There Are Such Things as Dumb Questions and People Ask Them All the Time

When I was an instructor in graduate school, the syllabus I handed out to my students had a part that said “there’s no such thing as a dumb question. The only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask.” Having just finished my undergraduate studies, I knew this statement was garbage. I explained my thoughts to the person who insisted we put it in the syllabus, but she insisted that I was wrong. It wasn’t long before my point was proven.

In one of my classes, I was explaining how we’d be learning to use the internet – a relatively new concept back in 1996. One student raised his hand and asked “are we going to look at porn?” I replied by pointing out the dumb question quote in the syllabus and thanked him for helping me prove my point.

To Do Lists Are Useless

To do lists really are useless. The remind me of the pile of junk mail on my desk – they keep growing and growing until I finally get frustrated and just wipe it out. Throughout the years I’ve experimented with various type of to do lists: paper based, electronic and I even created several types of my own. But I’ve found a tool that’s been around a lot longer that works much more effectively: the calendar.

A Primer for Attending Your First Toastmasters Meeting as a Guest

Whether it’s a goal, resolution or something in your life has made it you no longer able to procrastinate it away, you’ve decided to finally attend a Toastmasters meeting. If you keep in mind that the two biggest social fears are public speaking and meeting new people, you can probably see that going to a Toastmasters meeting for the first time is a double challenge. So here’s some of the advice that I give to those who attend my public speaking classes that are interested in Toastmasters. Much of this advice is applicable to attending any club meeting for the first time – I share most of this with those who attend my Networking classes.

Nighttime Courage

I couldn’t sleep one night last week so to be productive, I decided to follow up on some emails. Many of these emails were things that I had put off because I wanted to word them the right way. For example, I had to nudge a few people who I was awaiting a response from. But that night, I didn’t seem to care; no more beating around the bush – I was direct and to the point.

After that, I logged into the various social media sites to see what my friends were up to and saw some posts from friends from high school. I immediately thought about how life would have been different at that stage of my life had I had social media. No more waiting until school the next day for communicating – I could just send an email whenever. And that got me thinking about how today’s technology could have certainly made things interesting back then.