Archive: May, 2014

Post from Transformation Tom- Practice—This is Not an Option—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - May 30, 2014 - News
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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Practice—This is Not an Option

 

If you are giving a prepared speech, then ensure that it is prepared.
You can’t check over notes right before you go on to present and consider
that preparation. You should practice in front of family, friends,
cats, and dogs. Find anyone and anything to be in front of to ensure
that you have practiced more than just the words. You should practice
pacing, voice inflections and places to pause, stage usage, and physical
aspects of the speech. There is too much left to chance without
preparation.
There is no such thing, in my opinion, as too much practice. There
is some risk of too much of a staged presentation, so you should use
caution to make sure your movements remain natural. However, practice
is required to get better. When practicing for speeches, if I am listening
to the radio in the car, I practice during commercials, or if I am
transitioning between tasks at work, I may find a few minutes to run
through a speech or presentation. The amount of positive feedback I
continue to receive about my obvious improvement in confidence and
skills is validation enough to keep practicing.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (2014 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention), 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),  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- Share Best Practices: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - May 23, 2014 - News
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share best practices

I once managed a team of about fifteen people who were situated next
to another team about the same size. We were starting up a new business
on site. It was exciting times and we recruited and hired the best and the
brightest people. My peer on the other team and I made the unspoken
decision to not share our ideas or best practices with each other. We were
both stubborn and competitive, and we were most likely hoarding our
knowledge and team ideas to help ourselves look better in the eyes of our
manager in the hopes of advancing ourselves. I guess this was an effort to
step on each other on the way up the corporate ladder.
We sat in the same staff meetings and were often eager to share our
team successes with our manager, but we never sat down together, just
the two of us, to share ideas that made our new department successful.
We knew one another’s team statistics and rankings as much as our own
team’s results. However, we never did anything together to build cohesion
among the overall group, including mutual meetings or team events
unless specifically directed by our manager.
When the focus group feedback came in, it was miserable for both
of us. We were perceived as non-team players and our rationale was
shrouded in mystery as to why we made such an effort to separate the
teams. The focus group desperately wanted team events, even as simple
as food days. They couldn’t figure out why we seemed to get along with
each other but held back on creating an environment in which everyone
wanted to work together. What was interesting was that we enjoyed each
other’s company, but allowed the passive-aggressive competitiveness to
get the best of us when we were working together.
The employees were confused, the teams suffered, and the new business
suffered from our poor leadership. Neither one of us found the fast
track up that corporate ladder we so desperately fought each other over.
Competition is a great motivator when used correctly, and can be used
to sustain performance. Two managers lacking the ability to build cohesion
who negatively impact motivation do not create the most conducive
environment to share best practices, or inspire people to perform.
The focus group feedback threw the cold water on our faces we both
deserved. The next steps were easy. We invested time together on a routine
basis, and made it obvious to everyone that we were on the same
team. We shared our focus group feedback details and the actions we
were planning to do to fix the issues. The manager was impressed. The
teams came together. We had more ideas generated from the combined
effort. The competition didn’t go away, but it was more targeted and more
fun. We began to set the bar even higher when we competed against other
regions doing the same job function, and set the tone and performance
bar for the company. We both learned a valuable lesson that two (or
more) heads are much better than one. We continued to work together
and saw the value of our efforts once we realized that there was plenty of
room for both of us to advance. If that wasn’t the case, then it would be
because the best person earned it. We knew that each of us were now considered
a great team player and others would see our value soon enough.
Years later, we both continued with our successful careers, both still
learning all the way. We crossed paths often, and when we didn’t, we
called each other periodically to ask questions and share information.
In fact, we met recently and discussed ideas about a new role that he was
interested in. He ended up getting an executive position, and I was very
proud of him. Best practices strengthen the core of the team, ensure the
competency of everyone around you, and assist in building the capabilities
of an ever-changing business model.
This book is my concerted effort to share many best practices I have
picked up over the years. Most are not original, or even earth-shattering
creative ideas. I have learned that I do not have to be the creator of the
idea; I just need to be the one to move it forward and pass it on. Even
when giving proper credit to the creator, I am often thanked for taking
the time to share with others. Be a team player and don’t let individual
goals or the wrong motivation drive the wrong behavior. You may find
short term gains by withholding information, but it will eventually hurt
you individually, and it is not good for the overall business. This doesn’t
mean “nice guys finish last”. It does means that you can get there together.
There is enough space on the podium for those who share their ideas.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (2014 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention), 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),  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- Be a Secret (or Not So Secret) Admirer—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - May 16, 2014 - News
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Speaker microphone

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Be a Secret (or Not So Secret) Admirer

There are plenty of people we look up to. Whether it is a family
member or a historical figure, we get strength from the success of others.
The same should be said for people who speak well. If people you
know—from work, from an organization, or simply from crossing
paths—have a skill you want to work on, try to find an opportunity to
connect with them formally or informally. If you can seek them out as
a mentor or find ways to at least get some tips from them to improve
yourself, it will make you stronger. You don’t want to admire from afar
when it comes to improving your public-speaking skills. I have found
that successful people in the field tend to be open and supportive in
sharing suggestions. You should take in everything that will continue
your positive learning trajectory. Clearly, we should not go about it
independently. We need support and help along the way for our continued
growth.
I have connected with many great speakers who produce routine
newsletters, and have found formal and informal mentors who have
shared what they do well with me. These little things begin to add up
to a much greater success when we start to implement their feedback.
Even if you don’t know someone personally, are there other ways to
connect with him or her? Can you connect with the person through
LinkedIn or through other professional groups? Do you go online and
read well-known speeches and analyze them or even attend a webinar?
You can go to YouTube, Google, or other websites to find great
speeches and great speakers who can meet your needs. Do you take a
unique learning perspective to see the strengths of the speech structure
and purpose? Can you easily understand the intended message?
Finding individual speakers whom you can emulate and learn from
should inspire you to reach further and perfect your craft. Finding the
right connections and immersing yourself in their teaching can only
make your own presentations stronger.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (2014 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention), 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),  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- Do Stuff You Love: Chapter from “The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas”

Posted by tomdowd - May 9, 2014 - News
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There are two thought processes when it comes to career movement
and development within a corporation. First, you should become an
expert in your field and hone your trade so you are the go-to person.
Businesses are in need of in-depth expertise—specialists. If a business is
in constant flux with transitioning people from place to place, there will
be instability and constant learning curves that may be steep. The second
opinion is one in which you are in a constant learning mode and moving
from one place or another. If your company is large enough, you have the
opportunity to move throughout the organization to broaden your depth
of knowledge—generalists. This thought process is about bringing your
expertise with you from the past areas to come up with creative and fresh
ideas for your new area. I averaged about eighteen months per position
prior to eventually moving on. There have been very few times when I
said I had learned everything I ever needed to know where I was, and
there are fewer times when I could say that there was nothing to learn or
share in the new position.
Businesses need both types of leaders—specialists and generalists—
in their organization. Companies need people who know the business
intimately and people who have a broad base across multiple aspects of
the business to give it perspective. The decision within a corporate culture
about moving or staying is up to company expectations, and as importantly,
it is up to what the individual wants. Personally, I seem to thrive
as a generalist, but that has been a choice. I have rarely been bored in
any of my roles, but I find I also get an itch to continue to learn different
pieces of the business. Even when I went back to previous departments,
I was typically in a new role and the business had changed significantly. I
moved with my family multiple times as a child to many states because of
my dad’s job. I guess moving around so many times growing up made it
seem natural to be in a constant state of change with new positions. I was
flexible and eager for all new challenges.
What is important is that you love what you do and do stuff you love.
Whether you are doing many different things or the same thing each day,
you should love it. There will be bad days, frustrating days, and days you
may think will never end. However, regardless of what your motivation
is to go to work every day, can you find something about your job you
like? Whether you like the challenge of finding solutions to problems or
enjoy the people you work with, there needs to be some piece of what
you do that you love. I love the different learning experiences. I love the
challenge of fixing problems. I enjoy the people I work with (most of the
time). I love that I was never pigeon-holed into one spot.
I wouldn’t want anyone to regret never trying something different
career-wise after doing the same thing and going to the same desk for
twenty-plus years. I have talked to too many people who want to try new
and different things—they need variety. As someone who studied people
retention, and just being an observer of those around me, there are some
employees who are miserable where they are and need a change. With
the understanding that some people are just hanging onto their jobs for
a paycheck, and the economy may dictate openings in a field, if you have
the chance to choose, take advantage of it. Let me make it clear that people
always have a choice to leave. There may be some timing constraints,
or other mitigating factors that hold you back, but there shouldn’t be
twenty years when you didn’t have some type of opportunity to grow or
make a decision to move on. You have choices to make the job something
you love or to move into something else that you will love.
As an employee you should be proactive in finding out about the
overall business and understand what gets your interests and juices flowing.
If you look around and find that what you are doing is still great,
guess what—you found something you love. If you find other places
where you feel you can make a difference or want to learn about that
aspect of the business, approach someone. Let people know what your
interests are. I never went to school to be a banker. In fact, I did what I
could to avoid numbers. I’ve had positions where I was a business analyst,
where I managed reporting and incentives, oversaw certain aspects
of the budget, and used all of my skills. I am a banker now and have no
plans to leave banking. I am fascinated everyday about how much there
is to banking, whether it is credit cards, ATM and debit cards, mortgage,
financing, savings, checking, and investments. I love what I do. When I
didn’t love what I was doing at any given time, after I gave it ample time to
fully grasp my satisfaction level, I pursued other things. I often joke with
my managers that I can’t keep a job. I’m not sure if people are kicking me
out or if I am a wanted person. In either case, I have typically landed on
my feet in a place where I made a difference; in a place I loved to work.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (2014 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention), 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),  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- Research Your Material—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - May 2, 2014 - News
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research material

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Research Your Material

I realize I am stating the obvious, but we are lucky to be surrounded
with so many tools, like the Internet, to research our material, and it
seems so natural to use these tools to strengthen our messages. The
benefits of research range from keeping your material current, to
ensuring that it is accurate and not trademarked by others. If you are a
frequent speaker on the same topic, ask yourself when you last updated
your material. Pay attention to your information, and keep it timely by
scanning relevant websites, news media, and books. I used to tell a
story about the word “chillax,” a made-up combination of “chill out”
and “relax.” Over time, I found that the impact waned as the use of the
word dwindled in popular culture. Besides keeping you and me up to
date, researching even simple facts may yield further information for
expanding your material or creating spinoffs to existing information.
As obvious as it is, don’t forget to use the tools that are at your disposal
to research your material to strengthen your message.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job, 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),  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