Category Archives: Skills

Skills

The number 1 mistake public speakers make.

I’ve been a professional speaker for the last 9 years.

“Professional” basically just means that I own a sport coat and a belt.

The number 1 mistake that I see over and over is actually very simple.

Want to know what it is?

It’s a mistake that people make whether they’re talking to 10,000 people or 10. I think that’s what we forget sometimes. Public speaking doesn’t just mean you’re a famous person on stage. (Like Betty White or Lorenzo Lamas.) It also means you know how to lead a meeting at your company.

Being able to clearly communicate an idea is critical for your career.

You might never keynote a big event, but if you need to get buy in from your manager at work, you better know how to deliver a speech.

So, what’s the mistake most people make?

Most people think the first step in creating a speech is to write the speech.

It’s not.

The first step is to understand the audience.

When you give a speech, you’re not there to speak. You’re there to serve.

It’s not about you.

It’s about the audience.

The first thing you need to do, long before you work on your speech, is talk with the audience. If it’s an event, you need to call the event planner. If it’s a meeting, you need to talk with one of the attendees.

Every time I give a speech, I ask the client a specific list of questions I have developed over the years. Some of the questions are obvious, but one of them is very, very surprising.

Depending on the size of the event, I’ll even go meet with them face to face. It gives me the chance to get a sense of how to best serve them.

One of my goals with a speech is to make the audience know I care about them. I don’t get to do that unless I know them.

Empathy requires curiosity.

Have you ever been at an event where you could tell the speaker had one speech and no matter who was in the audience, it was going to be the same talk every time? You feel invisible, like you don’t matter.

That speaker didn’t try to understand who was in the crowd.

They had a stock talk and that’s what you got.

What questions do I ask people before I talk to them? How do I use social media to really figure out who my audience is? What’s the best thing you can ask before you lead a meeting or speak at an event?

I’ll give that and much more with my new free resource, the Speaker’s List.

Once a week, I’ll send you a speaking idea it took me years to learn. My goal is to help you give better speeches. Pure and simple. If you’re a professional speaker, my goal is to help you make more money in your speaking career.

How you communicate your ideas matters, regardless of what your job is.

Ready to win at public speaking?

Sign up here.

Skills

How to get a raise at work.

I made $24,500 at my first real job and felt like the richest person in the world.

I was absolutely thrilled to be making that kind of bank. I was like a short, skinny Rick Ross. Woke up in a new Bugatti!

Over the years, I received a few raises and started to notice an interesting pattern. The more skills I acquired the more money I’d received. Or to quote P-Diddy, “Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.”

The better I got at identifying, acquiring and utilizing new skills, the higher my salary climbed. The challenge is we have a hard time knowing what our skills really are. When you ask someone, “What are your skills?” They often say, “Nothing.” or “People. I’m good with people. And dogs.”

You’ll never get a raise that way. Perhaps even more critical, if you don’t learn new skills, you could lose your job. I remember two designers that showed me that. I met one in Dallas. He told me, “Jon, I remember when I realized that if I didn’t learn how to design for the Internet I was going to become a dinosaur and lose my job.” So he learned new skills, new software and new approaches to being a graphic designer.

The other person was an industrial designer. His company told him that they loved his work but they needed him to learn AutoCAD. He refused, promising that he designed better by hand. For a minute he could keep up, but eventually, you lose the race to a computer. He got stuck and lost his job.

That’s what’s so amazing about new skills. It’s impossible to get stuck somewhere old if you keep learning something new.

New skills make you stuck proof. The reason why 25% of my book “Do Over” is about skills is because they are critical. If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy. It’s only $11.

How do you start identifying your skills? Well, it’s pretty simple. You just have to ask 5 questions. I even made an infographic for you. Ask these and check out Do Over to really supercharge the skill part of your career. Remember, Mo’ Skills, Mo’ Money.

Skills

Are you ready to DO Summer?

Next to relationships, skills are the most important thing you can have when it comes to chasing a dream. Whether you want to write a book, start a business, like your current job more, or turn a hobby into a job, you need skills. That’s why 25% of my latest book Do Over is dedicated to helping build your skills.

The challenge though is that skills get sharp slowly and dull quickly.

Last summer I introduced the DO Summer Challenge as a way to keep our skills sharp, and over 9,000 of you joined in. This summer, we’re bringing it back. (Sign up here!)

We’re going to work on our skills together. We’re not just going to talk. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to dream. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to wish. We’re going to do.

DO Summer is simple.

1. Pick one skill you want to work on.
It can be a completely new skill or something you used to love that fell behind in the busyness of life. It can be career related like working on your resume or life related like jogging for better health.

2. Work on the skill for 1,500 minutes this summer in easy 15-minute segments. dosummertease
I’ve created a free worksheet that helps you track time in 15-minute chunks. Each time you knock out 15 minutes, color in one of the boxes on the sheet.

3. Share your results each Monday morning online with #DOSummer2016

You’ll be surprised how encouraging having other people cheer you on is. It was so fun to search the hashtag and see the skills everyone was sharpening, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be working on this year.

That’s it. At the end of the summer, if you spend 1,500 minutes on your DO, you will have invested 25 hours in a skill. There’s no telling what positive habits, life changing opportunities and unexpected adventures you can stir up by doing something so simple.

The challenge starts Monday, June 20th and will run until August 5th. (Invite a friend to do it with you if you really want to increase your results!)

To get the worksheet for free sign up below! You’ll also get all of my blog ideas.

Get your free #DOSummer2016 Worksheet

You ready to DO Summer?

You ready to make a small investment in your big dream?

I am.

Skills

5 tips for speaking to 10,000 people or 10.

Recently I was in Dallas, TX speaking to 10,000 people at a Young Living Convention. That’s an intimidating amount of people, but five lessons I’ve learned over the years helped me deliver the speech. Here they are:

1. Speak to a person, not a crowd.
No one wants to feel like they’re a part of a big glob of an audience. One person speaking to ten thousand people is hard, but one person speaking to one person is a lot easier.

I always try to find one person in the crowd who is happy and engaged. It’s so easy to find (and focus on) the one person who hates every word you’re saying. Public speakers tend to have laser vision for the guy in the room with his arms crossed and a scowl. Instead, find the one person who’s locked in on the conversation and speak to them. When you do that, your talk feels less like a lecture and more like a conversation, and everyone wins.

2. Be careful to not be subtle.
As the size of your audience grows, so too should the way you express yourself on stage. This is a tip I learned from my friends Tripp & Tyler, who have spent a lot of time on big stages making people laugh. They warned me that subtle jokes and subtle movements don’t always play to a larger crowd because you’re communicating with the first row AND the last row, no matter how far from the stage it is.

The dynamics shift with big crowds, so be careful to avoid subtleties as your audience grows. If you’re speaking to 10 people, make sure you don’t act like you’re speaking to 10,000. It’s always awkward when a speaker yells like he or she is in a stadium if there’s only a few people in the room. In those situations I’ll often circle a few chairs and sit down for the talk instead. If the event is intimate, acknowledge that.

3. Allow time for the crowd to laugh and think.
If you prepare 45 minutes of material for a 45-minute talk for a larger crowd, you might run out of time with ten minutes of material left. The problem is, you didn’t account for the crowd.

The crowd will laugh, and they need time to laugh. The crowd will think, and they need time to think. If you ask the crowd a question, give them a moment to actually answer it.

Planning an event is hard. Honor the event planner’s schedule by preparing a talk that’s slightly shorter than your window to account for the crowd.

4. Laugh or move on if you make a mistake.
There are two types of mistakes you make when you speak. There’s the mistake that’s big enough that it’s funny, and you should sit on it for a minute and enjoy it with the crowd. That happened to me at the Orange Conference. I said something that was accidentally inappropriate in front of 6,000 people. I heard a few start laughing so I decided to ride the wave of the mistake and laugh along. It ended up being the biggest laugh I got during my speech.

The more common mistake is the small one you just move on from because it’s so inconsequential. If it’s a minor mistake don’t call attention to it. Just move on, more than likely the crowd didn’t even notice.

5. Have fun.
I know, I know, this is so cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s false.

If you’re not up there on stage having fun, the crowd’s not gonna have fun either. If you’re wound up, the crowd won’t be relaxed. If you’re racing through your notes, the crowd will feel that too.

I get nervous when talking to big crowds like everyone else, but the times when I have the most fun on stage are the times where the audience does as well.

You might never become a public speaker, but you’ll speak in front of a crowd at some point. You’ll present a college paper, deliver a project at work or make a speech at a wedding. Remember these tips for when do and you’ll have a great time, whether it’s 10,000 people or 10.

P.S. If you want to become better at public speaking or anything else, do the note card exercise on page 93 of my book Do Over.

 

Skills

How to get motivated every time you open your phone this summer.

According to the calendar, summer officially started last Sunday, but according to the #DOSummer2015 hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s been in full swing for a couple weeks.

In fact, as of Monday over 10,000 people have downloaded the #DOSummer Checklist!

Already working on the checklist? Awesome! (Don’t have one yet? It’s a simple, free PDF that will help you work through all your goals this summer. Click here and I’ll send it to you.)

I thought it would be fun if every time you opened your phone you got motivated to stay on top of your DO Summer goals, so I created these lock screens. The goal of DO Summer is to help you spend 1,500 minutes doing something awesome this summer via 15 minute chunks of time.

It’s impossible to climb a mountain with one step but you’d be surprised how easy it is to knock things out in 15-minute segments. Every time you open your phone, you’ll be reminded to complete another 15 minutes of something you care about. Click the links below to open a new tab and save the one you want.

lockscreenoptions

OPTION 1

OPTION 2

Hopefully you can make one of these three resolutions work for you, depending on the phone you have.

(For iPhone users, save the image on your phone and use as wallpaper. They work best if you turn “Perspective Zoom” off and pinch the image so it fits perfectly into your screen size.)

Don’t forget to post your updates every Monday with the #DOSummer2015 hashtag!

Skills

Are you ready to DO Summer?

Next to relationships, skills are the most important thing you can have when it comes to chasing a dream. Whether you want to write a book, start a business, like your current job more, or turn a hobby into a job, you need skills. That’s why 25% of my new book Do Over is dedicated to helping build your skills.

The challenge though is that skills get sharp slowly and dull quickly.

Not this summer though.

We’re going to work on our skills together. We’re not just going to talk. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to dream. We’re going to do. We’re not just going to wish. We’re going to do.

DO Summer is simple.

1. Pick one skill you want to work on.
It can be a completely new skill or something you used to love that fell behind in the busyness of life. It can be career related like working on your resume or life related like jogging for better health. (I’m picking writing for mine because I didn’t write for a solid month and could feel that skill getting rusty.)

2. Work on the skill for 1,500 minutes this summer in easy 15-minute segments. dosummertease
I’ve created a free worksheet that helps you track time in 15-minute chunks. Each time you knock out 15 minutes, color in one of the boxes on the sheet.

3. Read the quick, weekly skill tip I email you each Monday from Do Over.
You’ll get 60 seconds of I dare you to be awesome content for the next 12 weeks.

4. Share your results each Monday morning online with #DOSummer2015
I’ve been blown away by how motivating a little visibility is when I use my Fitbit step tracker with friends from the Internet. You’ll be surprised how encouraging having other people cheer you on is. As part of DO Summer, you’ll also get invited to the exclusive, private 30 Days of Hustle Facebook group for wildly fun accountability.

That’s it. At the end of the summer, if you spend 1,500 minutes on your DO, you will have invested 25 hours in a skill. There’s no telling what positive habits, life changing opportunities and unexpected adventures you can stir up by doing something so simple.

You ready to DO Summer?

You ready to make a small investment in your big dream?

I am.


8/22/2015 UPDATE: DO Summer was a ton of fun, but being that the summer is over, we’ve closed this campaign. If you want us to let you know the next time we do something like this, and you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter to receive all my new ideas via email, sign up here!