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What we can learn about Presentation Skills from Donald Trump!


Needless to say, it has been one of the most polarizing and nastiest Presidential elections of our time and one of the biggest upsets too. Regardless of whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or Green OR whether you voted for Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or wrote in Bernie’s name or someone else’s…this election was a stunner!

Let me say that as a Presentation Skills Coach, I never publicly pick sides, and I will never do so, but I use public figures to help make some points about Public Speaking. And I have always used Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in my seminars and keynote speeches as examples of two, two-term Presidents who both were considered “great communicators”. So regardless of whether you are happy or sad about the outcome of the election, let’s simply focus on the communication skills of Donald Trump and see if we can learn something to help us with our messaging…

1)     Keep Your Message Simple, and Repeat

Many studies have proven that people remember statistically less than 10% of what they hear when listening to a presentation. I always ask my participants, “What do you remember from school or college?” That gets a lot of laughs and proves the point…case closed. Regardless of the actual percentage number, one of the first things Donald Trump did was keep his message simple. He had special names for his Republican competitors during the primaries, and of course a special name for Hillary…need I say more. Point is he said these words and phrases over and over again, and in essence he kept the message simple even above and beyond name calling.

2)     Keep Your Vocal and Body Energy Up

Trump joked about Jeb Bush having low energy, and then accused Hillary Clinton of exactly the same thing. Generally speaking, Donald Trump had more vocal energy, used more body language, and generally took the energy from the crowd to help him soar even higher. Bill Clinton used to do the same thing. Both of these guys enjoy the spotlight, and like seasoned rock stars, they get inspired by their audiences and then they deliver. They use the energy of the crowd to lift them up!

3)     Be Authentic, and let out the Optimum You!

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton was more of a behind the scenes, get the job done, type of person, and that she dreaded the actual campaigning part of the job, regardless of her overwhelming qualifications. Hillary supporters were always telling us how “funny” and “charming” she is one on one or in private. Too bad for her we didn’t see more of that in public? Furthermore, Donald Trump (again love him or hate him) seemed like he was being himself. Self-assured, confident, brash, unapologetic, and never tentative…

In summary, I always tell my clients, it is okay to “know your stuff”, but also “look good” in the process, therefore you can have the best of both worlds, by not only being smart, but looking smart too!

Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Speakers For Success....To Book Till Kahrs...949-551-2669






Sending a follow-up note is a solid way to build a new relationship. Short, upbeat, and handwritten would be ideal (as long as your writing is legible!).  It would also be ideal to send one to everyone you meet (tough to pull off, but ideal). 

Again, begin with a compliment or a statement that refers back to the conversation you shared.  Keep the tone upbeat and end by suggesting that the two of you get together for breakfast or lunch. 

Many feel that a follow-up written thank-you note is better than a follow-up e-mail.  A real signature in ink on real notepaper may take a couple of days to get to them, but it has the potential of being much more memorable than an e-mail. 

To meet the 24-hour follow-up timeline, try taking some thank-you stationery or note cards with stamps to networking events.  Write, address, and mail the notes directly following the event to the people you just met.

The Follow-up Phone Call

Making follow-up phone calls is good, but you will probably end up in voice mail.  When you do (and you will), start and end your message with your name and phone number.  If you are given the opportunity to listen to your voice message and redo it, take it.   Say your name and number closely and distinctly, without "swallowing" any words or syllables.  Assume that the person listening remembers you, enjoyed your time together, and wants to write your number down and get in contact with you.  Include a compliment or a statement that refers back to the conversation you shared. 

The Follow-up E-mail

There is no doubt that e-mail is a powerful, inexpensive, and widely used means of communication today.  I like e-mail.   It provides you with access that the phone and snail mail do not.  The same people who ignore phone messages may well respond to e-mail.  The secret is to create e-mails that are personal and focus on the relationship you have started with them – not on what your company does. 

Make yourself necessary to the world and  mankind will give you bread.”        -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A signature file that includes your full name, e-mail address, and phone number so it will be easy for them to contact you.   Include in your signature The subject line of your e-mails needs to encourage the receiver to open it.  Create file a brief but powerful statement of how you empower progress.

And make sure all your e-mails include the address to your own or your company’s web site.  


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales & Leadership Speaker





Leaders must ensure there are no barriers to communication

Develop a reliable process for communicating that fits your style.

To be a Good Communicator you first need to understand your role as a leader, what you do, as well as what’s expected of you.

To inspire openness and trust, listen with the intent to act and invite feedback. Articulate a clear set of organizational values that embrace integrity, fairness, and compassion.

Values communicate beliefs.

Thoughtful leaders listen and act on what they learn. This honesty and openness inspires trust, reinforces relationships and secures the loyalty of employees, customers and investors.

Good communication is vital in a business environment marked by uncertainty and change, and promotes healthy relationships.


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker









Too Stressed to Progress

1.  When do you feel overworked and overwhelmed?  

2.  What are you allowing yourself to get stressed about?

3.  What physical challenges are you having that may be related to stress?

4.  Do you have trouble sleeping due to stress?

5.  Is it time to get serious about your stress?

6.  How can you be better prepared for stressful stimuli?

7.  How can you choose not to stress?

8.  Do you have too many demands on your time?

9.  Are you too stressed to progress?

10. Can you DO something about a stressful situation?

       Bet you CAN, and if you can …DO IT. 


Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it

but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”    

---- Danzae Pace


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Mumpsimus Revisited

The generally accepted story of the word's origin is found in the 1517 writing of Richard Pace, a humanist and friend of Sir Thomas More.  Pace later became the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Pace tells of a medieval monk who persisted in saying "quod in ore mumpsimus" instead of "quod in ore sumpsimus" when celebrating mass.  “Sumpsimus” is Latin for "we have taken," and the full phrase translates to "which we have taken into the mouth.”  “Mumpsimus” is just babble.

It isn't clear whether the well-seasoned monk was illiterate (though that is the general assumption) or whether the word was transcribed incorrectly in his copy of the mass.  What made this particular mistake memorable is that when a younger monk tried to correct the old guy, the older man replied that he had been saying it that way for over forty years and added, "I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus."

And that is how ‘mumpsimus’ came to mean: 

A. a person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice. 

B. an erroneous practice, use of language, or belief that is obstinately adhered to.

Not sure if you wanted to know, but now you do.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Showing Genuine Interest in Others

When you show genuine interest in others, it shines a big attractive spotlight on you as someone with whom to cultivate a relationship.  We have all met people who are totally focused on themselves, their interests, and their goals.

Are they fun to talk to? 

Can you rely on them?

Are they people you want to help?

It is, of course, vital to know where you want to go in life.  But if you exclude others because of your self-absorption, you are actually slowing down your own progress.  Include others in your journey.  Work hard not to be egotistical or selfish.  Work diligently to increase the number of people you actively support and who support you. 

Helping others to progress is the proverbial two-sided coin.  It helps you to progress in equal measure.

“One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson



Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker




Dealing With Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is rarely part of anyone’s job description, but it is unfortunately part of most jobs.  It is tough to progress when we are stressed.  In fact, we feel stress when we feel we are being hindered from progressing. 

How to deal with or relate to the stressful stimuli in this high-tech, low-touch world of speed-of-light change is a vital and important topic that desperately needs discussion. 

Check this: Stress not only limits your progress; stress can and will kill you (if you don’t take action)! 

-       The American Medical Association says that stress is now the basic cause of over 60% of all diseases and illnesses (cancer, heart problems, etc.). 

-       Stress-related problems, according to the American Institute for Stress, are responsible for 75 % to 90 % of doctor visits.

-       A study conducted by the University of London found that unmanaged reactions to stress were more likely to lead to cancer and heart disease than either smoking cigarettes or eating foods high in the bad kind of cholesterol.

Virtually no part of the body escapes the ravages of prolonged negative stress.  Unfortunately, many of us make up our minds to “get serious” about our physical and mental health only when we become ill, suffer a heart attack, or experience some other form of breakdown.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Knowledge is Power, Ask Questions

People love to talk about themselves, so master the art of asking questions and listening to the responses so you can ask relevant questions. If you can help them with a tidbit of information or link them to a resource, you will be seen as a caring and knowledgeable person. 

You can either make a suggestion related to what their needs are, or help them in some other way. The person will remember that you were able to help them out.

Plus you will gain knowledge.  Knowledge is power, and asking questions is seeking that power.  Asking people questions about themselves makes you stand out in their mind.

Longer pauses before questions lead to longer answers.  Taking these pauses makes you look professional and like you are really thinking and engaged, rather than just filling empty airtime.

It's okey-dokey to script your questions.  Just rehearse them enough so they don't sound scripted.

Here are eight solid questions and statements for starting conversations and delivering solid first impressions:

1.  How did you get into your line of work?

2.  What interested you about the profession?

3.  What do you like most about your industry?

4.  What major changes do you foresee in your industry?

5.  What has been happening in your industry? 

6.  What are the current trends?

7.  What have you found to be the best way of getting the word out  and promoting your business?

8.  I’m meeting people all the time, so tell me: How would I know if

    somebody I meet would be a good contact for you?


Good questions are far more difficult than good answers.”     -- Persian Proverb

Also add these to your conversational Rolodex: 

Tell me more. 

Please elaborate. 

What are your ideas about…? 

There is something I would like to ask you… 

What is your opinion on…?

Do not ask questions in rapid-fire succession.  This is not a Dragnet interrogation or a time for cross-examination.  Nor is it a time to relive your glory days on the debate team.  Avoid asking questions that are manipulative, boring, embarrassing, hostile, confrontational, insulting, or too intimate. 

When you approach people, they will start talking about something, so follow that with them and go with the flow.  Abrupt changes in conversational course cause confusion and frustration. 

Every question you ask makes a statement about you.  Only ask questions that make you look good (smart, concerned, with-it, etc.).


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker





Look for Something to Acknowledge People For


Genuinely complimenting someone costs you nothing, but to the recipient, a heartfelt compliment and the feelings it generates cannot be bought at any price.  Recognition, encouraging words, and pats on the back are all excellent ways of making positive impressions, especially if done in front of others. 

Avoid general compliments as they may just seem like flattery, “sucking up.”  Much more powerful is a comment about something positive that person has done: compliment on behavior or achievements. 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

-- Mother Teresa


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker




Four Steps Taken by Effective Networkers


The four letters that make up the word CODE stand for the four steps consistently taken by the most effective networkers to crack the networking CODE and start building priceless business relationships.  Effective networkers:

C:  Create Personal Curb Appeal

Effective networkers feel successful and display a genuine desire to help others progress.  They look and act the part of someone you would want to have in your corner.

O:  Open Face-to-Face Relationships

Effective networkers research the various networking options and commit to a networking strategy.  They get out and about and reach out.  They open relationships.

D:  Deliver Solid First Impressions

Effective networkers know their first impression sets the foundation for all future impressions, and they make sure it’s a good one.

E:  Earn Trust

Effective networkers follow up and keep in touch.  They stay involved with the people they meet and earn their trust through a series of progress-based impressions.  They continually find ways to help. This is where most ineffective networkers drop the ball.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Power of Networking

There are many benefits to harnessing the power of networking.   

Here are the Top Ten:

1.    Friendships and support

2.    Advice and access to different points of view

3.    New career paths, employment, and business opportunities

4.    Referrals and introductions to professionals

       and quality prospects

5.    Important information

       (Market/organizational shifts, upcoming events, etc.)

6.    Promotions or lateral moves within your organization

7.    Unique sales ideas from sales professionals in other fields

8.    Introductions to quality vendors and resources

9.    Advocates within related organizations and industries

10.  More sales

 “You have to accept that no matter where you work, you are not an employee;  you are in a business with one employee  yourself."              - Andrew S. Grove


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker




Smart brands put All the Wood Behind the Arrow(s) by developing core competitive advantages in a few select areas to win at the point of attack and maintain their market presence against great offs and greater giants.  What key takeaways can we extract from these companies?

Culture comes from you.  Where you find your cultural heritage, your deep passion for an area of excellence, is a deeply personal choice.  You may be committed to doing the right thing for planet earth and you may simply find electromagnetic protective relays to be "beautiful, beautiful things."

The core of Method's business resides in their deeply felt belief that there should be a better way to clean.  This wasn't an idea that sprung from a research panel but from a personal conviction on the part of hits founders that the world wasn't right without a sustainable, ecologically sound detergent--and one that happened to smell nice and come in an attractive package too.

Dr. Ed Schweitzer (Schweitzer Engineering) saw beauty in electromagnetic protective relays.  His calling came to him very clearly, and after speaking with him, it seemed that it would have been impossible for him to have chosen a direction in life too far from this area.  He didn't gouge his customers.  he wanted the product to help people.  The brand's culture was firmly rooted in honesty and integrity.

This isn't a decision made from marketing research.  This comes from your sense of who you are, no matter whether you were born a Boeotian or an engineer.  Your culture is your soul.

Functional expertise is something that comes from what you do for others.  Whatever you choose to excel in, it has to matter to your customers or channel partners.  Method became the flag bearer for the "clean detergent" category by virtue of its formulation and its attention to customer experience.  Without the experience, the formulation would have been ignores as just another unknown brand--while without the formulation, the user experience would have likely missed a large part of its intended market.

Your functional expertise is your craft, your vacation.


Contributed by Stephen Denny, Keynote Speaker & Author of Killing Giants, 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry.



Capitalize on Opportunity

It's all about finishing well.  Understand the point-to-point mechanics of how your stuff ends up in your customers' hands.  Attach yourself to an order-understand the touch points from the consumer's initial awareness of the product or category through traditional advertising, online search, or social media all the way through the in-store merchandising experience-and see what you learn about potential weak spots in your competitor's assumptions.

Capitalize on opportunity.  "Whenever there's an opportunity for foot traffic, from either a season or a competitor, you really have to capitalize on it,"  "Regardless of whether you get the ad space, you always have an opportunity in stores to promote your product and take advantage of that traffic."

Plan for trouble.  Losing a key merchandising opportunity promised by an important partner happens in life and in business, but that doesn't mean you can't make doubly sure that won't happen today or tomorrow. And never stop working just because you've been told you got the ad.

Be ready when trouble arrives.  One of the most enduring lessons that an experience teaches is that you should have the resources ready when the opportunity (for the disaster) arises.  Having the foresight to train and retain the right resources is half the battle.


Contributed by Stephen Denny, Keynote Speaker & Author of Killing Giants, 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry.



Successful Networkers are Generous Networkers

Give before you receive. 

Successful networkers know they must contribute before they can expect a return on their investment.  Try to match and connect the knowledge and skills of the various people you meet with others you have already established relationships with.

Give a smile - Get a smile.

Give help - Get help.

Introduce people to people - People introduce people to you.

Care - Get cared for.

Listen - Get listened to.

Help others progress – Progress.

Give referrals - Get referrals.

Ask yourself:

Do people perceive me as a generous helper or more as a selfish taker? 

Careful here.  If you wear the selfish taker label, people will eventually whittle you out of their loop.  This is exactly the opposite outcome you are looking for. 

Start today.  Say it loud.   Say it proud. 

I like to help. 

Today I am going to help and give and then help and give some more.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Get Cracking Keep Networking!

Do not get stuck in the “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda” Trap.  Solid Networking skills are good to possess but they are only useful if you USE them.  Don’t just plan to network.  Reach out!  Networking takes personal self-discipline and dedication.  Every day, hundreds of thousands of people have hundreds of thousands of ideas, goals, and intentions – but they never take that first step.  

Hey, you’ve known networking is a good business practice for a while now.  So why have you not done more of it up to this point? 

One of the main reasons people don’t take the first step is they have little vision of the outcome they’re looking for through networking.  They’re not clear on why it’s worth the trouble of finding the events, getting dressed up, and making themselves stressed out and uncomfortable.

Increase your determination to make networking work for you by listing the reasons you haven’t done more in the past.  Getting to the bottom of your resistances will encourage you to blast through them – by just doing it.  And once you get on a roll, you won’t stop.  It could even become second nature to you.

Want a way to get really motivated to keep networking? 

You do?  OK. Try this: 

Create a Cracking the CODE Connection Map

Create a visual representation of your NET.   Make it just like a family tree, except have this one show how each of your new contacts leads to others. You can easily keep track of your progress.  And when you see how networking has helped, you’ll be more motivated to keep making new contacts and developing your network.

Work to move beyond your shyness and take full advantage of all the networking opportunities that come your way. 

Wait.  Strike that.  Do not just take advantage of the networking opportunities that come your way. PROACTIVELY MAKE OPPORTUNITIES to broaden your net.

Networking is one part social skills and one part sales skills, mixed with a couple shots of life skills.  Networking is as natural as breathing.  We all do it all the time.  Whenever you ask someone’s opinion to help you make an informed decision, even if it is just to find a good sushi bar or a DVD at Blockbuster, you are reaping the benefits of networking.  Gathering new contacts and opening avenues of opportunity increases the number of people in your network.

Get out more often.  Attend more general business events and industry functions.  If you don’t meet new people, your network will shrink, stagnate, and lose its strength. 

Yes, most of these events happen in the mornings, during lunches, and after hours.  Look, success is rarely created working 9 to 5.  What a way to make a livin’.  It is all takin’ and no givin’.    Thank you, Dolly Parton. 

Networking is not about chance meetings.  Hard work makes luck, my friend.  Go make some luck.  I know that sometimes a business luncheon may seem like a waste of time, especially if all you do is eat and make random chit chat.  But it will not feel like that when you learn how to effectively network at these events.  Even if your BlackBerry or ACT database system is bursting with names, numbers, and e-mail addresses, it will not do you a bit of good unless you build the relationships. 

Feel great about yourself.

Be optimistic.  Expect the best.

Get out and about.

Be confident.

Display a great attractive attitude.

(This just in: Your attitude counts for more than your knowledge.)   

Listen.  Be interested.

Give a hoot.

Be helpful.

Get involved.  

Stay in touch.

Sure, being in business is challenging. 

Sure, it’s nerve-racking to look for a new job.

Sure, sales can be tough to come by. 

Sure, marketing is a moving bull’s-eye. 

Sure, people are often pressed for time.

But here is something else I know for sure: People do business with, as well as help, share information, brainstorm, and give referrals to people they trust and value.  They trust and value people who genuinely care about them and are progress for their lives. 

Create personal curb appeal.

Open face-to-face relationships.

Deliver solid first impressions.

Earn trust.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker





Stress is Dangerous & Expensive

Stress is very dangerous, not to mention expensive.  Businesses across the U.S. of A. lose $200-$300 billion dollars annually to stress, resulting in loss in productivity (i.e., less progress) and treatment costs. Effects of stress in the workplace include absenteeism, disruptive outbursts, and the tendency to do as little as possible to get by. 

All reduce productivity and damage an organization's bottom line.  Plus, many of us do not have a well-defined boundary between work and home, and end up taking work problems home with us and letting them affect our personal life.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”       -- Marcus Aurelius  

I don’t mean to stress you out about stress, but the crazy thing to consider is that WE are truly the ultimate cause of our own stress. It is our reaction to stressful stimuli that “makes us sick,” not the stimuli themselves.  We internalize too much outside pressure, which causes inside pressures.  No matter what the circumstance, we still have power over the attitude we take toward it.  When we feel stress, we become focused on the pain and not the opportunities to take positive steps. 

Often, we invest so much time dealing with stress that we don’t take time to progress.

We all relate to stimuli differently.  What really freaks one person out may excite another, or only mildly irritate a third person.  The key is to know in advance positive ways to respond to stressful stimuli.

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Crafted Goals to Stay in the Present

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Stating goals in the present tense tells our subconscious mind that we are committed – that the goals will not remain forever stuck in a future tense – as in, I WILL be wealthy.  Our mind takes ownership, sees the goal as an actuality (rather than a potentiality) – I AM wealthy – and works toward its realization. 

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”       -- Sun Tzu

The subconscious mind chooses a path of least resistance. If we write, “I will be debt-free,” the subconscious mind does not act, because the “will” postpones the goal’s achievement to some indefinite time in the future.  When we craft a goal as if it were already achieved, already true, our minds want to make it happen.  Examples:

Daily, I am ...                          I weigh___ with a ___waist.

I know how to...                      My family and I are...            

I own...                                    I feel…

Well-crafted goals, stated in the present tense, serve as affirmations.  Think of affirmations as personalized powerful ads that you tell yourself over and over again about yourself and your life.  Get over any weird thoughts you might have about affirmations – we all use them.  We have lived our whole lives making affirmations.  Unfortunately, affirmations are often self-critical and self-limiting:

I am fat.                                              I am a lousy speller.

I am not a good salesman.                  I am always tired.

I know nothing about investments.     I’m destined to be poor.  

Be careful about everything you say to yourself, or think to yourself, about yourself, because you’ll end up being right. As Luigi Pirandello noted some time ago, “Così è (se vi pare)” – Right you are (if you think you are).

Your brain is a terrible thing to use against yourself.


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker




Use Positive Energy

Remember, you have good stuff to share.  Like yourself – but never be cocky or vain.  Like who you are on the inside.   If you don't like yourself – Big Problem.  Far too many people go around disliking themselves, focusing in on the negatives.  This is a huge part of the reason why substance abuse, gambling, depression, anxiety, stress-related physical disorders, obesity, and other eating disorders are all galloping epidemics.  Negative self-thoughts aren’t just self-limiting, they can kill you.

Find a way to feel good about yourself.  Hang with people who

– like PBS’s Mister Rogers – “like you just the way you are.” Allow their views to rub off on you.  Make yourself appealing to yourself.   Say it with me: I’m OK.  You’re OK. 

We each have a wealth of ideas, experiences, contacts, and resources that others need.  Recognize and use these strengths of yours.  Develop a healthy self-concept.  I do not want to go all Dr. Phil on you, but you have to go inside before you can go outside.    

We need to be real careful about what we say to ourselves and believe about ourselves.  Henry Ford is quoted as saying “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.”  Around the same time, Luigi Pirandello wrote a play that said the same thing: Right You Are, If You Think You Are.  

Yes, I am talking about affirmations.  When I realized that I was going to passionately encourage people to focus on affirmations, I admit I had nightmares of Stuart Smalley (Al Franken’s character from “Saturday Night Live”):  “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”   

Affirmations just seemed so wishy-washy, so flimsy.  But I dug deeper and came to realize that we use affirmations all the time. 

It’s just that most of them are negative and self-limiting:

“I have a short attention span.” 

“I am not good at meeting people.”

“I participate in road rage.”

Our brains are trippy and complicated and can do amazing things.  But at their core our brains want one thing –To Be Right. 

Whatever we continually say about ourselves and start to believe about ourselves, our brains are going to work to make it true. 

It is imperative that we be careful about the things we say to ourselves because…

               “Whatever you say to yourself, you’re right.” 

Try using self-empowering affirmations and visualizations to create a more positive attitude about yourself.  

Stuff like:

“I believe in myself.”

“I am always interested in meeting new people.”

“Every day I make good decisions that positively affect my life.”

“This is a really good book.”

Enjoy yourself.  Mingle and keep it light.  


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Six Degrees of Networking



Networking is a skill.  As with any skill, you will get better at it with practice.  To have personal curb appeal, it is vital that you get over the stuff about networking that bothers you.  If you are scared of meeting people or if you’re worried about having nothing to say or becoming tongue-tied, role-play with a friend until you feel more confident. 

The more you exercise your networking muscles, the stronger they get and the easier networking becomes.  Networking is hard when you feel you HAVE to, and so easy when you feel you WANT to. 

Attitudes are contagious. 

Are yours worth catching?


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker






Networking to Make a Trusting Impression

There is power in numbers.  When you effectively build relationships with others, you have the opportunity to reach many more people than you could ever reach on your own.  After a while, your networking "web" will naturally interconnect and seem to go on and on, even when you are not actively working it.  Connections are continuously being made.

Do not underestimate the power of your contact. It is well documented that most people have some form of relationship with around 250 people (widely referred to as their Circle of Influence).  These are not 250 people they would invite to their Christmas –  Hanukkah – or even Festivus party (just a little something for the Seinfeld fans)

These are 250 people they know directly or indirectly, ranging from family members to random contacts that involve some amount of persuasion.  This persuasion is used all the time to recommend a good restaurant, shoe store, plastic surgeon, energy drink, personal trainer, CPA, handyman, florist or ___(insert your profession here). 

Theoretically, each of your 250-some-odd contacts could recommend you and your services to 250 additional people.  

That is cool to think about and empowering to consider!

But here’s the rub:

Just because they COULD recommend you, your products, and your services to 250 others does not mean that they ARE or that they WILL.   

Some quick questions to ask yourself:

Do people have a trusting impression of me and my services? 

Why, or why not?

Do they see me, my company, and my services

as providing progress?

Do they value what I do for them and others?

Enough to recommend me to others? 

Enough to use my service themselves?

Do they value their relationship with me? 

Do they feel that a relationship with me means progress for them?

It comes down to trust and value. 

How do we build trust?  How do we establish value?

Trust is a feeling.  It is a buzz.  Trust is fluid.  It is fragile.  Value is established in the mind of the beholder.  Trust between people is built moment by moment, year to year.  Value is established over time. 

It takes a series of positive impressions.   Think about the people you trust.  Why do you trust them? 

Is it because they said “Trust me” or “You can trust me”?

No, these people have proven themselves trustworthy by continually doing things in a way that has built our trust.  They got to know us and are reliable. 


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success