June 30, 2019
[12:22] Our smartphones have become the default goto gadget for pictures and videos as the ability to take photos have become an invaluable tool in both our personal and professional lives.
In this episode Greg looks at why one should consider taking along a point and shoot digital camera on their next trip, to their next conference or anywhere one would need to take pictures or shoot video and the advantages to do so. We also see how far they’ve come.
Greg offers a glimpse at the newer FujiFilm FinePix XP140 point and shoot as one example. Some of its incredible features include wireless photo transfer and even smile detection. It’s also waterproof, rustproof, shockproof, freezeproof and amazingly inexpensive.
You can find a modified print version of this article at Active-Life.ca.
May 31, 2019
[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.
May 17, 2019
[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.
April 30, 2019
[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.)
April 16, 2019
[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
March 31, 2019
[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)
March 24, 2019
[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.
March 1, 2019
[27:37] In this episode Greg speaks with Terence C. Gannon who created a narrative essay-style podcast by putting a unique twist on the typical format. His style hooks audiences whether they are interested in a particular topic or not and shows how you can take personal & corporate storytelling to a whole new level.
You'll hear his motivations in creating this type of podcast; a little about his writing process and how it works in both the written and verbal formats and how he publishes his audio podcast simultaneously with a written essay version on Medium.
Terence shares specific examples of episodes, illustrating how the stories evolved and even how one popular episode emerged and came full circle from just a single word which has different meanings
You'll also hear how it's ok to break the myth of storytelling structure and experiment with ways to tell stories.
Terence hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He’s a podcaster, writer, social media marketer and developer of digital projects. He's the master behind the Not There Yet and The WorkNotWork Show podcasts and a member of the Alberta Podcast Network – powered by ATB.
Terence can be reached at Ntyessays.com, The.WorkNotWork.Show or on Medium @TerenceCGannon.
January 31, 2019
[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.
The updated article (text version of this podcast) can be found at Troy Media and Greg’s Blog, GadgetGuy.ca.
January 26, 2019
[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.
December 31, 2018
[25:34] In this our final episode for 2018 Greg speaks with Terry Kozlyk, an engineer and budding entrepreneur from Calgary who a few years back discovered the power of the spoken word through Toastmasters that lead him to start his own podcast, TDK Talks, which later morphed into including video which he felt was was ideal for capturing a story. New to video he quickly found himself on a charity mission to Vietnam for a special cause where he created and produced a 30-minute documentary which was aired on Shaw TV.
Moving towards entrepreneurship Terry believes that every business person should be able to perfect his or her pitch. And what better way to do it than by using video. So in this episode Terry will share a bit about his mission, enlighten you with a few tips on creating videos for yourself and your website and share with us a bit about his new venture “Perfect Your Pitch Live” based in Calgary, Alberta Canada he co-partnered to help people do just that - perfect their pitch.
Terry is also a Toastmaster and currently the PRM for District 42 (Southern Alberta / Southern Saskatchewan). He can be reached at TDKTalks.
You can find Perfect Your Pitch Live on Facebook.
December 19, 2018
[28:23] It sounds almost funny that we could think one could Photoshop their life and career, but our guest Joe MacKay seems to have figured out a way to do so. Joe says Photoshop is a design tool where you build your project in layers - same as with your career (and your life).
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.
November 30, 2018
[36:32] In this episode Greg speaks with Communications expert and Author Stephanie Scotti about her new book Talk on Water: Attaining the Mindset for Powerhouse Presentations.
In this fun conversation Stephanie shares with us a little about her journey, which started in her 10th grade public speaking class and includes working with key policy makers, including the President’s Cabinet, preparing them to speak on energy policy by the age of twenty-two.
Stephanie also enlightens us with a number of valuable lessons from her book including, about the need to not only connect with your audience when you present; you also need to connect with your message as well as yourself; You’ll also take away a number of tips and tricks for effective presentations and learn about her C.O.D.E., and how your topic differs from your core message and a whole lot more.
Stephanie Scotti is from Chapel Hill N.C. and is the founder and director of Professionally Speaking Consulting LLC a communications consulting agency focused on executive communication success.
Stephanie can be reached at ProfessionallySpeaking.net
You can also find Stephanie’s book Talk on Water at your favourite bookstores as well as on Amazon. (The Kindle version is also sharable with your friends)
November 17, 2018
[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.
Lance can be reached at LanceMillerSpeaks.com. You might also want to check out the World Champion Online Speakers Summit, where you can get a free introductory access.
October 31, 2018
[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.
October 20, 2018
[27:04] It’s not often we get a school teacher or principal on the show but there are things we might have learned back in the day perhaps we’ve forgotten or can still learn and add our skills repertoire.
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.
September 30, 2018
[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.
September 23, 2018
[13:11] In this episode we take a little break from the interviews and have a look at a gadget Greg wears 24/7 - except when it's on the charger. You'll hear about how wearing his Fitbit Charge 2 not only motivates him to keep fit but also about a few of its features that he just can't live without to help him manage his day and how they might just help yours too.
The podcast is based in part on a Troy Media article.
August 31, 2018
[28:17] In this episode we speak on a more serious note – the topic of Mental Health. Our guest is Mona Cooley, family support advocate and founder of Cool Family Solutions, Calgary, Canada. She is also a Distinguished Toastmaster, Past District 42 Governor and regular guest on Toastcaster.
Mona has taken leadership in her community with respect to Mental Health. Not only is she a subject matter expert, her family has also struggled with it. Mental Health is everywhere and it affects people young and old and from all walks of life. All you have to do is turn on the news – people are stricken with anxiety, depression and death by suicide has gone out of control. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Rick Genest (Zombie Boy) are just a few who have taken their lives.
Mona says families are struggling and don’t know what to do adding that things can and are being done – and one way is through having honest conversations. In this podcast, Mona talks about this serious subject, shares some of her stories including one that saved a life and offers some thoughts on what people can do.
Our conversation with Mona is timely. According to a recent article in the Guardian (U.K.) Lady Gaga, had cast her friend Genest in her Born This Way video and wrote on Twitter. ”The suicide…is beyond devastating. We have to work harder to change the culture, bring mental health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it. If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other.”
You can reach Mona at Cool Family Solutions.com. There you can also find a great resource page.
August 14, 2018
[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.