What Truly Matters

Today, I saw a man in a coffin. Prayerfully at peace.

It reminded me of how short life is.
Of how we should focus on what matters.
In this life. That this life is temporary.
That there is the next life — long and lasting.

Too often, in life, we fight unnecessary battles.
We create unnecessary chaos.
We contribute to confusion.
Why do we do so?

But when we see the face of death,
When we see the matter of mortality,
We are reminded of what really matters.

Truly, at the end of our lives,
We DO NOT ask –
how many arguments we’ve won
how we displayed our intelligence
how we made a name of our own

We rather ask –
Did I live?
Did I love?
Did I contribute to the community?

Tough, isn’t it?
That’s why we need God’s grace.
His mercy and grace…

#leadershipthoughts #reflectionsontheroad #toughconversations #onlytherealmatters #mortalitymotivation

Dynamic Dependence

Was there a time in your life when you forced yourself to do something because you thought it must be done but nobody is doing it?

In Grade 4, I learned to play the guitar. In Grade 5, I started to play the guitar for our church services in Kibungan – not because I was so good but because I was the only one who knows and the only one who was available. In fact, I was pushed to learn how to play guitar because there were two guitars in church, but no one was playing them. To me, our mass or prayer meeting seemed a bit dry when we sing songs without it. I told myself, “If nobody will do it, I will do it.” So, there I was.

For four Sundays, I had been choosing one and the same song for the procession. Somebody asked, “Is that your favorite song?” I said, “No, but it’s the only song I can play. For the stanzas, you only need two chords (A and E); and in the chorus, you just add the third one (D). I was not so good. Some people would give feedback and say it ‘nicely’, “Medyo silang din adjust di gitara sya?” They were pertaining to the tuning of the guitar strings but I knew I was making many mistakes. Wrong key. Wrong rhythm. Wrong chord. But I was happy that I was serving in church. I was loving God through this new-found talent.

Through time, I became better.

I continued serving in our parish. I involved myself in the music ministry and youth ministry. When I turned first year high school, I was elected as the President of the Student Catholic Action in our school. Being the President, I was sent to attend a national gathering of Catholic youth leaders in Cavite. For some reasons, even if it was a national gathering, there was a shortage of instrumentalists. Nobody was playing the guitar. I had to volunteer. So, there I was – imperfect, not so talented – but playing the guitar and leading a group of young leaders from all over the Philippines singing their hearts out to praise and worship the Lord.

[Maybe you are not the best. Maybe you think you are imperfect, not talented, or not skilled. But God is calling you to do something. Do it. He will equip you along the way. And by what you do, you are responding to His call to love Him back. For what you do for Him is a concrete manifestation of the truth that you are set-apart for God’s use only. Because this call is not just for priests and pastors preaching in the pulpit. This is a call that is applicable to all of us, regardless of our profession or position. Teachers. Policemen. Drivers. Farmers. Businessmen. Employees. Professionals. Students. Whoever you are.]

But even if you are serving God, it is not a guarantee that it will be smooth and perfect.

When I turned third year high school, I was still active in the parish youth ministry. I was the leader. And still the guitarist. We planned for activities, for projects. We did a concert for a cause. We went to a far barangay in Kibungan with a group of volunteers, a band and some borrowed instruments. During the event, one electric guitar that we borrowed fell from the table down to the floor. The bridge was damaged. The guitar was destroyed.

And because we also lacked management and marketing skills, the event did not earn much. The event could not even pay the repair or replacement of that borrowed guitar. I thought to myself, “I have to pay for that.” But how could a third-year high school student, from a poor family, afford it?

I went home with that problem. And for some reasons, another problem came in. And another.

I told myself, “This is enough. Let them do it by themselves.”

I stopped going to church. Days went by. Weeks went by.

I thought they were the ones losing in my absence. But I realized, I was the one losing. Something in me was looking for something. And slowly, I pulled myself back to the church. I started to participate again. I started to serve again.

And that problem we were facing, it was gone. The other, it was solved. And our parish priest handed me an envelope of cash which I delivered to the owner of the guitar to pay for the damaged guitar.

I continued to serve even in my imperfect ways. I was growing in the process. One Christmas Day, I received a card from our parish priest. As I read his message to me, I well up in tears. I thought that what I was doing was minor, small, ordinary… but he said, “Thank you for using your gift so that people can sing their praise to God.” I realized that what I was doing – even how small it was – is special. It is. After all, it was for God.

My friends, let me tell you this: Your Father celebrates your small ways of serving Him. With your time, talent, and treasure. Your selfless service. In your work. Wherever you are assigned. Whatever good thing you do, do it with your best. And do it for HIM because you are for Him!

Sometimes you get discouraged because you are imperfect. People around you are imperfect. People leading you are imperfect. This happens because we, all, are a work-in-progress. So, rise up and serve Him anyway. And give your all!

Why Develop Your Public Speaking Skills

People miss out on promotions, higher performance, and increased earnings because they do not put the effort in developing their public speaking skills.

Today, let me remind you of the three reasons why you should be intentional in growing your speaking skills.

First, it matters in employment. In a Harvard Business Review article by Rebecca Knight, she cites Dorie Clark, author of ‘Entrepreneurial You’ saying, “Having influence in the workplace has clear value. You get more done and you advance the projects you care about and are responsible for… You’re more likely to be noticed, get promoted, and receive raises.”

Before I was hired by one of the top auditing firms in the country, I was interviewed four times. I had to articulate well what I could offer to the company.

Before I was promoted to a supervisory position in my previous company, I had to do a lot of coordination, presentations, meetings, and all sorts of conversations on top of my regular accounting tasks. With this, I was able to achieve the results required. Coincidentally, my superiors also noticed my leadership potential. Thanks to those who helped me develop my speaking skills and to the experiences that helped me overcome my shyness.

Second, it matters in entrepreneurship. Billionaire Richard Branson said, “Today, if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you also have to be a storyteller… It is not enough to create a great product; you also have to work out how to let people know about it.” Storytelling calls for communication. And oftentimes, stories are told through a speech or presentation.

When I published my first book in 2013, it has become my business to market it, to sell it, to reach more readers. I cannot just sit and let it speak for itself. I had to speak about it. In two years, I was able to sell 80% of the printed copies (20% was given as gifts). My supportive friends would not have known about the book had I not spoke about it in a confident and comprehensible way.

Third, it matters in everyday life. Communication, which includes public speaking, is inevitable. It is almost comparable to air and water. You cannot live without communicating. That’s how it matters.

Brian Tracy said, “Your ability to communicate with others will account for fully 85% of your success in your business and in your life.”

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest men, also said, “You can improve your value by 50% just by learning communication skills – public speaking.”

Even if I do not quote these big names and cite studies, you know from experience, that communication and public speaking matters a lot.

It’s high time, my friend, to start being more intentional in exerting the effort to develop your public speaking skills. It will help you as an employee, or as an entrepreneur, and as a person.

Take that required step now. Read that book. Attend that workshop. Be part of that group. Learn from mentors. Start speaking up!

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is an inspirational speaker, leadership trainer, public speaking and presentations coach, and book writing coach. He authored 5 books including ‘SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation’. Book him for coaching or invite him to speak to your next event.

Purpose is Important

You have to know your purpose. This is one of the similarities of life, courtship and speeches.

You have to answer the questions:

(Life) Why are you here?

(Courtship) What’s your intention in courting that girl?

(Speech) What do you want to achieve with your presentation?

You won’t be so excited about life if you do not know your reason why. You will not move forward in courtship if your intention in approaching someone is not clear. Your speech will not serve you and your audience if you don’t have a purpose.

In my book SPEAK, I shared three general purposes of a speech: show, shine, and sell.

To show is to inform the audience about a person, a cause, a procedure, an object, an idea, a concept, a place, or an event.

To shine is to inspire or entertain. You may want to inspire your audience and uplift their spirits. You may want to appeal to noble motives and inspire them to pursue higher goals. On the other hand, you may want to entertain them by making them laugh or simply painting a smile on their faces through your words or message.

To sell is to persuade or convince. You may want them to do something – to support your project or advocacy, to say yes to your proposal, to buy something, or vote for you. You may want to convince them to agree with you – with your belief or conviction.

Before you proceed in your speech preparation, your purpose should be crystal clear. This way, you know what to include in your content, you know how to support your point, and you know how to approach this particular project.

Do this everytime you prepare a speech. With the purpose in mind, you will have more chances of achieving it. This exercise will come in handy even in other areas of life – oh yes, including courtship. 😉

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a leadership trainer, presentations coach, and author of 4 books including ‘SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation with Competence and Confidence’. Get a free copy of his book by joining his SPEAK 2.0 Intensive Public Speaking Workshop on May 25 in Baguio City. Check the details and register at http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio. Hurry seats are limited!)

Where should you begin when preparing your speech?

The main thing should be the first thing. This is so true in life. It is also true when preparing your speech or presentation.

How do you start with the main things?

I have a friend who asked me, “Chris, can you give some activities or games I can use for my seminar?”

I acknowledge and commend him for his humility and willingness to learn. But there’s something missing in his question or in the information he prioritizes to prepare. He was asking for activities or games but he doesn’t have the main things yet.

Before looking for activities or games to use, you should start with PAM: Purpose, Audience, Message.

First, you have to know your purpose. What is the objective of your speech or seminar? What do you want to accomplish?

Second, you have to know your audience. Who will you be talking to? Who are the participants?

Third, you have to know your message. What is it that you want to tell them? What is it that you want to convey?

Get clear with your purpose, audience, and message first before you start asking the questions, “What games or activities can I use to support my point? What examples will I use to illustrate my message?”

When you are set with these main things, the games and activities will be easy to find or create. You can have your own or you can model from those of others. You can find a lot of examples on Google or Youtube.

Again, let the main thing be the first thing. Start with PAM: Purpose, Audience, Message. This way, the activities will be aligned to your message, will fit your audience, and will accomplish your purpose.

If you want to enhance your competence and confidence in giving speeches or presentations, join me at the SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop on March 16 at the SIRIB Center, Saint Louis University, Baguio City.

To register, go to http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio. For inquiries, you may text 0945-761-6577 or email info@chrisdaoanis.com.

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a presentations coach, keynote speaker, and author of 4 books. Like his page at http://facebook.com/chrisdaoanis.)

Are you waiting for your breakthrough?

“There is no cure if you are not coachable.” This statement from Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, punctured me. It punched me in the gut.

I was so stubborn before that I never availed of this valuable exercise even if it was available to me. It happened first when I was in high school. We were bound to compete in a campus journalism contest at the provincial level. And our adviser knew we needed to prepare more.

She invited an experienced writer to help us out. They scheduled a coaching session on a day that we can most likely attend.

But I was stubborn and full of pride. I was telling myself, “I can do this on my own. I can win the next level of competition even without a coach.” I was generally a good boy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t exempted from going through this ‘phase-full-of-pride’. I was trying to prove something to myself.

They proceeded to conduct the coaching session and I wasn’t there.

Along with the other contestants, we went to the competition. The result even fed my pride. I won. But wait for it…

I went on to the regional level. It was different. I wasn’t prepared for it. I lost.

What could have happened if I availed of the coaching that was available for me? There is no assurance that I could have won. But I could have learned more. I could have gained more competence.

I was thankful that I was reintroduced to this concept of coaching when I started working. The company I was working with had a practice of assigning experienced auditors to coach and mentor new hires. I’m glad I had that chance.

Through time, I was able to change my mindset and replace my old practices. I continued to receive coaching in my career and in public speaking.

Here’s what I gained:

– a clearer picture of what I can do or achieve

– a clearer path I should take

– a clearer direction I needed to follow

– enhanced competence and confidence in what I do

My friend, do you have a clear goal or vision? Do you have a clear path to pursue? If not, you need guidance. You need coaching.

Do you want to fast-track your skill-building? Do you want to develop specific skills, in public speaking or presentation? Be open to coaching.

Coaching can be the medicine you are waiting for. LaCroix puts it powerfully, “There is no cure if you are not coachable.”

Be humble and be open to coaching.

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a Presentations Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Leadership Trainer. He is an author of 4 books including ‘SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation with Competence and Confidence.’

Get his book for free by attending the SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop on March 16 in Baguio City. Register now at http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio.
For coaching inquiries or speaking invitations, drop a message at https://chrisdaoanis.com/invite or text 0945-761-6577.)

Pay the Price

If you want to get more value from something, pay for it. If you need to push yourself in implementing what you learn, pay the price.

When you pay for something, you give yourself the permission to appreciate its value. And this encourages you to make the most of what you paid for.

Yes, learn as much as you can from free resources and free events. But you also need to find avenues where you have to pay to gain more value in the area that you want to grow.

In 2010, I joined Toastmasters, the world leader in public speaking skills development. I paid for a one-time registration fee of $20 (approx. P1,200) and a membership fee of $45 (approx. P2,500) for 6 months, renewal thereafter. To some, this is a small amount. To me, this was huge! But I paid for it because I saw the value in it.

In 2014, I signed up for the Success Speakers Club of Bo Sanchez, under the directorship of Arun Gogna. I wasn’t able to attend the live sessions because I couldn’t afford it. But I paid for the videos and devoured the value in it.

In 2016, I started to enroll in online courses of respected  trainers like Brendon Burchard, Darren Tay, and Darren LaCroix.

What’s interesting is when you pay for something, the value becomes more visible. It becomes more concrete. And because you paid for it, you will tell yourself, “I have to make the most of this investment. I have to put into practice what I’m learning. I have to get the results I needed.”

I am thankful for the many resources and events available around – both for free or for a fee. They made me a better presenter at work when I was still in my accounting job, and now in my talks and trainings.

The message is this: The amount you pay can be a wonderful ally in the pursuit of your goal to become a better presenter and leader.

If you want to enhance your presentation and public speaking skills, pay the price. Go ahead and watch all free videos on Youtube and Facebook (check my channel and page). Look for avenues to practice what you are learning. But don’t stop there.

Level up your learning. Look for paid events and resources (like books or courses). Pay for them and get all the learning they provide.

You will see how you appreciate more what they give. You will see a good change in your behavior. You will notice yourself with more drive and dedication. You will become more consistent in what you need to do. In due time, you will build the habits, develop the practices, and make the strategies as part of who you are.

Go, get the value you deserve!

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM helps technical professionals become better presenters and leaders. He is an author of 4 books, including SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation.

To order the book ‘SPEAK’, go to http://bit.ly/getspeak.

To get the book for FREE, join the SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop – sign up now at http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio.

For speaking invitations, email him at info@chrisdaoanis.com or text 0945-761-6577.)

What to do when you are stuck in preparing a speech or presentation

If you are stuck, you need to go out!

Last Thursday, I was having a hard time. There was an internal struggle. Something was holding me back. But I knew I had to deliver. Still, I could not proceed. To some writers, they call it “writer’s block.” Maybe, you experienced this too — when you are preparing a speech or presentation but you cannot proceed. Just like that, I was stuck!

I was thankful that there was an event in the nearby parish – the ordination of the newest priest in the Diocese of Baguio. It pulled me out from my desk, from my laptop. I went out, attended the celebration and something beautiful happened.

While I was participating in the celebration, I refreshed. I regained perspective. And my spirit was rejuvenated. It also gave me a clearer direction on how I should approach the situation I was in. The magic happened as I went out.

And that’s my simple tip for you today. Go out!

When you are having a hard time or difficulty in preparing your speech or presentation, go out! When you do not have that idea or you cannot put together the data or information that is in front of you, go out!  

Go out and move away from your desk, from your laptop, from your paper. Pull out from the data that you are so close to. When you take a step back and reflect, you will regain perspective. As you look around and see what’s going on around, you will be able to reset. Because sometimes, what’s hindering you is that you are so close and too engrossed with that data, problem, or challenge you are facing.

It is during those moments when you need to be even more intentional in going out. Walk around. Meet people. Engage with your assistant, secretary, or team members. Converse with the ate in the carinderia across the street. Greet the janitor. Speak to the security guard.

Or do what I did that Thursday morning. Attend an event. Celebrate with the community. Commune with the community. Be part of a celebration. Enjoy the time with people!

As you see the people around, you will be reminded of the people who depend on you, who look up to you, who are inspiring you. You will be reminded that you need to show up and do what you need to do. You will have a refreshed mindset and rejuvenated spirit. You will have a clearer path to take and the right course of action.

As you go out and pull out from your desk or laptop, you will be able to connect to the greater scheme of things. As you disconnect, you will be able to reconnect. This will give you that much needed inspiration, wisdom, and flow.

So that when you go back, you will put together what you need to put to together. You will be able to prepare well for that speech or presentation you will be giving.

Just like what you needed.

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM helps technical professionals become better presenters and leaders. He is an author of 4 books, including SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation.

To order the book ‘SPEAK’, go to http://bit.ly/getspeak.

To get the book for free, join the SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop – sign up now at http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio.

For speaking invitations, you may email him at info@chrisdaoanis.com or text 0945-761-6577.)

How to Turn Nervousness into Excitement

Nervousness often hinders you from being a confident and effective speaker or presenter.

In this article, we will talk about five steps that will help you turn your nervousness into excitement.

1. Embrace the fact that you will be speaking or presenting. Once you know that you will be presenting, don’t deny it. Don’t say it won’t push through. Don’t think some else will do it for you. The more you push against the thought of giving a presentation, the more nervousness you will feel. So you better embrace the fact that it is going to be you and you will be giving that speech or presentation. It is going to happen and you are going to make it happen.

2. Know how much time is given to you to prepare and present. Determine the time available for you to prepare and the time allotted for you to present. Is your presentation going to be tomorrow, next week, or next month? Are you given 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 50 minutes to present? How much time is available for you to prepare? Is it going to be one hour, one day, one week, or one month?

Once you know these, proceed to the next step.

3. Get clear with the purpose of the presentation. Everything that you do in the preparation and in the delivery of your presentation should lead you to the achievement of that purpose.

Are you going to simply present the status or progress of a project? Are you going to convince the audience to accept your proposal? Are you going to persuade them to support your cause? Are you there to present financial information? Are you meant to interpret a blueprint, design, or set of numbers? Are you there to simplify a complicated report for them? Are you there to recommend solutions on how to solve problems? Are you there to provide suggestions on how to address challenges?

Be crystal clear with your purpose so you know what you are targeting.

4. Prepare the best that you can amidst all constraints. Don’t just prepare, prepare the best way that you can with the available time, information and resources you have. Don’t wish you have more of what is given to you. What do you have? And what can you do about it?

If you cannot change the situation, deal with it. For example, if you need to give the presentation tomorrow, then do your best to prepare today.

If you can change it, go ahead and change it. For instance, if you do not have much information, then research about it.

5. Go and present with the purpose in mind.  When the time to present comes, step forward and deliver that presentation with the purpose in mind. Stop thinking about your fears or how you look. Stop focusing on distractions. Focus on the objective. When technology fails, don’t dwell on it. Fix it and move on. Have a back up plan. Be ready to present even without your gadgets. After all, you have prepared and you know how to achieve your objective. Go and present!

These five simple steps will help you turn your nervousness into excitement.

When you embrace the fact that you will be presenting, your thoughts and actions will align to it. When you know how much time is available, you know how to make use of it. When you are clear with your purpose, you know what you need to achieve. When you have prepared well, you are ready to present well. Now, go and be of help to your audience. Serve the purpose of the presentation. Be the effective and confident presenter that you want to become.

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM helps technical professionals become better presenters and leaders. He is an author of 4 books, including SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation.)

PS 1: To get the SPEAK book for free, attend the SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop – register now at http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio.

PS 2: Join us at the Growth Summit, sign up now at http://bit.ly/growthsummitph.)  

PS 3: Share these article your friends especially those giving presentations at work. And join like minded individuals who want to communicate better so they get more results, get promoted, and lead better.

👉Join the free community here: http://bit.ly/effectivepresentationskills

2 Keys to Present Confidently At Work

Somebody asked, “How do you present confidently at work even if you are not a speaker?”

You might be asking this, too. You might be asked to give a presentation at work, to give that status or progress report, or to give a demo about a procedure. You might be asked to present to your colleagues, to your bosses, or to your clients. And you might say, “How will I do this confidently? I am not a speaker!”

Let me share with you two keys that will help you give a presentation confidently even if speaking is not really your job. Your area of focus may be accounting, engineering, or any other technical task. But perhaps, as part of your job, you are often asked to give a presentation in a board meeting, management meeting or client meeting.

Key 1: Expert Mindset. Remember that you are an expert in that field and that is the reason why you are being asked to give that presentation in the first place. Whoever asked you knows that you know your topic, that you know your job, and you know what you are going to talk about. In other words, you are a recognized leader in it.

Reminding yourself that you are an expert in that area will help boost your confidence. Source the competence and confidence that you have in doing your expertise and bring that with you as you present. You may be an accountant and you are very good in crunching numbers and financial statement preparation or an architect and you are very good in designing buildings. When asked to present, don’t lose your confidence. I repeat, you are an expert and you know what you are going to present.

Key 2: Service Mindset. You are there to present because you have something of value for your audience. You are there to help the people who will be listening to you – your clients, your bosses, or your colleagues. You are going there to help them, to serve them.

This is not the moment to be self-absorbed, to be thinking of yourself too much. You are there to think of what you can give your audience, to think about how the information you are sharing will give them something of value, which will help them in their business decision-making. Remember that what you have will bring them into a moment of choice that may make or break their business or their career. Their decision will be creating an impact in the lives of people around them. Again, you are there to serve them.

My friend, when you are asked to present at work, it is because you are an ‘expert’ and you are there to ‘serve’ them. So, have that sense of confidence knowing that you know what you are going to present and what you are going to present will be of help, will be of service. Don’t be so nervous. You may feel some nerves but you can transform that into excitement and bring that confidence level up. Because they need you there!

When you walk into that room to present to your colleagues, your bosses, and your clients, see yourself oozing with confidence because you know what you are talking about and what you are going to talk about will be of service to them. And that is the reason why you are there in the first place.

Go, my friend. Go out there and present confidently!

(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM teaches presentation skills to technical people. He is an author of 4 books, including SPEAK: How to Craft and Deliver a Speech or Presentation.

To get the book for free, join SPEAK 2.0 Public Speaking Workshop here: http://bit.ly/SpeakBaguio.

Join us at the Growth Summit in Baguio this July 13, 2019, register here: http://bit.ly/growthsummitph

For speaking invitations, you may email him at info@chrisdaoanis.com or text 0945-761-6577. Like his page at http://fb.com/chrisdaoanis.)