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)
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 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.
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.
July 31, 2018
[31:08] In this episode we see a little switch as host Greg Gazin takes the other side of the mic and interviewed by guest host Ryan Levesque co-host of the Toastmasters Podcast. Motivated by reading the book, Ryan takes the host chair and gets Greg to come clean to finally speak in detail about his 1st book, Corey OutSMARTs the Butterflies.
Greg shares with Ryan a little about what his book is about and how he stumbled upon the idea and what and who inspired him to take on the project which lead him to find a new passion - writing for a young readers. Ryan gets Greg to pull back the the curtain to talk about his shy humble beginnings (long before he joined Toastmasters) but also what he learned about his journey, the writing process, the illustrations and what he’d do differently the next time. You’ll also here how it’s changed him and what people of all ages can learn or take away from reading the book including a glimpse into the book’s SMART model (not the one you’re thinking about).
Ryan also give his take on the book and how he feels it can help his young daughter.
There’s also a book give-away, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out more.
Categories: Public Speaking, Confidence, Youth Leadership, ESL
July 21, 2018
[23:41] In this episode Greg speaks with Natalie Torres-Haddad who has become a voice for Latino millennials. She first found her niche in her community and is now expanding her reach around the world advocating for financial literacy and to uplift those feeling overwhelmed by debt.
Natalie, a.k.a The Financially Savvy Latina, shares a little of her journey, offering tips on taking on leadership within your community. She also gives us an insight on her unexpected TEDx talk experience entitled The Foreign Language of Financial Literacy and more.
Greg previously spoke with Natalie on the Toastmasters Podcast and Natalie also co-hosted with Greg a bilingual (English and Spanish) Toastmasters Podcast in 2017.
Natalie was raised in Inglewood (a southwest Los Angeles county). She’s also, an International Award Winning Author with her book, Financially Savvy in 20 mins (and a new podcast of the same name in both English in Spanish), a workshop facilitator, Real Estate investor and Toastmaster.
Natalie can reached via her website, Twitter @finsavvylatina and other social media platforms.