Mess is not really the issue; it's our ability to tolerate mess that's the problem.
Wouldn’t it be a fabulous accomplishment to be able to say to yourself that [this] was the year you stopped dreaming about accomplishing your resolutions and started to do them?
When you stand up to speak, you have no guarantees that your audience will listen intently to your every word. We all know that behind those "I'm-all ears" looks, your listeners' minds can wander. Think about how much your mind has wandered during other people's presentations!
You can't gain support, sell ideas, or push a new initiative if people aren't listening. So, it's your job to shatter that fixed facade, grab your listeners' attention, and hold on tight. You have to earn their attention right from the beginning of your talk. Here's how:
Plan. Plan your opening words carefully. Don't stumble into your presentation with a hackneyed "Today, I'm going to talk about..." Say something meaningful (even bold!) that will grab the attention of your audience immediately. Don't lead up to it with trivialities. Think about your audience's single biggest concern within your topic, and speak directly to it. There are a lot of different ways to open a talk; just make sure you ichoose one that begins with substance and matters to your listeners.
Rehearse. Stand up and deliver your opening out loud several times prior to the talk. Make sure you can do it comfortably and reliably. For most people, the first words of a presentation are the hardest. Make certain you know yours well enough so you don't have to worry about them. By spending extra rehearsal time on your opening, you can turn the hardest part of your talk into the easiest.
Get ready. When the time comes to deliver your presentation, you will want to be focused, in control of your voice, your body language, and those pre-presentation jitters. So, before you stand up to speak, practice some "stage fright" prevention. Use our tips for breathing easily to warm up. If you have a chance to exercise or go for a walk before your presentation, do it. It's important that your mind and your body are ready to deliver a powerful presentation when you arrive in the room.
Connect. Make an immediate connection with your audience. Look 'em in the eye. Before you begin, find a "focus person" for your opening. The focus person should be someone who is sitting toward the back of the room and roughly in the center. Ideally, this should be a person who will listen attentively and will be a friendly face for your first sentence or two. Remember to establish your eye focus first, then take a fresh breath, and, only after you have a full tank of air, begin to speak.
Leap. As much as possible, jump right into your talk. Get right to the point. Try to avoid any long preambles or explanations. Deliver your opening just as you've practiced it, right to your focus person. Once you've landed your opening, the rest of your presentation is more likely to go smoothly. And, you will have gained the attention of the audience right from the start of your talk.
Stop ... and go. After you deliver your opening, pause. Let your words sink in for a second or two. Next, link that opening to the body of your presentation. Make sure your audience sees how your opening leads into your first point. There's nothing worse than gearing everyone up with a great opener, only to let everyone down by wandering off on other track.
And they're off... You delivered your opening and linked it to your first point. You've set the stage for your success. You've got momentum heading into the body of your presentation. You're out of the gate and rounding the bend. Just make sure to keep your head up, eyes focused on your audience, and charge ahead with an energetic and effective presentation.
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If you're trying to organize your mind to reduce decision fatigue and information overload, then you need to make sure that you organize the space around you.
In many ways, our spaces are a reflection of the state of our mind - but actually the correlation works both ways and if you have a cluttered desk or home, it will make your mind more cluttered too.
When it comes to spaces that contain a lot of information and items, your desk is one of the most pressing areas for organization. Let's take a look at some things you can do to make your desk better organized.
#1 Throw Things Out
This is really how you start making any space more organized - you throw out anything that isn't 100% necessary. If it's a decorative item, then ask yourself if it really fills you with long-term fulfillment.
If not? Bin it! Otherwise, ask yourself when the last time you used it was and whether you really cannot survive without it.
The same goes for that drawer that's full of stationary. Do you really need that much stationary? Could that space not be much better used for other things?
#2 Create a System That Reflects Your Brain
Another tip is to create systems that you can use to keep your documents in order. And a great way to get inspiration for this is to look at the way our brains store information.
Specifically, our brains have three main 'compartments' for storing information. These are:
Working Memory - which is the information we're currently working with and doesn't necessarily need to be stored.
Short Term Memory - which is the information we hold for a few days. If it doesn't get used enough it will be thrown out, if it is important, it will be stored in long-term memory.
Long Term Memory - which is the information that we have stored permanently. Nothing gets destroyed here but access can become more difficult without practice.
So how do you create something similar to this?
Simple: you make one space for each type of information.
Your 'working memory' could be your noticeboard and desk itself. This is where you keep anything that you're currently working on and need immediate access to.
Not using it anymore? Then it goes into short-term storage - somewhere like a paper tray.
Then, at the end of each week, go through your short-term storage and move anything important to your 'long term storage' and throw out the rest. That's how you create a much more organized desk and mind.
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An eminent social psychologist offers insight into how goals work and the sources of self-defeating behaviors, and provides strategies for problem solving, achieving resiliency, and increasing willpower.
Just in time for New Year's resolutions, learn how to reach your goals-finally-by overcoming the many hurdles that have defeated you before.
Most of us have no idea why we fail to reach our goals. Now Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, an award-winning, rising star in the field of social psychology shows us how to overcome the hurdles that have defeated us before.
Dr. Grant Halvorson offers counterintuitive insights, illuminating stories, and science-based information that anyone can use immediately, including how to:
• Set a goal to pursue "even" in the face of adversity
• Build willpower, which can be strengthened like a muscle
• Avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail
The strategies outlined in this book will not only help everyone reach their own goals but will also prove invaluable to parents, teachers, coaches, and employers. Dr. Grant Halvorson shows readers a new approach to problem solving that will change the way they approach their entire lives.
Even very smart, very accomplished people are very bad at understanding why they succeed or fail.
Whether you want to motivate your kids, your employees, or just yourself, "Succeed" unlocks the secrets of achievement, and shows you how to create new possibilities in every area of your life.
You can watch this video for a useful summary of some of the most relevant points Dr Halvorson makes:
About the author: Dr Heidi Grant Hulvorson is a social psychologist who researches, writes, and speaks about the science of motivation. She is the Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School, and author of the best-selling books: Succeed: How We Can All Reach Our Goals, Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing The World for Success and Influence (co-written with E. Tory Higgins), and The 8 Motivational Challenges.
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It's not just speaking ... when we speak to persuade.
Successful persuasion also lies in the ability to actively listen, even, and especially, in the field of public speaking.
Successful speaking to persuade relies on knowing your audience.
What are their needs and wants?
How are they thinking about your proposal?
What are they likely to favour about it?
What is going to stand in the way of them being persuaded?
What are their doubts?
What are their objections?
What are the obstacles to them moving forward with your suggestions?
Listen to them - before the presentation - survey them, talk to them, ask the event organiser about them - and listen.
Listen to them - during the presentation - ask them questions - and listen.
Successful speaking to persuade relies on seeing moments where you can gain agreement - maybe a comment or question from your audience, a situation from which you can draw an analogy, maybe a report back from a group discussion.
Listen for those and keep a line of thinking open that will allow you to use those moments to really amp up the energy of your speaking response.
Successful speaking to persuade relies on your being adaptable. It's one of the lessons I teach in my workshops and seminars on PowerPoint. Be prepared to change the course or direction of your presentation. If it seems that your audience puts value on one point or discussion over another, or if the feedback, comments or discussion suggests that a different direction would work best, then be prepared to change the structure of the presentation that you had prepared in advance.
This means that not only is your structure working for you. It also means that you are building trust. You care enough about your audience to change direction for them and you are confident enough in your material and your beliefs to change direction for them.
Listen, then, to their comments, to their suggestions and the tone of their discussions.
So I have covered three areas of listening that will build the success of your persuasive speaking - knowing your audience, watching for opportunities to ramp up the energy and being adaptable.
Do you use any other listening techniques to successfully persuade?
Author: Bronwyn Ritchie is an outcomes-driven, award-winning speaker and mentor, a story strategist at Pivotal Story Solutions and publisher at Pivotal Magazine. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. Want a boost to your confident, effective speaking success? Click here for Bronwyn's FREE 30 speaking tips. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com or visit her website Pivotal Public Speaking