Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Presentation training elected Toronto’s mayor

Toronto’s new mayor obviously did some presentation training with a public speaking trainer and paid close attention to at least one of the skills he learned.

Focus, focus, focus

One of the first lessons a presentation trainer would have taught Rob Ford, Toronto’s new mayor would have been focus. There are thousands of issues in a city the size of Toronto and one of Ford’s biggest presentation training tasks would have been to select those key messages that would resonate best with Toronto voters.

One message takes the prize

Ford knew what the Toronto electorate wanted and he promised to deliver on their wants. He promised to cut the waste at Toronto City Hall and reduce expenses across the board without reducing services. Because he was long on promises and short on specifics, he was criticized by most of Toronto’s political pundits. But Ford stuck to the mantra he and his public speaking trainer focused on. Whoever worked with him understood that, even if it’s heavily criticized, a single message repeated again and again is more powerful than a number of messages or a change in direction.

His focus was obvious and intentional

On election night, Toronto political pundits said his focus on a single message was a strong factor in his decisive victory. In his victory speech, Ford himself said “We were focused. They could not get us off our message.” Ford must now shift his focus to reaching out to those he will need to help him begin to deliver on his promises. If his commitment is strong enough, if he can win the allies and follow up words with actions, he may again surprise his critics and deliver much of what he promised. That will require an incredible amount of focus, hard work and probably more than a little good luck. For Rob Ford, the hard part has just begun.

Need a guest speaker?

If your group needs a skilled guest speaker or workshop leader, I’d like to help you. I provide a range of communications key note presentations and workshops. Please visit the presentations and workshops pages of this website and contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Need a presentation trainer?

Would you like help dealing with public speaking training and other communications issues? If so, please contact me to discuss my public speaking training programs. I provide one-on-one presentation training and group public speaking training sessions that provide tools to develop your public speaking skills. Contact me today!

About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.

Attitude is everything!

Like most business people, I’ve had good times and not-so-good times. I try to maintain a positive attitude all the time, and particularly in not-so-good times.

One of the first things I do every morning is smile at myself in the mirror. Not because my visage is delightful to look at but because that one simple action changes my whole demeanour. It’s like magic. I may be ready to pull the most miserable face imaginable as I start to think about the issues of the day before me. But before I can indulge my negative thoughts any further I stop myself and smile. And as soon as I do that, everything changes. Of course the issues I have to deal with don’t change, but my attitude and my ability to face them become positive and I start to think about what a lucky guy I really am, issues and all.

I do something similar every time I prepare for one of my workshops. I visualize the program and see the participants (and me) having a good time. I think about the value I bring and that kick starts my motivation, no matter what else may be on my mind. We can’t control everything but we can maintain a positive attitude about the tasks at hand. And it pays, particularly where clients are involved.

So how can you do that on an ongoing basis? Well, because nothing succeeds like success, I suggest you focus most on the areas where you’re most successful and reflect the positive energy of your successes to everyone you deal with. And you can start doing that by focusing on what matters most and excluding just about everything else. If you do that, you’ll be dealing with issues you feel passionate about to create positive outcomes that help keep you upbeat. Here are a few suggestions for turning intent into reality.

Focus

If you focus primarily on the 20% of your activities that produce the most profit and reduce or eliminate the 80% that consumes most of your time and creates most of your headaches, you’ll increase your potential margin of success significantly.

Find a niche

Chances are, your clients can choose from dozens or even hundreds of people who do what you do. But there’s probably something unique about you and the service or product you provide that can make you a go-to person. If you can find that niche – preferably something for which you have significant passion – you’ll probably find that clients will seek you out for your special skill or service.

Partner with others

No one has all the answers. But it can be very valuable to your clients, your colleagues and your reputation to align yourself with other specialists who provide significant value. Their success can become your success too.

Have a back-up

Although you’ll probably want to remain focused on your primary niche, it’s always a good idea to have a back-up revenue stream to fill in during quiet times and to have a place to go when there are surprises in your primary market.

Aim for repeat revenue

Nothing puts a smile on your face more than a steady stream of revenue coming from a small number of customers who like, trust and respect you. Armed with their confidence – and revenue – you can approach new prospects with a self-confidence that’s based on a solid foundation of service.
Stuff happens, but professionals put their best face forward no matter what else is going on in their lives. A carefully nurtured positive attitude is often all that separates, a “No, thank you . . .” to a “Yes! Thank you very much!!”

Need a guest speaker?

If your group needs a skilled guest speaker or workshop leader, I’d like to help you. I provide a range of communications key note presentations and workshops. Please visit the presentations and workshops pages of this website and contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Need a presentation trainer?

Would you like help dealing with public speaking training and other communications issues? If so, please contact me to discuss my public speaking training programs. I provide one-on-one presentation training and group public speaking training sessions that provide tools to develop your public speaking skills. Contact me today!

About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.

Addicted to e-mail?

I’m addicted to my e-mail box.  It’s all I can do to stop myself from calling up Outlook first thing every morning – and every time I come back to the computer through the day.  It’s distracting, it’s frustrating and it’s totally unnecessary.

I have a life

I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for people who walk around all day attached to a Blackberry.  And that’s a big part of the reason I’ve refused to buy one.  Sure, I have a professional practice.  But I also have a life.  And my life comes first.  My practice comes second and I like it that way.

So many distractions

Besides, I’m not sure that staring into a Blackberry or obsessively checking e-mail is productive in the long run.  I’ve always admired people who have the discipline to be truly strategic.  It’s easy to be a strategic thinker; it’s quite another to put that thinking into practice in your everyday activities.  Because there are so many distractions, like Blackberries and e-mail boxes – not to mention that paradigm of attention deficit:: the internet.

It’s difficult

Discipline is difficult in the age of the internet.  We just have too many things we can do while staring at an LCD screen and it’s much too easy to ignore simple, rewarding things that are happening all around us in the real world.  There’s a time for focused work and a time for spontaneous play and, unfortunately, our computers, Blackberries and other technical toys allow us to do both and to neglect other things.  I know; I’ve been there.  And unfortunately, if I don’t discipline myself, I can return there all too often.  Just ask my wife.

Keep the beast at bay

Here are a few of the things I try to do to keep the online beast at bay and to lead a more or less productive, fruitful life:

  •     I put family first.  Obviously, there are times when I have to go to meetings or do desk work during what would normally be family time but, as much as I can, I try to make myself available to family, including looking after those little chores that mean so much to my wife.
  •    I’ve disconnected automatic e-mail delivery in my Outlook.  I look at my e-mails when I want to, not when the computer  beckons me with a tempting “ping”
  •     I try to download my e-mails no more than three or four times a day, unless I’m expecting something urgent
  •     I try to create a working plan for each week and a detailed plan for each day, prepared the day or evening before
  •     I keep a paper-based Priority List and a separate paper-based To Do list; I give priority to the priorities and fit the to-do’s in between them
  •     I try to prevent my largest priorities from consuming me by breaking them down and moving each one forward a little bit each day
  •     I avoid visiting interesting-sounding websites as soon as I hear about them.  Instead, I add them to a list, then pick an hour or two when I’m between priorities to visit several at the same sitting

I try . . .

Like everyone else, I like to think I’m pretty organized but it’s an ongoing process and yes, I slip up and sin as much as anyone and probably a lot more than some people.   You’ll notice the word “try” appears regularly in the list above and I do “try”.  But I accept that I’m not always successful.  I’m always looking for ways to improve my efficiency and reduce my distractions.  If you have any devices to share with me, I’d love to hear about them.

Need a guest speaker?

If your group needs a skilled guest speaker or workshop leader, I’d like to help you. I provide a range of communications key note presentations and workshops. Please visit the presentations and workshops pages of this website and contact me to discuss how I can help you.

Need a presentation trainer?

Would you like help dealing with public speaking training and other communications issues? If so, please contact me to discuss my public speaking training programs. I provide one-on-one presentation training and group public speaking training sessions that provide tools to develop your public speaking skills. Contact me today!

About Thomas Moss

Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.