As the year winds down, it’s great to understand where you’ve been, enjoy where you are, and see where you’re going. See the “3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business” after the special announcement.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

If you own a business or are thinking of owning a business, here’s an exciting opportunity for you to create a great 2018…

 

A Strategic Planning Process

that Energizes Your Business

facilitated by Ray Madaghiele

5:30 to 7:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tempe Public Library

I will teach the art and science of facilitating an inspiring strategic planning process for your business. You will be guided to determine the best way to proceed with your own custom-designed strategic planning process for your unique organization. You will learn how to:

  • Create an empowering culture in which your people are focused on what matters most to the success of your organization
  • Gain enthusiastic support for your strategic plan
  • Strengthen accountability by creating alignment and buy-in throughout your organization

All attendees will receive a free participant guidebook and an autographed copy of my book, Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Your investment is only $25 (all proceeds go to the Greater Phoenix SCORE to support their many services for business owners).

Click here to register at Greater Phoenix SCORE

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Here are 3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business:

  1. Reflect on the Past
  2. Celebrate the Present
  3. Project into the Future

Several sure-fire tips to execute these three rituals in your organization…

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What does love and Valentine’s Day have to do with business? In a nutshell, everything!

  • Customers and employees who feel loved are more loyal to your company.
  • Employees who love their bosses and their jobs perform better.
  • Customers and employees who feel loved share their experiences with others.

What if this is true: “It’s all about love!”?

Simply put: Love aspires. Love inspires. Love grows.

Let’s look at two extraordinary companies, both of which were launched in 1971—more than 45 years ago—operating with love as an essential core value.

Have you ever enjoyed a burger and a beer at a Hard Rock Café? Did you know that the company was founded by two hippies who chose love, peace, and rock-‘n-roll as their mantra? Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. They built their first café on London’s Hyde Park corner as the first “classless” restaurant in the class-laden English society.

Today there are more than 175 Hard Rock locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues in 55 countries. Emblazoned on the wall of every property is, “Love All, Serve All.” It is the life—and business—success principle that Tigrett borrowed from his guru in India.

The Seminole Tribe acquired the Hard Rock companies in 2007, continuing to keep its love-based culture alive. Their mottos are still visible: “Love All, Serve All,” “Take Time to Be Kind,” “All Is One,” and “Save the Planet.” And how’s this for a core value: “Deliver kick-ass service.”

Southwest Airlines is another company that fearlessly embraces love (“LUV”) as a fundamental principle.

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Facilitating MeetingsWhen asked to facilitate a group meeting, equip yourself with the right tools to energize the participants and accomplish the objectives.

Last week I had the honor and pleasure to facilitate an afternoon SCORE workshop for a group of small business owners titled, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Being directly after lunch, I knew the session needed to crackle with energy or else nap time would soon be upon us.

Here are some of my favorite group facilitation tools and tips for captivating the attention of participants and accomplishing meeting objectives:

  1. Clear Meeting Objectives– Prior to the facilitation, get together with key leaders and stakeholders to define the objectives of the upcoming meeting. These objectives are your ultimate targets, or goals, to accomplish.
  2. Written Agenda– Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at how many meetings I have attended at which people don’t know why they are there. A written agenda, at the very least, provides a good framework to channel discussions. Sending it out to the participants before the meeting is a bonus.
  3. Declarations of Understanding– I begin every facilitated meeting by asking the participants, “What are your desires and expectations for this meeting and of me.” I capture their ideas on a flipchart. Then I share with the participants what I desire and expect of them, listing everything on another flipchart. Next, I hang both flipcharts on a wall so we can all refer to them throughout the meeting, if necessary, in order to keep things on track. My favorite desires and expectations of participants are:

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Public SpeakingDo your palms sweat, knees shake, heart race, and stomach fill with butterflies whenever you are asked to speak to groups? Mine used to and I would let the fear stop me from saying yes. Guess what? I still feel those sensations but have learned some valuable tips that help me to channel that nervous energy and get the butterflies flying in formation so I can seize opportunities that arise. You can too.

This week I had the honor and pleasure to speak at the 2016 Phoenix SCORE Small Business Symposium. During my preparation and delivery, I reminisced about of some of the public speaking techniques that I have learned during my past 30-years as a public speaker and facilitator.

Prepare

  • Build up a reserve of information—be ready with 100 times the amount of information than you can possibly share in the allotted time.
  • Develop clear written objectives, an agenda, and bullet points about what you would like to accomplish. Resist writing out your presentation word for word. Instead, let your slides and bullets prompt your thoughts.
  • Arrive at the room early enough in order to get everything set up and ready to go before the first participant appears. I have found that there is always something that needs to be tweaked to match my preferences. Test all the equipment that will be used. Technology doesn’t always cooperate as intended, so be ready with an alternate plan if necessary.
  • Keep everything organized and professional-looking to reduce distractions and optimize your efficiency (i.e., chairs orderly, supply table neat, posters straight, attractive handouts, layout highly technical training tools).

Connect

  • Dress just above the level of the best-dressed person in the room. You’ll feel better and your participants will see you as the professional you are.
  • Check your ego at the door. Deliver your presentation in a conversational way.
  • Welcome each participant as he or she enters the room. This will ease both your and their anxiety.
  • Hold their attention—present information using a variety of ways in which people learn best (e.g., visual, auditory, kinesthetic, creative, analytical). Tell relevant and entertaining stories. Build in exercises. Use exhibits and metaphors to demonstrate concepts and principles.
  • Meet your audience at their present level of consciousness and strive to lift them to a higher level.

Engage

  • When you begin, engage the participants within the first 60 seconds. Ask a question. Have them greet a neighbor. Something to involve them.
  • Engage people’s hearts and minds—lasting transformation occurs only when the heart is involved. Personal stories and examples are a great way to connect heart to heart.
  • Keep PowerPoint slides simple, using few words and nothing smaller than a 24-point font size. Remember also that a picture is worth a thousand words. You want people to focus on you and your message not straining to read wordy slides.
  • Allow people to share their unique point of view. Be a spherical thinker—see everyone’s viewpoint (opinion) as a valid point on a sphere.
  • Deliver what you’ve promised so that you maintain your integrity with your audience (or reach consensus to do otherwise).

Flow

  • Keep the energy moving and building; don’t let the momentum drop.
  • Trust your intuition to know the perfect questions to ask and the right exercises to use to help the group progress
  • Mix it up—keep things interesting and fresh by varying the exercises and by occasionally springing surprises upon your audience.
  • Don’t be afraid of a little chaos—it’s a natural part of the process. Trust that order will eventually appear.
  • Maintain the delicate balance between achieving results and allowing time for dialogue.

Enjoy!

  • It’s easier to be a speaker or facilitator if you love people.
  • Have fun with the people in your audience. A smile and a little appropriate humor go a long way toward lightening up tense situations.
  • Give it your all by pouring your heart and soul into it.
  • Don’t take things personally—people are never upset for the reasons you think.
  • Look for opportunities to WOW!—make the experience unique, memorable and enjoyable.

I hope these tips help you to overcome fear of public speaking and hone your own speaking and facilitation skills.

What other public speaking techniques do you use?

Much success and fulfillment,

Ray

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(Adapted from Chapter 15 in my new book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Read free chapters and learn more at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)

High-Performance TeamThis post is a preview for a workshop that I will be delivering to a group of small business owners and leaders next week. It’s a little longer than most of my articles so sit back, take a little breather and enjoy.

At 9:45 a.m. next Tuesday, March 15, I will be facilitating a workshop at the free 2016 SCORE Small Business Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona, along with 17 other dynamic, talented speakers. My workshop will be focused on, “Hiring and Training a High-Performance Team”.

Developing high-performing teams is vital to the success of any business. As business owners we all can benefit from valuable, practical tools and tips designed to attract and build a team of “Eagles” whose performance and decision-making align with the highest and best interest of our organization. How well do you…

Attract and select the right and perfect people for your team by…

1)  assuring resonance and passion with your “Big Why”?

2)  infusing your organization’s culture with lofty behavioral values?

3)  assessing team member fit and training needs?

Build a synergistic team that strives to deliver exemplary service by…

4)  understanding the natural, dynamic Cycle of Teams?

5)  creating a culture of O.W.N.E.R.S.H.I.P. and self-accountability?

6)  strengthening team member relationships and communication?

7)  formulating Individual Development Plans that encourage continuous improvement?

Here are some of my thoughts for each objective listed above.

(Click here to read my entire LinkedIn article)