advice

How Toastmasters Can Help Professional Speakers

I’m a big fan of false deadlines – milestones that force you to complete part or all of a task before its scheduled completion date. When I have a big project, the first thing I do is set a date to complete it. I then go through the process I teach in my goal setting workshop to create tasks and subtasks. But whenever possible, I’ll give myself a false deadline so that I ensure I stay on target. It can be as simple as sending a draft of a piece of writing to a friend to critique or as complex as testing out a new part of a talk on a safe audience.

How to Hire a Toastmaster For a Speech

Toastmasters is a great place to find good yet inexpensive speakers, especially for nonprofits and organizations on a budget. The nice thing about Toastmasters is you can often find incredible values as this is where many professional speakers go to start out. Many of these budding speakers are looking to just get their name out or get some “paid” (or non-Toastmasters) speeches on to their resumes. So it’s an excellent way to find a good speakers that will speak for free or a small honorarium.

There are a couple of things that you’ll want to do when you look to your local Toastmasters club for a speaker. But something you don’t want to do is just email all the local club Presidents to see if they have anyone willing to speak to your group. This is a common mistake companies and organizations make and usually results in them finding a speaker that’s eager to do the talk, but not necessarily the most qualified. So here are some tips:

How to Really Mess Up a Sales Letter

I was recently cleaning out some old emails and found a couple of emails from a vendor that got me thinking. Before we get to the actual email, let me tell you the situation. A few years ago, I had downloaded a trial version of a piece of software. Many companies require you to provide some information prior to allowing you to download, so I had provided whatever info they had requested. It’s not uncommon for companies to have someone in their sales group follow up. In this particular case, this vendor was in the same city as me (I’ll refrain from sharing the name of the company or sales person) so a salesman emailed me requesting a meeting.

Here is the email I recieved, with the subject being “[his company name] visit – [my company name]:”

It’s Okay if People Don’t Like You

I was driving the other day and an experience with a rude driver got me thinking about how you not only can’t please everyone, but you shouldn’t want to please everyone or even try to get everyone to like you. The bottom line is that while there are a lot of great people out there, there are also a lot of not so great people out there. In fact, there are quite a few people out there who are, to be blunt, just plain jerks.

Will Facebook Still be Around in Five Years?

A decade is an eternity in the world of technology. A site, service or company on top of the world today may be gone tomorrow. So the big question is the future of the world’s most popular social network – Facebook. Will it be as popular? Will something else be the next big thing? Will it even still be around?

Well, no one really knows for sure what will happen to Facebook or social media in general in the next few years. And with so many factors that could make or break a company, it’s about as easy to predict as it is to predict Barack Obama’s successor. Of course, that doesn’t scare me from taking a good educated guess so I’ll not only look at what might happen to Facebook, but also include some scenarios as to how it could be overtaken as the social media juggernaut. So let’s start with my prediction.

An Offer for My Friends in Toastmasters

With the Toastmasters year coming to a close, many clubs are racing to get those final goals completed and choose their officers for the coming year. It’s an exciting time but it’s also a time where people are looking into their own futures as speakers. So it got me thinking about my involvement with Toastmasters over the last couple years and how much fun it’s been to work with so many people from this great organization.

I’ve had a number of Toastmasters clubs contact me through the years for everything from permission to link to an article on this blog to inviting me to speak at their club if I’m ever in their area. The two topics that seem of most interest to them are how make their clubs successful and how to speak outside of Toastmasters.

10 Things to Never Post on Facebook

With use of social media on the rise, it’s not uncommon to see people misusing it. While spamming, cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying and identity theft are some of the misuses that often make the news, the most common misuse is people posting things they shouldn’t.

Now it’s debatable as to what’s acceptable to post to social media depending on your particular situation. You may not be identifiable or have your security settings mastered so only people close to you see what you post. But one thing to consider is that even if you have your profile locked down is that social media sites are prone to bugs and policy changes – both of which can give access to people you don’t want looking at your profile. So here are ten things to never post to Facebook.