Rank #1: Toastcaster 85 Comminication Nuggets: Delivering Your Message - Julia Ewing
Julia attended Greg's educational on Podcasting and Podcast Interviews at a recent District 99 Toastmasters Convention in Edmonton. Her name was selected from over 60 people who were willing to offer Greg feedback on his session in exchange for the possibility of an exclusive one-on-one opportunty to be either a guest or a co-host on an upcoming show. This is Julia's podcast debut.
You can reach Julia on LinkedIn.
Jul 30 2017
Rank #2: Toastcaster 93 Speaking Up without Freaking Out - Matt Abrahams
[28:08] In this episode Greg Gazin speaks with communications expert Matt Abrahams who shares six of his many techniques to calm presentation jitters and a whole lot more.
Matt is an educator and coach who teaches Strategic Communication for Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Presentation Skills for Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. He’s also co-founder of coaching consulting practice Bold Echo Communication Solutions where he helps presenters at all levels of an organization to become more confident and compelling speakers.
He’s also the author of the Speaking Up without Freaking Out, now in its 3rd edition.
You can also catch Matt on the Toastmasters Podcast, Episode 111, with Greg Gazin and Ryan Levesque where he spoke on how to Be Confident When Caught Off Guard.
Matt’s Six techniques are also available as an infographic for quick reference.
Matt can be reached at NoFreakingSpeaking.com.
Mar 14 2018
Rank #3: Toastcaster 81 Demystifying Top Toastmasters Myths - Mike Raffety DTM, PID
[27:22] Mike Raffety, DTM, PID is very active on both the Official Toastmasters Facebook page and LinkedIn group answering many Toastmasters related questions. So we reached out to Mike in Chicago and asked him to give us his take on the Toastmasters Club Myths in the Toastmasters International April 2017 Leader Letter as well as a few other club, contest and speech myths he covered in a 2015 blog post at MikeRaffety.com. Even experienced Toastmasters may be surprised about some things many thought to be true, are simply not.
May 01 2017
Rank #4: Toastcaster 97 Memory Techniques to Remember Just About Anything - Kevin Achtzener
[25:07] We're so busy and bombarded with information that it's sometimes so hard to remember even the simplest things let alone details. In this episode, Greg speaks with Toastcaster regular Kevin Achtzener, DTM, a self-proclaimed Future Memory Expert who shares techniques for better recall.
Kevin’s obsession for remembering things and these techniques have helped him not only memorize a shuffled deck of cards in five minutes but also creative methods to recall large numbers – like part numbers and serial numbers to names and words. What might surprise you is some of his techniques involve using pictures, humor and even cartoon characters.
Kevin is from Edmonton, Canada and known as a Visual Productivity expert. Kevin can be reached at visualproductivity.net.
Jul 01 2018
Rank #5: Toastcaster 118 - Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking - Lisa Wentz
[31:42] In this Episode, Greg speaks with Lisa Wentz about her new book, Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking from LID Publishing. It’s part of Lisa speaking and coaching program she’s releasing to the public for the first time. It’s cleverly broken into 3 sections: What’s holding us back, Vocal Training and Delivery and contains many topics you won’t see in most books on Public Speaking including 35 in-depth exercises.
Lisa will offer some valuable advice including dealing with your inner critic before, during and after your speech as well as a few stories from her book and how some of the exercises work.
Lisa Wentz has an extensive background in psychology, professional acting training and live performance. She has a Master’s Degree in Voice and Speech studies from the UK and is the founder of the San Francisco Voice Centre and has since coached public speaking clients from 37 countries. She can be reached at LisaWentz.com. You can find her book on Amazon.
Jun 01 2019
Rank #6: Toastcaster 115 Authentic Leadership and What it Really Means - Jeff Davis
[31:57] We’ve all heard the term Authentic Leadership, but what is it really all about? In this episode we demystify the topic as Greg speaks with entrepreneur, TEDx speaker and author and Jeff Davis. Davis, who is passionate about Authentic Leadership, shares his personal experiences and offers an insight on why it’s important and practical strategies on how we can all become authentic leaders.
We learn that the road to Authentic Leadership begins way before we become a leader or even get our first job. We will realize that things you have been afraid or embarrassed to share before can help you and others. In fact, Jeff demonstrates the value is of being vulnerable wearing his heart on his sleeve about how he was bullied in school, how that followed him into college and how he had to deal with it. We also learn about some of the challenges of becoming an authentic leader especially in an environment or culture that doesn’t value it.
We also hear a little about his books with big titles, The Power of Authentic Leadership: Activating the 13 Keys to Achieving Prosperity Through Authenticity and Reach Your Mountaintop: 10 Keys to Finding the Hidden Opportunity in Your Setbacks, Flipping What You’ve Heard on Its Head, and Achieving Legendary Goals.
Jeff Davis, originally from Newtown, Connecticut, USA now lives in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He can be reached at JeffDSpeaks.com
Apr 16 2019
Rank #7: Toastcaster 98 Financial Literacy Leadership in Her Community - Natalie Torres-Haddad
[23:41] In this episode Greg speaks with Natalie Torres-Haddad who has become a voice for Latino millennials. She first found her niche in her community and is now expanding her reach around the world advocating for financial literacy and to uplift those feeling overwhelmed by debt.
Natalie, a.k.a The Financially Savvy Latina, shares a little of her journey, offering tips on taking on leadership within your community. She also gives us an insight on her unexpected TEDx talk experience entitled The Foreign Language of Financial Literacy and more.
Natalie was raised in Inglewood (a southwest Los Angeles county). She’s also, an International Award Winning Author with her book, Financially Savvy in 20 mins (and a new podcast of the same name in both English in Spanish), a workshop facilitator, Real Estate investor and Toastmaster.
Jul 22 2018
Rank #8: Toastcaster 104 3I-Racer Technique for More Engaging Storytelling - Jock Mackenzie
Our guest, Jock D. Mackenzie has those credentials and more with 30 years in the field mostly teaching Language Arts to Middle School and Upper Elementary, now semi-retired, he takes those skills on the road. Jock is a published author having written the book, Essay Writing: Teaching the Basics from the Ground Up (2007). He’s also a Toastmaster with the Sunrise Club in Red Deer, Alberta Canada.
In this episode Jock answers the question, “What makes a good story?” by illustrating his 3I-Racer plot structure of a short story, a mnemonic method that he still uses today for personal, social, business or work situations. He’ll share some writing techniques, elaborating on “picture a story,” that can also be used effectively to improve both our speaking and presenting skills.
You can read more about Jock and his methods on his blog, Teacher Man, Teacher Ms.
Oct 21 2018
Rank #9: Toastcaster 117 – Memory & Visualization Techniques for Better Recall & Learning – Kevin Achtzener
[25:00] In this episode Greg speaks with regular guest Kevin Achtzener in his 7th appearance on ToastCaster, as a follow up to Episode #97, “Memory Techniques to Remember Just About Anything.”
Today Kevin talks about how his techniques have evolved and shares with us a new concept he’s learned about memory and how he’s been able to not only memorize key facts for his University Classes, but also how he processes and synthesizes the information he’s learning.
Kevin reminds us that memory is not just about remembering or encoding, but also about being able to recall the information. He shares examples how he remembers things by visualization, creating images of phrases in his mind like avatars, placing then recalling them using the memories of his childhood home as a backdrop or storage grid.
Kevin also introduces the audience to the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a process that helps people learn and how this model fit into the big picture. Ideas and methods you’ll hear in the podcast not only apply to courses, but also for preparing and delivering speeches, presentations reports and anything you really need to learn.
Kevin Achtzener specializes in Mind Mapping, memory techniques, productivity and learning. He can be reached at VisualProductivity.net.
May 18 2019
Rank #10: Toastcaster 100: Humble Beginnings & Lessons Learned Over 100 Episodes
[28:46] In the 100th episode of Toastcaster, we have a look back to our humble beginnings; some discoveries and lessons learned over 100 episodes. We also invite back Mona Cooley, Founder, Cool Family Solutions, Past Toastmasters District 42 Governor from Calgary, AB and first guest for the inaugural episode 1 recorded back in 2006 when podcasting was in its infancy and its technology still crude.
We hear how the podcast started as a High Performance Leadership Project (HPL) for Toastmasters. And with 100 episodes, over 220,000 downloads and 2,000,000 feed hits later, the podcast now serves as a resource not only for the Toastmasters Community, but for anyone who wants to build their confidence and improve both their communication and leadership skills.
We also hear how both Toastcaster Host Greg Gazin and Mona were excited yet nervous about taking on the project; some of the things they’ve learned about podcasting, the interview process and things they learned about themselves. You’ll hear why the audio format is good and get an insight on Greg’s vision for the podcast and what you can forward to in the future as the podcast evolves.
As you listen, you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks about preparing and conducting interviews, especially the importance of asking the right questions, finding focus and preparing for nervous guests.
And finally, thanks to you, all our listeners for tuning in for every episode and to all the suggestions and feedback you’ve given us. We hope you continue to enjoy the Toastcaster Podcast.
Aug 15 2018
Rank #11: Toastcaster 111 How to Avoid an Onstage Meltdown - Hollywood Style
[08:55] When speaking, presenting or even just talking to someone, when something goes awry, a meltdown can occur. And while it seems just another headline when it comes to celebrities like Elton John and Kanye West, when it happens to mere mortals and high-profile people too, it can have some serious ramifications if not dealt with effectively.
In this episode Greg offers four valuable tips on taking leadership in this situation on how to avoid a meltdown and what to do should things go awry. He recalls, as an example, an incident, which he wrote about that happened a few years back at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). It involves Hollywood Director and Producer Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock and the Transformers movie series) who was hired by Samsung to promote the new ultra high-definition 4K TV, but when an issue came up with the teleprompter, as he recounted to TMZ, “he cracked under pressure,” and bolted off the stage.
Jan 31 2019
Rank #12: Toastcaster 110 Why Leaders and Book Lovers need a Kindle Paperwhite
[10:21] I learned many years ago that to be a great writer, you must also be an avid reader. I’ve continued to take that sage advice and always make sure I have a book, a magazine or something to read in tow. So if I ever have a spare moment I could engage my mind. I truly believe that those word of wisdom or words on a page should extend to helping one become a better speaker and a better leader. And while I do love the feel of a paper book and will never totally go away from that format, the latest 4th generation Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a gadget that you should never leave home without. In the episode, you hear my reasoning for embracing the new Kindle Paperwhite along with a mini-review.
You can also read a full review of the 4th Generation Paperwhite on my blog at Gadgetguy.ca or at Troy Media, entitled: New Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite takes quite a splash. I also make reference to the previous 3rd generation Kindle Paperwhite, entitled, Review: Latest Kindle Paperwhite right for you? from 2015 which includes that review and a little more info on the Amazon Kindle itself.
Jan 27 2019
Rank #13: Toastcaster 114 Crutch and Filler Words Cripple Your Message and Reduce Credibility
[11:34] Simple crutch and filler words are sabotaging your speeches and crippling your communications and you may not even realize it’s happening.
In this episode, Greg takes a look at a number of these unwanted words and why we so often use them. He identifies some famous people who are also afflicted with this habit and offers tips and techniques as to how to rid them from your vocabulary as well as where to find help to do so. This is an updated version and reboot of Toastcaster Episode 42 and an article which can be found at GadgetGreg.com. (Please Note: The Ummo App mentioned in the episode is now no longer being supported by the developer)
Apr 01 2019
Rank #14: Toastcaster 106 Learn in Business how to know what you don’t know - Lance Miller
[39:45] There are the usual things you need to know when launching a new product, service or business - and you can easily Google those but the one factor, which can mean the difference between success and failure, is discovering what you don’t know and actually preparing for it.
In this episode, Greg speaks with our guest, Lance Miller. From Glendale, California, Lance is a world renowned, keynote speaker, trainer, coach & author. Most of us know him as the Toastmasters' 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking but he’s also a successful businessman - having launched five successful new business start-ups and over two dozen new product/service launches. But admittedly, he’s also had a dozen or so failures.
So today, Lance, a regular on Toastcaster, shares some of what he knows and how he discovered what he didn’t know on his journey and how we can learn from what he experienced. This includes his brand new start-up venture - The World Champion Online Speakers Summit where people have an opportunity to watch and hear in depth over 24 World Champs about their journeys, lessons learned and even his or her winning speech.
Nov 18 2018
Rank #15: Toastcaster 103 Is Leadership for Me? Guest: Mohammed Murad, DTM, PIP
[27:58] At every step of your life, our guest Mohammed Murad believes that we need to ask ourselves, the thought provoking question, “Is leadership for me?”
In this episode Murad gives context to this question and explains what this means. He also impresses upon us how Leadership is different for everyone. He also shares his vast leadership journey and gives us his 4 H’s of Leadership and what motivated him to take voluntary early retirement from the police force after 20 years of service to pursue his entrepreneurial journey.
Mohammed Murad is from Dubai, UAE. He is an entrepreneur and managing director of three companies. He has extensive experience in global marketing and branding emergency medical services management, human resource development and strategic planning for organizations. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster and Past Toastmasters International President 2014-15. (Orginal Interview 06/2017)
Murad delivered his keynote, “Is Leadership for Me?” as an educational at the recent 2018 Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago. You can subscribe to the recording at ToastmastersOnDemand.com.
Oct 01 2018
Rank #16: Toastcaster 108 How to Photoshop Your Career & Your Life - Joe MacKay
In this episode and perfect for this time of year and based on his article, Joe goes through six Photoshop tools as the basis for analogies, explaining how all of us can set up our own canvas to design our careers and our lives - of course, without a computer.
Joe insists that we are all artists of our own imagination and we each need to become the Leonardo da Vinci of our own life.
If you listen to the end, Joe adds a 7th bonus tool. You'll have to tune in to find out what it is.
Joe is an award-winning videographer in both the public & private sector having work in a number of creative disciplines over the past 20 years. His current inspiration is creativity and this soon to be author is working on his 1st book on inspiration to be released later in 2019. Joe is also a former Toastmaster and has been a regular guest on the podcast starting on Episode #3 way back in 2007.
Joe lives in St. Albert, Alberta Canada.He can be reached at ImaginationSuperstation.com.
Dec 20 2018
Rank #17: Toastcaster 105 Weego - Power That Goes Wherever You Go
[10:27] At some recent speaking events and conferences what stood out for me besides the speeches and sessions were the number of people in need or in search of battery power. So in this episode we thought we’d bring you a gadget intervention, one that every leader, every speaker or anyone who requires lots of battery power should never leave home without.
Today, we look at the Weego Jump Starter 44, an affordable and portable smart power charger and power pack that not only charges your portable electronics, but can also jumpstart your car, truck or even motorcycle. And it’s not just any charger, it’s a smart charger – but you’ll have to listen in to find out more.
Nov 01 2018
Rank #18: Toastcaster 113 Top 3 Pro Tips for a Virtual Stage & Presenting On-Line
[15:22] The right stage presence can make or break a performance regardless of whatever words that may be coming out of your mouth. But what about an off-stage presence, that virtual presence, those times when you’re giving a presentation on-line, a webinar, doing an interview or recording a podcast anytime you’re in front of a computer screen?
In this episode, Greg, a.k.a The Gadget Guy offers an extended look at three pro tips and one bonus tip and things to consider when you’re presenting in a virtual world, things that may differ from when you are presenting on a traditional stage. This can help you take your next delivery from good to great.
Photo Courtesy Zoom.
Mar 25 2019
Rank #19: Toastcaster 88 Impromptu Speaking & Winning a Table Topics Competition - Blaine Zuk
Zuk, a nine-year member of Dawnbreakers Toastmasters in Edmonton, has MBA and PMP designations and is a Project Manager and Change Manager in the healthcare informatics field. He grew up and currently lives on a farm, bringing stories of his work and life experience into his speeches
He shares with us his experience competing in the contest, talks about the Table Topics competition question and his thought process on how he went about answering it. He also gives us some insight on impromptu speaking and tips on how you can do better at Table Topics at your club, work or in any social situation.
Blaine can be reached at BlaineSpeaks.com.
Dec 01 2017
Rank #20: Toastcaster 116 Maximizing Learning & Engagement When Facilitating Webinars – Tali Bar-Or
[31:41] It’s not uncommon for training to be delivered on-line. But with multitasking at an all-time high and attention spans at an all-time low, how do you ensure your participants remain engaged and involved and get the most from your webinar training? In this episode, Greg speaks with Tali Bar-Or, a 20-year veteran in training and facilitation including training facilitators remotely for content delivery.
Tali will share tips, tricks and best practices she uses to succeed to keeping her webinar attendees engaged and involved while maximizing their learning. You’ll hear how she visualizes her audience, acknowledging how people listen differently and selectively. She offers 2 strategies she learned to bring people back to focus including two words to alert wandering minds plus four key triggers designed to indicate to the participants what’s coming next.
You’ll also discover how to plan ahead to deal with distractions and disruptions and how to create an environment where they don’t happen. You’ll learn about techniques for pausing and why it’s important to turn the spotlight on to your participants.
You’ll also hear about her effective opening and closing protocols for her sessions, potential pitfalls and mistakes she’s learned along the way, and more.
Most of Tali’s golden nuggets can also be applied to any live training session or facilitation.
Tali Bar-Or is from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. She is the Lead Facilitator for Crestcom Canada and Lead Global Facilitator for Colorado-based Crestcom International, which provides Professional Leadership and Sales training in 60+ countries and 22+ languages. Tali can be reached on LinkedIn or at TaliBarOr@Crestcom.ca.
(NOTE: This episode is a great tie-in to Episode 113: Tips for Virtual Stage and Presenting On-Line.)
May 01 2019