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Video
by On July 30, 2010

In this video, stand-up comedian Don McMillan, demonstrates how NOT to use PowerPoint to effectively communicate your message.  From words on the screens, bullets and graphs, he gives new meaning to “Death by PowerPoint.”

Enjoy!

Be Free!

Video – Memory Training on CBS Evening News
by On July 23, 2010

USA Memory Championship winner, Ron White, explains how he remembers information. 

 

He says to remember anything, you must turn it into an image…..sound familiar Memory Training Workshop graduates?  Ron also uses File, Image and Glue to remember a deck of cards in the exact order, with files being objects in his house.

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Healthy Ways to Think about your Past, Present and Future
by On July 22, 2010

Here is a good question for you to think about: If someone was going to write a report about the thoughts going through your mind, what would they say?

I ask you this because it is the number one question that you need to be asking yourself on a regular basis if you are going to experience freedom in your life. What are your thoughts all about?

I have found that the thoughts people entertain are the root causes of stress and what prevents them from experiencing all the freedom that they should have and deserve. People simply spend their time thinking about the wrong things. Here is what I mean:

You can either be thinking about the past, present or future.

Most people spend close to half their time or more reliving the past in an unhealthy way. They replay, consciously or subconsciously, all the screw-ups, mistakes, bad relationships and times they failed.

The other half of the time, people mentally live in the future by worrying about what could happen. They start stressing out and freaking out over the future – events that haven’t even happened yet!

This combination of reliving the past and worrying about the future leaves them very little time to be actively engaged in present moment or what they are doing at that particular moment.

I encourage you to spend, literally 1% of your time thinking about the past.
There are two healthy way to deal with the past:

1 – Extract the lessons that you learned so that you can move on with your life.
2 – Replay your successes and not your failures.

When it comes to thinking about the future, I would encourage you to spend 20% of your time there….and not freaking out about the unknown future. Think about the future by visualizing your desired future; mental pictures of what you want to have financially, professionally, emotionally etc.

If you spent 1% of your time reliving past successes, 20% of your time visualizing your desired future, that leaves you tons of time to be fully engaged in the present moment. When you think your thoughts about the past, present, and future in this manner, you remove stress from your life and your results go up dramatically. Give it try, have fun with it and I’m really looking forward to hearing some of your reports.

Be Free!

Roger Seip
Instructor

Finding the Path of Success
by On July 21, 2010

For a moment, I’d like you to imagine that you are in a deep dark tropical jungle and you are completely lost. You are not quite sure which way is North, South, East or West. You can’t see the sun because the tree canopy above is so thick, which also means that you can’t see any of the mountains that you have been trying to find.

Suddenly, in the distance you hear a small group of friendly voices and the sounds of machetes chopping through the thick undergrowth. Like any smart adventurer you head towards the sounds of those voices, hoping that they will be able to point you in the right direction or let you join them.

Unfortunately, as you don’t have a machete it is slow going for you get to where those voices were and by the time you get there, they are gone. The only trace of them is the path they have carved out through the jungle with their machetes. What do you do?

Yes, this is like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Do you follow the path they have blazed in the apparent direction they are moving? Do you sit down on the path and hope for someone to come along and find you? Or do you go back into the jungle and find your own way?

Obviously, the easiest way to find your way out is to follow the cleared path. But why is it that so many of us on a daily basis jump right back into the jungle and try and find our own way?

Sometimes, we follow the path for a little while and then we try and find our own way or a short cut? We might think that following the path is not only hard work, it can be boring, so we decide that we are going to set up camp just off of the path and get comfortable in the jungle.

The reality is that the jungle isn’t that comfortable for long periods of time, and when we try and take a short cut we usually have to spend a huge amount of time just trying to find the path back because the short cut was a dead end or was too dangerous.

The path I’m talking about is obviously the “path of success”.  The point is, there are millions who have gone before us, blazing trails in order to make our lives easier.  No matter what mountain you are moving towards, someone has been there before and they have probably written a book detailing the path that you will want to follow.

The good news is that you can change that path as much as you want. You can make the path wider so that more people can follow you in an easier manner. Sometimes the path you are walking hasn’t been tread upon for centuries and the signs are tough to read, but you are there to swing away with your machete and clean the path up.

I’m encouraging you to get to know the top producers in your industry, in your business, and in your office. Get specific questions to ask those people about what they are doing and what they are not doing. No one that is a top producer is there because of luck. Some of them may say they were in the right place at the right time, but that is a very nice way of saying that they worked there tail off with blood sweat and tears and when opportunity knocked they earned the right to accept the opportunity.

As professionals I know that you are buying books and attending seminars, but are you finishing the books you bought, are you re-reading them and highlighting the points that most apply to you? When you attend a seminar do you review your notes, do you follow up with the skills that you learned?

It is time to get serious about taking your business and your life to the next level and the only way to do that is to decide which path you would like to follow and then commit to walking it.

Be Free!

Tom Weber
Instructor

Top 10 Tips for Being a Better Listener
by On July 20, 2010

Being a good listener is one of the most important communication skills you can develop. Here are 10 easy tips, which if practiced regularly, will make you a better communicator.

Be Free!
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Listening seems like a simple process and yet so many of us are more eager to talk than to listen. Someone once said we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. What better gift could you give to your family, friends, peers and bosses than to listen to them so that they feel really heard? Here are some tips:

1. Stay present – Don’t let your mind wander. Many are composing a response before the speaker has a chance to completely finish his/her thought.

2. Make eye contact – Let the speaker see your interest by regularly making eye contact.

3. Ask questions for clarification – This is not your time to respond.  Get really clear about what is being said. If you don’t understand, ask questions in an open non-charged manner.

4. Acknowledge feelings – If the speaker is telling you something about his/her feelings, acknowledge them. You don’t have to agree to show that you see the speaker is upset or happy about something.

5. Restate or paraphrase – Make sure you are getting the information the speaker is presenting by periodically repeating what you hear in different words the speakers. “Let me see if I’ve got it so far?”

6. Seek first to understand and then to be understood – Before you state your thoughts and ideas make sure you totally understand and acknowledge the speakers thoughts.

7. Give nonverbal feedback – While the speaker is speaking, be sure to smile, nod, frown, shrug your shoulders, or raise your eyebrows – whatever is appropriate.

8. Be silent – Don’t be afraid of this. Periods of total quiet will allow you and the speaker to think about what was said. When you are sure the speaker has completed his/her thoughts on the subject it will be time for you to comment.

9. Take in all the information both verbal and nonverbal – Focus on the meaning of what is being said and also what is not being said.

10. Get permission – Sometimes people just want to be heard. At other times they are seeking advice. Give advice only when requested and only after the person has had a chance to give you the whole story. If you are not sure, ask if the person is looking for your input.

Author: Alvah Parker
Source

Body Files – Memory Training Workshop Review
by On July 19, 2010

If you have taken our Memory Training Workshop, you learned about the Mental File Folder System. With this system, you use the technique of File – Image – Glue to remember information and instantly recall it later.

Similar to a filing cabinet, if you have an organized system for storing information, retrieving it later is simple.

First you need a FILE. Then you turn the information you want to remember into an IMAGE. Last, using vivid action and emotion, you GLUE the information to your file.

The first filing system you learned at the workshop was your Body Files. If you need a quick review of what they are, here is the list:

1 – Toes
2 – Knees
3 – Muscle (your thigh)
4 – Rear
5 – Lungs
6 – Shoulders
7 – Collar
8 – Face
9 – Point (the top of your head)
10 – Ceiling

Not only does this filing system help you remember information, it also serves as a way to remember numbers. The name of each body file corresponds to a phonetic sound – that is why #3 is Muscle and not thigh.

Here is an example on how to remember the number 7,149:

The seventh file on your body list is collar. Therefore, the phonetic sound for 7 is “K.” The first file was your toes, so the phonetic sound for 1 is “T.” The fourth file was your rear, so the phonetic sound for 4 is “R.” And the ninth file on your body list was your point, so the phonetic sound for 9 is “P”

You need a word with the phonetic sounds K-T-R-P. All you need to do is insert vowels to make a word/phrase. Just keep the phonetic sounds in the same order.

A phrase “Kite Rope” works for this example. K=7, T=1, R=4, P=9

Try it a few times and this method becomes fast and easy!

Be Free!

Video – Brian Tracy on Goal Setting and You Are What You Think
by On July 16, 2010

Never in human history has it been easier for you to accomplish your goals than it is today. But you can’t reach a goal unless you know what you want in every area of your life.

One of the greatest discoveries is that you become what you think about, most of the time. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Therefore, when you think about what you want and how to get it, you automatically move closer to your goals and your goals move closer to you by the people, resources and ideas you attract into your life.

Put your goals on paper because you cannot hit a target you cannot see. Goal setting is a skill you can learn. Every time you set and achieve a goal you get better and better at it. Start with a small goal and build to bigger and bigger goals.

Productive Daydreaming while Reading
by On July 15, 2010

Myth – Any daydreaming while reading is not good. Why should it concern you when you daydream while reading? Because it affects concentration, slows your reading speed down, and ultimately can hinder your ability to comprehend.

Truth – Some daydreaming is good! Knowing the difference between good and bad daydreaming is helpful for all readers to understand.

Just what is daydreaming? Also called mind-wandering, it is when your mental focus gets interrupted – mostly very briefly – by another thought that is either related, or unrelated, to what you are reading. It is a natural human event that all readers experience, though more so with slower readers.

There are basically two kinds of daydreaming while you read: effective and ineffective.

  • Effective daydreaming, also called “active” mind-wandering, is when you are mentally applying what you are reading to something you already know. For example, if you took a trip to Italy several years ago and you were reading a magazine article about the art preservation activities there, your mind will most likely “wander” back to your trip. You will mentally relate what you personally experienced with the information presented in the article. This type of mind-wandering is good because this is how you learn. You build bridges of knowledge from what you know to the new material on the page.
  • Ineffective daydreaming, also called “passive” mind-wandering, is when you are thinking about a million other unrelated things, such as reminding yourself to call the vet for an appointment for your pet, or thinking about the party this weekend or thinking about __________. You fill in the blank! Too much passive mind wandering will slow you down, prevent you from getting good comprehension and waste your time.

So how can you encourage the effective daydreaming while discouraging the ineffective? Here’s a few ideas:

  • Identify the type of daydreaming you are doing. If it is effective, and a good use of your time at that time, keep doing it. If it is ineffective, you might need to unclutter your mind by writing your thoughts down, ask yourself if this is really a good time to be reading, or relocate to a place where your concentration is not interrupted.
  • Set a goal. By setting a time goal – “I will read for 30 minutes and stop” – or a quantity goal – “I will read through page 80 and stop” – you have a better chance of staying focused than if you think you have all the time in the world to read.
  • Learn to read faster! People who read over 300 words per minute, and faster, daydream less than those who read fewer words per minute. They have specific, useable strategies that help them get what they need quickly without wasting time and increases their focus.

Wishing you more good daydreaming!

About the Author:  Abby Marks Beale is founder of The Corporate Educator, a professional speaking and training company specializing in helping with busy people work smarter, faster and just plain better. Go to www.TheCorporateEducator.com.

Speed Reading Workshop Testimonials from Allentown, PA
by On July 14, 2010

My good friend, Leah Simpson, taught the Reading Smart Speed Reading Workshop in Allentown June 8 and 9 and did a fantastic job!  The attendees at the workshop agreed and I wanted to share their thoughts and results.  Many people more than doubled their reading speed AND increased their comprehension.  What a great class! 

The next Reading Smart Workshop in Allentown, PA will be October 26 and 27, 2010 at the Four Points by Sheraton Allentown Airport.  If you have not yet reserved your seat, please enroll today (online or by phone 888-233-0407) – space is limited.

Workshop Testimonials:

“Starting words per minute = 265 with comprehension at 70%. Ending words per minute = 800 with comprehension at 70%. I think the session was great. This was always on my ‘life skills’ list so I’m glad I can check it off. I look forward to reading more because I will be motivated to do so. Thank you.”
Steve Hartenstine, Agency Manager, Allstate DeMario Agency

“Really enjoyed this training. This is one of those ‘ah-ha’ fundamentals that almost everything in my personal and professional development can be built on. Thank you for teaching me! I look forward to reading much more. Start = 170 words per minute at 60% comprehension (with serious regression and daydreaming.) End = 480 words per minute with 70% comprehension. With the reading smart method of skimming, 1,200 words per minute with 40% comprehension (tried to push myself.)”
Jarred M. Nelson, President, Commercial Capitol Group Inc.

“This 7 hour class helped me realize that there are no limits to my reading ability. I have improved my words per minute from 480 to almost 1,000 words. This blows my mind. Thank you for all of your time and instructions.”
Alex Shuey, Student

Be Free!

Matthew Goerke
Speaker in the Allentown, PA area

Top 10 Tips for Budgeting and Reaching Financial Freedom
by On July 13, 2010

Today’s top 10 list doesn’t reveal earth shatter tips, BUT it does pose an important questions  – How many of these action items are you ACTUALLY doing?  

Be (financially) Free! 
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If you look at your bank account and wonder where all the money went, or swore you paid a bill and now you are told you are past due, you may have a budget problem or no budget at all.

This is not something that is taught in our traditional public education system. Young people are not usually armed with the knowledge of how to budget effectively unless their parents taught them.

There are numerous books, videos, and software out there for your reference on budgeting but it can be quite simple actually. Unless you are a chronic, habitual spender, then you might need to think about Spender’s Anonymous.

1. Write down all your incoming cash flow and all your bills.

2. Keep a check register. Today we all swipe our debit cards and think nothing of it. It isn’t as easy to have your register handy when you use plastic instead of a checkbook.

But if you keep track of your purchases from home once a day or a couple times a week, you will then know what you are spending your money on and you can make some changes if you need to.

3. Categorize. Have a category for food, fuel, bills, entertainment, etc. This will help you realize how much of each check is going towards what you need. If you have some leftover you can move it to another category that needs some more or you can save the extra cash.

4. Think twice when making purchases. When you think you just have to have something, take a deep breath and really ask yourself if you need this, want to spend money on it, or if there is something more important you can put your money towards.

Once you have effectively thought and answered these questions, you will be able to make a better purchase decision.

5. Don’t borrow money. Don’t apply for credit cards because of the rewards or you want to blow money you don’t have. Spend cash for everything and you’ll not end up in so much debt that you can’t see over it!

Perhaps having one credit card with a small balance would be smart for emergencies, but then don’t carry it in your wallet. Keep it at home.

6. Start saving something now. Anything will do and when you have a chunk, you can then put it into something that will earn a better return. Most people think they have to have thousands of dollars to invest or to save but that is simply not the case. 

Quick tip – round all of your purchases up to the next dollar and save the change – talk about starting small!  You will be amazed at how fast you can build your savings with this small step.

7. Find ways to cut back. If you only use half your cell phone minutes most months, reduce your plan. If you don’t watch TV, get rid of your cable. Dial up internet service is good if you rarely get on your computer and is cheaper than faster connections. Go to local farmers markets and buy your produce.

8. Shop at thrift stores and yard sales to find things that would be nice to have but you can live without it being brand spanking new.

9. Have an emergency fund.  How long could you survive if you lost your job today? If the answer is less than 8 months, you could be faced with a very stressful situation if it happens. Cut out all nonessential expenses – vacations, new clothes, dinners out and nights at the movies – until you have saved enough to last 8 months without a paycheck. Why 8 months? That is how long, on average, it takes to find a new job.

10. Do without the expensive toys.  Do they really need an iPhone, an iPod, a Playstation, a Wii, an Xbox, and a Gameboy? Kids can entertain themselves pretty good and it is cheaper! 

Source:   Michael New Jr. – An authority in the financial industry. He has written hundreds of articles relating to consumer services and Payday Loans. miken@checkcity.com or http://www.checkcity.com