Give a great talk!

Giving a great talk is simple once you know these tricks. First, think about a great talk you’ve seen recently and compare them to the list below. Then follow the tricks and tips at the end of this article to deliver your own memorable speech.

What do great speakers do?

First, think of any great speech you’ve seen. Did they read from a powerpoint? No. They spoke to you.

Did they speak at you, as though they were lecturing you? No. They spoke in a way that allowed you to relate to what they were saying.

Were they dressed poorly? No. They looked good. Their clothes fit well and created an image you wanted to watch.

Were they bored by their topic? No. They were passionate about what they were sharing with you.

Great speakers stand out because they are there to entertain the audience. They aren’t focused on themselves. They look sharp, are passionate about their topic, allow you to relate to the topic and them, and have their focus on the audience.

How to give a great talk

When you are preparing your talk, remember you are there to entertain your audience. They could actually care less about you (unless your mother is in the audience!). Just follow these simple tricks and you will also give a great speech:

  1. Speak about something that excites you.. Your passion will shine through and excite your audience.
  2. Dress and groom yourself in a way that looks appealing. Don’t be shy about looking good. It’s not about you, it’s about your audience and their experience. They will enjoy a sharp dresser more than a dull one. The added bonus is you will feel great, too, which will boost your confidence.
  3. Develop talking points that you want to hit. Know your topic well enough that you can have a conversation with the audience instead of reading from notes. Nothing is more boring than a speaker who reads from notes! Memorize your talking points to make sure you hit them, but otherwise treat it more like a conversation.
  4. Look at your audience. A lot. Get comfortable with them. This will let you both relate to each other in a natural way.
  5. Remember that it’s ok to mess up a little bit. If you do, regain your composure and move on. Acknowledging your mistake may even allow your audience to further relate to you. Check out the beautiful TEDxWilmington talk by Valerie Biden Owens for a great example of how to handle a mistake and invite the audience to be on your side in the process.
  6. Smile, but only genuinely. Again, let your passion show.

How to bring it all together with Uveo

Once you have your topic, outfit, and talking points in place, start practicing. Set your phone or a tablet up on a tripod or mantelpiece and record yourself. You can even turn the camera around so you can watch yourself as you’re recording. This will probably help you see that you need to smile more!

Watch your first recording and decide what you did and didn’t like. Ask friends to watch the video and give you feedback on what was good and what wasn’t great. Then re-record, probably a few times, until you have a version you really like. Once that happens, only watch the best version. This technique is known as Uveo and helps your brain’s mirror neurons light up, which will help you deliver the best speech you can. Do NOT watch your mistakes. It is vital that you only watch your best version, which should be mistake-free.

Once you get up to deliver your talk, remember to look that audience in the eye. They are there for you and you are there to entertain them. Remember that and you will give a great talk!

(Photo credit: Moonloop Photography)

Got tough kids?

It may be hard to define “tough kids,” but I bet you know them when you see them. Teachers and parents often know them best because they work with them daily. Working with tough kids can raise your stress level and impact how you interact with others, too. It’s also possible the “tough kid” doesn’t like being difficult but doesn’t know how else to behave. So what’s the answer?

Teach the child new and better behaviors. This will decrease stress for both you and them.

Are you thinking, “that’s impossible!”?

While it may sound impossible, it isn’t at all. Using Uveo, a technique that shows the child successfully using newly taught behaviors on short videos, better behavior is often seen within a few days. Uveo capitalizes on modeling and ignition of mirror neuron-type brain cells.

Root Success Solutions LLC is ready to help you turn those tough kids into superstars today. Why wait until next month or next year? Improve your life and the child’s life today. Call us today about your toughest kids and we’ll help you and them have a better day tomorrow.

860 – 389 – 8589

The key ingredient missing from your sales training

Sales trainings cram fabulous techniques into intense trainings that last days or weeks. The content for WHAT to do is there. The HOW to do it is the missing ingredient and may contribute to why US companies spent nearly $91 billion on training last year. Trainings cover what to do in a sales situation repeatedly but fail to show trainees exactly how to implement the techniques.

HOW will my trainees remember all of this information?

HOW will they learn to apply this information?

HOW will they turn these techniques into habits that earn money?

The answer is simple and intuitive: video self-modeling (VSM) should be used to show your trainees using the techniques you taught them. These short videos (30 seconds to a few minutes) are carefully crafted and edited to show your trainees successfully using the techniques you taught them during training. Broken down into learnable chunks and watched every few days, VSM is the answer to extending your sales training efforts and turning it into profitable action. With nearly 50 years of supporting research in the fields of education, psychology, and behavior change, VSM is the perfect tool to apply to your sales trainings.

Root Success Solutions LLC is ready to work with your training staff to implement this cutting edge idea. We attend your trainings with your trainees and work early mornings into late evenings to ensure we capture the right footage without taking up valuable training session time. Contact us today at 860 – 389 – 8589 or to learn more.


Should I cancel a meeting? Points to consider….

Canceling internal professional meetings can hurt your success as a leader, both immediately and down the road. By canceling or postponing meetings with your employees, your behavior tells them that the meeting topic AND THEY are not important to you. This is a dangerous mindset to develop in your employees because feeling undervalued will produce lower morale and productivity.

Beyond this, if you chronically cancel meetings, your ability to schedule and run efficient meetings will be impaired. Your assistant who schedules the meetings will no longer receive quick and accommodating replies to his requests on your behalf. Important meetings will get waylaid by, “I can’t possibly meet at that time” responses rather than, “I will absolutely be there, thanks” responses. This also makes your assistant’s job more difficult because responses to his emails will be more terse since he has to communicate canceled meetings often.

Thankfully, you are in control of whether you schedule or cancel meetings. Below are a few questions to ask yourself.

Before you schedule a meeting:

  • Am I ready for this meeting? If so, schedule it and plan to prioritize attending. If you’re not prepared for it yet, don’t schedule it until you are. Gather what you need first or plan time in your schedule before the meeting to do so.
  • Do we need a meeting on this topic? Always consider that meetings are taking up your time and your employees’ time. If a meeting isn’t necessary to convey information or discuss ideas, then don’t schedule one.
  • Can I be there on time? Never schedule a meeting to which you plan to arrive late. All meetings should start and end on time. Doing otherwise tells meeting members that their time is not important. It also wastes valuable time that your employees could be using to be productive.
  • How long does this meeting need to be? If you only need 15 minutes of time, don’t schedule a 1-hour meeting. Conversely, if the topic needs 2 hours of time, plan accordingly. Always starting meetings on time ensures everyone will arrive a few minutes before each meeting and you will be more likely to finish on time.

Before you cancel a meeting: 

  • Am I afraid of something that might occur in the meeting? If so, talk to a trusted advisor, executive coach, or friend before the meeting to develop a plan for how to handle potential difficulties.
  • Why did I schedule this meeting? If you’re not sure, then revisit your process for planning meetings and consider the questions above. If you’re willing to cancel a meeting, was it worth scheduling in the first place?
  • Will productivity go up or down if I cancel this meeting? If it will go up because the meeting is not important, then cancel, explain why you’re canceling, and revisit your reasons for planning meetings in the future. If it will go down, either because your employees won’t have enough information to be productive or because morale will further decline, then don’t cancel it. Consider having a shorter meeting instead – everybody will love you for it!  Or have someone else run it, but only if they have the knowledge and authority to make decisions during the meeting. In the latter case, plan to show up for a few minutes during the meeting to send the message that the topic is important and that you are confident in your substitute leader.

Keep in mind that your time is also valuable, so planning meetings that aren’t necessary is not helpful to your employees or you. The end goal should always be increased productivity, either directly through information sharing and planning or indirectly through preventative measures such as safety meetings. If a meeting doesn’t support productivity, don’t schedule it. If it does support productivity, schedule it and attend it at the appointed time.

The bottom line: be respectful of your employees’ time. If you must cancel due to an unforeseen death, then explain and cancel. Otherwise, hold necessary meetings on time and don’t schedule unnecessary ones. Your entire staff (and you!) will be much happier and more productive.




The Best Moments

I had the honor today of returning to a school whose staff was trained last year by my company on video self-modeling. Video self-modeling is a positive psychology technique where children watch themselves on video performing a behavior perfectly well. Most videos are between 30 seconds and a few minutes long.

Many of the children whose videos I shared in trainings this year were there, which gave me the immense pleasure of seeing how far they have advanced. These are just a few of their accomplishments, achieved by watching their individual 30 second videos:

The young girl who was terribly afraid of fire drills proudly shared that she had two fire drills in one day recently and went outside like a champ!

The little boy who would not participate in group activities and used a mumbling quiet voice was happily dancing with his classmate and teachers while loudly singing the words of the song today.

The young girl who screamed every time she was given a simple instruction like “stand up,” “sit down,” or “turn around” smiled broadly as she watched her video. When I asked her to stand up, she excitedly did so with a huge grin – and no screams.

Another girl watched her video and then returned to her teacher and exclaimed, “I used my listening ears!” Her pride was palpable.

There are so many more examples that I’ll share as they come to mind in future posts. I am so proud of the children’s accomplishments achieved simply by watching themselves perform well on short videos.

The very best part of my day, though, was following through on a young boy’s fun request to record him and his toy in slow motion. We laughed so purely and innocently at our big coup of recording his toy in slow motion.  Sometimes life’s greatest moments are the unexpected ones….