Upbeat Motivation

First published Edition 93 Tuesday 7th June 2011
Clinton Jones, President of Centralpark Toastmasters

Keeping up with the Joneses!

Hi, its amazing how things always seem to happen in three’s? That’s great if they are good things! Last week it was good for me when within the space of a couple of hours I ran into three people I had not seen collectively for nearly 30 years! Two were ex business colleagues and one was the daughter of an old personal friend I had been meaning to catch up with for ages. In the space of those three chance meetings I found out lots of stuff I had been wondering about too long. It made me realise how important it is to stay in touch with colleagues and friends and how easy it is to drift apart from people who can enrich and enhance your personal or business lives.

In another recent example I found out one of my customers was soon to be admitted to hospital for open heart surgery. I also found out that we had a mutual friend whom he had not spoken to for years. So I contacted the mutual friend (whom I had also not spoken with for a year) I told him about his old mate and the Op. The outcome was an emotional reunion of two old buddies who had drifted apart for no good reason. This random act of reconnection made me feel pretty good too, so glad I made the effort to get these two together. Interesting observation from one of the guys that too often people don’t reconnect with old mates until they attend funerals of mutual friends or tragically when its far too late and they find themselves attending the actual funeral of that particular mate!

For the sake of a phone call (preferably not by text or email) I urge you all to call someone you have been meaning to touch base with for far too long… go on do it NOW (no resthome regrets…right!).

We were lucky enough to snaffle the ‘Jones’ family bach for QB weekend, where after weathering the storm we had some awesome weather and a relaxing time, hope you did too, Cheers Jonesey!

Harry the hound was so overwhelmed with birthday mail that he had to take time out at the bach to recover ! He asked me to pass on his appreciation for his popularity! Cheers!

Selling the sizzle

“Come to the edge”, he said. They said,”We are afraid”. Come to the edge,” he said. They came. He pushed them…And they flew. Guillaume Apollinaire

I have been inspired by five people I have heard speak recently. They were not highly paid motivational gurus or celebrities on the public speaking circuit. No they were five people like you and I who were taking the first steps toward overcoming their fear of public speaking!

Each was presenting their first speech (the ‘Icebreaker’) to their chosen Toastmasters club. Their objectives to ‘begin speaking in front of an audience’, to ‘introduce themselves to their fellow club members’ and ‘to identify skills thay already have and any they need to work on in future speeches’.

I still get a huge buzz out of watching and listening to people confront and feel the fear but do it anyway ! These speeches have it all, passion, honesty, raw emotion, deep personal connection, nerves, tears, laughter, humour, smiles, anguish and ultimately satisfaction and elation as their first speech is wrestled to the ground for the three count !

The most compelling thing about these speeches is there is a little bit of us in all of them, stuff we can all relate to about fears and what we often do to avoid rather than confront them. The five all drew on heartfelt personal experiences that led to them ultimately mustering the courage to do something about what is a common fear for most of us… it was truly motivating and captivating.

After over twenty years as a Toastmaster these are the things that make me keep coming back for more, they drive, inspire and continually improve me as a leader and a presenter. They keep me bouncing out of bed on the day of the meetings and enthuse and energise me between them.

Toastmasters may not be everyones cup of tea but it is important for us all to identify confront and overcome fears so we can be driven by the energy harnessed from the confidence this generates!

“Its alright to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation” Rob Gilbert

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