Sunday, June 29, 2014

Talk Like TED … speaking so others take heed to what you say

by Dale Shumaker

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo is about the 9 public-speaking secrets of the world’s top minds. Ideas are the currency of the Twenty-first Century. Gallo’s goal is to create a Twenty-First Century version of  Dale Carnegie’s Art of Public Speaking published in 1915. He says to remember that if you can’t inspire anyone else with your ideas, it won’t matter how great the ideas are. An inspiring presentation has three parts.
Emotional -- they touch the heart.
Novel -- they teach me something new.
Memorable -- they present content in ways I’ll never forget.

Secret #1: Unleash the master within.
What are you passionate about? What do you do, love, believe in, and what industry or subject make’s your heart sing? Where your heart is your voice follows, your expression follows. Passion rubs off on others. Passion is contagious. People say you can see it in your face, when you are passionate about what you talk about. People become convinced about what you say, when they see your conviction, sincere conviction from your heart.

Secret #2: Master the art of storytelling.
Every great presentation has a great story. Studies show that stories stimulate and enlarge the brain which makes the audience connect to what you say. According to TED, 65% of a presentation should be storytelling, or touching the emotions. Stories breakdown walls and increase pathos, the emotional connection with people. You simply cannot persuade people through logic alone. Our emotions plant an idea in the brain.

Three simple, effective types of stories: Personal stories, experiences of meaning in our lives; stories about other people, what has happened in someone’s life others will relate to; and brand success, how someone’s produce/service made a difference in someone’s life. People will connect with you with a skillful use of analysis, data, humor, and storytelling. The flow of a presentation is to talk about good fortune, ill fortune and conclude with good fortune. Have good overcame evil, the good guy wins out over the bad guy, an event then a crisis followed by a resolution. Tell stories to express your passion about a subject.

Secret #3: Have a conversation.
Practice relentlessly and internalize your content so you deliver the presentation as comfortably as having a conversation with a close friend. Authenticity comes from practicing, until it becomes natural for you. Get early feedback, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. The 10,000 hour rule: it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. The more you speak the better you get.

There are four elements of delivery: rate or speed at which you talk, volume or loudness and softness, pitch or the highs and lows of your voice, and pauses to give words and phrases punch. Be deliberate with your rate, volume, pitch and pauses to emphasize the point the way you want to.  

Act the part you want portrayed. When nervous, you may need to fake it until you make it. Use gestures to amplify points you make that are consistent with your thought. The more you are comfortable and know your content the more at ease you can be, and can be yourself. Your strength comes from within. Prepare within and it will be expressed so others see it too.

Secret #4: Teach me something new.
The human brain loves novelty. An unfamiliar, unusual, or unexpected element in a presentation intrigues the audience. Successful presentations reveal ideas you never considered. Are they remarkable? Will they remark about them afterwards. Give a fresh and novel way to look, resolve an old problem, a new perspective to look at something.

Something you say may not be earthshaking or entirely unfamiliar to an audience, but it can be delivered in a fresh way. A new, fresh perspective to something already understood creates novelty. The brain likes new experiences. When we bombard our brain with new experiences, the mind looks at things from a new lens. Get out and do things totally different than you have done before. You will see and learn new things, from another perspective.

Secret #5: Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments.
A jaw-dropping moment is when a presenter delivers a shocking, impressive, or surprising moment that is so memorable, it grabs the listener’s attention and is remembered long after the presentation is over. Shocking statistics, images, videos can grab the audience to realize the dramatic nature of what you are talking about. Going back to personal stories of experiences you or someone else had, will fix in someone minds. Remember statics with emotion are a powerful combination. What’s extreme, unusual, “I never would have guessed that,” are mind grabbing.

Secret #6: Lighten up.
Humor lowers defenses, making your audience more receptive to your message. It makes you seem more likable. Tell anecdotes, stories, and humor in a narrative. Self-demeaning stories make people feel you are human like they are. Use analogies, quotes that have an unexpected twist to them. Humor involves risk, so use stories that your audience will relate to in their profession or lifestyle. But be authentic, be yourself and don’t try to be someone else. If you feel good, can make fun of yourself, it makes for a better presentation. When you can make someone smile, they like you more.

Secret #7: Stick to the 18-minute rule.
Eighteen minutes is the ideal length of time for a presentation. If you must create one that’s longer, build in soft breaks (stories, videos, demonstrations) every 10 minutes. Research has shown the brain gets into a cognitive backlog when too much information is presented. The brain keeps piling it up and piling it up until it reaches an anxiety point and drops it all. Constrained presentations are more inspiring, creative, and engaging.

The rule of three means that people remember three pieces of information really well. After that retention and interest falls off rapidly. Design your presentation to make three awesome points. Share three stories, three examples, three easy steps. Another example is the message map. Create a Twitter friendly headline. Have three points and under each point, three supporting points.
It’s harder to craft an eighteen minute presentation than rambling on for an hour. It forces you to be more creative and it comes off snappy. What isn’t there makes what is there stronger.

Secret #8: Paint a mental picture with multisensory experiences.
Deliver presentations that touch more than one of the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. The brain does not pay much attention to boring things. It’s nearly impossible to be bored when exposed to mesmerizing images, captivating videos, intriguing props, beautiful words and more than one voice bring the story alive. No one will ask you to bring multi-sensory experiences into a presentation, but once you do they will love every minute of it. Multimedia experiences enhance learning. Most great speakers build a presentation around one sense, but add a couple more to enhance it.

Three great senses to build a presentation around are seeing it, hearing it with well crafted words, phrases and analogies, and feeling it is where music/video personal expression comes in. Use all senses to paint a picture, create an experience of what it is. What we experience we remember.

Use pictures instead of text whenever possible. Vision trumps all other senses. We really can’t multi-task so imagines with words must complement each other. Always remember images are stronger than verbal words so use words to explain, elaborate on what they see.
Use hearing to add enhancement… words, poetic phrases, music. To feel a picture with emotion, combine with it music, sound effects. To feel the pain, or experience the elation, this combination drives it in the senses. It becomes memorable.

Secret #9: Stay in your lane.
Be authentic, open and transparent. Most people can spot a phony. If you try to be someone you are not, you will be spotted and lose the trust of your audience. One way to be more authentic is to go over your presentation with a friend. There you will more likely be more yourself. Your real self comes out when you are with those you have a relationship with. So when you give your presentation, this will show.

Put in the time to know your content, so you know it and can be yourself. You don’t want the mechanics of your presentation to monopolize your thinking. You need the mental freedom to tell your story authentically. Find your passion and show it, be true to yourself and your message.

See examples of TED presentations at…

On the Spiritual side, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to assist in communication. Only the Holy Spirit can touch a heart with the power to make it receptive to a message and receive it, respond to it and become “converted” to its precepts. Some call this the power of conviction.

When preparing, take time to go into the Inner Presence of Spirit. Do this by reading the Scriptures and asking God to help you in the presentation. Go into prayer, a meditative state, seeing yourself in God’s Presence. There begin going through the whole presentation in your mind, with God.  Ask God to show you additional insights, inspired thoughts and expressions. Have a pad and pencil close by to write down inspired thoughts, and then return to seeing the presentation in your mind. Go through the whole presentation, while enveloped in the Holy Spirit. This is like having a Spiritual rehearsal, and seeing the whole presentation from front to end, going through each part, and having the Holy Spirit with you. In this process, you refine it and fuel it with His Spirit. The idea here is you and the Holy Spirit are working in cooperation, a partnership, into the developing and execution of the presentation.

Then when you give the presentation, allow this experience to continue through you.  

Another factor to increases effectiveness is your relationship with your audience before hand. Build rapport with them, before the presentation. It helps in their reception, as well as your vigor in doing it. When you have a love connection with your group, and they like you and you like them, the Holy Spirit seems to ignite this bond and bring you alive in another realm, the realm of the Spirit. The more the audience is with you in this way, the more your words, the Spirit, and mind and emotions are affected… at a much deeper and higher level. What you say and do gets through and goes with them. True change of behavior takes place.

When we build others up, their spirit is reciprocated and it builds us up. Everyone comes out a winner. The speaker is better, the audience gets more out of it.

The more you prepare Spiritually personally, and the more you prepare by interacting with the audience on a personal level building them up, the greater the Spiritual outcome of the meeting. Spirit contributes in a setting when all the gifts of those in Spirit are brought together and ignited by each other. The more the group is interacting in Spirit, the greater the implantation of Spirit. The results show up in healing emotions, sickness, restoring and bonding relationships, and love increasing among everyone.  Combined with God’s Spirit, knowledge is transformed into a power to move men’s souls.

The personal prayer time when crafting a presentation, preparing it, refining it, and then having a Spiritual rehearsal before presenting it, welcomes the Spirit of God to partner with you. When you know the group, the Spirit will help you connect with them stronger. When you don’t know the group, the Spirit will give you insights to what you will face, prepare you for what to do. In all phases, enlist the Spirit of God to help you, include a prayer partner during this time. A Penetrating Power will propel the presentation.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Rise of Superman … rising beyond the natural

by Dale Shumaker

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler is about how living in flow is the way to ultimate performance. It is a state where we feel our best and perform our best. Learning to stay in flow we are constantly at our best, living seamless, but moving at high speed in problem solving and performance. You get confident in your ability to do the impossible, you begin expecting it.

When flow is going right work is effortless, fluid and automatic, time flies.

Flow has these ten components:
Clear goals: expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable aligning with one’s skill set and abilities.
Concentration is at a high level.
A loss of feeling and being self-conscious: action and awareness merge.
Unaware of a sense of time.
Direct and immediate feedback: can see successes and failures readily and adjust to them quickly.
Ability and challenge meet: the activity is neither too easy or too hard.
A sense of personal control over the situation exists.
Action is intrinsically rewarding, so it is effortless.
A lack of awareness of body needs exist such as food, sleep.
Becoming totally absorbed in the activity itself.

The human being has two distinct systems for processing information… the explicit system and implicit system. The explicit is tied to conscious awareness, implicit is unconscious controlled by skills and abilities not consciously accessible. The implicit system is known for speed and efficiency.  The implicit system says “let’s go for it and rely on me and we’ll make it.” Whereas the explicit systems says, hold up let’s take a look at this. Flow relies on the implicit system which increases creative decision-making, being imaginative, resourceful, ingenious, we just let the flow side flow.

Flow has a feel good nature and relies on the neurochemicals it produces. These include dopamine: creating a feeling of engagement, excitement, creativity,  desire to investigate, making meaning out of the world.  We are hardwired to exploration, to push the envelope.
Norepinephrine: it’s an energy primer keeping us locked on target, holding distractions at bay. As drugs, dopamine is like cocaine, norepinephrine is speed. 
Endorphins: relieve pain and produces pleasure. It is about 100 times stronger than medical morphine. 
Anandamide:  keeps the flow state going at high levels. Elevates mood, eliminates fear. 
Serotonin: helps us cope with adversity. It keeps us going so we can sort things out.  These five chemicals are flow’s cocktail. It creates the second wind to keep performing ultimately. They are all functioning at peak levels, putting us in a fluid state of flow.

Everyone has the shot at perfection; there are no chosen few. Over-practice makes us move into a realm of flow. 10,000 hours of doing anything can bring a natural flow, effortlessly, efficiently, at high levels of performance. Deliberate well-structured practice is a vigorous compliance based approach to mastery. Doing what we love, doing what we see as important. (10,000 hrs. is 10 years of 3 hours a day. Start at 7 years old excel by 17 or start at 50 and excel by 60. A college student can achieve this in 5 years, with an 8 hr. per day focus, 5 days a week.) Never too young to start, or too old to still make it happen.

Hacking into flow is the quest. Flow is based highly on focus and consequences. Great challenges, both positive and negative, hack us into flow. One study found cubicle layout of furniture in an office breaks down flow. Open spaces are better. Risk can create fear, although it can be mentally structured as a challenge where flow increases. Clear goals are important. The most important part is the clear part. Clarity gives us certainty. We know what to do and where to focus.

The first step of flow is struggle, where we may be overloading the brain with information.  We work through various parts of the problem. The next stage is release, taking the mind off the problem. That is do something totally different for a while. The next part of the flow cycle is the zone. Where we just let the brain take over to do all the things we stuffed in it to do. The final step is recovery. Where we spent our energy and now come back from the superman state, and just feel ordinary. The intensity of the project is over, so take it slow for a while to recover.

Creativity triggers flow, then flow enhances creativity. Learning the impossible helps us see ourselves doing the impossible. Seeing is believing, so visualization of the end as desired is important so our brains can put us into a flow to get there. Since learning is the first part of the struggle process, visualization hacks into flow and shortens the struggle. Work the brain to overload it with knowledge, then walk away from it and let the brain bring it back in ways you can use it.
To learn more on figuring out your flow profile, check out

Elijah was in flow in the Spirit on earth. He was so much in flow in the Spirit that he was one of the few taken to Heaven without dying… in chariots of fire.

There is an expression to be baptized by fire of the Spirit. That is the source of Spiritual flow. Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven and started a bonfire soaked with water, fire from Heaven destroyed false prophets, he prayed and it rained in a drought, he ran faster than chariots and beat them back to the city. He was in a flow in Spirit constantly.

To be in flow requires a discipline of being at a positive spot for you (a room, outside, a thinking/pondering place). To be in Spirit for me starts the same way. I find when I follow this pattern I get thoughts, ideas, things that exhilarate me. If I go to a place where I can see outside or be outside, read the Scriptures and ponder, it seems after a while something takes over in my brain, my soul. I ask God about these things that come to mind and what I should do about them. I get a wisdom in what to do as I am ponder them. It lasts for maybe an hour to an hour and half. It takes maybe 30 minutes to get there, to get my mind focused on Things of Spirit. When I do that, other things come. I have had articles, a presentation roll out in my mind, strategies on how to do things, or wisdom on the best way to do something. When I think of people in a positive way, things change in regards to them. I try to remain in that state. And the next couple hours it feels like my life is in more of a flow.

When this Spiritual flow begins to wane, with the disruptions, frustrations of life, I try to find a place to go back into that state. I have not mastered this, but a plane to build on is emerging. Finding a quiet, tranquil spot, reflecting on the Scriptures, or inspired book, positive hope-filled music(for me I like Praise and Worship type music) and let the Spirit take over. What comes to mind then I will note, so I don’t forget it. And take action on it.

There is a flow in Spirit where we see things happening beyond our own efforts