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Peak Performance Principles

(Reprinted from June, 1996, Professional Speaker Magazine)

To attain peak performance in speaking and when giving any presentation, there are strategic principles that will increase your effectiveness. Failure to perform at our peak is generally due to our own negative attitudes, procrastination, ignorance about success principles, failure to write down goals, and our fear of change. The following peak performance principles should help you develop your own map for success.

Clearing

Nature abhors a vacuum. When you clear out the clutter in your life, something else will fill up the space. Make a list of anything you would be willing to toss out: old ideas, dated materials, old magazines, duplicates, old notebooks and notes you hoped to read someday. Throw out whatever you are no longer using or is no longer current and fresh. It takes some faith and trust to do it. When business slows down, I clean out my files. Inevitably I receive phone calls with offers of new business. It works, but it takes a risk to clean out the old.

Giving

When we give, we begin the flow of receiving. The expression, “What goes around, comes around,” applies to our business as well as personal life. Whatever we give out seems to come back. I appreciate business leads from others, and I receive a good number of them because I give away leads to someone else who could better service my client. Be willing to donate free speeches, workshops or consulting. There are many non-profits who can benefit from our giving.

Excelling

Everyone has the potential for success. Some people undermine their own success because they don’t believe they deserve it. Try the following three rules to increase your confidence, self-esteem and to attract more success:

  1. Love yourself 100%-assets as well as liabilities
  2. Acknowledge your uniqueness and your special speaking talents.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at your mistakes.

Investing

Some people call this the principle of “Seed Money.” It means putting aside 10% for the future. Thousands of years ago, the farmers saved 10% of the crop for seed. Many successful people practice tithing or giving 10% of their income (after taxes) to a worthy cause. This reinforces the first two principles: it creates a vacuum, and it gets you into the flow of giving. Experiment for six months and watch the results.

Affirming

Put your goals into a positive form. “I will call ten prospects this week.” “I will increase my calling by 20% over the next month.” Express the goal as if it is already true. This is a positive way to program you mind.

Visualizing

A few years ago, my husband had an opportunity to be on a quiz show. The grand prize was a one-week cruise for two. We made ourselves a treasure map, cut out a picture of the cruise ship, mounted it on a poster-board, and wrote beneath it. “We are now enjoying our cruise.” We studied this “map” for weeks until the day of the quiz show. My husband didn’t win the trip. He won… the portable dishwasher. However, two months later our treasure map came true. We were asked to audition for a promotional film on a cruise line. We won the audition, a week’s cruise in the Caribbean, and a two-week cruise anywhere in the world. Visualizing goals is a powerful tool. Visualize yourself delivering a peak performance speech that touches your audience’s hearts.

Contributing

Remember that you are unique. You have something special to offer your audience, your family, your community. We all want to feel that we are making a difference that we count. Successful people are those who contribute time, talent, or money to better the world.

These peak performance principles can work for you. It takes a commitment to practice them, a new way of thinking to clear away the clutter, and a willingness to risk. Find ways to invest something in your future. Affirm and visualize your goals for success. And, share your talent with the world. Your contribution does make a difference.