Energy is critical to the success of any presentation. Leaders need to learn to harness it to their advantage.

So what can you do? Learn to read the room and make the situation work for you. Doing so will open the door for you to become a more accomplished speaker. Keep one key point in mind. The audience wants you to succeed. No one likes to see a speaker “die” on stage. So be cool, be brief, and keep smiling and you will do just fine.

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The late Maya Angelou once said. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It turns out that science can explain her observation.

In the book “Brain Rules,” molecular biologist John Medina says, “When the brain detects an emotionally charged event, the amygdala releases dopamine into the system. Because dopamine greatly aids memory and information processing, you could say the Post-it note [it creates] reads ‘Remember this!’” The amygdala, it turns out, does not store emotional memories but enhances them by making sure they are noticed when the event occurs and then having a better cataloguing system so that they can be retrieved.

The idea that emotions make for memorable moments can be used by speakers to deliver speeches that are remembered for a long time. This is called the emotion-based approach to public speaking. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

yec_Andrew Thomas1. Share your knowledge

Knowledge and experience are powerful, and you can empower others by sharing what you know to help others. Helping doesn’t always take a great deal of time. Take the time to listen to others and share potential solutions that can help them. This will contribute to the collective impact of your group, and others will, in turn, share with you and others by the example you set. — Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies Inc.

yec_David Ehrenberg2. Don’t just show up

In Keith Ferrazzi’s classic sales and marketing bible “Never Eat Alone,” he makes the distinction between those people who simply show up at events versus those who come with a clear plan. (read more…)

When team leaders or team members in your organization bump up against stupid policies or dumb targets, what do they do?

Do they shoot up a flare and engage people in solving these issues, promptly? Or, do they ignore those policies or targets, swim upstream against the organizational current, and do the right thing? Or do they go along, compliant to the stupid policies or dumb targets, saying, “It’s not my job to fix that,” etc.?

By far the most common reaction is the last one: employees compliantly enforce the dumb policies and align to the stupid targets. Some team members do the right thing for customers or peers. Sometimes their efforts stay below the radar, but sometimes their efforts are discovered and they are redirected to align to policies and targets.

Too few team members proactively engage people in addressing these issues.

Does your organization have stupid policies or dumb targets in place today? (read more…)

Kotter16954_300dpiThis post is an excerpt from “John Kotter’s ACCELERATE: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014), by John Kotter.

It seems like new management tools are proposed every week for finding a competitive advantage or dealing with twenty-first-century demands. How is a dual operating system any different?

The answer is twofold. First, a dual system is more about leading strategic initiatives to capitalize on big opportunities or dodge big threats than it is about management. Second, although the dual system is a new idea, it is a manner of operating that has been hiding in plain sight for years.

A duel system’s structure

The basic structure is self-explanatory: hierarchy on one side and network on the other. The network side mimics successful enterprises in their entrepreneurial phase, before there were organization charts showing reporting relationships, before there were formal job descriptions and status levels. That structure looks roughly like a constantly evolving solar system, with a guiding mechanism as the sun, strategic initiatives as planets, and sub-initiatives as moons or satellites. (read more…)