Laughing, Talking Sunshine!

“Grandma, why is there no sunshine in your room? Why is it so musty and always dark in here, Grandma?” asked li’l Teresita of her grandmother.

“Well, it’s because the room has no windows, child,” replied the kindly old woman.

“I am going to go and ask Daddy to install some windows right away,” she responded and ran down the spindly stairs towards the living room of their house.

The house they lived in was wedged between several other tall, scrawny structures and the back of the house hung on for dear life to the rocky hills of their little town in the province of Quezon, Philippines.

Her father was sitting on the dining table sifting through bills to pay that kept piling up from month to month. Her mother’s back was towards her and her father. She was busy stirring up some food on that, slightly chilly November morning in the Philippines.

“Daddy, Daddy I want us to place some windows in Grandma’s room upstairs in the attic. It’s too dark and musty there when we play,” she said in an excited and eager voice. Her father did not respond but continued to arrange and re-arrange the papers on the table. Teresita hopped up a chair and held his arm and shook it, “Dad, the room is so dark that we can barely see little shells we use for the Soonka* game we play. Please, Daddy!”

He dropped the papers and the pen he was holding, leaned back into the chair and sucked in some cold air. “Tess, our home is cramped in between other homes and has a rock-face behind, we can’t place a window anywhere in that room.”

“But Daddy, the room is so dark, so musty. Please Daddy place in a window. Grandma will be happy. We’ll be able to play,” she said in a raised voice. Her mother let go of the spatula she was stirring the food with, turned around and a lump formed up in her throat. She knew her mother who’d been their dependent for years now was getting old and they were living through some hard times. Her husband worked hard but he was still unable to bring in enough. “Don’t be such a pest child! Our home faces south. We have no money. There is no way we can place a window in Grandma’s room!” he snapped at his daughter. Teresita’s mother saw her little girl’s face shrink and her eyes water as she got off the chair and ran out of the house sobbing.

Out on the street, the sun was about to set and the country breeze quickly dried up the tears that had run down Teresita’s face. Within moments she got engrossed with the birds, the bees and the flowers that abound in the provinces of the Philippines. The evening sun was kind on her face and as the sun-rays fell on her arms, she smiled warmly, “Why don’t I,” she thought to herself “catch some sunshine and then bring it up to Grandma’s room in the attic?”

Quickly she held up the edges off her long, frilly skirt and faced the sun so the rays fell right into the open, carved out apron front. She held her breath as the apron-front of her skirt filled up with sunshine. She quickly scooped it up, brought the ends together, captured the sunshine in her skirt and ran up to Grandma’s room. “Grandma, Grandma, I brought you something. I brought you sunshine,” she yelled and let drop the apron-front. Nothing happened. She was shocked. “I brought you sunshine Grandma. I really did. I don’t know where it went,” she said as her lips pursed up in pain. “Oh, not to worry,” said her Grandma “come let me tell you a Christmas story.” She grabbed, scooped up the child in her arms and began to tell her a story.Teresita-230x300

The next morning, Teresita was out again playing in the yard. The sun was brighter and richer upon her as she played in the yard. “This time” she said to her-self “I will not fail. I will not spill the sunshine as I run up to Grandma’s room.” She held out the front of her skirt for a longer time. When she felt the heat gather, she wrapped it very tightly and then sprinted into her house and up the shanty stairs to her Grandma’s room and announced, “I brought sunshine. I did. I did!” Yet, when she let drop the apron-front of her skirt there was nothing. Again the grandmother scooped her up in her arms and began to hum her a little love song.

On another day Teresita resolved to win against the disappearing sunshine from her trap. She glued a large piece of a black, plastic sheet to her skirt’s apron-front. She grabbed a few clothe-spins and set out onto the front yard. With her jaws tightened and her lips narrowed, she faced the sun with squinted eyes and held up the plastic-coated, apron-front of her dress for a long while. With a large swing of her hands, she mightily closed and captured the sunshine. Stuck in a few clothespins on the little openings in the wrap and bolted up to her grandmother’s room. Again, when she opened up her huge gift-package for Grandma there was nothing in it. Nothing! Nada!

Tears the size of tennis balls rolled down her cheeks, her shoulders slumped and her knees were about to buckle when the kindly, old Grandmother quickly caught her and sat her on her lap at the bed. “Why can’t I bring you any sunshine, Grandma?” she cried. “Why can’t I make your room a happier and a brighter place, Grandma?”

“Child, sweet child” cried out her grandmother with tears forming up in her old eyes too, “every time you come up here and spend time with me, I become happy. Your sounds, your smiles and your sheer presence, here in my life, make my whole world brilliant. You are my laughing, talking and living sunshine. Yes, you are li’l Teresita. In your presence my spirits light up as if it were Christmas all the time.”

From that day on, the sounds of Teresita and her Grandmother’s happy laughter echo through the little, rolling hills of the Philippines.


Story inspired by the book, the HeART of STORY.

High Impact Presentations

Dr Robert Cialdini of “The Psychology of Persuasion,” made some valid and breakthrough points when he laid down his seven laws of persuading others.

We can, in business presentations too, use the science behind these laws. Here’s how it can be done.

Law One, Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor for a favor.

While presenting make sincere efforts to educate your audience a bit. Offer insights into life, offer ways to improve work or, really offer tangible value. This will perk up people and make them trust you and the rest of your proposals.

Presentation Skills by Raju Mandhyan

Presentation Skills by Raju Mandhyan

Law Two, Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment.

While presenting ask several rhetorical and open ended questions to which your audience will respond, speak up and, automatically, commit to their expressions which they authored and thus own.

Also make sure that not only talk but your business is simple, streamlined and quite high on commitment and consistency when it comes to delivering the goodies you are talking about. This is what my book, The HeART of Public Speaking with Mind Mapping is mostly about.

Law Three, Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing.

In presentations, offer true and tested testimonials from well known people or organizations or even cite true examples of successful usage of your products or services by others.

Law Four, Authority – People will tend to be influenced by authorities and celebrities.

If your product or service is certified, recognized by a legit institution or authority, please make a point to cite that fact. This action authenticates all other aspects of your presentation or persuasion.

Law Five, Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like.

Presentation skills teachers and trainers across the world will tell you to dress nicely, groom yourself well, smell good and smile.  I say yes to all that and would like to add that you must also feel nice inside, groom your heart and mind and be happy and loving towards your audience. They will like you and they will give heed to your presentation.

Law Six, Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand and therefore give power to the one owning title to the things in demand.

Uhh, be a little careful with this one when it comes to business presentations. Today, we live in an abundant world driven by eco-consciousness and ethics. State and express scarcity of products or services only if there is one. Do not create an artificial perception of scarcity. Your audience might end up hating you for life. You need to earn, have and keep their trust. Truly.

Law Seven, Stay Cool – This one is by yours trulyOne thing Dr. Cialdini didn’t talk about and which is very high up for me while making high impact presentations is that one must always stay cool. Stay cool when under pressure. Stay cool when it is hot in the room. Stay cool when things go wrong. Stay cool even when you are royally messing up your business talk. Stay cool because people have the uncanny ability to read real intentions which hide behind external behavior and actions. Yes, stay really cool to make high impact presentations.

Intentions of the Salesperson, Sales Coach and the Organization

Well, here’s the second question? In a sales coaching interaction whose intentions must take priority the salespersons, the sales manager’s or the goals of the whole organization? Do take note that I am, specifically, talking about sales coaching and not any other form of coaching.

This was one of the five questions raised during my last HeART2HeART Sales Coaching Seminar. I already answered the first question as to how long should a coaching intervention last through my article; Coaching, Seventy Times Seven.

Now, back to the question whose intentions must be considered most important?

Read more

Inner Sun

An Unbalanced Life.

Most everyone is focused on living a balanced life. What exactly is a balanced life? Twenty fours divided equally between work, play, family, personal needs and service to the world? Or, is it stress at work, peace at home?