Producing Results

Details, Details, Details

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I just listened to Strawberry Fields Forever again, for what must be the thousandth time, and I heard a harmony I had never noticed before. That’s one of the things I love about the Beatles’ music: there are so many layers, so many little details, that you can listen to it over and over again and still hear something new. That’s one of the reasons so many of their songs sound as fresh and exciting today as they did forty ...

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A Simple Economic Equation

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Why are the Beatles still popular today, nearly 40 years after they broke up? Nostalgia is a small part (the Baby Boomers still rule the earth)–but the much larger reason is that the music still holds up. The songs the Fab Four created from 1963 to 1969 still sound fresh and exciting today, even if you’ve heard them a thousand times. In other words, the Beatles created something of lasting VALUE.

On a personal level, there are two sides to the ...

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An Outside Perspective

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A couple of miles from where I live is an intersection where a local panhandler has staked his claim. Day after day he’s there brandishing his sign, looking for donations. Most days I just drive by and wave; he always waves back. Occasionally I’ll give him a few bucks. Clearly the location is working for him, otherwise he would have moved on long ago. A few weeks ago, during a brief respite from the winter cold, I was driving along ...

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What’s Your Focus?

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I have a friend who is really struggling in his business right now. He works for himself, and when the phone was ringing life was good. But the phone hasn’t been ringing for a couple of years now, and he doesn’t know how to turn things around. He said to me the other day, “I’m doing everything I can think of, putting in ten hours a day trying to build the business, but nothing seems to be working.” And it’s ...

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Barack, the Beatles, and Change

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Along with the rest of the world, I just watched Barack Obama become the 44th president of the United States of America. No matter what your own personal political views may be, there can be no question that this represents a monumental and fundamental change in our nation’s history. And I’m reminded once again that change, in and of itself, is nothing to be feared. Rather, change is a necessary and natural part of progress, of growth.

Yes, change can be ...

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The Beatles, Money, and the Richest Person in Washington

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I just finished listening to Breakfast with the Beatles, a weekly two-hour radio program here in Seattle. I listen to it every Sunday morning (unless I’m on the road for business); it’s a ritual for me. One of the songs they played today was the Beatles’ cover of Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy’s song, Money (That’s What I Want), which begins with the lyric:

“The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds ...

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Give Your Career a Tune Up!

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My piano is being tuned as I’m writing this. Don’t get me wrong…it didn’t sound out of tune. But it’s a valuable instrument, and I care about it. So I get it tuned twice a year, without fail. Now, I have this friend who I’ll call “George” (although his real name is Alan). “George” also has a nice piano. Mine’s a Steinway, his is a Baldwin. “George,” however, only gets his piano tuned when he thinks it sounds out of ...

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Linking Your Stories to Your Message

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There are many compelling reasons to use humorous stories in your presentations. They make you more likeable, they make you more memorable, they help you generate higher fees, etc. But as far as your audience is concerned, there is only one reason: you use humorous stories to further your point! That’s it! You’re not using them to get a laugh, because getting a laugh is about you, the speaker. Using a humorous story to help get your point across is ...

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Where To Find Personal Stories

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If you know anything at all about me and my speaking style, you know that I am a huge, huge fan of humorous personal stories! I think they are, hands down, the best way to add humor to your speech or presentation. I like them better than jokes, funny quotes, and cartoons. Why? Because they are unique, memorable, bombproof, and a small handful of stories will cover you in a surprisingly large number of situations!

In my coaching and consulting sessions ...

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3 Reasons NOT to Use Jokes in Your Presentation!

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We hear it all the time: if you want to get the big bucks, you’ve got to use humor in your presentations. Even if you’re not in it for the money—humor definitely helps you to get your point across.

There’s no question that if you give presentations in front of an audience, humor should be one of the big hammers in your speaking toolkit. For some people (the lucky ones!), this comes quickly and easily. The rest of us have to ...

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