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Your Best Self

MONDAY BYTES — June 29, 2015

What can TED talks teach musicians about performance?Of course there are terrific specific TED talks that can inspire us and give us concrete tools and strategies. (As I’ve written in other posts about, for instance Amy Cuddy’s popular TED talk on body language pictured above).But if we think about TED Talks as performances, what lessons can we glean?

TED Talks themselves are performances that have been worked on carefully and coached so that we get the version with the most impact, with the speaker at her or his best.

But what makes these compelling talks is NOT that they are memorized and coached to be “perfect”—with every word carefully pronounced, with facts and ideas organized correctly and the hand gestures and body language carefully choreographed and all of it perfectly executed.

If that’s NOT what makes for a great TED Talk, what does?

At their best, TED talks are essentially a form of focused story telling, with the illustrating of a powerful idea that the speaker offers us to use in our own lives.

The best TED speakers show vulnerability, speaking their truth by focusing on a personal challenge and how they experienced this as a transformational life lesson. In the process, the best TED speakers reveal their authentic selves and their motivation: why they do what they do.

Music performances have the potential to do communicate all of that and more. But most performances are weighed down by performers’ tunnel visioned pursuit of technical perfection.

If you want to soar, you need to be aiming at the heavens.

TED speakers are sent the TED Commandments — guidelines to help them prepare. And a number of these are helpful tips for musical performances as well, such as the reminder to “be vulnerable,” to “dream a great dream,” to “Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion,” and to “tell a story” through your performance.

Try these: Thoughts for the practice room and rehearsal studio. what is it you want your next performance to offer your audience? Describe the ideal mindset you would have during this peak performance in order to convey your intended message.

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.More blog posts on peak performance can be found HERE.

Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!

Kryptonite Antidote

MONDAY BYTES — June 22, 2015

In one of his recent Think Clearly posts, Mathias Jakobsen asks the question, ”What’s Your Kryptonite?”
He’s referring to the one thing that can weaken the comic hero Superman: the element Kryptonite.Mathias’ question is a good one: we all have something that gets in our way and trips us up. Knowing our weakness and then working on how to directly get around, over, or through it is the best defense!As a career consultant I help creatives overcome obstacles so they can get on with their projects and build their success.

At the most recent Chamber Music America First Tuesday Seminar I tackled the topic of How to Engineer Your Next Career Breakthrough.

In the talk I explain how and why music career breakthroughs happen, and detail 5 key most common music career obstacles and specific strategies for overcoming these. Plus there are 3 bonus insights from my most recent research on change. It’s a quick 53 minute ride and the kind CMA folks have posted it HERE.

For this week: What’s Your Kryptonite? What have you found lately that helps counteract its effect on you?  I’d LOVE to hear what strategies are working for you!

PS: CMA archives all the First Tuesday seminars — check out a wealth of career help HERE.

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.
Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!

Shish-kabob Brand Theory

MONDAY BYTES — June 15, 2015

Want help with your personal brand? Check out this terrific podcast and article form Terry O’Reilly‘s excellent CBC Radio show Under the Influence.

In this episode, Terry delineates his “Shish-kebab Theory” of branding and writes:

“A company has a multitude of communication points – it could be a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, advertising, business cards, a storefront and even what people hear when they call and are put on hold.

So – think of all those touch-points as tasty items on a shish-kabob. There is a piece of beef, a piece of chicken, a tomato, a green pepper and a mushroom.

All different, each with a unique taste and function.

But here’s the important part – all these things are held together by a skewer. And that skewer is a consistent tone of voice.

In other words, everything should feel like it’s coming from the same place.

The same rule applies to people.”

Terry then goes on to relate this to personal branding touch points and valuable pointers for your:

email address
social media content

And he has some surprising data, such as:
“54% of resumes are loaded with grammatical errors.

33% of people badmouth a former employer, or current boss or a fellow worker on social media.

20% post derogatory statements about certain groups, genders, races or religions.

24% lie about their qualifications. In a digitally connected world, it doesn’t take prospective employers long to connect the dots – or find the missing ones.

A survey by Microsoft found that 70% of companies looking to hire say they found content online that caused them NOT to hire a candidate.”

This week: give yourself a gift of new insights: take 27 minutes and listen to Terry’s podcast!

Want more? Check out my other tips and insights on branding HERE).

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

More blog posts on peak performance can be found HERE.

Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!