Archive for 2012

Four Tips on How to Bullet Proof a Child’s Presentation

Four tips from theatre and public speaker expert Carl Miller on how your child can bullet-proof a presentation of his talent:

  1. Prepare ahead of time a list of public speaking problems or list of potentially difficult questions and have ready scenarios or answers to fall back to
  2. Practice the presentation while watching for pre-arranged signs and cues from your practice audience that you are not doing well
  3. Practice first several times in front of immediate family members and close friends
  4. Practice maintaining composure under all public speaking circumstances by having your practice audience deliberately create realistic problems while making the presentation

How to Pitch Yourself to Next Level of Expertise

Use Physical Item to Help Walk Through Presentation

Use Physical Item to Help Walk Through Presentation

Is your child trying to pitch himself to the next level of expertise in a club or asking a group for an opportunity to exercise for them an aspect of his talent? I asked for advice from my friend Carl Miller, an expert on staging yourself in theater and an accomplished public speaker. Here are some tips I came away with:

  1. Have child create a portfolio of his accomplishments, whether of the physical items themselves, or of the photos of the work, or the paperwork.
  2. Give a presentation that sounds natural by simply talking and walking through the order of your portfolio.
  3. Pass around in the audience a physical item that represents your abilities and helps the audience follow the details you want to emphasize in your presentation.
  4. Finish the presentation with a direct appeal to what your child wants and with an attitude that, because of the portfolio of accomplishments, the request is a reasonable one to make of the audience.


Eight Principles to Develop Your Child’s Talent

Apply these eight principles to develop world class talent in your child’s life.

Develop your child’s talent with these eight principles:

  1. Start young
  2. Practice daily
  3. Use your environment and assets
  4. Decompose talent into smaller skills
  5. Merge skills from different fields
  6. Enlist family goals and desires
  7. Act out the talent in a way that gives value to others
  8. Make your homeschool curriculum feed your child’s talent

Curriculum for Character and Talent

Sculpture of Julius Caesar by 17th century Fre...

To make headway with your child’s architecture talent don’t just study Julius Caesar – study instead his power as expressed through architecture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are doing great if you can turn your character-based Christian curriculum into a curriculum that can also build up your child’s talent like this fictional report from “Practical-Dad:

It was awkward at first to red-pen words out of my son’s character-based curriculum questions and insert instead an aspect of his architecture talent that he wants to develop, but I am growing confident. For example, he had a short writing assignment that asked him to talk about the kind of power that Julius Caesar exercised over Rome. I re-worded the question so that it asked him to talk about how the public buildings were used at that time to exercise the power of Julius Caesar. Amazing! He is now excited about writing his essays and we have had to tell him several times in the last few days to stop and come to the lunch table.

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Acquire a Personality While Acquiring a Talent

Speaker's Society Presentations

If you want your child to attract the attention of others with talent, then make sure your child is also developing a talent. Photo from Speaker’s Society Presentations (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

Your child is acquiring an attractive personality while also acquiring a talent if you can report something similar to fictional “I-got-my-eyes-on-you-Dad”:

“It was clear that our daughter was well-rounded educationally, but she had nothing specifically of her own that she could be proud of to show off to friends and relatives. No wonder she was just wanting to hang-out so much at the YMCA. She gave my wife and I lots of extra ideas on parts of the talent discovery workshop and she completely and enthusiastically bought into the idea of developing a talent of her own. Wow, her conversations with us and other people lately are a lot more intense and focused and she blogs to her passion regularly. She is clearly developing herself into that ‘interesting’ girl that no amount of logo-wearing T-shirts and summer camp activities were doing for her. ”

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Finding Focus Will Build Child’s Talent

Airplane vortex denoicefied

Finding focus is necessary in order to build a real talent for your child –  there’s a big difference between enjoying watching planes  in the sky vs knowing how they operate  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child is finding talent-worthy focus if you are reporting something similar to fictional “Frazzled-Mom”:

“At first, my 13 year old son panicked at the thought of not seeing all the many friends in his different programs, but once he realized how much more interesting the two remaining activities were because he was able to focus, he quickly forgot about the other (shallow) friendships. One of the activities we kept involves participating in the Remote Control Airplane Club of our town and getting pointers on how to fine tune gas and electric motors from older retired men. He feels like he is ‘one of the guys’ and is getting all scientific on us at the lunch table talking about aerodynamics. We don’t understand all this new found knowledge he is explaining to us, but we love it!”

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Think Outside Standard Career Labels for Child’s Talent

Three-strand twisted natural fibre rope

Combine different skills into developing a unique talent  (Photo credit: Wikipedia; Author= HiveHarbingerCOM)

You are beginning to think outside of standard career labels for developing your child’s talent if you can report something similar to  fictional ‘Not-Afraid-to-Get-My-Hands-Dirty-Mom:

Five months after taking a talent discovery workshop and discussing our concerns with our son about being in a market with too many painters, we have dramatically re-apportioned the type of time he is spending in the family business.We now have our son spending half his work time with a local tool rental company that needs detailing and small repair help on new cutting-edge sand blasting equipment that gets returned. He connects well with the customers and his employer is recognizing his value as a budding salesman in the painting industry. Combining another new skill with his already extensive painting skills is really getting all of us excited about what other skills could be merged so he can be amazingly productive and desirable in the marketplace.

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Family Bonding Through Building Talent

English: My lab coat and scrubs -- Samir धर्म ...

Look into your extended family’s skills and abilities and you might be able to strengthen family bonds while developing your child’s talent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child is strengthening his family bonds by developing his talent if you can report something like this fictional ‘Love-My-Alma-Mater-But-Not-That-Much-Dad:

We had always felt that if it wasn’t an official course taken at an official school, that somehow it had little value. Once we realized how shortsighted we were, we redesigned six months ago a “custom curriculum” of our own that involved me, my sister who is math professor in another state, and my father who is a retired pharmacist. The children’s grandpa sent us by Fed-Ex his old microscopes and even some old-fashioned lab coats. Skype came to the rescue with lots of fun late night conversations and tutorials and I was surprised by the amount of family bonding that has come out of this.

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Turn Hobby Into Talent By Creating Value for Others

English: Photograph of a guitar taken in a loc...

Even a guitar loving boy can morph his hobby into a talent by bringing value to others.            (Photo credit: Wikipedia; author: Dane Austin Carney; Permission: Creative Commons License)

Your child is moving from hobby (value to self only) to talent (value to others) if you can report something like this fictional Mother-of-an-Artist:

My 14 year old guitar playing son started making custom guitar decals over the past year for his friends, discovered that some styles are more popular than others, and is even selling a few of those on Etsy and eBay. As a result, he is interacting with a lot of other guitar players and is starting to buy and sell and fix up used guitars. Just last week, he got his first request to do the web art for a small online music store because a music composer saw his art on a student’s guitar. He still loves his music, but he seems a lot more energetic and upbeat about the future.

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Hobby brings smiles – Talent brings cash

Is your child developing a hobby or a talent? Find out before his time runs out and you have to let him loose on the world.

What is the difference between a hobby and a talent?

A hobby is a skill that is designed primarily to please yourself.

A talent is a skill set that is designed to please others.

You know that a developed talent pleases others because they are willing to pay cold, hard cash for your output. For your hobby they will only pay you with a smile.

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Twaddle is Result of Lack of Talent Focus


Twaddle Face When There is No Talent Focus

Twaddle Face is what your child will get if you let your curriculum drive all your memory lists. Take control and make memory work serve your child’s talent instead.

Busy, busy, busy, but do you care whether your child is memorizing the list of names of the California Missions or memorizing the list of Vice-Presidents of United States? If it is all the same indifference to you and your child, then your homeschool curriculum is turning into dreaded twaddle. STOP! Your child is probably mentally purging that information as fast he is finishing his history quizzes. Focus on the purpose of your curriculum and make memory lists count toward your child’s 10,000 hours of talent development. Your child with science talent can memorize the names of the most influential inventors of the 1800s and your child with art talent can memorize the names of the top art pieces of the 18th century.

Work to Increase Early Skills to 10000 Hours of Talent

Born with or Nurtured into Early Skills in Childhood? Either way, it only matters if those skills are actively developed.

Is a child born with certain natural abilities at birth or is a child unconsciously nurtured by his parents to favor particular traits over others? From a 10,000 hours to talent perspective, the chicken-or-egg debate over this question is a moot point. Whatever small advantages a child is given or born with at birth, it will avail to nothing if those advantages are not actively nurtured. It is clear that early skills that are not developed and worked at, do in fact dissipate over time, at least to the point of not being of any advantage over someone else who later in life applies himself and learns the same skill from scratch. Yes, rejoice over any early skill your child has, but also work at it hard to increase its rewards.

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Change the Name of Child’s Talent Over Time

Yoyo whiz Sterling Quinn (14 years old at the ...

Yoyo whiz Sterling Quinn (14 years old at the time of this photo) shows off his stuff at Bumbershoot (Photo credit: Wikipedia; Attribution: Joe Mabel)

Give a name to your twelve year old’s beginning talent. But don’t give a name yet to your child’s final talent destination, the one that will launch him into the world several years from now. Don’t give it a name yet, because you don’t and cannot know how his talent will evolve from its first 100 hours all the way through to its full 10,000 hours of development. Maybe his first talent name is “YoYo Entertainer” because he is able to delight his friends and relatives at gatherings and birthday parties with his YoYo tricks. But as he acquires other skills, his final talent destination may take him to a place where his talent title becomes “Physics Entertainer – teaching science online through the power of toys”.

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Inspiring Words from Proverbs 31 for Daughters to Make Cash

Die Andromeda auf dem Mittelandkanal in Hannover

Having a talent that a daughter can use for her future household to get the best from afar is characteristic of the Proverbs 31 woman (Photo credit: RaBoe/Wikipedia)

Inspiring words below were excerpted from Proverbs 31 on the ideal virtuous woman. This will encourage your daughter to develop her talent in such a way that she can trade or make cash from it for her future household:

she is like merchant ships; she brings her food from afar…

she considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard…

she senses that her gain is good; her lamp does not go out at night.

she makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies belts to the tradesmen…

give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

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Use Your Family Goals to Develop Child’s Talent

Use family goals and togetherness as opportunities for your child to develop parts of his talent.

Use your family’s identity or family goals to help your child develop a talent. You might think that only looking at a child’s current interests is sufficient to start building a talent at a young age, but you should consider that if it does not support the family spirit, that it will be that much difficult to get things started. For example, if your family likes to hike together because of a long tradition with grandparents and easy access to beautiful forests, then it would make sense for a child’s talent to incorporate the use of those family hikes or the outdoor excursions. A child could use his personal interest in biology to gather specimens along the way and document the findings in a science journal. A child interested in art, could learn to sketch or paint scenes of their excursions to share with friends and grandparents.

Five Talent Tips for Your Child

Develop the components that make up your talent, not just the visible, public side of your talent in action

  1. Practice and study a lot, but don’t do it for more than four hours of intense focus per day as your body and mind won’t gain beyond that.
  2. Break down the components of your talent and improve on those so you don’t give all your time to just the public, visible part of your talent.
  3. Borrow tricks and methods from other fields of activity and use them to boost your developing talent in new and unusual ways.
  4. Combine skills from different areas of life so that you create a new and unique talent that has not yet been standardized into a common job title.
  5. Constantly look for ways to apply your talent in a way helpful to others so you are not inadvertently becoming very good at something no one will want from you.

The Case of “Bull’s Eye Jane”

Archery competition

The beauty of Archery can be combined with market valued skills to create a unique talent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Problem: your daughter has spent a good portion of her teenage years enjoying sports in general and archery specifically, but there is no possibility this could help support her in motherhood or pay the bills for college. She is known in her small archery club as “Bull’s Eye Jane.”

Solution: your daughter combines her beautiful-to-watch archery skills with market valued skills that others will gladly pay for.

  • Daughter takes physics textbooks and creates free YouTube videos of herself shooting arrows from her pink power bow with close-ups, slow-motions, and sub-texts that demonstrate specific principles found in the textbooks. She sells accompanying science guides containing clever Mnemonics that use archery and sports moves to lock in the memory in preparation of science exams. Homeschool mothers everywhere love her and she becomes known as “The Flying Arrow Girl of Science.”
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The Case of “The Piano Player in Placerville”

Creating unique piano ring tones is useful for this generation and requires a new combination of piano playing and other skills to make it happen

Problem: your child has developed a skill that allows him to play the piano very well in small local gatherings, events, and weddings, but he has little chance of making a living because technology has replaced him in most events by pre-recorded, low-cost musical alternatives. He is starting to be known as “The Piano Player in Placerville.”

Solution: your child combines his piano playing ability with other skills so he transforms the old talent into a new and very valued talent to the current generation.

  • Child plays piano well and edits his recordings to turn them into unique ring tones that current generation purchases and downloads to help manage their mobile devices. Child also creates free YouTube videos and sells guides to other piano players so they can do the same. He is now known on the Internet as “The Ring Tone Piano Guy.”

Need Talent – Signed Mother of an Artist

my brother. with his electric guitar. LÂG Roxa...

Worried your son is musically proficient, but will wind up struggling financially after he leaves home? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“My 14 year old son is deeply immersed in playing his guitar faithfully every day for hours on end. I admire his dedication, but I’m worried he will graduate from High-School with no job prospects and the harsh reality of making a living will disillusion him. I see potential, but I’m not sure what the future holds for him in this area.”

Signed, “Mother of an Artist.”

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Need Talent – Signed Love My Alma Mater But Not That Much

Alma Mater statue (Taft, 1929) in front of Alt...

Worried that your family’s tradition of earning higher degrees is not always connected to making a better living for your child? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your child needs a talent, if you find yourself saying:

“Both my wife and I have bachelor and master degrees and my children’s grandparents keep checking to see if we are making active college plans for our own children. My concern is that with so much emphasis on college, my children will wind up with nice sounding degrees, but still have no marketable skills. I want their degrees to have a plan attached to it.”

Signed, “Love-My-Alma-Mater-But-Not-That-Much-Dad”

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