Before I Begin…

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Have you ever heard a speaker say, “Before I start…” (or something similar) when beginning their presentation? Are they using phantom time? Bad news – “Before I begin…” was, well, before…you…began… That’s right, once your introduction is complete, everything you say is counted against your time. If your boss asked you to provide 1-2 minutes […]

Be Great like Kathy Griffin

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I just saw Kathy Griffin (My Life on the D-list) perform here in Wichita. In short,  she Rocks. However, my point here isn’t to go on about her (which I would be happy to do). Instead, I want to convey the great example of how a professional presenter can be successful. Here are a couple […]

Toastmasters: Don’t overdo it

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As the Toastmasters contest season is progressing, I’ve seen some speakers do a few things that may have cost them the win in their club contests. Of course, one or two corrections won’t make you world champ, but if your making some of these mistakes, you won’t even be club champ: 1. Don’t add words. […]

You must get them involved

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When you speak to a friend or your boss, do you simply talk for 30-minutes without a pause? Do you ask a list of questions and proceed without hearing any answers? Do you read slides to him/her the whole time? If you answered “no”to these questions, you’re probably normal in that regard. But, would the […]

Managing your Network

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How do you manage your network of friends, professional contacts and other acquaintances? Maybe a better question isn’t how, but simply do you? And if not, should you start? Social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and others allow us to maintain our networks and stay in touch with those that are important (or not-so-important) to us. […]

Toastmasters: Prepping for your contest

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This is a follow-up to my previous post, Why you won’t win your contest, which is getting more attention as the Toastmasters contest season begins. Recent experiences have taught me a few things that may help you see more success as a contestant: 1. Get feedback at every level. Ask someone, in advance, to give you an evaluation. […]

Is 2011 really over?

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Can you believe it? 2011 is coming to an end. Did you accomplish anything, or did you “make it”? Don’t feel bad if that’s the case, sometimes just making it can be an accomplishment. Especially in an annoying economy with equally annoying political and social issues all around us. Now’s the time of year when […]

Five things to have on stage

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I recently read a writing prompt (The Writer’s Idea Book, Jack Heffron) that suggested writing about the 5 things you would want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island. I thought another interesting approach would be to think about the 5 things I would want with me if I were […]

Speaking Tips: Language use – word pairs

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Have you ever heard the wrong word used to describe something, and realized the mistake happened because of similarities? Here are a couple of examples, and how they’re used/misused: Simple vs. Easy These words are not only used interchangeably, but also as a redundant pair on a regular basis. If fact, it is simple and […]