become the hero of their own story.

The Coach sez . . . when you speak from the platform, remember it is about them, not you.

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Author, Michael Gerber, wrote an important business book in the nineties which still holds truetoday. Here are a summary of the top 10 points. All good tips for any person who is a business owner.

1. It is a fatal assumption that if you understand the technical work of a business- that you understand a business that does technical work. Not so. When a florist opens a shop, he/she may create fabulous floral arrangements, but what do they know about marketing and managing employees?
2. Work on your business, not in it. Too many entrepreneurs try to do it all. Delegate the inside stuff and get outside to network and market your great business.
3. A successful business copies the principles that franchises use. 50% of all small businesses fail after one year – only 5% of franchises do. So pay close attention to how the franchises operate, if you want to succeed.
4. Franchises ‘keep their promise’ by creating a consistent, predictable experience for their customers. I am told (by the meat eaters) that a Big Mac in San Diego taste like a Big Mac in Las Vegas. The pickles are in the center of the bun in both cities (so as not to fall on your shirt!)
5. What is your ‘primary aim’ for your business –the experience that will benefit your customer in every interaction with your company. Examples: your compassion, caring, good listeners, trustworthiness.
6. A Gerber Management Strategy – devise an accountabilities checklist for your employees to sign off every day. Important to have detailed job descriptions for each position in the company.
7. A Gerber People Strategy – each position should be created to be operated by people with the lowest possible level of skill. This brings about simplicity in the job descriptions.
8. A Gerber Marketing Strategy – choose your target market and keep track of the demographics of those groups/individuals. What wording or colors does your target market respond favorably to?
9. A Gerber Systems Strategy – hard systems are furniture, buildings and soft systems are people, sales pitches. Information systems quantify everything that figures out what works and what does not. Example: When a prospect calls me about my coaching services, I have a client intake form to record all the answers/information the prospect provides me.
10. The 3 keys to a successful business are innovation, quantification and orchestration. Employees will feel more open and free to offer creative suggestions to improve their accountabilities.

The Coach thinks . . . most people who are successful in business have an insatiable need to know more.

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