Learn to ignore feedback

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I was watching Alan Weiss recently on Periscope, and he was discussing self worth. One of his pieces of advice was to “learn to ignore unsolicited feedback”. In a shocking twist, this made me think of Toastmasters. As a speaker in Toastmasters, I get a lot of feedback. Every speech I give, which is on average 2-4 […]

Opening – scene of the crime

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As I was working on my speech for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, I was listening to a storytelling lesson by Darren LaCroix, and he reminded me of a lesson that another World Champion, Ed Tate, teaches: Start your speech at the scene of the crime. He calls this the CSI opening – just like the […]

The value of coaching

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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 […]

Contest prep – story selection

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As I look forward to the 2016 Toastmasters International speech contest, I’ve given a bit of thought to what makes the best story for that event. In 2014, I told the story of my first assignment in the Air Force, and how I took an unexpected (to me) situation and, essentially, grew up. Titled, Not […]

Toastmasters: 2015 Contest season wrap-up

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This year, I had a chance to put my money where my mouth is in the International Speech Contest. As the Division S representative, I competed in our District Contest against some fierce competition, and I lost. Big time. In fact, if you saw the report that went to TI, you’d see I finished 6th…out […]

Toastmasters D22: Jim Key’s awesome contest training

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This last weekend, Jim Key visited the Kansas City metro here in District 22 and delivered what many agreed was an amazing session on Toastmasters Contests. In Jim’s presentation, YOUR Speech Contest Advantage, Jim provides his patented contest prepadvice, and some important specifics that many speakers forget (or ignore) when their preparing their speeches. Below […]

Winning the Toastmasters Speech Contest

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A few years ago, I wrote a post about contest speaking called Why you won’t win your contest. This included many of the things I see speaker do at contests all the way up to the World Championship. Since that post in 2011, I’ve seen a few more examples and even competed myself. Instead of […]

Toastmasters: Winning your Division Contest

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It’s been nearly two months since my area contest win, and yesterday I competed in our Division Contest. I was representing my club in the International Speech Contest category. Again, I told the story from my club and area contest, about my experience joining the US Air Force after graduation from High School. I did […]

Toastmasters: Winning your Area Contest

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Just one short week after my club contest win, I competed in our Area Contest. I was representing my club in the International Speech Contest category; I did not compete in the Table Topics category. I retold the story from my club contest, about my experience joining the US Air Force after graduation from High […]