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

PaulF.jpg

[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

GReg11Kagain.jpg

[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

ZOHOLs.jpeg

[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 132: How Isolation in Space Translates to Life on Earth Today – Dr. Shawna Pandya

Toastcaster 132: How Isolation in Space Translates to Life on Earth Today – Dr. Shawna Pandya

April 18, 2020

Pandya_Headshot_-_SP.jpg

[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.

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

CanManDan.jpg

[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.

CanDanFull.jpg

Can Man Dan at Safeway - Southgate Centre

Toastcaster 128: The Rx for Leadership – Daniel Rex, CEO Toastmasters Intl.

Toastcaster 128: The Rx for Leadership – Daniel Rex, CEO Toastmasters Intl.

December 31, 2019

IMG_7911_copy.jpgIMG_7913A.jpg

[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.

IMG_7905A.jpg

Toastcaster 127: Caregiving - The Ultimate Leadership Role - Rick Lauber

Toastcaster 127: Caregiving - The Ultimate Leadership Role - Rick Lauber

December 15, 2019

Front_Cover_Shot_-_The_Successful_Caregi

[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. 

 

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

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

October 19, 2019

peterson-more-1-600x600.jpg51Vpa6tcfiL.jpg

[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 122: Setting a Guinness World Record – It Takes True Leadership

Toastcaster 122: Setting a Guinness World Record – It Takes True Leadership

September 17, 2019

2_KevinFast.jpg3_Brittany_Crop.jpg4_Spencer.jpg

[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.

 

5_kevin-fast-plan-pull-GWR.jpg6_IMG_8349CROP.jpg

0_GWR2020-SpineFacing-FINAL.jpg

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

ANG3.jpg

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

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

April 16, 2019

Jeff_Davis_-_photo.jpgAuthentic_Leadership.jpg

[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 108 How to Photoshop Your Career & Your Life - Joe MacKay

Toastcaster 108 How to Photoshop Your Career & Your Life - Joe MacKay

December 19, 2018

Joe_pic.jpgJoePhotoshop.jpeg

[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.
 
Joe lives in St. Albert, Alberta Canada.He can be reached at ImaginationSuperstation.com.
 
 
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

LanceHeadshot.jpg

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

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

September 30, 2018

Murad.jpeg

[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

Toastcaster 101 Mental Health Crisis – Saving Lives Through Honest Conversations - Mona Cooley

Toastcaster 101 Mental Health Crisis – Saving Lives Through Honest Conversations - Mona Cooley

August 31, 2018

Mona101A.jpg

[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.

Toastcaster 100: Humble Beginnings & Lessons Learned Over 100 Episodes

Toastcaster 100: Humble Beginnings & Lessons Learned Over 100 Episodes

August 14, 2018

Toastcaster_100_Art_2.jpg

GregMiniPic.jpgMonaPIc.jpg

[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.

Toastcaster 98 Financial Literacy Leadership in Her Community - Natalie Torres-Haddad

Toastcaster 98 Financial Literacy Leadership in Her Community - Natalie Torres-Haddad

July 21, 2018

NatalieNew.jpg

[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.

Toastcaster 91 Enlightened Super Achievers & Influential Leaders’ Timeless Secrets – Corey Poirier

Toastcaster 91 Enlightened Super Achievers & Influential Leaders’ Timeless Secrets – Corey Poirier

February 19, 2018

BookOfWhyCover.jpg

[30:20] What are “enlightened super achievers?” What are these influential leaders’ timeless secrets? If you want to know more tune in to our latest episode. Greg speaks with Corey Poirier, a multiple-time TEDx, highly sought-after speaker and featured in numerous media outlets. Corey is also the host of the top-rated radio show “Conversations with Passion,” where he’s interviewed over 4,000 top leaders and great minds, the likes of Robin Sharma Robin, Jack Canfield, Zig Ziglar, Dr. John Gray, John Maxwell, Stephen MR Covey, Arlene Dickinson and more.

Corey who’s been successful on both sides of the mic, also shares some insights on how he reached his personal success and offer tips from his signature presentations. We'll also hear about his brand-new book, The Book of Why (And How) – Discover the Timeless Secrets to Meaning, Success and Abundance. Corey can be reached at ThatSpeakerGuy.com.

 

Toastcaster 90 Leadership of Your Life: Create Visions Not Resolutions - Greg Gazin

Toastcaster 90 Leadership of Your Life: Create Visions Not Resolutions - Greg Gazin

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.

Toastcaster 83 Employer Resources for Developing Leaders - Marc Haine, DTM

Toastcaster 83 Employer Resources for Developing Leaders - Marc Haine, DTM

May 31, 2017

DevelopEmployeesBrochure.jpg

[18:41] Sometimes employers do not know or are unaware of the value of Toastmasters or any other Leadership and Communications  training for their employees. Other times they may stress the need without really explaining their full value.  
In this episode Greg speaks with Marc Haine, DTM, a former District 42 PRM, keynote speaker, corporate trainer and business consultant specializing in the Hospitality industry.
 
Marc developed resource materials that can be shared with employers to help them understand using real-world tie-ins what’s in it for everyone and why their teams should embrace training - more specifically, Toastmasters.
 
Download the free Employer Resource Materials here.