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CJ Calvert – Empowering Minds, Transforming Lives

CJ Calvert is a sought-after professional speaker and author known for his acclaimed work “Living an Exceptional LIFE” and his contributions as a ghostwriter for various business leaders. With over 20 years of extensive training experience, CJ addresses esteemed audiences regularly, including notable organizations such as IBM, Microsoft, Bank of Montreal, and The Co-Operators. He has also appeared on platforms like Breakfast Television and earned recognition as a dedicated bodybuilder. CJ graciously shared his insights and expertise despite his demanding schedule.

Is public speaking a skill everyone should cultivate, especially entrepreneurs? 

The benefits are manifold. Warren Buffett attributes a significant portion of his success to a public speaking course, acknowledging its role in enhancing his communication skills and influence. Whether delivering a boardroom presentation or a heartfelt toast, honing speaking skills is invaluable. Embracing discomfort and pushing beyond fears is a personal ethos of mine. Toastmasters’ clubs offer excellent resources for skill development. Speaking engagements are potent marketing tools for entrepreneurs, positioning them as subject matter experts and brand ambassadors. Commanding the room instills confidence in potential clients, fostering trust and visibility while potentially generating additional revenue streams.

In your experience, what common pitfalls should speakers avoid, especially when addressing large audiences?

One common pitfall is neglecting to tailor the message to the specific audience. Understanding the audience’s demographics, interests, and needs is crucial to ensure relevance and engagement. Additionally, over-reliance on scripted content can hinder authenticity and spontaneity. Flexibility and adaptability are essential to address audience reactions and maintain connection throughout the presentation. Lastly, inadequately preparing for technical issues or logistical challenges can disrupt the presentation flow and undermine credibility.

As a successful author and speaker, how do you continue to evolve and stay ahead in your field?

Continuous learning and innovation are essential for staying relevant and impactful. I prioritize staying informed about emerging trends, industry developments, and audience preferences through ongoing research and networking. Engaging with diverse perspectives and seeking feedback from peers and audiences helps me refine my craft and identify areas for improvement. Embracing new technologies and platforms allows me to reach broader audiences and experiment with different formats. Above all, remaining open-minded and adaptable enables me to evolve alongside the ever-changing landscape of the speaking industry.

You advocate for individuals to live exceptional lives. How do you ensure your messages resonate with diverse audiences? 

Each individual’s definition of an exceptional life is unique, yet the fundamental strategies for success remain consistent. While personal passions vary, the principles of strategic planning, resource prioritization, and decisive action apply universally. Understanding one’s subjective aspirations and applying these universal principles fosters personal growth and fulfillment.

Your book, “Living an Exceptional LIFE,” imparts valuable wisdom. What’s one key takeaway you’d like readers to remember? 

Challenge yourself daily. Embrace discomfort and push beyond perceived limits, whether physically, emotionally, or intellectually—incremental progress compounds over time, leading to significant transformations. Celebrate small victories and prioritize self-improvement in all aspects of life.

How do you start your day, to ensure it’s exceptional? 

I rise early and kick start my day with affirmations and physical activity, such as ten pushups, to energize both body and mind. Reviewing goals and visualizing success sets a proactive tone for the day. Nourishing my body with a nutrient-rich beverage and prioritizing a brief yet effective workout ensures a productive start, even with time constraints.

Your physical transformation is remarkable. Could you share more about that journey? 

In 2004, I embarked on a journey to overcome my struggle with weight gain. Collaborating with a bodybuilding coach, I committed to rigorous workouts and a tailored diet plan. Despite challenges, including late-night eating sessions to meet nutritional goals, I achieved remarkable results, gaining lean muscle mass and reducing body fat percentage. This transformation culminated in a successful bodybuilding competition, highlighting the power of dedication and strategic goal-setting.

What would you say to anyone wanting to make an impact in this field?

Consistency and authenticity are essential. Find your unique voice and message, and consistently refine and deliver it passionately and sincerely. Invest in continuous learning and skill development through formal training, mentorship, or self-study. Embrace opportunities to speak whenever possible at local events, workshops, or online platforms. And don’t be discouraged by setbacks; every experience is an opportunity for growth.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance amidst your busy schedules?

Prioritization and boundaries are essential. I allocate time for work, family, personal interests, and self-care, ensuring each aspect of my life receives adequate attention. Setting clear boundaries and learning to avoid non-essential commitments helps maintain focus and prevent burnout. Regularly evaluating priorities and adjusting schedules as needed allows for flexibility while ensuring overall balance and well-being.

What would you identify as the primary keys to your success? 

Goal setting is paramount. By setting clear objectives and relentlessly pursuing them, I’ve achieved significant milestones in various facets of life. Moreover, embracing self-awareness and confronting weaknesses has propelled personal growth and development.

Jennifer M Williams | Editor-in-Chief

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