Category Archives: Ed Sykes

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Bad Joke Time

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Bad Joke Time


I was watching television with my daughter. A news broadcast came on discussing the increase in sink holes all across the United States. I say to my daughter, “Do You Know What is the Worst Day for Sink Holes?” See the picture for the punchline.

Well, my daughter rolled her eyes and cried out, “Oh dad!” I don’t think she liked the joke. Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

sink hole, sink hole joke, cinco del mayo, Ed Sykes, the sykes group

Are You Ready for Your Shark Tank Moment? Five Presentation Skills Secrets to Giving a Winning Presentation

Are You Ready for Your Shark Tank Moment? Five Presentation Skills Secrets to Giving a Winning Presentation

Carter Kostler, Shark Tank, presentation skills, public speaking, presentation skills coach, public speaking coach, Ed Sykes, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupPresentation skills are an important set of tools for succeeding in life.   This skill alone will separate you from your competition in your business, your career, and your life.

I had the pleasure of coaching one of my presentation skills students who appeared on the popular television business show Shark Tank (I have coached several others since Carter to appear on Shark Tank).  My student, Carter Kostler of the Define Bottle, appeared on Shark Tank and presented his product and walked away a winner.  Carter actually turned down the offers from the Sharks and won big.  On the night of the program, Carter sold $100k worth of his bottles.  The first week after the program aired, he sold $350k worth of his bottles.  He finished the year with $750k in sales.  He accomplished all of this while he was only fifteen years old.

You may never appear on Shark Tank, but you probably will be put into a high-pressure situation at your business, in a team or company meeting, or sales presentation.  The following five presentation skills secrets will make you successful in all of your situations:

  1. Know What You Want to Accomplish – Invest in the time to analyze what the end result is that you want to  accomplish by giving your presentation.  What are the main and secondary goals you want to accomplish by the time your presentation is over?  If I don’t achieve my main goal, what are the minimum goal(s) I am willing to accept?  Many presenters fall short in this area.  When you have a crystal clear understanding of what you want to accomplish, it becomes easier to work backwards to create a powerful and persuasive presentation that accomplishes what you want.
  2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – I can’t say how important preparation for your presentation is for achieving the success you want.  If possible, practice for all the possible scenarios during your speech.  Prepare for a plan A and B within your speech so you can adjust to the flow of the presentation.  Prepare for all the possible questions you may receive and have powerful answers for these questions.  Prepare for the audience that will be listening to your presentation.  What will the audience want from you?  What will be the attitude they are expected to take toward your presentation?  What is the setup or environment where you will be presenting your message?  I am sure you can ask many more questions that pertain to your situation.  (Read the rest of the article at Presentation Skills)

For additional information for giving outstanding presentations, go to

Motivational Quotes to Jump Start Monday: Journey Wisely

Motivational Quotes to Jump Start Monday: Journey Wisely

motivational quotes, motivation, success, success quotes, success and inspiration quotes, Ed Sykes, motivational speakers, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupYour journey of success starts with a single step.  You will have miss steps along the way.  Embrace your challenges along the way   It is how we react and learn from these miss will determine how smoothly the rest of our journey will be.  Realize you success is a continuous journey.  Just when you think you are at the end of the journey, the journey continues on.

Enjoy this motivational quote along with other motivational quotes from our website to be motivated and inspired to achieve more success in your life!


Wednesday Motivational Quotes: Be Willing to Expose Yourself for Success!

Wednesday Motivational Quotes: Be Willing to Expose Yourself for Success!


motivational quotes, motivation, success, success quotes, success and inspirational quotes, motivation, Ed Sykes, va, virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, hampton roads, the sykes groupToday’s motivational quote challenges you to expose yourself for success.  Success is not something you can stay on the sidelines and achieve.  You must get in the game and make the mistakes so that you can inch closer to success.

When you make mistakes that are very public, it may sting and hurt.  However, you must be willing to make the mistakes so that you will learn from them and become a better person.  Think of these mistakes preparing you for something bigger and more exciting in the future.  That is what success is all about!

You can find more motivational quotes at success.


Motivational Quotes: Change Starts with Your Thinking

Motivational Quotes:  Change Starts with Your Thinking


motivational quotes, motivation, Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein quotes, success quotes, change article, making change, change management, success, Ed Sykes, motivational quotes, the Sykes Group
Albert Einstein as he wears furry slippers.

Change is occurring all around us everyday.  Most changes are small and go unnoticed by us.  Think about your daily ride to work and notice what changes are taking place over the course of a week:  possible changes in traffic patterns, new stores opening, weather patterns, etc.  Each day we adapt to the changing situations without even thinking about it, and we achieve our goals.

The organizations we work for are going through change to adapt to a very competitive marketplace.  Most organizational change, much like your daily commute, is subtle.  Some changes create a variety of emotions among employees:  from joy and enthusiasm to distrust and anger.

The best organizations create a strong culture of change management.  In fact, management at these organizations is constantly encouraging change for the good of the overall organization.

The following are seven change management secrets to creating a winning culture of change:

  1. Understand the Present
    Take the time to ask questions to understand where the culture of change presently stands. Examples of questions great managers of change are consistently asking to ensure the success of change are the following:

    • Do employees understand the difference they make at work everyday?
    • Are there strong relationships between employees and management?
    • Is there an environment of openness and trust?
    • Is there an understanding of mission, purpose, beliefs, and business goals?
    • Do we have an environment of learning, growth, and empowerment?

    Take the time to ask these and other questions and, most importantly, listen to the answers.

  1. Recognize That Change Management Culture Starts at the Top
    As a leader, you set the tone for change management. If you express or show a negative attitude towards the change, the culture for change will have negative results. If your attitude towards change is positive, then the culture for change will have positive results. Constantly communicate the positive overall results from the change and how the employee will benefit from this change.
  1. Establish Channels of Communication
    Before the changes are to take place, implement ongoing channels of communication. This is important for the following reasons: a. Hear and address the concerns and fears of the employees. b. Obtain new innovative ways of implementing the change. c. Gain employee buy in for the changes. d. Address the rumor mill before it spirals out of control. Remember, there will probably be a lot of emotions mixed in with the communication. First, set the parameters for positive, productive communication and really take the time to listen. You will need to separate the emotions from the message and/or questions. Also, if you don’t have an immediate answer to the question, promise to find the answer and respond with the answer within a certain deadline.
  1. Give Your Employees the Tools for Successful Change Management
    Make sure your employees have the tools to successfully implement the organizational changes. This could include training, technology, and additional management help to remove barriers to successfully implementing the changes. Be mindful that with the changes there are new relationships being developed. As the change leader, monitor what work relationships are working and what relationships are not working; and take the appropriate actions to remove any relational barriers to your employees’ successful completion of the plan.
  1. Build a Change Management Community
    Build a sense that we are all in this together and that if one person on our team has a challenge adapting to change, we all have a challenge adapting to the change. Build this sense of a change team so that a positive environment for change and innovation is developed. It makes the road to change so much easier.
  1. Understand That Employees Handle Change in Different Ways
    Because of stress and emotions, your employees handle change in different ways. The model employee who was once calm may now become disruptive and challenging in the environment of change. Take time to tone into your employees’ “emotional change barometer,” get their feedback, and provide the guidance so that they are successful in the culture of change.
  1. Follow-up to Create Better Change Results
    As a change leader, follow-up through meetings, personal coachings, surveys, memos, e-mails, etc., to monitor how the changes are progressing. Embrace and acknowledge the employees’ valuable feedback so that you can efficiently implement the changes.

Apply these seven change management techniques and you will create a successful culture of change and achieve your organizational goals.

To read more motivational quotes and articles on change and other subjects, go to Articles.