Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to be Brilliant

Talk Like TED: The Nine Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo (St. Martin’s Press)

What started out as the cult of TED, a group of folks who got together at an annual conference to hear/see presentations on a range of topics that fell into the broad categories of technology, education and design, as morphed and grown to be a worldwide phenomenon that has generated tens of millions of online video views. Along the way it as spun off regional organizations (TED X) that host their own conferences/speakers.

Bestselling author and business coach Carmine Gallo has studied not only the growing impact of TED presentations, but also spent countless hours dissecting what it is that makes some of the most viewed TED speeches so impactful in his latest effort, Talk Like TED: The Nine Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.

While some of the most viewed videos fall in to a wide range of topics, Gallo focused on what elements these presentations had in common that made them so impactful. Along the way he uncovered 9 common things, secrets if you will, that make them stand out from the pack, and how you as a presenter can include them in your presentations to increase your impact.

The “secrets” include:

1.   Unleashing the master within

2.   Mastering the art of storytelling

3.   Having a conversation

4.   Teaching something new

5.   Delivering jaw-dropping moments

6.   Lightening up

7.   Sticking to the 18 minute rule

8.   Painting a mental picture with multisensory experiences

9.   Staying in your lane

Gallo explores the business value of TED presentations. I found that it was very useful to read the book with a notebook close at hand and a laptop dialed into the TED presentations Gallo was detailing, to see firsthand the examples he cites.

Even as an experienced public speaker and business presenter I found a variety of new and useful tips throughout the book. One common theme that Gallo hits on was that successful TED presenters clearly spend plenty of time practicing and refining their craft before they ever set foot on the stage; while this may seem like common sense, but it’s winning advice on how to be brilliant.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Even Superheroes Have Sidekicks

Virtual Freedom – Chris Ducker – (BenBella Books)

Upfront confessions: My name is Jeff and I suffer from Superhero Syndrome. As someone who is working fulltime, operating a startup business, helping my wife with her startup and in my “spare time” writing for my four blogs I can totally relate to the tight grip, control issues and burnout that Chris Ducker writes about in Virtual Freedom.

I can certainly relate to the frustration of have an overflowing plate and simply not enough time to get done the big picture tasks that most business owners strive to achieve to help grow their businesses. You feel trapped in the…yes I’ll say it, mundane day-to-day tasks that are a huge part of administrating your operations.

Ducker not only makes the case, but gives you a guide to the action steps that you can take today to get the help you need and get back to focusing on the strategies and tactics that you can use to grow your business. Instead of wishing for a magical clock to give you just a few extra hours every day, Ducker clearly spells out exactly where to find that extra time by utilizing a virtual staff.

He also makes the case for how easing back on the control grip will not only allow you to refocus your business efforts, but also free you up to have more of a life outside your business endeavors. While all entrepreneurs believe that they know what’s best for their business, most bring some limitations in skillsets to the process and Ducker offers a range of suggestions where virtual staff can fill those skills deficits and you the business owner will benefit by getting not only the time, but by ending up with a better work product.

The yardstick I use to measure business books is really based on how useful the action steps they offer are and how quickly I can put them into operation; in the case of Virtual Freedom, Ducker could not have made it any easier to get started today on putting these plans in to play.