Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Intensity = Results

Imagine yourself seated in an airplane on a runway preparing for takeoff. The pilot gets clearance from the tower to take off and eases the throttle forward, but instead of revving up the engines and releasing the brakes, he gradually increases speed slowly. You are waiting to feel the thrust of the engines pull you into the back of your seat, but it never happens. Would you reach enough speed to become airborne? I guess that depends on the length of the runway. If you had a 5 mile long runway, that could be a possibility. Juxtapose that scenario with a fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier. He has only 1000 feet or runway to become airborne or he will wind up crashing into the ocean. The afterburners fire, and the pilot is slammed into the back of his seat while taking flight.

None of us know exactly how much length of runway we have left in our lives. It may be several miles, it may be a few feet. Why not rev up your engines so you can take advantage of everything that your life has to offer! In this article, I’m going to share a few tips that have helped many top achievers produce great results.

I’m sure that you realize that your results in life will often mirror the intensity of effort that you put into them. For example, I was invited to go mountain biking with someone who had told me that she was frustrated because she wasn’t as trim and fit as she wanted to be despite hours she spent working out. When we hit the trail, I found myself stopping at even the easiest of paths, waiting for her to catch up. She would merely coast, peddle a bit, then coast, then walk for a bit. I fully understand that many people are a bit more cautious when biking a new trail; but this was more than caution, this was like shifting into neutral.

Realizing that this person approached most methods of exercise in this manner, it was no wonder to me why she wasn’t getting the results she desired. She was not intense enough! Many personal trainers will tell you that interval training (that is alternating between very high intensity and a brief rest period) will put your body into fat burning mode. That theory is true in nearly every aspect of life. Kick up your intensity a notch or two! Here are a few tips that could help you achieve the results you desire by kicking up the intensity:

1. Get around people who are performing at the level which you strive to be at. Undoubtedly, you will find that they are tremendously focused and work very hard at the tasks in front of them. Model that. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. When I started speaking, I learned quite a bit from my coach via the phone calls we had. I learned a tremendous amount when I would help him at live events and see how things happened in the moment.

2. Give yourself the gift of “No”. Top leaders in any industry realize that there is a price associated with every “Yes” that they commit to. Good to Great author, Jim Collins, explains that a “to do” list is important; but many times a “Not to do” list is more effective. Don’t be afraid to decline offers that come your way.

3. Find someone to hold you accountable. Having someone to hold you accountable for your actions, whether they are a friend, coach, or mastermind partner will force you to push forward when the going gets tough. My buddy Doug and I go trail running several times per week. I promise you that there are days when I don’t feel like running, but lace up anyway because he is waiting for me. The same is true for him. Regardless of your goals, having someone to answer to will propel you forward.

We are all poised at the tip of the runway of our lives, regardless of where we feel we may be currently. Will you merely coast and hope that good things will lift you up; or will you engage the afterburners and soar?
For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-800-863-2591

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From Painful to Powerful With Speaking

Do you remember seeing an awesome speaker at the last conference or convention you attended? Do you remember the 9.9 tips to success that they shared with you? I’d bet not. Chances are, you will recall a story that the speaker shared while embedding his point within the tale he was telling.
The greatest communicators of all time all conveyed their messages via powerful stories. Yet some speakers (usually new to the business) find it necessary to share point after point, tip after tip, and (God forbid) some acronym that no one will ever remember! Here are several key things that you can do to transition a painful message into a powerful memory for your audience:
  1. Instead of just telling your audience the point that you would like to make, think of a story that would bring that point to life. For example, Jesus didn’t tell people to get a bunch of people and tell them specific things to do; he shared the story of giving a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish. There are other great examples of great speakers, but Jesus is a pretty good place to start.
  2. If you are using Power Point, don’t use more than 3 words per slide. Some presenters find it necessary to make the screen look like a telephone directory page filled with words. Carmine Gallo wrote a fantastic book titled, Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. He clearly outlines success secrets of one of the worlds greatest living presenters, Steve Jobs, and how you can use his success strategies. Get the book.
  3. Create that bridge that the audience can relate to. I used to sell vacuums door-to-door. I taught thousands of people to do the same. Do most of the groups I talk to secretly desire to learn the secrets of vacuums? Nope. Can they relate to overcoming objections and motivating yourself when times are challenging? You bet. What experiences have you learned from that could benefit someone else?
Just remember that every speaker is on a journey. Whether you are speaking professionally or simply give presentations as part of your “day job”, enjoy the journey and learn from it!

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-800-863-2591