Archive: November, 2014

Post from Transformation Tom™- Control the Speaking Environment—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - November 28, 2014 - News
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control the speaking enviroment

 

 

 

 

 

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Control the Speaking Environment
 

 

 

 

You get to the venue, get out of your car, walk straight to the podium,
and begin your talk. I’m hoping this is not the typical way things happen
before a speaking event. The important point to consider is what
you, the speaker, are doing ahead of time to maximize a positive experience
by controlling the speaking environment. Are you giving yourself
ample time to gain a comfort level with the room so you feel in
control? Your confidence level will increase when you know that the
stage, the room, and the layout are to your satisfaction.

 

What about some of the other details that may need to be considered?
Do you know where the temperature gauges are, and are you
able to control them? Will you have control of the lights and the seating?
When you have the chance to control the environment, you need
to do so. As previously mentioned about audio-visual aspects of your
presentation, you should check out the equipment, and you should
also understand the acoustics. Is there an echo, and will everyone be
able to hear you? When you walk around, do you find any parts of
the stage that creak and might distract the audience? What about the
lighting? Are bright lights blinding you? Is there a dimmer so that if
the lights have to go lower, the room is not too dark?

 

Have you walked around the room and absorbed the potential
views from all areas? I remember a speech competition in which there
was an odd, circular row of chairs around one side of the stage. This
forced the outlying audience members to strain to see around poles
if they wanted to see me when I was on certain parts of the stage, and
also impacted where I placed my props. Fortunately, this preparation
allowed me to know exactly where I would set up to ensure I maximized
the audience experience visually.

 

When you look out into the audience, what do you see? Are there
rows of seats, or are there tables? Is the seating conducive to your
needs? If you encourage note-taking, will tables be more useful? When
you interact with the audience, do you have them jumping out of their
seats? If so, how does this play into the current set-up? Will tables
cause more face-to-face side conversations that may take away from
your presentation? Each speaker has his or her own preference, but
you should set expectations ahead of time and get there early to make
sure the set-up is what you want. As important as it is to arrange ahead
of time with the organizer before the event, I have learned that things
will happen that leave you scrambling if you haven’t gotten there ahead
of time. When you control what you can with the environment, the
experience will be better for everyone.

 

 

 

 

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™- Don’t Let Your Past Hold You Back: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - November 21, 2014 - News
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don't let the past hold you back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was the type of person who bled the colors of my employer. After eighteen years, the financial institution I’d been working with was tak­en over by another company; there went that color. Similarly, I’ve had friends and family over the years who, in varying degrees, have defined themselves by their jobs. When meeting someone for the first time, they are often the type whose first question is, “What do you do?” The answer to that question generally revolves around employment. I’ve found with some people that the question is more than idle chitchat: their world revolves around their work identity. I’m not talking solely status, role, or compensation—I’m talking about the whole package of work identity. That means that when he or she loses a job, his or her whole world dis­solves—or at least that’s the way he or she feels.

The question you must ask yourself in similar situations is: are you asking to be polite, are you starting a conversation, or are you truly defined only by the job that you do? Personally, I want to be proud of the company I work for, but I don’t believe a job should define me—it should be a piece of me. I was fortunate enough among side business interests, volunteer work, and the overall broadening of my horizons in recent years, to truly no longer feel that what I did for work defined who I was. That mentality was profoundly helpful when I lost my job. As a result, the line in the opening speech, “I wasn’t defined by my job. I defined my own life….I lost my job but found me,” was easy to write.

I was trying to imagine if I would have had the same mentality even five years ago. I’m not sure. What I am sure of now is that my job is only one chapter in my life. I’ve never had an issue with putting my heart and soul into a job, so I don’t feel like my loyalties for my employer will be at stake. My job is an important chapter for sure, but it’s not my only chapter.

 

 

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™- Interact with the Audience from the Beginning—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - November 14, 2014 - News
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interact with audience

 

 

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Interact with the Audience from the Beginning
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are more ways to start a speech than I can count. I previously
discussed the attention-grabbing opening, and one effective way to do
this is with an open-ended question for the audience to respond to,
such as “Have you ever found yourself in a situation like…?” or “Can
anyone give me an example when…?” Many speakers have an audience
respond to a question in unison, as a group response can be full
of energy if you have the right delivery and the right audience (e.g.,
size, demographics). For example, “When I say ____, you say _____.”
In these cases, the speaker is breaking the invisible wall that sometimes
gets built between speaker and audience. The key is to engage
the audience so that they feel like a part of the presentation. The success
of the presentation grows exponentially when the audience gets
into it from the very beginning, whether mentally or physically or by
having the speaker grab their attention.

 

Once you have their attention, you must maintain audience engagement
to keep the momentum as the presentation progresses. There are
several ways to ensure that your audience remains committed to your
message through their own involvement. Depending on the type of
presentation, you may want to provide key points or facts highlighted
on a handout for people to absorb and take away. Another way is to
provide a fill-in-the-blank answer sheet for your participants to complete
during the presentation to reinforce the message. People learn
in many ways; however, the more engagement you get early on in a
presentation, the greater the chance of information retention.

 

 

 

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™- Take Time to Absorb It: Chapter from “Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job”

Posted by tomdowd - November 7, 2014 - News
0

take time to absorb it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of time it took to read the title of this chapter is about the amount of time it took me to flounder around wondering, “What now?” If you have been laid off or find yourself suddenly out of work for any reason, I suggest taking enough time to take a deep breath and ensure you don’t make any unnecessary emotional decisions or actions that may burn bridges. I actually invested the time between packing boxes and say­ing goodbye to formulate a thoughtful email as my departing gift to my now-former colleagues. Prior to sending, I made a point to ensure that it was positive, balanced, and could not be misinterpreted as over-the-top emotional irrationality. Below is the majority of the message:

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell

I found out this morning that my job was eliminated—it’s effective immediately. After twenty-three years with this company, I can only say, ‘thank you.’ I am who I am professionally based on the bumps, bruises, and triumphs this company has provided me. I can’t thank all of you enough for transforming me into someone who can leave this company with his head up. I’m also hoping that it is temporary. I feel great about my prospects and know that I will land in the right place.

I’ve attached my résumé for you to review and feel free to send it to anyone you feel would like to see it. Please also forward to anyone whom I may have inadvertently missed in my rush. I’ve also attached a letter I wrote a few days after my first books were published in September 2012, to our company’s CEO as I was bursting with pride about where I’d been individually and where I saw this company moving in the future. My feelings for this company have not changed—it is full of success stories.

“There are no defining moments. There are only moments for you to define.” – Tom Dowd

I then attached a letter that I had sent to our CEO earlier in the year. This letter was a note that discussed the negative media attention the com­pany had been receiving at the time. It emphasized the fact that the indi­viduals within any company are what make it special. My message to him was that the company, regardless of the media scrutiny, had a multitude of employees working hard to get past it. Below is the last paragraph:

“I bring up the timing, because you know more than anyone the an­gle the press likes to take with “too big to fail” and the “one percent.” What the sometimes negative media fails to recognize is the efforts of the 260,000 employees working behind the scenes to offer the right financial solutions to our customers. Yes, we make mistakes. The question is, can we learn from these mistakes to be better people, better employees, bet­ter community partners, and a stronger organization because of them? I think we can. I think there are more people in this company who are forging ahead every day to make a difference for themselves and for oth­ers. I wanted you to have these books as a symbol of growth, a symbol of support, and a symbol of success that we are strong. The company has winners. I am but one of the many success stories at (this company).”

I couldn’t have been too far off with my sentiments. I received a note from a former colleague asking if I contributed to the new marketing campaign for my now former company that started six months later. The theme surrounded the message of learning from our mistakes and build­ing personal relationships. I can’t say that I contributed directly, but I’ve learned over time that relationship building is critical for success for ev­eryone.

 

 

 

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