Speaking tips: The Power of Kryptonite

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Krypton is probably the most famous planet that never really existed (with respect to fans of Vulcan). The concept of that piece of Superman’s home world taking away his power is an analogy that rarely needs to be explained, and works on multiple levels. I’m not sure if I’m a super <S> speaker, but I found a piece […]

Not everyone wants your evaluation

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Do you sometimes receive feedback that you don’t really want (or don’t even need) to hear? How does it make you feel to receive unsolicited feedback?  In fact, does it matter if the unsolicited opinion comes from someone you totally respect or someone you don’t even know? It’s human nature to notice perceived flaws and to look for […]

Make your meeting time useful

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Authors, trainers and other random humans have made a living talking about what is wrong with corporations and their bureaucratic processes. One fan favorite – the hows and whys of corporate meetings. As a professional project manager (PM), I’ve experienced the best and worst in how to run a meeting. If you are a person that finds themselves […]

The value of a DTM award

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Is it worth your time to pursue a DTM award through Toastmasters? This is a question many active Toastmaster members struggle with, and it surprises me how many of them make their decision for the wrong reasons. The Distinguished Toasmasters (DTM) designation is awarded to Toastmaster members who have completed all of the educational speaking and […]

Break time: Enjoying Dilbert

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Editor’s note: Dilbert is a copyrighted comic strip written by Scott Adams that shows the humorous side of working in the cubicle world. I clipped Dilbert’s daily comic strip from my birthday in October and had it on my cubicle wall at work. In that strip (you can read it and come back), Dilbert is looking for approval […]

It Sucks to be You

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Have you ever had a boss tell you they couldn’t (sounded like code for wouldn’t) help you out with a problem? Just a few years ago, one of my jobs included training first time supervisors on evaluation methods. This training fell into two categories: performance feedback and annual evaluations. During the training, my focus was […]

Black Friday: The power of preparation

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Did you wake up at 4am on Black Friday to get a jump on the holiday shopping? You may thing that only a crazy few of us were out there driving in the dark, but you’d be wrong. One CNN report estimates 134 million shoppers were out yesterday, although better stats are expected in the […]

Speaking Tips: Using Notes

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Have you ever heard someone tell you that you shouldn’t use notes in a speech? It almost sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Imagine having to give a lengthy presentation, and you suddenly draw a blank. How do you handle it without a reference to where you should be? Here’s the secret: Go ahead and use notes. […]

Speaking Tips: Meeting Expectations

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At this weekend’s Toastmasters District 22 Fall Conference in Topeka Kansas, many people had the opportunity to see some outstanding presentations, including some fantastic contest speeches. Watching these marvelous efforts, the question came to my mind of how these contestants handle that “next speech” in their home club after working so hard to give a contest-quality speech.  I didn’t just think […]