Why do I drink coffee? Because I enjoy being with the people drinking coffee with me. Coffee shops are gathering places. I meet my friends there and we enjoy conversation together. I value relationships and synergy. Why drink coffee and love others? Because without coffee and you, life would be really sad. Take a moment and invite some friends to meet you at your favorite local coffee shop and enjoy some coffee and conversation together. Face to face is best and time together is a gift.
Cheers to What?
When I sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend, I like to make a toast. “Cheers to friendship and adventure.” I believe we should not live a boring life. The lifestyle brand I launched “KTELUS” is all about this. Don’t live boring. Be the best you possible. To find this spirit in our lives, we must celebrate today, one another, and find the little adventures that fuel us to becoming the best version of ourselves. Cheers to you today! I believe in you because I believe in the God who made you. This is why, the next time you and I sit down for coffee, I’ll raise my glass and say, “Cheers to friendship and adventure!”
I am constantly establishing artificial deadlines and limited timeframes for myself. Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” The enemy to accomplishment is too much time. People make the excuse “I don’t have enough time to do that” when the exact opposite is true. They need less time to accelerate their efficiency. Establishing a sense of urgency or limited time helps push us to better thinking and smarter actions. If we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want, we will find ourselves wandering and wasting time. Use deadlines and limited timeframes to get things done.
Two Power Words
If you travel, or know someone who travels, these are two powerful words: welcome home. I speak at 100 live-events a year, which means I’m on the road frequently. What makes this schedule possible is the community I call home–the team at my office, my friends, and the neighbors I know well. Being welcomed home is healthy. To return to the place where relationship, connection, and community exists is vital. Time on the road can be lonely. Conversations can be good, but they are not ongoing. The welcome home is needed to re-connect and engage. Give the gift of welcoming someone home today.
I enjoy being around people. However, when I am going to speak at a live event I try to conserve my energy beforehand. After I speak, I am more than welcome to spend time with people because I have already fulfilled the main purpose I was invited to fill. If you waste all your energy with people before you take the stage, you could face mental fatigue or lower energy while speaking. This is why I often won’t talk as much with people beforehand, and why I wait until after I speak to greet and get to know people in the lobby.
Preparing to Speak
Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. How you prepare will be directly reflected in how you perform. Personally, I find recording my talk and then listening to it very helpful. Simply take out your smart phone, put on your headphones, and record your talk as if you were in front of an audience. Then listen to yourself. As you do, you will find pockets of missing content and make tweaks before you perform in front of an audience.
Authenticity versus Authority
Humans connect best on the level of authenticity. Yes, we can learn a lot from someone who is an authority in a field. But when that person is open and real about their journey, we listen better. No matter the subject you speak on, be authentic. Be you. Tell real stories and struggles you have faced. Let your audience see in you the same challenges they encounter. If you overcame something you are hoping others will overcome, the best way to help them is to share your authentic story. Authority is powerful, but authenticity is believable.
Does your talk have an action you want people to take? Years ago, I heard some wise advice from speaker/comedian Ken Davis: when you give a talk, you are either telling people why to do something or how to do something. If you are sharing a “How To” talk then the question becomes “What do you want people to do?” You need to clearly communicate the action steps you want people to take as a result of what you’ve shared. Ask yourself this question: “What are the next steps?” When you finish speaking, your audience should know those steps.
Have you ever watched a gymnast run, jump, flip, and fall? Their dismount did not land well and the entire performance was ruined. The same can be true of a speech. You open strong and grab the attention of your audience. You build rapport and share some helpful information. Then, you wander from your original purpose and your passion fades. The result? You never land the message. How do you avoid this? Start with the end in mind. Think, how do I want people to remember this talk? What is the key takeaway? Finish strong.