10 cosas que puedes hacer para garantizar el exito
PA R T 3
Become a Great Speaker by
Making a Plan and Working It
“Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.”
—George Burns, Actor and Comedian
Ten Things You Can Do to
“The way to develop self-conﬁdence is to do the thing you fear
and get a record of successful experiences behind you.
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice;
it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
—William Jennings Bryan, American Lawyer and Speaker
This chapter describes ten helpful actions and behaviors that will
bring you closer to your speaking goals. Use these recommendations as a
guide to stay on target, keep your goals in view, and get to the next level
with your speaking plan.
Tip 1: You Chose This Book for a Reason—
I do not believe that you are reading this book by accident; whether you
received it as a gift, picked it up at the airport kiosk, or bought it online,
it found you. It found you for good reason. There is a powerful force at
work in your life that will allow you to develop your leadership potential.
176 • Speak like a CEO
Pay attention to that force, and honor it. Whether the book was a
present or a purchase, it is an investment in your success. If you want
to grow that investment, do something more: research and write a
speech that truly reﬂects your beliefs and values; start a story journal;
take an acting class to build conﬁdence; hire a speaking coach, media
trainer, speechwriter, or wardrobe consultant—anyone who can help
you succeed. Whether you are a CEO now or want to be one someday,
commit to doing what it takes. That will move you from wishing to
Tip 2: Delegate, Delete, or Delay
To make time for this investment, you must put the related actions on
your to-do list and put the corresponding appointments on your calen-
dar. You have to make speaking a priority, and you may have to place it
higher than other activities currently on your program. You absolutely
must create a to-do list and schedule appointments. You know how this
works: if you say to a friend, “We’ll have to get together for lunch,” it
doesn’t happen; if you both choose a date, and put it in writing, it does.
The calendar creates commitment.
Where do you ﬁnd the time? How do you elbow some more activi-
ties into an already busy schedule? My answer to that is: delegate, delete,
or delay. This is an approach that allows you to reset priorities and feel
conﬁdent that the items that have moved down your list will get done one
way or another. It’s a matter of deciding what you can give to someone
else, get rid of, or put off for a while.
While writing this book, I used “delegate, delete, or delay” on a
few projects at home. For example, although I wanted to plant a peren-
nial garden in the backyard, I didn’t have time over the summer. I deleted
going to the garden center because I knew I would be tempted to buy
perennials that I didn’t have time to plant. Then, when the weeds in that
part of the yard grew to Jack-and-the-Beanstalk proportions, I asked my
daughter to help out. Weeding was delegated. We considered hiring
a landscape designer to help us create a better environment, but ﬁnd-
Ten Things You Can Do to Guarantee Success • 177
ing and meeting with the designer would take time. We delayed the proj-
ect and lived with less than perfection. Some weeds look like ﬂowers
I have sat with many clients and looked over their calendars to apply
this strategy. These executives are frequently amazed at how delegating,
deleting, or delaying projects and activities that are not mission-critical
frees up oodles of time. We all have stuff we can dispose of in these ways.
You don’t need a coach to do this. Look through your calendar. Choose
some items that are not essential or that someone else can do. Once you
start applying this system, you will ﬁnd it is so liberating that you will
want to do it regularly.
Tip 3: Assemble Your Team
There is nothing like a team of people on your side to help you achieve
your goals. You do not have to learn to speak like a CEO all by yourself.
You are responsible for making it happen, but you don’t have to do it
alone. Among the people who could assist you are the following pros:
I Speaker coach
I Media trainer
I Wardrobe consultant
I Comedy writer
I PR person
I Fitness trainer
I Voice coach
Bring in high-caliber professionals to support you in your growth
and to give you perspective in the areas you are developing. The encour-
agement you get from them will keep you moving steadily toward your
destination. You will get there twice as fast if you have the right people
working with you.
178 • Speak like a CEO
Tip 4: Treat Your Personal Coaching Program
like a Fitness Program
One CEO I interviewed said speaker coaching is a lot like going to the
gym: “You may not enjoy it going in, but you will feel exhilarated com-
ing out.” That’s an appropriate analogy. The feeling of accomplishment
in learning to speak well is powerful.
If you treat your personal coaching program like a ﬁtness program,
you will succeed. Trainers advise clients to pick a goal, make a plan, tell
a friend, and track their progress. You can do the same with this program.
Every ounce of effort you put in will pay off. Once you start, keep going.
As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent
Tip 5: While You’re at It, Get into Top Physical
Being in great physical condition makes you feel relaxed and more con-
ﬁdent. Staying in shape gives you the energy to meet the demands of your
job, including public speaking. You sleep better and feel mentally sharp.
You appear conﬁdent, because you like the way you look. Your clothes ﬁt,
and you tend to buy beautiful clothing that suits you and enhances your
image as a leader. Fitness sends a strong message about your self-image;
it says you respect yourself, are organized and disciplined, and have the
energy it takes to do the work. No matter how busy you are, make time
to work out.
When you start a ﬁtness program, you are always advised to begin
slowly so you don’t injure yourself. Injuries are one of the main reasons
people fall short of their ﬁtness goals. If you start slowly, you can avoid a
major setback. You can get a great workout in so many ways: going to the
health club, playing sports, walking, hiking, or swimming. During the
week, park you car at the far end of the lot; take the stairs instead of the
elevator. On the weekend, get outside and do something physical. It’s your
Ten Things You Can Do to Guarantee Success • 179
overall approach to ﬁtness, not the thirty minutes you commit to a rou-
tine, that will keep you in top shape.
If you have a regular exercise regime, that’s great. Keep it up. If you
don’t, I suggest you apply the system discussed earlier: delegate, delete,
or delay. Make time to make ﬁtness a priority; make the commitment to
your physical health and well-being. Staying ﬁt sets a powerful example
for the people who work with you, too. Fitness is good for business.
Tip 6: Push Yourself with Stretch Goals in Your
As you gain conﬁdence, you will want to set some stretch goals. After you
master one skill, try something new. Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes it
feels easier to play it safe and follow the formula rather than risk looking
foolish. But that won’t build your conﬁdence or help you enjoy speaking
Stretching helps you ﬁnd out what you’re capable of doing. Perfec-
tion is not the goal—effectiveness is. Don’t worry about failing. As nov-
elist Anna Quindlen says, “The thing that is really hard—and really
amazing—is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of
If you feel stale, shake it up. Try stepping out from behind the
podium and speaking without notes. Use a prop. Tell a funny story about
yourself. Be candid and say what everybody else is thinking. Accept a
speaking engagement at a major conference. Say yes to an interview with
a major daily newspaper. There are countless ways to shake things up.
Doing so will stretch your mental muscles.
Tip 7: Don’t Stop
Winston Churchill once said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Sometimes you will be disappointed by a speech or presentation. You
might be misquoted in the newspaper. You may wish you had said some-
180 • Speak like a CEO
thing different in a meeting. Let it go. Learn from mistakes. Nobody is
perfect. You cannot anticipate every hazard.
Dust yourself off and get back out there. Those missteps can pro-
vide prime material for your next event! I have made lemonade out of
lemons by taking my mistakes and turning them into stories for speeches.
If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. Don’t stop, even if it seems hard.
Someday, when someone comes up to you and says, “You make speaking
look so easy,” you’ll just look at the person and smile.
Tip 8: Believe You Can
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said, “The thing always happens that
you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” We rarely
accomplish much before we believe that it can be done. We have few
guarantees in life, but we know that if we do not start a journey, we will
not reach a destination.
Whatever your goal is in this program, you must believe that achiev-
ing it is possible. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, but on the
other side of the leap is action. True belief gets you out of bed. True belief
makes you roll up your sleeves and do it. Tap into belief and you will ﬁnd
Tip 9: Enjoy
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence. To
know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
—Pearl Buck, American Writer
I asked one CEO who speaks well what he thought other CEOs should
know about speaking. “You have to enjoy doing it,” he observed. “It comes
across to an audience.”
I know what you’re thinking: speaking well is one thing; enjoying it
is another. If you hate public speaking, or can’t imagine taking pleasure
Ten Things You Can Do to Guarantee Success • 181
in talking to reporters, think again—it can be fun. The secret is to do it
well. Doing anything well is its own reward. Plus, you get positive feed-
back. You may never love speaking or presenting, but you will feel the joy
of getting results.
Tip 10: Take Time to Celebrate Success
Successful talk-show host and actress Oprah Winfrey says, “The more
you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
When you work hard on anything, you should stop to celebrate. You
should enjoy the fruits of your labor.
I always encourage clients to reward themselves after they have
worked hard on a major project. Find some small but signiﬁcant way to
celebrate an achievement. If you have worked hard at writing and prac-
ticing a speech that is subsequently well received, take an afternoon off.
If you make a presentation and win business, go shopping or out to din-
ner. Rewarding yourself tells your brain, “This is fun!” and motivates you
to forge ahead and do more.
Your coaching program is not a marathon with a big reward at the
end. It’s a journey with milestones that you should mark. Celebrate each
success as you become the speaker and leader you want to be. Garner the
encouragement from your support team, commit to your goals, and tackle
your obstacles. Let the model coaching programs in Chapter 16 serve as
guides when you’re creating your personalized speaking plan. Invest in
yourself and you will become a better speaker.