Category Archives: Focus and attention

Giving people focus and attention

How to rescue a very public disaster (using my favourite psych fact)

Standing in the booth, looking out at the ten people awkwardly dancing in a space that was built for 400, I felt sick.

I’m about to tell you one of the most important pieces of information I know. Then I’m going to tell you the rest of that story in order to prove it’s true and to help you hold it in your brain (because that’s what storytelling does!).

Here’s the fact:

The most important parts of any talk, blog, presentation or podcast is…

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How to make yourself my instant best friend

Sitting in the audience, I was having wrestling conflicting feelings.

The woman onstage as belting out a number from the musical “Chicago” — one I haven’t seen, and am not particularly keen to. She was a little off-key. And LOUD. I felt like I should have been cringing, embarrassed for her and hating it… but for some reason, I wasn’t. Why wasn’t I?

It was my third night at Camp GLP, a Summer camp for grown ups. When I saw the sales page, what sold it was the talent show. The camp I went to as a kid had one and it was always the highlight. Skits where we sent up the staff, little jokey routines, maybe someone reading a poem. But this was different.

One after the other, attendees from the camp got up to sing. Some of them were knockout. Some of them really weren’t but, for reasons my brain was struggling to understand, they didn’t look embarrassed about it *at all. Being British, I felt like I should have been convulsing with awkwardness on their behalf.

So when I wasn’t, I looked to my left at my new friend Sam. An Aussie, she and I had been hanging around a bit the last few days. I whispered to her,

“Why don’t I hate this?”

She laughed back and whispered, “It’s because we secretly love Americans. If this had been an Aussie or Brit talent show, it would have been 10 rugby guys in drag looking embarrassed. Instead, all these people onstage are totally committed. They really mean it!”

“So?”

“So I think we secretly admire their self-confidence. Because we could never pull that off.”

And I thought, OMG.

Because, when she said that, two things happened…

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How to make yourself likeable when you write online

AKA advice from my past self to you)Cleaning out my Evernote recently, I found a folder called “BLOG PERSONALITY IDEAS.” It came from, years ago, when I was working with Kendrick Shope and she said [imagine deep Southern accent]:

“Marsha, I don’t know anyone who pours their whole personality into their emails better than you do.”

I was thrilled, and her suggestion eventually turned into me starting the service, Put The You Back In Your Business. But somewhere in between, I decided to test out if this could even be a thing, by getting on a call with a business buddy who wasn’t having any engagement in her emails and blogs.

I honestly don’t remember which chum it was (and if it comes to me, I won’t name him/her, because: discretion). But clearly, I made ten notes, and these were written up on the one file inside that was inside that BLOG PERSONALITY IDEAS folder. I just read through them, realized that Past Marsha made some good points, and thought I’d share them with you! With a little explanation under each one.

1) YOU ARE WARM! So be warm in your emails!
I have seen this issue SO MANY TIMES. I meet someone in person. They are so warm that standing next to them basically feels like being hugged by someone you really like. Then I look at their blogs and emails and they write like they’re politely informing me of my next dental appointment.

If you are a warm person in real life, we warm online and in your emails. If you are not warm, be the way you are. Either way, your people will find you and be grateful for it.

2) You don’t have to tell them anything about your life
OH this one. “I’m a really private person. I don’t want to talk online about my life.”
I get it a LOT. But here’s the wonderful thing…

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The most compelling stories you should tell in your blogs and/or to get clients + overcoming resistance — Yes Yes Questions 5 Review!

If you’re wondering any of these things:

Which are the best stories to tell in your blogs?
Is my story is interesting enough for a memoir?
How do I tell my story in order to draw in new clients?
I want to start your own live event, how do I do that?
How can I overcome resistance when it comes to being visible online?
Then you’re IN LUCK!…

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How to Keep an Audience Interested when you Talk or Write – by changing their brains!

Everybody’s banging on about why storytelling is important and that you should be using it. But do you know why? Here’s my favourite fact about storytelling: It actually changes…

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How to promote yourself without feeling gross; How to stop drowning in your to-do list

If I might briefly be not very British or Canadian, I got to give some REALLY good advice last week. Some of my favourite questions to answer, in my monthly live Advice column, Yes Yes Questions.

Q1: What is the art of writing posts to promote yourself on social media without feeling like a self-obsessed narcissist and annoying everyone you know?

i LOVE this question. Because so many people…

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If you feel like everyone else is doing their lives just a little bit better than you are, you may need this

It’s mid-April. Over a quarter of the year in. What goals did you have? Anywhere close? So much time has passed and you haven’t done nearly enough towards them, have you?

Did you even get around to making any goals?

I didn’t. I printed out my YearCompass, over several days in January and Feb I got about…

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The simple trick that saves you hours of time and gives you 10X the impact in your business, career or passion

If you have a business, a career, a passion that you want to turn into a business or career, then there’s one super-simple thing you’re likely forgetting to do, that means you’re wasting your time and effort.

It’s something that needs to happen before you do ANYTHING. For example, you need to do it before you:

Write a blog post (I did it before I wrote this one!!)
Write a bio
Go to a Networking event
Write literally anything on your website
Interview someone
Be interviewed by someone
TELL A STORY
Name your Instagram account
Do a talk
Decide to start a podcast
Write a newsletter
Post on your Facebook page
Do a Facebook live
Make literally any decision about your business

I see people ALL THE TIME not doing this, which means the thing they did – that blog post, that talk, that About page on their site – was a huge waste o time.

Here’s the thing you need to do first

Ask yourself, “What…

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How to say no, How to stay focused, How to love somewhere you hate living – Yes Yes Questions #1 REVIEW!

GUESS WHAT???!?!??!?!?! You know that thing I did? Where I had a secret wish that seemed silly, had little to do with my job and is only for already super-famous people (or paid journalists)… but I thought I’d try it out anyway? IT WORKED!! If you missed the whole story, the Cliff notes are: –…

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What happened when I – a skeptic – did Horse Therapy

Sometimes, you’re in so much pain that you seem to push right through to the other side. It’s like your pain went 360 degrees around, and the wholeness feels almost as satisfying as it does wretched.

It was March and the coldest day of the year so far. The sun was shining fiercely, one of these perfect, crisp, Winter days we get in Ontario. My friend Jenn and I were driving through the countryside to her farm.

She’s a business buddy, a former therapist who now does Equine Therapy – therapy for people, using horses. I’d been curious about it ever since I read (one of my heroes) Martha Beck talk about it. But also, I was secretly a bit skeptical. I mean, it’s a horse. What can it do for me?

A few weeks before, I’d been telling Jenn that i…

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