October 19, 2019
[29:57] In this episode, Greg speaks with Diana Peterson-More about her new book: Consequential Communication in Turbulent Times: A Practical Guide to Leadership. Peterson-More draws from her experience as a labor lawyer, HR executive and organizational development consultant to show individuals and business leaders the way to clear, concise, and intentional communication--vital to successful human interaction in today’s fast-paced, volatile (and #MeToo) world.
A short read, this book has a unique format, for example, incorporating step-by-step how-to lists for each chapter, a number of case studies, analyzing what went wrong and food for thought through “What-if“ scenarios, often circling back to previous case studies as new concepts are learned.
The book is based on real stories and practical advice, some of which Diana shares with us during our conversation including using “I” statements and the Platinum Rule and more.
Diana Peterson-More is from Pasadena, California and can be reached through her website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. : )
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.
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.
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.
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
May 1, 2018
[30:59] Presentations and speeches way to long? Too short? In this episode Greg speaks with Freddi Dogterom DTM, AS from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada who offers up some serious lessons on crafting your speech or presentation. She also shares insights and practical takeaways on the perils, pain and passion of editing, in particular when timing is of the essence - one way, building your speech like LEGO.
Freddi is a Distinguished Toastmaster, Accredited Speaker (AS) and professional speaker for more than 20 years delivering keynotes, workshops, professional development and train the trainer sessions. She also has over 30 years experience helping people build their lives, careers and retirement futures.
January 31, 2018
[10:49] For whatever reason, over 80% of New Year's resolutions fail within the 1st two weeks of February. Perhaps we're going about this all wrong. In this episode your host Greg Gazin shares a personal journey that shows perhaps why we might be more successful if we create visions rather that resolutions.
November 30, 2017
[22:32] Impromptu speaking is a great skill to have and you never know where it can be useful. In Toastmasters the practice of this type of speaking is called Table Topics. In this episode we speak with Blaine Zuk, ACG, ALB , who took home top honours at the District 99 Table Topics Contest held recently in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Zuk, a nine-year member of Dawnbreakers Toastmasters in Edmonton, has MBA and PMP designations and is a Project Manager and Change Manager in the healthcare informatics field. He grew up and currently lives on a farm, bringing stories of his work and life experience into his speeches
He shares with us his experience competing in the contest, talks about the Table Topics competition question and his thought process on how he went about answering it. He also gives us some insight on impromptu speaking and tips on how you can do better at Table Topics at your club, work or in any social situation.