Maintaining Motivation

Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing difficulty in maintaining my motivation around blogging, working, exercising and more. This week I found myself in a state of anxiety around my yard as it was flooding and was about to run into my house (I have no basement) and I realized how difficult it must be for people who suffer from anxiety on a daily basis. I was so scattered I couldn’t sit down for more than 10 minutes at a time. I couldn’t concentrate on anything that I should be doing with my work – emails, contacting clients, etc.

Has this happened to you?

I got wondering how may others are feeling like this. Our world seems to be spinning faster and faster and the expectations to do more and more seem to be piling up. I hear from my clients that they are being asked to do 2 or 3 jobs now as their companies are laying people off, but the work still has to get done.

Many people are losing their jobs as our economy is going from in-person shopping to on-line/digital purchasing. Everything (almost) is now available online. Stores are encouraging people to use automated check-outs instead of going to a cashier. (I still am refusing to do that – I want to keep people employed.)

As a Career Counsellor, I work from home and talk to my clients over the phone. It is important to have good communication skills in order to do this. To be understood and to make the person on the other end of the phone have a connection with you, you need to be able to listen and understand where they are coming from and you need to be able to communicate some potential solutions.

I have been using my 30+ years of career counselling plus my 17 years of public speaking at Toastmasters to hone my skills.

How are Your Communication Skills?

Do you find that people can easily understand you? Do they really “hear” what you are telling them? Do you truly “hear” what others are telling you or are you just listening to the words and thinking about how you are going to respond or how what they are saying affects you. It is important to “hear” everything – voice, inflection, words, body language, etc. Then you truly do hear what someone is saying.

For the past few weeks we have been dealing with dwindling membership in one of our Toastmasters clubs and it has led to reduced motivation to presenting speeches, enhancing our skills, but we have decided to persevere, to keep on trying to make people understand the value of Toastmasters in any walk of life. If you talk to people, good communication skills are essential.

So for now, I am becoming a little more motivated to work on my speeches again. I have booked in to do a speech next week and I am working on my client files today.

How about you?

How are you feeling these days? I am happy that the days are becoming brighter, that spring is just around the corner. (A little worried about the water in my yard and my ditch, but will remain positive about that.

Have a wonderful day/week/month/year.

Fran Watson


P.S. If you would like some speaking tips, simply comment below and I will get in touch with you. Or PM me on my Facebook page where I share some tips:

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Creative Ideas

Being Creative

Do you ever come up with some creative ideas only to rethink them or have someone ask you “What makes you think you can do that?”  If so, you will probably enjoy this podcast by my friend Kelly McCausey.

Often people will try to shut you down when you tell them what you are thinking of doing. Sometimes it is best not to share with them right away until you spend a little more time working on your project.

When it comes to public speaking, there are lots of people to learn from and you will notice that not everyone does the same thing.  Some people are humorous, some are not.  Some people make great keynote speakers, others make great trainers.  When you look at the World Champions, you will see some great differences in how they approached their speech, how they related to the audiences, their speech topics, their dress, etc.

It is important to be true to yourself.  True to your style.  Not all of us have the ability to be funny and that’s a good thing.


Are you a “rule breaker”?  Who sets the rules?  What are the rules that you think you must follow? Has anyone ever asked you the question, “Who said you could do that?” or “Who do you think you are?” or “What makes you think you can do that?”  Sometimes these questions come from jealousy or from someone who would like to be as bold as you, or from someone who is a “rule follower”.  The rules we are following are from programming we picked up over the years.  The thing to ask yourself is – does this programming serve me or not?  Listen to yourself when you hear these questions, or if you ask these questions.  What is it you want to do?  Why not do it. Create what you want – not what someone else says you should do.

To doing your own thing

Fran Watson





P.S. Here is the link to Kelly’s podcast again:



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Do You Want To Become A Motivational Speaker?

How to Become a Motivational Speaker

Are you an engaging speaker who has had many interesting, rewarding experiences?  Do you want to be a motivational speaker?  Are you looking to motivate yourself to motivate others and get paid for doing so?  Then perhaps you will find these tips helpful.

To begin, you need to evaluate your special message.

What is it that you have to say that would be of value to others–have you experienced great adversity, or received some special education? In order to succeed as a motivational speaker, you must have something special to deliver.

The next step would be to carve out your niche.

Motivational speaking is, in many ways, a product that must be sold. Why should someone pay to hear you impart your message? You must be able to articulate your unique experiences and explain exactly how you can inspire others.

It is important to create an outline of your presentation.

This will be used not only to provide a framework for your talk but also as a marketing piece for potential clients, a part of your press release and perhaps a quick video advertisement. Visual learners can gain more from a visual representation than a spoken one.

When you are ready, it is time to begin contacting organizations and speaker’s groups to let them know you are available.

Contact large, not-for-profit corporations and professional groups and make it clear you are available. Ensure you have set your price and your fees for educational materials.  For more information on what you need to build your business, click here.  Tom Antion is a professional and has loads of tips to help you.  Remember also to contact speakers’ bureaus and notify them of your availability. Some speakers’ bureaus charge you to list your services, others charge nothing. Most bureaus take a percentage for acting as your agent. Search for “speakers’ bureaus” on the Internet.

In the beginning, you may have to work for free to get your name out. Once others hear your interesting story or experience, they may want to hire you. Inform everyone you know that you are looking for organizations who want a good motivational speaker. Volunteer to speak at service clubs in your area, however, check out Tom’s tips on how to monetize your speech by providing handouts or books that people can buy

Another tip is to write and publish articles or books  in order to establish yourself as an authority in your subject. You do not need to publish a book people will find in the local bookstore. Post to websites like wikiHow and submit to on-line magazines and blogs. You can self-publish a Kindle book and sell it on Amazon.  Or you can publish a book you bring to meetings.

Ensure that you draw up a written agreement, or contract, for all engagements. The written agreement should contain, among other matters, how the fees will be paid (e.g., cash, check, over time), how long you are expected to speak, whether you will be reimbursed for travel expenses, and the time and date. Also get 50% non refundable up front (thanks Tom) and get the balance 2 weeks before your speaking date. This will help to avoid any disputes at a later time.

More Tips

* Join a local Toastmasters Club. You will learn and practice everything you need to know when presenting a Motivational Speech, as well as any other type of speech.
* Dress consistent with the perception you wish to convey. If you want to convey professionalism and success, business attire is probably best. Some motivational speakers use clothing to make a point in their presentation.
* Speak clearly and repeat your main messages at least three times.
* Keep it fun and lively. Audience participation is a great way for adults to learn, and you can do this in any number of ways. For example, one speaker handed out raisins and slowly took the audience through the life of that raisin and all that had to happen for that raisin to be in their hands. This kind of activity makes the audience feel part of the speech and facilitates learning. Remember that any activities must be relevant to the topic you are speaking on.


* If you forget what to say or begin to get nervous in front of a large crowd, stop, take a deep breath, and speak from the heart. Your audience will be happy to hear your honest experiences.
* One of the best ways to overcome nervousness is to focus on how you can serve your audience instead of worrying about what they are thinking about you.

To your Speaking Success

Fran Watson


Motivational Speaker

P.S.  Remember, for even more success, check out Tom Antion’s Wake Em Up Video Professional Speaking System… Click here

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Thoughts About Snow


As I sit here this morning I am gazing out at the tree branches with their winter coats of snow on.  I live in Canada – the land of seasons, and it seems that winter will soon be upon us.  The air has become chilled, the leaves have fallen from the trees. The bright colours that so recently graced their presence have faded and died.  It is time to prepare for winter.  Many animals will be looking to their dens to sleep through the winter, but currently they are foraging, ensuring they have enough sustenance to keep them going.


Our lives have seasons too.  As the winter begins, we haul out our winter coats and boots. We stock up on canned goods in case we are trapped inside our houses by a winter snow storm. We make hearty soups and comfort food.  Often too we gain a little extra weight which keeps us warm.  Unfortunately, we are not like the animals who slumber and lose that extra weight.  We have to work hard to get rid of it in the spring.


Spring is when we begin to feel light again.  When we shake off the heavy coats and look forward to the sunshine.  Temperatures that would have had us shivering in the fall now seem warm compared to what we have endured recently. The snow begins to fade from the landscape. For those of you in the southern hemisphere, the conditions are reversed as you are enjoying balmy weather while we are covered in snow.  Some regions do not even know what snow is.  Many of us would be very happy to share it with you in the middle of winter.


Summers bring warmth of body and soul.  As we bask in the golden sunlight and absorb the vitamin D the sun provides, we relax.  We let go of some of the busyness and just take some time to rejuvenate, taking part in summer activities such as barbeques and swimming, perhaps some tennis or beach volleyball as well.  As we think back to the cold snows of the winter, we are grateful for the sun and the rain and the good times.


Fall bursts forth with colour.  The trees put on their best garments to impress all the visitors who come to see them.  They are riotous – reds, greens, purples, yellows all mixed together like beautiful women coming to a ball.  Your eyes are drawn to them, especially when the sun shines and targets their beauty.  You want to spend hours and days just walking through the bush, admiring their colours.


Winter follows all too soon it seems.  Our days are shorter.  Night comes sooner.  The sunrise and sunset are not nearly as beautiful as they were.  This is also when many of us begin to feel a loss.  We don’t see our friends as often.   We huddle in our homes, not wanting to venture out into the cold.  We turn down invitations, preferring to be alone.  This is not always a good thing, but if you are content it is okay. Just make sure that you are not allowing yourself to sink into depression. Some of us are winter people and look forward to the snow so that we can go skiing and skating and playing winter sports.  Some like to get out their snow machines and trek through the wilderness.

Life Seasons

The seasons of our life do not always fall in line with the seasons of the world around us.    Our bodies and our mental processes have their own time frame.  There are times when everything around us is peaceful and happy, and times when things seem to fall apart.  The thing to remember is that we all have seasons and if you are going through a season of loss it is important to reach out to someone for help in dealing with your problems.  Don’t keep things to yourself.  And if you know that someone is having trouble, reach out to them.  Be there for them.  Let them know that you care.

Fran Watson

Consider the seasons of your life

P.S.  If you are in a down season and need to reach out, click here:

Mental health week may be in May, but we need to be aware of it all year round.


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#1 Best Seller

#1 Best Seller

That was the result of our online campaign to launch this book.  30 women authors told their inspiring stories and I was one of them.  It was awesome to read their stories and connect with them.  I invite you to purchase the book (still available at this time on Kindle for .99) and learn from them.

Link to my site

#1 Best Seller 2018
Read My Chapter

Thinking of writing a book?

Do you have a book in you?  Or a story that you would like to share?  Karen Strauss is the person to contact.  She was inspirational and responsible for getting this book published for us.  Contact her for tips and more information on how to get your book to print.

Are you a speaker?

If you are a woman and a speaker, why not consider joining the Women’s Speakers Association?  I am sure there will be another book out in the near future as there are many other women with stories to share.

Fran Watson


P.S.  Although the book is no longer available for 99 cents, it is still a bargain and under $5.00

We did it – #1 Best Seller

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Simple Gifts To Build Your List

Are you an Entrepreneur looking to build your list?

Here is a pdf that can help you.

Fran Watson


37 Valuable Gift Ideas to Grow Your ListSSTSS

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Gratitude – thoughts about being grateful


September 29th, one more day and we start a new month. It seems that the end of the month and the beginnings of the month are times that we think about what has passed and what is to come.  For instance, I was thinking this morning about gratitude and all the things I have to be grateful for.

the things I have to be grateful for:

  • 4 wonderful, amazing children
  • 4 absolutely fabulous grandchildren
  • one great grandchild
  • My mother is still alive (we thought she was gone in March, but she pulled through) and she is 98.
  • I have a wonderful amazing sister.  She is extremely talented and knowledgeable.
  • a wonderful supportive boyfriend who has put up with me for about 18 years now.
  • a laptop lifestyle.  I can work from wherever I am.
  • working in a career that I love – career counselling, helping people with discovering what they want to do, helping prepare resumes and help with interviews (see my page for more details).
  • As a member of Toastmasters I get to write and deliver speeches about topics I am interested in.
  • I was invited to be the guest speaker at an Open House for a local club and I talked about Choices in our lives.
  • I also have a chapter in a book which will be coming out in October dealing with that same topic (link to follow).
  • being able to work on writing my book of poetry which I intend to have published by the end of the year, possibly even by the end of October.
  • I am thankful for the wonderful summer with blue skies and puffy clouds and being able to take my mom outside in the sunshine almost every day.
  • I am grateful that I did not suffer any damage in the tornado and that my family were also safe, although they lost power for a few days.

My friend Kelly McCausey recently recorded a podcast about gratitude.  You can listen to it here:

What are you grateful for?

Try to spend some time each day thinking about the good things that have happened and that you are grateful for.  Did you see a sunrise?  A sunset? A rainbow?  Did you notice the way the clouds moved through the sky?  Did you notice how blue the sky was?  How warm the day?  Each day try to record 3-5 things that you are grateful for.

Here is a complimentary  mini-journal to record some of your thoughts.


As you take some time each day to think about some of the things you are grateful for, you will be surprised what a difference it will make in your life.

Fran Watson

P.S.  Drop me a line and let me know if you find the journal helpful.  I have some more journals available.

Be grateful for your life

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Building Your Self-Confidence

Be Yourself

Self-confidence can be the key to either success or failure in life. It can be difficult to build self-confidence. There are ways to accomplish this, however, with a few steps.

  1. Dress the part

It can be easy to let your appearance slip and to dress in a way that is not appealing or that does not suggest success or confidence. The first step toward self-confidence is your wardrobe. If you are able, spend some money and improve your wardrobe; it will help others perceive you as confident while also helping your own self-image.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  You can find many good items in second hand clothing stores or consignment shops.  I myself purchase a beautiful dress for my son’s wedding that cost me $12.00.  It would have cost me over $200 in a regular store.  I also purchased a suit for my son when he wanted to go to prom for $8.00 that fit him like it was made for him.

 2. Speak more slowly

It can be easy to rush through your speech when you are nervous. Simply speaking more slowly can make you more confident. Speaking slowly emphasizes your words and makes them carry more weight. Choose your words carefully as well, you will be perceived as an intelligent, thoughtful person.

  1. Get healthy

Adopt a healthier lifestyle and your body and mind will simultaneously contribute to an added sense of confidence.  Being unhealthy can contribute greatly to a lack of confidence. It contributes to an appearance you may not like, while also simply making you feel less able to accomplish what you want.

  1. Make lists

Never underestimate the power of finishing tasks. Making a list allows you to cross off items that you accomplish. The simple act of crossing off an item on your to-do list is a big confidence-booster, and keeping the fully completed list handy is a nice reminder of all the things you have accomplished. This method also carries other benefits, including helping you keep in mind everything you need to do.

  1. Focus on your own body language

Control your posture, stand up straight and look people in their eyes. This is a surefire way to demonstrate confidence. It is easy to underestimate the importance of body language in appearing confident. We don’t always realize what we are saying with our body language.  Spend some time looking in the mirror or asking others about some of your postures.

  1. Just think positively

The power of positive thinking cannot be underestimated. It is important to develop a strategy to put negative thoughts out of your head when they crop up. Push them out, and become skilled at replacing them with more positive ones.  Think of carrying a blackboard eraser.  When you think something negative, erase it and write down something positive.

Developing self-confidence is far easier said than done, but there are some quick steps that you can enlist in order to make yourself more confident. The appearance of confidence is often enough to make yourself feel more confident.Confidence

Take these steps, and you will make yourself both feel and look more confident to yourself and to the people around you. By performing each of these tasks, you can become more self-confident and demonstrate to others that you are confident as well.

To your increased confidence!

Fran Watson


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Make Your Point – Tips for Public Speaking

public speaking

Check out these tips


Make your point – Here is a cool infographic illustrating some tips for public speaking – points to remember when presenting your speech.

I’m curious as to what types of topics my readers speak on.  Perhaps you could post below your favourite topics.  I am very much interested in self-help and self-development, as you may have noticed by reading my posts, but I know others have many different interests.

I look forward to connecting with you.  Shortly I will have a free e-book for you.



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Choosing A New Path – Pathways

Toastmasters International has introduced a new educational program entitled “Pathways”.  It is designed to fit in more with the way people learn and work by choosing a new path instead of following the old manuals.

Those who have been using the old or Legacy program for years are having some difficulty with the new program, while those who are younger and have been raised with computers are finding it much easier.

I recently embarked on my path “Building A Social Media Presence”.  For this path I have been learning more about social media both for myself and for some of my clubs, as I am the Public Relations VP.  For the club I am looking at marketing online – Twitter, Instagram (haven’t figured this one out yet), Facebook, website, newspapers, radio/TV, brochures, newspapers and presentations (podcasts – still to come).  I have also been looking into Linked-In and learning about new ways to use it to build an online presence.

Hashtags have always been a bit confusing for me, but I am learning how to use them. I understand that they are most popular on Instagram.  Twitter has increased its character limit from 140 to 280 (just look at how well Donald Trump has mastered this.)

So what is the purpose of social media?  To drive traffic to your website where you have prepared content that is valuable to your audience.  Perhaps to eventually put an offer in front of them that they will also find valuable.  For instance with Toastmasters, the offer may be to come for 2 or 3 free visits before signing up.  Finding out how valuable the program is before finding out the costs (which are really much more affordable than many people think.)

#ToastmastersMany people assume that the program must cost thousands of dollars for the value that is provided – weekly meetings, opportunities to practice speaking, social activities, leadership opportunities and more, but that is not true.  In actual fact the cost of membership is less than $200 per year.  That is less expensive than many of the one day trainings offered by some companies.

One of the really interesting things about the Pathways program is that the speeches are about what you learned.  For instance for my project, “The purpose of this project is to apply your understanding of social media to enhance an established or new social media presence.  Deliver a 5-7 minute speech about your results, experience, and the benefits of social media.”

I will be presenting my speech next week at one of my local clubs.


Fran Watson






P.S.  For more information on the Toastmasters Pathways program go here:

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