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Friday, August 21, 2015

Ask to Gain Understanding - Opening Keynote

Trainer and mentor Don Thoren, CPAE, writes:  "Has someone said something and you weren’t sure what to say back? Seconds tick by and your mind screams, 'What do I say now?!' or 'Why did I say that?!'"

"My wife, Kathleen, taught me to say, with curiosity, 'Isn't that interesting' and then...STOP TALKING.
The beauty of this neutral comment is that it turns the conversation back to the other person and...
   * Gives you a chance to think.
   * Gives you an immediate response, but you haven't really said anything or expressed an opinion yet.
   * Gives you a chance to change the way you are listening from a JUDGE OF what was said to an INVESTIGATOR INTO what they meant."

Don says "It's best to ask questions to gain understanding when you are not sure how to respond. However, avoid the 'why' question, as it is often received as argumentative. Now, you have your best chance of feeling comfortable with what you say back."

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Exaggerate No More - Opening Keynote

Many speakers and authors make a variety of claims, some substantiated, some not. Even in the absence of any intention to deceive, it’s easy for speakers and authors to fall into the trap of making exaggerated claims when seeking to attract new clients.

At the Breathing Space Institute, we do not make claims that we can’t document. At, when you click on “meeting planners,” for example, you will see hundreds of kudos letters, meeting fliers, long-distance learning fliers, and other rosters help illuminate Jeff Davidson’s credentials.

Jeff's Website:
Demo Video:
Program Flyers:

Audio books:

Author Central:
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Jeff's Books:
Barnes & Noble:
Book Covers:
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Articles for Meeting Planners:
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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Can a Speaker Make Impact? - Opening Keynote

A strong positive reaction from the audience members and the visible exhibition of learning are desirable outcomes for any speaker. A larger question, however, is "what impact did the presentation have on job performance?"

It behooves you to make follow-up efforts to determine what changes in behavior, if any, on the parts your audience members resulted from a speaker’s presentation. Have audience members done anything differently since the presentation? Has their behavior changed? Has their performance improved? Do groups handle their responsibilities with greater ease? The simple speaker evaluation rating sheets that audience members complete directly following the presentation don't and can't answer these types of questions.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Key Idea for Keynotes - Opening Keynote

In a keynote speech it is better to present one key idea four different ways than it is to cram your keynote full of material that is guaranteed to miss the mark with 75% of the audience.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Stay on Time! - Opening Keynote

Here a few ideas from on the topic of staying on time:

* State that the meeting will begin promptly at the scheduled time and that all participants should be on time.

* Send a reminder e-mail thirty minutes before the meeting begins and encourage meeting participants to arrive on time.

* Ensure that you begin the meeting at the scheduled time. If you've encouraged others to be prompt, don't embarrass yourself by showing up late.

* Close the meeting room doors at the scheduled time.

* If your meeting starts a little late, still finish the meeting at the scheduled time. It's inconsiderate to assume the participants' schedules revolve around your meeting, so wrap up the meeting when you promised.

* Consider creating a "latecomer jar" to which meeting participants must contribute one dollar for each minute they arrive late to meetings. At the end of the week, you can buy muffins or donuts for everyone who attended the meeting… courtesy of the latecomers!

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

You Can Learn at Any Age - Opening Keynote

Matthew Blakeslee, writing for Discover says, "If old dogs haven’t been able to learn new tricks, maybe that’s because no one has known how to teach them properly. Until quite recently orthodox neuroscience held that only the brains of young children are resilient, malleable, and morphable -- in a word, plastic."

"This neuroplasticity, as it is called, seems to fade steadily as the brain congeals into its fixed adult configuration. Infants can sustain massive brain damage, up to the loss of an entire cerebral hemisphere, and still develop into nearly normal adults; any adult who loses half the brain, by contrast, is a goner. Adults can’t learn to speak new languages without an accent, can’t take up piano in their fifties then go on to play at Carnegie Hall, and often suffer strokes that lead to permanent paralysis or cognitive deficiencies. The mature brain, scientists concluded, can only decline."

"It turns out this theory is not just wrong, it is spectacularly wrong. Two books, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain (Ballantine) by science journalist Sharon Begley and The Brain That Changes Itself (Viking) by psychiatrist Norman Doidge, offer masterfully guided tours through the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity research. Each has its own style and emphasis; both are excellent."

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

My Three Blogs - Opening Keynote

If you have yet to visit my other two blogs, start the day off right by clicking below:
* for the time-pressured:
* for the constantly distracted:

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