Toastcaster Communication Leadership Learning Lab
Toastcaster 136: Why Listen to Small Business Owner’s Stories - Paul Finkelstein DTM OMGTalk

Toastcaster 136: Why Listen to Small Business Owner’s Stories - Paul Finkelstein DTM OMGTalk

June 30, 2020

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[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.

Toastcaster 134: Lessons Learned from a Journey of Over 12 Million Steps - Greg Gazin

Toastcaster 134: Lessons Learned from a Journey of Over 12 Million Steps - Greg Gazin

May 19, 2020

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[11:39] For a dedicated athlete or fit individual, walking a minimum of 10k steps a day for almost three years might seem like nothing. For me, a few decades older with ancient injuries walking roughly seven to eight kilometres a day that seems more like a pipe dream.

Amazingly, I did it. I never thought I could.  In this episode, I share a little about my journey and how beyond the usual benefits of exercise the experience was transformational; I learned new things - many about myself.

The text version of this podcast is entitled “What I learned from a Journey of over 11 million steps.”  There’s also an earlier related article, “One step at a time: a simple solution to a better life.”  The companion podcast is Toastcaster Episode: 90.

Articles can be found at Troy Media.com

Note: The photo shows me as I reached the 1000-day milestone. As I recorded this podcast 70 days later I had reached 12.3 million steps.  Sadly as I publish this podcast my journey has come to an end as a time slot has come up for my long awaited and overdue hernia operation.  But I will start again and learn many new things.

  

Toastcaster 133: Working Remotely in Unprecedented Times -  Chandrashekar LSP, Zoho Corp

Toastcaster 133: Working Remotely in Unprecedented Times - Chandrashekar LSP, Zoho Corp

April 30, 2020

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[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: lsp@zohocorp.com

Toastcaster 130: Fear: Demystifying the Inner Demon – Donald Lee

Toastcaster 130: Fear: Demystifying the Inner Demon – Donald Lee

February 29, 2020

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[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.

Toastcaster 129: Philanthropy at -30 Degrees - Dan Johnstone, a.k.a Can Man Dan

Toastcaster 129: Philanthropy at -30 Degrees - Dan Johnstone, a.k.a Can Man Dan

January 31, 2020

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[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.

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Can Man Dan at Safeway - Southgate Centre

Toastcaster 126: Amazon Fire HD 10: Big Screen on a Small Budget

Toastcaster 126: Amazon Fire HD 10: Big Screen on a Small Budget

November 30, 2019

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[11:03] On Black Friday our minds seem to wander towards the subject of shopping and for many us, it’s the time to think about getting new gadgets for work, home or when we’re out on the road. In this episode Greg takes a look at the all-new for 2019 Amazon Fire HD 10 which he recently had the opportunity of reviewing.

You’ll hear his thoughts on the new model, some of the features, what it can be used for and how it compares to other tablets. It’s a follow up podcast for his upcoming article of the same name, which can be found at GadgetGuy.ca on Dec 1st.

Toastcaster 124: Consequential Communication in Turbulent Times –  Diana Peterson-More

Toastcaster 124: Consequential Communication in Turbulent Times – Diana Peterson-More

October 19, 2019

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[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 diana@dianapetersonmore.com. 

Toastcaster 121: Building Future Seniors: Taking Ownership of our Aging Society - Angela Ostafichuk

Toastcaster 121: Building Future Seniors: Taking Ownership of our Aging Society - Angela Ostafichuk

August 31, 2019

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[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.

 

 

Toastcaster 120 - Can I Use That Picture? —   Samantha Lile

Toastcaster 120 - Can I Use That Picture? — Samantha Lile

July 26, 2019

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[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. : )

Toastcaster 119 - Point-and-Shoot Cameras Still Relevant in our Professional & Personal Lives

Toastcaster 119 - Point-and-Shoot Cameras Still Relevant in our Professional & Personal Lives

June 30, 2019

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[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.

Toastcaster 115 Authentic Leadership and What it Really Means - Jeff Davis

Toastcaster 115 Authentic Leadership and What it Really Means - Jeff Davis

April 16, 2019

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[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

Toastcaster 114 Crutch and Filler Words Cripple Your Message and Reduce Credibility

Toastcaster 114 Crutch and Filler Words Cripple Your Message and Reduce Credibility

March 31, 2019

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[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)

 

Toastcaster 113 Top 3 Pro Tips for a Virtual Stage & Presenting On-Line

Toastcaster 113 Top 3 Pro Tips for a Virtual Stage & Presenting On-Line

March 24, 2019

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[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.

Toastcaster 112 Not There Yet - Unique Narrative Essay-Style Podcasting -Terence C. Gannon

Toastcaster 112 Not There Yet - Unique Narrative Essay-Style Podcasting -Terence C. Gannon

March 1, 2019

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[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.

 

Toastcaster 111 How to Avoid an Onstage Meltdown - Hollywood Style

Toastcaster 111 How to Avoid an Onstage Meltdown - Hollywood Style

January 31, 2019

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[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.

Toastcaster 110 Why Leaders and Book Lovers need a Kindle Paperwhite

Toastcaster 110 Why Leaders and Book Lovers need a Kindle Paperwhite

January 26, 2019

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[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. 

 

Toastcaster 106 Learn in Business how to know what you don’t know - Lance Miller

Toastcaster 106 Learn in Business how to know what you don’t know - Lance Miller

November 17, 2018

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[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.

Toastcaster 105 Weego - Power That Goes Wherever You Go

Toastcaster 105 Weego - Power That Goes Wherever You Go

October 31, 2018

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[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.

Toastcaster 104 3I-Racer Technique for More Engaging Storytelling - Jock Mackenzie

Toastcaster 104 3I-Racer Technique for More Engaging Storytelling - Jock Mackenzie

October 20, 2018

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[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. 
 
You can read more about Jock and his methods on his blog, Teacher Man, Teacher Ms.
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Toastcaster 103 Is Leadership for Me?  Guest: Mohammed Murad, DTM, PIP

Toastcaster 103 Is Leadership for Me? Guest: Mohammed Murad, DTM, PIP

September 30, 2018

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[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