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How Communication Skills Changed My Life

By Vinh Giang | Oct 30, 2019 | Comments Off

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Communication skills are near and dear to my heart. Why? Because they quite literally changed my life. At an early age, I decided to invest in my future by building an online company that could teach magic tricks. I also wanted to become a professional magician. Mom and Dad were thoroughly disappointed that I did NOT become a doctor or an accountant as you can imagine.

Up until this point, I believed, like many magicians, that if we become technically brilliant at something, we become wildly successful. It wasn’t until I learned to couple technical dexterity with powerful communication skills that I was able to fully expand and realize my potential. 

All of a sudden I was winning awards for my magic, and for entrepreneurship. I felt a level of success I hadn’t felt before -- and (this is the good part) -- I found LOVE.  

When I met my wife, I saw her in a bar and I decided to talk to her. I used technical skills - I had a pack of cards with me. I walked over to her and am about to speak when I lose all my confidence. In a terrible, strangled voice I said, “Hello. Would you be impressed if I transform this King of Hearts into the Queen of Hearts like you?

And she says, “I'd be more impressed if you transformed yourself into a real man and had a conversation with me.

Communication Skills NOT Technical Abilities are Important

Message received. No, thank you. It's five weeks later and I remember communication skills are key. Not technical abilities. I go to the same bar every Friday just to try to see her again. Months later she was there. So this time I changed my approach. I said, “Hi. Would you be impressed if I transform myself into a real man this time and took you out for a coffee?”

What is lovely about that is I married that girl. So now you can see, the reason why communication is so dear to my heart, is that it's fundamentally changed my life. I've decided to dedicate my life to teaching people to be better at communication skills. I teach leaders how to use their voice. I teach everyone how to use their voice. In whatever you do, you have to know that you are the power behind the power. Do not feel fear when it comes to exploring how to use your voice or when it comes to learning how to use this instrument. As you learn how to use this instrument, your voice will grow and you will expand your potential. I hope that by the end of all of your lives, you'll play many beautiful songs so that you live full, and you die completely empty with no music left.

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Leadership is a Performance - Vinh Giang

By Vinh Giang | Oct 30, 2019 | Comments Off

Keynote Speaker Vinh Giang describes how body language can be either effective or work against you. He shows audiences what to avoid and how to use your "power sphere".

 

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The Mike Rayburn "What If" Keynote Experience

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 23, 2019 | Comments Off

When an organization wants their team to focus on innovation, change and performance, they usually go to business “gurus,” or sports figures. Rarely do they go to artists. But for artists, these are their life blood! As a mega-successful artist and entrepreneur Mike Rayburn is uniquely qualified to teach artistic principles in a business context. To supercharge your team’s results!

 

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“What If" Strategy Success Stories - A Case Study with Orschlen

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 23, 2019 | Comments Off

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Our first “What If" Strategy success story comes from Ali Barton in Warrington, Missouri at a Orschlen store. Ali and her team decided to apply the “What If Strategy” by saying, “what if we think outside the box, particularly about some of the challenges that we have on an ongoing basis, like freight processing?”

The challenge is if the freight is not processed in time, it draws time away from one on one customer interaction. So she asked “Hey, what if, on the freight days, we show up at four in the morning?” So she put together a team that does that. 

The freight is all processed before 8am at opening time, which optimizes time during regular hours for customer service. One of the most important points she shared was that they didn't stop there. They continued to ask “what else can we do?” “well, what if we have merchandising mornings, some of the other tasks that need to be covered, which also draw time away from time with customers? What if we come in early on other mornings to achieve those tasks?” That's exactly what they did. 

So she applied the what if strategy, and had her entire team apply this to two challenges that had drawn away time with customers, and it worked. So I'm going to ask each of you: what if you think outside the box about a challenge that you have right now? What if there's a way to overcome that challenge?

Applying the “What If" Strategy During a Crisis

This story is one of my all time favorite “What if” success stories not just with my client Orschlen, but in the 15 years I have been teaching this. It comes to us from Evan Crouch manager of the store in Seward, Nebraska. Recently, Nebraska dealt with horrific floods. One morning Evan and his team showed up to find most of their parking lot underwater, which had frozen to ice over night. They opened the store to find two inches of flood water throughout the store. It had receded. But it left everything a muddy mess. There was no way that they were going to be able to open that day or potentially even the next day.

Here's the challenge. Not only is that a day's revenue lost, but more importantly, the community was depending on the products that Orschlen sells in order to recover from the flood. So in the face of every adversity, Evan gathered up his team, and in essence said,

“Okay, guys, I know this is crazy. But what if we could open today by 8am? How would we do it?” 

From a Problem to a Solution

Pause the story for a second. Here's what happens when you do that. Everyone's focus was on the problem. When he asked that question, it changed everyone's focus to a solution. Then you’ve got a team of problem solvers. This is a way to tap into that resource.

So here's what they did. They directed people to park in the clear part of the parking lot. There was no way they were going to be able to clean out the whole store, but they could clean near the registers. So they brought customers inside to the register area. An employee would ask what they needed, gather up the products requested, bring it back to the registers, and ring them up so the customer could be on their way. All on a day they thought they were going to close. Instead, they stayed open until 8 pm. They made $5,000 in revenue but more importantly, they created a great bond with the community. The community saw all these workers go out of their way just to serve. That is the power of the “What If" Strategy.

So, what if you use this the next time you have an unexpected challenge?

How to leverage your past to prepare for the future

By Dan Thurmon | Oct 16, 2019 | Comments Off

 

How do you leverage the trajectory of your life and step more confidently into the unfamiliar? 

When I describe the work that I do for organizations and individuals, sometimes I put it like this: I help people leverage the past and be more present in order to create a better future. That's it. Life is trajectory. You're either on an upward trajectory of improvement, or a downward path of decline. Growth happens when we seize the present moment. But it's often precipitated because we found a new way, a better way to leverage our past. 

For example, perhaps you're facing change in your life right now. Maybe it's a difficult decision you're trying to make or a challenge that you must overcome. Maybe it's related to your job, your family, your health, your finances or a passion you feel compelled to pursue. You're not sure what to do because this seems so different than anything you've encountered in the past. When we perceive change as completely new and different, it puts us at a huge disadvantage, and almost guarantees that you will miss opportunities and make unnecessary mistakes. So when people tell me, “What I'm about to do is so completely new for me,” I usually respond by saying, “what you are facing right now is extremely similar to what you've already experienced.”

Leverage the similarities 

When I was in my late teens and early twenties paying my way through college by performing, I was constantly going into new venues and new situations—whether I was the opening act for a major recording artist at a music festival, or performing for CEOs after dinner at a corporate function, or as the fire juggler on the ledge of a building outdoors at night. Hundreds of different challenges that were exciting, because I'd have to, in a matter of moments, evaluate my surroundings, my audience, their expectations, my skill set and find a way to rise to the occasion. 

How did I do it? By leveraging the similarities. I haven't done this before. But this challenge reminds me in some way of situations I've moved through in the past successfully, or lessons that I've learned along the way. By associating to those positive reference points, I was able to step into the new moment with familiar confidence. So again, if you're thinking right now that what you’re going through is completely new to you, I strongly suggest that it isn't. 

What experiences from your past have prepared you for this one? What lessons have you learned that do not need repeating? What skills have you developed that enable you to rise to this challenge right now? I promise you, you've been preparing for your future all of your life. It is time to leverage your past and step into this moment with the confidence that you are ready. Take the confident step from yesterday to today, knowing that your footing is solid, and your trajectory is moving ever upward. 

Dan Thurmon and his keynote Off Balance On Purpose excites audiences with an interactive performance while giving a multi-dimensional view of success. He doesn’t stand behind a podium and talk about dealing with fear and change – he does handstands on the podium to demonstrate what being uncomfortable and living off balance on purpose truly looks like. Your audience will talk about this presentation for years to come!

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Success begins with you - Phil M Jones

By Phil M Jones | Oct 09, 2019 | Comments Off

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There are 25 word sequences in Exactly What To Say. During my keynote, I bring copies of my books on stage and directly ask the audience:

“Who wants these?”

“Does anybody want two copies?”

“I'm just wondering who wants these?”

People are offered an opportunity. Everybody sticks their hand up. Everybody waves their hand around. What they are doing is they are asking me to choose who's going to be successful. Like their success is my responsibility - but their success has nothing to do with me.

What the majority of people do is nothing. What some people do is put their hands up and expect me to pick them. Still, some people get to the point where they could have had success and right at the parapet, they walk away. Even when some people are brave enough to run up to the front, they still get to the front, and they still say “please pick me”.

Other people are brave - they come and take the book.

Everybody wants to be successful. When it comes to successful actions and outcomes you say “please pick me to be more successful” - “please shine that light on me.”

Don’t wait for success

Everybody says they want success - but very few people are prepared to get off their backside. Most people want it handed to them. They want the ball sent to them.

Please don't wait. Success starts by you picking yourselves to be successful. I promise you will have the opportunity to achieve anything that you wish. You are the people that everybody else should be chasing. You cannot win the race if all you're doing is looking behind you.


In Exactly What to Say, Phil delivers what he calls his “Magic Words” and direct examples of how you can use them. The book is a quick read and you’ll feel instantly motivated to create your own examples to help you win more business, have more influence in your workplace and grow your persuasiveness in social situations.

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Ask for what you want

By Phil M Jones | Oct 09, 2019 | Comments Off

Phil M Jones knows that in order to be successful and get that you want out of life, you must ask for what you want. Phil speaks on topics such as Leadership, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing, Business Growth, Engagement, Performance.

 

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How to Hire an Exceptional Leadership Keynote Speaker

By Karen Harris | Oct 08, 2019 | Comments Off

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There are a lot of leadership keynote speakers out there in our industry. Some good, some better, and some exceptional. As someone who’s been around this “block” a long time and keeps a keen eye on the talent both experienced, and emerging, I’m asked often what I believe to be the differentiators. 

What Makes An Exceptional Leadership Keynote Speaker?

Constant reinvention. 

The top leadership keynote speakers in the business aren’t trading on topics from 20 years ago. They recognize that our world is changing at a lightning pace, and the truth is that it always has. Because of that, they are constantly reimagining their message to meet the needs of shifting markets, mindsets, tools, and technology and helping clients and audiences make those changes in their own lives and businesses. I love Dan Thurmon’s take on this with his keynote, Off Balance on Purpose.  He challenges audiences to lean into change rather than run from it -- and shows them what a game-changer that can be.

They say no to the status quo. 

Whatever position you hold and wherever you are in your life, there are six little words that are almost a guarantee to keep you stuck in the past and shut down forward momentum in a heartbeat. They are, “the way things have always been.” Exceptional leaders are just fine with getting a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. They look at status quo as a limited belief system and send it well on its way. Leadership speaker like Mike Rayburn is extraordinary at conveying this message to audiences. His “What If” keynote asks participants to see opportunities where they once only saw obstacles and to turn the tables on “impossibilities”. Questions like, “What if I could accomplish that big goal -- how would I?” That’s the kind of anti-status quo thinking that creates real change. 

They are future-minded.

We live in a time when technology is outdated practically the moment it’s released, if not before. That’s why bringing in forward-thinking, future-paced keynote speakers who bring the insights and strategies audiences need to anticipate future trends and stay ahead of the curve is so vital for many organizations. We love keynote speaker and futurist Mike Walsh’s amazing ability to take what can feel like overwhelming and difficult topics such as Artificial Intelligence and swiftly shifting algorithms and have them not only make sense for audiences, but generate an excitement about what the future lies as well. 

They are focused on creating an experience. 

Anyone can get up and deliver a “talk” or a “speech”. The keynote speakers and leadership experts who get invited back year after year are the ones who take that up a notch (or a hundred notches) to create an experience for audiences. The kind who  make people laugh, think, reimagine, believe, and adopt new ideas and innovation that they know can make a difference in their lives. 

I think of the way Vinh Giang infuses keynotes with magic, illusion, and an ability to help people see things in entirely different ways. 

Or how Clint Pulver creates a next level experience with an electrifying drum solo. 

Those are just two examples of exceptional leadership speakers that are extra-mile performers who don’t believe in delivering “good-enough”. They go above and beyond to deliver entertaining keynotes. The kind who spend infinite hours of practice, patience, content-building, and performance nuances before a presentation that lasts less than an hour. Because it’s that important to get it right for every audience. Those are the folks that we applaud here daily.  And the kind of leadership keynote speakers we are crazy proud to represent. 

I invite you to learn more about the exceptional leadership speakers here at cmi speaker management. Watch their videos. Read their bios. See what difference makers they are. 

And when you’re ready to learn more about how to hire an exceptional leadership speaker, please give us a call. We’ve got some experience with that!

What Is A Leader's Role In Making Meaningful Connections?

By Chris Bashinelli | Oct 02, 2019 | Comments Off

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A leader is someone who is an example for others to follow. How do we become an example for others to follow? How do we, as leaders, create meaningful connections with others? We have to be committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That is greater than ourselves. 

When we're committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves, then it doesn't matter what happens to us, it doesn't matter what challenge comes our way, because that becomes fuel for us on our path and makes us stronger. That only inspires us. It creates empathy within us so that we can make deeper, more meaningful connections with others. 

There's a perception that we're connected, but many people feel more lonely and disconnected that ever. This is especially true in remote work environments. A leader's role, especially when leading a team where some members are remote, is to build meaningful connections that engage and motivate people.

How does a leader make meaningful connections with others? 

The real secret to making meaningful connections with others is to not want anything from them. That's the most important thing in the world; to not want anything from others, except for their wellbeing. We run into trouble when we are making connections with a subconscious intention to only benefit ourselves. Of course we want a beneficial outcome. We want to support our families, we want to make an income, we want to make a profit. But that can't be our driving motivation in connecting with others. That’s not impressive. What's really impressive is connecting with others without any selfish motivation. And that's difficult to do. 

Leading an inspired life

The real work is connecting with others solely to benefit them. Any profit, any gain is really a side effect of our wanting to help them. The way that we inspire others is by leading an inspired life. It all goes back to that commitment to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That's how we can inspire others—when we're inspired. That's how we make our team inspired. 

People don't want to be influenced, people don't want to be manipulated, and people are not going to follow us because we want them to follow us. People are going to follow us because they see that we're altruistic, that we're inspired, that we're committed, that we're on a path. That is what will inspire better team performance and positive business outcomes.

Our differences are our greatest strength

By Chris Bashinelli | Oct 02, 2019 | Comments Off

What if by embracing a unifying perspective inclusive of all beliefs, backgrounds and cultures, we created a more powerful team than ever before? Chris Bashinelli shares how we can create safe spaces at work to share ideas and connect with each other. In an age of division, Bash brings to life a transformational and inclusive perspective, that embraces all of our “uniqueness” to create the strongest team possible.

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