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Speak Easy – Book Review

Speak Easy 3 Ebook CoverThis week I reviewed Speak Easy by Maggie Eyre for Exisle Publishing.

From the first page of the introduction I felt like I was there, being supported by Maggie, and taken through her proven program step by step.

This book is written in a warm and encouraging way, thoroughly explaining each skill and concept. Whilst reading I really felt how generous Maggie is with sharing her knowledge and was convinced she really wanted me to succeed.

I have been professionally speaking since 2009, and have done a lot of ‘learn as I go’ in that time – so I wish I had of read this book many years ago. Speak Easy will set you up for success and covers all you will need to know to be an excellent speaker – not just a good one.

Thanks Maggie Eyre.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

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Using the “5Ws & 1H” for Communication to get you Results

To be influential in your communication and hit your mark in terms of what you would like people to understand and remember is a skill that everyone can develop. A formula I use and teach others often, with great results, is the 5W’s and 1H, which over time I have put my own spin on.

Any time a:-

  • decision is to be made
  • you need to be heard
  • you are negotiating
  • you require change to happen or
  • you need directions followed

try this guide to communicate and be amazed at the results.

Who am I speaking to?

  • Who is this person, what is important to them and how can I align with their values and speak their language so they really hear my message.
  • Who else may be involved that need to be present or will be affected.
  • It is also essential to understand who you are, what you value and why this is important to you.

When is the best time to speak to them?

  • When is the time that the person will be most present and open to hear what I want to say.
  • When will there be enough time to cover issue/focus and encourage feedback/buy in.

What do I really want to say and what is outcome I want.

  • Be specific, honest and to the point
  • Use I statements to avoid perceptions of blame (I Feel.. When You…. Because…. I would prefer…)
  • What is the frequency that this message needs to be delivered, once or more follow up.

Why do I want to speak to this person?

  • Tell them what results you are looking for
  • Tell them what you will be doing differently
  • Tell them what this may mean for them

Where is the best place to speak to them?

  • What medium would suit and at what time.  For example; phone, email, in person, skype, personal message or text. Depending on the importance of your message verbal communication is most effective first.  Written and electronic material is good as a follow-up and reinforces information. Make sure your message gets across to the right people to avoid rumours and hearsay.
  • Avoid distractions to conversation where possible so that the person is clear on what you are saying and you can be clear on their point of view.
  • Choose the most effective means of getting your message across.  Check your communications channels are working for you.

How can I get my message across in the most authentic and compelling way?

  • How are you feeling? Is it matching how you would like your message to come across and how you would like the person to feel?
  • Be aware of your non-verbal/body language cues. Most people without even realising will respond to these first before what you say. Make sure you are using open body signals and a tone that matches what how you would like to come across.
  • Mirror their body language or electronic language as much as possible so a sub-conscious rapport is built between you and those you wish to converse with. The person will be more comfortable and open to hearing you.
  • Rehearse what you want to say first either through drafting or saying out loud before entering into discussions to make sure it is a true reflection of what you would like to say.
  • Ask yourself, am I the right person to deliver this message.

Communication break-down is one of the issues that so many people struggle with. I suggest to you to use the “5W 1H” approach of communication that I have refined to get results personally and professionally.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

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Imagine Me – Holding an Audience Captivated for 40 minutes!

LR_Kirsty_003Kirsty O’Callaghan is now a sought after speaker in the areas of Resilience and Relationships, however it wasn’t always this way. Kirsty explains how this overnight success was anything but, and shares how you can take your business to the next level by developing a great speak and even greater you.

I have been speaking professionally now for nearly a decade. My business growth demanded that this was the next step that had to be taken. I didn’t think it would be that hard, I talk a lot, am good with people and can keep my nerves under control and most importantly know and believe in my topic.

I remember my first ‘gig’. I thought I was ready, had my notes, and had a room full of people, and then it happened. A few minutes before it was time to go on, I started panicking, my heart rate went up, I got a nervous rash on my neck and chest and my throat felt like it was closing over. My thoughts were telling me I wouldn’t remember what to say, who was going to listen to me, and other such defeating thoughts. I went on, basically read my notes and even though no one complained felt I didn’t hit that mark of inspiring my audience. If there was PowerPoint back then, it would of felt like death by PowerPoint!

So I spent the next 5 years learning to become an amazing speaker not just a good one. I attended training, watched lots of inspiring speakers and spent time overcoming any limiting thinking that said I was not good enough.

The 3 most impactful things I learnt was

  • Every speaker gets nervous
  • Plan, prepare and practice for each audience, every time you present as if it is the first time
  • Especially if you are a women, dress to impress

I began to feel more comfortable to tell my story to create connections to my audience and what I was sharing. I began to set intentions to be in service to the audience, to inspire and excite them and stopped making it about whether I was accepted. I also began to realize that it takes a few minutes to create a change for someone and for them to want more or for them to shut down, so how was I going to make the most of those few minutes.

Part of any trade or profession is the time you put into building experience and how much passion and focus you have to push through the small-unpaid ‘gigs’.   Like any great performer will tell you, the perceived overnight success equated to many hours and years of little or no pay, presenting to people that really weren’t listening. However, these hours are never wasted, as they prepare you and nothing is more valuable than exposure and learning what not to do before you hit the big time. The journey of small beginnings teaches you resilience, determination, and gives you space to reinvent and learn.

My biggest piece of advice; aim for excellence when presenting your passion or service to others. Make it about them, not you and always have great shoes.

Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business

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If you’ve found yourself putting off important tasks over and over again, you’re not alone. Most people procrastinate to some degree.  Is procrastination stopping you fulfilling your potential and unsettling your life?

You procrastinate when you put off things that you could be, or know you should be, focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.

Putting off an unimportant task isn’t necessarily procrastination; it may just be good prioritization! If you have a good reason for rescheduling something important, then you’re not necessarily procrastinating. However, if you’re just “making an excuse” because you really just don’t want to do it, then you are.

The key to taking back control is to recognize when you start procrastinating, understand why it happens and take active steps to manage your time and outcomes better. To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, you need to be aware straight away that you’re doing it. Then you can identify why you’re procrastinating and take appropriate steps to overcome the block.

Here are my 6 P’s for creating a new habit of action rather than non-action or avoidance:-

  1. PAY OFF – Establish and brainstorm what are the great things      that you will get once this is done.       WHY is it important to you?
  2. PEOPLE TO TELL AND PROMISE – Name your task and put a deadline      on it, then tell someone or a group of people and promise to have it      finished and ask for their support.       This creates an atmosphere of accountability and is a psychological      incentive for you to complete what you have been putting off.
  3. PREPARE AND HAVE A PROCESS – Prepare all that you need to get      this task done and have a list, diary and a process.  Are you going to do it all, in what      order, or are you going to break it down into smaller tasks?
  4. PAY ATTENTION – Be completely present with this task, no      breaks, no interruptions, and no distractions.
  5. PRACTISE – just keep following this guide on all tasks you      feel overwhelmed by or struggle to complete.  You don’t have to get it perfect,      practise will allow you to just do it and create a new habit of work/task      completion.
  6. PRAISE & CELEBRATE – Give yourself a big pat on the back      and reward each time you achieve your goal.  This will encourage you to keep going      forward.

One of my most favourite action steps is to aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day; which means conquering your hardest, least desirable task first thing in the morning so you don’t have to carry the load in your mind around with you all day.

Get started today and kick procrastination to the kerb! Kirsty 🙂

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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Picking your state and intention for the day – YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

Do you just get up every morning, head hung low, would rather be back in bed? Do you just get up and start going through your morning routine, putting one foot in front of the other? Do you wonder where your motivation,let alone inspiration have gone?

I have realised that beginning the day with no clear direction, no high expectations and on automatic pilot does not get me the results I want or need. I am going to share with you a couple of tricks to get you feeling more energetic andinspired each day.

Know your overall picture/goals for the next couple of years. It always brings more meaning to your life when you know where you are headed. Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time? What is happening? Who is with you? How are you feeling? What are you doing? Remember, it’s not what you don’t want, it is what you would like to work towards and where you want to be.

Once you know where it is and what you want, pick a state that suits this part of your life. Is it happy, healthy, open, engaging, pumped, peaceful, in control,respecting and respected, grateful, confident, valued, or the like? Once you know the state that feels right, get in that state from right now. Remind yourself constantly I am……. today.

Set your intention for each day. What do you intend to do, to be, to achieve,to overcome, to create? Know this, write it down and begin.

Try this for the next month. I will guarantee you will see your life become more enjoyable, you will get more meaningful things done and you will move away from what you don’t want because you are too busy getting what you do want and enjoying yourself!

Posted in: Business, Mindfulness, Resilience

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