Monthly Archives: April 2009

Dealing with Hot Topics & Current Affairs

To be an effective communicator you have to be able to talk about current affairs and old, unsolvable contraversial debates (think abortion, death penalty, gun control, politics, religion etc.) without offending others, and at the same time without feeling that you have sold yourself out by not voicing your own opinions.

To add weight to your position I suggest you do some extra research on the topic – not just what the mainstream media is telling you. Get a wide range of information from across the spectrum – left wing and right wing – so that you are prepared to discuss the topic fully and are prepared for many counter-arguments ahead of time. Be open-minded, share information and learn. Do not argue and do not insist that others see your point to the point you are being a bully. Discuss and share, but at the end of the day they will absorb whatever they are willing and able to absorb on that day, just like you. Don’t push it, even if you think you are 99% right. It’s not about winning – it’s about respecting others and sharing info.  No one wins a heated argument anyway, right?  🙂 Hold yourself to a higher standard of intellectual as well as passionate conversation and you will be seen in a better light.


What is ‘ConfidenceWorld’?

A very famous Life Coach & Business Coach out of the U.K. named Sean McPheat, who was a very big influence on my coaching career when I first started out, has a new website simply called “ConfidenceWorld”. Here you can sign up (no charge) and gain access to 30 articles, newsletters, a 120-page ebook, reports, a 7-part e-course, 4 audio downloads and great tips on building and maintaining confidence in your personal and professional life. There is a lot that he gives away for fr*ee, and at the same time, like any successful entrepreneur, he also lets you know that he has a Gold Membership, if you are interested, for a small one-time payment of 39 bucks only. The Gold membership has a lot to offer for sure, but like any smart shopper you probably want to get the f*ree stuff first and take advantage of the wealth of inspiring and confidence-building information. I did!  You can see that he is straight forward, clear and motivating – three good reasons why I have benefited immensely from his help over the years in developing my coaching style and practice, not to mention my ebooks. Thanks Sean!

Okay, right now, ask yourself how confident you are on a scale of 1-10, and if the answer is lower than an 8.5, you can benefit from this world of confidence that Sean provides. Check it out and enjoy his excellent articles, ecourse and so much more.  Just CLICK HERE.

If you need me for confidence and/or communication skills building, you know i offer coaching and training right?  just let me know!

So, what are the qualities of a good speaker?

Here are a list of the qualities and characteristics of a good public speaker/presenter.

Make sure you include these points when you have to speak in public.

1. They talk to us as though we are having a conversation
2. They speak our language
3. They look as though they are enjoying themselves.
4. They inspire us to find out more about the subject
5. They tell stories/use the human-interest angle
6. Someone who conjures up pictures in our mind
7. They don’t talk for hours
8. They let us know where we are going
9. They look at us – not their notes
10. They stress important points and pause to allow ideas to sink in
11. The talk appears well prepared but has an air of spontaneity

By Sean McPheat – included in his ‘ConfidenceWorld’ program.

When NOT to fight

A couple of weeks ago I was out with a friend for a couple of beers, and on the way home decided to go to the local liquor store and pick up some supplies. It wasn’t that late, but as I came out of the store I was confronted by a person; a beggar, panhandler, bum, scam-man, etc. whatever you want to call him. (Forgive me if I sound unsympathetic – actually I donate annually to help the homeless. But what I don’t do is give money to a person directly who perhaps wants to buy drugs or alcohol with my hard-earned money instead of much-needed food.  I can’t take the chance.)

Anyway he was polite and I was polite and I told him I have no spare change (what is ‘spare change’ in today’s world, really? Is there such a thing?) He followed me up to the corner and began cat-calling a couple young ladies and getting in their face. I tried to ignore him but unfortunately it was not possible. A few seconds later, while we were waiting for the light to change, he was bothering the girls and so I said something to distract his attention. He turns on me and rambles incoherently something about ’14 years’ and ‘kung fu’ and then proceeds to ‘kick’ me in the tummy! It barely made contact with my thick winter jacket, and it was slow and clumsy, due to his impairment. I had a bag over my shoulder and a heavy bag of new booze in my right hand and so I simply told him (in a stern way but with a smile) “Don’t kick me! Or else I’ll kick you back and you won’t like that!”

My smile let him know that I was non-aggressive but my tone and eye-contact let him know that I was not a push-over or a punching bag. At first he was a bit stunned, but then backed off. The light changed and I headed towards the subway. He followed and apparently not finished yet he called at me saying “I’m right behind you ya know!” so I stopped, took my left hand out of my jacket (I’m left-handed) and stepped up to him with a smile and said “yes I know…” and we talked. Once again it was incoherent (I suspect drugs) but still I let him know that I was not his enemy and that I was just walking towards the subway, and that we were ‘just talking’ with no malice. He seemed to accept that and we shook hands (funny how a few minutes ago he sort of kicked me!) and walked to the station. He went off to harass others and I went home with a smile on my face.

Summary: I was not angry, upset nor had any type of adrenaline rush. I was happy that no violence had occurred, even though some might say I had a right to ‘defend myself’ or put him in his place. I certainly had witnesses to the fact that he struck first. But I didn’t. Why?

I have studied martial arts for 20 years, including stuff like kung fu, muay thai boxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu etc. and I know I can handle myself. I have no desire to hurt anyone. I have confidence to talk to people, even if they are aggressive or assaulting, and I do not have a knee-jerk reaction to strike back. For that I am thankful. I know I can handle myself if I have to, even though I’m not in shape like I used to be, but I also know that good posture, a stern but pleasant voice and solid eye contact can diffuse most conflicts before they get out of hand, or even get started. Also, we have to have a sense of humour in life, right? If not that then at least a sense of empathy or sympathy.

What can you take away from my story? To practice not over-reacting, and to work on your ‘stern voice but smiling face’ presentation when faced with aggression. There are really very few true times when you absolutely NEED to fight, verbally or physically.

Thank you for reading my story.