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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Got Concentration? - Opening Keynote

Here are notes from Sam Horn's session on Concentration from September 15th, 1981. Still great advice to this day!

* Concentration defined; voluntarily focused attention.
* Discipline of ignoring irrelevant matters
* Fixing ones' powers, efforts, and attention
* Most people work best under a deadline; when their concentration is focused.
* Fatigue is a big road block to concentration

This last note is telling!:
* Society is moving towards a lower frustration tolerance with less discipline, and more need for immediate gratification. These are detriments to concentration.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Responsive Speaker - Opening Keynote

You can tell about a potential speaker's responsiveness early on. From the first time you made contact until the time the speaker is to actually make the presentation, to the follow-up, is this speaker responsive? You can gauge a speaker's level of responsiveness best, obviously, prior to the presentation. Are the materials that you request promptly submitted or readily available?

Does the speaker readily return phone calls? Or is the speaker in hiding and generally inaccessible before the presentation?

You can gain a sense of this immediately from each interaction after your initial call. If you
sense that the speaker's level of responsiveness is less than you desire, be wary. This may be a clue as to how the presentation and overall interaction with the audience may go. What was supposed to be a customized program may only be tailored. What was supposed to be tailored may only be a slight modification of off-the-shelf.

Responsiveness and attentiveness prior to the big event is the best clue that you've chosen the right speaker for the job.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Arrive Early for Better Outcomes - Opening Keynote

It might be semi-comforting to retain a speaker who's very busy. After all, if many other groups are hiring this speaker, he or she must be good, right?

If the speaker doesn't arrive the night before, or at least two to three hours in advance of the presentation, watch out. Professional speakers arrive in advance, work out the room logistics, meet with the production and audio-visual personnel, walk the room, give equipment a test run, and in general make themselves thoroughly familiar with the meeting venue.

No matter how good the speaker might be, if he or she expects to get off a plane, jump into a taxi, and make it to your site with moments to spare, be on guard, for you could get a performance that is not quite up to par or doesn't fit the needs of your audience.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Win Over Most of the Audience - Opening Keynote

The most effective presentations are offered to the audience participants in the “middle,” not at the extremes. Let me elaborate:

When I worked with Domino Pizza's distribution corporation in 1992 on a book titled The Domino Effect, I learned from their division president that among any target or audience group, roughly 6% to 8% will dislike you no matter what you do because they associate you with something or someone negative! Hence, their evaluations are essentially invalid.

A similar percentage, roughly 6% to 8%, will approve of you almost regardless of what you do
because they like the way you look or your personality! Their feedback is invalid too.

Your real task becomes reaching the middle 84% to 88% of the audience who arrive relatively-free of inclinations towards the presenter one way or the other.

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Monday, September 07, 2015

Are Your Goals Too Obscure? - Opening Keynote

In our hectic, fast-paced society, most of us have so many things competing for our attention that it's relatively easy to lose sight of the goals we set for ourselves, even big important goals. Here are some simple suggestions for turning your goals into realities:

* Pare down your list of current goals. Your chances of reaching your goals is improved if you are only working on a few of them at a time.

* Be sure that each of your goals is specific and quantifiable. If you intend to lose ten pounds, attach a date to your goal.

* Whether your goal is to lose weight or to achieve a business victory, periodically measure your progress. Daily is NOT too often.

* Post your goal or goals on your bathroom mirror or elsewhere, where you will automatically notice them as you start each day. If it helps, share your goals with others and get their support.

* Finally, join groups that have similar resolutions or goals.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Training: Four Levels - Opening Keynote

Donald Kirkpatrick's Four Level Evaluation Model training programs was published in 1959 in the Journal of American Society of Training Directors and is still highly valid today:

* Reaction - how the learners react to the learning process
* Learning - the extent to which the learners gain knowledge and skills
* Behavior - capability to perform the learned skills while on the job
* Results - includes such items as monetary, efficiency, moral, etc.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Working From home - Opening Keynote

Beth Bravermann in her article "Work from home and still be a part of the office" writes:

"Love your commute-free workday away from the glare of fluorescent lights? Just don't get too comfortable. A recent study in the MIT Sloan Management Review found that bosses are more likely to attribute traits like 'responsible' and 'dependable' to in-office workers than those who work from home."

"If you're among the 13 million U.S. employees who work remotely at least once a week, try these moves to seem as present as those who appear in the office every day: Communicate constantly. Return calls as well as emails ASAP and make it easier for people to reach you by forwarding your office phone to a dedicated home-office line."

"When you have to be out, make sure colleagues know in advance, and put an automatic reply on your email that says when you'll be reachable again."

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