Are We Having Fun Yet?

Written by Jim M. Allen

Many years ago, while serving inrepparttar U.S. Air Force, I was lucky enough to work for a commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Danielle, who first introduced me to an idea that I have since adopted as one of my primary 'operating principles.'

The idea?

Simply that first order of business each and every day was to, as he put it, "have fun by God!" One ofrepparttar 123970 things LTCOL Danielle understood was, regardless of how seriously we dealt with our jobs as members ofrepparttar 123971 military, we would be more effective and moreMORE successful if we were having fun doing them.

It's an idea that sounds good, that is attractive to almost everyone, but that few people actually practice. It's not that they don't want to, mind you. It's just that they forget.

Sometimes having fun requires effort, some forethought, maybe even a little planning. The results can be tremendous, however, as we rejuvenate ourselves, shake-offrepparttar 123972 tension, and remember to laugh at life and to enjoyrepparttar 123973 wonder inrepparttar 123974 little things going on around us.

Perfect Delays

Written by Judy Jernudd

"Winning communicators don't strive for perfection, they strive for connection."

Cheers and elation bubbled throughoutrepparttar room after our presentation skills workshop. Five executives from various professions had successfully made stellar leaps in enhancing their communication skills.

One woman, Paula (not her real name), in particular, made transformations before our eyes. Atrepparttar 123969 beginning ofrepparttar 123970 workshop she seemed to berepparttar 123971 least likely to make propelling progress. After receiving high marks and praise from her fellow classmates I congratulated her on her exceptional work.

Tears began to well up in her eyes as she slowly responded, "I thought I would be perfect after today." Pause. When questioned as to what she meant, she said, "I wasn't perfect, I need to be perfect before I can give my big presentation in three weeks." After more inquiry, I learned that her parents had always demanded perfection from her. As an adult, she repeats her family history by demanding perfection from herself

I encouraged her to review her video-taped exercises with focus on her progress. "Enjoy your success today," I exclaimed. "Concentrate on what you did right, not on what wasn't perfect." My message to her applies to each of us: "You can work on improving your presentation skills, your message and your performance skills. However, if you are striving for perfection you might as well quit right now. You are placing paralyzing pressure on yourself." I offered to her that I have yet to meetrepparttar 123972 perfect communicator including myself or any of our associates.

Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton are famous for their communication skills. They arerepparttar 123973 most "perfect" communicators our world has experienced in recent history. Even these superstar communicators make mistakes as evidenced byrepparttar 123974 Presidential Bloopers videotapes!

Answer these five "yes or no" questions. Go with your first reaction.

1. Do you have anxiety about giving a speech or presentation? 2. Would you rather pass onrepparttar 123975 opportunity to make a speech? 3. Do you prefer to stay inrepparttar 123976 background? 4. Are you uncomfortable in front of large groups of people? 5. Would you like to gain communication confidence?

If you answered "yes" to one of these questions read on!

Tip One: Let's get torepparttar 123977 major one first. Anxiety. If you feel anxious about giving a speech or making a presentation you're not alone. The majority of people we coach experience similar feelings. Starting withrepparttar 123978 CEO right throughrepparttar 123979 ranks of most organizations, many people experience jitters. I continue to be amazed at how many senior level executives, who can command thousand of employees, turn icy-white-knuckled atrepparttar 123980 thought of giving a speech or stepping in front of a television camera.

What aboutrepparttar 123981 stars who make their living in front of audiences? This one might surprise you: Bob Hope was celebrating his 86th birthday when I hadrepparttar 123982 opportunity to interview him. "Did you ever get nervous or anxious before stepping on stage or in front of a TV camera," I asked? "Oh, honey,repparttar 123983 day I don't have some anxiety, I don't want to do it anymore." You see, a professional uses their anxiety as part ofrepparttar 123984 "adrenaline rush" or "edge" in their performance skills. You can turn yours into a plus or your anxiety will be a minus in your presentation skills. Think of it as your assistant rather than your detractor.

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