Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Win Your Mother Over to Your Way of Thinking in 3 Easy Steps

Parents. Don’t we all love them. I love my parents very much. Really. I do. But sometimes they just drive me crazy. Here’s the deal: my mom wants to me to practice my profession – which is nursing. I want to follow my passion – real estate. I know my mom only wants the best for me. 

“Alex, why don’t you just try working in Canada as a nurse for a few years? Then when you’ve saved up enough money, come back here, and do real estate.”

See? She has a point. That does seem like a smart plan. Work abroad, save, come back here and do whatever you want. But my point is I want to start doing what I love now. Why wait when I can begin right now? So many things can change in a year. The lure of a huge monthly salary might be too much for me to resist. Once I become accustomed to it I might not be able to give it up. I don’t want to be trapped in the rat race.

 I used to think that it takes money to make money. But after I attended Trace Trajano’s Think Rich Quick Seminar in Manila last October, I realized that my belief was totally wrong.  Everything that you need to succeed is already within you. And all you have to do is exercise your mind a bit and then actually do something. Action beats inaction anytime.

So how did I win my mom over to my way of thinking?

First, I agreed with her. Yes. I agreed with her. Disagreeing with someone will only put them in a defensive position. And you do not want that. So I said, “Yes mom, you’re absolutely right. Going to Canada could really be a good move for me because there are so many opportunities there. Plus, I could earn a lot every month.”

Second, give appreciation. Now I do not mean flattery. What I mean is sincere and honest appreciation. People can tell whether you are sincere or not – especially mothers. Appreciation will decrease people’s tendency to become defensive and will cause them to be more receptive to what you have to say.
Alex: “Mom, I really appreciate you looking out for my welfare. I know you only want the best for me.”

Third, I got her to say “yes”.  If you want to win an argument do not start it in the first place. Or else you’ll only succeed in strengthening that other person’s convictions. So the better thing to do is to get that person to say a series of “yes, yes, yes” right from the start.

Alex:  “Mom, I’d like to ask you a question though. Do you believe that I can succeed in whatever I choose?”

Mom: “Of course you can.” (It doesn’t even matter if you really can’t. Moms are trained to say that. It’s like a reflex.)

Alex: Then do you believe that I can succeed in real estate?

Mom: Well, I guess so.

Alex: Mom, do you want me to be happy?

Mom: Yes. Of course I do. (Another mom reflex)

Alex: Then you wouldn’t want me to do something that would make me sad, right?

Mom: Well-yes.

Alex: Real Estate makes me happy. So I guess you’re going to support me on my decision to go full time on real estate.

Mom: Well….I suppose I could.

See? Once you get the person to say “yes” it gets the ball rolling in an affirmative direction. So never ever negate. That will only start up an argument which no one will win. So it’s just a waste of time. See how easy it is? Do you now realize the benefits that good communication skills can give you? The art of public speaking is useful not only when speaking in front of a crowd but also in normal conversation.

What about you? What do you want to do? You only have one life. You’d better start living it NOW. If you want to be a dancer, then dance. If you want to be a best-selling author, then write. If you want to be the next Michael Jordan, they start playing ball now. No dream is too irrelevant or ambitious to pursue. The key here is to find out what you want; what you are passionate about and go do it. No ifs, no buts, no excuses.  And if you’re mom disagrees, try using this 3-step technique. Use it correctly and I guaranty that you will never lose an argument again.

Now, go live your dreams! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amazing People I Met While Reviewing For The Brokers Exam

Reviewing for the Real Estate Brokers Exam is crazy-fun. I just got back from another weekend review for the RE brokers exam. It was so draining. Seemingly endless lessons, mind-boggling computations and problem solving strategies only accountants could understand… (Ok, I did understand it-after considerable effort). And our review schedule? From 8 am to 9 pm. 13 hours of learning. And I thought I already graduated from college! But you know what? I had the time of my life. The people I met were just so diverse and interesting! Now this is where my table topics training in Toastmasters came in handy. Knowing how to think and speak on your feet when meeting new people is always a plus.

The great thing about meeting new people is that you always learn something from them. I learned a lot about the different ways of doing the real estate business through my classmates. I met Zackie Lalwani, the VP for Marketing of Plumbline Development Corporation. This is the company spearheading the development of the very first condotel in Cagayan de Oro- Uptown Condotel.  Zackie is outgoing, funny and very down to earth. And I guess that’s what you need to be if you want to sell condotels. And he’s very convincing too. I don’t know how he persuaded his college daughter, Princess, to attend the review.  What I learned from Zackie is that you do not have to be so serious all the time. Success also comes to people who know how to laugh and enjoy. Everything just has to be put into the right perspective. He might not look it (no offense, Zack J) but Zackie is very smart. He gives wise advice too. When asked how he defines success, the all-knowing Mr. Lalwani answered, “It’s the opposite of failure.” (Oh well, I did say he’s funny). Ok he did give another definition. “Success is not the result or the reward. Success is the process of performing your prescribed obligation.” And I agree. Success is more of the journey than the destination. It is who you become in the process that really matters.

I also got to know Jovy and Wiggy. Yes. I love their names too. They might have cute names but what they do is no mean feat. Jovy and Wiggy are developers. They develop low-cost housing. Yes, low-cost housing - the answer to many family’s prayers. Units are priced from P400,000 to 3 Million. It must not exceed 3 Million or else it won’t be classified as “low-cost” anymore. From Atty. Wiggy, I learned that you can do many things at once. Not only Superman knows how to multi-task. He operates his own law firm, engages in mining and does real estate on the side. His secret? Time management. And of course you have to be passionate about what you are doing. Otherwise, you’ll just get tired and give up. But if you love it, no matter how many times you fall, you will always get back up.  According to Wiggy, “Just love what you’re doing and do it with a noble purpose.” Spoken like a true lawyer. From Jovy, I learned that the right ATTITUDE is one of the keys to success. You just have to be humble and willing to learn. Never act like you know it all (even when you do know more than the person in front of you). According to Jovy, “Being a developer is hard work. You really have to put in a lot of sweat, blood and tears. And you have to be strong and determined. No matter how tough it gets, (and it will get tough) do not give up. Keep on doing what you have to and success will come. Being a developer may be tough but the rewards are worth it.”

I also met this pretty and young business woman with amazing hair, Abigail Lim. Yes, her hair is amazing. It’s long, lustrous and shiny. Abi looks like a walking hair commercial. But that is not the only great thing about her. She’s the assistant branch manager of Johndorf Ventures Corp.-a company engaged in developing and designing residential communities. Johndorf is one of the leading mass housing developers in Northern Mindanao having completed the development of more than 20 subdivisions. She focuses on sales and marketing. Abi might be only 23 (Yes, she’s my age. That means I’m young too!^_^ ) but she’s already starting to learn the ins and outs of the family business. She haggles with suppliers, meets with clients and supervises the interior design of model units. Age is only just a number. I believe you are never too young or too old to start doing what you want.

What I love about real estate is that I get to meet so many kinds of people. And from each one, I learn something new. Something I can use in my future business plans. Experience may be the best teacher, but you can’t make all the mistakes yourself. For one, no one can live long enough to do that. Instead, learn from other people’s triumphs and tragedies.  Now I’d love to write about the remaining 53 classmates that I have. But I gotta sleep first. Maybe another time. Live a great life!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7 Tips in Making Your Ice Breaker Speech

What is an ice breaker speech? If you are a toastmaster then you are sure to know what it is. But for the benefit of those who are not, an ice breaker speech is the first speech of a toastmaster’s basic speech manual. It is the first speech every toastmaster is to deliver. This speech should basically be “all about you”. That is why it is called the ice breaker speech. It should be 5 to 7 minutes long and the objective is to introduce your self to the club. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But for me this was the hardest speech I had to deliver. Why? Because it was the first. My knees were shaking, butterflies were going crazy in my stomach and I was trembling inside. But I got through it because I prepared as best as I could and I really memorized my entire speech. A lot of people ask; how exactly do you make an ice breaker speech?

I have listed down 7 tips in making an ice breaker speech.

1.       Pick a topic that interests you. I know this sounds kind of obvious but you have no idea how many people pick speech topics that they either know nothing about or that does not interest them in the least. If you do this you are just heading straight for disaster. So choose a topic that you love. Something that you are excited about. Something that you have passion for. If you do the words will just seem to flow and you will never run out of things to say.  

2.       Write with a clear head. Have you ever tried writing a speech while thinking about a million other things at once? Kinda hard isn’t it? So DON’T do it. When you are writing, forget everything but the message you want to get across to your audience.  This will help you write faster and more efficiently.

3.       Make your point. Some speakers begin fabulously but end up going in circles. When this happens either of these can take place: Your audience gets bored, looses interest or ends up confused. So before your even begin writing decide what point you want to make and focus your speech on that.

4.       Begin with a bang. The first few seconds is one of the most important parts in a speech. You have to catch your listener’s interest in your first few lines or else you might loose them forever (or at least until your speech ends). So make sure that your opening is interesting, unique and full of life. A good beginning can really make your entire speech.

5.       Play with emotions. The best speeches play with people’s emotions. Such speeches make people laugh, cry, and get indignant. They make people FEEL. They take audiences through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. People are primarily creatures of emotion rather than logic. So use this fact to your advantage.

6.       Make relevant jokes. The most common misconception beginning speakers have is that they have to be funny. So they try to insert a joke or two into their speech even if they are totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. Don’t make this mistake. Of course you can make your speech humorous – but include only relevant jokes. If the jokes are not connected in any way to your topic, its best to delete it.

7.       End with flair. If the beginning is important then the ending is much more so. People often remember speakers with how they end. So craft a dramatic ending. You can do this in several ways: You pose a challenge to move people to act. You can ask a question to make them think. Or you can end with a quote that best wraps up your speech.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brokers Exam review is so on!

I just got back from a weekend of reviewing for the real estate broker’s exam in Cagayan de Oro. Whew! Talk about information overload. The review might have been a bit tiring, but it was also very interesting. I was especially impressed with one of our reviewers, Ms Pilar Torres-Banaag. She is one woman who has already accomplished a lot in life. She has been a licensed broker for the past 24 years and a licensed assessor. She is also the president and CEO of Larriegil Realty Corporation and Iwag publishing and the Chairman of PAREB (Philippine Real Estate Board). She is also the author of Real Estate Broker’s Examination Reviewer – the reviewer that we are using right now. Her colleagues call her superwoman. And I can’t say I’m surprised. With all these achievements under her belt, superwoman sounds like an understatement. One thing I like about her is that she is a very good speaker. She was clear, concise and straight to the point. And she was able to break down complicated concepts into simple terms so we could better understand her. With her public speaking skills and good business acumen, it is no wonder why Ms. Pilar is so successful. I bet she can smell a good deal a mile away.

My take on the brokers review

The brokers review was a different experience for me. For one thing, I found it more interesting than reviewing for the nursing board exam (no offense to nursingJ). But it was also a bit overwhelming. There were so many new terms and laws I had to learn!

 The brokers review is going to last for 3 more weeks. The last day is set on December 5. The schedule is every weekends on Fridays (5-10pm), Saturdays (8am-8pm) and Sundays (8am-8pm). And then I’m on my own to review for the broker’s exam which is going to be on March 27, 2011. Failing is just not an option. Aside from the fact that the review cost me 16, 000 (yes, it is not cheap), starting June 2011 certain universities will now start offering BS Real Estate Management courses. That means if you want to be a broker, you have to go school for four years.

Failure is just not an option. So for those who are taking the real estate board exam next year, good luck to us! Let’s study hard and have faith. I personally believe that God is always for my success. And I know He will help me in this one. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who is Alex Zeta?

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Zeta and I am a real estate investor and public speaker. Yes. I speak in public – which I think we all do too. I am currently the president of Iligan Toastmasters – a non-profit, public speaking organization that can help you improve your leadership and communication skills. I joined this organization primarily because I wanted to be a better communicator. Why? Ever since I was in high school I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. And if I wanted to be successful at that I needed to learn how to communicate effectively. In business, you deal primarily with people. And dealing with people means you have to talk-a lot. Now I had nothing against talking, but public speaking was another story.

Why read my blog?

Most people have GLOSSOPHOBIA or the fear of public speaking. Statistics show that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Are you one of those people? If you want to improve your communication and public speaking skills, or if you want to share your public speaking experiences then this blog is for you.

Who is this blog for?

This blog is for people who want to become better speakers, better leaders and ultimately a success in life. Even if you are just beginning in your journey or are already a pro speaker, this blog is for YOU. That’s right. YOU. My journey in Toastmasters has helped me improve my speaking skills considerably. But I know there is still a lot of work to do. In this blog I will share with YOU my experiences as I journey in the world of public speaking. Join me in this journey so that we may learn from each other and help one another become a success, not only in business, but also in life.

So READ ON, COMMENT and SHARE your experiences. Let us take this journey TOGETHER so we can be the SPEAKERS and LEADERS we are meant to BE

Alessandra Victoria D. Zeta
President, Iligan Toastmasters Club (2010-2011)
Champion - 2011 District 75 Evaluation Contest
Champion - 2011 Division Prepared Speech Contest
1st Runner Up - 2011 Division Impromptu Speaking Contest

4 Tips in Public Speaking from Dale Carnegie

If there ever was master of public speaking, that would be Dale Carnegie. Don’t get me wrong. I have never actually heard the man speak. I couldn’t even if I wanted to since he died of Hodgkin’s disease on November 1955. And I was born of July 1987. So…Yeah. You guys do the Math. Not that I didn’t try. I googled him and tried to find a video of him in YouTube. But I couldn’t find any. I guess video cameras weren’t in use around the early 1990’s yet. But even if I have never heard him speak I know that he was a great speaker. When I read his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, I was blown away by the ideas he presented. The core idea of his book is that you can change the behavior of other people by changing your reaction to them. For those who haven’t read this book yet, READ IT. Seriously. It’s a must read for people who want to succeed in life. Another book of Dale Carnegie that I’d recommend is How to Develop Self Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking. This book is essential for people who want to be better speakers. I have listed down an excerpt from the book.

These are 4 tips in public speaking from Dale Carnegie.

1.       Start with a strong and persistent desire. Enumerate the benefits this effort to train yourself will bring you. Arouse your enthusiasm for it. Think what it can mean to you financially, socially and in terms of increased leadership and influence. Remember that upon the depth of your desire will depend the swiftness of your progress.

2.       Prepare. You can’t feel confident unless you know what you are going to say.

3.       Act confident. “To feel brave,” advises Professor William James, “act as if we were brave, use all of our will to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear.”

4.       Practice. This is the most important of all. Fear is the result of a lack of confidence; and a lack of confidence is the result of not knowing what you can do; and that is caused by lack of experience. So get a record of successful experiences behind you, and your fears will vanish.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills Next Week!

If you want to achieve success in the business arena how your present yourself and how you talk will matter. In business you have to cultivate relationships since you will be dealing primarily with people. And relationships can only be improved if you know how to communicate effectively. People who know how to speak really stand out from the crowd. They appear more capable, more confident and they give off an air of competence. On the other hand those who appear unsure of what to say do not inspire confidence and trust.

When I was in college, we often had to present case studies and reports. I cannot say that I enjoyed these presentations. In fact, I used to rush through my reports just so I could get them over with as quickly as possible. It was only when I joined Toastmasters when I realized that public speaking could be fun.

Here are a few tips in public speaking that work for me.

1.      Practice, practice, practice. Whether it is giving a prepared speech or hosting a beauty pageant, I have found that the best way to prepare is to practice. Do not ever try to “wing it.” The best speakers prepare their material extensively. Even Lincoln, who is said to be an excellent speaker, prepared his 5-minute speeches for days. You do not have to memorize your lines word for word. But write everything down. And repeat it at least 6 times. Go over your script again and again. The phrasing does not have to be the same as long as the idea is there.

2.      Fake it until you make it. Even if you do not feel confident, even if you are deathly nervous, do not, I repeat, do not let it show. Fake your confidence. Act confident and eventually you will be confident. If you have done your part in preparing for it, then fake it until you make it. Bring your chest out, smile, and put on a show.

3.      Smile! Have you ever noticed that you automatically tend to smile back at people who smile at you? So when you are on stage, smile. You will immediately appear both confident and approachable. You will exude warmth and people will want to listen more to you.

4.      Tell Stories. I have always been fond of telling stories. Almost every speech I have given contains a story. Stories have a way of making your point clearer without boring your audience to death. Even the greatest speaker of all time-Jesus Christ-was a master storyteller.

5.      Speak from the heart. Audiences have psychic abilities. Really, they do! They can tell whether you are sincere or not.  So speak from the heart. That is the only way to reach your audience. When you speak with your heart your message takes on new meaning. It is given life. When you share who you truly are with your audience, then you will be able to give the best speech of your life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Speakers are Leaders

There is no doubt about it. If you want to succeed in anything – most especially in business- you need to be a good speaker. May it be in America or elsewhere. Speakers are leaders. Most often, leadership roles do not go to the most intelligent or the most skillful workers. They go to the man who knows how to communicate best. I have seen this to be true in almost everywhere I go. The most effective leaders I know are good communicators. They know what to say, how to say, and when to say it.

Contrary to popular belief, good speakers are not born. They are MADE. There is only one way to improve in anything. And that is to practice, practice and practice. Really, there is no other way. This is especially true when it comes to public speaking. The more you speak in front, the easier it seems to become. You might even find that you actually enjoy it. This was my experience. It was my mom who convinced me to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters International is an international, non-profit public speaking organization that can help you improve your leadership and communication skills. Now ever since I read RichDad, PoorDad back in high school I always knew I wanted to be a businesswoman-an entrepreneur. And if wanted to be successful in business I needed to become a good speaker. That is what motivated me to join Iligan Toastmasters club.

The first time I spoke in front, I trembled with fear. My thoughts were in a jumble and I did not know what to say. Now that experience would have traumatized most people. But that only made me all the more determined not to give up. I was determined to become a good speaker and nothing could stop me. And so I joined Toastmasters. Fast forward, 1 and a half years later. Now I have become club president of Iligan Toastmasters and the experience has been wonderful. Now I am more confident. Now I relish and enjoy speaking in front of a crowd. I have not only improved as a speaker, I have also improved as a leader as well. How could I not when as president I had to lead the club. I know that what I am learning now in Toastmasters I can use someday when I finally decide to go into business and put up my own company. As John Maxwell often said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership. And leadership rises and falls on communication.”