Showing posts with label sales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sales. Show all posts

NEVER stop asking a lot of questions

would be the advice I would give to my 20-year-old self.

I am going to explore this awesome question that I just heard today.  For about one minute as the other half was flipping through the channels, like he's warming up for that imaginary battlefield game he likes to play.  Flex those fingers and press those thumbs to the beat of your favorite song.  


What advice would you give your 20 year old self? 

I can grapple with myself 
as much as I'd like and that would be the thing that I would tell my 20YOS (abbreviation for 20 year old self), never stop asking a lot of questions.  It is part of the wisdom I can say that I have 30 odd years later.  The difference between good and great is the ability to ask insightful questions.   The other one is to believe in PEOPLE.   I'd like to share my own discovery that becomes a tidy parcel within wisdom.

The person who comes to mind?
I think of Barbara Walters.  I think most, if not all of the greats, emulated Barbara Walters who is the benchmark of interviewing PEOPLE everywhere.  Carve away the personas, politicians, musicians, artists, directors, entrepreneurs, athletes and we all end up the same:  we're PEOPLE.  All of us.  Shed the religion, color, race, country, city, rural, occupations, preoccupations, interests, bias, knowledge, truths, sovereignty.  You.  One of the PEOPLE.  No better than the next, exactly the same.


What makes us different, 
as in our DNA, is our characteristics that make up our personality which evolve by our traits.    What your traits are are steered by you based on the attention you may give it.  If you want to go into the gutter (PORN, RACISM, VIOLENCE) it is because you didn't keep that trait at bay, you continued to explore it, specify an interest level, and even perhaps it evolves into a really bad thing.  You are untrustworthy, not loyal, lean towards meanness, belittle, shuck others aside ... regardless of method.  

I would tell my 2YOS to stray away from those who want to drag you into a deep dark hole with them.  Don't feel sorry for them, as you may ought to do.  Don't even acknowledge them.  Not the slightest hook to snag your attention, however briefly.

These three traits I would suggest are worth considering honing in on:

  • Ask a lot of questions, every time, every situation, every where.  Once you establish it firmly as part of the core of who you are, you will continue to expand and ask even greater questions.  Others may even be amazed at the quickness and sharpness to ask a question just as it is entering others' radar.  It blips, and then before processing, be the person who asks a question that captures what everyone could be barely registering, never mind thinking.  It can return at a later time.  Removed from the message other than it appearing like a puff of smoke:  that was a great question because it required an answer that was more in depth and detailed.
  • Secondly, be aware of people.  Be open to new people, different people, in different situations, different backgrounds (whether economic, intellect or standing).  Find a way out of the aversion to odor, or behavior that is distracting, so as to be able to hear them.    I could have more easily suggested to pay closer attention or just simply listen but I didn't.  To make a point.  
  • Be your own person or personality.  Stick to your values, don't let anyone intimidate you, bully you, make you feel inferior in any way.  Gender is even stripped away so that you can be the person from the inside out.  Starting on the inside first.  Completing the outside is the easy part.  Understand your style or karma or aura you exude.  Don't try to hold back or allow others to censor you.  Any person [ whether friend, family, employer or place ] who wants to encourage you will not make you feel like you should hold back nor be told to be quiet [ whether written or vocal ].  

Don't let anyone try to squash that personality and enthusiasm for the continuous journey you are on.  

You won't be able to sell anything.  Your company, your case, your qualifications, your institution, your cause, your view, your anything will not be able to sell anything unless you can learn how to ask the right questions.

For example.  You are the CEO of your company and you are rubbing elbows with your colleagues and staff while selling your company's product or service.  It is pretty hard not to.  Especially since you probably got the job based on your charisma, leadership essence, confidence, vision.  

I wrote a while ago ..... I'll have to look it back up and link it here ] INSERT LINK [ ... about not working IN the business but work ON the business if you are its OWNER< CEO<PRESIDENT.  Well it is not exclusive, but the point is for anyone who has to sell anything.

If you are a sales representative >> you NEED to work on YOUR business!
What is that business?  We'll get to that later on.

In order to sell anything to anyone, you have to be able to ask great questions.  Those great questions will catapult you at the center of the PERSON [ views, criteria, influence, bias, desires, needs, headaches ].  By understanding the PERSON in front of you:  your parent as you ask for an increase in the university fund;  the sales rep who is asking his potential customer for the order; the CEO who is asking the Board for something to be approved.

If you've asked the right questions, it will magically be staring right at you.  The OASIS of sold!   When you can formulate, practice, evaluate a series of questions to ask that first important first impression meeting, to ask of your audience, hopefully of one as it is far easier.  [ You may need to assess why you are meeting in front of a group ... that's a red flag.  It usually means that the audience doesn't have enough confidence in themselves or have become so rigid that they've lost the ability of sensing instinct, gut feeling, seeing expression.

Five Questions?
Come up with a list of five questions that you want to ask your next prospect [remember, that prospect does not have to be a SALES call or situation].  Then, make it a practice to have five questions written down before any sit down for a meeting, a review, an interview, a report, a presentation.  Spend 10 minutes looking through the web page [ I realize that I should write about that now:  how to review a company's website and grasp their culture, their vibe, their engagement with visitors ] so that you can come up with five questions.

Think of yourself as an investor.  Yes, that sounds backwards when you think that you don't have the money to buy even "a share" in this company, just ignore that and transcend yourself.  Ask yourself:  "would you buy shares in this company?".

If you are attuned to selling to people, you will want to invest in them just as much as they will want to purchase or give you whatever it is you are asking for.   That is called evening the playing field.  Remember what I said before?  PEOPLE are the same except for how they BUY things.  

can be just the same as buying into things.  Do you buy into this opinion or that show or that writing or philosophy?  See, we are all BUYERS and there are sparks that initiate the action to buy.  

If you are not attuned to PEOPLE you won't get as far.  You will have to meet more and more and more PEOPLE to get into your zone.  Then again, as you meet more and more PEOPLE in whatever situation FIVE QUESTIONS imagine what will unfold.  

If you like to cut corners, you probably didn't even last to the finish of this post.  Unless it benefits you immediately [ can you copy, plagiarize or imitate this?] you are long gone.  Those are probably the less honest type of sales anyhow and they won't jive with my philosophy derived from my traits.

is a trait or characteristic.  Which does it mean is which.  It is both an adverb I think and a verb in English, as in a thing or noun rather than an action.

In order to have a DISCIPLINEd PERSONality, you will have had to hone your traits to come up with the right ingredients for your own unique PERSON.  I am wondering somewhat if I have ADD or attention deficit disorder.  Someone with a psychological background I was [here it is again] asking more insightful questions asked me if that were a possibility.    Not as an assessment, nothing like that, simply generated from a conversation.  

Examine your own traits.  What are your leanings?  What gains your interest quicker than others?  Explore the maybe and the why.  


The 7 year itch

Alas, it has been seven years
 since I began blogging.  It has been a learning curve of the creative, expressive kind.  That's okay since I'm a self-described "knowledge junkie".

I've had fans and cheerleaders, supporters and mentors to which I owe a lot.  They are patient with me.  Some read faithfully.  I know because although I rarely have comments, the readership spikes show on the stats.  

346,000 page views over 7 years
doesn't seem like that many when you consider the many blogs that exceed that in a day.  I will take what I can and I appreciate every single view counted.  I like to check what posts gain the most traction and it seems that when I blog about sales or business there is the most attraction.  You can see which ones are popular because I leverage the tools that Google's Blogspot affords me:  on sales.

It seems cool on the one hand that one of my blogs has gained a nice following.  Rewarding to see how others it resonates with.  In all cases, I write from experience to help others navigate the waters on sales and then some on social media.

In neither case do I propose that I am an expert.  For hardly can anyone acclaim expertise and shout it from the rooftop of posts, shares, retweets in order for it to become so.  Nor is my name noted on any list of experts on any one topic.  

If you look at the average person starting out on social media or blogging, it seems a daunting task to attract a few followers, never mind thousands.  I appreciate every single one.  Sincerely.  Heartfelt.

One reader or one page view is a celebration in itself.  If they return, then a happy dance should be done.  If I've helped one person think differently about sales, leadership or social media and improve results, then mission accomplished.

Depending on the perspective of who you are, you extrapolate opinion on the writer or the message.  Even if you don't have a compelling temptation to comment, if it crosses your sphere in a way that you want to share it, then that is a gift.

One of the things that I have done over the past seven years is continuously try new things, experiment, stretch my imagination or be inspired to share more.  

However, I don't have the luxury of writing or being a social media person online as a means of earning a living.  But it makes living worthwhile when what you write does help someone else gain a new perspective or try things a little differently.

I suppose on the one hand, I scaled back on writing about sales because I'm not actively working in the sales field.  Then I remind myself that social media is all about selling yourself,  every time, every click, every post.    Selling one's self is far more challenging than selling for an organization, a service, or a product.  Increased activity can smooth over gaps and improve results.  Unfortunately, I haven't always applied that theory to my own blogging.

I allowed myself to become scattered, or scatter what I write about under different umbrellas.  I've even gone so far as to create a website which hardly appeases me since it isn't the finished product I foresee nor the resource I've imagined.

Sometimes it is far more difficult to examine one's own short-comings than it is to opine about someone else.  In the world of social media, having an opinion is a common ground that is either shared or ignored.

I've supported some pretty cool ventures by those whom I've connected virtually with over the years.  I've cheered on some great initiatives by others that seem to springboard them to success.  Not because of me.  Perhaps a few ideas percolated after our interactions, or new adventures sprung from sprinkled ideas, conversations, reading.  I'm amazed and proud of some of the great things that have happened to some pretty amazing people.  Not because of me, that is for sure.  Yet by our association, I lent witness to their climb to successfully reaching a pinnacle of their own doing.

I do hope that some of it has rubbed off on me.  Learning from others who try new things or stay on track, on message, while trying different approaches.

I scaled back on writing about sales most likely because I couldn't define the road I was on or where I wanted it to take me.  I couldn't see myself being where I've sat in the audience myself before, listening to a key note address at a conference, sales celebration, or networking event.  

Ironically, I could probably do it.  After all, I spent 10 years learning the trade of public speaking, testing myself, stretching my comfort zone.  

Maybe I haven't believed in myself enough, even though on paper denoting awards and recognition, the proof has been there.  I've chalked it up to not being pretty enough, or young enough to take a step in that direction.

Maybe I've expected a golden glow of a halo to surround me in a way that would attract the right person or company who would see some gift or talent that could be maximized, nurtured or expanded.  

Certainly, many women, particularly, freeze at attracting too much attention or wonder if any attention is a good thing.   

Being a wife, mother doesn't always springboard someone to traveling around the world and creating an identity that compels others to invite you to speak, teach or train others, or even give advice to help others travel the road less traveled.  

I for one can tell you that nothing happens over night.  I can almost take a step back and objectively ponder some of the better habits I formed in order to do well in sales.

I can safely say that I got turned off creating any label to myself that glimpse what I see others projects.  I see people who never had to cold call, set up seminars and talks on cold calling.  

The definitions in sales are sometimes subjective, often ambiguous and selective by those adopting best practices or paying to hear or read what someone else professes to be the holy grail in magically being able to transform their lives by becoming a sales superstar.

From my standpoint, the ones who become the best sales keynote speakers, are the best at selling themselves, not necessarily at sales.  Sure, you have to have a story to tell that sells others to think that mere moments with them will shed light on bypassing any self-limiting dialogue with themselves to becoming so confident in the story telling and the charisma to tell a story, transcends the optics of the claims being made.

I've seen someone whom I recruited into Toastmasters become a well spoken conveyor of sales wisdom.  A sticky name or created catch-phrase claimed as a new, amazing way to catapult past so many others if they just follow their path.  That person is able to sell themselves, put action to vision that so many others cannot.

I've seen someone else who really was placed in a plum assignment in sales, not by pure sales stamina or savvy, but by shear personality, cuteness, booming laughter, or a number of many characteristics we were attracted to on the elementary recess playground or the cool high school crowd.  Not necessarily, were they that then, they clearly climbed from the chaos of learning to the maturity of believing in themselves.

I've had some pretty amazing supporters and mentors in my 30 some years of working.  I can name drop some recognized people with skillful talent.  I've ridden on their coat tails or participated on the sidelines to cheer them on.

Sadly, most people find a lot of different sponsors, supporters as they climb the ladder.  More often, they then shed the ones from the bottom rung.  Being one of the left behinds is sometimes hurtful, unless you're the one who put the distance there yourself, whether by actions or decision.

Belief in one's self is a hard thing to do.  Most people take a lot of knocks.  The very best have more than most, can dust themselves off, learn from it, and move on to the next step.

One step forward, two steps back
is not always a bad thing.  The distance in the step forward can usually amount to a greater achievement than the two steps back.

We learn from our mistakes
or our mistakes burn us.  Out.  Pulling one's self out of the ashes of disappointment is no easy feat.  

Humility and humbleness
do not go hand in hand with confidence in a society based on the thermometer of wealth or acclaim.  People tend to want to hitch a ride on the rising star.  They are quick to jump ship as they smell pending failure.   Others prefer to disassociate themselves with anyone that may hold them back or slow them down.

Often perceived success
outweighs value.   Value is determined by philosophy and beliefs, often aligned by economic fruits.  

What can you do for me
seems to be more important than what can I do for you.  If you can give your time, your support, your skills, does not protect you from falling to the wayside to others that can provide value by means of boosting an ego or forking over money.

There are a number of things I've learned from these seven years on social media and writing about sales that carry the identical message:  you can't cut corners, there are no shortcuts, and quality takes time.

In sales as in life
you usually have to depend on your own stamina, ability to stay motivated, focused, and inspire yourself with the right messages.  

Nobody else will dust you off
or kick you in the pants to keep you moving forward.  Who you surround yourself with communicates a lot about how you see yourself as a person.  

These days I see myself lucky to have some fairly amazing people around me.  Some are family, some are friends, while others are almost strangers if it weren't a connection in a virtual world.

Perseverance, belief, continuing on
is only something you, yourself, can do.  Others can help with their support, their words, their cheer.  People have a tendency to evacuate when they see a storm on the horizon.  No less when you stop believing in yourself.

People like to cheer on winners
and stay clear of defeatist attitudes.  Sometimes low morals, low morality, unfolds and doesn't seem to inhibit the message or discredit the messenger.  

Accountability resides in your own head space
with reminders close by on which road you travel.  I've chosen to mostly travel with integrity, honesty and consistency.

That is why I was able to sell and achieve results.  Not by snazzy language or schemes to move around the basics.  Yes, I still see lots of that going on, outside of my control.  I have to be thankful that at least I have learned enough to identify such trespasses.  It isn't for me to identify or cry out when corners are cut or untruths help others to go farther.

I should at least have the wisdom to know that those who get by on lies or dishonesty, eventually get caught on to or caught up with.  It is a short and quick path.  Not usually long serving or life long.

I will continue to write and continue to experiment.  I will endeavor to be honest and to help others without any credit on my contribution.  That becomes frustrating and usually unrealized.    Regardless, I will continue to be proud of the ones I've helped along the way, and ignore whether I'm thanked or not.  That is part of growing and growing up.  Being accountable for one's own actions over preference to being recognized as a positive conduit that others have learned from.  

Eventually, the right results will speak for themselves.  As in sales, I did find out.  By working hard and keeping a mirror close for my own self-examination, rather than allowing others to diffuse my abilities in order to make themselves be better known, better recognized or considered more successful.  

I have to believe in what I am capable of and not allow what others may have done to me, deviously or innocently, to try to knock me down.

Some bounce back stronger than others.  Others are knocked a few more times than most.  Maintaining a fine balance of optimism, convictions, ethics is a far steeper path to follow.  Yet it can be far more rewarding.

Your VIBE attracts your TRIBE in sales and social media

“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It's the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life. ” 
~ Ann Landers

However it may seem strange that I rarely have comments on my blogs, I am often invited to answer questions on QUORA (link below). 

 Sometimes I think about my answer, while other times I just let my mind go free and respond instinctively to what comes immediately to mind as in this case when I was invited to answer this question. 

Ironically, as well.  I spend the least time on InstaGRAM than anywhere else and yet it is the topic I seem to have grabbed the attention of some who value my opinion.  Thank you.  Happy to help.  Here goes:

Why do my Instagram followers keep dropping?

Hmmm, very curious question. My first immediate reaction was a question: “what could this person be posting if they are seeing their followers drop?” Without question, social media can sometimes seem fickle when it is really not. This question bodes a suggestion to examine what you are posting …. if you are only sharing your last meal, and you didn’t cook it or it’s half eaten, unappetizing-looking or just plain “gross”. Other considerations may be that others may find that you have constant posts that are self-serving or promotional :: aka “spam”. People tend to gravitate towards sincerity, ingenuity, originality, beauty and inspiration. That is only my opinion. However, I do believe strongly that your following is a reflection of what you are sending out.

Don’t despair. Being fickle can also mean you can reinvent yourself easily. I would advise you to decide what you want to be known for or identified with and setting out to do just that. Or, if you have a specific interest that is not career, family, friends or social oriented, this is a great way of gravitating towards that interest, sharing it, finding sources or resources on that topic and then share it … you can check for #hashtag popularity or observe what seemingly popular people are posting. If that seems to capture your interest, it could be good advice to follow them and observe them from a distance and see if you can pick up any great habits or even share that person’s content as a means to cast your own web to gather people who share the same vibe.

Caution: what may seem funny at 2 o’clock in the morning with your work buddies or friends may be more embarrassing at 2 o’clock the next afternoon. At your desk, avoiding eye contact with colleagues or worse if its a boss. Your online presence becomes your reputation. What doesn’t matter at 20, can be a nightmare at 40. So act your age if you must, but at least apply manners and a mom rule: if you can’t do it in front of your mother, or you risk being scolded by her, then it isn’t going to be appropriate for a wide, global audience. AND just because your mom likes the better parts of you, her opinion may be skewed …. be wary that others will like your stickmen as much as she does.

Be optimistic. There is a lot of great quotes, beautiful images, fantastic photography that are in style any time, any season. Be classy, be polite, be bold.

A visionary extraordinaire ::.... Philippe TREBAUL of Social Fave

Sometimes it's simply okay to be a fan or a Supporter.  I realized that unbiased and reciprocated respect is what makes one become an advocate for another person.  

The power and capability of social media is unstoppable, truly, as long as our imaginations continue to stretch and blend what is possible from the impossible.

The strength of character one needs to build a fantastic reputation, regard and respect can be captured in one person I've come to known, only communicating on social media, never a Skype or telephone conversation.  Where you have to be succinct in getting your words across, to be able to be snapped up, grasped and understood all at once.

I've meandered on here about how far you can stretch yourself to achieve new heights in your ability to discover who you really are.  How else can you lower your defenses and expose your true self, or explore the journey on figuring out who or what that means.

Along the way, you find people who just POP out of all the noise who you think:  WOWzers, this person REALLY gets IT!

_______________________________ ::......

Here we go .... here are some links to some incredibly visionary, explicit and wise to take heed to.  Philippe unravels a lot of the mystique of social media that is far too long put off by traditional advertisers and their advisers, like ad agencies, who cannot really possibly charge exorbitant fees when their are social media MARKETERS willing to step in and step up in a fraction of the time and fraction of the price.  After each article link, I will post my own comments to show how much I enjoy being a Supporter, cheerleader, advocate, enthusiastic optimist of their success.

4 Social Media Tools to Get Marketers off the Treadmill

Great article, per usual Philippe TREBAUL .... not only will Social Fave be explosive in 2017, but its founder will be finally recognized as an extraordinary visionary of how far we can stretch social marketing to expand vastly and quickly.  Maybe I can learn how to become a better online brand, improved enough to generate an income ... eh?  Well, a trip to France at least to celebrate when you set the clock to end the free trials and it is sought after and paid for.  Distinguishing your current supporters from all others.  Wonderful writing.  Thank you ~ Jeannette Marshall aka @optioneerJM on Twitter as a fan

_________________________________ //......//

3 Tools to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Right Now!

FANTASTIC Philippe TREBAUL .... WOWzers!  What an informative article and so factual with knowledge based insight.  You, my dear innovator, are catapulted into the stratosphere as not only a visionary on where social networking can take us, but the practical academic approach you have.  So easy to understand, obvious to embrace and supported by all the data you've absorbed.  I hope to see the day when you are given your due:  and to think, we started on LINKED IN six years ago, which allowed some of us to step outside our comfort zone a little but allow our gregarious natures to expound, others like you, Philippe TREBAUL have demonstrated convincingly how great this world is that is unfolding.  Thank you, your fan and advocate, Jeannette Marshall 

A social experiment

"If you are not prepared
to step out of the BOX
~don't complain that
you're squared in."
~ Jeannette Marshall

No, the quote wasn't the main purpose of writing this blog.  I am always fiddling around in PAINT ..... or I'm looking for something, like you do when you have a recipe in front of you, looking to see if you have all the ingredients you want to place in your writing.  Or, something just pops out and I think, that is a quote:  I should go look for an image to use to create the environment to host the quote.  Then, I store them for rePOSTing later on other social media sites like Twitter or Facebook or Google.  I'm not a celebrity so they won't be famous or anything.  If they catch on and are used more than once, I'm humbled.  I plant them on Pinterest too.  Pinterest being my virtual storage of sorts.  A collection of "stuff".

The experiment I was on to was trying something different to see what happens.  It is as a result from not finding a source for checking in with my followers:  on Facebook.  I had over 500 views of my blog today, which is a nice jump, thank YOU!  I like to see if I can understand what people may like, what posts they're reading and what they're sharing, liking, reTweeting and from where?  The numbers showed me against a surge from #Brazil .... thank you BRAZIL!!  I'm trying to figure out where this surge originated from or by whom.  

HINT HINT:  Facebook or someone out there should create a follower algorithm based service that tells you who clicks, likes, comments, shares your content:  in other words:  who are your supporters.  (Only someone famous can call them "fans").  

I think this does source back to my former talent in sales:  I like to hunt.  I became more strategic as time progressed, depending upon what I was selling or to whom I was selling to.  That was something that was learning in the strategic sales arena, consultative selling, or selling to executives.  You really can't peddle your wares to important audiences if you don't get who they are, what they may be interested in or looking for.  Writing a blog or blending in on social media is kinda like that.  Your following will tend to gravitate towards things that matter most to you.  In my case, they would be:

  • social media CONTENT to share that others enjoy
  • CURATING beautiful images, art, photography
  • WRITING, blogging, growing audience
  • networking, MEETING others with similar interests
  • eventually PAID for what I am learning or writing
When reading the numbers, I look at the posts that have all of a sudden gained momentum, or others seemed to enjoy more.  That is suppose to be my guide on what more to write about.

I scale social media sites as a Queen does her empire (ooo, yeah, that's a quote to describe me that I will have to remember to fall back on and create an image to go along with it for sharing).

I started to go through doing clean up.  Since Facebook gives Google its money's worth by sometimes leading in driving viewers (and hopefully readers, rarely subscribers sadly).  I've talked about it before.  Sometimes it shocks me when people I would have just assumed would follow my Facebook Page haven't.

Let's just say the ones I'm more shocked by are the ones I faithfully share their stuff.  It is like a nudge aside.  My stuff isn't important enough.  Or, they may assume that if I post it on my Facebook stream, I would also on my optioneerJM page.  But I don't.  I don't want people to think I'm spamming.

Which reminds me of my few blocks on Twitter:  the guy never said anything to me, just tweeted at me with his own blog.  Grrrrrr, he doesn't get it:  if you want people to notice you on social media:  share their stuff.  If you want to really connect, comment.  Geesh.

Well, to begin my experiment, I am going to carve back a bit.  In time for American Thanksgiving.  I want to give thanks to those that support me all the time and don't just acknowledge me when I'm doing the same for them.

Klout indicates that your influence rises as your ratio of following to followers ratio widens to a hearty gap.  We shall see.  I'll let you know if the opposite happens or a few people scaled back on will notice.  The reason is a positive one:  I want to be more focused on helping those that support me.

I'm selling my words here.  I'm not making any money.  At least yet.  I trudge on firmly in the belief that eventually it will mean something and even pay off.

I loved this cartoon shared by a connection on Linked In (name withheld because "she" is a PhD and unlikely keen on having her name shared .... if she did, I'd know her on Twitter, G+ and Facebook .... right?

A schemer and a dreamer; living in the land of me, me, ME

Monday October 24 2016

A net magazine
As I peruse and surf the stratosphere, I ponder and mull the idea of creating an online magazine.  I come across some pretty splendid ones.  This is not a unique idea or a new one.

If you don't know by now, you haven't been reading my blog much, or maybe not at all.  Fair enough.  You're here now.  That's what matters in the scheme of things.

You could call me a schemer and a dreamer.  I like to see what is out there and ready to unfold.  While working hard and pressing for self-improvement with focus on being a mindful practitioner.  

I've created a magazine.  I've launched one.  I've had it printed and distributed.  I've worked with ad agencies, ad agents, national, global affiliations with writers and freelancers around the world.  

Well that was let's say about 15 or so years ago.  But man, I loved it.  I was like my own world of Oprah.  Living in the land of me, me, ME.  

The search for cause and purpose gives me more energy than that someone of "my age" would normally allow.  Energy is not something that I've been accused of lacking.  In fact, it is when I seem quieter and relaxed, my familiar over reacts, thinking I may be becoming lethargic.  

Worry by loved ones is never a bad thing.  May everyone always have someone who cares that much for them, as you.  Unique as you are.

I will continue to blog in various genres to test the aptitude of my writing and attitude of anyone taking the time to read.  When one is ten times more than zero.  

I appreciate having you along on my various experiments.  One that is evolving almost by accident currently:  using Google's blogspot blogging platform to see if it makes a difference since they are driving search results.  

I have a blog on Word Press and the crowd seemed very cozy and supportive.  Not that that has driven any great volume to that blog.  There are a few that do.  But it is still a crowd of cheerleaders who will promote each other by popularity, politics and the normal high school power struggles.

Say it and share it

So, I've written it down.

I've shared it.

Now it is time to do it.


Not tomorrow.


Not later.


Not this minute.

Being mindful does not mean one has to fast forward from task to task, never taking the time to savor it.  Enjoy it.  There is only one of it.

That sounds like a poem:  I'll have to admit, searching, reading and sharing poetry with a purpose on The Publisher has expanded my horizon on poetry.  I tested myself to see if I could read poetry.  Not something that I have done.  Give it a try.  I think you will enjoy how it appeals to the senses as much as I.

Yes, I, I, I.

To create a magazine:  I will be the Publisher 
(check, blog started)

To produce a creative theme:  I will have to assemble a cast of talent                                                        (started)

To have words written that people enjoy:  I will continue to observe the best I can discover.          (started)

To earn income that encourages growth and improvement:   I will have to persevere, be dedicated with a strong commitment and disciplined effort.                                                                                      (get started)

CHECK OUT my selection
 of Halloween Poetry:  

NOTE (meaning)

Shaka sign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Shaka (disambiguation).
The "shaka" sign is a common greeting in the Hawaiian culture, subsequently also used in surfer culture.
The shaka sign, sometimes known as "hang loose", is a gesture of friendly intent often associated with Hawaii and surf culture. It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while holding the three middle fingers curled, and gesturing in salutation while presenting the front or back of the hand; the hand may be rotated back and forth for emphasis. The shaka sign was adopted from local Hawaiian culture and customs by visiting surfers in the 1960s, and its use has spread around the world.

Meaning and use[edit]

Hawaiians use the shaka to convey the "Aloha Spirit", a concept of friendship, understanding, compassion, and solidarity among the various ethnic cultures that reside in Hawaii, lacking a direct semantic to literal translation. The shaka can also be used to express "howzit?", "thanks, eh?", and "all right!" Drivers will often use it on the road to communicate distant greetings and gratitude.
In American Sign Language, the shaka is one of the two signs used to refer to surfing.[citation needed] In California, the shaka sign may be referred to as "hang loose" or "hang ten"—both associated with surfer culture.[1]

Powerful points on PowerPoint

I had captured the above image of Bugs Bunny a few weeks ago.  I can't remember how I came across it, but I did capture and save it to my PC.  I think I was considering using it for a powerpoint presentation I was creating as a proposal of sorts and was going to use it for the final slide.  As in "that's all folks".  

I didn't use it because the slide deck I created used the same image consistently throughout.  That's my style, a clean look with powerful images that convey what I think the .ppt conveys.

In this case, the audience was launching a social media presence for its corporate identity:  they were in operation, they had subscribers to their service, with zero social media presence.  I related it to climbing a mountain to reach the top, the goal defined as reaching out to vast audience in a crowded industry -- not unlike climbing a daunting mountain.

I ended up using the slide for social sharing, now wishing I had made the     right corner type smaller and more underwhelming 

If you read and observe the best presentations on SLIDE SHARE (a wonderful extension of Linked In) the common thread is that strong graphics and minimal words seem to be the most identifiable and powerful.

I wrote a few years back about presentations.  If you are in sales in any form:  selling a product or service or selling your company, you use .ppt to create a dialogue with an audience of one or many.  It is like a memorable guide to what topic you are covering.

I've had Eugene Cheng on my side gadget under recommended reading for a few years.  He really is talented in creating powerpoint.  Check out his website and see if you agree: | |

It looks like Eugene rebranding and extended his reach under a new umbrella @High_Spark ... as is always the case, when I discover a talented individual, I like to keep them in my folder of idea enhancers, people who resemble the #bestofeverything there is to offer as talent, creativity, knowledge, exceptional learning.

I did initially upload the .ppt to SLIDESHARE and I have to say that the reaction and reception is a disappointment.  That isn't too surprising since I have used SlideShare as a resource and source for feeding my knowledge junkie habit.  

It takes confidence to consider that others may be interested in what you have created.  It can also trample it if the reaction is minimal or slight.  Then again, creating .ppt presentations hasn't been an area I would consider myself defined as worth sharing.

That is where the challenge comes in.  I force myself to be honest and then challenge myself to become better.

Why? Because if you are a CEO or sales professional, presenting .ppt is something you should become strong at.  

Most CEOs have a marketing department or communications professional to create their .ppt for them.   All they have to do is create and rehearse the notes to avoid reading off of them or reading from notes.

That takes practice.  The flow between slides and narration is a lot harder than it looks.  I've played with various tools to become stronger.  It was critical to get better after doing a presentation to a leadership evaluation for a senior project management role within my organizations.  As a self-critique, that is realistic and forms my own evaluation on how I could have been better (see if any of this strikes a cord with you):

  • The time for the presentation, including Q&A (questions and answers) was scheduled for an hour.
  • The amount of slides was too many to cover the Q&A period.
  • After the dismal, unprofessional set up of the room for the video conference, I was scattered but not shattered.
  • I read more off the slides than narrated them.  That was a disaster.  I could have just emailed the .ppt and been done with it.
  • Reading from notes or directly from the slides makes the narration stilted and boring.
  • While reading off of slides or notes, you are not engaging with your audience.  
  • When your eyes are on the slides, reading from them or the notes, your eyes are on the slides, not with your audience.
  • When you are not looking, scanning your audience, you are not feeling out their interest.  Are they smiling or looking bored or planning their grocery list for dinner that evening?
  • When your intent is to impress, you can do yourself an injustice on what you are capable of doing.
I was lucky.  The leader did give me feedback.  It was direct and a little brutal:  telling me that in that position, I would have minimum 10 minutes to report to an executive.  My presentation was way way wayyyyyyyy too long.  

The second .ppt I did, was not asked for.  Not directly.  I was asked to present how I, personally, would launch a digital marketing program for this corporation that had no presence.  Fortunately, I had been reached out to by the Founder of the organization.  Unfortunately, it was a group decision.  Instead of being asked to present to the founder and his partner, I was invited to meet with two key players on the team who's input would be deciding votes on my being hired.

My takeaway?  Well, the two audience members had a list of questions they wanted answered.  However, I had my own agenda because I had spent the time preparing the powerpoint that would answer a lot of the questions.  I could tell by the age of the lady in my audience, by her attire and attitude, that she was a driver and really couldn't care less about the intricacies of social media or me.  She had a multi-page questionnaire that she wanted to follow.  Her own agenda.  

I didn't inquire about the room setting for the meeting, nor about the technology available.  Maybe I wanted it to be a nice present surprise that I was so professional and prepared.  

I had saved my presentation on not one but two flash drives, along with emailing it to the meeting scheduler.  However, the room wasn't set up and at least 10 minutes was wasted getting it up and running.  10 valuable minutes that could have been spent on building rapport with a stilted audience.  

I had learned from my previous presentation that I needed to shorten my presentation, avoid reading the slides, and rehearsed enough so that the narration was smoother once I got started.  Yet, the fumbling over getting technology going and the resistance from the one audience member that she just wanted her questions answered.  The second team member was the organizer who let the other person dive in and drive the meeting.

My first horrific executive presentation was about 15 years ago.  I remember it as if it were yesterday.  My boss and I were invited to present to an executive as to why our company should consider our proposal to be awarded the vendor of choice.  

My boss and I had rehearsed:  in so that we knew who was going to do the speaking and who was going to do the clicking of the powerpoint.

I was unprepared for the executive's response:  after barely 10 minutes he jumped in with direct, pertinent questions, that made me stumble and falter.  Needless to say, we weren't awarded the contract.  In all fairness, it wasn't only because our .ppt had failed to impress them, it had a lot to do with the incumbent being the favorite.

My husband and I review some of his own presentations with his own executive team.  He is tasked with saving money for the company in the oil-shorn city of Calgary where falling oil prices are taking thousands of jobs and companies are in survival mode.  

I listen and pay attention.  That's because my husband is an ops guy who doesn't have a lot of time to waste on meetings and being wined and dined to buy from his suppliers and vendors.  He works with a talented young fellow who is a pro at Excel and .ppt.  He often says over and over:  

Just give them the facts and have the backup to support it.
He seemed to be bang on, stating that the executives just wanted the bare bones numbers, without the fluff.  The executives had specific questions on how the numbers were determined (aka back up).

I want to get better at this.  Some would say that I'm not nearly as bad as I tear myself up over.   I would say that there are some critical nuances you have to keep in mind when preparing and presenting. 
> Don't spend more time on creating your powerpoint than preparing the facts.

> Know the facts: details, how the numbers were arrived at, where the source came from.

> Back up your numbers by knowing them intimately, have them on the top of your head 

> Substance over style: it isn't so much about the pretty .ppt as a direct hit on message

> Be succinct in your narration.  (I have a weakness for being too wordy which is a disadvantage that needs to be excelled at).  Don't read the slides or off of your notes

> Know your numbers: spend more time on how you are going to explain your numbers in your preparation.

> Planning should equal preparation: ask the meeting organizer if the room will be set up to allow for a powerpoint presentation.

> Technology can defeat preparation and planning, thus a backup plan is critical (i.e. printed copies of the presentations)

> Establish the agenda:  are they expecting you to have a powerpoint to present or do they have a sheet of paper with questions they want to scribble on?

> Keep time on your side:  confirming the meeting time is typical for professionals.  Sticking to the allotted time is critical to a favorable impression.

> General rule of thumb:  Divide your Agenda by 0 or 20 minute segments if your meeting is 1 hour.

> Understand expectations:  What decision will result by this presentation?  

                   * Award/awarded contract
              * Sell service or product
              * Be hired (contract or employee)
              * Performance review
              * Report on business
              * A proposal for funding, endorsement, sale
              * Brainstorming ideas

> Read your audience:  Maintain consistent eye contact, watch body language.  Active gestures like shuffling papers is a sign that they're getting impatient, looking at a watch demonstrates a concern over schedule, exchanged looks from audience (rolling eyes, aka here we go again).

> Define the rules:  for instance that you will be presenting a .ppt that should take no more than 10 minutes, with the remaining time on answering questions

> Who's in charge?  in most, if not all cases, your audience is in charge.  Define within the audience who is a decision maker or supporter or recommender.

> Next steps?  Should always be asked at the end:  it will tell you the decision making process and by whom the decision will be made.

> Married to the agenda:   You can't assume your own agenda.

> Cultural missteps:  Sometimes having a .ppt will communicate your superior communications skills, your imaginative powerpoint slide creations, or comfort using technology.  It isn't always welcome.

> Cultural acceptance:  A lot of major organizations use .ppt as a form of conducting meetings.  Others not so much. 

> Rehearse, rehearse, rehearsal:  Knowing your presentation inside out and backwards is the best way on a path to guarantee success.    There are a lot of ways to practice and test yourself:

* Videotape yourself presenting
* Present to your bathroom mirror
* Practice by presenting to a colleague 

In hindsight, I goofed around a lot doing my research.  I tend to struggle between having a solid understanding of the company I'm presenting to and its industry and competitors.  That is not such a bad thing.  Yet, my takeaway is I can be too committed to my presentation than meeting the expectations:  winning the sale, being hired, being considered as a vendor, selling your company, and so on and so forth.

The biggest takeaway I have learned from observing and learning from talented presenters within companies I've worked for or outside influence:


have an AGENDA
>  what are you going to talk about? i.e. topics

how are you going present? i.e. present first and allow for Q&A at the end, or more informally 
questions accepted by interruptions throughout?

by having an AGENDA, you are asking your audience if anything is missing or if there is anything else they would like to add to the AGENDA?

> confirm the time for the presentation because someone could have been late and your allotted time may have shrunk by 15 minutes because someone was late or technology was disruptive or someone was supposed to log on as a teleconference

There are a lot of other things you can determine before you go to all the trouble and effort that you put into the actual data, creating the powerpoint, and practicing its presentation:

> who is going to be in your audience?
> what is the role (or roles) of your audience?
> what is going to happen after the presentation? (i.e. next steps)
> is what you are presenting second nature, instinctive and something you are comfortable with?  (if not, add more practice time)
> what sort of industry are your points about?  You can showcase your research or authority if you hover around this area.
> what position will the audience take?  being informed? judgemental? receptive? analytical? 
> feedback if time allows may give you a gauge on how you did

Murphy's Law

Applies every and all times you plan, rehearse, confirm, define, prepare:  the one thing you didn't expect or account for happens.

You can always surf through You Tube, Ted Talks (which I've been meaning to check out for a while) to see which style matches your own.  Don't try to be anyone else.  Be yourself.  Allow the viewer to gain a strong sense of who you are and who they can expect for months or years after being part of your audience.

"You can't always win the sale or get the job, yet you can always influence leaving a lasting, positive impression."
~ Jeannette Marshall

Powerpoint Resources:

SOURCE:  Powerpoint Templates ~ Slide 

SOURCE:  Pinterest 

SOURCE:  Pinterest PRESENTations BOARD