Don’t Be Shy – Boost Your Confidence Before Giving Your Presentation

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve given a speech, a presentation or a meeting update and it hasn’t flowed as well as you would have liked? You’re hesitant the next time you’re about to present? If you’re feeling uncertain about an up and coming event (such as a meeting, speech or presentation) check out these 10 pre-event confidence-boosting questions and see if answering them makes the difference:

1. Are you certain of your core message, point or outcome? If not establish what this is from the outset and allow everything else to flow from it

2. Have you prepared well enough for the event? If not what else can you do to prepare?

3. Does what you’re doing make sense to you? Does it sit well with your values and principles? Just how important is it to you? How can you raise its importance in your mind?

4. What is your relationship with the people around you? Are there any issues here? How will this impact on your delivery? How can you modify your thoughts, feelings and behaviour to address the issues?

5. How can you ensure you express yourself clearly and well? (If you’re certain of your core message and you’re well prepared it should be much easier to state your case clearly and with conviction). Can you draw on a similar situation when things went well? What is the difference between how you felt then and how you feel now? Why is this?

6. What kind of material do you have? Is it clear and simple to understand for the visual, audio and kinaesthetic among your audience? Can you improve, simplify or clarify it?

7. Have you anticipated any tricky questions that may come up, and prepared responses to them?

8. What are you saying and thinking to yourself about the event? If you’re telling yourself how badly it’s going to go that’s exactly what you risk manifesting

9. Have you looked at the situation from the vantage point of each person who will be at that event? What questions or issues arise when you do this? Can you deal with any of them in advance? If so how?

10. What other messages are being communicated to you from this uncertainty? What do you need to do to quell them?

Answering these questions should go some way to increasing your confidence and ensuring you are well prepared for your event.

To Be Present, Patient and Persistent – How Horses Can Teach You How to Be a Great Leader

“The horse is a mirror of the handler”, he told me. That got me thinking. If my horse should be a mirror of me, then it should be nice. However, I did not like what I saw. She was dominant, lazy, aggressive, and ignorant and she was eating too much. Well, I was not eating too much, but I was not teachable and in my life, it was either my way or the highway. I am a leader of a great organization in a very big company, I am used to be somewhat dominant, and setting the standpoints on which other people should follow. However, sometimes I experienced that the people I was working with did not like the way I was teaching. I was telling people what to do and not thinking of what could be their motivation or thinking about their point of view.

I found that the young man who taught me about my horse’s behavior also has an educational center where he teaches people the natural principles of love, language and leadership and understanding the horse’s point of view, so you can better help the horse to understand what it is that you want. “Imagine what that approach could do in Humans-Ville!” I started training with this person and soon I found that I was the one who needed to change, not my horse. He was right the horse is truly a mirror of me and how I feel and act inside.

First, I had to learn to be teachable and that was not easy. I had to learn to be humble in order to put the horse first instead of my wants. The horse showed me all my weaknesses and my strengths. Then I had to learn to be Present. If I was not present, I could get hurt and I did. Too many people live in their pasts or in their future. Nevertheless, the real key to happiness and living a fulfilling life lies in the present and the horses truly taught me that. The time is flying and we have a great time once we are present and enjoying ourselves. One way I learned to be present, was that every time I had a negative thought, I should recognize my thought and then focus on what sounds I could hear, the colors around me, the chair I was sitting on or focus on my horse if I was with her. Staying in the present moment is one of the best ways to change your future. It helps you create more of what you really enjoy and isn’t that what life is all about? Having fun and enjoying ourselves?

Another thing, the horses taught me, was to be patient. Again, in my professional life, I usually had only a little patience with people who did not do what they said they would do or they did not understand what I wanted the first time I explained something. So, the way I learned to have patience was that I had to give the horse time to understand what I wanted it to do. Then I had to give the horse time and responsibility to figure out how to do it. That REALLY takes a lot of patience, but it truly pays off in everything else you do. Today I use the same technique when raising my children. I give them a “job” and the responsibility to do that “job” and then they need the time to figure it out for themselves. It gives them more motivation and it gives them a better self-esteem and self-worth. And I noticed that by doing that both my horse and my children started to offer more and they even began taking more responsibility.

But it does take some time. Especially in the beginning so as a side effect I had to learn the power of persistence. The horses are very good teachers when it comes to that subject. They are true masters in this field and they can out-persist you any day if you are not aware. They are dependent on this ability in order to survive in nature. Imagine a Zebra who does not persist on a lion. Before I learned to be persistent, I gave up even before giving my horse the chance so then I began micromanaging the horse and not trusting that the horse would figure it out. That was really a mirror of me. I was the type of person, which gave people assignments and then said that it was a lot easier and faster if I did it myself. So I did not really trust that they would do it well enough or fast enough. Try to imagine what persistence will do to your life. What if you persisted just a little bit longer on that goal? What if you persisted just a little bit longer on getting the relationship right? What if you did not give up on other people or yourself and persisted just a little bit longer? Imagine what positive changes could occur in your life.

I found the same with goal setting. I learned to set goals, to focus on my goal but to stay and enjoy the present moment. Before, I sat a goal, and if I didn’t get it within a short period of time I got impatient and I was not giving it enough time to unfold. What happened was that I only got a few of my short term goals manifested. With the long term goals, I am still working on my patience, being persistent and staying in the present moment.

These are very profound qualities that good leaders also have. And my horses are now teaching me to be a great leader with both horses and humans. So if you have a horse you have one of the greatest teachers close to you.

Creditors Negotiation – Debt Settlement Through Negotiation With Creditors

When you are deep in debt it is often difficult to know what action to take, no matter how desperate you are to get out of it. Taking action requires some knowledge of the specific things you can do to change your situation. Many people appear to be simply ignoring their predicament, whereas they just do not understand what the options are in terms of moving forward.

Even the briefest look at any serious debt problem should tell you that one thing that will definitely not work is to hope that it will all go away. A surprising number of people simply ignore the requests from their creditors for payment. Not being able to keep up with payments is one thing, but just not paying without any explanation to your creditors is something else. Your best hope for a long term solution is for your creditors to gain some understanding of your position of hardship and to then agree to be flexible about the terms for settling what you owe.

Creditors negotiation can be done in different ways, but one way or another it needs to happen if you are to get rid of your debts once and for all. If you have a large amount of unsecured debts to a few different creditors, then trying to negotiate a reduced settlement amount is almost certainly the best approach. You can either do this directly yourself or use a specialist company to do it for you.

The process of dealing with debt through creditors negotiation is known as debt settlement and there are many companies in the US that specialise in this area of work. In the UK that specific service is not offered because debt management companies can also provide what is called an Individual Voluntary Agreement, which is a more formal way to settle debts for less than the full amount. The alternative to using one of these companies is of course to do the negotiation directly yourself.

If you use a debt settlement company to do your creditors negotiation for you, they will approach each of your creditors in turn with the aim of coming to agreements to settle your debt in full for as little as possible. A good negotiator might typically expect a settlement of this type to be for about forty to fifty percent of the full amount. With some creditors the negotiation may only take a month or so, but with others it can take two or three years. While this happens you do not make any payments to your creditors, but put money away instead in a holding account. As the amount of money in this account grows, it is used to pay for the settlements that are agreed.

If you plan to undertake creditors negotiation yourself, you will need to have some help and advice, unless you happen to be very experienced already in this field. It is not just about being tough or good at deal making. You can only hope to achieve the kind of deals that a settlement company would get if you have a thorough understanding of how your creditors operate. Knowing how these companies treat bad debt and what their policies are for loss mitigation is what enables you to time your bargaining just right to get the maximum amount written off your debt.

The incentive for dealing with creditors negotiation yourself is that you do not need to pay anything to a debt settlement company, and so can gain the most benefit from any reductions in your debts. The fees for the best settlement companies will simply be a proportion of the amount they get written off your debts, so you cannot lose out overall. However, that can still be a substantial amount when you are dealing with large debts, so if you are able to achieve the same saving yourself, you stand to gain quite a lot.

There are lots of guides available online that claim to help you negotiate with creditors, but many of them offer very little real help, being full of banal information that you could have figured out yourself. There are a few very comprehensive guides out there, from excellent e-books to interactive learning courses, so do not just opt for the first one you come across. No guide is going to really help unless it tells you exactly what to do at each stage of the process.

If you wish to go down the debt settlement company route, you should apply to at least three companies and compare the feedback you get from these. Start off by using recommended companies so that you avoid any that may not have an appropriate record of success.