Bringing Desires to Present Means

The best way to keep anything in framework, no matter who you are, is to pen whatever it is you plan to do on paper. In fact, let me put it this way! All that you wish to ever achieve, which you can consciously envisage at this present moment should be written down on paper, diary or goals’ book. The process should be dynamic and not static, as new wishes develop, add them to your ever soaring dream list. Experts call this list the 101 goals list.

Make frequent visit to your dream list and ensure you’re organising and reorganizing priorities in order to reflect the status quo. The 101 dream list is your desire; and the reason you need to organise and reorganise is to ensure that you do not remain a dreamer, as it’d leave you frustrated as a result of the unrealistic 101 dream list created.

This list as earlier mentioned puts you in a perspective, as it allows one to know just what they are about, and just what they wish and expect to obtain. By understanding this perspective, half of the battle is gained.

You must constantly take inventory of yourself. By understanding and analysing what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are (SWOT). Strengths and weaknesses are attributes of an individual; opportunities and threats are attributes of the environment. Hence, you must use your internal strengths to;

1. take advantage of external opportunities
2. to avoid or reduce impact of external threats.
3. turn your weaknesses into strengths
4. to improve your internal weaknesses by taking advantage of external opportunities.

Otherwise, lacking this knowledge, you’ll waste energy and effort, and do much that had better be left undone, while leaving undone much that should be done, thus, creating unrealistic and unachievable objectives.

As we leave in a dynamic world, your strength and opportunities will also be forever dynamic, as a result, priorities on the dream list will change. This allows you to follow through what Aristotle once said… “Bring your desires down to your present means; increase them when only your increased means permit.” In this instance, your increased means are your strengths & opportunities and your desires are your wishes or dreams.

Once the above is followed; this gives you an opportunity to knock on the door of success and not to enter!
Following on, on your prioritised wish list, add deadlines to them, by so doing, there is a transition from wishes to goals, as a result of the added deadlines. Success emanates from this act and nothing else. If you have no goals, then you’ll have no success, as Brian Tracy said, “Success equals goals… all else is commentary.”

i) Always begin with the end in mind on the goal you want to attain, as would have been pictured before they became goals through the wish list.

ii) Attack the process in two ways (1) Top Down and (2) Bottom up

Bottom up ensures you have your eyes set on the goal and working towards an envisaged ultimate goal. It also prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by allowing you to take those small steps… remember the saying ‘By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch!’ and also Peter Cohen advice that “There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”

Please do not go all the way by being lop-sided using this method, as you’d lack clarity and trajectory towards your goal.

Top down ensures you are kept in focus when the tough gets going. You have to ensure that you know and understand the steps just before completion of the goal, and the steps before that, that will ultimately link with the bottom up approach.

Plans always change, so your goals will always be revised accordingly to preserve the link between top down and bottom up.

The ultimate goal is also achieved by the choices we decide to take. Remember the saying “many roads lead to Rome.” So do not hesitate or dither by waiting for conditions to be perfect before you can act. Choices are like branches on trees, one branch splits into another and so on and so forth until the final leaf. So do not fear, begin and bear in mind that you’ll arrive at your desired leaf. Goethe advised that “what you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Do not fear to begin, fear is removed by action, Napoleon Hill said ‘Fear is the great destroyer. Banish fear from your life. It does not serve you in any way. Go forward in faith; faith that you have destiny to fulfil. Fear not. There is, after all, nothing to fear but fear itself. And it is a mere phantom…a ghost that disappears in the light of awareness.’

Norman Vincent Pearl categorically explained to us how fear could be subjugated and it is up to us to take up his advice. He says ‘Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.’

So go on; Become the Best You Can Be… start acting now and take inventory of yourself, pen down your 101 wish list and put deadlines on them. Follow through your goals!

Nyangu Simpungwe is a professional accountant, a fully qualified chartered certified accountant and holds a Masters Degree from The University of Glamorgan in Wales. He currently is Director of a company called Falcon (GB) Limited based in England United Kingdom, a newly formed company composed wholly of chartered certified accountants. He has tremendous experience in Business Process Improvements and has expertise in life coach and leadership coach.

Receiving Presentation Feedback — Some of the Ins and Outs

As a speaker, I want to know how I am doing. However, I think that asking for and receiving feedback can be one of the hardest parts of working on our skills that exists.

Oftentimes, when we have given a presentation, members of the audience rush up for one of the following reasons:

  • To tell us how much they enjoyed and gained from our presentation.
  • To ask a question about something we addressed or didn’t address.
  • To tell us about a part of our presentation or something we did that they particularly liked or
  • To tell us something we did incorrectly, left out or were mistaken about.

All of the above types of feedback are important, not only because they make us feel good or bad, but also because they can show us what areas of our speaking are strong and can be used to our advantage and what areas we need to examine and work on. We must ask ourselves, however, if we can honestly agree with the feedback and then if the suggestions are feasible.

We should never try to change so much that we become uncomfortable or not ourselves. We do need to maintain our uniqueness, even if it “ruffles a few feathers.”

How about the evaluation sheets that audience members are often asked to fill out?

  • Other presenters and I have mixed emotions about these kinds of evaluations.
  • First of all, let me say that if we receive 100 great evaluations and two that are poor and/or degrading evaluations, we tend to focus on the two (it is human nature).
  • I know speakers that throw a whole stack of evaluations in the waste basket without even looking at them. They feel that most of the time, the sheets are destructive and useless.
  • My advice is to take what you feel is constructive and worth changing (usually a technique or skill), but forget what attacks you as a person (your character, style or uniqueness).
  • I find that if the same comment is repeated often, this is something that I should work on improving.

What are other ways to receive feedback? I often mention Toastmasters. It doesn’t matter what level of speaking we have achieved, we will receive helpful evaluations on a regular basis if we join a Toastmasters club. Every speech we give will have an evaluator assigned. Just be sure to tell him or her what areas to focus on, and how tough you want your evaluation to be. You will also learn a huge amount by doing evaluations yourself. There are also advanced clubs available where you will have the opportunity to work at a more intense level with tougher evaluations.

When should we give feedback? I would never give any kind of critical feedback, unless asked to, and I also hesitate to give feedback to some others who ask for it. These are the people who do not really want to follow any kind of advice and will also take the defensive and argue with you about your feedback. I feel that I am not helping them and am only gaining an enemy for the time and effort expended.

Seven Proven Strategies to Transform Your Presentations

If you are not effectively communicating your ideas…It’s literally costing you your dreams!

Whether you are attending a business networking luncheon, speaking to a group of Sunday school students or attending a one on one business meeting, you are speaking in public. It is something we do everyday.

All our lives we have been speaking in public. However, for most of us we have never been trained. Society expects us to be great speakers without any formal training. All great communicators are committed to learning and growing so they can master the art of public speaking and clear communication.

This fact carries both good and bad news for the student learning the art of public speaking:

First, the BAD news: “The ability to clearly communicate ideas to clients and colleagues is a rare skill, yet one that often makes the difference in whether or not a great concept succeeds.” ~ William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard

Now, for the GOOD news: “Great speakers are not born, they’re trained.” ~ Dale Carnegie

And now for the REALLY GREAT news: To get you moving in the right direction. Here are 7 High Performance Speaking Tips titled “Seven Proven Strategies to Transform Your Presentations.” I created these tips to help you achieve public speaking success.

High Performance Speaking Tip 1: Become a great story teller. Be willing to share your personal stories, as well as “anonymous” client stories. As a result, you’ll be able to support almost any point you want to make and connect with your audience on a heart level. Stories are essential to helping your audience learn from you, follow you and trust you while they are easily absorbing your message.

High Performance Speaking Tip 2: Great writing abilities don’t always lead to an extraordinary presentation. No matter how powerful a speech is written, you won’t know if it really works until you practice it out loud. The ultimate test is when you present it to a live audience and look for their reactions.

High Performance Speaking Tip 3: Treat your audience the way that you would want to be treated. Audience members need to feel like they are appreciated and that their time is valued. The next time you are preparing a presentation, remember to think about what the audience needs and desires first.

High Performance Speaking Tip 4: Every presentation and subcategory of your presentation has a beginning, middle and end. When you are creating your next presentation remember to apply this principle to the overall body of your speech and to every key point you want to make.

High Performance Speaking Tip 5: In the beginning of your presentation, let your audience know exactly what information you are going to share with them. Review the main points you will be covering and why they need this information. When you are done with your presentation, do a quick review by asking the audience “easy to answer” questions. If they can answer them, your points landed. If they can’t answer the questions, your next step is to work on clear communication.

High Performance Speaking Tip 6: You have three to five seconds to grab the attention of your audience. Never start a presentation by asking an audience a question like this “How is everybody today?” Usually you will get one or two individuals that will respond with “Good.” Start your speech with a power packed statement or question that grabs their attention.

High Performance Speaking Tip 7: Individuals often ask me “What do I do with my hands?” The key is to utilize your hands to bring home your points. If it is not natural to you, preplan this in advance. Utilize your hands in your presentation when you want to bring home a point or to accentuate something specific like height, number or size.