Those photos, those videos… That Instagram image, that Facebook post, that LinkedIn update, that YouTube vlog…

You can’t seem to do anything these days, without bumping into someone’s triumphant sharing (some might say, OVER-sharing) of their personal and professional success.

They may credit many different factors in their recipe towards accomplishment.

But hands-down, the number one reason people express their potential, develop in their careers and honour their own unique blueprint is self-confidence.

Which seems unfair, because some people seem blessed with a seemingly never-ending supply of it, while others feel lucky if they can experience that magical state once in a very rare while.

Which is why, when I work one-on-one with my young professional mentees, developing their self-confidence is one of the primary areas we target together – and the results are impressive.

From better sleep, to better relationships, to improved health… all the way to enhanced appreciation and promotion by their employers.

Everyone can develop self-confidence, including, if you’re reading this with doubts, YOU. Here are nine keys to boost your self-confidence in just 30 days.

  1. Target excellence

The famous Jim Rohn used to say that ‘Good’ was the enemy of ‘Great’. And he was right.

If you target mediocrity, or staying average, then you’ll never experience the satisfaction and deep self-belief and self-appreciation that comes with targeting excellence.

Of course, the journey towards achieving the highest standard in anything is not for everyone. But if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you know, in your heart, you’re not going to be satisfied with merely ‘good enough’, or sticking only to ‘what works’.

The heart of an innovator and a high-performer is to challenge themselves to go beyond the benchmark for ‘good’ that’s taken for granted by those around them.

Have a look at who has the courage, imagination and commitment to target excellence in your life. Keep them close to you, and find honourable ways to distance yourself from those who are complacent. Do this for 30 days, and make it a habit.

  1. Reclaim your appearance

We shouldn’t judge on appearance. But the reality is… first impressions count a lot in our fast-paced, competitive societies.

Now, I’m not advising you to go and splurge on designer clothes if you’re on a limited budget, but I AM advising you to spend better care in how you look.

Looking and feeling better includes sorting out your diet (no more unhealthy ‘snacks’ and junk meals), daily exercise (you don’t need a gym membership – there are unlimited free workout ideas on the internet) and, yes, saving up for quality items of attire wherever your budget allows.

One pair of high-quality shoes, a smart, well-tailored suit, a clean and professional hair-cut goes a long, long way – professionally and personally.

And it will sky-rocket your confidence on every occasion.

  1. Make friends with discomfort

The dreaded comfort zone. So familiar, so appealing, so… well… comfortable.

But if you want to grow your confidence over the next month, you have to find creative reasons to go (or should I say grow) beyond it.

Here are some suggestions:

Set a date to have that difficult conversation with your manager, where you bring up the topic of why you’re not getting the support you need in the office, or why you may have been passed over for promotion or a raise.

Commit to taking part in some event that will require you to work hard – perhaps a charity sporting event – or perform some action before others that you have so far resisted doing – such as public speaking.

Of course, you don’t need to do this on your own. In contrast to coaches, a dedicated mentor will actually take you by the hand and go on the journey with you.

Either way, make moves to get beyond your comfort zone over the next 30 days. Your confidence will thank you for it.

  1. Expect good things

The hardest thing about hard things is oftentimes our own mind-set. And high performers, sooner or later, discover mind-set is the alpha and omega of making personal progress and cultivating unshakeable self-confidence.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. Most of us will go through hard times at some point or other in life. And at such times, it’s hard not to make caution and pessimism our default setting.

But that’s part of the challenge of the next 30 days, if you know you suffer from negative thinking and you’re honest enough to admit that it erodes your confidence, your ability to feel ready to handle the challenges, the unexpected difficulties or crises.

You don’t have to do it alone. Part of getting to a growth mind-set, where you see difficulties as opportunities and actively search to see things in a positive light… is finding the people who will support and add to that mind-set.

Expecting good things requires you to check-in with your thoughts and mental patterns, find positive ways of interrupting the negative self-talk and maintaining access to the people who will help keep you in the plus and not the minus side of the landscape.

You will see that cultivating a positive attitude where you deliberately expect good things to come to you, over the next 30 days (and, okay, beyond!) will grow your self-confidence radically.

  1. Chase gratitude

What’s even better than getting ready for good things to come to you? It’s actively going towards reasons to feel grateful.

That’s right – over the next 30 days, I want you to chase gratitude.

Not just passively, reluctantly, grudgingly try to make yourself feel grateful (particularly hard to do if you’re experiencing challenges in daily life)….

But actively setting yourself that target of running after opportunities to feel grateful… as if you’re pursuing a particularly interesting or attractive person.

Trust me, as paradoxical as it may feel… the more gratitude you can allow yourself to experience, the more things you will find to be grateful about. And the benefits, other than self-confidence and good health… will be a new feeling of optimism.

And if you can get to optimism, you can dial down fear, reservation, insecurity, and, over 30 days, discover a new level of self-confidence!

  1. Write down your goals

This is a big one for me and is a critical part of the work I do with my mentees, in helping them design a sequence of steps towards achieving breakthroughs they desire. And, yes, growing their self-confidence.

Writing down their goals. When we work together, every mentee has to do that.

Because something magical happens when you write down something that your heart, mind and spirit truly desire…

You immediately either see the truth or the illusion behind the target you’ve just set down.

And if it’s an illusion – i.e. a goal that you’ve told yourself you want, but which is not actually aligned with your heart’s desire… then hanging on to it will erode your confidence (because you’ll lack the ‘heart’ to achieve it, and this, in turn, will undermine your ability to feel confident).

Meanwhile, if what you’ve written down truly represents what you wish to accomplish, then your spirit will respond with love to seeing your commitment printed, in your own writing – a kind of contract you have just made with yourself.

And from that love… will grow the passion and motivation and, yes, confidence, to achieve it.

Write down the goals that are precious to you and read them every day over the next month, and see how it jump-starts your self-confidence.

  1. Cultivate influence – be a connector

Influence has always been important to personal and professional progress, which is why Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People remains a foundational text on the art of growing your reach and impact on others.

Influence is also one of the characteristics of super achievers, as identified by high-performance gurus such as Brendon Burchard.

But what exactly is influence?

The way I define it is as: influence is being seen as an authority with integrity in a particular subject or area, who is also a talented and generous connector.

As long as you are visible (and cultivating visibility) before people in the areas of life that you consider to be aligned with your personal goals…

And those people see you as someone with both integrity AND authority (i.e. a higher level of ability) in that area…

AND you are generous in introducing people in that network to each other, or bringing more people into that network…

(…in other words, showing that you are willing to serve and benefit that network…)

Then your influence will grow, and with it, your sense of confidence.

Try putting people together, or selflessly introducing friends you know to each other, for their benefit, over the next 30 days, and their gratitude and respect will boomerang back to you… in the form of self-confidence.

  1. Celebrate others

This is a huge one.

Like it or not, we all have human moments, where other people seem to us to be having a good and happy life… whereas perhaps, for us, at that particular moment, life is actually being very tough.

Perhaps we’ve just broken up with a partner or going through a bitter divorce.

Perhaps a parent or loved one is suffering with ill-health or a terminal illness.

Perhaps… no matter what we seem to do… we are encountering setback after setback in our professional life, with no hope or clues as to how to turn that situation around.

At such moments, it’s especially hard to feel genuinely happy or pleased at someone else’s personal or professional success, accomplishment or good fortune…

ESPECIALLY if in areas where we ourselves are feeling a tremendous lack.

But I promise you… a person who cannot genuinely celebrate others’ successes, will always feel insecure about their own self-worth and with feeling equally deserving of the universe’s blessings.

Conversely, by sincerely praising and feeling happy when others in your life succeed, and by actively celebrating their success… you will not only attract to yourself the people, events and opportunities that you yourself desire, but you will also powerfully rendezvous with your own sense of confidence.

Because people who are happy for others, have far less room in their minds and hearts for self-doubt and low self-esteem – the opposite side of the coin, from self-confidence.

So, celebrate others over the next 30 days, and light up the self-confidence in your own heart. Good things are on the way to you as well.

  1. Embrace generosity

Finally, following on from celebrating others’ successes… I want you to practise generosity over the next month.

I’m sure you’re already a generous person.

Perhaps you are an active volunteer for good causes, or give of your time and money to serve others, or offer a listening ear to those in trouble or who need support.

Whatever you already do in terms of generosity… over the next 30 days, do more.

Don’t worry about how much more. Or what form your generosity takes. It doesn’t really matter. What’s important is to find new excuses to act with love for someone without expecting anything in return.

Bonus points if you get no credit for such generosity, or you don’t even know the person that you’re being generous to.

The universe pays attention, and in the meantime, you get to feel good about yourself.

Actually… you get to feel great about yourself.

Because generosity is a happiness that goes down to your bones, and reminds you that you are precious human being, with your own unique blueprint of talents and gifts.

Giving to others – whether in the form of time, resources, support or simply in keeping people in your thoughts while wishing them well – connects you to what is highest inside you.

Among which is, I promise you, is the profound confidence to go after your dreams.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

I’ve personally declared 2019 the year of Back to Basics.

Now, it’s not that I don’t value sophisticated strategies and the powerful impact of complex and creative sequences of self-development.

But there is nothing like building a foundation on simple yet un-shakeable habits if you want to maximise your potential over a lifetime.

Here are the three tweaks that allowed me to grow in my own career as a self-development and high-performance mentor in 2018.

  1. Making the most of the morning

We’ve all heard of morning rituals.

High performance giants like Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard swear by them.

Turns out… they work.

Meditation, a daily cup of green tea, hitting the gym, journalling… whatever your morning rituals might look like, they help you start the day with the correct mindset.

My own morning ritual was cemented a long time ago when I was a young athlete, training with Cyprus’ national handball team.

It’s basically rising with the sun and exercising, rain or shine, no matter the season.

This was temporarily disrupted when I relocated to work in a country where the opportunity to design my own schedule was very limited.

In 2018 I moved back home, and have since got ‘Back to Basics’.

In other words… getting up at 5am to hit the gym by 6am.

I’ll be honest, some days it’s hard. Some days it’s cold, or I’ve slept poorly, or I just flat-out feel low in energy.

I go anyway. And I never regret it as, one hour later, when I’ve showered, dressed, had breakfast and grabbed my car keys to make my first 8.30am meeting, my body and mind are already glowing with feel-good endorphins, and I know that, no matter what, I’m ready to give my best.

Whatever your own way of making the most of the morning, design a routine – a ritual, and then practise it daily, first thing.

Because when you win the morning, you truly win the day.

  1. Committing to a self-education mind-set

I talk a lot about the important of consistent self-education on this blog.

That’s because, I don’t just follow the employability trends simply because continuous up-levelling and upskilling is being demanded of today’s professionals…

But actually because, simply… continuous self-education is massively effective.

Now, admittedly, there is a professional expectation on me, as a corporate trainer as well as a high-performance mentor, to keep adding to my industry-related knowledge.

I do so to grow my authority, keep my pulse on the training market’s evolution, and to ensure I have the most up-to-date tools and resources with which to serve the people I work with.

But this is not just about reading LinkedIn articles, watching an interview or presentation on YouTube or listening to a guru’s weekly podcast.

It’s about adopting a self-education mind-set. For life.

While I am, by nature, a curious person, and have always tried to stay up-to-speed with the trends and needs and opportunities available for self-development…

… but in 2018, I chose four innovators and influencers – Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Simon Sinek and Peter Diamandis – and consumed their podcasts and videos consistently.

Additionally, my associate and I faithfully worked our way down a long list of business, self-development and innovation books that they recommended… which didn’t just empower us with their insights, but gave me the focus and inspiration to design a range of new training material.

Consciously adopting a self-education mindset, is a mental shift that expands your personal and career horizons massively (and exponentially!)

  1. Favouring family time

Last but not DEFINITELY not least, I actively planned to spend time with my family.

In other words, I scheduled it.

Now, I’m not yet married, but I do hope to find the right girl and be a dad myself some day. In the meantime, spending time with my little nephew Maximos, kept me grounded throughout 2018’s crazy ride.

I might have been working through the night to be ready for intense, two or three-day training workshops, where I’d be on my feet unbrokenly for eight or more hours, working, motivating, challenging and empowering mentees and corporate teams…

But whatever my commitments, I would always deliberately make time to hang out and be silly with my sister’s little man each week, buying him books or educational gifts, listening to his curious impressions about the world, helping him figure things out by reasoning and supporting him as he continued to grow.

I also made it a conscious choice to spend time with my own parents, taking the opportunity to check in with their needs and concerns and sharing weekly meals with them.

This active choice to make time for family, allowed me the personal resources to connect deeper with my 2018 mentees, empathise with wherever they found themselves in their lives and appreciate the love and nurture that exist beyond the metrics of professional performance.

Which, ironically, made and, I believe, continues to make me better at what I do in my career.

So, I challenge you: go find the tweaks that will make all the difference to YOUR career, and then take action to commit and practise them, every day, as sacred habits.

You’ll be amazed at what doing so will allow you to achieve in 2019…

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

Let’s say, you can’t really complain.

Let’s imagine the usual list of things that are supposed to make you feel professionally accomplished and fulfilled is a column of ticks. Done that. Got that. Seen that. Etcetera…

Maybe you’re respected by your colleagues. Maybe you’re the go-to person for your manager whenever there’s an exciting (or challenging!) assignment to allocate. Maybe you’re earning a great salary. And maybe, the boss has begun personally asking you for your input on key matters regarding the future of the organisation…

You’re living the professional dream, in the heart of the promised land, right?

Surely, there’s no excuse for that… uncomfortable, (stressed-out), anxious, (restless) feeling that you’ve been struggling with… despite the external signs of your career success?

It’s okay: we can be honest with each other.

Because the truth is… while you’ve been making great progress along the road to career highs, your personal life has been in freefall.

You’re too burned out.

You’ve forgotten what it’s like to hang out with a buddy or girlfriend and laugh about things that have nothing to do with your work.

You haven’t giggled with your kids for weeks.

You can’t remember the last time you and your partner went out on a date.

And that gym or Zumba membership card…? It’s still in that perfectly organised sports bag you strategically placed by the front door.

In short, you HAVE no life, outside of your work. And while professional success has been rewarding… it really would be nice to take a break and smell the roses, once in a while.

I agree. So here are four steps with which to ensure you achieve success without bidding farewell to your personal life.

1. Define YOUR unique vision

You know what happens when you’re riding a career high, sometimes? You get sloppy with your career priorities.

You start saying ‘yes’ to things you have no business doing, just because you can, or because you’re known for doing, or because you feel obligated to the person making the request.

Don’t do this. Get really clear about what YOU want, and what YOUR goals are for your career, and stick to them.

Otherwise, you’ll be trapped in what I call ‘request creep’… which is where OTHER people’s needs, creep onto your priority list.

Keep that up and, soon enough, you’re working your way through everybody else’s priorities, except your own – including your own need for a personal life and downtime away from work.

2. Decide what success means to YOU – and stick to it

This is another common problem with successful young professionals. If you’re not clear about what you consider to be a successful life – you’ll soon find yourself chasing other people’s definitions. Which is fine for them (if THEY happen to have career clarity, that is) but may be TOTALLY unsuitable for you.

It’s important – actually, it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL – that you have a picture of professional accomplishment that is based on your strengths, gifts and unique talents – and not anyone else’s.

Which is why it can be SO important to figure out the keywords, unique milestones and an appropriate timeline to the career success journey you were put on earth to experience.

And if you feel you don’t have the detachment to do this for yourself, get a mentor you trust to guide you through this process. Because when you’re going through the woods, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a compass and a reliable map.

3. Establish your boundaries – and stick to them

Healthy boundaries. Some of us have them from birth, and others of us have to acquire them. If you’re one of these people who, out of misplaced loyalty or courtesy are always the go-to person whenever there’s emergency, or extra work, or a problem no one else seems to know how (or want) to tackle… if yours is the shoulder people ‘cry’ on, or you’re known for providing a patient, listening ear to whoever needs to rant or complain about their issues…

Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone, and it’s probably because you’re a good-hearted, sincere, conscientious and generous person.

Now, I’m not saying stop expressing such traits. Because for one thing, these characteristics are positive, and for another thing, I may as well tell you to change your height or eye colour.

But understand that it’s not your job to intervene in or undertake responsibilities that are other people’s to carry out.

And you’re not ultimately doing them a kindness by accepting to do so. Also, just as you have identified limits to other people’s ability to support or help you, it is only right that you enjoy the same freedom.

4. Identify your priorities (to safeguard that most precious resource – time)

After your own and your loved ones’ health and wellbeing, there is no other more precious resource than your time. YOUR time. And the best way to guard your time is identifying your priorities in life.

So, take the time to write down the THREE most important professional milestones that you wish to achieve in the next 12 months. That’s three. Not two, not four, not 12. For now, keep it to three.

Then write down what it would feel like to have hit those milestones. And finally, what it would feel like to fail in achieving those milestones.

Get clear on what the three most important career goals for you are, raise the level of necessity in terms of achieving them and turn away anything that interferes with the focus on such achievement.

If you can do this (and you’d be surprised how other people’s ‘emergencies’ turn out not to be emergencies…) you’ll discover how much better it will be to organise your time so you stop being the victim of career success.

Best of all, devoting your time to only what you consider to be priorities, means you’ll align the personal with the professional to a deeper and more satisfying degree.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

Let’s take a trip through my imagination.

Picture Michalis, an easy-going 23-year-old new business graduate, who smiles easily, has plenty of friends, goes to the gym three times a week and has a social schedule that’s booked months in advance.

He’s just been hired to join the sales team at a major company. His family is thrilled! Things are looking good for Michalis, right?

Now, let’s take Nathalie, a driven 35-year-old who is fighting to keep her modest health-food store from shutting down, while figuring out with her husband, Giorgos, how they can afford to send their seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, to a private elementary school.

Things look rough for Nathalie, right?

Except, what I didn’t tell you… is that while things look superficially positive for Michalis and stressful for Nathalie, the reverse is actually true.

This is because, deep down in his heart, Michalis is restless and unhappy.

He feels no real connection to what he’s doing, and, given the chance, would be happy to leave his present employment. Why? Because has no real clarity about his career, or what he should do to achieve his highest professional success.

Whereas, despite all her challenging material problems and responsibilities as a mother and wife, Nathalie is inwardly strong and motivated professionally.

And while she’s going through tough financial times, her heart is not divided. She knows she’s doing what she wanted to do, ever since she was a little girl – which was to own a business that made a positive impact on people’s health, and educated and supported them in leading better lifestyles.

In other words, she has clarity regarding her career, and this keeps her moving forward and maintains her focus and determination, without letting the external pressures bring her down.

So, if, like Michalis, you’re struggling with clarity about your career, here are five steps to help you work through feelings of confusion, procrastination, low confidence and stress regarding achieving your professional potential:

1. Shut out the distractions (and get quiet!)

Remember Michalis’ packed social schedule?

It isn’t just because he has lots of friends, due to his extrovert and fun-loving nature… it’s also because – whether he’s conscious of it or not – Michalis himself KEEPS it that way. He does this as a means of distracting himself from looking within and exploring what really bothers him.

Are you like this? Do you pour yourself into too many extracurricular past-times which, if I looked into your heart, don’t really matter with you that much, but which are a convenient way of spending time with your own thoughts?

And by the way – distractions don’t just include going from one social engagement to the next – distractions can be anything: over-eating, wasting time on attention-killers like social media and games – taking on responsibilities that are not appropriate for you to undertake…

Find your distractions, and eliminate them. And then, substitute them with quiet time for yourself – whether that’s a walk in the park, or some meditation in the morning, or a 15-minute reflection period as a pre-sleep ritual… spend time looking inward with courage and focus. You’ll be surprised how many answers to important questions you’ll discover in this way…

2. Record your goals – before, during, after

Michalis prides himself of being a spontaneous kind of character. He hated school, finding it boring and stifling, and isn’t very interested in journaling or making to-do lists.

To be honest, his manager finds this rather frustrating, and has told Michalis on more than one occasion that he needs to be more deliberate and actually write down his targets and goals.

Funnily enough, even though Michalis doesn’t do so badly as a sales team member, if he did as his manager wants him to do and write down targets and goals, he would perform better in the workplace, earning satisfaction and pride in his abilities. This would grant him the professional clarity that – even if he left like this particular job – he has the skills that could also translate into a different career, if he so desired.

Meanwhile, if he also wrote down his life goals, away from the workplace, he could then reorient himself towards a professional path more suitable to his highest personal aspirations.

3. Seek wise counsel or guidance

This is an important one. It would be really valuable for Michalis, for instance, if he actually discussed his feelings of dissatisfaction and confusion with someone who had more life and work experience than him, while also having the integrity and genuine interest in Michalis to guide him.

It will come as no surprise that, in our younger years, we don’t always have the insight and humility to realise that there is much about ourselves and life that we don’t know, and that it is valuable to seek the guidance of someone wise, dedicated and experienced.

And while new graduates and young professionals who are Millennials (i.e. born between 1981-1996) DO seek out feedback in terms of their work performance… because they love to collaborate with peers so much, they can be tempted to seek guidance from friends or associates who share their age. Even though, these peers themselves, will have similar life experience and self-awareness gaps and so not be ultimately best-equipped to offer the appropriate guidance…

So, if you are seeking clarity over your career… find yourself a mentor who has the experience, authority, preparation and commitment to you, to help you see your life from a different, big picture perspective…. While simultaneously having the skill to break down the journey towards your career goals for you into achievable phases and goals.

4. Identify blocks and skill gaps

This is fundamental. And identifying external and internal obstacles (such as deeper limiting beliefs), facing specific fears and discovering, accepting and setting out to address gaps in your skillset are a real key to achieving clarity on your career.

Because once you know how much ground you have left to cover when it comes to your desired professional path, you can create a self-development plan with a timeline and specific milestones towards it.

Clarity comes, layer by layer, as you take stock of where you are and what seems to be hindering your progress.

And of course, as you take the time to do this, you often discover that an obstacle or block can be re-framed to be seen as an advantage or resource, or at the very least neutral to your progress. You also often discover that the true obstacle is completely different than what you believed.

So, do some digging and be brave. Look without fear and face the truth about what’s authentically holding you back when it comes to work. Doing so will only enhance your clarity about where you are at, and where you want to go, career-wise.

5. Test by taking (smart) action

And finally, once you have a sense of where your true motivations, aspirations and obstacles lie… having shut out distractions, taken scheduled time-outs for contemplation and reflection… and having sought the guidance of someone experienced, authoritative and committed to your success… take some action in the direction of what you’d prefer, career-wise.

By the way… these don’t need to be wild, earth-shaking actions.

For example, you don’t have to suddenly hand in your notice at work. What I mean is to experiment with new mind-sets, and explore new skills, aptitudes and interests to learn more about your highest professional aspirations and whether you are getting closer to them, step by step, bit by bit.

Think of yourself like a new product getting to market… and test, tweak, reform and repeat incremental changes to your working life.

Remember Nathalie from our introduction? She – despite all her challenges – puts all the steps mentioned above into practice.

She starts the morning with some quiet meditation, keeps separate notebooks of personal and professional goals in which she writes every day, and she regularly meets with an older entrepreneur who advises her on her professional targets, helps her identify areas of weakness in her business and supports Nathalie as she tests out tweaks and changes in her customer service.

If you are seeking clarity in your career, get these five steps working for you, and watch your confusion dissolve, bit by bit, day by day.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

Most stories of success are stories of overcoming struggle.

There’s the discovery of a worthwhile goal and setting off on a quest at the beginning. And there’s the triumph at the end, when the hero or heroine wins the battle and earns their rightful reward…

But, to be honest, those bits are best left to the movies.

I’m more interested in the struggle, and what it means to handle it in the right way and with the correct mind-set. Because no one comes to a mentor because they’re enjoying success.

Quite the contrary, most of my mentees find me because they’re facing blocks, obstacles, pressures and inner and outer challenges that seem impossible to overcome.

They’re dealing with confusion about their life path, the stress of meeting their loved ones’, employers’ and even culture’s expectations and lack of clarity over their careers.

They’re doing their best to move past all the factors that say a life in which their highest potential is realised… is just a waste of time.

And their STRUGGLE and the need to move beyond it, is really why I decided to empower young professionals as mentor and trainer.

Because I personally know how profoundly lonely and ‘foolish’ it feels to dare to challenge the way things have always been done, the goals that people have traditionally set for themselves.

Hand on my heart: I’ve been there.

There were many points in life when I could have chosen a more secure, mainstream life career path, with its accompanying perks in income, lifestyle and prestige.

But time and again, I knew that if I was going to align with my own potential – the hidden blueprint that powers my life – I was going to have to walk away from doing what other people thought was a good idea for me, and to very deliberately close doors that might have been completely appropriate for someone else to walk through.

A particularly hard wake-up call came in 2013, when a national financial crisis rocked my home country, Cyprus, and forced all of us to reconsider how secure –money and life-wise – we all actually were.

While most of the dust has cleared, five years later, that disillusionment that we, as a society experienced in terms of the structures that should have kept us safe from such crises, means it is impossible for me, personally, to live life on automatic.

Instead, it became even clearer to me in 2013 that true security, in both good times and in bad, requires having the clarity to know who you are – your gifts and your vision.

It lies in the resilience and commitment to focus on your life goals and the confidence and self-belief to push through your comfort zone, limiting beliefs and external obstacles, to materialise them.

Thanks to technology, the internet, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution… there has never before been SUCH an opportunity to live life on our own terms. And my Millennial and Generation Z teens, new graduates and young professionals recognise this opportunity.

But just because they see that opportunity, doesn’t mean they feel empowered to take advantage of it.

That’s where I come in…

Together, we shut the doors that lead to distractions, re-write the script playing inside their minds that they aren’t good enough, smart enough or wealthy enough to go after their career and life dreams.

And build the mental toughness that powers them through times where no one but them understands and appreciates their vision.

I love this process, truly feel so blessed to be doing what I do. I even love the struggle… because the joy and tremendous privilege of standing shoulder to shoulder, connecting heart to heart, with my mentees, would be nothing without.

Helping others to make a friend and ally of struggle, is the number one reason I have dedicated my life to empowering my mentees.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

We live life at the speed of an Instagram photo. And by this point, it’s no secret that the glamorous lifestyles of others on social media is eroding our self-confidence and undermining our mental health.

Feelings of ‘being a failure’ are everywhere, and they are particularly common in the Millennial new grads and young professionals I mentor. They may yearn for a career that is empowering, impactful and which expresses their greatness – but they don’t believe it could be a reality for them.

Why?

Often, the answer comes down to one or other – or a combination – of the following five myths:

1. You have to follow an already-established path

There can be a lot of anxiety, whether acknowledged or not, about stepping away from a traditional, tried-and-tested path. Having worked as a corporate trainer in the Gulf as well as my home country, I have seen first-hand how culture and society can steer its young people towards what are thought to be ‘safe’ career directions. Finance, Accounting, Law, Medicine, Engineering and so on.

And there is nothing wrong with pursuing an established professional path… as long as it is aligned with your own unique skill-sets, life goals and potential – your blueprint. For some, a conventional career with many clearly-expected milestones will be appropriate. For others, an off-the-beaten-track professional life is better suited.

However, what makes the above statement a myth, is the phrase “You have to”. No, as it happens you don’t have to.

Maybe you should if you do authentically derive satisfaction in following a well-established career course. But you definitely don’t have to, to enjoy a great career.

We live in an ever-more entrepreneurial world. Education for every age group is rapidly evolving in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the rise of multidisciplinary learning. There is more freedom than ever to acquire skills as you need, reach and grow new professional networks and harness digital tools to create new products, tap fresh markets and serve diverse customers.

What you should commit to (if you want to enjoy career greatness), is a clear set of professional PRIORITIES – such as for your career to be: innovative, purpose-driven, giving back to society, creative – and so on – instead of to a path with fixed milestones.

Once you achieve clarity on your career priorities, you can choose to take a conventional or unconventional route towards them, according to the pace of your own development and self-awareness.

2. You have to be earning lots of money

We like to measure things, don’t we? After all, if we can measure something, how do we track its evolution? How do we gauge and compare its performance? How do we make a decision whether it’s a good thing, a bad thing, or a useful thing – a rare or valuable thing or a liability?

In short we like data that gives us a before and after. Hard to argue with figures, right? Except, figures rarely tell us about what obstacles had to be overcome, what mountains were climbed, what oppositions had to be faced.

Someone’s bank account can be tiny compared to someone else’s… but what does that say about the first person’s investment in their education, their values, their creativity and talent?

It says absolutely nothing. And if you are unwilling to pursue career greatness because you don’t feel you have it in you to produce great wealth, think again.

Not that there’s anything wrong with making a lot of money or having an impressive bank account… It’s just that career greatness is actually about YOU expressing your UNIQUE potential, irrespective of how much cash it rewards you with.

In other words, career greatness is achieved when your work lets you demonstrate and apply your special aptitudes, interests and gifts, to offer the MAXIMUM possible value.

If you can do that, chances are good the money will follow.

3. External gurus have the answers

Thanks to digital media and online publishing, we are in a kind of golden age when it comes to influencers reaching audiences and thought leaders shaping trends.

The tsunami of podcasts, books and courses shows no signs of finally crashing. Instead, many young professionals feel pressed to seek guidance from one external source to the next, eventually getting mentally, spiritually and very often physically, burned out.

Now, I am not against the idea of seeking the knowledge and support of a guide – after all, I’m a dedicated mentor myself, and I have witnessed how one-on-one work helps my mentees unlock their potential.

But my goal is to make myself unnecessary. To help you finally set aside your fears, conditioning, insecurities and limiting beliefs, so that you can go on to claim your greatness – not just in your career, but holistically, at every level of your life.

A great career (like a great life) comes from you having the clarity about who you are (your gifts, your priorities, your values, what you love, what you hope to build and leave behind). While I can certainly help you get that clarity, it’s up to you to let it guide you, and to trust the inner voice of your own instincts.

4. You have to compromise your values

Actually, it’s just the opposite.

Your values – knowing what they are and integrating them into every decision, career move and professional initiative – will bring you closer to your career success.

And anyone who tries to convince you that you cannot afford values or personal beliefs if you want professional success does not have your best interests at heart.

Called me old-fashioned, but there is no point in achieving wealth and influence if you have no integrity… If you develop a reputation for saying (and doing) anything provided it is to your advantage.

I’m all for setting yourself challenges that will get you out of your comfort zone and take on goals that are truly ambitious. But the belief that you must compromise or sacrifice your VALUES in the pursuit of career greatness is not only a myth, it is actually self-defeating.

Because you will never achieve career greatness – in my definition that’s the satisfaction of expressing your highest potential through your work – if you are out of alignment with what you hold to be true – your values. Those, like your loved ones’ well-being and your health, must never ever be sacrificed.

5. You need a lifetime to achieve it

This is where it gets interesting. Ideally, career greatness IS a journey – one where you go deeper and deeper into your own potential, and therefore express more and more of it in your professional life, with commensurate accomplishments, influence and rewards.

But if you’re talking about a lifetime, does that mean you only achieve career greatness when you’re on your deathbed and about to leave this earth?

Clearly, not – otherwise people like Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s thirty-something CEO would not qualify as having reached such greatness.

And yes, he’s a maverick, but if you do a little digging, examples of successful younger people are all around us.

So, the idea that professional accomplishment requires a lifetime is not just a myth… it is simply not useful one way or another. Especially as everyone’s timeline towards career greatness will evolve according to their specific levels of self-awareness and self-development.

Therefore, if you’re trying to identify how age and time factor into career greatness, it’s far better to say career greatness grows and evolves as you do, and that every day offers you a new opportunity to express your highest potential through your work and how you offer value to others.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

Stuck and blocked. Blocked and stuck….

If I had a cappuccino for every time I heard this from a new grad or young professional employee mentee, I would probably be the most caffeinated person on the planet.

Stuck and blocked. Paralysed in contemplating the future.

And contemplating not just ANY future… but future success in their careers.

You would think visualising an ideal career or accomplishment would be an uplifting exercise in reconnecting with your own life dreams… wouldn’t you?

And yet.

For so many people, what was once an inspiring vision of professional achievement is an unwelcome diversion, and the reasons for this come down to four key myths, as outlined below:

1. Career success entails a high level of risk

You know what I think when I hear this?

“What makes you believe that what you’re doing now doesn’t already have risks?”

After all, we live in a time where the threats of downsizing or being made redundant are steadily increasing, as artificial intelligence and economic crises erode traditional jobs and employability skills.

It may seem a provocative thought, but that’s really not my point. My challenge to the mentee is to look at where they want to go professionally, and reframe their fears about going towards it.

We examine the resources they already have in place in terms of achieving their goal, what the actual – as opposed to the imagined – cost would be, and how might their PRESENT career status have risks and vulnerabilities that they are accepting.

What we tend to discover together is that, if a career goal is important enough in the priorities of the mentee, there is always a way to orient themselves towards it. And, through the process, we reframe ‘career success’ as a goal that has not a low, not a high, but a manageable level of risk.

2. Career success demands a new beginning in unfamiliar circumstances

This myth obscure the fact that our experience and skills are more transferable than we believe.

Now, it’s true that sometimes pursuing career success can put us into situations where we may not rely on previous professional competencies to guide us. And it’s true that if you’ve trained as a doctor, it may be difficult to start over as a professional tennis player.

But it’s ALSO true that, very often you can RE-PURPOSE your background in new scenarios, if you have the right support and guidance and a step-by-step plan for thriving in a new environment.

This is why, for example, so many army officers later become successful business leaders when they leave the military – applying their organisational discipline into an environment that, on the surface, looks very different from their initial field.

So, yes, while targeting career success will often stretch and challenge you, and require you to attain new professional abilities and experiences, if you scratch beneath the surface, you will so often discover a network of helpful and appropriate abilities that will help you navigate the transition.

3. Career success depends on high-level qualifications

This is something I hear from motivated young professionals who have a lot of gifts and talents, but without the academic or professional credentials that might have traditionally positioned them to exercise these traits.

Again, this is where it’s important to examine the time that we are privileged enough to be living in…

Technology and online learning are exploding the opportunities to access the education that once required a hefty time and money investment. MOOCs and internet learning platforms are creating archipelagos of continuously updated knowledge – from the academic like Coursera, to the more technical like Udacity to the more vocational like Udemy…

In other words, gone are the days when only an MBA would allow you to achieve and enjoy career success.

Because, apart from the fact that, if you really want a Masters in Business Administration, you can still study and earn one online, in your own time, for a fraction of the cost it would once have cost you… we are actually globally moving towards a much more cross-disciplinary approach when it comes to education and employability.

High-level qualifications are thus both more attainable than most people believe but also no longer the only gateway to a high-flying career.

4. Career success requires limited or hard-to-access resources

Finally, we come to this myth – that career success is dependent on resources that seem totally out-of-reach.

What kinds of resources? Everything from having enough cash, to having more time – to retrain, to network, to build a business – to having the right connections, and so on.

My answer to this myth is that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

So, when I work with success-hungry young professionals, firstly we take an inventory to see what resources – industry contacts, lesser-used but still-accessible skills, favours owed to them by influencers – that they actually enjoy ALREADY…

And THEN, we build in the element of necessity in achieving their desired career milestones.

Because there is nothing like raising the level of necessity – how much of a priority something is to you – to free up resources – creative and otherwise – in the mind, heart and schedule.

And in the personal development plans we design together the necessity factor plays a big role in ensuring mentees fulfill their commitment to the career success goals they set themselves.

In the end, myths can only hold you back if you allow them to dominate your mind-set.

Because once you have the guidance and support to change your mind-set – literally, how you evaluate and view a situation – the myths fade away, and you start to live in a new, empowered reality where you no longer have to deny your dreams.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

Remember the days when you could simply get on with your assignments and never have anything more public to do than make the occasional phone call and report to your manager once in a while?

Me neither.

The fact is, giving presentations before your colleagues, industry peers or clients are the norm for many jobs. And mentoring young professionals to feel at their best and most confident on such occasions is a regular part of the one-on-one work we do together.

At such times, we don’t only go over the best structure to present their material and body language and eye contact techniques in order to engage with their audience… We also challenge the three myths about being a great presenter that might be holding them back without justification.

To help you, here they are below, so keep reading:

1. Great presenters are gifted communicators from birth

This is probably THE myth when it comes to fears about public speaking or presenting in general.

I remember on one particular occasion, I was mentoring a lady who was entering the mid-stage in her career, and had somehow managed to avoid giving a major presentation over the years. Whenever it was required of her, she would find a justification as to why she couldn’t do it, or engineer a competing task that would leave her unavailable.

Or should she would simply communicate her material in a different format, allowing her to avoid being on her feet, facing her audience and delivering her message.

But by the time she sought mentoring from me, all the alternative options had been exhausted and there was no way to avoid giving the presentation in person.

The first thing we did to eliminate her beliefs about the supposed advantages ‘good’ presenters had. The truth is, that every person, even the most confident, has had a learning curve to address in becoming a presenter of note.

If confidence wasn’t the problem, understanding how to sequence the points and organise the objectives might have posed difficulty. Or, believe it or not, there could be issues of OVER-confidence with a need to be more introspective and review and revise material before delivery.

Ultimately, as I communicated to her in our sessions: while natural ability was a bonus, it certainly could be matched by practice and a willingness to get comfortable with temporary discomfort.

2. Others don’t experience stage-fright as intensely

Here is the other side of the coin when it comes to believing some people are simply born with the capacity to give excellent presentations… and that’s that every other presenter is simply LESS AFRAID in comparison to the myth’s believer.

Now, it certainly CAN be true that certain individuals have what might even be seen as a need to put themselves in situations where there’s a lot of adrenaline riding on the outcome. These are the same folks who sky-dive, bungee jump and are the first to volunteer when trainers ask for volunteers.

But again, there are scores of successful public-speakers and presenters who, perhaps under the guidance of a dedication of a coach or teacher, have found a way of overcoming their fear of presenting before others, and gone on to become seasoned speakers.

What made the biggest difference, is how such people REFRAMED their fear and nervousness into a way that it worked for them. Beyond ‘just doing it’ or ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’… there are techniques by which you can learn to interpret your racing heart-rate, shallow breathing and sweating palms into a different frame of experience – that of excitement and anticipation.

And once you have re-framed what those signals mean in your body, you will be free – as so many others before you have – to give powerful, engaging and confident presentations.

3. Becoming a great presenter needs long periods of training

Actually, there is SOME truth to this myth.

Because if you ONLY have to give a presentation once in a while, with long spaces in between when you are remaining safely behind your desk, or letting other team members stand up and deliver… then, yes, a lot of time will have to go by before you join the league of great presenters…

But just like any other learned skill, the more you challenge yourself to give presentations, the more quickly you will acquire the experience that will eventually allow you to think of presentations in the same category as driving a car or riding a bicycle. In other words, a skill that has a certain learning curve that, once mastered, can be put to use (to your advantage) over and over again.

How quickly you master that learning curve is entirely dependent on how often you are willing to get out of your comfort zone, tune out the terror of forgetting a point or ‘drying up’ or being challenged by listeners on gaps in your analysis.

Ultimately, beyond the myths of natural talent, insensitivity to stage-fright and an impossibly long time investment to develop the necessary skills, being a great presenter comes down to three truths:

  • Practising• Reframing discomfort as excitement, anticipation or enhanced focus and
  • Getting the right support to move you past your fear and connect you to your potential

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

There are a lot of industrious, talented people, who show up to work and deliver, day after day, rise to challenges and go above and beyond doing what they were originally hired for, without complaining.

Unfortunately, many of these same people… are, nevertheless, mysteriously stuck or unable to display their true greatness when it comes to their career.

Perhaps this is you?

If so, consider the following errors that may be undermining your chance to shine and progress professionally.

1. Your communication is on auto-pilot

What I mean by this is, for whatever reason, when it comes to important interactions – whether with loyal clients or co-workers’ upon whose cooperation and skills you depend – you’re simply not giving 100% when it comes to your messages, conversations, discussions and negotiations.

Now we all know the horrors of an overloaded email inbox, the meetings that take away valuable time from progressing on a time-sensitive project and the inconsiderate colleague who demands your attention and input on matters that are either inappropriate for the office or simply nothing to do with you.

However, like it or not, and given that most of us will spend the major part of each day, for most of our adult lives, engaged in our professional duties, it is crucial that successful, connected communication remain among your highest priorities.

Otherwise you risk being misunderstood, undervalued or coming across as unintentionally dismissive or indifferent in your work-related interactions. And this will leave you overlooked by the flow of respect, goodwill and appreciation that leads to promotions and new career opportunities.

2. You’re hostile to those already successful or doing well

Professional resentment and… dare I say it, jealousy, is not an attractive trait. And if we’re really honest, we’ve all been guilty of it from time to time. Business and the world of work are competitive spaces in life, and we have to work hard not just at carrying out our duties but also to stand out and distinguish ourselves professionally. When we do, there are certain to be others who notice… and resent us.

Don’t let such resentment or hostility to others’ success come from you. While we may think such resentment is a privately-held bitterness, believe me, I have seen it poison and embitter some of my otherwise deserving and talented mentees.

You’d be amazed at how doing exactly the opposite will shift your feeling of being undervalued and unappreciated at your work. Show genuine, authentic appreciation and admiration for those who are ahead of you professionally. If you can’t offer them appropriate praise or acknowledge their accomplishments, wish them well in your mind.

Even if you don’t believe their success is merited, don’t give in to the temptation to cultivate a resentment. As if they have somehow cheated you of your success, or taken your share from you. There is an abundance of opportunity to show your unique talents and achieve greatness in your career – but being hostile to other successful people diminishes and only makes you look insecure in your own value.

And if you YOURSELF doubt your value… how will you communicate it to those responsible for your promotion and the continuing success in your career?

3. You indulge in inappropriate talk, gossip or even backstabbing

Here is another negative trait that I have observed in otherwise talented and dedicated people.

They talk behind others’ backs and gossip about their colleagues.

In other words, they share information about co-workers which may be only half-true, unrelated to such people’s work performance, role in the team or in the company hierarchy or potentially damaging to that person’s reputation.

And when a gossiper does this, they automatically come across as unreliable, untrustworthy or dishonourable in others’ eyes.

And EVEN when the listener is not a superior, but someone with the same or lower rank than the gossiper, somehow, work-related gossip has a tendency to reach the ears of people who might otherwise have rewarded the gossiper’s talents, initiative and hard work… but, because of the gossiping or backstabbing, choose not to.

4. Your treatment of others is based purely on what they can offer you

This takes a lot of honesty from anyone… to be able to look at their behaviour from a detached enough perspective to admit that they DON’T always treat people in a genuine way.

Sometimes we fall into the trap of treating senior management or industry veterans with a deference that is less about our own professionalism… and MORE about what they might be willing to do for our professional benefit.

Now, it’s perfectly appropriate to acknowledge someone senior to you with a genuine appreciation and a signal of respect that shows you are professional enough to observe workplace etiquette – as long as it is GENUINE.

Believe me, most of us can see through someone else’s attempts at flattery. And if the person you are trying to flatter doesn’t see it – your co-workers surely will, and will judge you for it.

Alternatively if you treat people lower in rank or status with you with unkindness, rudeness, a lack of empathy and arrogance, that TOO, will eventually be noticed and condemned by those you work with, and who might otherwise have wanted to help you progress in your career.

5. You’re unwilling to go the extra mile or beyond your job description

This takes a lot of balance. And it’s true that if you’re constantly going beyond what you were originally hired to do, it can signal that you have insufficient self-worth and that you’re willing to be used as a stop-gap or go-to person for any task, great or small (generally greater and greater!) that would have been more appropriately assigned to someone else.

However, it is equally true that being resistant to take on assignments that require a greater level of attention and competence and initiative (and work) in a misjudged attempt to set appropriate boundaries, and avoid being exploited, will backfire on you professionally.

The workplace is competitive and if you never step beyond the technical limits of your job description, how will you demonstrate that you deserve to progress in your career?

Remember, it IS possible to display self-motivation and initiative while still having healthy boundaries that make it clear you are not there to be exploited or taken advantage of. I can tell you this confidently because it’s one of the things we work on in my one-on-one mentoring and workshops with young professionals.

So… GO the extra mile, AVOID gossiping and undermining successful peers or industry greats, BRING your most attentive self to your conversations and TREAT everyone with the professional respect and authentic courtesy they deserve… and you will keep yourself headed for greatness in your career.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com

You’ve got an important presentation coming up and the stakes are incredibly high. If you succeed in winning over your audience, maybe you’ll finalise an important deal, win a particularly powerful client or offer a solution to a critical problem.

But if you fail – i.e. by not connecting or getting your audience to agree with you – the cost can be just as high and damage your personal prospects or those of the company you represent.

That’s why, when I work with my mentees we spend a lot of time not just practising and shaping a presentation or public speech… but also making sure to avoid the things that can sabotage all of that effort and hard work.

With that in mind, here are seven ways you can protect your next important presentation from possible failure.

1. Do your homework about the venue

Are you speaking in a sleek modern office before the board of directors? Or is your presentation a little more casual in multi-purpose room of a school. Will there be a projector and speakers all set up? Will you need a whiteboard – and will there be one for you to use?

What will the audience seating be like? Semi-formal around a table? Formal, with rows of seats in an auditorium?

Will you have freedom to move around the room or will you be restricted only to one area of the space?

Not knowing the answers to these questions can sink an otherwise great presentation, and undermine your confidence and ability to connect with those listening to you. So, when preparing a presentation, make researching the venue part of your process.

2. Do your homework about your audience

While we’re speaking about those listening to you… who exactly are they? What are their age ranges, professional experiences, interests and problems likely to be? Are you speaking to men or women? What might their training/educational background be? What social class do they identify as belonging to? What are their values?

In some cases, this is fairly straightforward – if you’re speaking before executives from an insurance company, your audience members, whether male or female, are likely to value a more conservative approach to your presentation and are likely to be above the age of 40.

On the other hand, if you’re presenting to an audience of tech start-up members, your presentation will benefit from far more connection with your listeners, using a less formal, more casual style.

So, before you begin working on a presentation, make sure that you have a detailed profile of your audience in mind so you ensure you engage with their specific values, concerns and background.

3. Structure your presentation with key points

Ask yourself this… what do you want your audience to take away from your presentation after you’ve delivered it?

Even more importantly – what are the three to five key points that should be clear in their minds by the time you’ve finished?

Then, once you’ve decided on your key points, ask yourself another question: what’s the best sequence of organising these points for maximum impact (generally, you want to save your most important point, or argument, for last).

Then ask yourself a final question: what’s the best way to introduce these points at the beginning, and the best way to leave the audience remembering these points at the end of your presentation.

Remember… not being clear about the key takeaways (audiences are unlikely to remember more than – maximum – FIVE), and not being clear about how to structure those key points, will undermine the potential power of your presentation.

4. Remember to stick to the format

You’re giving a presentation. Not a speech. What’s the difference?

Presentations are designed for a less-polished, more connected experience with your listeners, with enough space left in how the material is offered, for the audience to discuss or pose questions to the presenter afterwards.

Speeches are constructed for, in a sense, a performance, which may well sacrifice analysis for style. And while connection with the audience is still important, there is little to no expectation of discussion or feedback thereafter.

In short, presentations should not be written out word-for-word beforehand and should cover only the main points.

Allow room to respond and adjust to how the material is impacting your audience… don’t let your presentation turn into a speech that distances you from your listeners.

5. Don’t over-rehearse your presentation

This follows on from the last point.

Of COURSE you have to prepare and rehearse. You have to learn about your audience and the space where you’ll be delivering the presentation. You have to know what you want your audience to take away from your material and structure your presentation accordingly.

And you have to know your material and the sequence of how you present your main points to the point where you’re comfortable. But NOT to the point where you sound impersonal and even in-authentic.

One of the features of a successful presentation is having just enough preparation to present your material with authority, while remaining under-rehearsed enough to come across as approachable and genuine.

6. Ask for feedback (from trusted sources)

Feedback is important and when I work with my mentees to put together any presentation, I give a lot of feedback… and I require the mentee him/herself to self-evaluate as well.

But going the extra mile by actively seeking feedback from trusted, impartial sources (not your best friends, not your mother – preferably with shared characteristics with your upcoming audience…) will help you avoid the danger of your key messages being lost.

After all, even if you have a great sequence of tailored, audience-specific points, delivered in as authentic a manner as possible… there will still be lapses, gaps in argument, or missed opportunities to connect that only other ears and eyes will be able to identify and communicate to you.

So, ask for feedback from appropriate listeners, and then revise your material to address the issues they bring to your attention.

7. Keep to the time allocated

Last but definitely not least… make sure you know how much time you have been allocated by your listeners for your presentation and make sure you stick to it.

This is where it’s important being just under-rehearsed enough to remain authentic with your listeners, but not so under-prepared where you struggle to remember the sequence of your main points and take too long to deliver them.

Or you fail to have enough material to successfully fill the time allocated, and you end up looking like you’ve under-prepared, or that there simply isn’t enough substance to what you are presenting.

So, get the duration of your presentation right and stay within the time window you have been allocated – finishing neither too early nor too late.

To work with me one-on-one to take your professional and personal performance to new levels, please check out the LIMITLESS track of services at my website, www.leonidasalexandrou.com