Archive: October, 2014

Post from Transformation Tom™- Use Pauses—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - October 31, 2014 - News
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use pauses

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Use Pauses
 

We often think more quickly than we speak. As a result, sometimes

our thoughts outpace our intended words, which may result in
using filler words and phrases (e.g., “um,” “ah,” “ya know”). Before we
have time to say our intended words, we may utter something of no
value that can create distractions for the audience if they are plentiful.
As a speaker, we need to ensure the audience gets a chance to absorb
the intended content and to feel the intended effects. If an audience
is hanging onto the words we are saying, imagine how impactful it is
to hold those words or sentences in suspense. The audience will anxiously
wait for the next point and have a greater appreciation when it is
delivered. Let the audience take in what you have just said with a wellplaced
pause. Effective use of pauses allows for punchier delivery and
added emphasis for your key words and points. Pauses will also allow
for effective facial expressions or gestures that may garner more attention
than speaking straight through without pausing.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals)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

Do you know what Avanoo is?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

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™- Introduction: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - October 24, 2014 - News
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find a job

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After twenty-three years with the same company, I got The Call That Nobody Wants. I had already started Thomas Dowd Professional Development and Coaching, LLC, as a side job in 2011, in which I taught groups and individuals how to effectively transform into who they really wanted to be professionally using tools like interviewing, network­ing, and résumé writing. I was in somewhat of an ironic situation, my credibility as an expert in professional development suddenly at stake.

The irony started within a few hours after my job was eliminated, with a pre-scheduled speaking engagement for an organization called “Jobs for Maine Grads.” It continued into the next week, when I landed a radio interview on a show where I had tried to discuss my previous two business books several months before. When I told the producer of this satirical twist, he invited me to immediately come onto the program to discuss unemployment in Maine.

How was I going to keep my emotions in check enough to keep a clear head? I’ve been an active member of Toastmasters International since 2008, and have always found that writing speeches and journals keeps me sane. I used the same approach when the potentially disastrous call came, starting with a jobless journal and notes to reflect my feelings, documenting what I had learned, and helping to keep a clear path to the ultimate goal: a job. “My Beautiful Funeral” passage that started the book is a version of a speech that I wrote within minutes of getting that call. This speech and subsequent book are the lessons I learned on this very personal journey. My passage through unemployment lasted fifty-nine days. I tell you this because my path to land it took many turns. It felt like an eternity until the relief set in with the job offer.  I’m convinced that the relatively short period of time was due to having a clear plan and a support system that I now want to share.  A journey I would never wish on anyone, but am so thankful that I took.

This book takes you on the rollercoaster ride, from buying the ticket to the moment your stomach sinks thanks to those quick drops, to that final race to the end, arms raised in jubilation. What I’ve found with roller-coasters is that many riders get on for the thrill of not only surviving, but the adventure of something that pulls you between fear and excitement. Your own ride is in front of you. Though you may not have chosen this particular ride, your reaction while you’re on it is up to you. You may ask yourself, “How can I even imagine the possibilities of a new job when I’m panicked about paying my mortgage and providing for my family?” We can get there together—you’re not on this journey alone. What if instead your question became, “Can I land an even better job?” The answer is, “Yes.”

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals)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

Do you know what Avanoo is?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

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™- Test Your Speeches—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - October 17, 2014 - News
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test your speeches

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Test Your Speeches
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As previously mentioned, friends and family are always great
sources of feedback for your speeches. However, nothing beats the
local flavor of a group of people who may not be as close to the subject
as your friends and family. I can’t thank enough the local support I
have received from Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Lions Clubs, and the
YMCA. These organizations present a great opportunity for the community
to see what you have to offer and also serve as a networking
prospect for future public-speaking opportunities. More importantly,
I can test out new material or tweak existing speeches and look for different
audience reactions. Testing this way allows me to receive feedback
that I would have never thought of myself—opinions that may be
diverse and valuable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals)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

Do you know what Avanoo is?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

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™- My Beautiful Funeral: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - October 10, 2014 - News
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My funeral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introductory Chapter to “Displacement Day”

 

Have you ever imagined your own funeral? Who will do your eulogy? Who will be your pallbearers? Will anyone show up or even care? I attended my own funeral. Let me explain. But before I do, I need to disclose that no one died or was injured in the making of this narrative.

On a typical day when I was happily playing solitaire and checking Facebook at work, I got the call. June 6th—the anniversary of D-Day. Not World War II; I’m talking about Displacement Day—the day my twenty-three-year job was eliminated. Just like that, it was over. Hard work, tenure, and skills weren’t part of the cost-cutting decision.

On my ride to work on that fateful day, a news report announced that 175,000 jobs had been added in the United States, making the unem­ployment rate 7.6 percent. On my ride home I was on the other side— one of 11.6 million unemployed. To grasp the magnitude, take the entire population of New York City, and then add another 4 million people. The call was like a gunshot to the head. My work identity was gone im­mediately. I was being put to rest and people were preparing for my fu­neral. Condolences rolled in, hugs were bestowed, tears flowed.

What will people say when you’re gone? An old manager once asked me if I ran through a wall, would people follow? At the time, I didn’t know the answer. I needed to know the answer. That was a lifeline—a time for action. Fast-forward six years later to D-Day. I don’t recall a more calming day. It was a day of self-reflection…a chance to hover over my dead body and ask if my life and career were a success. The notes flooded in. “Tom, you’ve touched me more than you’ll ever know, personally and professionally.” “Tom, we love you… This IS your next speech.” I ran through a wall, and people followed.

How was I going to tell my three daughters that Dad was sent to the farm, just like my childhood dog? A spending freeze on shoes, clothes, and pizza may be worse than death for teenagers. My middle child’s head tilted down at a mourner’s angle and a small tear rolled down her cheek as if it was about to drop onto my coffin. My youngest daughter held me in a bear hug as if it was the last time ever, while my social-media-con­scious sixteen-year-old daughter told me that all responses to relocation questions on Facebook were to be “no”—as if I had a choice. The denial, the anger, then acceptance—the exhaustive feeling of having my family watch my demise. However, my support system refused to let my casket be nailed down as they put in a crowbar made of emails, phone calls, and leads. I was being resuscitated.

How many of you have prepared a will? A will reduces stress and cha­os. The run through the wall question six years earlier was my wake up call, but I didn’t realize then how it would prevent my professional pass­ing. My eyes were opened wide as I started to build an extraordinary ca­reer-saving and life-changing network. In Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone he notes, “Build it before you need it.” Real relationships built over the years provided me meaning, and are the reason for my success now. I wasn’t six feet under. I was six degrees from Kevin Bacon, or at least six degrees from my big break. I was alive. My support system was my CPR.

My job loss became a celebration of life, not my funeral. It remind­ed me how deep my love and my appreciation really are for my family, friends, and network. I was not defined by my job. I defined my own life and was going to do my funeral my way. No, I’m not going to belt out Sinatra. I lost work but found me. I used my displacement as reaffirma­tion that when I leave this earth, I’m leaving with no regrets. Think about your own funeral—when your spirit is hovering over the mourners, will you leave them something to mourn and celebrate?

So, let’s go back to the question: Have you ever imagined your own funeral? Who will do your eulogy, who will be your pallbearers, who will care? My eulogy was shouted out by the many key people in my network who blew my trumpet for me and gave humbling accounts of the person I had been, and who I had become. My pallbearers carried me when I couldn’t go any further. The overwhelming flood of calls and messages showed who cared. I have to admit that I started writing this narrative im­mediately after I got the call, and I wrote the end too. We all know we’re going to die—I don’t mean that “end.” I mean the speech ending, where I get a job. I wrote it before I had a job secured. It wasn’t overconfidence, it was just a belief that I was surrounded by an ironclad network that re­fused to stop giving me the oxygen I needed to survive. Are you ready to see your own funeral? I lived to see mine, and it was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals)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

Do you know what Avanoo is?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

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™- Manage Phone Presentations Well—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - October 3, 2014 - News
0

phone presentations

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Manage Phone Presentations Well
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As part of a very large organization, I have been asked to present
many times over the phone. These conversations have advantages and
disadvantages. Let’s start with some of the advantages. You can surround
yourself with notes and not worry about being as discreet as you
would have to when in front of large audiences. You can also typically
have more control over the flow of the conversation.

However, one pitfall is not being able to physically observe audience
reactions, which makes it more difficult to adjust the presentation
mid-stream. You may be able to hear some laughter, sighs, or groans,
but what happens when the phones are on mute and all you hear is
silence? You may need to adapt your style, asking for more engagement—
to make sure you have kept the audience’s attention—through
verbal responses or, on webcasts and meetings with the appropriate
platform, through voting-type buttons for opinions or answers. You
also may have the inverse, when a phone is not on mute but the listeners
have chosen to multi-task and you hear keyboards clicking, phone
conversations, dogs barking or, worse, personal information you wish
you hadn’t heard. As a speaker, you should set expectations ahead of
time, such as whether you would like the presentation to be interactive
or have the audience hold questions and answers until the end. You
can ask that everyone put their phones on mute, if needed. You should
also know whom to contact to disconnect a distracting line, if possible.

Finally, you need to ensure that the presentation itself is adaptable
to the phone. The first professional development conversation I did
for a large group of people over the phone was a flop. I did not change
it from my dynamic face-to-face presentation, so my use of the stage
became irrelevant, and my gestures were useless. I had to depend more
on open and inviting questions for the audience and more on voice
inflection to share my passion. The phone can reach a wider audience
and be just as impactful, as long as you know that some revisions and
varying preparation are required for the best outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books Displacement Day:  When My Job was Looking for a Job (Honorable Mention at the 2014 Paris and New York Book Festivals)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

Do you know what Avanoo is?  Two-to-three minute eLearning programs that can change your life.  Here are my latest projects:

When Your Job is to Find a Job—and Yourself

Manage Your Time–Don’t Let It Manage You

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