Entries Tagged 'Toastmasters' ↓

Lenn Millbower Learnertainment

I have been in admiration with Disney ever since the first time I set foot on Disney Land in California in the very early 80’s. The quality of service and the settings of the place were absolutely stunning. In terms of entertainment nothing in the world can match Disney.

I came to know a fairly bit of the mode of operation of Disney when I attended a training seminar with Ansett Airlines of Australia in the early 90’s. The training was given by a subsidiary company of Disney, specialised in the concept of Fun Learning.

Down in Melbourne where Ansett was headquartered, the whole world wide organisation went through a 2 day program to know better Ansett and more importantly to understand the concept of team work within Ansett. It was just before the company went on a public listing on the stock market. The training company commissioned a theatre for six months and set up the place to give you the feeling of a Fun as if you were at a Disney entertainment park where we all had fun whilst learning. I was really amazed with the lessons I learnt whilst enjoying with fun and laughter…

I recall very clearly as I was impressed. To show us the need to play in tune with the organisation, we were assembled in the theatre and each of us was assigned a musical instrument:

1. An analogy to the company where each individual has a specific role as in an orchestra.

2. Each role has to be played to the best of our capability whilst respecting the music score.

3. To perform the best music, in respecting the beat, timing, volume, intensity etc.

4. Each musician whilst playing his own score has to be aware of the harmony of the orchestra.

Reading the profile of Lenn Millbower, today I can only suspect that he was involved with setting up similar learning seminars.

Lenn Millbower has coined his present business after working for years with Disney: Learnertaiment.

From Disney training leader to published author, from musician-magician to college professor, Lenn’s lauded Learnertainment® techniques have taught more than 1 million business leaders, trainers, educators and presenters how to keep their audience ‘awake so their message can take’.

Using the secrets of show biz, Lenn’s interactive brain-based entertainment-fused learning events, e training coaching system, open enrollment workshops, and keynote presentations Lenn can help you and your organization deliver the interactivity your audience wants and the results your organization needs.

His published works – including the CLOUT Creator Inventory©, Show Biz Training and Training With A Beat – have been used by instructional designers, trainers, educators, and speakers throughout the world to design and deliver five-star Oscar worthy learning programs.

On the other hand the creativity of Walt Disney himself is awesome. In NLP we have a special chapter where we study the creativity strategy of Walt Disney.

Frequent professional speaker at ASTD ICE, NSA, MPI, IAL, and other national events; workshop leader for Offbeat Training seminars including the Learnertainment® Skills Development Lab, From Out to CLOUTâ„¢, Learning With A Beatâ„¢, That’s Learnertainmentâ„¢, Razzle Dazzle Designâ„¢, Cultivate Your Creativity, and Business Brainstormâ„¢; and author of The CLOUT Creator Inventory©, Training With A Beat, Show Biz Training, Cartoons for Training, Game Show Themes for Trainers.

4Ms of a good Leader and Comunicator

I took some of the insights of Dr. Laurie Anderson a professional executive coach and business strategic planner to work out my 4 Ms formula. You would imagine the number of ways the 4 Ms could be put to use. I was asked recently what method is used to do my coaching work.

To start with, I have to establish credibility with the coachee and work out his need. I normally use first the NLP SCORE method. Then we agree on the outcome after much questioning and listening. The 4Ms is used to describe the project.

A road map is then devised carving in sizeable chunks the overall agreed outcome.

Again using the 4Ms – Mission, Message, Method & Metrics each chunk is translated in a session project. Like a Russian doll each element of the 4M’s is subjected to the 4Ms methodology:

Mission standing for the WHAT and WHAT FOR,

Message standing for the HOW and translation in communications,

Method standing for the HOW TO, devising the most adaptable channel and ways to transfer the mission and finally

Metrics standing for HOW MUCH, the measurements to assess the tracking to the set outcomes.

Assess Four Elements

Answering these questions isn’t easy because these questions force executives to assess four key elements that should be, but are not commonly, top-of-mind:

1. Mission: Are you clear, articulate, and intrinsically connected to your purpose as a leader? Can you easily identify the core operating principles, values, or behaviors that you are committed to modeling as a leader? Would people who know you well be able to see the authenticity of your leadership platform, or does it sound generic?

2. Message: Do you have a concise, differentiating, understandable, relevant, timely, memorable call-to-action for people to follow? Do people know what they should start doing and stop doing to manifest this new state, or do they think you are just asking them to do more (what you want now in addition to what you wanted yesterday)?

3. Method: Have you figured out how your particular call-to-action should best be achieved? Can you, with confidence, show the way? Do you know the critical success factors and the elements that will guarantee your failure? Remember: people want to win but in the most effective and efficient way. Beyond surviving a change, they want to prosper with it and through it.

4. Metrics: Have you selected the core measures that you will track to ensure progress? Are the metrics credible and simple to remember, track, and report? Does everyone know and agree with how success will be determined?

It is interesting to note each element above described is subject to the scrutiny of my 5 Wifes & 2 Husbands methodical tool which is my universal questioning tool.

Meetings: Attending & Organising

Have you ever between taught ‘how to attend a meeting or how to run a meeting’? Meetings is a communications tool that is used most of the time in any organisation, yet almost most persons have not thought of the organisation of meetings or its improvements.

At toastmasters, all members are requested to attend meetings and are trained in the optimum use of the important communications tool called ‘meetings’.

I came back from my Syndic meeting of the property where I reside last Wednesday, frustrated in the way the meeting was held. Yesterday, I attended a meeting of the shareholders of an association; I was again horrified by the way the meeting was run and prepared. I am now pondering in the waste in time, money and personal irritation occurring throughout Mauritius in meetings of any sort.

Patti Hathaway, a certified professional speaker who I came to know through my AMA membership offers some tips to make our meetings more effective.

Ten Tips for More Effective Meetings

By Patti Hathaway, CSP

Love them or hate them, meetings are an everyday fact of life for most businesspeople. If you keep these ten tips in mind, everyone involved will be able to use their time more productively—assuring a positive experience.

Provide specific goals and objectives

Every person attending a meeting should be able to answer these key questions:

  • What is the purpose of this meeting?
  • How can I contribute?
  1. It is essential to send out an agenda prior to any meeting. List your meeting objective (i.e., the purpose for the meeting) on the agenda.
  2. Outline any preparation you would like the participants to do prior to the meeting. Also, a list of any materials participants should bring to the meeting.
  3. Invite only those people who can contribute to the meeting.

Avoid the “information assumption” trap

  1. Avoid lecture meetings. Is there a more efficient way to distribute certain information instead of calling a meeting?
  2. Prepare action item minutes.
  3. Get participants actively involved in the meeting: appoint a timekeeper and ask for help in facilitating the meeting.
  4. Have participants attend only for the time they are actually needed.

The “platinum rule” of meeting success

  1. Are your participants “big picture” or “detail” people? What format should you use for the project team’s final report? What kind of meeting minutes will best meet the needs of your participants?
  2. Start on time. Also set (and adhere to) an ending time when scheduling the meeting.
  3. Keep in mind that Robert’s Rules of Order does not necesarily increase the effectiveness of meetings. Develop your own rules of the road to best meet your group’s specific objectives and needs.

Persuade with integrity

I have been watching an hour long youtube presentation on persuasion by the author of The Art of Woo: G. Richard Shell. Woo with integrity was his last chapter!

This reminded me of an article from Daniel Williams on a similar note which I had kept to read once in a while.

Today leaders must cut through the clutter, focus their leadership agenda, and endlessly persuade.

What do you think is the most needed leadership skill in the digital economy? A top priority should be communicating your leadership agenda. Why? Because business leaders are under enormous pressure to sell their corporate strategies to their best customers, employees, and partners—just to retain them. In an economic downturn, communication and influence skills only increase in importance.

In my experience, the best leaders use a thoughtful and systematic approach to communicating their leadership agenda. These leaders master six skills.

  • Listen. Your leadership team has forged a new strategic direction. Now it’s time to execute. But before you do, you must listen, to yourself. Start with some inward reflection. Think through what you want to say and why. Once you have found your authentic voice, listen to others. Test your arguments and explore new ideas. Far from being dogmatic or arrogant, the best communicators learn about the people they hope to influence, their needs, aspirations, and concerns.
  • Prepare. Influencing requires careful preparation and planning. Take time to research and develop your ideas. Think through an influence strategy before you start communicating. Don’t go straight from inspiration to communication without preparation and testing.
  • Align your messages strategically. Remember, everything you say and do sends a message: Your passion, the clarity of your ideas, your policies and business practices, the structure of your organization, who makes decisions, who gets promoted, who gets fired, and media relations to the press and analysts. The best communicators ensure that all their messages—whether formal (corporate speak), organizational (policies and practices), or personal (what you say)—are aligned with their core business strategies, personal values, and behavior.
  • Feel passionate. Pursue the ideas and values you feel passionate about. Communicate that passion to others. If you don’t, you will never connect emotionally with your audience and win them over to a shared vision and course of action. The best leaders draw upon their emotions to get buy-in. They understand that peoples’ hearts and souls are often greater motivators than pure reason alone.
  • Use vivid language and compelling stories. To influence, you must position your arguments and present vivid supporting evidence. As one executive said, “There’s just as much strategy in how you present your position as in the position itself.” Use graphics to enhance your message. And tell a story. Story telling is a powerful tool in a leader’s literary basket.
  • Influence continually. Seldom will you win over all the critical stakeholders to your leadership agenda in the first try. Rapid communication can never replace a systematic and thoughtful approach to winning people over to your agenda. The best leaders view influencing as an ongoing process that is linked to a larger strategy for change. Persuasion often demands listening to the people you are trying to influence, testing your message, incorporating feedback, developing new messages, retesting, making compromises, and then trying again. Yes, this process can be time-consuming and difficult. But the credibility and influence you gain will make it worth your while.

Presenting Skills

Giving a good presentation has always been one of the assets of a good leader. It has become even more important in this modern and present age where competition is fierce. We would need good presentations to sell your products, to have the buy in of your team, to communicate with your shareholders, to ensure that your bankers follow you and use your presenting skills in so many other instances. Power point presentations are the present most popular tool but it is not enough to convince your audience.

I found this below  text which I feel  gives the essence of what no to do to have a lousy presentation. Again Toastmasters club activities help you to practice the art of presenting and to hone your skills. I have to confess that my Toastmasters practice runs help me to improve greatly in this field; the learning was great and the feedback from the audience who you know are present to help you to improve further. Since I have become a great fan of collective intelligence learning.

How to Give a Lousy Presentation

Fifteen ways to make a bad impression

By Carmine Gallo

Giving truly great presentations requires skill, work, and practice. Giving catastrophic presentations is far easier. So if you want to take the easy way out and look like a rank amateur, here are 15 surefire tips to guarantee that you leave a really, really bad impression.

1. Misspell words. Failing to check the spelling on your slides shows a complete lack of care. If you don’t care enough to proof your presentation, your audience will care less about you and your message. It’s the easiest way to look unprofessional.

2. Create distracting color combinations. Blue on green is especially hard to read.

3. Use inconsistent fonts. Professional PowerPoint designers will use no more than two, perhaps three, font styles in an entire presentation. But why stop there? There are thousands of typefaces available. See how many you can incorporate into your slide show.

4. Use a really small font size. If you really want to drive people crazy, say something like this: “I know you can’t read this, but if you could, here is what it would say…”

5. Insert improperly sized photos that are stretched to fit the slide. Images used in PowerPoint slides should be at least 900 pixels wide by 720 high. Designers start with larger images and shrink them to fit the slide. If you really want to look bad, however, find much smaller thumbnail images, say 200 x 300 pixels, and simply stretch them to fit the slide. They will look blurry, cheap, and bush-league.

6. Look completely and totally disinterested. I attended a conference in which the keynote speaker hadn’t even bothered to create a presentation and had a few handwritten notes in front of him. That’s fine, if you can pull it off. This speaker could not. He shuffled through his notes, lost his place several times, and twice asked the organizer, “How much time do I have?” The people in the audience—influential venture capitalists—found this so appalling that they started looking at each other and laughing.

7. Look disheveled. If you really want to leave a bad impression, wear faded blue jeans, worn, dirty shoes, and a stained shirt.

8. Read every word of each slide. Better yet, turn your back to the audience and read your slides word for word.

9. Don’t bother with a backup plan. If you need a live Internet connection to demo a site, don’t bother making a screen shot of the site in case the connection doesn’t work. That way, you’ll be at a complete loss for words when the connection fails.

10. Don’t practice. At all. Practicing a presentation out loud takes work and will make you look far too polished. Just wing it.

11. Call attention to your mistakes. If you want to show a complete lack of preparation, say something like “Oops, I have no idea how that slide got in there.”

12. Open with an offensive or off-color joke. Half your audience will walk out immediately and you’ll have succeeded in making a really bad impression right out of the gate.

13. Use wild animations. Letting text simply fade into a slide is way too straightforward. Especially when PowerPoint offers you the bounce, the boomerang, and the dreaded “neutron,” which makes letters circle wildly. All are effective at giving your audience a headache.

14. Use cartoon clip art. Why spend $3 on high-resolution photos from a stock photography service such as iStockphoto when there are plenty of cheap-looking and free cartoons that will make your presentation look like a sixth-grade project?

15. Use ancient presentation software. PowerPoint 2003 served its purpose (I used it for years). But there’s no comparison with PowerPoint 2007, which is simply a better, more robust tool. Says Darla Wigginton, an expert PowerPoint designer and creative director at eVision Design in San Francisco, “When [PowerPoint] 2007 came out, it scared the design world because the average user could now create some impressive-looking work.” Why scare professional designers? Stick to older versions of the software and leave the slicker presentations to others.

I hope you find some of these tips memorable enough to avoid them at all costs. But make no mistake, these presentation “techniques” are alive, well, and thriving. Just when I think I’ve seen or heard it all, someone has one more observation to add to the list. Feel free to use the comments section below to add your own experiences. We look forward to hearing from you.

Illustrated Classics


During my secondary schooling period, though I was never a great reader of books, I have to recognise the benefits I derived from reading ‘Illustrated classics’ has contributed very largely to my general knowledge and to my openings to literature. Otherwise, just as many of my friends, we were reading comics of the like of PIPO, Tin Tin, Blek Roc or Pim Pam Poum. Later, I read regularly the ‘Readers Digest’ which was the recommended monthly reading of my English teachers.

I feel that it is a fun way to acquire knowledge and to be initiated to reading for adolescents.

I would love to reread these classics or at least to hold copies of them.

Public Speaking

Indeed initially I was fearful to address the public. Most of the time I do have some uneasiness before a speech. I believe it is normal. With the training in Toastmasters it has become easier…A leader must possess communications skills to lead!

Are you lacking confidence when it comes to speaking out in public? Does the thought of public speaking grip you with fear? Would you like to eliminate this fear and give confident, successful presentations? Well, direct your focus onto these nine top tips to success and watch those nerves evaporate away.

#1: Deep breathing:
Nerves = Stress = Increased heart rate. 10 minutes before you go on stage, concentrate on your breathing, aiming to take long, deep drawn out breaths. This will slow your heart rate down, and relay messages to your brain that say “Hang-on, I feel okay! I’m not too nervous, this will be fine”. Obviously when you are up on stage however, do not suddenly stop mid-speech to administer your breathing exercises…or your audience may think you’re a few crayons short of a box.

#2: Know your audience wants you to succeed:
Imagine your audience thinking positive thoughts about you as you stand up in front of them. Don’t ever imagine them thinking negatively about you. These negative thoughts will only stand to make you feel even more nervous. If you hold the belief steady in your mind that your audience wants you to be great, your nervousness and fear of public speaking may go away.

#3: Turn your nervousness into excitement:
Frequently, the only difference between the physical sensations we feel when we experience excitement or fear, is just the label we stamp it with. Change this label from fear to excitement and you can turn your nervousness into a positive energy. Getting up on that stage should get you excited and energized!

#4Eat the right foods:
The morning before your presentation, eat a good high protein breakfast. It will keep you going throughout the day, and you’ll have fed your mind and body the proper fuel to work effectively while up on stage.

#5 Visualisation:
Go through the whole presentation in your mind, and visualise it going smoothly and successfully, just how you want it to. When you get up on stage, imagine it has already happened once before, and relax in the knowledge it is going to pan out perfectly. All Olympic athletes use this technique before their events, and it works equally well with public speaking.

#6 Don’t make changes to your material:
NEVER make massive changes to your speech 24 hours before. Re-writing your content at the last minute will only serve to make you feel unprepared and unsettled – cue more nerves. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’re pretty much giving an impromptu talk…

#7. Memorize your opener and close:
These are the bits your audience will remember afterwards. The most important thing they’ll remember is your closing and second most important thing they’ll remember is your opener. Never start with, “Hello” or “Good Morning.” Boring! Start instead with something like a quote or statistic, which relates to your topic. This will immediately grab their attention, and make them think “Hey, this is a bit different!” Two minutes each for an opener and a close is plenty.

#8 Include Variety:
Adding variety into your speech will help prevent you turning into a nervous monotonal wreck. Examples include the addition of humour, quotes, stories, paired and group activities, pauses, audience participation in the question and answer period, and slides or other multimedia. These different factors will not only help you focus on something other than your nerves, but it’ll make your speech a LOT more entertaining.

#9 Imagine a one-one conversation:
Start to take the attitude that you’re speaking one-on-one with different members of the audience. While giving your talk, imagine you are just explaining it to one person at a time. People talking to large groups tend to speak a lot more robotically than they do when speaking to just one or two people. So take this on board and you’ll start to talk in a more natural, personal manner, as you would in a conversation.

Feeling confident speaking to a large crowd is within your reach, providing you take action and practice the tips given to you in this article. Don’t give up just because one or two techniques didn’t work for you, everyone’s mind works in different ways. Just try another. Becoming a confident speaker is not just a pipe dream – you learned to feel scared of public speaking somewhere along the line, and you can unlearn it. Use these strategies to start becoming a better you today.

Grace Miller has put together a complimentary report on public speaking that gives special techniques to cure even the worst nerves.

Story Telling

A leader is not a leader if he does not have followers. Communications is the prime activity of great leaders. He maintains leadership by communicating, nurturing and developing but more importantly move the followers to the common aim.

Since early childhood, I have been encouraged to tell stories and communicate. I am much amused to see my grandchild Jake who is presently with us on holiday telling creative stories. I am encouraging him. Let us hope that he could turn into a great communicator and leader.

Story telling is one of the ways; here are some thoughts by Stephen Denning

Why Story?

The right story can energize, inspire, and connect with people’s personal values and goals.

  • When Lou Gerstner, then CEO of IBM, had to persuade skeptics that IBM could become a major player in providing e-business services, he did it in part by telling stories about IBM’s future in web-based services.
  • To explain why his firm passes on savings to customers, James Sinegal, CEO of Costco, tells a story about acquiring four million pairs of Calvin Klein jeans and selling them for $22.99 when they had sold fast at $29.99. “It was tempting to make a quick $28 million in profits, but that’s how we keep faith with the customer.”
  • When Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, was asked about his best leadership attribute, he said knew how to tell stories.

Telling the right story at the right time is an essential leadership competence to get business results.

Knowing the Right Story

A transformational leader has to know what kind of story to tackle which business challenge. Different business challenges require different narratives.

  • To communicate complex ideas and motivate others to action, a leader needs a springboard story—one that can get an audience to launch into action. This story needs to embody the change idea, be true, be told in a minimalist fashion, and be positive in tone.
  • Stories that transmit knowledge and understanding tend to be negative in tone. They are about problems. They are told with context, or explanation.
  • Communicating who you are and so building trust in you as an authentic leader involves a story that focuses on a turning point in your life. It has a positive tone and is told with context.
  • Transmitting values are carried by stories that are like parables, revealing a conflict between two values.
  • Generating high-performance teams is suited to narratives that move people to see what they have in common.
  • Although conventional management techniques can’t deal with the rumor mill, narrative stories can neutralize rumors by satirizing them.
  • Future stories can help organizations to move forward and grasp opportunities in an integrated fashion. Such stories tend to be short and evocative.

Each leadership challenge requires a story with a different narrative pattern. Mastering the relevant narrative pattern for the leadership challenge at hand thus becomes a critical competence for transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders not only tell the story—they embody the story. The power of narrative rests on a foundation of personal integrity and authenticity. Storytelling can reveal who you are and connect you with other people, but its effectiveness depends on whether what you reveal resonates with listeners.

Great leaders engage with followers and create a connection that inspires people to raise their sights and elevates their values and goals, essentially by communicating through narrative.

So, dear blog reader, I do encourage you to join a Toastmasters cub to hone your communications and leadership skills.

Jay Owens

I am so pleased that I picked up an article where  my old friend Jay Owens is mentioned.  I have not seen for over 5 years: since my last visit to South Africa.

It looks like Jay is still active in training and running seminars and conferences.

Before retiring, Jay was running the Covey Leadership center in  Park Wood ,South Africa. He was of great help to me, he was sorting out the profiling of the participants of the Covey week end seminars I was conducting for a number of years. The center in South Africa was very convenient, the processing was faster and cheaper that sending off the documents to Utah, USA.

Thanks to Jay that I was given the opportunity to run a Covey seminar in Guinea Conakry. I took up the challenge of conducting a seminar with half of the audience speaking English and the other half speaking French. The Malaysian Telekon had taken over the national telephone company in Guinea and wanted to train all its managers on time managment the  Franklin Covey way.

Resolving business issues through crucial conversations


There are crucial conversations that we all tend to avoid. Our lives are poorer and our businesses less profitable because of it.

The need for crucial conversations in business covers a wide area of possibilities. They are the many topics we would rather avoid. In your place of work they could look something like this:

  • Issues that involve gender, racial, cultural or other controversial factors
  • Dealing with the poor performance of a subordinate, like giving an unfavourable performance review
  • Talking to a co-worker, perhaps a manager, who behaves offensively or makes suggestive comments
  • Disagreeing with a management decision
  • Dealing with a serious disagreement between two or more departments in your business
  • Resolving a serious disagreement between business partners
  • Critiquing the work of an equal or someone senior to you
  • Confronting a partner or manager who is contravening the company’s financial code
  • Talking to a colleague who is hoarding information or resources
  • Dealing with a difficult BEE or employment equity decision.

Most of us would rather avoid this sort of thing altogether. That is the comfortable route to take, but we follow that path to the detriment of our businesses and our relationships with other people.

The authors of Crucial Conversations – Tools for talking when stakes are high, say that no more than 10% of our daily conversations cover crucial issues. These are the pivotal issues, which if handled well make an immense difference to any organisation.

When facing difficult issues people react in one of three ways: we avoid them, handle them poorly or face them and handle them well. Jay Owens of The Human Edge, who will be hosting a Crucial Conversations workshop later this year, suggests three factors in which crucial conversations are most necessary. They are: high stakes matters on which results depend, differing opinions on which the parties involved feel strongly, and other matters that produce high emotions.

“Powerful emotions are the cause of most inability to communicate well,” says Owens. “Physiologically we don’t handle strong emotions well. To overcome this inherent human weakness a distinct skills set is needed. There are a few people who have it naturally. Most of us have to learn it.”

Owens teaches that our ability to influence other people, and therefore important outcomes, depends on how well we hold our crucial conversations. “Too often when crucial matters are raised people go over to silence, not contributing to the group’s understanding of the problem.”

Some endure the silence until eventually they can no longer contain themselves. Then they go over to violence, trying to control, compel and coerce others into their way of seeing things. “Silence and violence are the twin enemies of the productive sharing of information,” says Owens. He talks about the silence in the meeting room, followed by the violence in the corridor – people who do not contribute in the meeting, gossiping about the resultant decisions in the corridors.

The objective of Owens’ training is to create an environment where the best ideas can be put forward without fear. And fear is the fundamental problem when trying to get to the core issues that are holding back a company. People are afraid that the ideas they raise may meet with ridicule, tarnishing the image they have. Some may not want to leave a meeting to attend to something else that may have arisen for fear of being blamed while they are not in the room. Everyone may hold back on suggesting a new project for fear of it failing. Better for someone else to go first – in case it turns out to be a disaster. Under these conditions when people do not feel safe enough to air their views an environment exists in which people do not contribute towards the development of the company.

“An environment has to be created in which people feel free to put forward their best ideas,” says Owens. “We must guard against the reasons for silence in any staff member. This is the barrier that stops him or her from contributing.”

According to the authors of Crucial Conversations, two vital elements in resolving any issue are mutual respect and mutual purpose. Without the former, any sort of dialogue will be artificial and without the latter there is no point in even resolving the issues.

Owens’ first step towards holding a crucial conversation is to identify where you are stuck. Ask what the issue is that you are dealing with, that you also had to deal with yesterday and the day before yesterday. Once you have identified it, step away from the issue and ask yourself what the conversation is that we are not holding.

Once you have stepped out of the issue and into the process of dealing with it, three hard-hitting skills are recommended.

  1. Apologise when appropriate. When you have made a mistake that has hurt others, start with an apology.
  2. Contrast to fix misunderstanding. When someone may feel disrespected, but that was not your intention, step away from the argument and use a skill called contrasting. In it, you confirm your respect for the person and clarify your real purpose.
  3. Employ CRIB:
    • C – commit to seeking mutual purpose
    • R – recognise the purpose behind the strategy
    • I – invent a mutual purpose
    • B – brainstorm new strategies.

In all of this the word purpose comes up again and again. Without a mutual purpose, there is no point in resolving anything.

If agreement exists on a mutual purpose, you will almost certainly need crucial conversations to deal with the issues that are bound to arise among human beings. Even the most talented among us need the co-operation of others.

Source: Succeed Magazine, www.succeed.co.za

Pacing and leading by OBAMA

Thanks to a toastmasters friend, I have now access to a very interesting document which I am studying with eagerness and great pleasure. The 60 odd pages document written by somebody who wants to run down Obama and accuse him of using covert or even illegal means in hypnotherapy to convince his audiences fascinates me. It is a recall to my lessons in NLP some 10 years ago and a refresher to the NLP techniques which I was supposed to acquire, possess and used. Although the intent of the document is to accuse President Obama for wrongfully using hypnotherapy to his benefit, I personally feel that the same document enhances my admiration for the man. Have I been hypnotised by his language?

The fine and precise analysis given, pays high tribute to the author of the document. From his quotes and numerous citations from learned experts in the field of NLP, namely Milton Ericson, he has shown that the author himself is versed in the subject and has researched and studied the speeches of Obama thoroughly. The referral to legal cases in the use of covert hypnosis is also interesting. I wish he could publish the same work on the Obama’s address to the Muslim World in Cairo.

What pleased me most is the demonstration of the use of NLP in the art of public speaking and the skills of mass persuasion. I shall gladly pass on this document to any reader who wants it on request.

Pacing and leading techniques for example:

Basics of Obama’s pacing and leading: The “because we need change, that is why I should be your next president” argument

Building on this basic framework, you do not hear specifics largely because much of Obama’s entire

presentation is pacing the audience. Obama’s sentence structure is often exactly what is taught by Erickson

in ways that cannot be coincidence. If he went into specifics, he would not be pacing, he would be

encouraging the use of the conscious mind, something he is attempting to avoid. Obama’s entire campaign,

essentially, can be summarized as:

1. The economy is bad, or the country is going in the wrong direction (pace) or we need to get an

education for every child (whatever statements no one can disagree with (pace) and therefore creates

a “yes-yes-yes” response, or “yes room.”)64

2. Change (can be used as a pace, an anchor, and/or a preprogrammed response)

3. And or because or that is why (conjunction linking statement)65

4. I will be your next President. (subconscious lead)

Saying that things are bad and we need change is only a logical basis for the conclusion that we need

someone able to solve our current problems for President – but the suggestion that the person to do this is

Obama is rationally under-supported or entirely unsupported. It doesn’t matter though, because the

connection is made on the subconscious level through the use of linking statements applied precisely per

Ericksonian techniques.

Obama says he offers hope, but actually much of Obama’s pacing is negative, e.g. based on how negative

things are. In fact, anger works well as an emotion with which to change behavior through hypnosis.

Notice how Obama rarely if ever smiles during the substantive parts within his formal hypnotic speeches. In fact, he has been described as looking angry.66 The hypnotic analysis is simple, angrily pointing while

frowning and making emotionally strong points in speeches send the subconscious message of a person in

commanding authority over you ordering you to act a certain way.67 Many feel is that Obama is the person

for whom to vote because he magically “inspires”, when in fact, Obama has commanded subconsciously.

Obama says he is the person with judgment, and he says he is the person to solve our problems because he

recognizes what is wrong, but these are logically empty arguments. His arguments based on his “ability to

see” what is wrong provides no real logical basis. His point is no more advanced nor specific than the

average listener’s viewpoint. He opposed the war in Iraq in 2003, but so did half the world, logically,

making Obama no more qualified than half the planet to be President. However, because he uses pacing and

leading so effectively, he says, “because we need change, that is why I want to be your next President” – it is

absorbed into the subconscious as absolute truth. The fact that this argument has no logic is irrelevant to

such feelings. Similarly, just because Obama powerfully says “its time for new energy and new ideas”

doesn’t mean he actually has any new ideas, but through his hypnotic techniques, that’s what people walk

away feeling.