Four qualities of an effective message

This evening after work I visited the the Cottonwood Leadership College (CLC) for their open house. I am so glad I did. I got to sit in to the Homiletics class taught by Pastor Kenneth Mulkey, Executive Director of CLC. I had no idea what homiletics was all about, but I went into the class because I knew it was Pastor Kenneth who was the teacher. He is one of the finest communicators I personally know, and I am blessed to have him as one of my mentors. If you have not googled it yet, homiletics is the art of writing and preaching sermons. effective message delivery

In the class, Pastor Kenneth shared the four qualities of an effective sermon. I believe these are applicable not only to a sermon, but to any message that must be delivered or presented to an audience. Below are the key points and my personal notes from the learning experience.

  • Central Theme: What’s the central theme of your message? Choose a theme that you will stay consistent to throughout the presentation. For example, if your theme is forgiveness, you can address different angles or perspective on forgiveness. Starting with forgiving self to forgiving others, then addressing the benefits of forgiveness for the forgiver and the forgiven. Keep the theme central to your presentation and that will help you in achieving the second quality of an effective message.
  • Coherence: Transitioning from one point to another throughout your presentation should be a seamless and smooth experience. To help with creating a coherent message, organize your thoughts in a linear fashion. That will help your audience and listeners follow along. For example, if you are speaking about increasing profits for funding business growth, you can address cash flow in the organization from two perspectives, production  (or manufacturing) and sales. Then for each subtopic, you can present series of steps that can be taken to reduce production costs and increase sales.
  • Logical Progression to Climax: Sometime early last year I had a meeting over dinner with professional speaker and author Lee Pound. During our discussion that evening, Lee mentioned many times building to a climax throughout an effective speech. At that time I did not know exactly what he meant, but it makes much more sense now. When preparing your speech, you must have a destination where you will take your audience. Know what they will benefits from taking action after listening to you, and progressively sell them on taking that action. If your speech builds to a climax, all your audience members will be fired up to do something or think in a different way by the time you are done.
  • Symmetry: Assign an equal amount of time to every subtopic in your presentation. When I was starting out in speaking, I fell victim to this one quite often (and still do once in a while – I am still growing). Inexperienced speakers who don’t know how to manage their time when they speak usually have asymmetrical speeches. For example, the three points above this one have an average of 90 words. A symmetrical presentation would want this section on symmetry be between 80 and 100 words in length.

Pastor Kenneth also emphasized the power of clarity when giving a message. Cluttered minds do not generally produce clear messages. Clear your mind and focus on your objectives when you start preparing a message for an audience.

Which one of the four points above do you need to improve on?

Three Things That Will Make Anyone Very Unattractive

Not too long ago I got the chance to volunteer at a big event organized by one of biggest personal development seminars and resource company in America. As a student of human interactions, it was interesting to see how people who came from different cities and states across the US got together to work (for free) towards a common goal, at an event where tickets were not cheap.

In the team I was working on, there was a gentleman who I noticed other team members did not want to stay too close to. He was the nicest opposite of attractive, not to say repulsive. That made it difficult to communicate with him, and with him around. Upon observation, it was as if the other team members had silently agreed to behave in a certain way with that other man around, and without. They were much better aware of their presence and the non-verbal signals they were sending.

That “unattractive” man became a subject of my study. I drew a list of three aspect of his appearance that made it difficult for other people to spend much time together with him. I share that list with you in this post. The traits below could apply to women as much as to men, so read on!

  • Bad Breath

A friend recently told me about a lady who had a terrible breath. I was so intrigued that I did some research. My findings revealed that someone could be suffering from halitosis without being aware. Bad breath could be cause simply by a bad oral hygiene, or a more serious medical condition like liver failure. One thing is sure about bad breath, it is repulsive. bad breath

Ask one of your good honest friends if you had bad breadth, even occasionally. But in truth, one does not need to expose his or her breath to someone else to find out if it stinks 🙂 Brush at least twice a day and if possible after every meal, floss at least once a week, and carry some Probiotic Chewing Gum with you at all times. For more information oral hygiene, you can visit the Colgate Oral Hygiene page.

  • Dandruff

Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin from the scalp. As read on Wikipedia, as skin cells die, a small amount of flaking is normal. But this man who became my study subject for this article was wearing black shirt. Therefore, it was obvious that the amount of flaking on his shirt was not “normal.” If you have ever been around someone who has flakes of skin all over his shirt or hands, you know what I mean. Otherwise, the day you see someone, you will know what I am talking about. Hopefully you never do, otherwise, refer them to this post.

dandruff-on-shirtI have personally had an abnormal amount of flaking. There was once a barber who offered to help me treat the condition but his treatment was too expensive for me at the time. When I started wearing black suits more often, I realized I had to take better care of my hair in order to reduce the flakes. If you are a man, you can do what I did, buy a shampoo that you will apply at least twice or three times every week, and keep your hair cut short. I cut my hair once every two weeks. If you are a lady (or a man needing more help), see this article on WikiHow on How to Prevent and Treat Dandruff. If you prefer home remedies, here is a useful related resource:

  • Offensive Body Odor

This is true for those odor that are either good but too strong, or not good even though weak. We all have a natural body odor, and society has conditioned us to fight those odors with deodorants and perfumes. I have read some articles that speak about natural body odor as if it is a disease to be fought. I disagree. It is a gift to be embraced. However, if you are to find yourself in any social setting where you will have to be close to other people, even friends, you don’t want to share that gift with them. You can be sure they will not embrace it.

I remember I once was wearing a 100% cotton t-shirt and completed one exercise routine with weights during the day in the office. When I went to class that evening, the scent of my dried sweat from the exercise had overpowered my antiperspirant. I thought it was not too bad until a good caring friend had to courage to tell me that I was smelling bad. I immediately went home and since that day, I always carry an extra bottle of perfume in my car, just in case I break a good sweat somewhere during the day. That’s the next best thing to going home to shower and change clothes. unpleasant-body-odor

Invest in a good antiperspirant, deodorant and perfume. If your natural body odor sticks to your clothing, have them washed at a professional laundry every two or three months, depending on how often you wear them. For more help with offensive body odor, check out this article.

To develop good and helpful relationship takes spending a good deal of time with people who are attractive, or at least not repulsive. Becoming more aware of the three elements above will help you become more approachable and likable. By ricochet it will be easier for people to communicate and spend more time with you.

Can you think of anything else that would make someone quite unattractive?

Top 10 professional speakers to share the stage with

As I continue working on myself to become an award winning professional speaking to the rank of Patricia Fripp and Les Brown, there is a list I have developed of the top 10 speakers I will share the stage with throughout my career. big-stage-speaker

This list is posted here for reference and will give you an opportunity to check out the credentials and accomplishments of these refined and accomplished speakers. Looking up to them and using them as role models can server you well, as well as it serves me (if not more.) That is provided you are also interested in professional speaking. Otherwise, these individuals have built tremendously successful businesses around their honed skills. That is something we can all learn from.

Here goes the list:

The list is in no particular order. All the people in the list above have made various contributions to my life in different ways. And because it is possible that dreams come true like every single one of them will attest to, my dream of being on stage with each one of them will come true.

Is there someone or are there some people in your industry you are interested in working with?

2014 Speaking Opportunities Log

Last year was a great year, and I had a lot of speaking opportunities. It was my objective to give at least 4 prepared presentations every month, and I reached my goal by the end of the year. My goal was not reached based on frequency, but on total number of speeches.

Even though I got a few paid speaking opportunities last year, my focus this year is on milking the cow like my mentor Jack Nichols says. I have been working on developing original and quality content, and I have a few books I will release this year in print.

There is one saying that goes similar to “It does not count if it is not captured and recorded in some fashion.” Considering that, this page is where I record my speaking opportunities for this year, 2014.

  • January 04, 2014: Speech at OC Toasters. Title: A New Beginning. Video:
  • January 11, 2014: Video Interview at All Nations Club. Title: Interview with the President. Video:
  • January 20, 2014: Presentation at California University of Management and Sciences. Invited by Prof. William Wimberly. Title: Job Search in the Social Media Age. Video:
  • January 22, 2014: Speech at DuoCampus in Irvine with Title: How to Write a Speech. Video:
  • January 25, 2014: Speech at All Nations Club. Title: Using Body Language for Impactful Presentations.
  • January 27, 2014: Speech at OC Toasters. Title: Interview for Upcoming Book Release. Video:
  • February 03, 2014: Speech OC Toasters. Title: From Heaven to Hell, and Back! Video:
  • February 05, 2014: Speech at Surf City Speak ‘N’ Lead. Title: Wait until the door opens. Video:
  • February 10, 2014: Video training speech at OC Toasters. Title: The 3 P’s of Public Speaking. Video:
  • February 11, 2014: Speech at Temple City High School. Title: Leadership in High School and Beyond. Video:
  • February 12, 2014: Speech at OC Speakers Bureau. Title: Personal Branding 101. It was a recorded webinar.
  • February 27, 2014: Speech at California University of Management and Sciences. Title: Keys to Likability. Video:
  • March 15, 2014: Speech at All Nations Club. Title: Help Someone Up! Video:
  • March 17, 2014: Speech at OC Toasters. Title: Help Your Book Come Out! Video:
  • April 5, 2014: Speech at All Nations. Title: Meeting Roles and Responsibilities. Video:
  • April 7, 2014: Speech at OC Toasters. Title: Public Speaking Preparation and Practice. Video:
  • April 9, 2014: Speech at OC Speakers Bureau. Title: 3 Essential Ingredients. Video: _______
  • June 7, 2014: Speech at All Nations Club. Title: Criticize with Praise. Video: _______
  • June 9, 2014: Speech at OC Toasters. Title: Shut Up! How to silence your greatest opposition. Video: _______
  • June 17, 2014: Speech at Torres Martinez Tribal TANF. Topic: Strategic Life Planning. Video: _______

I will keep updating this list as the months go by throughout the year. That will help me track my progress and serve me in showcasing my work on stage.

The easiest and fastest process to develop a more positive mental attitude

A few days ago I had a phone call from someone who has an extreme fear of public speaking. He revealed to me that he wanted to join a Toastmasters group to help him actively work on getting over his fear, and I congratulated him for making that decision. Then he went ahead and told me about a presentation that he had to give the following day and he was petrified and getting highly stressed just thinking about it. We spoke on the phone for about 20 to 30 minutes and I took him through a series of steps to help him overcome his fear and deliver a better presentation than otherwise. Positive Mental Attitude

Just like most other people who experience fear of other things or situations, the things we fear only come real the more we spend energy and time thinking and nurturing those fears. The process to overcome a fear of any kind involves developing a more positive mental attitude. How do you do that? I share with you a 4 steps process that will help you in the creating and cultivating a more positive mental attitude. This process will improve the outcome of any situation you find yourself in.

  • Acknowledge

Acknowledge the fear you have. Don’t deny or ignore it. Most likely you are not the only one, nor the first or the last, to experience that apprehension about the outcome of a situation. By acknowledging your discomfort with the situation, you open your mind to the possibility of changing those feelings, those emotions.

Sometimes when I over speed on the freeway, the fear of a police car coming out of nowhere and pulling me over to give me a big speeding ticket comes to mind. I first and foremost acknowledge that thought, that feeling by bringing it to my awareness. Once you can look at the situation in the face despite your anxiety, you can move to the next step.

  • Shift

For every negative thought that comes to your mind, you can find a corresponding positive. During the shifting process, you think of positive outcomes that are as ridiculous as your negative outcomes. For example in my case with over speeding and getting pulled over to be served an expensive ticket, the outrageous positive would getting pulled over to be given a 100 dollar bill by a cop, when I respect the speed limit, or because I drive fast enough. That’s plain ridiculous and the chances of that happening are as slim as the chances of me getting a speeding ticket. Have I gotten a speeding ticket before, yes. Have I received a 100 dollar bill from a police officer yet, no. But I am open to the possibility and every time that thought comes to mind, it makes me smile and puts me in a good mood.

In the case of the gentleman who called me and had an upcoming presentation, I recommended him to think about the opposite of every single one of his fears when it comes to public speaking. That way, after acknowledging those fears, he can draw the positives out of his mind and consciously replace the negative with them. To make the most of the shifting process, you need to apply the next step which is writing.

  • Write

Writing is the process of finding the right words and capture your thoughts on paper. In this process of developing a more positive mental attitude, writing must be done on paper, not on a computer or any other electronic device. When you write on paper those positive outcomes, it increases the possibility of them happening, and decrease the chances of you experiencing the negative outcomes. By writing the positive scenarios, you are focusing and spending more energy on them. That works becomes whatever you focus on expands.

Using your imagination, one of the fun things you can do is create a journal of positive outrageous situation you will find yourself in. For example, if you are afraid of spiders, write up a short paragraph where you find yourself locked up with the queen of spiders and she begins to worship you and beg you for you to spare her life. This might sound ridiculous, but it is as ridiculous as you dying from a spider’s venom, or exposure to its web.

  • Speak

You must have heard the saying “Life and death are in the power of your tongue.” If you had not, you just read it. That statement is so true it is ridiculous. To develop a more positive mental attitude and have good things happen to you, you must speak them. Remembering that what you focus on expand, you must crown all the previous steps with the spoken word of the good outcomes you have written in the third step. Speak out loud at the top of your voice if you can. This will make you laugh and release positive hormones that make you feel better. When you feel better, you tend to look better. When you look better, people speak to you better and your positive outcomes are realized.

Developing a more positive mental attitude and getting rid of your fears is a process that will take time. The steps listed above, when applied regularly will produce wonders and progressively transform you into a fearless human being who only attracts good things.

What process do you use to develop a more positive mental attitude?

Day 21 of 21: 100 words per day for 21 days. 905 words.