; Speak Like A CEO - Chapter 14
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Speak Like A CEO - Chapter 14


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									    PART 3

    The Strategies - Become a Great Speaker by Making a Plan and Working It

   Chapter Fourteen

   Ten Things You Can Do to Guarantee Success

   Tip 1: You Chose This Book for a Reason− Honor It

     I do not believe that you are reading this book by accident;
whether you received it as a gift, picked it up at the airport kiosk,
or bought it online, it found you. It found you for good reason. There
is a powerful force at work in your life that will allow you to develop
your leadership potential.

     Pay attention to that force, and honor it. Whether the book was a
present or a purchase, it is an investment in your success. If you want
to grow that investment, do something more: research and write a speech
that truly reflects your beliefs and values; start a story journal;
take an acting class to build confidence; hire a speaking coach, media
trainer, speechwriter, or wardrobe consultant−anyone who can help you
succeed. Whether you are a CEO now or want to be one someday, commit to
doing what it takes. That will move you from wishing to becoming.

   Tip 2: Delegate, Delete, or Delay

     To make time for this investment, you must put the related
actions on your to−do list and put the corresponding appointments on
your calendar. You have to make speaking a priority, and you may have
to place it higher than other activities currently on your program. You
absolutely must create a to−do list and schedule appointments. You know
how this works: if you say to a friend, “We’ll have to get together for
lunch,” it doesn’t happen; if you both choose a date, and put it in
writing, it does. The calendar creates commitment.

     Where do you find the time? How do you elbow some more activities
into an already busy schedule? My answer to that is: delegate, delete,
or delay. This is an approach that allows you to reset priorities and
feel confident that the items that have moved down your list will get
done one way or another. It’s a matter of deciding what you can give to
someone else, get rid of, or put off for a while.

    While writing this book, I used “delegate, delete, or delay” on a
few projects at home. For example, although I wanted to plant a
perennial garden in the backyard, I didn’t have time over the summer. I
deleted going to the garden center because I knew I would be tempted to
buy perennials that I didn’t have time to plant. Then, when the weeds
in that part of the yard grew to Jack−and−the−Beanstalk proportions, I
asked my daughter to help out. Weeding was delegated. We considered
hiring a landscape designer to help us create a better environment, but
finding and meeting with the designer would take time. We delayed the
project and lived with less than perfection. Some weeds look like
flowers anyway.

      I have sat with many clients and looked over their calendars to
apply this strategy. These executives are frequently amazed at how
delegating, deleting, or delaying projects and activities that are not
mission−critical frees up oodles of time. We all have stuff we can
dispose of in these ways. You don’t need a coach to do this. Look
through your calendar. Choose some items that are not essential or that
someone else can do. Once you start applying this system, you will find
it is so liberating that you will want to do it regularly.

   Tip 3: Assemble Your Team

    There is nothing like a team of people on your side to help you
achieve your goals. You do not have to learn to speak like a CEO all by
yourself. You are responsible for making it happen, but you don’t have
to do it alone. Among the people who could assist you are the following

    Speaker coach
    Media trainer
    Wardrobe consultant
    Comedy writer
    PR person
    Fitness trainer
    Voice coach

     Bring in high−caliber professionals to support you in your growth
and to give you perspective in the areas you are developing. The
encouragement you get from them will keep you moving steadily toward
your destination. You will get there twice as fast if you have the
right people working with you.
    Treat Your Personal Coaching Program like a Fitness Program

     One CEO I interviewed said speaker coaching is a lot like going
to the gym: “You may not enjoy it going in, but you will feel
exhilarated coming out.” That’s an appropriate analogy. The feeling of
accomplishment in learning to speak well is powerful.

    If you treat your personal coaching program like a fitness
program, you will succeed. Trainers advise clients to pick a goal, make
a plan, tell a friend, and track their progress. You can do the same
with this program. Every ounce of effort you put in will pay off. Once
you start, keep going.

   Tip 5: While You’re at It, Get into Top Physical Condition, Too

     Being in great physical condition makes you feel relaxed and more
confident. Staying in shape gives you the energy to meet the demands of
your job, including public speaking. You sleep better and feel mentally
sharp. You appear confident. Your clothes fit, and you tend to buy
beautiful clothing that suits you and enhances your image as a leader.
Fitness sends a strong message about your self−image; it says you
respect yourself, are organized and disciplined, and have the energy it
takes to do the work. No matter how busy you are, make time to work

     When you start a fitness program, you are always advised to begin
slowly so you don’t injure yourself. Injuries are one of the main
reasons people fall short of their fitness goals. If you start slowly,
you can avoid a major setback. You can get a great workout in so many
ways: going to the health club, playing sports, walking, hiking, or
swimming. During the week, park you car at the far end of the lot; take
the stairs instead of the elevator. On the weekends, get outside and do
something physical. It’s your overall approach to fitness, not the
thirty minutes you commit to a routine, that will keep you in top

     If you have a regular exercise regime, that’s great. Keep it up.
If you don’t, I suggest you apply the system discussed earlier:
delegate, delete, or delay. Make time to make fitness a priority; make
the commitment to your physical health and well−being. Staying fit sets
a powerful example for the people who work with you, too. Fitness is
good for business.
   Tip 6: Push Yourself with Stretch Goals in Your Coaching Program

    As you gain confidence, you will want to set some stretch goals.
After you master one skill, try something new. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Sometimes it feels easier to play it safe and follow the formula rather
than risk looking foolish. But that won’t build your confidence or help
you enjoy speaking publicly.

     Stretching helps you find out what you’re capable of doing.
Perfection is not the goal−effectiveness is. Don’t worry about failing.
As novelist Anna Quindlen says, “The thing that is really hard−and
really amazing−is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of
becoming yourself.”

    If you feel stale, shake it up. Try stepping out from behind the
podium and speaking without notes. Use a prop. Tell a funny story about
yourself. Be candid and say what everybody else is thinking. Accept a
speaking engagement at a major conference. Say yes to an interview with
a major daily newspaper. There are countless ways to shake things up.
Doing so will stretch your mental muscles.

   Tip 7: Don’t Stop

    Winston Churchill once said, “If you are going through hell, keep
going.” Sometimes you will be disappointed by a speech or presentation.
You might be misquoted in the newspaper. You may wish you had said some
thing different in a meeting. Let it go. Learn from mistakes. Nobody is
perfect. You cannot anticipate every hazard.

     Dust yourself off and get back out there. Those missteps can
provide prime material for your next event! I have made lemonade out of
lemons by taking my mistakes and turning them into stories for
speeches. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. Don’t stop, even if
it seems hard. Someday, when someone comes up to you and says, “You
make speaking look so easy,” you’ll just look at the person and smile.

   Tip 8: Believe You Can

    Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “The thing always happens
that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”
We rarely accomplish much before we believe that it can be done. We
have few guarantees in life, but we know that if we do not start a
journey, we will not reach a destination.
    Whatever your goal is in this program, you must believe that achieving it is
possible. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, but on the other side of the
leap is action. True belief gets you out of bed. True belief makes you roll up your
sleeves and do it. Tap into you belief and you will find motivation.

   Tip 9: Enjoy

    I asked one CEO who speaks well what he thought other CEOs should know
about speaking. “You have to enjoy doing it,” he observed. “It comes across to an

     I know what you’re thinking: speaking well is one thing; enjoying it is another.
If you hate public speaking, or can’t imagine taking pleasure in talking to reporters,
think again−it can be fun. The secret is to do it well. Doing anything well is its own
reward. Plus, you get positive feedback. You may never love speaking or
presenting, but you will feel the joy of getting results.

   Tip 10: Take Time to Celebrate Success

    Successful talk−show host and actress Oprah Winfrey says, “The more you
praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” When you work
hard on anything, you should stop to celebrate. You should enjoy the fruits of your

     I always encourage clients to reward themselves after they have worked hard
on a major project. Find some tiny but significant way to celebrate an achievement.
If you have worked hard at writing and practicing a speech that is subsequently well
received, take an afternoon off. If you make a presentation and win business, go
shopping or out to dinner. Rewarding yourself tells your brain, “This is fun!” and
motivates you to forge ahead and do more.

    Your coaching program is not a marathon with a big reward at the
end. It’s a journey with milestones that you should mark. Celebrate
each success as you become the speaker and leader you want to be.
Garner the encouragement from your support team, commit to your goals,
and tackle your obstacles. Let the model coaching programs serve as
guides when you’re creating your personalized speaking plan. Invest in
yourself and you will become a better speaker.

    This is Bernadette Dunn for McGraw Hill Audio, thank you for listening. This
audio book is co−published by American Media International LLC and Redwood
Audio Books and is based upon the book entitled SPEAK LIKE A CEO By Suzanne
Bates. Copyrighted in 2005 in the name of Suzanne Bates. Published by
arrangement with the McGraw Hill Companies Incorporated.

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