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Three Best Ways to Start a Speech

By Communication No Comments

You can start a speech a variety of ways, but please, pretty please, never start a speech by saying something like, “Hi, thanks so much for having me today, it is an honor to be with you… blah… blah… blah!”

What a waste of time!

Remember that more than 90% of people don’t change their first impression about you. If you come out doing something boring and generic in those first few seconds, you will be remembered as being boring and generic!

Begin your speech by talking about one or all three of the following:

Talk about the Culture: What do you find fascinating about their culture? What art, music, or fashion have you experienced while in town that you really appreciate?

Talk about the Cuisine: What local restaurant did you just eat at that your audience will know and love? What food did you try and not like, but are glad you tried it? What food do you want to get more of and wish you had in your town?

Talk about the Contributions: What has the organization or city given back to the community or world? What inventions, stories, people, or leaders have come from there? What contributions have they given, and why are you happy they made them? How has it helped you in your life?

While speaking in China for example, I started off my speeches saying, “Hello, how are you doing today?” in Mandarine (Culture). Then I went into talking about eating jelly fish and cow stomach (Cuisine) for the first time after we visited the Great Wall (Contributions).

This technique helps you build trust with an audience, gets you to explore their world and shows them you care about what they have done! Start your next speech using one or all three of these things. You will capture their attention, their minds and more importantly their hearts! As always…

Dream BIG,


Good F-words You Want To Use When Speaking!

By Motivation One Comment

My three favorite F-words in speaking: family, failure and fears!

If you want to add more emotion – which you do – you need to use more of these F-words! Why? Because…

Too many leaders are justifying themselves and their products instead of taking time to emotionally connect with their audience!

Don’t start off with your facts or stats. Connect with us on a human level. We want to feel emotionally connected to what you have to say or sell. Here are three ways to add emotion into your next speech:

Talk about Family: Why? Because everyone has one! Whether you like them or you can’t stand them, use their stories to connect with your audience.

Talk about a Failure: Why? Because it is important to show you can relate to the people to whom you are speaking. Not everyone will be able to experience your level of success, but everyone in that audience has failed once, twice, or way too many times. If you want to build trust, be likable, and have them remember you, talk about the times you failed and what you learned from your failures.

Talk about your Fears: Why? Because people like people who have faced fear and it either stopped them, or they pushed through it to accomplish something BIG. It also goes back to being relatable; everyone has fears! When you talk about things of which you are afraid and what you are doing, have done, or will do about overcoming those fears, you show to the audience you are human!

If you want people to like you, to relate to you, and to enjoy your message, then use more of these F-words in your messaging! As always…

Dream BIG,

Seven Religions to Grow Your Spiritual Side

By Motivation One Comment

Religions can be complicated! Wars can be born from people having different beliefs, miscommunication or a lack of understanding about one’s religion.

Many religions and spiritualities teach similar things and share similar stories about what it means to be a good human being. Of course, there are differences we should discuss.

To help move the religious conversation forward, I thought a good place to start would be to learn what people believe and to direct you to places where you can learn more about the subject! The more we learn about each other, the better of an opportunity we have to get along with one another!

So many wars, deaths, and the world’s major problems are caused from misunderstandings caused by religious beliefs. I thought we could learn where other people are coming from and to understand that people are not difficult – they are different!

So according to my friends BBC, Google and Wikipedia, the simple definitions are:

Christianity: An Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and oral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament.

Islam: Began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad. Those who follow Islam are called Muslims. Muslims believe that there is only one God. The Arabic word for God is ‘Allah’.

Judaism: One of the oldest monotheistic religions and founded over 3500 years ago in the Middle East. Jews believe God appointed the Jews to be his Chosen People in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour to the world.

Catholicism: Along with its adjectival form Catholic is used as a broad term for describing specific traditions in the Christian churches in theology, doctrine, liturgy, ethics, and spirituality.

Buddhism: A religion with about 300 million adherents around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi‘, which means to awaken. It originated about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

Hinduism: The main religion of India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub-continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed upon set of teachings.

Atheism: Speaking broadly, it is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist.

If we can learn to understand that despite our differences we are all seeking to find happiness, wanting to be good to our neighbors, and are interested in helping contribute to the world, we can really improve the future of our species and the generations which follow.

It all starts with a better understanding of where the other person is coming from and creating a safe spot to communicate with each other!

As always…

Dream BIG,

 QUESTION: Why do you think so many people fight over religion? 

Five Reasons Your Business Should Be Telling More Stories

By Motivation No Comments

Since the beginning of time people have shared stories to teach, preach and get their points across. Since the beginning of our lives parents, teachers and preachers have shared stories with us illustrating life’s greatest lessons.

So if we learn through stories, why shouldn’t businesses use them to promote and sell products, services, and ideas? They should, and here is why:

People buy stories: Customers are constantly consuming stories. From books to TV shows, from trips to cars, we buy things because of the story that is attached to it.

People share stories: Whether it is the company gossip in the breakroom, or the stories of what happened during the weekend while you are in the classroom, people share stories.

People remember stories: From little Red Riding Hood to Robin Hood, from Pretty Women to that embarrassing moment that happened to you in middle school – people remember the lessons they learned from the stories they heard and/or experienced.

People like stories: Good stories can make you feel good, can make you experience several emotions, and can bring a smile to your face. People are constantly looking for stories to entertain, educate, or inspire them.

People learn from stories: The major lessons in life you live by were all taught through stories. Whether it was from the Bible or the Koran, from Disney or Grimm’s Fairy Tales, we know the difference between right or wrong because of the heroes and villains with whom we are familiar.

So why are you not using stories in your business?

Why are you not wrapping a story around your product, service, and idea? If you want people to buy, share, remember, and like your product start sharing stories around what it is you sell and offer. Those leaders who 

Happy storytelling, and as always…

Dream BIG,

How to Deal With People Who Are Better Than You

By Family & Personal Life 2 Comments

There is this feeling I get sometimes when I think, “Wow, that person is way better at that than I am.” Instead of getting angry or upset I do one of four things, and you may want to try these, too:

Reach out to them. Reach out and see what you can learn from them. Who knows? They might give you insight, advice, or strategies to become better. I can’t tell you how many people I have emailed or called and asked them how they do something and they just gave me the answer!

Copy them. If you find something they are doing that you like or that you know you could do better, copy them! Who is to say you can’t do it better?

Follow them. I utilize my lists on Twitter, adding people who are better than me to lists like “Speakers” or “Leaders” or “Mentors” so I can see what they are doing and how I can improve.

Share Them. Share with others what they are doing and why they inspire you. Show them that you are following them and you like their style!

People are not better than you; they are just bigger than you (with their reach). If someone else is doing something, that means you can do it also. Keep pushing yourself to new limits and as always…

Dream BIG,

How to Make a Sizzle Reel

By Motivation 3 Comments

How do you show leaders you are capable of speaking to their teams? How do you prove to meeting planners you should be their next conference keynote speaker? How do you illustrate your ability to add tremendous business value, share inspiring stories, and make your audience’s lives better? You make a sizzle reel!

We live in an awesome time to be speakers. Twenty years ago you had to get everything on tape, pay big bucks for editing, produce a VHS tape, pay for postage, find physical addresses for meeting planners, and wait for weeks and weeks to know if your package even arrived.

Now with free video-editing software, quality cameras under $500, and a little thing called the internet we can save money, time, and energy while having a global reach! The time is now for you to start thinking of creating a sizzle reel if you are a speaker.

Here is how you make one:

Start Collecting Videos of You Speaking. I have two ways I do this. I bought a semi-nice handheld camera that I ask someone in the front row to operate. In exchange, I usually give them a product off of my table at the end of the night. In my contract I ask for a copy of all video that is being recorded on sight; sometimes I request my own videographer (which can cost a couple hundred bucks but is well worth it). Doing so gives me plenty of options for camera angles, audio, and is insurance in the event of any technical glitches. Start collecting videos… yesterday!

Collect Videos Testimonials. I messed up in this area in the beginning. I had/have great video testimonials, but I cheaped out by purchasing a camera with poor sound capturing ability. Bad idea! It is worth the extra money to buy the microphone or the camera that collects good sound. Remember, how you present yourself can determine how much you get paid. Low quality equals low prices. High quality equals high prices! These testimonials are crucial for our continued success as speakers.

Those who sign up for the blog today (right-hand corner of this page), I will send you the four best questions you can ask for a video testimonial that illicit the best responses. Those who are already signed up for the blog, I will include them in my monthly newsletter!

Collect Photos of You Speaking. More importantly, collect the photos of you speaking on the spot. Do not wait for the photographer to send them to you or send you a dropbox link. I have waited hours after a speech so the photographer can give me their photos. I would estimate only 1 out of 10 times did I actually receive the photos from a photographer who said, “I will send them later!” or he or she would not send me the ones I actually wanted. If you hire professional photographers, that is a different story; but, often the best photos I get are candid shots by people in the audience or volunteers at the conference.

Use Editing Software or Hire an Editor: I have done both. I use iMovie, and I have also hired an editor. Either method works. It really depends on how much time you have, how awesome your video editing skills are, and how much money you are willing to pay. Skilled video editors are everywhere. Find them using Craigslist, Fiverr, Elance, your local college journalism students, and a long list of professionals in your area. Just Google “Video Editor + City Name” to find an editor near you.

Over the course of the next six to twelve months collect as many videos, photos, and testimonials as you can. Organize them so you can easily find them again when you want to edit the photos yourself or share them with your editor.

Take time to put your sizzle reel together. Share it with your friends, family, community, and clients. Let them see you sizzle on stage and the value you can bring to groups, teams, and leaders around the world! Happy sizzle reel making and as always…

Dream BIG,

Thank You, Ryan Avery!

By Motivation 2 Comments

It took me almost two years, a bucket full of emails, and a few “Benjamins” to secure

It’s all possible because of Ryan Avery…

I reached out to him saying I would like to purchase it; he thought about it for a while before answering with “not right now!”

For months I checked in with him offering to set him up with or, but he was adamant about keeping the domain.

After reaching out to him at least four times, he finally agreed and offered me the domain for sale. In this post, I am saying a huge… THANK YOU!

Thank you, Ryan, for believing in me and giving me the domain. It has helped my business, and I hope I can continue to support you and your music. You have no idea how much it means to me! I give thanks for your generosity on a regular basis! For those interested, I recommend checking out his music. It’s awesome! You can also check out his popular songs “Diamond in Disguise” and “Sleeping on The Interstate“.

GIVEAWAY: For fun, I will give a copy of Ryan’s new album to one lucky winner who comments below listing your favorite (or personal) blog or website and telling us what it is about. I will share the winner in the comments below in the next 48 hours!

For those of you looking to secure the domain of your dreams: be patient, be persistent, and offer the other person value – as much value as you can! Always approach each new venture with a plan to make it a win-win situation.

Ryan Avery the Musician, I thank you so much, again, and as always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan Avery the Speaker


6 Reasons You Should Be More Attractive

By Motivation 3 Comments

This sounds harsh, but it is true! Prettier people have it easier than ugly people! I am not only talking about your appearance, I am talking about having an attractive attitude, outlook, and energy! The good thing about our individual beauty is that we can do a lot to improve the way we look and feel without changing our core values.

We also need to do a good job identifying what attractive looks like to “us” and not “them” because being attractive is more about a feeling than a look. It’s more about confidence than about your cheekbones or chic clothes! Being attractive is all about how you feel!

So here are… Six Reasons Why You Should Be More Attractive:

1) You get paid more: According to Daniel Hamermesh, a professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of the new book Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, says a good-looking person will earn, on average, $230,000 more over the course of a lifetime than someone who is perceived as less attractive.

2) More people like you: More people want to be around attractive people than they do ugly people–both physically ugly and emotionally ugly! If you don’t agree, look at any magazine on the shelf. You will see a supermodel who gets paid millions or politicians without brains, but a little more beauty can help win an election!

3) You feel more confident: This is the most important one. Remember: being attractive is a feeling, not a look! Plus, if you want to be a leader, you have to look and feel as though you have confidence. Simon Sinek says the only things a leader needs are followers. Well, you can’t and won’t get those followers if they don’t have confidence in what they see in you!

4) Things are easier for you: I mean all you need to do is read all eight reasons from this Business Insider article to see why!

5) You appear to be friendlier: According to those who smile more bear less stress, a smile is a universal sign of happiness, and smiling helps us get promoted! And if you think it is all about looks, think again. According to Orbit Complete, 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they wear make-up! When you seem happier, less stressed, and confident, more people are going to want to be around you!

6) You are more likely to get a job: According to the 2011 Economic Letters attractive people are 10.3% more likely to be considered for a job compared to 7.6% for less attractive people. Have you ever wondered why some companies ask for your photo in a job application? Are you guilty of looking at someone’s social media before you hire them and judge them based on their looks? I have been guilty of this myself!

In two days I will post an article called “Six Ways to Be More Attractive“. I believe everyone is attractive in his or her own right, but all first have to believe they are! As sad as it is, pretty people (both inside and out) have it better! The good news is we all have the opportunity to look and feel more attractive on a daily basis! As always…

Dream BIG,


Question: In your opinion, why do you think we put so much value on being attractive?

4 Things You Should Know About Your Followers

By Leadership No Comments

One reason I like to blog, speak, and train is because it builds a community around those who have big dreams and want to accomplish them! I like pulling people together to make things happen and to build a team for those who want to work hard toward accomplishing their goals. My community is made of what we call “Todayers!”

Todayer: One who takes advantage of today, plans for tomorrow, and works towards accomplishing a big dream!

In order for you to build a community and understand your followers, there are four things you should know about them at all times:

1) How do they like to digest and view your content? I am a speaker, not a writer. Even so, half of my audience enjoys reading blog posts instead of watching videos. I do record videos, but I also take time to write it out to give people what they want. Just because you like to deliver your information in one format does not mean that is how your audience likes to digest it!

2) What is cohesively holding your community of followers together? What is the one thing that all followers have in common? For Todayers, we all go after BIG dreams. We like to accomplish things and then move on to the next. We like to help others accomplish their dreams, and we like to have fun doing it. Our common thread is accomplishing BIG dreams! What holds your community together?

3) What problems do they face on a regular basis? Todayers can face procrastination, lack of motivation, lack of clarity in goal setting or purpose; my goal is to provide secrets, strategies and insights to keep them motivated to pursue their dreams and to be honest and open about going after mine.

4) What motivates them to share your content and stick around? Do you need giveaways, webinars, and/or consistent content posted weekly? Ask them what motivates them to stick around. I am still working on this as more than 40% of my monthly visitors are new, and out of those almost 30% leave each month. I have to do a better job of finding out what keeps them coming back to me (if you are a regular reader, I would love your insight in the comments below).

Know your followers and give them what they want because most often they are giving you what you want; a voice and opportunity to help change the world! When you are ready to become a Todayer, and join 200+ others, sign up to get articles like this one by filling out your email in the right-hand corner of this page.

We have some fun things coming up in 2015 for all Todayers and we hope you will join us. We are excited to learn about what you want to accomplish! As always…

Dream BIG,

9 Reasons Why You Haven’t Accomplished That Goal of Yours

By Motivation One Comment

So you have this goal! Well, kind of. You have this idea that you have for a goal or something that sounds really cool, but you haven’t accomplished it yet nor have you even told anyone about it because you are afraid that if you do, it might come true or you will fail along the way!

Look, no one benefits from us being average. So, step it up! It is time for you to go after that BIG dream or lofty goal of yours. Wouldn’t you rather fight for something you love doing than die doing something you hate?

We need you to accomplish your goals. We’ll all benefit. It is selfish of you not to go for it because the world is better when your story, your message, your ideas, products or services are shared!

So, if you are making excuses about why you can’t accomplish your goals I am here to tell you that there are nine reasons why you really haven’t accomplished them:

1) You don’t even know what you want. Your goal needs to be SMART. Make it very clear that you know exactly what you want. It is easier to get to a destination if you know where you are going rather than hoping you stumble across it along the way!

2) You haven’t written it down. If you are afraid to write it down, how are you going to get your body to do it? And you can’t just write it down; you need to post it up where you read it everyday!

3) You haven’t told people. Let people help you get to where you want to go. No successful person has ever accomplished anything of value without the help from others. People love to help other people. It is in our nature. They just need to be asked and informed about what it is you want to accomplish.

4) You have not committed to making your goal a priority. Goals have to be a daily priority. You have to stop saying things like “tomorrow” or “when I get this, I will then do XYZ.” Make it a priority!

5) You are afraid of failing. Failure sucks. It really does. It is embarrassing, it is hard, it makes me want to pull my hair out at times. But anytime I fail (which seems to be more often than I would like these days) I remind myself that I am creating a better story. The more failures you have, the better story you have. People love stories, so fail and fail often!

6) You are afraid of succeeding. I am not going to lie. This has been one of the things that has stopped me from accomplishing my dreams more than anything. I like my life and my lifestyle. To pursue your dream means changing your lifestyle. It can be scary. But, we can’t let who we are meant to be hold us back. We should focus on what value we can bring and how many others we can lift up along the way!

7) You think you don’t have the right resources. This is BS! Sorry, but if you are reading this right now that means you have access to the internet and that is the greatest resource of all time. You have the right resources; you just might not know how to use them correctly to get what you want!

8) You don’t know anyone else doing what you want to do. It isn’t easy being a trailblazer, to venture down a path that has never been walked upon. It isn’t easy creating something when you don’t know if it will work or if people will accept it. However, it is worth it because all the things we have were once created by someone like you starting down a new trail!

9) You haven’t started. My favorite quote from Jim Rohn is “You do not have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!” Too many people procrastinate. They don’t get anything done because they are afraid to get started. Start already. You are not supposed to know how to do it, you are supposed to know what you want to do. Learn along the way!

Go and accomplish those goals of yours! The world needs you to! As always…

Dream BIG,

If you want to be the best…

By World Records No Comments

This article will be short and sweet! If you want to be the best, then all you need to know is this: the only competition is you! You can’t be the best by comparing or holding yourself to other people’s standards. If you want to be the best you need to do your best!

What are you doing today that will make you the best at what you do and remind yourself you have the potential to be number one in your desired category? Stop competing against others and start competing against yourself! As always…

Dream BIG,

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