Friday, 20 February 2015

Communication Underpins Everything You Do

Communication underpins everything you do - forget that at your cost - I know myself that not working on my communication and speaking skills meant that I missed taking advantage of opportunities for many years.  It was not until I gained a mentor who helped me enhance my speaking and communication skills that I was able to grow in my personal development.  This helped me to be a better leader in my working area, led me to have the confidence to go with the opportunity when it came to open my own business and ultimately helped me to be able to share a message that need to be shared at a time in my life that was devastating. I was able to give the eulogy at my son's funeral - without those speaking skills I would not have been able to do due justice to his life.   

Yes communication underpins everything you do - I am sure that you can identify areas in your life where  effective speaking and communication skills would have assisted you and hopefully not a similar situation that I had, but perhaps situations in your working or business life.  

We only have to look at the recent Queensland election to see more stories that highlight the importance of getting you communication right - it is no good being a leader with a vision and a message if that vision and message cannot be communicated to your followers to bring them along with you. 

 It highlights the need to know you audience and know how to connect with them - it highlights the need to know the best medium to connect with your audience and the best medium to get your message across.

Public speaking is the tip of the communication iceberg.  The skills that you learn as a public speaker:

  • Know your audience
  • Know your message – what you want to achieve, what you want the audience to take away
  • The structure of your speech
  • Attention catching openings
  • Call to action conclusions
  •  Connecting with the audience with eye contact, vocal variety and body language
  • Ensuring there is a balance between information and emotional connection

All of these skills are the same skills you need to be an effective communicator to connect with you clients, your customers, your team, your staff, your peers and your suppliers.

When you are an effective communicator and speaker then you will ensure that you will never miss opportunities for your business or for yourself.

Yes communication underpins everything you do - what is your story ....

Trish Springsteen
Public Speaking Mentor Coach Author
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Monday, 12 January 2015

Keep the Fire Burning!

How are you going with those New Year Resolutions?  

When we have decided that things must change, and when we have worked on creating that change in our lives; and when things start going wrong and the fire of enthusiasm starts to die within us – how do we find the energy and the determination to continue?

This was a question posed to me some time ago by a friend who had attended a fantastic two day workshop in Sydney on “Creating the Change you Know you Want”.  It had been wonderfully empowering, the speaker was charismatic and the topics really covered the issues that he had. He returned, he said, a changed man.

His energy and enthusiasm was there for all to see.  And yet within three weeks he had slowly returned to the lifestyle he had tried so desperately to change.  What went wrong?

It is, unfortunately, something that I see quite often.  People realise that change is necessary, they may find a book that inspires them, or they attend a workshop that enthuses them and yet ultimately they do not achieve that change they needed. The fire died, and there was no way to re-ignite it. 

The problem is that change, any change, is quite scary.  Whatever our lifestyle is, it does have the feel of a known ‘comfort zone’.  It may not be bringing us the satisfaction or achievement that we crave, but it has the reassurance of the familiar. It is also the outcome of the lives we are really living; it’s the putting out of the rubbish bins on a Thursday, the going shopping on Saturday, the changing of sheets on a Sunday – it the old familiar routine that, while not getting us where we dream of being, at least gets us through life.  It has been produced by all the choices we have made and the circumstances we have found ourselves in, and it is very difficult to change.

Because it is the outcome of our lives, when we try to implement changes in our life, we are really trying to rock the boat. And to create the kind of changes that we yearn for when we read that book or go to that seminar, we need to do an awful lot of boat rocking, and that can be very uncomfortable for us.

When change becomes too uncomfortable, the old mental voice of doom gloom starts up again “you can’t do this – it’s too hard” or we comfort ourselves with the adage “Better the Devil you know!” when what we are really saying is that the creation of the change is causing me discomfort and I don’t like being uncomfortable.

But of course, the intellectual realisation that change is needed to grow and progress is an exciting thing.  The understanding that we don’t have to accept the way things are, we can change them when it is only a mental thing is wildly liberating.  “Yes” we say, “that’s what I want, and now I know how it can happen.  I will start today.”   But we probably won’t.

In the grip of all that enthusiasm, we forget that change requires careful planning.  Implementing the change we want without a plan is doomed to failure; and very often (not always of course) that book or that seminar will be big on the reasons for change, and huge on the positives that can occur but very short on the means of creating the plan.

When I talked to my friend, I found that he had been enthused to change but was given no practical ideas of how he could implement that change into his comfortable but uninspiring lifestyle. He considered that having a positive outlook, reciting the occasional mantra of affirmations would do the trick; and when they didn't he was discouraged.

Well I am sorry – but regardless of what some might say, Positive Thinking without a Positive Plan of Action is futile.  It might make you a positive Pollyanna (and I have often been accused of that!) but it will not create change.

Only you can create that plan, because only you know the intricacies of your particular lifestyle, only you know what needs to be done to create the atmosphere in which your change can occur. But without that plan you will backslide into the known and the comfortable.

And then we need to understand that we will sometimes fail – yes I used the ‘F’ word!  Sometimes we will loose our enthusiasm, we will feel that it is all just too difficult.  This is where the plan comes in handy.  A practical worksheet of reinforcement, reassessment and re-affirmation will help us over that natural bump in the road.  It can refocus our determination into positive action.

Then finally, we need to be gentle with ourselves.  We need to chastise ourselves softly when we trip or fall on the way.  Castigating ourselves, as we mostly do, for our failures is the worst kind of negative self-talk. The techniques of gentle chiding will not destroy our confidence in our ability to change.  “Well, that didn't go too well, what can I learn from it” is a much better attitude for change and growth than “You stupid idiot, why do you always stuff up!”

After I had talked to my friend, we sat down and over a week we worked out a practical plan that allowed him to put into practice the techniques of positivity he had learned at his seminar.  And because he had created it with his present lifestyle in mind it became realistic and achievable.

It had been six months since I had seen him last, and when we caught up for coffee I was interested in how he had been going with his plan for change.  He said that he was still on track, that he had indeed had times when it all felt too hard and the enthusiasm had waned, but he had stuck to the practical plan throughout and strangely his enthusiasm had reignited. He was delighted that some things he had changed now came automatically; and he was taking on some of the harder things that he had only dreamed of when he started.

“So”  I said, “what was the answer to the question you asked me all those months ago?

He grinned – “Positive Thinking is fantastic, but it’s Positive Planning that does the trick!”

He is so right, and for others who also need help to 'Keep the Fire Burning' I wrote a book!

My own sad and sorry story of how I needed to apply the principles I preached, and the way I overcame my own negative self-talk to create a more positive and productive attitude is told in my book Take Control of Your Life with the Power of Positive Action;  which is now available on Amazon for download to your Kindle.

And keep up with the other supporters of this Positive Thinking Stuff on the facebook page at

Ah!  but does it work?  We think so ...

"This can be life changing for everyone. It is a very practical guide on how to do it"Patricia Pitt

"I was always dubious about all this 'Positive Thinking' stuff, but Michele has a produced a practical system that makes it easy to understand and a way of planning that makes it achievable." - Brad Henning

So why not click on the book cover on the top of this blog; that one, there on the right - that's it, and begin your journey to bring change into your life - very useful if you really meant all those New Year Resolutions.

Michele @ Trischel

A Positively Positive Pollyanna ! 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Without a seed there can be no fruit

I sometimes wonder why certain things happen to me!  When I am frantically searching for an item that I absolutely need right now, and cannot find I have often been heard to mutter “why does this always happen to me?”

Can you guess why that particular occurrence may happen to me ... and possibly to you too?  Bet it was because the last time you used it you failed to put it back in its rightful place!

Everything has its place and everything should be in its place!” was a maxim of my super organised grandmother – and I can hear the echo of those words when I am once more frantically searching for that file or folder before I have to leave the house.

The problem is that life is hectic and when I had finished with it last time, I was immediately focused on the next task and so put the file down on the nearest available space and forgot it.  Over the next few weeks or so, I may have seen and possible even moved it to get at something else, but the one thing I failed to do was to replace it in ‘its own place’. 

Consequently when I next really needed it ...  well, you know what happened.

This simple, and I suspect usual, scenario leads me into today’s thoughts – we often sow the seeds of our own disasters without a care in the world, and only when they come to fruition do we realise the extent of our failure. 

The temptation then is to blame someone else, or our circumstances; or even ‘things beyond our control’ – but it doesn't change the facts; we planted the seed so we harvest the fruit.

Good intentions are no guarantee that our fruit will be sweet; sometimes the seeds we planted with all the best intentions in the world can produce the bitterest of results. Again the temptation is to blame outside influences, everyone else and fall back on the self-indulgent thought that at least our intentions were good, so the unpleasant results must be someone else’s fault. 

The English poet, William Henley, suffered from tuberculosis of the bone which led to the amputation of his lower leg.  He was often in great pain but devised a philosophy which enabled him to live a full and active life despite his disability. 

 Many of us will know his poem “Invictus”; especially the last verse:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Here, Henley was talking about self-determination; the truth of life. It is we that control our destiny; not fate, not other people – but us.  Our choices, our attitude, our decisions and our actions – these make us the ‘master of our fate’ and the ‘captains of our soul’.  And each one of these is a seed we plant to be harvested in the future.

My failure to put the file I used away is a simple example of how my simple choice actually impacted on my future.  When I harvested the fruit of that seed, I arrived at the meeting out of breath, frustrated and without the file containing the vital information that I needed.  The consequence of that was that I lost the contract and the respect of these I hoped to work for.

A simple seed, so carelessly sown – but the fruit was very bitter to taste.

Today I have taken the decision to be more thoughtful of the kinds of seeds I sow, and more careful of the possible fruits I may harvest in my future.  My actions will lead to consequences; if I do not like the consequences then I must change the actions.

What sort of seeds are you carelessly sowing today, and will you remember that it was you that actually put the chain of events in motion?  If your fruit is bitter to the taste will you recall the single seed that you planted, then germinated and grew into this?

“Although we are responsible for what we sow, we forget that we've planted these seeds and either give credit to or blame people or things outside of us when they ripen ... But we lose sight of the fact that each thought, word, and action will produce a result. When the fruit finally ripens, we think, ‘why did this happen to me? I've done nothing to deserve this.’ - Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

So here’s to more productive gardening in the future where, if I do sow seeds of my own disappointment, I will be strong enough to say “Well, that didn't work out, so what can I learn?” rather than wailing “Why does this always happen to me?”

Michele @ Trischel

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I'd love to come to your party - but I won't know anyone there ...

 If you are honest, I bet you are one of the very many of us who are uncomfortable walking into a room full of people you have never met. Truthfully now, aren't you?

There are many situations which we may encounter everyday of our lives that make us feel uncomfortable, such as returning something to a store; participating in discussion groups; interviews; taking part in networking and having to talk to a group. These are just some the everyday situations which don’t specifically require public speaking skills, but do need some type of conversational skills. From just this ‘little list’ you can see that we live a life fraught with conversational difficulties.

Now many of us will handle our anxieties by donning our public masks, you know the one we wear when we really don’t want our vulnerable self to be seen. Some people are the clowns; some will be aggressive; others will be nauseatingly self-deprecating and some will play the strong silent type. None will be their normal comfortable self.

John Powell said “I am afraid to tell you who I am, because, if I tell you who I am, you may not like who I am, and it’s all that I have.”

Much of the problem is usually the unrecognised ‘self-talk’ we indulge in before facing these situations. If we are going to a party where we know very few people we are likely to tell ourselves “No-one is going to talk to me” – “I’m not dressed right” - “I’m boring and they are going to think I am uninteresting”. With that amount of negativity going on, you are probably going to be right.

Getting the courage to face our situation anxiety starts with the rejection of such negative self-talk, and to do that we need to ‘attribute causes accurately’. What on earth does that mean?

Attributions are the explanations, reasons or interpretations that we give ourselves for what happens. How you explain why you have anxiety or are shy influences how you deal with it. Our explanations are usually wrong and if we treat them as being the truth it can seriously affect the way in which we react to anxiety situations.

Some of the misconceptions that many of us believe are true for us are:

I can’t help it, I was born like it! – This gives you a perfect reason not to overcome your nerves, if it’s all in the genes then there’s nothing I can do about it. Trying to change is a waste of time. Continue to think this way and your inability to face anxiety situations becomes enshrined and worn as a badge of honour. Sorry to burst the bubble – but being anxious or shy in unknown situations is not nature, its nurture. Although some of us may have different biological predispositions to situation anxiety, most of our response is a result of learned behaviour maintained by current thinking patterns.

I had a rotten childhood! – Your unfortunate past or the way that others treated you may have contributed to your lack of confidence, but it is what you do and say to yourself now that sustains the anxiety.

I prefer to let others make the first move! – If you are shy or anxious about a situation, it is much easier to take a low profile and wait for other, more assertive, people to come to you. Now just remember how many of us are similarly anxious or shy at the gathering – all waiting for other people to make the first move! So standing around waiting for it to happen may not be your best choice.

I can’t stand rejection! – Well none of us like it; but setbacks are a normal part of living. Not everybody in this world is going to appreciate our personal value. So do not have unrealistic expectations and if someone rejects your friendly overtures, smile and move on. Don’t let their negative reaction influence yours.

Now that we realise that we are not alone in our anxiety over new situations, we should be ready to look at some other of the ways we can learn to overcome it.

But let us be determined this month to start with how to combat our negative self –talk. Coping with self-talk is a thinking skill. So let’s think about that.


Monday, 6 October 2014

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Public Speaking

Here are our answers to the 3 most asked questions about Public Speaking:

How do I handle nerves when I get up and speak?

First be aware that it is okay to be nervous.  In fact when you learn to control your nerves you can use them to provide the WOW factor you need in your presentations and in your speaking. Everyone gets nervous even those top speakers you are probably admiring from afar.  The secret is accepting the nerves – not letting them overwhelm you and as I said, using them to take your presentation and speaking to the next level.

Breathing is essential to speaking – it is also a great tool in controlling your nerves.  Taking two or three deep breaths before getting up and speaking will help you be in control.  I call it centring.  Those deep breaths spread the oxygen through the body and gives you a sense of calm – being centred in your body and being in control.

A lot of our nerves arise from a fear of the unknown – we are not used to getting up and speaking and are not sure what to expect when we do.  By taking every opportunity to speak we are becoming aware of what happens when we do speak, we are getting a feel for how the audiences react and we are also getting a feel on how to control the nerves.

Visualisation is also a great tool to overcome the nerves.  Using similar techniques that top speakers, sports people and actors use we can work through our presentations – working on our mind to anticipate the outcome of our speaking and presentation – to visualise success.  What we tell our brain to expect is what our brain will expect.

How do I organise my information?

This is a problem we all face at one time or another.  If you are like me you love to research your topic and the internet can be very bright shiny object leading you all over the place and before you know it you have heaps of information but you realise you only have a limited time frame to present.  It is not all going to fit – what do you do?

A good guideline – you can really only talk about three main points in a ten minute presentation. So you need to filter that large amount of information into the three most relevant pieces of information that support your message.  A little tip I use is to think of going into a meeting with  client and I find that instead of the ten minutes I originally had I now only have three minutes – what is the one most important piece of information I need to share – that will become my first point.  I do the same exercise twice more and that will give me the three main point that I want to speak about.

These three points become the body of your presentation – out of this you develop your opening and you conclusion.

How do I stop umming and ahing?

Umming and ahing are vocal pauses for thought.  When we are not sure what we are going to say next what often happens is that we drop our jaw and sound comes out as an um or er or ah…
The best way to prevent this is to close the mouth, breathe in through the nose take a pause to think, then open the mouth and speak.  Not always easy to start with but the more you practice the better it will become.

Have someone listen to you speak and make a note of each time you have that vocal pause for thought.  Slowly you will find that those vocal pauses will get less and less.  Instead you will find you will have powerful pauses that are adding impact to your presentation and your credibility will begin to grow.

Trish @ Trischel

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Monday, 29 September 2014

What's On At Trischel in October - Public Speaking, Advanced Communication Workshop

October – spring for us in the southern hemisphere and autumn for those in the northern hemisphere – for all of us time to contemplate and plan your journey with Trischel  ....

Our October workshop for those in or around the Brisbane is:

30 October  -  Advance Communication Workshop
Interpersonal Communication for the Workplace

There's nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can't clearly articulate why we're doing what it is we're doing. - James Kouzes and Barry Posner

The most successful business people today are those that have mastered the art of communication.  These are the managers and leaders that can clearly and effectively ‘Inform, Instruct and Inspire’ – the three main functions of Business Communication. 
The difference between being proficient in Public Speaking and being an Advanced Communicator is in creating real interpersonal communication in a business environment and for business purposes.

“The training was delivered with enthusiasm which was infectious. The workshop was excellent and most valuable" Glen Hooper; Principal, Connell Wagner
I recommend this course highly as it gave me confidence, and I now know that I am capable of delivering a great presentation – especially with my new communication ‘tool kit’ of skills to help.Sarah Reith from The IQ Business Group

Trish Springsteen will be speaking at:

1 October Northlakes Networking  Sth African Expats Club 9.30am
1 October NRG Northside Aura Café  4.30pm

Trischel will be at the following Network Events :
Hope to see you there – come up and say hello

2 October – BPW Caboolture Centenary Lakes Caboolture Breakfast
15 October - NRG Northside Aura Café  4.30pm

For more information on Trischel and how we can assist you please drop by
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our  Facebook Pages:

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Trish @ Trischel