Please look at me because eye contact makes you real and likable
Sawubona. This is the Zulu greeting for “hello” from my native South Africa. But the literal translation of Sawubona means ‘I see you’ and the response, ‘Ngikhona’ means ‘I am here’. Inherent in the Zulu greeting and our grateful response, is the sense that until you saw me, I didn’t exist. By recognizing me, you brought me into existence. A Zulu proverb clarifies this, “Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu”, meaning, “A person is a person because of other people”.
So think about this: when you make eye contact with other people, you bring them into existence. You connect them to the world that you represent. By looking directly at people, you acknowledge their presence and make them real. Without that connection, they may feel isolated and even disoriented.
What Meeting Planners Expect From Professional Speakers
Leadership expert Michelle Ray helps people and organizations to take the lead, get out of their comfort zones, and develop the willingness to risk. Delivering her powerful message on self-leadership with insight, humour, and passion, Michelle’s engaging, interactive, presentations resonate with a diverse clientele who are seeking to inspire their teams and take personal responsibility for creating their own reality at work, in business and in life. Based on her observations from years of professional speaking, Michelle shares her ideas on what meeting planners need from the professional speakers they hire:
While preparing my presentation set-up for a keynote at a recent conference, the meeting planner ran toward me in a panic, apologizing for being pulled in ten different directions, simultaneously. She explained that there were several items demanding her immediate attention. Her committee were in a time crunch, trying to locate the whereabouts of one of the panelists due to appear in a morning breakout session. In addition, tensions were building amongst attendees as the registration software was inexplicably malfunctioning, resulting in lengthy line-ups and delays at the welcome booths. Boxes containing sponsors’ promotional materials were missing and presumed lost en route, as the conference facility’s shipping and receiving department and the planner frenetically exchanged text messages. Meanwhile, the banquet manager was waiting for her at the back of the room, needing approval to add seating for the luncheon, in order to accommodate a number of special guests who confirmed their attendance that morning.
As I reflect on the experience, it reminded me of several important factors that contribute to the success of a conference, from the perspective of a meeting planner. First and foremost, although speakers have the privilege of the performing on the main stage, we are not at the centre of the meeting planner’s universe. It behooves us to be mindful of their immediate priorities and ultimate objectives.
How to Think, Talk and Win in the Year of The Horse
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of The Horse begins on January 31. Within the Chinese calendar, each year is represented by an animal that carries with it a profound set of principles that forecast how the year will unfold. Here are three that are central to all our wellbeing:
First, there is nothing in the universe that is not subject to constant change and transformation.
Second, there is regularity within change. There is nothing accidental within the system. Change and transformation take place by way of a pattern to the process, not by chance.
Third, The individual is a microcosm of the universe itself. What is inside is also outside. Peace is found in the harmony between self and society. In the terms of Yin/Yang theory, the secret is to align one’s personal yin and yang with the universal yin and yang.
Showing Entrepreneurs How to Paint a Picture of Success
As the landscape for business continues to change, leaders need to be creative to stay ahead of the game to keep customers interested. Internationally recognized artist Erik Wahl shows how organizations can tap into creativity to achieve superior performance and differentiate themselves from the competition:
When entrepreneurs embark on their journey, they start with a blank canvas: There is no manual for building their dream. Along the way, they’re bound to hit some bumps — and when they do, it’s important they visualize the picture of success. For Erik Wahl, he takes it one step further and actually paints his success.
As a business strategist and an artist, Wahl combines his two passions to demonstrate the journey for his entrepreneurship endeavor, while also providing motivation to others.
Taking the stage at Entrepreneur’s 2014 Growth Conference in New Orleans, he left the crowd captivated painting iconic pieces like the Statue of Liberty and Einstein in a matter of minutes. Wahl not only takes people on his journey, while his paint strokes create a vibrant image but also inspires businesspeople to think about innovation, taking success to the next level and living the dream.
Why ex-banker Pattie Lovett-Reid gets three Ds
Former bank executive Pattie Lovett-Reid is the host of The Pattie Lovett-Reid Show on CTV News Channel. On the Toronto Star’s series on the financial habits of notable Canadians, Pattie told the Toronto Star’s Emily Mathieu about the stress of being “house poor,” her inability to justify her love of luxury purses, and her three firm rules for getting out of debt.
What was the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
My father told me not to flunk retirement. I needed to put some money away from the day I started to work because there would come a time when I would no longer be able to work. He also said don’t let life become a series of take-aways. Stay in the game, don’t become complacent, continue to upgrade your skills and believe in yourself — even if no one else does. Don’t become unbelievably average.