Archive: January, 2014

Post from Transformation Tom- Have an Individual Conversation with the Whole Audience—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - January 31, 2014 - News
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Conversation

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Have an Individual Conversation with the Whole Audience

 

When you’re giving a presentation, it should come across as naturally
as a dinner conversation with a loved one. The topics may be
slightly different, but the tone should not be. The audience should feel
as though they are in your living room with you having a nice chat, so
that you come across as genuine, thus providing sincerity and credibility.
If the audience feels as though you are acting, or you are speaking
through them (instead of with them), you will lose them. Your true
personality will begin to shine only when you adopt a conversational
approach. This doesn’t mean you can’t use tools like voice inflection
and stage presence, but having the audience perceive your presentation
as a personal conversation will strengthen their bond with you.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Post from Transformation Tom- Send Your Message to One Person and Watch it Grow: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - January 24, 2014 - News
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Watch Message Grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can remember the many times I was sending a message to a group of

people and wondered why the entire group didn’t get it. Trying to swing

the tide for a group of people is difficult at times. Although more of an

investment needs to be made up front, I have found consistent success in

my ability to make a difference by working with one person at a time, or

with smaller groups of people. People learn in different ways, and at different

speeds. Although larger group lessons—especially business-specific

training—may save time, more difficult or complex messages may be

better suited for one-on-one situations or smaller groups.

 

Additionally, in meeting situations, there are a variety of personalities,

opinions, and experience levels. Not everyone in a room or a meeting

is going to agree with what is being said, interpret what is being said

the same way, or even engage in the same way. If you are trying to gain

mutual buy-in for a new proposal, for example, you can gain an advantage

in getting your points across more effectively if you have support

already in the room. You can prepare by having conversations ahead

of time with specific individuals. Even a quick conversation hitting key

points reduces the surprise factor and will engage that person more in the

conversation about the message you are trying to convey. If you feel there

is going to be contention, it is much easier with support already on your

side. Popular opinions grow when there is more support behind them.

Your invested time prior to the meeting will not be wasted time; in fact,

the invested time should make the meeting more efficient and effective by

minimizing the arguments and contrary dialogue. I am realistic enough

to know that the pre-meetings are not required for every meeting, but a

targeted approach for key circumstances will be beneficial when there is

a crucial message you want to convey.

 

I want to share a story about a message blossoming. I saw a résumé

on a central printer in our workspace that was not organized well and

contained multiple typographical errors. I decided to proactively contact

the person and provide them feedback. I had experience in this field and

wanted to make the story of her career stronger. I didn’t know the person,

but I wrote some notes and gave them to her manager to pass along. She

came to see me and we went over the suggestions. The final product was

excellent and one that made her burst with pride. She told some teammates

about our interaction. I soon had a few more résumé conversations

that turned into career direction conversations. I felt like a counselor, but

I was enjoying the interaction and felt like each conversation was a learning

experience for everyone. I was making a difference one person at a

time. I became driven to help the people I was working with succeed.

More often than not, they needed the little extra push to find their right

path. I was learning that a positive message gets used and passed on.

 

In another example, I was invited to a small gathering to help spark

interest in getting managers involved in developing themselves, developing

their people, and getting more involved in the community. I shared

many of my professional experiences, relating how my communication,

confidence, and overall growth improved when I began to take steps to

improve myself. I often mentioned Toastmasters as an opportunity for

others to improve their communication and leadership skills. A few

expressed interest in joining the group.

 

I was surprised when a senior leader whispered an invite to me to

teach her managers how to more effectively manage up. I took the invitation

and prepared an hour-long discussion. The small group interaction

went well. A manager in another department had heard about it from one

of the attendees and asked if I could teach his newer managers how to

communicate more effectively. The session was expanded to include how

to become more organized, how to network better, how to write résumés,

and how to navigate through their careers. We turned the interactions

into a monthly series, and the targeted audience was expanded to include

more tenured managers and people from outside that particular line of

business. Not one of these people reported to me, and not one of them

was obligated to listen. I was learning to adapt my messages based on the

audience, and was improving my ability to provide a message that people

could walk away with and spread to others.

 

The next time you are finding little success in having your message

absorbed, change your tack. You have important messages to send. Be

proactive, patient, and creative. Pull someone to the side and watch the

message spread.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

 

Post from Transformation Tom- Engage Your Audience—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - January 17, 2014 - News
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Engage Your Audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Engage Your Audience

 

Engaging and connecting with your audience can be as easy as asking
questions. Rhetorical, closed-ended questions, such as “Have you
ever found yourself in a similar situation…?” will get the audience thinking
and heads potentially nodding. You can up the ante with more
thought-provoking questions, such as, “What if you found yourself with
one day left to live?” The audience instantly will start to relate by figuring
out what’s in it for them. It is imperative to find creative ways to make
the audience a part of the speech somehow by understanding how your
words relate to them. Asking thought-provoking open or closed-ended
questions allows the door to open to appeal to the audience wants and
needs, even when a direct audience response isn’t needed.
Conversely, you can interact with the audience by asking them
questions that need may require a reply. There is the obvious and often
overused question: “How’s everyone doing today?” Or you can ask
everyone to stand up and get involved somehow. All of these examples
avoid letting your audience be passive, and begins to make them a part
of the event. Be creative to engage your audience.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

Post from Transformation Tom- Work on Your “Um, Ya Know” Filler Words—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - January 3, 2014 - News
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Um Ya Know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Work on Your “Um, Ya Know” Filler Words

As much as I might want to say I have never said “um,” “ah,” “ya
know,” and “to be honest with you,” I would be lying. Yes, “to be honest
with you” is another potentially distracting filler phrase that I have
used. We all unnecessarily fill silence and voids with non-descript
words that have little to no meaning. Even the word “awesome” has lost
its true meaning with its overuse. My recent favorite is with the habit
of many people ending their sentences with, “Right?” The painful, but
effective, solution to filler words is to become conscious of your saying
them. Whether you have some trusted listeners around you who will
count them or throw a hand up when you say them, or you become
conscious of your own usage, you will find that simply paying attention
to them and making a concerted effort to improve is all you need to
break the habit. We have a comfort level with the use of some of these
so-called words and phrases and have built a habit that has to be broken.
Just as you would do kicking any bad habit, exercise a strong will,
find a solid support system, and you will improve.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com