3 Reasons You Should Have Been at the SCORRE Conference

I have been giving speeches and presentations for a lot of years. Some went well and others were just okay. I found myself struggling at times to put a speech together in a way that impacted my audience. I would get hung up with the content and trying to find the direction to take the speech.

But that all changes this week after I attended the SCORRE Intensive Training in San Clemente, CA.

If you are regularly in a position to give presentations or are asked to give a speech, then it would benefit you greatly to get the SCORRE training by Ken Davis because of the gains in effectiveness you will see in your presentation or speech.

Here are three ways your speeches will be more effective:

  1. Your main focus will be on your audience. By focusing on the audience and their needs, it will be much easier to identify the objective your speech must address in order to serve those needs. So much in the past, I had my own objective in mind and tried to make it fit my audience. My focus was in the wrong place.
  2. The content of your speech will point to the objective you now have identified. Before this week, my content was developed first and the speech – opening, close, stories and examples – were all built to fit the content I wanted to give. It didn’t actually serve the audience.
  3. Your speeches will have more impact on the audience. It occurred to me this week, in my speeches I was trying to serve me and my interests in the speech. Now, I know for the most impact I need to be focused on the audience. If I focus on their needs, struggles, challenges and triumphs, the message I deliver will be remembered and my prayer is that it has a lasting impact.

Ken Davis has put together a premier process for speech, sermon and presentation development and deliver. As Ken says, his purpose for the SCORRE training is to:

  • Prepare with Focus.
  • Deliver with Clarity.
  • Speak with Power.

I encourage you, if you want to be more effective in your speaking – whatever avenue it takes – you need to consider attending a SCORRE Intensive training. In the meantime, until the next one, you can get a jump start on the training by getting the SCORRE Training Series DVD and Workbook set at kendavis.com.

Your audience deserves it.

Is That Unachieved Goal Still Nagging You?

It's Time You Did Something About It

Cruising at 34,000 feet….sitting comfortably in a metal tube moving at a speed of over 500 miles an hour.


I’m headed home after attending a conference where I met Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of Charles Lindbergh. Commercial flight…the plane I’m sitting in…might have had a different journey to it’s creation if he hadn’t completed that flight.

Before Lindbergh’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic, airplanes were for barnstormer’s and mail delivery. After that it opened the world to the possibility of travel by air.

So you’re asking, “What’s that got to do with me?”

It’s all about the dream.

Lindbergh was a pilot and he heard about a competition to be the first person to cross the Atlantic non-stop (either direction). He set the goal to do it, in his mind he had already accomplished it.

I was ten when Neil Armstrong awkwardly hopped down the narrow ladder attached to the lunar module, Eagle. The grainy, flickering black and white images being beamed from the surface of the moon to planet earth had my full attention. I had been awe-struck by the rocket launches I watched on tv with each successive achievement to go higher, faster, farther…and come back!

Then he jumped. Just a small step, but one that – in that instance – both completed the challenge set by President Kennedy less than ten years before AND in the same instance unleashed the imagination, potential and possibilities of a generation.

I wanted to be an Astronaut!

I dreamed of the weightlessness of space, of the freedom and joy of bounding on the moon in the “bunny hop” of an astronaut.

I dreamed…

But there wasn’t anyone to say to me, “Yes, you can achieve your dream!”

I was a ten year old boy on a farm. School was school and it had its structure and designed outcomes. Not among them was a system to encourage and support a kids dreams.

When I was in the sixth grade I wasn’t very good at math. Standing at the black board working math problems, I stood in fear. Fear of failure and ridicule because I couldn’t work the problem.

Then Miss Carmelita Brown, our substitute teacher appeared behind my left shoulder. She softly put her hand on my shoulder. I couldn’t look at her, tears were filling my eyes.

“Mark, you can do this. I know you can.”

Her soft words of encouragement and belief in ME gave me enough belief in myself to struggle through the problem facing me on the board.


How many dreams, hopes and ideas have been laid on the shelf of our minds because we didn’t believe in ourselves enough and we didn’t have anyone around us to tell us “you can do this, I know you can”?

How many nights have you spent lying in bed awake telling yourself you’ll never have that dream or achieve that goal that’s been gnawing at you for years – because you don’t have the belief in yourself or the belief you do have is a question of whether you deserve it or not.

I’ve been there. You’ve been there. We don’t have to stay there.

That’s why I invite you to join me.

So many people talk about the dreams they have for their family, their career, or an idea they know will make a difference either in their life, the lives of others or their community. But no one is there to say “yes, you can do it!”

I grew up on a farm. In order to be successful on a farm there are certain tasks you must do. You’re wondering how farming relates to your dreams and goals?

Did you eat today? Do you wear jeans…made from cotton?

Okay, now that we have that out of the way. A farmer must have fertile soil to work with. He must have a plan for what crops he plans to grow. He must plant the right seeds and tend to them as they grow, cultivate them, eliminate the weeds, water the growing plants, let them mature until time for harvest.

All of this is being done in its own season.

You and I are no different.

In order for us to grow personally, spiritually, or professionally we have to follow a similar path. You must have a fertile mind in which the seeds of your dreams, goals and ideas can germinate and grow. Each of these may have their own season.

You need to continually water, cultivate and eliminate the weeds so you can, in the proper time, reap a harvest. The fulfillment of those dreams will be reaching the goals you set in your life and allowing your ideas to blossom.

That’s the path we’re on. And I want to walk with you. I call it the ‘Journey of Growth’.

This is the journey I have followed based on the rules and values I learned on the farm. But my journey isn’t complete yet either. And at times I have not given good enough attention to the growth and suffered a disappointing harvest. But I still have goals and dreams I want to accomplish. And part of my cultivation this time is helping someone else – maybe you – on your journey. I’m looking forward to some fantastic harvests!

We will spend time together here understanding how to create your own successful harvest and the steps and processes you must follow to make that happen. You may have heard many of the principles before. But you didn’t keep up with them very long. It’s hard to be your own encourager.

No, it won’t be a process for you to become an overnight success, but the success you define can be achieved by following the path of a farmer. Its origin goes all the way back to the beginning when man’s purpose was to till the soil and care for the garden.

So, right now, get a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and write down that one dream, goal or idea that you have been holding on to. The one that keeps creeping up in your thoughts. The one you can’t see to shake. Don’t share this with anyone. It’s one of your most prized possessions.

How do I know?

Because you’re still holding on to it!

I wasn’t able to become an astronaut for many reasons, but the biggest was my eyesight. I’d never qualify. However, the grandson of Charles Lindbergh was part of the creation of the X-Prize that created a competition to send a rocket to space, return safely and do it again within 30 days. The SpaceShipOne won the prize and the race for commercial, passenger space travel was born. I guess I still have a shot!

“But it’s a stupid dream and I’ll never have it” you say? Then why were you able to write it down?

Because deep down you still want it. You still have a small belief in yourself. You just need someone to tell you:

“Yes, you can do it”!

You need your own Miss Carmelita Brown.

Let me be that person for you.

Leave a comment below of your hopes and dreams you are still holding on to. If that feels too vulnerable, then subscribe to my blog to start your journey or send me an email privately at mark@markschinnerer.com and we can begin a conversation about your Journey of Growth.

Millennials – Love Them, Don’t Hate Them

Millennials – or Generation Y – have been studied, maligned and totally misunderstood.


Recently there has been a more dedicated effort to better understand Millennials.  This is an encouraging step that’s needed to see how this new generation will develop into the next leaders in society.

In the Fortune article 5 Myths About Millennials in the Workplace, they dispel the myth that Millennials have different career goals than Baby Boomers had at their age and want to be given positions of authority, seniority and leadership.

If you are a Boomer, think back to when you began your career.  You wanted those same opportunities – authority, seniority and leadership.

However, the big difference between the two is nothing more than the technology.  Boomers entered their careers in a hierarchical system where knowledge was king.  But knowledge came from either intense and special study or putting in your time in the system.

Today, knowledge is at our fingertips.  But Boomers are digital immigrants and Millennials are digital natives.

And because Millennials are fully immersed in today’s technology, they can access information quicker.  This gives them an advantage that, if given the chance to perform, will move their position and company farther much faster.

For Boomers it becomes a challenge to just keep up with the speed they access information and develop vital networks.

This is a generation driven by a desire to develop new skills, try new positions within the company they work for, and use the skills they develop to become better and more fulfilled.

The best we can do for them is to support them and help give them the opportunities to learn and grow.  It is our responsibility to guide them and mentor them while at the same time learn from them.

They will be the leaders of the future. They are begging to learn and grow.  They may frustrate us at times, but work with them and we’ll both be the better for it.

Why You Should Be Excited For Tomorrow

Our country remains the symbol of freedom, hope and dreams and every four years is another reminder that the ‘experiment’ continues to be successful.

beginningsThe only enjoyment I can get from our very contentious elections these days is the fact that anyone who aspires to a higher goal has the potential to achieve it

Whether you are seeking an elected office or a new job or promotion, your success is greatly determined by the belief you have in yourself.

YOU are the key to your own success.

Years ago I wanted a position with a local hospital.  I applied and had a phone interview.  I didn’t get the job.  Going back over the interview, I realized I didn’t have the belief in me to go get the job.  I didn’t expound on my achievements, knowledge and abilities.  At the very basic level, I didn’t think I deserved this job.

But that was early on in my own personal development journey.  It took a lot of work – on me.

I realized, if I didn’t continually fill my mind with positive thoughts, new ideas, encouragements and knowledge I would never be in a position to achieve greater goals for my career and family.

Filling your life with goals, positive thoughts, encouragement and knowledge is like the gas tank in your car.  As long as you keep putting in the gas you will keep on going farther and farther  If you don’t fill it with gas, eventually to stop and go no where.

Where are you today?

Are you growing, learning and filling your tank with the gas that will fuel your personal growth?  Or are you neglecting your tank, out of gas, and stuck?

If you’re moving forward, keep it up and keep going!  If you’re stuck, let me know in the comments below.  Let’s re-discover your dreams and goals, and put some gas I your tank.

This may be a new beginning with the leadership of our country, but the today can be an even greater beginning for the future of your life.

Seasons of Success

Fall is quickly coming on here in the Southwest – it seems everything in nature is slowing down and preparing for a rest.


Is that how fall makes you feel in your life or your career?

Growing up on a farm in Kansas, fall wasn’t just a time for harvest. It was also the beginning of setting a course for the next spring.

If we didn’t start planning for the next harvest now, it would very possibly be a poor one or not happen at all.

That’s the way it is with our own success.

No matter what season you are in with your career or success journey, your success depends directly on what you do to prepare for the next harvest.

A successful harvest begins with fertile soil.  It needs to have the right nutrients and micro-organisms built up that will enable the seed planted to germinate and grow into a healthy plant.

A successful harvest in our career and lives begins with a fertile mind.

You should be continually preparing your mind so that when you plant a seed of a new idea, a new project, or a new goal – you have nutrients to help it grow and flourish.

So what makes a mind fertile?

First, it is a mindset – a willingness – to make the necessary changes you might be lacking for a successful outcome.

Second, you need to spend time identifying what tools (skills, knowledge, books, mentors, coaches, etc.) you need to accomplish your successful outcome.

Third, you need to commit your time and effort to learning all it’s going to take to accomplish your successful outcome.

I am still a farm boy at heart and I always grow a garden.  Fall and harvest are wonderful and satisfying reaping the benefits of my labor.  But although it might be fall, I am already preparing the soil for the next season.  And, I already have my fall garden growing so I will always have a harvest.

Do that with your life and your career – your success journey.

Begin now to learn what your need, make plans for developing your mind and look forward to the harvest.

3 Lessons I Learned From An 8 Year Old Boy

Nicholas and his twin brother were born 8 years ago.  Nicholas was born without eyes, without hands, without feet and with a cleft palette.  The hopes and dreams his parents had of two boys growing up together, best friends, changed suddenly.

Today, they changed again.  Nicholas was buried today.

His life was short, he couldn’t speak, but he taught three important lessons.

1. We all have a purpose.

You spend most of your life trying to figure out what you are supposed to do with your life.  Sometimes you have a significant event in your life that sets you on a determined path, but for most of us we spend our lives trying to figure out our purpose.

So what could Nicholas teach us about having a purpose?  His entire life he depended on others for everything.

Nicholas taught us what true love is.

With all his physical challenges and needing to rely on everyone else, he only had love to give because he could offer nothing else.  And in return, he got a lot of it himself

His purpose on earth?  To teach us what true love is.

2. A smile speaks louder than words.

Even with his significant physical challenges, Nicholas’ face would light up into a big, bright smile that warmed you straight to the heart.  It was obvious he was full of life and making you smile was thrill for him.

We all have seen babies and children who learn what to do to make you smile.  Nicholas was no different.  His smile was infectious.  His joy became your joy.

The next time you meet someone on the street or in the hallway, just smile without speaking.  They will smile back.  It’s a universal language.

3. Everyone can be a superhero.


Nicholas’ hero was Superman.  His tiny casket had a red Superman cape.  Many at the funeral wore superhero shirts – mine was Batman.

What is a superhero?  It’s a costumed character who possesses superhuman powers and who is dedicated to fighting crime, protecting the public, and battling supervillains.

Nicholas needed superhero’s every day of his life.  His dad and mom are amazing superheros.  Every day they fought to protect Nicholas and battle the challenges he faced.

A superhero is someone who stands up for and fights for another.

Nicholas needed a superhero, he was surrounded by them, and was the toughest superhero of all.


There is a hole in the fabric of his family’s life, and his 8 year old twin brother is still trying to understand.

Say a prayer for his family, and thank God in heaven for putting one of his sweet angels on this earth for a little while to teach some valuable lessons.

The Devil Made Me Do It

From the very beginning of creation, we have been blaming others for our own actions.

The devil convinced Eve to eat the apple.  Eve convinced Adam it was good and he ate.

God asked Adam if he ate of the forbidden tree.  Adam said “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” (Adam had guts – even blamed God for giving him the woman!)

God asked Eve what she had done.  Eve said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

That’s where we got ‘The devil made me do it’.  (And you thought it was Flip Wilson!)

IMG_0441We aren’t very consistent with our blame game though.

We blame the gun in a shooting, but we don’t blame the car in a fatal accident.

Politicians blame the other party for not getting anything done and then participate in a sit-in protest not getting anything done.

I wonder what happened to responsibility?

Responsibility for our actions, responsibility for our words.

Every day there is another example of saying things that incite riots and violence – Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas.

It seems with every new situation there is someone stepping to a microphone to vilify a business, a race, or a political party.

Frankly, I’m tired of it!

What happened to responsibility?  What happened to leadership?

Responsibility and leadership are about others.

Blame is about power – and not the good kind.

Recently, I was listening to an episode of Jeff Brown’s podcast Read To Lead where he was interviewing Seth Godin.  Jeff asked him what he would fix in the world:

“I would like the people who work to tear down our culture and to tear down our society, to take responsibility and to own what they are choosing to do with their time and with their words and their weapons.

It’s so easy to blame the other guy and deny that it’s your responsibility when you act in a certain way, whether you are a freedom-fighter or a lawyer or something in between.  You need to own your actions.

Unfortunately, the combination of media and politics and commerce makes it too easy to say ‘I was just doing my job, I was just following orders’.

And I hope we can get ever closer to a place where people say ‘Yeah, I did that and I take responsibility’.  Because if they do say that I believe we will all end up acting better.”

It’s time we had real leaders step up, take responsibility for their words and their actions.  That’s real strength. Blaming others is weakness.

It can be scary to be responsible, I know from experience.  But the integrity and credibility to end up with is worth it.

So, I’m calling for a new set of leaders.  If you’re going to say it – own it and be prepared for the responsibility of the result.  If you’re going to do it – accept the consequences.

If you want to stand out in today’s world, be a responsible leader.


Leave a comment if you are through with the blame game and want to be a responsible, principled leader.  We need you.  We’ll do it together.


Independence Declared: Are We Still Free?

A person of principle, once a decision and course of action is set, doesn’t look back or second-guess their decision.

Firm resolve is sorely lacking today.  People seem to be afraid of criticism so either they don’t act with conviction or they absolve themselves from making decisions.

When it comes to leading a team, a company or a country a firm resolve is paramount.


July 4, 1776

By July 4, 1776 General George Washington was desperate for more reinforcements, flints for their guns and provisions for the troops.  Watching as the British and mercenary fleet kept growing in New York harbor, it was only a matter of time before an invasion by the British began.

For several weeks now, General Washington sent daily dispatches reminding the Congress of the critical shortage of men and supplies.  The few reinforcements that were being sent were not enough.

50,000 men were now gathered for a showdown on Manhattan Island.  Muskets and guns were about to resolve the issues being argued by statesmen on both sides of the Atlantic.  The only thing remaining was the bloody business of war, and that was in the hands of General George Washington.

For two days they edited and changed the wording of the declaration.  Finally, on the 4th of July 1776, there was agreement on the terms – the document was ready for the vote.  A final reading was ordered:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

A bold and majestic manifesto, a declaration of freedom for all men, unanimously adopted.  Men of proud vision and violent passion, they signed the charter of freedom with a bold and selfless vow:

“An for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

And so was born the United States of America.

Weary and tired, the delegates were anxious to leave.  First, a few last-minute details needed to be settled.

A committee to supervise the printing of the Declaration was elected and resolution passed to have copies sent for public reading to the assemblies of the newly independent states.  Copies were also sent to General Washington for proclamation to the Continental Army and to all the churches to be read on the first Lord’s day after it was received.

Before concluding this historic session on July 4th, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were elected to prepare the official seal, the Great Seal of the newly united states.

On July 8, 1776 the Declaration of Independence would be read for the first time in public, announced by the ringing of the Liberty Bell.

What do resolve to do today?  Don’t wait until tomorrow, you have probably been putting it off….for too long.  Do it today and move forward.

Leave a comment on your decision.  I’m rooting for you!

Terrorist Threat or Practical Joke?

You hear of a terrorist act or threat nearly every day now.  They are meant to intimidate and control the actions of others.

There’s nothing new about them, except today leaders have become cowed and controlled by even the threat of terrorism.  It didn’t use to be that way in America.

July 3, 1776

A day after agreeing to a resolution for independence, the delegates to Congress discovered an anonymous note which had been left on the President of Congress John Hancock’s Table.

It contained a warning that they all would be destroyed because they had “gone too far”.  A plot had been devised for their destruction unless they halted the course they were on.

Some thought it was a practical joke, but others were not so sure.  Several potential enemies of America had been rounded up in the past few days and a number of prominent loyalist sympathizers had been tarred and feathered.

Some delegates wanted to form a search party to search the cellar below the State House to see if a bomb had been hidden in the munitions storage.  Samuel Adams thought it a waste of time. It was decided to ignore the note and show the world they were not afraid of a silly note.

On the afternoon of July 3rd the delegates to Congress assembled to hear the first reading of the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson had been working on for several days.


The title, “A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled”, it was the first time the term “United States of America” had been used in a public document.  These were unfamiliar words that would ultimately define a nation.

The four-page document included a Preamble and philosophy of free government, accusations against King George III, and a closing resolution to be free and independent states.

As the day of debate drew to a close, the adoption of the declaration would have to wait another day.

While the delegates in Philadelphia debated the terms of independence, a former colleague, Silas Deane, was on a secret mission to France to convince them to sell munitions to the rebels in America.  Playing on the dislike of the British by the French, Deane located a source who offered an arrangement to provide the necessary munitions for a war.

Freedom was hard to come by in Europe.  Their best hop to be rid of the oppression of the British empire lie in America.

Asked why he was so willing to help, the new ally said, “May the tree of liberty grow and flourish there:  its seeds will scatter far, and the great winds of change shall blow them across the seas.  You deserve our help.  You deserve the help of all who call themselves friends of freedom!”

When someone is trying to bully or threaten you, do you cower and give in or do you stand by your principles?

Leave a comment about the principles you live by.

Leaders Find The Resolve to Act

We call it partisanship.  It’s actually a ploy to continue to divide in order to project implied power.

If the leaders of the states practiced partisanship to the level we experience today, we would be singing “God Save the Queen” as our national anthem.

However, when a people are pushed to the limit of their endurance and governed with oppression, undue taxation, and arrested without due process, the desire of each person to live free swells to a fever pitch.

July 2, 1776

Finally, they had reached the turning point.  The proposed resolution for independence was a step into the future.  No matter how rough or dangerous the road ahead is, they must go forward together and show the world a united front.

The divided colonies need to put aside their differences and rivalries and form a strong union.  They need to make a treaty with a foreign country which could supply them with munitions.

The debates had divided the delegates over boundaries, taxation and representation as well as whether Congress should have the right to limit the size of the states or have jurisdiction over the Indians and if they should be regulated by Congress.

Before the Congress could consider these issues, they must achieve independence first.

It was raining again on July 2nd and the Congress nervously anticipated the vote on the question of independence.  It was late in the afternoon and the delegates tired of waiting all day for all the delegates to be present.

The Secretary of Congress read the resolution to declare independence.  It contained three clauses that would dissolve all connection with the mother country and become free and independent states – to form a confederation – to secure alliances.  Hearing no objections, after three weeks of debate, the Secretary called the role…


After the final tally was made, twelve colonies had voted and all twelve were in favor of independence, with New York abstaining.  Any olive branch offered by Britain would now be on the point of a bayonet.

The shocking discovery of the plot to assassinate General Washington and his key officers was still the topic of discussion around the port of New York.  General Washington had approved the sentence of hanging for one of his favorite bodyguards involved in the plot.  It was carried out only 4 days earlier.

For days now, the harbor around New York received more and more British and mercenary ships with soldiers ordered to stop the rebellion in America.

Fully aware of the discussions and debates by Congress, General Washington assembled his rag-tag troops.  In silence, the militia men stood within sight of the growing number of ships in the harbor.  Washington let them know it was now about time for them to determine if Americans were to be free men or slaves.

Are in it for you?  Or do you work to resolve your difference?  Sometimes we can’t reach agreement so do you give in or stick to your principles?

Leave a comment and tell me about your resolve to act.