Sandwich Month

I was reading a blog this morning this morning and found out that August is sandwich month. The first thought that came to mind was a toasted tomato sandwich with a tomato fresh from my garden (although I am still waiting for them to ripen).

What is your favourite “go to” sandwich that you order when you are out or that you make at home?

Favourite Sandwich?
Favourite Sandwich?

I am currently working on a Speaking Topics Planner/Journal that will come with a list of over 800 speech topics. Sandwiches would make a great topic. There are so many ways to spin this. You could talk about comfort foods, the most popular sandwiches, where the sandwich came from, exotic sandwiches and more.

If you are a marketer, you could spin this into a marketing segment by offering recipe books with sandwiches and other food items. (Excuse me for a moment while I go and check if I have such a thing to share with you.) Yes, I found a link for a health Mega Pack

There are a lot of choices at that site – so many health and food topics – great information for anyone who is a speaker or a marketer, or both. And it is PLR information, so that means you get to use it, tweak it and make it your own and keep all the profits. You would be selling your own product, not someone else’s product.

There are some other wonderful days in August that I may write about as well. Some I missed, but I may find something to share about them – Girlfriends Day, Watermelon Day, Friendship Day, Chocolate Chip Day, Work Like A Dog Day, Wiggle Your Toes Day and today (August 9th) is BOOK LOVERS DAY. Oh my goodness this day was made for me.

If I took pictures of my house, you would see books in EVERY room, including the bathroom! I have over 8 book cases full of books and 4 of those are in my living room. Plus the tops of two of those bookcases and a small table are piled with books.

Book Lovers Day
#1 Best Seller 2018 Read My Chapter

How about you? Are you a book lover? What are your favourite books?

Fran

P.S. My friend Connie Ragen Green is an amazing author and many of her books are available on Amazon for a very good deal. I have downloaded many of her Kindle books.

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Measuring Your Comfort Zone

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Peter Drucker famously said “What gets measured, gets managed”. What if you could measure your comfort zone? Would this encourage more people to face their challenges and live more exciting lives?

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Marcus Taylor wrote:  “In 2012, after a conversation about comfort zones with Derek Sivers, I decided to build this tool as an experiment to see whether measuring comfort zones was possible, and whether it would be useful to people.”

“Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
― Roy T. Bennett

“Since then, over 24,000 people have measured their comfort zone.The algorithm has also been approved as scientifically valid by registered psychologists at Deakin University.

This tool remains free for everyone. My only request is that you take action and do something outside of your comfort zone.”  – Marcus Taylor”

Measuring Comfort Zones

“We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” 
― Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

Dale Carnegie – a well-known speaker said:  “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
And Brian Tracy, another well known speaker comments:  “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”– Brian Tracy

Connecting with Your Audience

The most important tool a public speaker can acquire is to learn how to make a connection with their audience. Once you can do this successfully people are going to enjoy your speeches and return for more.

One of the best ways to create a connection with your audience is to speak from your heart. Don’t just try to memorize your speech, talk with feelings and allow your emotions to rise to the surface. When people see you are passionate or upset by something they almost always immediately connect with you. They have probably experienced something similar that brings their own feelings to the surface.

Another way to set the tone of your speech is to pay attention to your opening. Very often you can capture your audience’s attention by giving them a startling fact or announcement.

Using stories is another compelling way to interact with your audience. If you use this angle you want to use a story that is true to you, and one that identifies with the topic you are talking about. If you are talking about your own journey on how you got to where you are today, you will have lots of stories to share.

One other great tactic is actually making use of a tool and that is by using images or graphics. This could be in the form of a slide show, drawings on a white board or having a pin board full of photographs. This works really well if you allow your audience to come up on stage and view them before your speech. Plus it allows you to mingle and to introduce yourself at the same time.

Take all the above items into consideration and see if you can use one or more of them in your next speech. Whatever you do stay true to yourself, don’t make up stories. If you don’t have one to share, you could always use snippets from a friend’s story.

The most powerful tool you have to connect with your audience is simply to use your voice and your body language. When you speak, speak with authority and confidence. Walk the stage and make eye contact with your audience and don’t forget the power of visual aids.

Remember that once you have learned the skill of connecting with your audience, you engagements will likely increase. You will become a more requested speaker than you thought possible.

To your success in stretching beyond your comfort zone.
Fran Watson
www.franwatson.ca
P.S.  How did you score?
P.P.S.  Check out this killer video  
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Self Care

Today I found an amazing site with all kinds of tips on self-care.

Develop good self-care habits
Develop Self-Care Habits

If you are like me, you often put others ahead of yourself and then wonder why you are so exhausted. It’s important to take time out to refresh and recover. This may mean just pouring yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sitting outside for half an hour, or maybe taking half an hour to read a book or some uplifting quotes.

It may mean talking to a good friend about what is going on in your lives over a glass of wine or a coffee or some lemonade. The drink part really doesn’t matter, it’s the conversation that makes the difference. Self-care is about giving ourselves relief when we feel overwhelmed.

It is important to recognize your stress indicators, such as mood swings, shortening temper, or feeling drained, overwhelmed, or angry. Use these “warning signs” to let you know you need “me time” and some self-care. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much social interaction, go home. Don’t be afraid to cancel plans or say “no.”

Giving your emotions free reign—or at least acknowledging your emotional state and moving on—is an important part of self-care. Before you can get better, you must acknowledge what is and was, and make those changes

It may be helpful to have a journal in which you can remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a list of things you’re grateful to have. Then post it somewhere you can see it often to help refocus your emotions when you feel down.

Emotional Self-Care Ideas
Self Care Ideas

These tips are just a starting point. You can find many more here. I encourage you to check this site out and find some tips that you can put to use.

To improving your personal self-care.

Fran Watson

P.S. Try some adult coloring as a form of anxiety and/or stress release. This can also serve to help you focus, be more mindful and perhaps spark some creativity.

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Wordless Communication aka Body Language

There is a language that we all speak, but few are conscious of: the language of our bodies.

When we are talking to others – either face-to-face, or from the front of the room, our posture, gestures, eye movements and general demeanor communicate far more than our words.

If you are unconsciously giving out the wrong signals, the meaning behind your intended message will be weakened or lost.

Body language is a vast, fascinating subject, but from a business point of view, there are several pointers that can help to strengthen your message. The aim is to match your audience’s unconscious template of what makes a person trustworthy and believable.

1. Personal Space

Everybody has a personal space threshold. Generally, Americans and Northern Europeans prefer to stand about a meter (3 feet) apart. People from Southern European and Asian countries are comfortable a little closer. Folks who live in rural areas like a little more space. Social situations allow closer proximities than non-social.

Be aware if the person you are talking to is backing up, and try not to intrude on their territory.

2. Eye Movements

Many people are nervous about making eye contact – it is vital to overcome that fear if you want to be respected and believed. An evasive or indirect gaze sends out a strong signal of untrustworthiness.

When speaking to a room full of people, it is essential that you allow yourself to make – and maintain for a few seconds – eye contact with everyone in the room, over and over.

3. Appearance

Experts say that the first five seconds of a meeting are more important than the next hour. Check all the obvious things like hair, teeth, fingernails, shoes, breath, immediately before the meeting. But also make sure you are putting on your best front, well in advance.

Even if the dress code is casual, there is a world of difference between dirty jeans and a crumpled T-shirt, and freshly laundered casual trousers and a polo shirt. Remember – dress to respect yourself and you automatically respect your audience.

4. Hands

Your hands are like semaphore flags. They send a message whatever position they are in.

Take a look at prominent politicians – they almost all use their hands to reinforce their words sending visual signals directly to the right-brain of the listener to augment the words which normally address the left-brain.

You have to think of your hands and arms as every bit as important as the charts and slides you are presenting.

There are five places your hands can comfortably be:

– 1. In your pockets. Don’t do it! It might feel natural, but the signal this gives is anything but. You will look uncomfortable, casual and unsure of yourself.

– 2. Clasped behind your back. This looks aloof and superior, and should be avoided.

– 3. Relaxed, by your side. This feels very unnatural to most people, but actually looks good to the audience. It makes you seem to lack tension.

– 4. On your hips. This is a very positive position. It sends out a message that you are comfortable and self- assured. Don’t overdo it. This stance is best used at moments when you stop speaking and are allowing the audience a moment to absorb your message.

– 5. Gesticulating. Learn the messages that your hands convey and use them to emphasize your points: an open hand denotes honesty; a closed fist, aggression or evasion; a pointing finger, hostility. Also be aware of cultural differences. The American thumb and forefinger gesture meaning ‘okay’ may be insulting in Denmark.

5. Read the Room

You are not the only one who is communicating non-verbally. Learn to recognize the unconscious signals that your audience is feeding back to you.
* A tilted head and direct eye contact indicates attentive approval.
* Raised eyebrows and forward-leaning posture denotes attentive alertness.
* Indirect gaze, accompanied by pen or finger biting show uncertainty.
* Folded arms can indicate hostility.
* A hand to the chin show that you are being summed up.

Finally, learn constantly. Whenever you watch a presenter, try to work out why they are good or bad. Every time you make a presentation, try to detach yourself and see how you can be even better next time.

Adapted from Martin Avis – “Do You Shout Even When You Are Silent”

Be aware of what you “say” even when you aren’t speaking!

Fran Watson

P.S. How can everything go well and then INSTANTLY turn without you ever having said a negative word…or no words at all??!!

The unseen body language signal

Read more about body language and how things can go wrong if you are not aware of what you are doing…Click here

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You Too Can Be A Public Speaker

Have you ever watched a speaker and said, “Wow, I wish I could speak like that”? or “That person was just so wonderful. I could never do that.” Well, I’ve got some good news for you. You too can be a public speaker. Public speaking is a learned skill, so anyone can do it. You just need to follow some simple steps and practice, practice, practice. If you know how to talk, you can become a public speaker.

Becoming really good at public speaking requires some risk, but you have been taking risks all your life. When you were a toddler, you risked falling down when you took your first steps. You risk scraping your knees or falling when you start roller blading. You risk falling off when you start bike riding. You risk being rejected when you ask someone out on a date, and you risk getting into an accident every time you drive your car.

If you gave up after your first fall, you’d still be crawling. If you were afraid to fall off your bike, you’d still be riding with training wheels. If you were afraid of getting into an accident, you’d never get behind the wheel of a car. And guess what, you’re still here – you’ve survived all of that. You’re a risk taker!! The greatest fear is that of public speaking and here you are – wanting to learn how to do it.

Do you enjoy watching figure skating? Now, you wouldn’t expect to be a world class figure skater the minute you put on a pair of skates, would you? No, you’d expect to have to practice for years before becoming that good. Nor would you expect to make the NHL without years and years of winter and summer hockey.

How about watching racing? Would you expect to be another Mario Andretti the minute you get behind the wheel? Now, I will admit that there seem to be a few drivers out there who think they are Mario, but most people would expect to have to practice for years before reaching his status.

When you think of walking 25 miles, it seems like a long distance, but it is actually only putting one foot in front of the other a number of times and you know how to do that. It just takes practice to go the distance. It’s the same thing with public speaking. It just takes putting one word after another.

The key to getting up in front of an audience is believing that you have something to share with them that may make a difference in their lives – by entertaining them, warning them, encouraging them, or giving them direction or information.

The great thing is – you do have something to say that people would be interested in hearing. You have come through life in a special way. You may have encountered difficult circumstances and survived. Your experience could help someone else in the same situation.

If you remember jokes or enjoy telling stories to your friends, practice a little more and soon you can be telling your jokes and stories to larger audiences. If you are really good at something, consider sharing the steps of how you got there.

If you join a Toastmasters club and follow the steps outlined in the Toastmasters’ manuals, and with the encouragement of fellow Toastmasters, you can learn how to craft a speech and how to deliver it. You can learn how to use props, how to modulate your voice, and how to use words that your audience will understand.

At Toastmasters you will often hear the words “stage time” used. That is the only way to get better. In order to be good at anything, you have to practice. Winston Churchill overcame a speech impediment to become a master orator. He had to practice for hours to deliver a speech.

You can get very discouraged if you expect to be as good as Zig Ziglar right away. But if you listen to his story, you will find that it took a very long time before he was able to do what he does so well.

The thing to remember is that the only person you need to compare yourself to is you. You are working for your personal best, so when you are preparing your speech and practicing, all you need to ask yourself is – is your second speech better in some way than your first? Did you learn something new as you prepared for your speech?

Did you learn something from the evaluative comments of others after you gave your speech? Then, that’s all you need to do. You can use what you’ve learned to make the next speech your best to date and then use the same process for each speech you give. Just take one step at a time.

Remember, public speaking is a skill, so anyone can learn to do it. You just need to be taught how and then practice, practice, practice. Then one day someone may watch you and say, “Wow, I wish I could speak like that.”

To your good health!!

Fran Watson, Consultant
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Giveaway

Here is an opportunity for you to try out a variety of products at no cost. Seems like there must be some kind of catch doesn’t it, but in truth, there isn’t. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. The thing is there are SO MANY wonderful products the catch is it is difficult to choose what will be of most benefit to you.

Take your time and peruse them, but not too much time, you only have until the weekend. I have included some of my tips on public speaking in this bundle and some of my friends have provided some wonderful training and more. Here is my affiliate link for you to get this bundle. http://laptoplifestyleyouniversity.com/amember/aff/go/fran_watso?i=5

Angela has truly done something special here. She’s brought together a members-only offer where members of her YOUniversity have contributed true paid products (not freebies) at one low price. There are over 40 contributors, $2000 worth of products and so much value. You can grab this for absolutely no cost decide what you’d love best.

Angela also suggests you DO NOT by any means try to use ALL these products. There’s far too much included for that. What you want to do is pick and choose the things that will help you move your business forward NOW. Don’t worry about the rest. Offers will come again, don’t worry about FOMO, you’ll invest in your business at the right time and you just have to trust in what will be will be.  

I hope you find something you really love. I know I have.

Fran Watson

#publicspeaking

P.S. Remember you can get my products for free here also.

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It’s Over, Now What?

Thank you for following along with me for the “30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge! With any luck, you’ve learned a few things about yourself that you didn’t know before.

Hopefully, you’ve gained some insights into your relationships, and rejoiced for all that’s good and right and beautiful. Hopefully, you’re learning to not sweat the small stuff and or be consumed with the “shoulds” that take you out of the present moment.

Hopefully, you’ve reconnected with your inner child who will help you live simply and joyfully. Hopefully, you’re discovering how to make room in your life for the people, places and things that matter most.

As Frank Sinatra once sang, “The best is yet to come, and won’t it be fine.”

The Best Is Yet To Come

Now that you’re all full up on appreciation, thankfulness and positive thoughts, let’s see what plans you can put in motion for the rest of this dwindling year.

If you’re grateful for this 30-day challenge, then please feel free to express your delight or… tell me what you’d improve about it if you could. I value honesty and would love to hear from you!

Stay tuned… who knows what will be happening next.

Fran Watson

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Appreciate Your Friends

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 30. Be Grateful for Friends

On the last day of our 30-Day Positivity Challenge, we will simply appreciate our friends.

What is it about certain people that makes you want to have them as a friend?

Do you keep a “collection” of people that you enjoy adding to as you go forth and experience life? Much like a coin collection, you’ll want to hang onto people who provide value for you.  Since everybody is different, that value could really be anything you want it to be.

Often, we become friends with people based on shared special interests. It’s way better to attend a Pink Floyd cover band concert with your good ole friends, than someone whom you barely know or worse, someone who’s currently sporting an attitude!

Many people kick off new friendships by discovering the common interests they have with someone else. Then, they take it a step further by offering personal details and sharing their stories with this new friend.

When someone listens to your stories without judging you, that’s a friend to be thankful for.

When someone hears you confess to a bad deed or poorly-made decision but doesn’t judge, rat you out or spread your story to others… that’s a friend to be thankful for, too!

Exercise 30: Make This the Year You Show Your Friends Some Love

Do you know who your real friends are? How do you know?

A friend builds up your self confidence. True friends will be honest with you while at the same time speaking to you in a tactful and kind way.

A friend will help you look on the bright side. A good friend will offer you honesty, and be open to honest thoughts and opinions from you.

A friend doesn’t play mind games, tell fictitious stories about you, or otherwise try to make you feel less-than.

Here’s a fun activity if you’re looking to show appreciation for friends.

Host a get-together of good friends to break up the monotony of our daily lives.

Don’t let inclement weather or excuses stop you from feeling the warmth of a friend’s smile. Instead, let this be the first of many friend gatherings to highlight your seasons the whole year through.

Your gathering of good friends can be a home-baked cookie swap, an evening of sipping and light conversation, or a night out at a favorite tavern to hear some great music and make merry together.

Getting together with friends doesn’t have to involve showing off the latest gadgets or being seen at all the local hot spots.

Good friends are just happy to hear from you and be in your presence!

Journal It.

Write down all the things that you love about your friends. Don’t forget to tell them!

Write down some fun and relaxing ways to celebrate your greatest friendships that don’t involve a lot of money or complicated planning.

Put your plans into action. Raise a glass to those folks in your life who laugh with you, cry with you, come to your rescue in times of need, listen to your stories, and make you feel all-around awesome to be alive.

Cheers to the best of friendships!

Fran Watson

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Home Sweet Home

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 29. Heart and Home

As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is. Every day is surely a time to be grateful for your home, the resting spot for your body and the place to renew your spirit. There are many who do not have a home. They may be living on the streets, in a shelter, or taking advantage of their friends’ couches for a while.

Home means different things to different people. Some folks prefer that their home be placed in a crowded, bustling city. Others call the quiet countryside home. And lots more others make their home in a place that’s somewhere in between.

Do you love to be home? Not everyone does. “Homebody” doesn’t fit all people and personalities. For some, home is a merely a form of shelter and a crash pad to drop by every now and again. Home is what you make it.

The word “home” can conjure up painful memories to some. A household that’s rife with conflict and dysfunction certainly doesn’t feel like a safe place to rest your heart. A house where deprivation is a fact of life may not feel like home, either.

You may have grown up in a house with lots of neighbours near by, or in the country where your closest neighbour was a mile away. Or you might have lived in an apartment. Wherever it was, if you grew up in a home full of love and comforts, then be glad for this! It’s something that we tend to take for granted.

Exercise 29: What does home mean to you?

Think about your childhood home. What did you love about it? What aspects of your home life could you have done without? I loved my bedroom in our house in Toronto. I had a cool closet that was child size. We had a 1 1/2 story house, so the roof was quite slanted.

Did you have certain attachments related to your home growing up that now color your adult life? Rituals that your family always participated in, comfort foods, things that you always did with family? Over the years we had many rituals around holidays – Sunday dinners with grandmothers, family get togethers at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Did others see your home as a welcoming place? When someone came to visit you at your home, did you feel proud of your family and at ease to have them in your territory?

What did the house where you grew up look like? What about the yard? The street you lived on? What did the inside of your home look like? Was it happily disheveled, or tidy and free of clutter?

And the place that you call home in your adult life… is it modeled after your childhood home? Or did you happily cast aside aspects of your former home, in favor of creating a home space for yourself that’s more in line with your needs?

Share some things you have discovered as you look back.

Journal It.

Think about how wonderful it is to have a home. Write about what makes your home feel comfortable and special to you.

Write about what changes you’d make to your home if you could. The changes can be physical, but they can also be about mental health.

Is your home a happy and balanced, nurturing environment?

Whatever and wherever it may be, give thanks for Home, Sweet Home!

To being grateful for your home

Fran Watson

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Protecting Our Planet

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 28: In Awe of Our Precious Planet

The planet where we exist is a miracle.

Do you feel blessed to be alive on this miraculous Eden that teems with life… Mother Earth?

It’s easy to forget how bizarre and wondrous our existence on this planet is.

Each day, we wake up and engage more or less the same routine as the prior day. We eat food, perform our jobs, rest, do more jobs, eat more, and go to sleep.

What other creatures on this planet could be doing similar things as us, and we aren’t even aware of it?

Maybe all of them, even down to the smallest units of energy.

No one can seem to confirm whether or not there is another life form out there that’s similar to human beings on earth.

People have strong opinions on the state of earth and what the future of our planet will be.

Some seem to think that we should limit the amount of natural resources that power our modern conveniences.

Other people believe that there’s no need to think this way.

Exercise 28: Become Informed About Our Planet and Its Resources

You can be grateful for our planet and its ability to sustain life. But why stop at gratitude when knowledge is real power.

If you’re going to think about our planet and what the future may hold for generations to come, then more research is needed before offering an opinion on hot button topics such as renewable energy.

Certain experts say to recycle plastic. But do you know what really happens to the plastic bottles and containers that you place in the big gray bucket that gets dumped into a truck that takes them away each week?

In 2017, recycling companies in China pay to have these recycled items shipped overseas. They melt down the plastic to make new plastic, and form new containers that hold the consumer products that we can’t seem to get enough of.

But what about the people in China who work and live near these facilities, who breathe in the chemical fumes from melting the plastic every day?

Is this really a good thing for our planet?

Some say that if we don’t conserve water, there won’t be enough for the world’s people.

And yet, scientists in Israel have found a way to remove the salt from sea water to make it potable and safe for consumption.

Journal It.

Make a list of all the ways that you have been told about our planet and its resources.

Do some online research and go deep into the details. Take notes.

Start basing your opinions around what you learn. Check out Saving Our Planet for information

To saving our planet for the future generations

Fran Watson

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