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9 Steps to Getting Your Self Help Book to Market Faster

We All Have At Least One Self Help Book To Write

So many people want to make an impact and want to write a book. Many of them never get started. It seems too daunting, overwhelming. Then the excuses come in “I am no one special, why do they want to hear my story”, “I am not a writer and don’t have those skills”, “What do I even have to write about?”

Well if you are reading this article you have gotten past that but may be stuck in the excuses of “I don’t have the time.” , “I have too many other things to do”, “I will never get this done.’

Let’s look at some ways to put those excuses away and start finding solutions for getting your book to market faster.

  1. Working Title

Create the title and summary of what you want to convey. The title should be catchy and provide a solution or capture a pain point to get peoples attention. The Tag line can further describe the content. My Book “The Productivity Zone” was a play off of being in the Zone running, people have heard of it and it fit with my framework I had created. The subtitle Stop the Tug of War with Time connects with the struggle people have around time management. The while title is a combination of the promise and the problem.

  1. Make the cover

I had the cover made to my book as an anchor or symbol that the book was already created, already in the universe and all I needed to do was fill the pages. It was a huge motivation for me and enabled me to see myself already having it done and the joy of having completed it. This is the writers version of the Olympian who sees themselves doing the perfect setup and then winning the gold metal. The book published and in print is the first step to your gold metal.

Fiverr is a great resource to get this created for a reasonable price.

  1. Set a Deadline

This is classic goal setting. As a time management minded person, I can’t help but provide some time management tips as part of this process. It helped me so i know it will help you too. If you don’t set a deadline you won’t get it done in a reasonable amount of time. Unless this is your day job you have other things vying for your attention and the other things will win if you don’t create a priority on this effort and see this as a project like any other that needs a plan.

Hand writing the text: Goals Are Dreams With Deadline

Here is what happens with no deadline. Either you will procrastinate on the start and keep pushing off making other things more important, maybe submit to the fear that others may not like what you have to say, wait until it is perfect in your head and then start and all the other non sense we tell ourselves to keep from making it a priority. Or Maybe you fall into this trap, the trap of perfectionism. You get caught up in refinements, edits, grammar and keep rewriting the book until it is perfect. It will never be perfect as every time you read it, you change and have more value to add. At some point you have to collect those possible changes for the next run of the book and look for the 80/20 solution. People are reading your book to take something away, If you have accomplished that and it is well written and you make the points as is, stop rewriting and get it published. This whole concept of over and under-functioning comes from my book The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time. It is the human condition we struggle with creating stress and indecision in our lives.

I set my birthday as my deadline and set a further goal to become an Amazon Bestseller in my category for my birthday. This goal helped me to work my way backwards in setting when the book needed to be published, by when did i need the final draft to the editor, as then broke down the chapter compassion dates. By setting the deadline, I could create the plan and validate its achievability. I gave myself 6 months. In order to meet that deadline, I had to be up before my kids got up and work after they went to bed. This was a labor of love – and i knew the time doing this was limited. I had my goal and i was going to get it. And I did!

  1. Make an outline

The outline enables you to define the chapters. It is the first step to breaking it down to make the writing of the book easier. The outline gives you an overview of the flow of the book. My first book was super simple because I have 10 productivity drivers and they are divided into 3 segments so my process leads itself to a self created outline. Do you have a 7 step system or something that can easily help you create this outline. Maybe you want to go through something chronologically or event by event? How will you tell your story or convey your wisdom in a way that is structured and flows for the reader.

  1. Chapter takeaways

Define what each chapter will make the reader feel, what are the 3 things they should take away and remember from the book. As a self help or fiction novel these pints can be used a s callouts or end of the chapter summaries. These add enhancements to retention of the book and major points made.

  1. Fill in the chapter

The best way to eat an elephant is to eat it on bite at a time, right? I like to start with the end in mind as it makes me much more focused. I create the takeaway points that I want my readers to get from the chapter first. Then I know


Use the chapter takeaways to capture the meaning of the stories and content of the chapter. It might seem obvious but it may not be. Your brain works differently than others. Also people reading may not stop to think about the conclusions, so by including a space at the end of the chapter you are asking for some thoughtful reflection. You will summarize your points that you want to re-enforce and they may have a few of their own through thinking about chapter takeaways.


People love stories and remember stories. That is how the bible teaches religious principles, the Indians pass down traditions and medicinal treatments, Stories are how great speakers and comedians keep people engaged. Stories are remembered. Also When you use your own stories people appreciate the venerability and create a bond with you as a result. One speaker trainer said It is my job to make them love me.

If you are interested in selling products or programs after people read the book, add some of your personal stories. These stories will help to create credibility about the topic, likability, and when you speak of other people getting results, they take away social proof. The system works for others so it will work for me. All of these are principles of influence taught by Childini, a guru in the area of the psychology of influence

Add headlines

To make reading easier, more comprehensible and connect people with the point they are reading about, use section headings. Not only does this make writing easier for you, because you can stay focused. This helps break up the text, increases retention and makes it more interesting to read.

Speak it out

I find the fastest way to get the content I want to use no matter if it is a blog or a book, is to use the speech to text recognition in notes, email,  or dragon dictation and take your organized outline and takeaways and headings and start talking the content. I am much more comfortable talking then I am writing, plus this enables me to do it while I am in the car or folding laundry and saves time in getting my thoughts on paper. Then I can sit down in peace and quiet and review my thoughts and make the edits. For many people it is much easier to edit something than it is to start it.

If you are really short on time and not short on money, you can also send these thoughts to a ghost writer who will take your tone and your content and message it into a better draft for you to review and edit. I have recommendations for people who write on behalf of others and do a great job in capturing your tone. You can also test them out with a small sample too to make sure you are happy with their style and translation of your content.

  1. Edit

No matter how good your grammar is, you are too close to the book to be your own editor. Have someone read through your book for grammar and flow to make sure it is clearly laid out and understood and the grammar incorrect and consistent. I have recommendations for editors as I had two people who did a wonderful job!

I must have gone through 50 edits of my book. After a while, you don’t want to see it anymore and just want to get it to market. If you are a women and had a baby you can relate to the process of publishing a book to being pregnant. As you move along in your term and edits like when you are 9 months pregnant you just feel like “let’s just get this baby out now” It is the most uncomfortable part of the process. That is why the deadline is important too.

Don’t’ be a perfectionist. At some point you have to draw the line and say good enough. I had a few people review the content for flow and understandability and a last spelling and grammar check and decided I was releasing. There were still errors found after the first publication so then you fix them, most people are reading for content not for perfection. Do keep in mind that too many errors will impact their ability to focus on the content. That is why you have to outsource the editing.

  1. Pre-market and Release your book

You are writing this book for yourself first and foremost. You will be on cloud nine the first time your book is in your hands. I couldn’t stop smiling and showing my book to anyone and everyone that would give me their attention. I was so excited. I kept thinking “I wrote a book! “ again not so far off from the amazement of looking at my children after they were born. OMG, this baby grew inside me and she is now in my arms. It is a crazy feeling. Writing a book was a childhood dream come true.

Here are some effective ways to get the word out.

Social media

You also wrote the book to make an impact and you need to reach people to do that. Get people involved as early in the process as possible. This builds suspense and tension about the upcoming release. Post variations of the cover and see what people like best. Let people know via social media some of the themes. Do a Facebook-live with a story you will use and give a teaching point they can find in the book. Offer the first chapter for free to get people interested. Create a contest for them to submit their ideas or stories that you will integrate into the book, then they will help you promote it.

Press release

Prepare a press release for your launch, for the book signing and any other major event. Different newspapers pick up these announcements and it helps to create backlinks to your book pages

Book signings:

Author signing autograph in own book at wooden table

Call Barnes and Nobel and ask them if you can do a book signing. They love to support local authors and if you publish with Ingram Sparks or one of B&N’s authorized publishers they will allow you to do that. This is great for publicity (not selling a ton of books) to get people interested in your book and provide an appearance of success before you really even take off.

Create a book trailer

This can be used on Amazon as well as social media. They are inexpensive to create and look very professional. Here is a suggested Link from Fiverr, check out the other providers and choose one that resonates best with you.


As much as social media is great at getting the word out to everyone sees your posts you need to email people and tell them what to do when you are ready for purchase.

Speak at events

Take any platform and get out there and talk about it.

  1. Aftermath

How are you going to use your book to elevate your credibility? A book opens the door to many opportunities. Even though I had a credible background as a Tony Robbins coach and having sold my own company to public company, that background didn’t get me in to speak at places as quickly as the book did. Instant expert.

Here are some venues to promote your message: Radio show Interviews, Presentations and public speaking events with corporations and associations, Book store and library readings, lunch and learn events. What are your ideas for promoting your book and your message?

Plan It

You need to plan these stages out a little. Get a calendar of the year out at set the milestone dates and work backward from there. Without some structure, you could end up like a deer in the headlights stunned, in shock and stuck in place unsure where to go from here.

The more action you take the greater the clarity you have as to what works and what doesn’t. You will get better results. Indecision is a killer of our productivity and puts you back into perfection or procrastination mode-so keep moving!

If you need further structured support, get a coach to help you set goals, milestones and complete tasks faster. A coach will help you to stick to deadlines and get that book published!

Penny Zenker is a strategic business coach and trainer, boosting productivity for business leaders and entrepreneurs. She leverages her personal experiences of building up and later selling a multi-million dollar business, as a senior executive at one of the worlds largest market research companies and working with business leaders all over the world as a Tony Robbins Business Coach. Penny’s proven and practical approach help people to get results quickly.

Upside Of Stress By Kelly McGonigal

Is There An Upside Of Stress?

upside-of-stressKelly McGonigal’s Upside of Stress Helps Reduce Stress by Transforming it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared stress a worldwide epidemic. Everyone wants to reduce stress. As you would expect, If you were to ask a room full of people “who feels stressed on a regular basis?” the majority of hands in the room go up. That is what Kelly McGonigal did in her popular Ted Talk in Ireland.

Unexpectedly, Kelly McGonigal took the discussion in a whole new direction.. Ever heard someone talk about the upside of stress? Probably not. This is because we all grew up believing that no good can ever come out of stressful situations. We have been taught that stress is toxic and killing us. It is a demon that ends up affecting our health, productivity, and relationships. That’s what Kelly McGonigal used to teach people too.

Stress Not Always a Bad Thing

She was moved by her discovery that science started to prove that this was not the whole truth about stress. She was skeptical about the science and did her own research to confirm its legitimacy. After her confirmation and transformation on the topic she wrote the “The Upside of Stress” to share it with the world. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and professor at Stanford University lecturing on how to reduce stress levels and transform stress. “The Upside of Stress” came out in May 2015 and since then it has been changing perspectives around the world on how we are perceiving and relieving stress. She is also the author of the famous “The willpower instinct”. Understanding how our brains function and how that relates to our behavior affecting our personal well being and the community is her passion. This book came across as a breath of fresh air to me and confirmed my own beliefs about how to avoid stress, reduce stress, and transform stress.

Stress Is Energy And It’s About Energy Management

I speak often about energy management. How we avoid and transform stress is energy management. Stress is energy. It is like second hand smoke and surrounds you when you come in contact with it. You need to know how to clear your way out of it quickly. I was excited about this book and have been recommending it to everyone I know. What is the book about? The book is based on the latest research, which goes on to prove that being in stressful situations is not as bad as we think it is. It is actually good for us. If tackled properly, we might end up gaining more from the stressful situations in our life. Stress creates growth. It is in stress that we find our courage. It is through stress that we learn about ourselves and the world around us. Kelly, supported by scientific studies related in the book, believes that stress has the power to deteriorate our health, affect our work and lower our productivity only because we allow it to do so. That is hard to believe right. Depending on what we focus on and what you believe about stress, will impact our health and productivity in a positive way or in a detrimental way. It is our belief about stress that matters more than the stress itself.

The Effect You Expect To Get From Stress Is One You Get

She says “The effect you expect is the effect you get”. This is almost like Henry Ford’s quote about if you think you can or you think you can’t– you are right. Stress is inevitable your live but there is a way to avoid this mental stress simply by better understanding what we believe about stress and the situation. A specific study she recounts is the shake test. The same shake was given to 2 groups but they were told they were different. One group believed it was healthy and the other believed it was a fattening indulgence. The shake effected their digestive track based on the belief of what was in the shake. Really! Juts like the placebo effect we have heard of. It is one of many studies that prove our mind and body our intricately connected and affect and infect one another. Interestingly enough, she included a study that used the placebo effect and told people it was a sugar pill. Then informing the people why placebos often provide the same results as the medicine itself. The results were astonishing as the placebo still worked. It really is in what we think and how we show up. Science tells us stress also brings out the social component in us which when embraced ends up relieving stress. Stress releases 2 hormones, Cortisol and Oxytocin. Cortisol provides adrenaline and mobilizes energy. Oxytocin is less known and understood. It opens us up to social connection and seek out the support of others. It is a chemical of courage that helps us to rise above our fears. The release of these two chemicals causes us to perform better, to enhance our concentration and wakes up your senses. These chemicals are a built in mechanism to support us in times of stress. How we use these hormones will determine our result and will change the levels of each in our system.kellymcgonigalheadshotweb

Three Steps In Transforming Stress

Kelly McGonigal outlines three steps in the produce to reduce stress and transform it: Acknowledge it, welcome it and use the energy to your advantage. There was a time when we believed the world was flat and it severely limited our outlook. You may have had beliefs when you were young that kept you from living your life to its fullest. It is time to change what you believe about stress. It is time to see the Upside of Stress and how this can truly change the way you live your life and the results you get in life. The choice is yours.

Click to get your copy of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich Book Cover Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill

This is a book that you need to read again and again. There is so much wisdom packed in these pages and each time you read it you take something different away. This is Bob Proctors bible and I understand why. This is a book to master your mindset and your thinking and wealth is a bi-product.

Focus: Personal Finance – Wealth Management, Think and Grow Rich

Consider This:
• Don’t be seduced by short-term failure. Success often lurks in the shadows.
• Create wealth in three steps: 1) visualize; 2) believe; and 3) walk into success.
• Dreams, hopes and strategies increase wealth.
• You don’t have to be a victim of bad luck.
• Don’t give up when early attempts at positive self-talk fail. Persist and push on.
• Create vivid mental portraits of your success.
• You don’t need higher education to earn higher degrees of knowledge and wealth.
• Nothing beats a mix of passion and discipline.
• Avoid negative friends, well-meaning relatives and others who put a damper on your dreams.


What You Will Learn:
1) How to use your imagination to produce real assets;
2) Why you should tap into the power of daily affirmations;
3) How to avoid the traps of failure; and
4) How to create strategic plans that will make you successful.

The Secret Wealth Generator
Author Napoleon Hill explains that his formula for financial success was given to him by Andrew Carnegie, the legendary corporate leader. When Hill “was but a boy,” Carnegie shared his secret wealth-generating formula with him and challenged him to create a book that would explain this secret approach. During Hill’s 20-year journey to fulfill that challenge, he studied the habits and philosophies of hundreds of corporate stars. This honor roll includes Theodore Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, F.W. Woolworth and many other household names who built large fortunes based on Carnegie’s wisdom.

It begins with this simple idea: Your thoughts are real objects. With passion and purpose, your thoughts can evolve into wealth. Edwin C. Barnes demonstrates this principle. Barnes – an impoverished “nobody” – passionately wanted to launch a partnership with Thomas Edison, the great inventor. At their initial encounter, Edison said Barnes looked like an “ordinary tramp.” But behind the rundown appearance, Edison detected promise and determination which prompted him to offer Barnes a low-paying job. Barnes seized the opportunity. Naysayers had rejected the “Edison Dictating Machine,” but Barnes had faith. He used it as a vehicle to launch his successful partnership with Edison. Barnes created material success from abstract thoughts, based on faith, determination and persistence.

The Role of Desire
If your goal is to become rich, don’t just wish for your dreams to come true. Desire is “the starting point of all achievement,” but to bring it to fruition, commit yourself to executing a plan to attain your objective. To create wealth from desire, follow this six-step plan:

1. Take a mental snapshot of the amount of money you seek.
2. Name your price. Be specific.
3. Create a deadline. Fix a date by which you will achieve your goals.
4. Start a task sheet with a definite strategy.
5. Write a brief mission statement.
6. Make a declaration: Twice a day, read your mission statement aloud.

It has to start with a dream and vision. Dreamers or Visionaries have overcome major obstacles. Beethoven composed music despite his deafness; Milton, the writer, was blind. Author Helen Keller was blind and deaf. But lit by the fire of desire, they worked on their goals and achieved epic greatness.

Faith is the “visualization of and belief in the attainment of desire.” Develop faith in your ability to succeed by telling yourself that you will overcome. With the right tools, you can fill your mind with success or failure. Recite your mission statement daily to prepare your mind for success. This process, called “autosuggestion,” lays the groundwork for mental success. It works because your mind will believe anything you tell yourself repeatedly. Dangerous thoughts also can take root in your mind. Doubt, fear and negative emotions can impede your success and uproot the fruits of your labor.

Autosuggestion is a dose of self-talk delivered to your subconscious mind via your five senses, the roadways from your conscious mind to your unconsciousness. Feel the message. Jumping from printed words to passionate feelings is not easy. Close your eyes. Create a mental snapshot of the money you want to earn. View it daily. To visualize your goals, use the six steps above in tandem with this three-stage program:

• Retreat to a quiet location from distractions. Create pictures of monetary success, possessions and achievement. Visualize your date with success.
• Take a daily double dose of faith. Don’t stop until you achieve your financial goal.
• Look at your mission statement twice daily. Seeing is believing. Read your mission statement first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

“Specialized Knowledge”
Knowledge is just numbers and facts. But through organization and planning,
facts can become powerful. Harness that power to create wealth. Many wealthy people spent little time in traditional classrooms, but had rich experiences. Through specialization, organization and networking, he gained the power of a well-educated mind. Specialization is organized knowledge applied to a specific purpose. Gain this practical know-how from apprenticeships, night schools and other targeted training programs.

Imagination, “the workshop of the mind,” operates on two playing fields. “Synthetic imagination” arranges existing ideas, concepts and strategies into novel formats. “Creative imagination” bridges the definitive mind of man and the universe of “infinite intelligence,” the land of gut feelings and intuitions. The top performers in business, music, art and literature operate in the domain of creative imagination, fueled by desire and faith. Work it, develop it and create a written plan to convert your dreams into concrete wealth. Constantly review your plan. Repetition works.

Happy loving family. Father and his daughter child girl playing

“Organized Planning”
Strategic planning, “the crystallization of desire into action,” is an art and a science. To develop your success, you need the right team. Do not skip this stage. Take these steps:

• Surround yourself with “master mind” allies. Cultivate a support team.
• Fine-tune your plan with regular support group meetings.
• Establish harmony with each member of the group.

Don’t accept failure. If your initial plan fails, adopt a new strategy. Identify attractive opportunities. Study the field, the company and the individuals involved. Inventory your talents and skills. Write a detailed strategy for achieving the right job. Target the appropriate channels and people. Make your resume concise, thoughtful and relevant. Know your marketplace value. Nurture success by avoiding symptoms of failed leadership which include: failure to structure details; inability to perform small tasks; insecurity; absence of imagination; lack of discipline and trust; over-reliance on force and authority; selfishness; and insistence on titles and honor.

Overcoming Procrastination
Procrastination, a top cause of failure, is your enemy. Successful leaders make quick, meaningful decisions. Being decisive gives you “mastery of procrastination.” Consider the advice and insights of your support group. Avoid anyone who undercuts your drive. Dodge the trap of public opinion by revealing your plans only to your small circle of advisers. When you indiscriminately broadcast your strategies, ideas and goals, you lessen your chances of success. Keep quiet; keep the faith.

Remain committed to your goals and mission statement.  Avoid a “poor consciousness” in which negative feelings become self-fulfilling. End the cycle of poverty by creating and believing in “wealth consciousness.” Everyone falls into doubt and depression, but you can liberate yourself using perseverance, “the sustained effort necessary to induce faith.” Keep moving even if you must go slower.

“Power of the Master Mind”
The mind has many layers. When a group works together, the energy of their combined individual thoughts, ideas and plans becomes a powerful “driving force.” Multiply your brain-power by tapping into the infinite wisdom of the group mind, a master mind far greater than the mental powers of each individual.

Applied Sexual Energy
Sexual desire creates a unique force in business and creativity. Properly applied, it is a powerful stimulant for success, wealth and creativity. Your passion enhances your sensitivity to the “infinite wisdom of the universe,” and the whispers of insight from your gut. History is filled with people who were pushed to greatness by lust or love. Through discipline, planning and “will power,” sexual energy transcends the body, and generates success and creativity.

“The Subconscious Mind”
Your subconscious is a “connecting link” that operates outside of your controlled thoughts. Use autosuggestion and planning to employ your subconscious mind. Repeat affirmations. Stay in the moment. Shun negative thoughts. Cultivate faith, desire, sex, love, energy, hope and romance. Avoid jealousy, fear, greed, revenge, anger and hatred. Remember the power in prayer.

“The Brain”
Your brain is a unique “broadcasting and receiving station for thought,” like a radio station that transmits and receives signals. Learn to listen to the “intangible forces” in your life. These forces – gravity, electricity, thunder and other elements – surround you. Use faith to stimulate your mind and reach your goals. Believe in the power of thought and belief.

“The Sixth Sense”
The sixth sense, “the door to the temple of wisdom,” is the direct connection between your subconscious mind and the infinite light of the universe. This link represents the home of your creative imagination, intuition and premonitions. Use this force to bring you wealth, success and creativity. Constantly repeat and review your goals. Let the universe deliver insight to your subconscious mind. Don’t be hampered by the “six basic fears,” fear of being poor, fear of reproach, fear of becoming sick, fear of being unloved, fear of getting old and fear of dying. The power of your thoughts gives you mastery and can give you money.


The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters By Dr. Brad McRae

The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters Book Cover The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters
Dr. Brad McRae

This book contains more insights, tools, and structure than other presentation books. The authors analyze the elements of a presentation and explain its importance. It is a great resource for new and experienced speakers.

Here are the 7 Strategies you can read more about in this summary:

1) Talk to the audience.
2) Have something important to say to them.
3) Organize your presentation well.
4) Deliver it powerfully.
5) Give the audience something to remember, act on and pass along.
6) Control yourself, manage difficult people and cope with bad circumstances.
7) Keep improving.

Focus: Career – Presentation Strategies & Skills
Consider This:
• Master presenters follow seven basic strategies.
• The first strategy is talk to the audience. Learn all you can about them beforehand.
• The second strategy is to have something worthwhile to convey.
• The third strategy is to organize your material well and appropriately. The
organization should fit the subject and the audience.
• The fourth strategy is powerful delivery and good content, from strong openings, through smooth transitions to smashing endings. Avoid clichés. Use humor and suspense.
• The fifth strategy is to leave the audience with something to think about, talk about and do.
• The sixth strategy is to keep yourself controlled and roll with the punches.
• The seventh strategy is to continue to hone your skills.
• Use audience participation to involve people and help them remember your content.
Be aware of your internal dialogue and keep it positive.

Man presenting to coworkers

What You Will Learn
You will learn:
1) The seven strategies that make presentations excellent; and
2) How to put them to use.

Seven in Sum
Although North Americans spend about $6 billion a year on presentations, they do not get a commensurate return on that investment. But Master Presenters are worth top billing. Their seven strategies are:

1) Talk to the audience.
2) Have something important to say to them.
3) Organize your presentation well.
4) Deliver it powerfully.
5) Give the audience something to remember, act on and pass along.
6) Control yourself, manage difficult people and cope with bad circumstances.
7) Keep improving.

Impressive speakers are:
• Able — They convince you of their competence quickly and hold your attention.
• Believable — They are honest and modest, not egotistical.
• Connected — They establish a connection with the audience.
• Dedicated — They care and you know it.
• Energetic — They deliver like dynamos.

Are You Talking to Me?
You must know what kind of an audience you are addressing. You will address an audience of intense specialists differently than you would talk to an audience of curious generalists. Use these eight techniques to develop a better understanding of your audience:

1) Survey them before you present.
2) Interview them face-to-face.
3) Interview them by phone.
4) Read case studies.
5) Visit them at work.
6) Shadow them on the job.
7) Read annual reports and other material that discusses them.
8) Look them up on the Internet.

What Do You Have to Say?
To hold their attention and not waste their time, you need to have something to say that matters to them. Different people have different priorities, styles and vocabularies. If you were talking about health, you probably would not use the same language to make a presentation to physicians as you would to talk to a group of teenagers. The content of your presentation is partly the material, partly the style and partly the delivery. To make sure that your content is outstanding:

• Take a strong, unambiguous and forceful stand.
• Use titles that arouse curiosity.
• Make sure your introductions and conclusions pack a punch.
• Use great quotations.
• Tell stories to illustrate what you say.
• Remember the three “S’s”: stories, simulations and science.
• Write a draft where you simply capture everything you might want to mention.
• Consult a board of advisors.

Organizing for Effectiveness
No matter how strong your material may be or how powerfully you can deliver it, your presentation will fail if you do not organize it well. At the beginning of your presentation, tell people what you are going to say and describe your plan of organization so they know at each point where you are coming from and where you are going. Develop clear, helpful transitions and time yourself. Select a framework, such as one of these eight organizational structures:

• Historical-chronological — Recapitulate a series of developments over time.
• Geographical — This is appropriate when you are talking, for example, about building a pipeline or tracking the advance of an army.
• Logical-analytical — This presents a series of logical steps leading to a conclusion.
• Explanation of function — Tell the audience, step by step, how something works.
• Compare and contrast — Pursue an analysis of pros and cons.
• Conflict — Every story needs a conflict struggling for high stakes. Use a defining conflict to shape your presentation.
• Metaphor — Organize your presentation as an extended metaphor, that is, compare a marketing campaign to a military campaign.

The Power of Delivery
You have good content, and you’ve organized it superbly. Now don’t lose your audience by mumbling, stumbling or muttering. To energize your presentation:

• Swear off clichés! — Don’t open your presentation the way everyone else does, by saying, “I’m happy to be here” or “I’d like to thank you all for inviting me.”
• Use forceful words and phrases
• Go with a flow — Make sure it’s clear where you’re going and keep moving.
• Use mystery and suspense — Use foreshadowing and flashbacks. Pose interesting questions and make the audience wait for the answer.
• Get some stage props — The right props can engage the audience’s attention and underscore your point.
• Ham it up — Add a dose of drama to your style.
• Master the pregnant pause — Pause briefly between words, so that the audience hears each word clearly. Pause at the end of a sentence, so the audience can reflect on what you’ve said.
• Kid around — Use a little humor, but be careful.
• Get the audience involved — Use exercises that invite the audience to stand up, play a role or work on a problem. Offer listeners a chance to comment or ask questions.
• End with a smash — Never end on a cliché. Never talk longer than you have to in order to get your point across.

Offer a Memorable Message
Give the audience something to remember, act on and pass along. Master presenters use these 11 proven tactics to help audiences remember a message, so they can act on it and share it:

1) Repeat, restate and recapitulatepicture of light bulb bursting with ideas
2) Learning by doing
3) Keep their attention
4) Mnemonic tricks
5) Stories
6) “Aha” moments
7) Anchors
8) Metaphor
9) A play in three acts
10) Music
11) Games

Control Yourself
Self-control is necessary to overcome a fear of public speaking. Most people are nervous when they think of giving a presentation. They procrastinate, put themselves down and perpetuate their own nightmares when they face an audience. Beware of negative self-talk. Don’t be a perfectionist. Good enough is good enough. If you make a mistake, learn what you can from it and put it behind you. Remember, you will never have a better past, no matter what you do. But you can have a great future. When disturbances disrupt your presentation, don’t get flustered. Use humor. Try to resolve the problem by incorporating the noise in your presentation, closing a window, moving to another room or getting help from the facility manager. Be careful with difficult people in your audience. Sometimes the person you think is least attentive, least interested and most hostile is, in fact, your biggest fan. The woman who is frowning while everyone is laughing at your joke may be pondering the deep significance of a point you made. Of course, audiences can include people who will try to drag you off course with irrelevant questions or heckle you. If you stay loose and relaxed, you can often address them with wit. If a joke doesn’t work, slowly escalate your response. Sometimes you can let the other members of the audience do the disciplining for you.

Keep Improving
The best presenters rehearse, practice, rehearse, practice and rehearse. They never consider their presentations so good that they cannot be improved by more practice. They monitor audience response to their stories and make improvements. Do these five things to get the most from rehearsing:

1) Tape your presentation — Record it and listen to it. Listen to yourself early and often.
2) Try a simulation — Find a room like the space where you’ll be presenting, and if possible recruit some people like those you’ll be addressing.
3) Drill — Practice parts of your presentation when you’re doing things utterly unrelated to it.
4. Take a trial run — Try your presentation on an audience unlike the one you’ll be addressing.
5. Ask for feedback — Have someone else watch your presentation and make recommendations.

Master presenters are self-made, not born. Tap into numerous organizations, books and resources to improve your presentation skills. Among the best are Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association (NSA).

Guide To Stress Reduction By L. John Mason Ph.D.

Guide To Stress Reduction Book Cover Guide To Stress Reduction
L. John Mason Ph.D.

If you suffer from regular aches and pains, headaches and insomnia, but your doctor has confirmed you don’t have an underlying medical condition, you have it- stress.

The author has dedicated his career to teach techniques to help others eliminate the stress response. I chose this book for this list because he teaches how to trigger the relaxation response and the book is filled with a variety of techniques from deep breathing exercises to visualization, mediation, and other exercises.


Focus: Health/Wellness – Stress Reduction

Consider This:
• Stress is a normal part of life, but don’t accept it as your normal condition.
• Stress triggers a fight-or-flight response. If you are constantly under stress, you
cannot replenish and heal properly.
• Deep breathing from your diaphragm is the basis of all stress reduction techniques.
• When you learn to relax, you will feel warm and heavy because of increased blood flow and relaxed skeletal muscles.
• Biofeedback allows you to learn to use your subconscious to relieve stress.
• Visualization processes can trick your body into believing it is relaxed.
• Meditation trains your mind to focus and alters your sense of time.
• Gentle exercise will move and relax rigid muscles.
• Use desensitizing techniques to overcome phobias and stressful situations.
You can perform at a higher level by lowering your stress at work.

What You Will Learn
You will learn:
1) Why being under constant stress is unhealthy and unnecessary;
2) How you can use various methods and techniques to relieve stress;
3) Why deep breathing is central to so many stress reduction processes; and
4) How you should use life goals as part of your journey to abolish stress.

Side Effects of Stress
Stress evolved as a response to help individuals either flee from the cause of their stress or fight it. In our modern world, we assume we must simply live with stress and accept it as a part of modern life. Sadly, we don’t sticky note with reduce stresssee the negative effects on our health and the quality of our lives until it is too late. If you suffer from regular aches and pains, headaches and insomnia, but your doctor has confirmed you don’t have an underlying medical condition, you will benefit from stress reduction. Many people have reduced or eliminated stress and its physical side effects by using these techniques. Everyone needs some stress to motivate and stimulate them, but choosing to take on stress for a specific short-term purpose is very different from accepting unwanted and even unrecognized stress as a constant part of your life.

The fight-or-flight response triggers an array of physical responses, including an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and an injection of adrenaline and sugar. These should be short-term effects that end when the threat has passed. You relax and your body undoes the effects caused by the sense of threat and stress. Your goal in stress reduction is to learn to call forth this relaxation response. The most important and easiest relaxation technique is to slow down your breathing. Deep, slow breathing can slow your heart rate and help your blood pressure fall. Set aside 20 minutes per day to practice deep breathing and experience the relaxation it brings. You may want to use a tape to talk you through the relaxation exercises, or listen to music. However, pick soothing music that will aid relaxation and meditation, rather than loud music that will excite a stress response.

Breathing properly is part of many treatments and exercises for asthma, yoga, mediation and childbirth. If you put your hand just below your breastplate but above your stomach, you can check how deeply you are breathing. With your hand in place, breathe normally. Does your hand move? If not, you are breathing too shallowly. Deep breathing requires you to use your diaphragm to get air to the bottom of your lungs. Breathe deeply with your hand in place and notice how much it moves. This is the kind of breathing you need to do to relax. Count to eight while breathing in slowly through your nose. When you reach eight, your lungs should be full. Hold your breath to the count of four, but don’t let your breath out explosively. Instead, again counting to eight, slowly breathe out through your mouth until you are actually pushing the last air out of your lungs. Do this exercise 40 times a day and you will notice an increased sense of relaxation.

Train your body to associate feelings, sensations and mental images with relaxation. Autogenics was developed by Johannes Schultz, based on his study of hypnosis. He found that his subjects experienced pleasurable sensations of heaviness and warmth while under hypnosis. Your voluntary muscles relax and thus feel heavy; the warmth you feel is associated with the sensation of blood flowing more freely. You can learn to experience this autogenic response through exercises. The basic exercise will help you associate words and phrases with feeling warm and relaxed. The visualization technique teaches you to associate these sensations with mental images. As you become more adept, you will experience the physical sensations by visualizing the appropriate mental image.

Progressive Relaxation
Edmund Jacobson developed progressive relaxation, based on his belief that anxiety would disappear if your body was relaxed. This technique, now called active progressive relaxation, targets the specific muscles you want to relax by deliberately tensing and then relaxing them. You can feel the relaxation immediately after the tension. Use this technique for a single muscle group, or work your way through the different areas of your body. However, some practitioners do not believe that adding any extra tension into muscles is helpful. Passive progressive relaxation, in contrast, starts with the easiest muscles to relax, such as your toes. Gently work your way through your body by breathing deeply and visualizing the part of the body you are trying to relax.

The power of positive suggestion through visual imagery has long been recognized as a method of combating mental or physiological states. People with diseases such as cancer use this technique and research has shown its effectiveness. What the patient visualizes varies greatly: Some use medically correct images to fight their disease, while others use metaphors such as monsters, or visualize themselves as healthy and deny the sickness any reality. You can use this approach to remove stress from your life. Picture yourself as stress-free, and find realistic images to represent yourself as a relaxed and healthy person.

Altered States
The many different schools of the practice of meditation fall into broad groupings. The largest group, transcendental meditation, seeks to alter your mental state and free-energy flows. Western researchers such as Herbert Benson have found that the practice, even stripped of its religious and philosophical roots, provokes a relaxation response. The keys are:

1) “A quiet environment.”
2) “An object to focus on.”
3) “A passive attitude.”

The goal of meditation is to allow a focus of attention in a way that is not possible in normal day-to-day life. Your mental processes are altered and you may well experience the famous sense of connectedness to everything. Zen meditation is somewhat different. It seeks to raise a sense of awareness, and can be done while exercising. Its techniques try to lift your ability to perceive without judging, and to accept without resistance. In both techniques, proper breathing is essential.

If you watch children at play, you will see the connection between movement and emotional release. As you age and become more emotionally reserved, you may shy away from expressing your emotions through movement very often. But when you get cramps, you know that flexing, stretching and massaging can help relieve the pain. In the same way, gentle exercise, such as rolling your shoulders, rotating your neck, shaking your arms and legs, massaging your face, temples and scalp will also help, as will eye and face stretches. Active exercise can be good, but if it adds stress through demands of performance or competition, you are probably going in the wrong direction. Exercise regularly without pushing yourself to exhaustion. Keep yourself properly hydrated and pay attention to your breathing.

The biofeedback movement emerged during the 1970s and opened up research into the links between mind and body, and psychosomatic illnesses. Monitoring devices measure autonomic physiological functions and that information is fed back to the subjects. As a result of trial-and-error reactions to the feedback, they learn how to control their bodily functions. Research has shown that not only brain waves can be controlled, but also muscle movement, heart rate, blood pressure and digestive functions. For biofeedback to work properly, the best attitude is passive attention – the same state needed for stress reduction techniques. A properly used blood-pressure device can help you learn to associate your stress level and blood pressure. Probably the simplest and least used device is a mirror. Look in a mirror and think about an emotion. Don’t manufacture an expression to show the emotion as an actor would. Instead, just let the emotion you feel show in your face. Then let it go and relax. Seeing your face in a genuinely relaxed state will be quite interesting and useful.

Professional therapists use several techniques for patients with stress-inducing anxieties. If you find that even the idea of performing certain activities makes you feel tense and queasy, use these methods to help desensitize yourself. Visualize the process of going through the stressful activity. If it is public speaking, list all the steps from being asked to speak through actually giving the presentation. Next, meditate on going through the steps one by one and handling them well. When you get to a point where you feel anxious, stop and use your favorite relaxation technique. Later, start again and see if you can get further. Eventually, you will be able to handle the whole sequence of steps. The other technique is to actually live through the event. For example, if you have a fear of flying, break the activity down into steps and do all the easy things until you arrive at the hardest part. Classes are available to help people work through their phobias.

Eating Well
Everyone has to eat. Unfortunately, many things can adversely affect your physical and mental performance. Eating and drinking refined sugar, alcohol and beverages containing caffeine can create physical symptoms that mimic stress. Be aware of foods and additives that might trigger allergies or affect your mood, such as dairy products, and drink enough water. Drugs do not eliminate stress; they just mask its symptoms. Work on fixing the stress and you will not need the drugs. Sometimes a good stress-formula multivitamin can help compensate for the loss of nutrients caused by stress.

For some people, the problems caused by stress and anxiety become their focus. Once you have eliminated the stress from your life, you may find yourself concerned with what to do with your newly available time. A good technique is to select meaningful goals and build plans around them. Set targets to meet in the short, medium and long term. Spend time deciding how you will meet them, set measures so you can check progress, and enjoy both your failures and successes. Failures are opportunities to learn and improve. Never be afraid to ask others for help in making your plans as you work toward your goals.

Stress at Work
Rapid change is the norm in the modern workplace these days. Manage your situation proactively, if you are on the receiving end of the change. Being fit and healthy helps you stay strong, despite the pressures of the unknown. Keep your options open and communicate with those who can provide you with new opportunities. If you are on the management end, the more you communicate with your workforce the happier they will be. Engage worker and middle-management concerns fully and personally. Recruit people who can best handle the changes you expect in your business and marketplace. Inspire the company with a vision that embodies the realities and future possibilities of your organization, and empower them to build it into reality. Encourage wellness, good nutrition and healthy exercise in your company policies. And do your best to lead by example.

The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management By Hyrum W. Smith

The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management Book Cover The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management
Hyrum W. Smith

Hyrum Smith is a mavin in the Time management space. As founder of the Franklin planner and the author of many books about time management, Hyrum delivers value on the basic of time management and how to plan your time for greater focus. This book is a classic that many others are made from. The 10 Laws in this book  like the 7 habits are fundamentals to live by.

Focus: Work/Life Balance – Time Management

Consider This:
• The key to controlling your life is controlling your time.
• Identifying your highest priorities is an essential step toward time and life management.
• When you align your daily practices with your identified governing values you will experience inner peace.woman with head on desk with alarm clock
• Leaving your comfort zone is uncomfortable but it is a necessary step in your quest to accomplish any goal.
• You can leverage your time by investing a small amount each day in planning. You will enjoy the returns on that investment all day long.
• Your current behavior is a reflection of your core beliefs.
• If you keep these beliefs in line with reality, you will be able to satisfy your needs.

  • Negative behaviors that sabotage your best efforts at personal improvement can be overcome by changing incorrect beliefs.

The ten natural laws that lead to successful time and life management can be divided into two categories. The first five laws help you manage your time better. The other five laws give you more control over your life. All relevant time management tips and tricks to keep top of mind.

Law 1: “You control your life by controlling your time.”
You can fall into two common traps concerning time. The first trap is thinking that you will have more time to complete a task at some unidentified point in the future. The other is the idea that you can somehow save time. In reality, you already have all the time there is. Each day has 86,400 seconds and not one can be set aside for the future. When you say, “I don’t have time” to do something you are really saying that, “I am more interested in doing something else.” You have allowed insignificant events like watching TV or doing a crossword puzzle to take away from significant events like spending time with your family. Time is money. If someone could access your bank account and steal all your money, you would be pretty angry. Why should you feel any differently about factors that steal your time? There are two kinds of “time robbers:” self-inflicted (procrastination, perfectionism and poor planning) and those imposed by your work environment (interruptions, unnecessary meetings and red tape). You cannot control all of these time robbers. However, if you identify your main problem areas, you can plan to overcome them. Without this awareness, you are doomed to wasting time in the exact way every day.

Law 2: “Your governing values are the foundation of personal fulfillment.”
What are the highest priorities in your life? Which of those do you value the most? Every person’s answers are different because our core values are individual. There is no perfectly ordered list everyone can follow. You have to discover your values and use them to plan your daily activities. Make your prioritized list with a paragraph that explains what each value means to you. This list is the foundation of your “personal productivity pyramid.”

Law 3: “When your daily practices reflect your governing values, you experience inner peace.”
Inner peace is all about discovering what’s important to you and doing something about it. Take the following four steps to move from identifying your highest values to completing your daily tasks. This is how to build your “personal productivity pyramid” from the ground up:

1) Create the foundation of your pyramid by stating your governing values, principles and beliefs.
2) Translate your principles into goals that you eventually want to achieve. Those long range goals are the next level of your pyramid.
3) In order to make your long-term goals a reality, set intermediate goals. These form the next level of your pyramid.
4) At the top of the pyramid list the daily tasks you must complete to achieve your intermediate goals.

Law 4: “To reach any significant goal, you must leave your comfort zone.”
Leaving your comfort zone is very difficult. People have a natural tendency to gravitate to places where they feel comfortable, safe and secure. When you set goals you must forsake these old comfortable patterns. Goals are in direct conflict with the status quo. If you were happy with the status quo, you wouldn’t be setting goals. Many people don’t set goals because they fear failing. But, if you remove the possibility of failure, you also remove the chance of success.

picture of comfort zone circle

Law 5: “Daily planning leverages time through increased focus.”
Spend ten to fifteen minutes each morning planning your day. If you follow through on only one activity suggested in this book after reading it, the morning planning session is the one. If you leverage this small amount of your time, you will reap the rewards the rest of the day. Find out when the “magic three hours” of your day occur. The magic hours represent the block of time in your day when you are generally uninterrupted. This is when you can focus on things besides the normal urgencies and activities of the day. For some people, it might be from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., for others 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The point of finding your magic three hours is to realize that you already have the 15 minutes you need for planning, you just haven’t been using the time effectively up to now. Keep these six concepts in mind to plan effectively:

1) Choose a work area free from distractions.
2) Align your daily tasks with your defined long-term goals.
3) Don’t plan too many activities. Make sure there is enough time in the day to complete all daily tasks.
4) Your task descriptions should be specific.
5) Be ready for obstacles. Have a plan for dealing with them if they arise.
6) Prioritize. If you are unable to accomplish everything, at least you can accomplish what is most important.

Follow these steps to make a prioritized daily task list:
1) First – and in no particular order – list everything you would like to accomplish at work, with your family and for your community, including non-urgent tasks.
2) Assign a value to each item. Everything that is absolutely vital and must be completed gets an “A.” Give a “B” to tasks that are important and should be completed. Mark all the rest of the items, which are probably trivial or optional, with a “C.”
3) Go back to your “A” list and give a numerical value to each task. The most important task becomes A-1, next most important A-2 and so on. Do the same with your “B” and “C” lists.

Law 6: “Your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe.”
Use the “Franklin Reality Model” to help people see the clear connection between beliefs and behavior. People don’t change their behavior unless it is in their self-interest. The Franklin Reality Model has two major functions. First, it gives you a picture of what is going on in your life. It helps you see the results of your behavior, so you can decide whether your beliefs are serving your interests. The model also lets you evaluate beliefs before they affect your behavior. Then, you can decide whether alternative beliefs might spur the behavior you seek. The model starts with “Needs.” We all share four basic needs: The need to live, the need to love and be loved, the need to feel important and the need to experience variety. Picture these four needs as quadrants in a “Wheel.” When all your needs are met, the wheel rolls forward smoothly. But, if a basic need is not being met, the wheel flattens in that area and you become stuck. Until you are able to fulfill this need, you are unable move forward with your life.

The second element, the “Belief Window,” provides direction for your “Needs Wheel.” Many of your beliefs are those you think help you meet your basic needs. For example, a belief that “smoking causes lung cancer” is related to your need to live. Everything you believe to be true about the world is written on your belief window. Identify the beliefs on your window and change the ones that are incorrect or inaccurate.

The third element of the model is “Rules.” For each of your beliefs, you create rules that govern your behavior. These if-then statements change your beliefs into actions. For example, if “smoking causes lung cancer,” your rule might be, “I will never smoke.” These elements generally operate at the subconscious level. The fourth element, “Behavior Patterns,” is where something physically happens. If your belief is that “smoking causes lung cancer” and somebody offers you a cigarette, you turn it down and say, “I don’t smoke.” Your behavior patterns lead to the final element of the Franklin Reality Model: “Results and Feedback.” Results make this model a powerful tool in gaining control of your life. Determine if your behavior results in meeting your needs. If so, this feedback tells you, your beliefs are correct or harmless. Remember though, it often takes time to measure results.

Law 7: “You satisfy needs when your beliefs are in line with reality.”
To find out if you have a correct belief (a belief that is in line with reality), ask yourself ‘do the results of my behavior help satisfy one of my four basic needs?’ If they do, you probably have a correct belief. Remember, the results of some actions take many years to measure. Sometimes you can beat the odds for a while. Because of this, you should test your beliefs two ways. First, test them through your own experience. Then, test them against the experience of others. Say you like to drive 20 miles above the freeway speed limit. And, you have never had an accident caused by speeding. You might conclude through this experience that your belief (“I am a competent enough driver to ignore speed limits”) is correct. But, if you examine that same belief through the experience of others by looking at traffic accident statistics, you would be less inclined to believe that it is correct.

Law 8: “Negative behaviors are overcome by changing incorrect beliefs.”
Whether or not your beliefs are correct, incorrect (that is, they do not reflect reality) or a matter of opinion or preference, you assume all of your behaviors are correct and act accordingly. Correct beliefs produce positive behavior. Incorrect beliefs produce negative, self-defeating behavior and can destroy your best attempts to take control of your life. How can you overcome negative behavior? The first step is coming to grips with the fact you have a problem. The next step is to realize that you have an unmet need which is causing your behavior. At that point, you can usually identify one or more incorrect beliefs. The final step is to replace those negative beliefs with correct ones. If you are committed to your new beliefs, your behavior should change automatically.

Law 9: “Your self-esteem must ultimately come from within.”
When you seek the approval of others you are pressured into behaving contrary to your core values. You behave according to their values and principles rather than your own. Living like this is incredibly stressful and highly reactive. When you define your self-worth by the opinions of others or by your material possessions, you get in big trouble over the long run. Your self-worth cannot be based on anything outside yourself. Feeling good about yourself is essential to inner peace. Your governing values form the true foundation for healthy self-esteem. Occasionally examining your beliefs will help you eliminate self-defeating behavior.

Law 10: “Give more and you’ll have more.”
If you have more than you need, you have a moral responsibility to share the excess with others who have less than they need. When you do this, a natural law of human behavior will kick in. Much good will result. Sharing your excess with others — particularly those who have proven through hard work, loyalty or even friendship that they deserve it — will help your assets grow faster than if you hoard the excess for yourself. The best way to achieve an abundance of anything is to share it. Hoarding causes envy and resentment while sharing expands the sense of ownership. If everyone who developed a large amount of wealth saw their role as stewardship, then poverty, suffering and pain could be greatly reduced.



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