Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0306, June 26, 2007 ....
 

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As facilitators, trainers, and group leaders, our role often entails many of the challenges of public speakers. We must, by definition, be in front of the room addressing our groups as leaders to help align and serve their collective purpose. This week's article, " Be an Authentic Performer," looks at the apparent paradox between being authentic and being a performer. Ask yourself the 10 questions in this article to bring out the "Authentic Performer" in you.

New Meeting Mentor Software Tool. In cooperation with my colleague, Dennis Heidl of Mindsights.com, we're offering his popular software tool called the "Meeting Mentor." Offered at a discount this week, this is a great tool for prompting you to move your meetings forward no matter what kind of situation you find yourself in.

Have a great week!

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of FacilitatorU.com



 
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The Point


Be an Authentic Performer
10 Questions to Discovering Your 'Authentic Performer'



Presenting Skill


As facilitators, trainers, and group leaders, our role often entails many of the challenges of public speakers. We must, by definition, be in front of the room addressing our groups as leaders to help align and serve their collective purpose. This role requires that we get and command attention, motivate and inspire, and garner the respect required for us to effectively lead.

With that said, most of us dread speaking in public. But this is true only to the degree we believe that we have to be somebody we're not. When we operate from our authentic selves, we discover magical connections to our audience and ourselves, and we express ourselves effortlessly.

The following 10 questions take the concept of "Becoming an Authentic Performer" to a deeper, more practical level. Read these, try them on, and let us know how they resonate with you.



Application


10 Questions to Discovering Your 'Authentic Performer.' So how do you become an authentic performer? Ask yourself the following 10 questions - when you can say 'yes' to each of these, public speaking will become one of your greatest joys.

1. Do I feel good in front of an audience? When you're "on," it feels good. It feels right. You're at your best when you feel good, and being at your best makes you and others feel good. It's a feedback loop provided by your biology to let you know that you're in the flow of life. Any struggle, pushing, or forcing goes against the flow and is off course.

2. Is my audience feeling good? The same rule in #1 above, applies to your audience. If you're having fun and feeling good, it's contagious. You're audience will pick up on this. When you are connected to your audience and they feel your positive feelings, your energies converge and you grow together.

3. Am I rediscovering myself as I speak? Speaking in public, and hearing your own voice and words, is a process of self-discovery. When we slow down and speak from our passionate heart, we are in touch with ourselves, and what we say is often quite surprising. This is very different from the fast-paced, mind-chatter that we are used to hearing inside our heads. The heart is always more revealing. Speaking from our heart before an audience is a high-speed personal growth experience.

4. Are my words coming through as if they were from another source? The excitement of being on stage, the energy of your audience, and the group consciousness is all directed to and through you. Maintaining the observer position allows you to witness the flow of energy, emotions and thoughts, and with this, your soul is presented with an opportunity to speak. Take it. When you relax and speak from the "witness," you will be surprised to see that your soul shows up. And what your soul says is always perfect for you and for your audience in the moment.

5. Is my speech almost poetic or prose-like? When your soul is speaking, your voice tone, cadence, and rhythm will be different than your usual dialogue. This deeper self is in service to delivering your message. And the message is from a higher source. No wonder it sounds like poetry. Your energetic self communicates with fewer words more efficiently. Your audience "gets it" and so do you.

6. Is my voice peaceful, direct, harmonic, and clear? When you're speaking from an authentic place, you feel no fear. You speak from deep in your belly, from your natural soul voice, without the distraction of "filler" words. You speak your truth as it occurs to you in the moment without apology. You are the conductor and your words the symphony.

7. Do new creative ideas of the "group mind" arise from nowhere? When you operate from your authentic presence, every performance will be different, even when presenting the same information. We are all different people every day, at least in subtle ways, and our different audiences bring a unique blend of energy to the room. When we are attuned to our environment, and ourselves, we will express new creative ideas and insights that are even new to us. You are at the source of creation.

8. Are most of the participants onboard? When you're speaking, you can tell when your audience is with you and when they're not. There are of course non-verbal cues and there are subtle energetic cues. When you are attuned to your audience, you feel their support, you know they are getting what the came for.

9. Are the silences powerful and synchronistic? The use of silence in your presentations is a powerful tool. Without space between the notes, music just isn't possible. When you stop at appropriate times, there is a quality to the silence between your words--a fullness--that let's you know what you say is resonating with your audience.

10. Do I feel my energy expanding beyond previous boundaries, including others in the group? There are times when people align, open, and unite in such a way as to experience the "group mind". This is a tangible and accessible entity. Learn to be open to, appreciate, and create this in your relationships. Let the universal group mind lead your energy and awareness beyond your perceived boundaries. When this happens, your authentic presence is bigger than life!

These are subtle questions - you obviously can't stop and think about the answers in the midst of a group session, but you can get into the habit of using these questions to evaluate each group situation. The more you do this, the more conscious you'll become of what distracts you from being an authentic performer, allowing you to improve the next time around. Soon, there will be nothing in the way - your authenticity will simply be a part of who you are as a public speaker.




Action
 

Which of the questions above do you resonate with? Which ones do you have resistance to? Take a minute to jot down some thoughts on what you can do to apply at least one of these perspectives this week. I look forward to your comments, insights or feedback about this article - just click reply and type them directly into this email.


Resource


Be Heard Now, by Lee Glickstein

As followers of Lee Glickstein's popular seminars attest, effective public speaking isn't the result of being over-prepared or having a slick delivery. It's actually a creative, interactive process relying on the speaker's natural presence and willingness to be "in the moment." Now Glickstein shares his dramatically successful "transformational speaking" approach, showing that the key to successful public speaking lies in spiritual principles that emphasize self-realization and authenticity. Be Heard Now! teaches you how to:

- Heal your "inner speaker" and overcome your fear of exposure
- Project a genuine, personal presence to enhance your overall performance
- Develop a keen awareness of the audience and benefit from their response
- Use humor and vulnerability to captivate your listeners
- Apply four essential components to write a successful speech

With Glickstein's compassionate, realistic approach, Be Heard Now! can help anyone become a confident, jitter-free public speaker whose ideas flow freely and persuasively.



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In the Spotlight


Meeting Mentor Software
Tool

Successful Teams …  Need Successful Meetings. MindSights Meeting Mentor empowers any meeting leader with professional facilitation skills to run successful meetings, every time.    

The Growing Need for Quality Meetings

Patrick Lencioni, author of the popular book Death by Meeting says; “As more of what people do takes place in teams, meetings become the setting in which the really important work gets done. Team and organizational success is becoming more dependant on the quality of its meetings.”

The Meeting Productivity Crisis

The book “How to Make Meeting Work” was written by Michael Doyle over 40 years ago. Yet, current studies still show up to 30% of meetings are unproductive. This equates to over $11 billion dollars of lost US productivity each year.  So what’s the solution?

The Meeting Productivity Solution

Running effective meeting can be very difficult.  But as professional meeting facilitators knows, the critical success factor is NOT about preparing an Agenda but about running the meeting as a Process and elevating meeting participants thinking effectiveness. Skilled meeting leaders do this by using four facilitation skills:

  1. Finding the right 2-3 critical questions to ask meeting participants.
  2. Bringing the right “cognitive” tools to the meeting.
  3. Clearly identifying the meeting purpose and outcomes.
  4. Facilitating meeting process and flow.

The Answer: MindSights Meeting Mentor (MMM)  See Demo

MMM emulates how skilled meeting leaders function and empowers any meeting leader with these same facilitation skills needed to run successful meetings – every time.

This unique self-mentoring software product can benefit you in the following ways.

  1. Help the skilled meeting leader find the right questions to ask and tools to use
  2. Facilitate the novice meeting leader through the entire process to planning and delivering great meetings.
  3. Jump-start any meeting leaders planning with pre-developed meetings.
  4. Use MMM “as is” or customize to fit your meeting.

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Ready to try it?

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For a limited time, we're offering this product at FacilitatorU for only $79




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