Wednesday, July 29, 2015
If you had to create a list of your top 20 people to thank… who would be on your list?
Recently, I had the privilege of standing in service of nearly 2000 professional speakers at the National Speakers Association. It was mixed emotion, initially terrified, then scared however on the day I was beyond excited … a weird combination.
To stand on sacred ground of the NSA main stage was a big deal for this little Aussie. Hundreds of people helped me get ready for that day.
It made me think of my ‘list’ – the list of people that are really important to me. Who is on your list? Who are the people you could reach out and thank today? Who are the people who allow you to do what you do everyday? Who are the people who make you better just because you are around them?
Several people asked about my website, the slide deck and the introduction video I used in my speech – here are the rock stars I worked with:
Ford Saeks – thank you for the great website that everyone keeps commenting about – I love the new look.
Ed Primeau – the introduction video was fun and we got so many comments on that from the audience.
Paul – I loved my slides and they were some of the most beautiful slides on the main stage (obviously I am biased… and that’s what I heard) thank you for your marketing brain.
Brian Walter and Tami Evans – thank you for trusting me with such an important role in your convention and believing in me. You two were the best convention chairs and you are exceptional at what you do. Need entertainment – hire them!
Lou Heckler – the world’s best speech coach, supportive friend and someone I will love forever. You are so humble and so talented.
Meg – my best friend in the whole world – there are no words – thank you – you know why.
Jen – I know you are in another country but I felt your support across the world.
Patrick & Lesley Henry – you are my family. Patrick, you are the funniest, most generous and incredible friend, my speech was better because of you. Lesley thank you for absolutely everything.
Stacey, Jon, Judson – the best mastermind group a girl could ever ask for and thank you for all your support leading up to the event and during the amazing weekend in DC. Do you have a mastermind group? If not, it’s a great idea to start one for your business or as an advisory group for your company.
Gina & Misty at SocialKNX– you two mean the world to me. World’s coolest, most stylish and geeky gorgeous social media management company ever.
Maria – I could never do what I do without you.
My NSA family – there are too many friends to list and thank and know how much I love and adore you and was overwhelmed by your cuddles, texts, messages, calls, posts, tweets and gifts.
Matt – you have helped me become the speaker and business-person I am today – thank you my mentor and my friend.
My Andy – thank you for supporting all the dreams I have had and being there to witness such an important event for me – you are my world.
There are role models that I respect and admire, some are friends and some are people I want to be when I grow up. Huge thanks to:
Mark Sanborn, the world’s best in professional speaking, I have recommended him to clients and also recommend any opportunity to work with him 1:1.
Mark Scharenbroich – you are hands down one of the best speakers I have ever seen and I can’t wait to learn more from you.
Jeanne Robertson – you are truly the funniest woman I know, the hardest working speaker I know and one of the world’s true delights.
So if you made it this far and read all the way through … wow … and thank you.
Today can I encourage you to reach out to someone who is ‘on your list’ and say thank you. Remind someone you appreciate them. Tell someone you notice all the things they do for you.
Make someone’s day today – highlight their fabulousness and why you appreciate them, go on, you will be so glad you did.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
Ever had someone say ‘can I give you some feedback?’… And they don’t’ wait… they just launch into their opinions!
Feedback is an interesting topic of conversation. Recently I had an awesome opportunity to work with a client that is way outside what I would normally do. It was so much fun. There was a huge amount of feedback collected and 98% of it was great… and of course I focused on the 2%!
How do you handle feedback?
Three strategies that leaders of influence can do:
Hear it – listen to what people are sharing and then filter what best serves you for the goals you have. Also listen ‘between the lines’ to see if there are additional messages you need to hear. Hearing is not actioning… you might decide not to use it.
Choose it – choose how you will respond and who you will listen to. I have a group of people who have permission to speak into my life, I seek out their opinions and value them. Not everyone has the right to give you feedback. Choose what (and who) you will listen to.
Learn from it – if there are actions you can take, changes you can make or ideas you can create from the feedback …fabulous! If not, smile kindly and choose to ignore it. Not all feedback is useful.
Most of my corporate career I heard ‘Neen that’s just not the way things are done around here.’ And I’d simply ask ‘why?’ What could you do differently today?
I like to get feedback from people who are qualified to give it. If I want to know how I was as a speaker, I ask another professional speaker, if I want to know how my microphone technique was I ask the sound engineer and if I want to know if I gave great service I ask my client – simple! Seek qualified people to give you feedback.
Impactful leaders choose to listen and respond to feedback so they can honor their uniqueness and create more significance in their work, home and community.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Have you ever heard the term ‘Thought Leader’ and wondered what it was and who gets to call themselves that? Those in thought leadership can shape and shift the ideas, perspectives and ideas in others.
How can you embrace your inner thought leader?
Take the ideas from your head and learn ways to capitalize on them.
Want to know more about how you can become an Idea Leader, known for your brilliant ideas? Check out ‘Are You a Thought Leader’ for more.
When you’re done, subscribe to Ah-Maze TV for weekly tips, techniques and ideas to live an ah-mazing life, doing more of what matters most to you!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Have you ever Googled yourself? Your future employers and recruiters have! Like it or not, your online presence is as important as the interview itself and has become common place for companies and recruiters to research online at some point during the screening process.
According to ExecuNet, up to 90% of recruiters conduct online searches for information on their potential candidates. Forbes reported that 70% of employers who use Linkedin have decided to turn down a person for a position based on information or photos that they found online during their research. Only 27% of employers allow candidates to discuss any online content that was discovered as a result of the employer’s online research on their name, social media profiles, photos, and blog posts.
Individuals looking for a job or a promotion should be attentive to their online persona because it is often just as important as how they carry themselves in an interview. If an individual has questionable content online, including in their social media, it can very likely give employers a bad taste in their mouth and will disqualify even the most promising candidate from getting a job. It is possible to build a positive digital presence! In this article we will discuss how to screen and control your online reputation to ensure that it will not hurt your chances of getting that position you’ve always wanted.
Don’t wait until the day before your interview to do an online search for yourself. Research yourself on a regular basis to proactively manage your online reputation. Run a search for your name on multiple search engines, such as Google and Bing, and social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. If any of the results turn up less than professional, it’s time to make adjustments. Search results for your name should give at least one result on the first page that is related to your professional experience and or interests. Linkedin, for example, is a great profile to update because it has high visibility on Google search engine results. Keeping your Linkedin profile updated and optimized for employer research is essential.
Demonstrate Your Strengths
Use your social media profiles to your advantage. Demonstrate your strengths on your profiles so that your future employers believe you are the best candidate to fill the position. Your social media profiles often shed light on your unique interests in which you engage in outside of work and these will likely play a part in an employer’s decision to hire you. Use your profiles to post about your accomplishments, both professional and personal. This way, when an employer finds your personal profiles they will be impressed that your personal interests complement your professional experience and credentials.
A great example of a website that allows you to build your online reputation and demonstrate your knowledge is Quora. Quora allows you to answer questions of other online users. You can use this website to showcase your knowledge by answering questions directly related to your professional experience. For example, if you are a digital marketing professional, you may want to answer questions from people who are looking to get training, or want to build a marketing plan. You can also show off your personal interests by answering questions about traveling, the city you live in, and places you are interested in visiting.
Eliminate Negative Content
Facebook and other social websites offer privacy settings that can be manipulated to hide anything undesirable. Be sure that you’re not sharing information that will shed a negative light on you. Use tools or apps to scan your social media profiles thoroughly, helping you identify anything that should be eliminated or made private. Secure.Me is a tool you can use for free that will review your social media content, protects your profile from any type of unwanted links and viruses, as well as monitors your photos and your friend’s posts. If you are unsure about whether or not you should post something, don’t post it. There is a good chance your future employer will go through your profiles and it is better to be safe than sorry. If there is any chance someone you are connected to online would post comments or photos that you would not want a future employer to see it is important that you take action. You can edit your privacy settings on social media profiles to simply not allow you to be tagged on anything, or will require approval before it actually shows up on your profile.
Leave No Room for Confusion
If your name is common then there’s a risk that search results for your name will result in someone else’s information. Look for ways to differentiate yourself and your profiles either through the use of a middle initial, clear and professional profile pictures and unique profile descriptions that won’t be confused.
In order to ensure the employer finds your profiles first, avoiding any risk of confusion, provide your social media profile usernames on your resume, inviting the employer to explore. You should also take advantage of social media profiles that offer unique URLs, so that you can use your name and make it easier for future employer to search for you.
Recruiters and employers pay close attention to social media profiles, so it’s important to maintain control of your online reputation. Now-a-days these profiles are considered an extension of your resume and an insight into you personally and it can either help you get a job or truly hurt your chances.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I love brilliant, easy to apply productivity tips that will make an immediate impact in life, relationships and our day-to-day. This is why I wanted to share the blog: 12 Productivity Tips by author, speaker and leadership coach, Mark Sanborn. Read, apply and enjoy!
2. Get clear on the results you want to create before you think about strategies and tactics.
3. Know what you do best and what only you can do. Those are the things that should get first priority on your schedule.
4. Be willing to do what is necessary but don’t do what you’re not best at unless it is absolutely necessary. Delegate what you can.
5. Don’t try to outsource your creativity. As for input and ideas, but take responsibility for your own creative output.
6. Think again. And again. Spending money without forethought is expensive.
7. Know yourself. Schedule according to your style and preferences.
8. Don’t do what is easy, do what is important.
9. Have a few priorities but a long to do list.
10. Write it down as soon as you think it.
11. Don’t do things out of obligation. If it doesn’t represent an opportunity, why are you doing it?
12. Question for the beginning of the day: what are the most important things I want to accomplish today? Question for the end of the day: what did I accomplish today?
Monday, July 13, 2015
If you travel a little (or maybe a lot) it can feel unproductive and frustrating. There are ways to make traveling more productive … systemize everything.
Get the tools – Consider purchasing quality luggage (love Briggs & Riley), noise canceling earphones (love Bose in ear buds to block out travel noise), and a fabulous travel outfit. To make life easier, consider creating a one page itinerary too.
Productive Packing – if you travel regularly consider a permanently packed bag that has a series of pre-packed bags for toiletries, first aid kit and make up. Use the plastic from your dry cleaners to prevent clothes creasing.
During Your Travel
Allow extra 30 minutes – feel less stressed and spend the extra time connecting with clients, family or professional development.
Play music – create play lists to enjoy your travel more – listen to music and block out the noise
Pack food – many airlines don’t supply quality food; consider packing almonds, protein bars and fruit.
Workout – if you don’t have a gym in the hotel, establish a routine for your hotel room.
After Your Travel
Unpack quickly – refill toiletry items and allocate clothes for washing or dry cleaning and repack your bag.
Thank someone – The simple art of thanking people is often overlooked and is one of the most powerful things you can do before, during and after you travel.
Process paperwork – quickly sort through paper, action business cards and file receipts within 24 hours.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
If you’re joining us at the National Speakers Association annual conference, being held this year in Washington, D.C., you’ll want to read the following post: Conference Tips for First Timers by guest blogger, Thom Singer. Strap on your seatbelts and get ready for a fun ride!
The first time you attend an industry event can be awesome, and scary. It often seems like everyone else has been there a million times and you are the only one without a clique of special friends. But the first time also brings with it advantages, as everything is new, everything is interesting. Your “Fresh Eyes” allows you to have new experiences.
When you take ownership of your whole experience, you maximize your learning, meet more people, and have better “hallway conversations”. A live event is full of impromptu moments, but to take full advantage of the serendipity, you need to plan ahead.
Below are 9 tips to help you rock your first year attendance (or 10th year!!!) at any event:
- Check in ASAP. If the event starts the next day you might be tempted to wait until the morning to pick up your nametag and conference materials. However, the lines will be longer in the morning, and if they have a bag of welcome “goodies”, then you may need to carry it around for the rest of the day. If the registration booth is open, take care of this right away.
Additionally, there might be unofficial events happening the night you arrive and showing up early could equal an invitation to a VIP activity. Ask the person checking you in if there is anything going on or if there are people seeking dinner companions. A good conference team will be happy to try to connect people. It is often the serendipitous meetings that happen early at a conference that lead to the most meaningful connections.
- Review the agenda in detail. Read over the descriptions of all the keynote and breakout sessions. NOT JUST THE TITLES. Too often speakers come up with quirky titles that hide the real power of the information that will be presented (or vice versa). I have seen many people skip out on certain sessions only to later realize they missed some powerful information they needed to hear. Make your decisions as to what are your “must see” presentations in advance. This way if something comes up (like you are tired or have a work emergency) you are familiar with the areas in the schedule where you have flexibility.
- Say “Hello”. Once you put on your nametag you become part of the mini-society of the conference. Do not by shy in talking to others who are sporting the same nametag. If you were in Europe and you saw someone wearing a t-shirt with your hometown or college name on it … you would probably say “Hi”. In the halls of the hotel or convention center there might be many groups present, but those at your conference are present for the same reasons (one of which is meeting others). Be the person who initiates conversations. If you wait for others to talk to you, it could be a lonely conference.
- Attend the “First Timer Orientation/Reception”. If the conference offers a first-timers meeting, be sure to who up. This allows you to learn about some of the traditions of the agenda, as well as meet others who are new comers. Making new friends early on in the event can make the whole conference better (especially for introverts), as you will have a “go-to” person you can chat with if you ever feel alone.
- Do not check your phone in the conference area. Too many people spend the breaks or the time just before a breakout session glued to their smart phones checking emails (or playing Candy Crush). When you do this you broadcast to the other attendees that you are not approachable. People cannot come and talk with you while you are busy, as that would be rude, so they write you off. This feeling about you might subconsciously remain at social events later in the conference. If you have to take a call, step away from the conference area. Yes, you are busy and have stuff to keep up with, but it can wait a few minutes or you should not have traveled to the convention in the first place. Twenty years ago when people attended a trade show they were present both physically and mentally. Now many show up in body only.
This does not mean you cannot pull out your phone during a presentation. If the speaker says something interesting, you may want to post his comments to Twitter or Facebook. If the speaker is too boring to keep your attention, then that is not your problem… and you are free to check email (but give them a chance first).
- Have business cards handy. There is a trend for people to not carry business cards. But without the exchange of a card the possibility of a follow up goes way down. The card is a reminder in the physical world that you met this person. Too many want to text, “Link In”, or tell the other person to “Google them” to get contact information. While some might follow through, most contact information gets lost in the digital stew and nothing ever happens. Getting a person’s card, and giving them your information, means you are more likely to follow up.
Never expect the other person will follow up with you. You must own the follow-up once you get home or they will most likely become lost in your past as someone you met once. There is a big difference between someone you have met at a meeting and a person with whom you have cultivated an ongoing friendship. Relationships do not happen by accident.
- Take notes. I recently listened to a keynote presentation from a person who was a lifetime business adviser and friend to Steve Jobs. This guy was actively sharing important nuggets of business advice to a room of 500 entrepreneurs. Only about a dozen people were taking any notes. While is information was interesting, he was not so captivating that his words were to be burned into the soul. Few people probably remembered this guy’s insightful information. Take notes so you can review them on the flight home and you will retain more to put to use when you get back to the office.
- Meet the vendors. There is often a stigma about the trade show portion of business events. Many people never even venture into the room to visit the booths and displays. People are scared of being pounced upon by sales people and fear being added to yet another email list. But vendors are the best friends you can have in your industry. The good ones are keenly aware of what others in your industry are doing, and they are always happy to share ideas and best practices with those they have developed meaningful relationships. If you are not interested in what a vendor has to sell, just say so. Most sales professionals know not everyone they meet is an instant prospect , but cultivating friendships with sponsors is often a quick way for you to uncover future opportunities, and learn fresh ideas.
- Have fun. Event planners put in a lot of effort to ensure that conferences are both informational and entertaining. Take full advantage of the entertaining part of an event. Even if you are an introvert you can still have fun at the social activities. Find a small group of people whom you can relate and shrink the party size to just your gathering of three or four.
Now, fasten your seat belt, return your tray table to its upright position, and have a wonderful time at the conference.
Thom Singer is known as “The Conference Catalyst”. He is a professional Master of Ceremonies, Keynote Speaker, and Hybrid Event Host. He is also the host of the popular “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” Podcast. www.ThomSinger.com
The post Conference Tips for First Timers: National Speakers Association appeared first on Keynote Speaker & Leadership Coach Neen James.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
How many impromptu conversations have you found yourself in this week? What would you do in these situations?
- You’re asked a question you weren’t prepared for during a meeting.
- You’re approached by an executive who wants a quick update.
- You need to sell your idea in five minutes rather than the 30 minutes you were promised.
- While delivering a prepared presentation, you begin to run out of time while your listeners lose interest.
- You’re networking at an event.
Most of our conversations are impromptu – yet most individuals believe that if they know what to say and had time to prepare, they’re effective communicators. We don’t have opportunities to prepare for every conversation. As leaders you’re expected to effectively speak off the cuff. Even if you’re prepared while delivering a presentation, you need to have the ability to adapt your message on the fly without skipping a beat.
Three valuable must-haves for communicating with confidence, credibility and influence during an impromptu conversation:
1. Trigger words. Prepare, think and speak in bullet points rather than paragraphs and run-on sentences. When your notes include full sentences, it’s too difficult to quickly gather your thoughts when you refer to your notes. Bullet points will trigger your thoughts, save time and keep you on track.
2. W.A.I.T. Why are you talking? When you forget what to say, the biggest mistake you can make is to continue torturing your listeners while you ramble. Trust your competence and PAUSE. The most powerful skill you can have at the ready is an ability to pause, which allows you to adapt your message on the fly and meet your listeners’ expectations. When you pause, you will be in control of:
- what you want to say
- what your listeners hear and understand
3. Listen to the Why. Listen beyond your listeners’ words to hear and understand what is important to them. Why would they be interested in your topic? Why are they there? Why is your message important to them? Tap into your listeners’ answers to these questions so that your message resonates with them.
During your next impromptu situation, communicate like it’s your best game-day ever.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Monday, July 06, 2015
Australian’s are known to be friendly, laid back and they work hard… and play hard.
As an Aussie I am not good with authority or rules. My whole corporate life I had a reputation as someone who looked at things differently, who questioned everything and who could creatively find an alternate solution. I still do this today, if you give me a rule I often wonder how I could go around it or challenge it (not my best characteristic however I don’t ever want to settle).
Leaders of influence need to break the rules… occasionally. Don’t settle for the way things have always been done. Don’t adhere to all the unwritten rules of your role, your industry or your community. Approach decisions with childlike awe and wonder and respect and enquire if there is an alternative way to do something.
Most of my corporate career I heard ‘Neen that’s just not the way things are done around here.’ And I’d simply ask ‘why?’ What could you do differently today?
Some rules are for our safety – don’t break those! My talented artist and author friend Jason Kotecki recently launched a book Penguins Can’t Fly – click here to see our video. He and his wife Kim, are on a mission to cure Adultitis – I love it.
Conduct a pilot – if you aren’t sure if a project or idea will be successful, conduct a pilot first. Assess the results and make some adjustments. Not everything has to be black and white, try a pilot first. People can be more open to your suggestions if you pilot something first.
Opt out – in Jason’s book he has a great call to action to opt out of things that aren’t serving you. I suggest if you find activities unproductive or they don’t bring you joy – question if you still need to do them? Life has obligations however some of us have rules we follow we have inherited from others and we don’t question, or people in our lives that we could set free. Where could you opt out today?
Think creatively – question unwritten (and declared) rules to spark creatively and find alternative solutions. Allow your team freedom in meetings to brainstorm alternate ways to serve your clients, market your products or sell your services. Allow those who have the most contact with clients, customers or members to create alternative solutions to do more, be more and share more. Where could you introduce more creative freedom?
Impactful leaders choose to show up, stand out and create more significant moments that matter.