Out of all the famous entrepreneurs of the last fifty years, Steve Jobs is perhaps the most iconic. The legendary founder of Apple and Pixar who brought us Toy Story, the Macintosh and the iPhone had a cult-like following that even his more financially successful counterparts were envious of. It seemed like no matter what Steve did, he did it with his own unique style – including giving speeches.
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Twenty years ago today I was returning to high school after Christmas break for the final time. It was my senior year and while most of my classmates were stressed out about their futures, I wasn’t due to the boldest decision I’ve ever made. A decision that worried everyone around me. Read more...(691 words, 4 images, estimated 2:46 mins reading time)
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. Read more...(388 words, 4 images, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)
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: Read more...(1132 words, 4 images, estimated 4:32 mins reading time)
So you’re doing some training or a workshop and you’ve got your PowerPoint presentation perfected. Now the big question: do you print out the slides and give them to your audience? I’m often asked this in my speaking classes and by clients and my answer is typical: it depends. Sometimes it makes sense to provide them to the audience prior to the presentation while other times it’s better to not. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros:Read more...(500 words, 4 images, estimated 2:00 mins reading time)
Through the years I’ve come into contact with thousands of people who have been involved with Toastmasters. Some only attended a single meeting as a guest while others have become International Directors. While the feelings towards this organization vary, most people love it and a few hate it. Personally, I have mostly positive feelings and experiences that I’ve accumulated over my four years as a member, but I also had a few not so good experiences as well. So when someone who had mostly negative experiences with it challenged me to write about the not so good things, I figured it would be an interesting challenge. His exact request was “tell me about some of the things you hate about Toastmasters.” Of course, I don’t hate per say anything about Toastmasters, so I’ve listed the things that peeve me the most. Additionally, I’ve include how to avoid or remedy the situations. Read more...(1330 words, 4 images, estimated 5:19 mins reading time)
Many professional speakers use social media but most of them use it wrong. They see it as a virtual extension of their speeches and simply talk to their audience while completely ignoring what’s coming back their way. While this is one way to use social media, it’s not the best. Most people don’t care about your blog posts, coupons, tips, events or products unless they know something about you. So if all you do is post this “me” information— everyone is going to ignore you.
Social media is about interactivity — something many speakers may not be used to with their presentations. I’m connected with a number of speakers on various social media services and I see so many of them posting things such as: Read more...(443 words, 4 images, estimated 1:46 mins reading time)