Recently I competed in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the Area level. After all of the speeches, the Contest Master interviewed each of the contestants and asked me, “why do you compete?” I had to think about my answer, and it felt odd. That’s probably because I have more than one answer, and I
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Why cynicism is easy: 1. It gives us an out. We can dump the responsibility somewhere else, so the failure isn’t our fault. After all, effort is a risk, while blaming a poor economy, not enough time or not having support removes that risk. Remember – this also means the success doesn’t get to be
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So I opened 2016 by trying something new. I set weekly goals and tried to keep them instead of an annual resolution. The result? Mixed. I met some goals, and didn’t even get close on others. The excuses and reasons were varied and sometimes entertaining (to me) but the result was less than amazing, to
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Last Week I posted about my first week of trying a one-week resolution. This was my alternative to the standard New Years Resolution. One thing I noticed last week – I started thinking about multiple week goals for the next few months. I had to stop myself from taking the dark path to some big-ticket
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Last week I posted about a weekly resolution idea. I did keep my first resolution, which was to post something each day this week. On to week two!

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A while back, I heard Willie Jolley speak (in Nevada, MO), and learned about his 7 Principles for the Attitude of Excellence : 1. Don’t panic – remember, this to shall pass 2. Don’t buy into the gloom and doom 3. Don’t let your pride poison your prosperity. He told the story about having an
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What is the ideal outcome you’d like to experience? From Alan Weiss – Million Dollar Coaching (reviewed here) Have you ever had a speaking goal to achieve, such as winning a speech contest or speaking in front of a larger group? Worried that practicing in front of your mirror, or even your Toastmasters Club, may
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Darren’s #10 Speaking Mistake was, Not Getting Clear on the Message. (more on his top 10 list here). I was asked recently, “What if I don’t have a point for my speech?” My reply…”Why are you speaking?” In Darren’s session, he made two points about this mistake that I felt were very important: 1. What
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“Don’t Dilute your Power” One of the more interesting things I learned from Darren LaCroix last night was how using, or misusing, the stage could add to, or dilute, your power as a speaker. Darren demonstrated this by showing how a point made while moving across the stage comes off as less powerful than a
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Darren LaCroix delivered his remarkable presentation, Darren’s 10 Biggest Speaking Mistakes! (and how to avoid them) in Kansas City this evening. More than 50 Toastmasters and NSA members attended the event. I won’t spoil anything by listing out the 10 mistakes here, but I will share a link so you can get them directly from
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