June 30, 2020
[29:33] Sometimes the best way to be a better leader and communicator is to learn from others’ stories. In this episode we hear from Paul Finkelstein who created OMGTalk, the small business owners podcast which he publishes on 5 different platforms.
Paul tells us why he created it; how he interviews small business owners and its value to them and other small business owners. Paul also shares his own takeaways and what he has learned from the process.
I invited Paul to Toastcaster because when he asked me to be on his show OMGTalk, the four simple questions he indicated he was going to ask I found quite reflective. It forced me to think back and dig deep - which I found quite inspiring. Please have a listen to to our interview on Paul's show.
Paul Finkelstein is from Delray Beach, Florida, USA. He’s involved in the Medicare insurance industry and loves running and fundraising. He’s a Distinguished Toastmaster and is the producer of the OMGTalk Podcast. Paul can be reached on all the major platforms and at OMGTalk.com.
May 31, 2020
[26:06] Learning a new language while abroad particularly during these unprecedented times can be a challenge yet rewarding. But our eight-time guest, Kevin Achtzener, who is currently overseas with his family in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was certainly up for the quest.
In this light-hearted episode, Kevin humbly shares how he was first inspired to learn Spanish the traditional way many years ago and some of the things he learned what not to do as he set upon a quest to learn Arabic – a much more challenging task.
Kevin also shares a number of techniques he’s been using like a language exchange as well as some of his valuable resources including: Anki– a Flashcard app, 50Languages– 100 Free Audio lessons; LingQ– which helps you learn a language from content you love and his go to book: Arabic Script Hacking by Judith Meyer, which helped him to learn to read signs.
Editors Note: Once you have a good working knowledge of a language, there are also many bilingual Toastmasters clubs around the world one can also check out.
April 30, 2020
[22:06] Many businesses are finding themselves in an emergency state and are desperately looking to ensure smooth continuity.
In this episode, Greg speaks with Chandrashekar LSP, Head Evangelist for the Zoho Corporation in Canada.
Chandrashekar shares his observations on this new unprecedented business landscape and gives us an insight on what people and businesses can do and tools they can use to shift from typical office environments to the new reality without recreating the wheel
Working from home for over 15 years, he also offers his personal take on this subject as he currently has three kids under five years of age at home 24/7 and with his teams in India, and clients, partners, analysts and media in North America and around the world.
You’ll hear about Zoho’s Cloud-based business services for all departments in an organization including their new Remotely bundle consisting of 11 of their 45 applications in four categories, including: Internal/External Communications, Project Management, Remote Assistance and a collaborative Office Suite, which Zoho is offering at no charge for a limited time through their Small Business Emergency Assistance Subscription Program to help businesses get through the pandemic. (zoho.com/remotely)
Chandrashekar LSP is based in Montreal and has been with Zoho Corporation, a 24-year old privately held company for almost two decades. He can be reached at: email@example.com
April 18, 2020
[22:28] In this episode, Greg speaks with Dr. Shawna Pandya whose three page bio and credentials list includes: physician, scientist-astronaut candidate, teacher and martial artist with degrees in medicine, neuroscience, space studies and more.
Dr. Pandya shares with us a little about her journey and about her self-proclaimed Batman/ Bruce Wayne persona while opening up on how she’s been able to live out her childhood dreams.
She also shares about how her training prep for space travel has helped her prepare not only to deal with life in a COVID-19 world but also gives us lessons in leadership, communication, teamwork and critical decision-making in a high-risk, high-reward situation that can be applied to anyone, anywhere in our world.
This includes her very timely insight on how isolation in space can help us better learn about isolation we’re currently experiencing on Earth.
Dr. Shawna Pandya lives in Edmonton, Canada and can be reached at ShawnaPandya.com, or on Twitter & Instagram @ShawnaPandya – when she’s not training in zero-gravity.
March 28, 2020
[29:31] Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading has just about put the entire planet into lockdown mode. In this episode, Greg speaks with Lisa Wentz about her short article on LinkedIn about keeping mentally and physically stimulated and engaged and not feeling frozen during this unprecedented quarantine.
Lisa shares with us her recent journey of self-isolation. She explains how news overload and too much of the wrong kind of mental stimulation can affect people physically and how we can combat that and ensure we continue to pursue things that are relevant and important to us. Wentz explains how mental stimulation means different things to different people and how we need to find the time to reach out to others, not just those we know. You’ll also discover why getting through these times is not just about balance but about choices we make. You’ll even hear her interesting observations about changes in people like celebrity Stephen Colbert, who was forced to self-isolate, and more.
Lisa Wentz is from San Francisco, California and has an extensive background in psychology, professional acting training and live performance. Wentz is also featured in Episode 118 - Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking.
She can be reached at LisaWentz.com.
February 29, 2020
[24:42] Although Fear is commonly associated with public speaking, it’s ubiquitous; we find it in many areas of our lives and it can be debilitating.
In this episode, Host Greg Gazin speaks with Donald Lee who shares his insights on the origins of our fear; its physiological effects and how we can use our minds to counteract the natural effects of those fears. You’ll also learn why the opposite of fear, is love.
Donald Lee is from Peace River, Canada. Now in his 3rd career as a spiritual author and speaker, he’s also been a musician, teacher, band director, athlete, and economist who has over 60 years of dealing with fear across many disciplines. He’s also returned to Toastmasters after a 20-year hiatus. having competed in the 1995 World Championship of Public Speaking. He is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming District 42 Conference in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Lee’s 1st book, published December 2019 is: The Band Director’s Lessons About Life: Volume 1 – 50 Parables on Life’s Performance Cycle - modern-day parables, with stories inspired by his teaching experience.
Lee can be reached at ComingHomeSpirit.com. There, listeners can also sign up for a free copy of Lee’s mini e-book containing five of the 50 parables.
January 31, 2020
[24:28] It’s amazing what a difference one man can make in the world. In this episode Greg speaks with Dan Johnstone, a.k.a Can Man Dan. Dan shares with us a little about his humble journey about how growing up in a less fortunate environment motivated him at a young age to begin a lifelong journey of helping others in need and make a difference in their lives.
He shares some of the tasks, activity and projects he’s taken on, including camping out in a truck for 4-5 days at a time 24/7 in sub-zero, -30 degree Celsius weather to collect much needed food of the Edmonton Food Bank. Dan shares an encouraging message that anyone in the world no matter the age or economic status can also do the same if they take a first step. His actions and leadership in this area are living proof of that.
Dan Johnstone is an award-winning activist, philanthropist, community organizer, and motivational speaker. Alongside his newly created non-profit organization, the Can Man Dan Foundation, Dan works hands-on to alleviate poverty, assist vulnerable populations, and strengthen communities in Alberta, Canada. At 32, Dan has already raised millions in resources for people in need while bringing awareness to today’s most relevant issues.
Dan lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and can be reached at CanManDan.Org or on his website DanJohnstone.Com.
Can Man Dan at Safeway - Southgate Centre
December 31, 2019
[20:39] In a rare live interview opportunity, host Greg Gazin speaks with Daniel Rex, CEO, Toastmasters International during a Fall visit to District 99, Edmonton, Canada. In this episode, Dan talks about why he visited our fair city from Denver, CO and a special connection Dan has to our own Peter Kossowan, a.k.a. Mr. Toastmaster.
We also learn a little more about Dan, what he likes to do, interesting things you may not know about him, how he discovered Toastmasters and how he’s evolved since joining the organization over 25 years ago.
As the CEO to one of the world’s largest not-for-profit communication and leadership organizations with 358K+ members worldwide, Dan shares some of his valuable leadership wisdom we can learn from. These include his thoughts on change, being a catalyst for change as well as his take on authentic leadership, and more.
Please enjoy this informative yet fun interview with Dan as a perfect close for this year and this decade.
December 15, 2019
[19:56] When we think of caregiving, leadership is not usually the first word to come to mind. But when you research what this often unexpected responsibility requires, you’ll see how it extends beyond a typical leadership role; often done over and beyond one’s day job and usually has emotions attached to it.
In this episode Greg speaks with Rick Lauber, Author and former co-caregiver for both his aging parents. Rick shares a little of his journey and offers an honest insight as to what’s involved in really being a caregiver, what skills are needed and how it parallels with that of an organizational leader.
Rick shares about how this decade long experience had impacted him as well as some of what he learnt about leadership and about himself as well as what strengths he never knew he had and those skills he needed to learn along the way.
The experience lead Rick to publish two best-selling guide books – Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide which we also hear a little about. Rick is from Edmonton, Canada and can be reached at RickLauber.com.
Rick also appears in Toastcaster episode #69 and is a former Toastmaster.
September 17, 2019
[28:55] Great leaders are passionate. Amongst other things, they’re also motivating, inspiring, innovative and committed to what they do. Our guests today have these attributes and more but you won’t find them in big towers, behind oak desks, but rather find them listed in the Guinness World Records 2020 book or associated with the organization.
In this episode, you’ll hear stories of true leadership. You’ll hear about the unusual way the idea for a Guinness Record came about and how these talented individuals faced with a challenge, persevered and overcame adversity while describing how they accomplished their incredible feats. You’ll also learn what motivates them; what they learned about themselves and how it can apply to all of us. You’ll also find out what it’s like to be a Guinness adjudicator, the skills it requires and a few tips on vying for a Guinness World Record.
Reverend Kevin Fast from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada is best described as a modern day Popeye. He holds an impressive 31 Guinness World Records including the Heaviest aircraft pulled and most people supported on the shoulders. (Left)
Brittany Walsh, a.k.a AcroBritt from Portland, Oregon, U.S.A is a dancer, a gymnast, former circus performer and world record holder in acrobatic archery. She’s featured in the latest edition for the Farthest arrow shot using feet. She’s been on The Late Show with David Letterman and has her own wax statue at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (top right)
Spencer Cammarano, from New York, U.S.A has not broken any records, but has the most challenging (yet enjoyable) task of being an Official Guinness Adjudicator. Without her, official records cannot be recorded. (Centre)
The theme for this year’s 65th Edition, is Power Your Curiosity. You can find out more and get your copy at GuinnessWorldRecords.com. There’s also a Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2020 as well.
August 31, 2019
[28:19] It’s no secret we have a rapidly aging population. Many seniors today were never properly prepared for their golden years; We don’t know how to age properly and kids today have no idea what it’s like to be a senior. Those are the strong opinions of Angela Ostafichuk, our guest on today’s episode.
Angela is an educator, consultant, curriculum developer, writer, photographer, world traveler and Toastmaster. Based in Edmonton, Canada, she’s spear-heading and working in tandem on two projects: Future Seniors and Smart Strong Seniors. Together they are designed to not only inform and educate those who are already seniors to live better, but also to help society, regardless as to what generation they belong to embrace pro aging.
Today Angela will share some of her insights on the topic. This include highlights of her Pecha Kucha presentation Future Seniors, where she shares what we can do to take ownership for ourselves and others in an aging society. She’ll talk about getting Involved, Resources, Equality, Asking (the right questions) and Design, summed up by her acronym iREAD.
Angela Ostafichuk can be reached at SmartStrongSenior@gmail.com or TheFutureSenior@gmail.com. You can also check out her Pecha Kucha Edmonton presentation.
July 26, 2019
[22:35] People use images in their Powerpoint presentations, blogs and there’s no end to photos posted and shared on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. But just because you find them on the web, are you sure you have the right to use them? In this episode, Greg speaks with Samantha Lile who wrote an article with adapted flowchart for ViseMe.co entitled, Can I Use That Image?
Samantha talks about her article and shares some things people need to be aware of and things to consider before using, posting or sharing a photo - primarily from a U.S. perspective with Greg offering up additional Canadian insight. However, it offers some some food for thought for people all around the world as many similar rules exist in other countries.
You’ll hear about terms like Copyright, Creative Commons, Public Domain and Fair Use and some of the step involved in determining if an image falls into those categories and what to do. She also shares some of her favourite sources for free images including: Pixabay, Pexels and UnSplash.
Samantha Lile is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager from Ozark, Mo. U.S.A, whose work can be found on sites such as: The Huffington Post, Thrive Global and Buzzfeed. Her original article and the companion flowchart can be found at Visme.co. You can reach Samantha via SamanthaLile.Carbonmade.com.
In case you're wondering, Samantha’s photo is used with her permission. : )
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 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.
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)