Optimize Public Speaking

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Locked 101 Classes

Public Speaking 101

How to Express Yourself Confidently When You’re Talking with More Than a Few People

We’ve had a lot of people ask for a class on Public Speaking. It tends to freak a lot of people out which is why Idea #1 features Jerry Seinfeld’s quip that most people are so afraid of public speaking that they’d prefer to *receive* a eulogy than give one. (Hah.) Alas, if you have any fears over speaking in public, you’re not alone. Enter: Common humanity. And, enter my own stories about my fears and my favorite ways to alchemize that energy. (“I’m excited!” + “Bring it on!” + threat vs. challenge, etc.) Other Ideas include Rule #0 (aka, it’s not about you), Rule #1 (aka BE you—amplified!), systematically organize (and overprepare!), plus Optimizing your pre-shot routine before letting it rip! 🙂

Locked PhilosophersNotes

How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

The Secrets of Good Communication

Larry King is, of course, a LEGEND. Do you know how many people he’s interviewed over his 50+ year (!!) career? 50,000. And counting. I got this book after Larry and James Pawelski interviewed me for their Positive Voices interview series. Larry wrote this book 25 years ago—37 years into his career. It’s a great introduction to his thoughts on “The Secrets of Good Communication” in every situation—from dinner parties to public speaking. And, it’s a great autobiographical sketch of his own career as “the most remarkable talkshow host on TV ever.” Big Ideas we explore include Talk 101 (remember: effort counts twice!), Day 1 (meet Larry Zeiger), The First Rule (= Listen!!), what to do when you make mistakes (keep on going!), and the power of enthusiasm (it's the engine of success).

Locked PhilosophersNotes

How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking

Before Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, he wrote this book. In fact, back in the day, one of the things Carnegie was best known for was his ability to help people develop their leadership skills by becoming great speakers. This book is a distillation of the training manuals from his classes. As with How to Win Friends and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, this book is quick-reading, super-practical, and entertaining (especially if you get a kick out of the early 20th century style like I do). Big Ideas we explore include: The Big 4 of Optimizing your speaking, the importance of “reserve power,” the secret to good delivery, your most precious asset as a speaker, how to gesture and the importance of magnetic vitality.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Upside of Stress

Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It

If you’ve ever had stress in your life (hah!) and wondered how to deal with it more optimally, I think you’ll love this. McGonigal tells us that how we THINK about stress plays a huge role in its affect on us and walks us thru the science behind it. Rather than try to get rid of stress (good luck with that!), we’re much better off shifting our mindsets to embrace and use the stress wisely!

Locked PhilosophersNotes

The Charisma Myth

How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

Charisma. The idea that you’re either one of the lucky few born with it or not is a MYTH. Fact is: We can all cultivate our personal magnetism. In this fun, quick-reading, compelling book, Olivia Fox Cabane walks us through the practical application of the art and science of deliberately dialing our charisma up. Big Ideas we cover: The Big 3 of charisma: Presence + Power + Warmth (and how to boost each), what gets in the way (and what to do about it), the power of visualization (#1 tip) and more.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Amy Cuddy is awesome. Her TED talk is the 2nd most popular ever. This book is just as good. Learn the science of cultivating your personal power to bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges. Big Ideas we explore: self-affirmation theory, priming + nudges, the magic of expanding your body to increase your power, iHunch (how’s yours?), and the boldest you.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

To Sell Is Human

The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Dan Pink is a brilliant writer. His books have been translated into over 35 languages and have sold over 1 million copies in the US alone. We featured another one of his New York Times bestsellers called Drive. That one is all about “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” This one, as per the sub-title, is all about “The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.” The super-short story? Although only 1 in 9 of us technically earn our living as “salespeople,” we’re ALL in sales. In other words: To sell is human. Big Ideas explored include the new ABCs of sales: A is for Attunement, B is for Buoyancy, C is for Clarity) and how to master a servant-selling.

Locked PhilosophersNotes


What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To

Sian Beilock is one of the world’s leading researchers studying the science of optimal performance. In this book, she walks us through a range of research studies she and her colleagues have conducted to help us get a better understanding of why, under pressure and when it matters most, some of us choke. And, of course, Sian provides a range of tips on what we can do about it. Big Ideas we explore: the what and why of choking, the ultimate choke vacuum, practicing under pressure, an antidote to exam choking, and a bunch of little tips on rockin’ it.


The Tools

Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity

The Tools. This was easily the best book I read in 2012. It's *packed* with goodness. Stutz and Michels are two no-nonsense therapists who developed powerful tools to transform our problems into courage, confidence, and creativity. In this Note, we'll take a quick peek at how to put these powerful tools to work to create real change in our lives.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Coming Alive

4 Tools to Defeat Your Inner Enemy, Ignite Creative Expression & Unleash Your Soul’s Potential

I’m a HUGE fan of Phil and Barry's first book, The Tools. Coming Alive is kinda like The Tools Part 2. In this book, we get four new tools to go along with the original five tools. Big Ideas we explore include how to connect to our Life Force, defeat Part X (their name for that part of each of us that gets in the way), build our confidence and learn to see problems as gifts as we live a GREAT life.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Unbeatable Mind

Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level

I'm convinced Mark Divine is a superhero. Seriously. And in Unbeatable Mind, the former Navy SEAL gives us the handbook on mental toughness. In the Note, we'll look at the keys to cultivating our confidence, the importance of cultivating our concentration, learning how to control our breathing and other goodness that will make you unbeatable.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Mastering Creative Anxiety

24 Lessons for Writers, Painters, Musicians, and Actors from America's Foremost Creativity Coach

Eric Maisel is one of my favorite writers and teachers and thinkers. In addition to being one of the world’s leading creativity coaches (and therapists), he’s also an amazing exemplar of creativity—having written dozens of books on a broad range of subjects. Big Ideas we explore in this Note include the fact that anxiety goeswith anxiety (yes, “goeswith” = one word!), existential decisiveness and why it matters, enervators —> energizers, a cool mantra, cognitive restructuring and step 1 to creativity.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Ego Is the Enemy

Meet the enemy: Your ego. Our guide, Ryan Holiday, wrote one of my favorite books of 2015: The Obstacle Is the Way. Ego Is the Enemy is now one of my favorite books of 2016. It’s fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include: defining ego, becoming more than a flash in the pan, finally answering the question of whether it takes 10,000 or 20,000 hours to attain mastery, the virtue and value of staying true to your own path and making it rather than faking it.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Daring Greatly

How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Teddy Roosevelt told us that it's not the critic who counts. It's all about the individual who is actually in the arena--whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood... Who dares greatly. Brene Brown takes that spirit and runs with it--showing us how we can only dare greatly when we are willing to live Wholeheartedly, embracing our vulnerability as we cultivate our courage, compassion and connection.

Locked PhilosophersNotes

Crazy Good


Steve Chandler tells us “There is bad and there is good . . . And then there is crazy good." And, our path to living a crazy-good life is simple. It's all about CHOICES. As with all of Steve's books, this one is packed with wisdom. Big Ideas we cover include The 5% Solution, Systems vs. Dreams, Game vs. Shame, and making life an experiment.

Locked +1s

#27 "I'm Excited!"

What to Say to Yourself When You’re Feeling Nerves
Alison Wood Brooks is a researcher at Harvard Business School. She studies the most effective strategy for dealing with acute stress. First,
Locked +1s

#160 Presence

Expanding into Your Best Self
In our last +1, we talked about the fact that the word courage comes from the Latin word for “heart.” Just as our heart pumps blood to

#282 How to Be Charismatic

Science Says: Presence + Power + Warmth
Charisma. Most people think it’s something you either have or you don’t have. But… That’s a myth. As Olivia Fox Cabane tells us in
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#363 Fear & Expectations

How to Move from Fear to Excitement
Quick pop quiz: Are you afraid of something these days? Pause for a moment and identify one thing that’s kinda (or really) stressing you
Locked +1s

#599 Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I Shall Cover You So I Don’t Fall
In our last +1, we talked about the subtle but significant distinction I made in the lead-up to my first-ever keynote talk. Specifically, I
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#660 How Clark Kent Becomes Superman in 11 Seconds

Flipping the (Superhero) Identity Switch (Then Reflipping/Ducktaping It So It Sticks All Day Every Day)
In our last +1, we talked about our inaugural Optimize Coach program (there’s still a little more time to sign up and join hundreds of
Locked +1s

#691 Fear Is Excitement

Without the Breath
Continuing our exploration of how to Conquer Fear, how about a simple yet profound piece of wisdom from Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt
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#984 Springsteen Says: “I’m Excited!”

Epic Wisdom from The Boss
A couple +1s ago, I briefly mentioned the fact that Marie Forleo is the one who introduced me to the idea of “’Friend Power.” (Thanks,
Locked +1s

#1026 Connection over Perfection

A Big Idea from Public Speaking 101
This morning Alexandra and I were chatting about her new Optimize +1s. First: Yay! I’m typing this with a big smile as I’m super happy
Locked +1s

#1027 Mindful Presentations

Ellen Langer on How to Give Them
In our last +1, we hung out with Alexandra and Steve Chandler and John Madden as we talked about Connection over Perfection. Today I want to

#166 iHunch

What Not to Do If You Want to Be Powerful
A few +1s ago, we talked about Amy Cuddy’s research on how quickly you can build your power and presence by simply expanding your body.
Locked +1s

#598 How to Use Our Optimizing Tools

Hint: Practice THE MOMENT You Need It
A little while back, we talked about the keynote talk I was getting ready to present (as part of the Pritzker Group Venture Capital’s
Locked +1s

#537 Squirrels, Einstein and You

Two Mindsets: Training vs. Trusting
In our last +1, we had fun dominating our dishes with Byron Katie. Get this: The same day I was thinking about that, I was driving to my
Locked +1s

#965 Asking for Qualities

A Quick Way to Flip the Switch
In our last +1, we spent some time with Todd Herman, Batman, Dora the Explorer and YOUR most heroic self. Today we’re going to connect all
Locked +1s

#311 Ideal Performance State

Emotional Consistency and Peak Performance
Jim Loehr is one of the world’s leading authorities on peak performance. He and Tony Schwartz wrote The Power of Full Engagement and
Locked +1s

#490 Begin Before You Begin

How to Transition to the New You
In our last +1, we talked about zambonis for your brain. Also known as naps. We added a Dan Pink-inspired addition of a cup of coffee right
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#552 Positivity, Science of

For Peak Performance in Sports and in Life
Continuing our time with world-class CrossFit coach Ben Bergeron, let’s look at another one of his champion characteristics: Positivity.
Locked +1s

#690 Your Engine: V-12 or V-Lawnmower?

Which Will It Be?
Continuing our theme of seeking/conquering fear, let’s have some fun with Jon Eliot and his wisdom from Overachievement. Here’s how he
Locked +1s

#1054 On Humility

Thinking of Ourselves Less
This morning I was reading John Maxwell’s new book on leadership called Leadershift. He was talking about the importance of humility and
Locked +1s

#730 Exiting the Cast of Our Comfort Zones

And Letting the Surge and Power of Life’s Challenges Fuel our Optimizing
In our last couple +1s, we met my bionic arm and its currently atrophied forearm that I’m now rehabilitating. 💪 btw: Surgeon says 9-12
Locked +1s

#857 Practice: When Can I Stop?

Great Ones Say…
In our last +1, we hung out with Kobe Bryant and Alan Stein in the gym at 4am. Doing what? HAMMERING our fundamentals, of course. (Fun fact:
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#955 Falling on Your Butt

Approximately 20,000 Times
Geoff Colvin’s Talent Is Overrated is a great book. It falls into the “Effort Counts Twice” / Deliberate Practice bucket of how to
Locked +1s

#1202 Rise to the Occasion

Be Your Very Best in the Darkest Moments
In our last +1, we spent some more time with Admiral McRaven and invited Rocky to the party (via Desmond Clark) to share his wisdom on the
Locked +1s

#1219 SEALs and Hoosiers

Get Your Tape Measure Out and Let’s Go!
In our last +1, we made it through one evolution at a time with William McRaven as he endured Hell Week and became a Navy SEAL. Fast forward
Locked +1s

#1220 Peak Performance You

Flip the Switch—TODAY!
In our last +1, we got an inspiring (Hoosiers-inspired) pep talk from Admiral McRaven right before engaging in our next most important
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#1259 Neutral Thinking

vs. Positive and Negative Thinking
A couple +1s ago, we had some fun hanging out with Trevor Moawad and discussed some wisdom from his great book: It Takes What It Takes. As
Locked +1s

#572 The Optimizer in the Arena

Daring Greatly Daily
In our last +1, we talked about daring greatly, being willing to enter the arena of life and getting up every time we get knocked down. If
Locked +1s

#418 Vulnerability Hangovers

Ever Had One?
Brené Brown tells us that what we all really want from other people is for them to be authentic. And that means we need them to be
Locked +1s

#462 The Thread Thru Your Head

Pull It Up for Poise and Relaxed Power
On June 8th, 2001, I was on the back patio of my apartment a block from the beach in La Jolla, California reading Michael Gelb’s How to
Locked +1s

#600 Ballet, Anyone?

Head Threads + Power Poses + Thor’s Hammer
In our last couple +1s, we talked about the lead-up to a recent keynote talk I gave and some wisdom gleaned in the process—including