November 24, 2014

Say what?

You may remember the 1980's television show "Different Strokes" where young Gary Coleman popularized the skeptical rhetorical reply, "What you talkin' bout Willis?"

When something sounded sketchy or hard to understand, he'd squint, puff out his lips, and tilt his head to the side as the question came forth asking for clarity to whatever situation presented itself that day.

As I was scrolling through my Google alerts for Optimist Clubs today, I found myself in the same pose. What are you talking about, I asked, as I read this quote:
Optimists believe that deep unbreakable faith forged into a fundamental attitude of positive self expectancy is the eternal spring from which all creative, inspirational energy flows. Please take a minute to read our creed; It is the key to maintaining an Optimist's positive mental attitude.
Wow. What an incredibly hard way to say that Optimist Clubs promote a positive vision and that members are hopeful and cheerful, among other optimistic attributes.

This is a good time to remind you about KISS: keep it simple, sweetie.

Share optimism. And be sure the average person can understand what you are sharing.

November 23, 2014

The ROI of joining an Optimist Club

So often, when asked to join a membership association, people will ask, "What's in it for me?"

They wonder:
  • Will it advance my career? 
  • Will it make my workload any easier? 
  • Will it give me more time to be with my family or friends? 
  • Will it help me make more friends? 
  • Will it give me influence?
  • Will it help me make more money? 

The questions continue, both verbal and nonverbal, while someone weighs the value of giving their time to a particular group as the membership recruiter struggles to point out how wonderful it is to associate with a group of like-minded individuals for yes, all of the above will happen if you allow it to happen. Yet despite all the fine attributes of joining, the decision often defaults to no.

How sad it is that in a world where individual advancement is valued so highly, the concept of return on investment is missed by so many. When you invest your time by giving of yourself in service to others, you are rewarded with a positive understanding of self-worth. It makes you feel good about being you.

Flora Edwards said, "In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us."

Kindness begets kindness. Be kind and join an Optimist Club today and share your kindness through service.

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you or contact me and I'll help you organize a new Optimist Club in your community.

November 18, 2014

Project energy and enthusiasm

One of the biggest concerns or challenges that I hear from Optimist Club members is that they have trouble getting noticed by the news. Without going into details in this post about what would make an Optimist Club project newsworthy, I'd like to share a recent television interview scored by the Optimist Club of Lafayette, Louisiana. Its spokesperson was invited to share the details about the Optimist Club's haunted hayride during the morning show.

My concern on watching this interview was that the newscaster was more enthusiastic than the spokesperson. The spokesperson got the details of the event out there, but  she didn't give any of the positive emotions that one would want to feel about going to a community event.

Some tips for giving interviews:

  • Be prepared. 
  • Be ready with a soundbite - Succinctly state two or three key points that you want everyone to know.
  • Be enthusiastic about what you are promoting. Project energy. Smile.
  • If it is a serious story, share the gravity of the situation with the proper inflection of your voice. 

Engaging with the audience is an important element of public speaking whether one be in-person or on-camera, and every spokesperson gets better with experience. Kudos to the Optimist Club of Lafayette, Louisiana for making news.

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