Monday, April 30, 2007

The Value of Freaking Out

On Friday, April 27, USA today ran an article about leaders who jump from planes, surf, ski, climb mountains in order to reach "the freakout point."

The idea is to learn to cross the fear threshold and form a more useful relationship with fear:
"crossing it provides lessons useful in business and life. There's the significance of knowing that what frightens can be survived, as well as the importance of concentrating when concentration is all but impossible."

"Perhaps the most common freakout point comes with public speaking, and Iron Mountain CEO Richard Reese remembers being drafted early in his career to do a last-minute presentation on a technical subject he knew zero about."

This resonated deeply for me. Having now lead workshops for 10 years on interpersonal communication and presentation, I've often wrestled with fear. This is especially true when I've encountered what I envisioned as worst-nightmare scenarios. For example:

1) The Psychotic Supporter whose sweet demeanor is replaced by the face of Gollum when you offer candid feedback that her style might be perceived as condescending.

2) The Socially-Myopic Sales Rep who misses all the non-verbal cues that indicate that his colleagues think he is a moron.

3) The Wax-Eared Trainer Candidate who required a metaphorical two-by-four upside her head to get her to stop defending herself when given the feedback that "you are coming across as defensive."

4) Realizing it's 30 minutes before the start-time of a gig and you are in the wrong city.

5) Flight delays result in having to lead an 8-hour workshop on 2 hours sleep.

Each time one of these scenarios has happened, it's like being visited by an old, familiar enemy ... "Oh, fear. It's YOU again." Each day the scream of fear becomes fainter and fainter.

As Eugen Herrigel says in "Zen in the Art of Archery": “Like the beginner the swordmaster is fearless, but, unlike him, he grows daily less and less accessible to fear.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Movie fan? Try

At, you can trade DVD's with other users for $1.50 per trade.

Terry Gault
Sent with Wireless Sync from Verizon Wireless

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Google CEO Eric Schmidt's preso course

Recently a client at Charles Schwab suggested that I check out a video of Eric Scmidt, Google's CEO. The video shows him taking a presentation course early in his career while he was GM of Software Products Div. at Sun Microsystems.

It's interesting to see him progess over the course of the workshop. He starts out looking uncomfortable and nervous. He is using a lot of verbal filler, moving his feet constantly, not sure what to do with his hands, and struggling to hold eye contact.

Later, he seems more purposeful, decisive and confident. I would coach him to extend his gestures and take up more space but he's dramatically improved toward the end.

Notice the coat and tie (in Silicon Valley?!?) and the massive spectacles. SO early 80's.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guy Kawasaki, Visionary!

Back in January, I was leading a workshop at TIBCO with their marketing team. Stefan Farestam sent me some links to sites that he likes.

I spent about an hour surfing around Guy Kawasaki's blog, How to Change the World.

As his site states, "Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine."

He offers very interesting perspectives on work, business, start-ups. I loved his ideas about presentation and the use of PowerPoint. I particularly liked his "The Art of the Start Video."

I am not worthy ...

Addiction to Connectivity

I have been working in Palo Alto the last few days and staying at a
local hotel. The "broadband" network speed was so p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y slow last night that I cancelled my reservation for one night next week and am unliklely to stay here again.

In fact, I couldn't post last night because pages simply would not load.

It brought home to me how critical it is for businesses and entreprenuers to stay connected to the web, especially those in high tech or those who serve high tech clients.

It reminds me of one of the themes of Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" - Does our technology serve us or are we the servants of our technology?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - A very cool service

Say you are away from your computer ... driving ... or riding the shuttle to your rental car.
Your mind reviews recent events, conversations, your upcoming activities.
You want to remind yourself to do something.
You can speed dial a phone number on your mobile, record a message, and in a few minutes you will receive an email capturing your words in text.
Using It's a beta service at this point.
I tried it today and can already see a TON of uses for this cool service.
Check it out at:

Test post from mobile

We live in an age where we take magic for granted.

I posted this to my blog from my mobile phone.

Terry Gault
Sent with Wireless Sync from Verizon Wireless

Slide remotes

Often in my presentation skills workshops the subject of PowerPoint presentation remotes will come up.

A couple weeks ago at TIBCO, a client showed me his very cool Logitech slide remote with a built in timer. It can be set to vibrate at 2 & 5-minute intervals. That's a nice feature for verbose windbags, like me.

I've been a fan of Logitech mouses (mice?) for years. This unit requires no software - it is plug and play and has extra features like "launch slideshow", "black screen", and volume control, plus an integrated laser pointer (which I personally think should be banned). The cordless mini-receiver stores inside the device.

I'm jealous.

That said, I still love my MobileEdge remote which was a gift from a client, Doug Dooley at Juniper Networks.

It has similar features - forward, back, black screen, white screen, (Yes, it also had the cheesy laser pointer).

It doesn't have the timer but it is parked inside my laptops PCMCIA slot when not in use, so I never have to find my remote. AND it slips into my trouser pocket without breaking the line of my slacks. Always a plus for the fashion conscious. Way cool!