April 18, 2020
[22:28] In this episode, Greg speaks with Dr. Shawna Pandya whose three page bio and credentials list includes: physician, scientist-astronaut candidate, teacher and martial artist with degrees in medicine, neuroscience, space studies and more.
Dr. Pandya shares with us a little about her journey and about her self-proclaimed Batman/ Bruce Wayne persona while opening up on how she’s been able to live out her childhood dreams.
She also shares about how her training prep for space travel has helped her prepare not only to deal with life in a COVID-19 world but also gives us lessons in leadership, communication, teamwork and critical decision-making in a high-risk, high-reward situation that can be applied to anyone, anywhere in our world.
This includes her very timely insight on how isolation in space can help us better learn about isolation we’re currently experiencing on Earth.
Dr. Shawna Pandya lives in Edmonton, Canada and can be reached at ShawnaPandya.com, or on Twitter & Instagram @ShawnaPandya – when she’s not training in zero-gravity.
March 28, 2020
[29:31] Keeping the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading has just about put the entire planet into lockdown mode. In this episode, Greg speaks with Lisa Wentz about her short article on LinkedIn about keeping mentally and physically stimulated and engaged and not feeling frozen during this unprecedented quarantine.
Lisa shares with us her recent journey of self-isolation. She explains how news overload and too much of the wrong kind of mental stimulation can affect people physically and how we can combat that and ensure we continue to pursue things that are relevant and important to us. Wentz explains how mental stimulation means different things to different people and how we need to find the time to reach out to others, not just those we know. You’ll also discover why getting through these times is not just about balance but about choices we make. You’ll even hear her interesting observations about changes in people like celebrity Stephen Colbert, who was forced to self-isolate, and more.
Lisa Wentz is from San Francisco, California and has an extensive background in psychology, professional acting training and live performance. Wentz is also featured in Episode 118 - Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking.
She can be reached at LisaWentz.com.
February 29, 2020
[24:42] Although Fear is commonly associated with public speaking, it’s ubiquitous; we find it in many areas of our lives and it can be debilitating.
In this episode, Host Greg Gazin speaks with Donald Lee who shares his insights on the origins of our fear; its physiological effects and how we can use our minds to counteract the natural effects of those fears. You’ll also learn why the opposite of fear, is love.
Donald Lee is from Peace River, Canada. Now in his 3rd career as a spiritual author and speaker, he’s also been a musician, teacher, band director, athlete, and economist who has over 60 years of dealing with fear across many disciplines. He’s also returned to Toastmasters after a 20-year hiatus. having competed in the 1995 World Championship of Public Speaking. He is one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming District 42 Conference in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Lee’s 1st book, published December 2019 is: The Band Director’s Lessons About Life: Volume 1 – 50 Parables on Life’s Performance Cycle - modern-day parables, with stories inspired by his teaching experience.
Lee can be reached at ComingHomeSpirit.com. There, listeners can also sign up for a free copy of Lee’s mini e-book containing five of the 50 parables.
January 31, 2020
[24:28] It’s amazing what a difference one man can make in the world. In this episode Greg speaks with Dan Johnstone, a.k.a Can Man Dan. Dan shares with us a little about his humble journey about how growing up in a less fortunate environment motivated him at a young age to begin a lifelong journey of helping others in need and make a difference in their lives.
He shares some of the tasks, activity and projects he’s taken on, including camping out in a truck for 4-5 days at a time 24/7 in sub-zero, -30 degree Celsius weather to collect much needed food of the Edmonton Food Bank. Dan shares an encouraging message that anyone in the world no matter the age or economic status can also do the same if they take a first step. His actions and leadership in this area are living proof of that.
Dan Johnstone is an award-winning activist, philanthropist, community organizer, and motivational speaker. Alongside his newly created non-profit organization, the Can Man Dan Foundation, Dan works hands-on to alleviate poverty, assist vulnerable populations, and strengthen communities in Alberta, Canada. At 32, Dan has already raised millions in resources for people in need while bringing awareness to today’s most relevant issues.
Dan lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and can be reached at CanManDan.Org or on his website DanJohnstone.Com.
Can Man Dan at Safeway - Southgate Centre
December 31, 2019
[20:39] In a rare live interview opportunity, host Greg Gazin speaks with Daniel Rex, CEO, Toastmasters International during a Fall visit to District 99, Edmonton, Canada. In this episode, Dan talks about why he visited our fair city from Denver, CO and a special connection Dan has to our own Peter Kossowan, a.k.a. Mr. Toastmaster.
We also learn a little more about Dan, what he likes to do, interesting things you may not know about him, how he discovered Toastmasters and how he’s evolved since joining the organization over 25 years ago.
As the CEO to one of the world’s largest not-for-profit communication and leadership organizations with 358K+ members worldwide, Dan shares some of his valuable leadership wisdom we can learn from. These include his thoughts on change, being a catalyst for change as well as his take on authentic leadership, and more.
Please enjoy this informative yet fun interview with Dan as a perfect close for this year and this decade.
December 15, 2019
[19:56] When we think of caregiving, leadership is not usually the first word to come to mind. But when you research what this often unexpected responsibility requires, you’ll see how it extends beyond a typical leadership role; often done over and beyond one’s day job and usually has emotions attached to it.
In this episode Greg speaks with Rick Lauber, Author and former co-caregiver for both his aging parents. Rick shares a little of his journey and offers an honest insight as to what’s involved in really being a caregiver, what skills are needed and how it parallels with that of an organizational leader.
Rick shares about how this decade long experience had impacted him as well as some of what he learnt about leadership and about himself as well as what strengths he never knew he had and those skills he needed to learn along the way.
The experience lead Rick to publish two best-selling guide books – Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide which we also hear a little about. Rick is from Edmonton, Canada and can be reached at RickLauber.com.
Rick also appears in Toastcaster episode #69 and is a former Toastmaster.
November 30, 2019
[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.
October 31, 2019
Every leader knows that cashflow is king. Very few use cheques or even carry cash these days. Enter Square a low cost secure mobile payment system. It’s an easy way for you to collect payments for products or services that’s also easy and convenient for your customers allowing them to pay by credit card, debit and other pay systems.
In this episode your host Greg Gazin has a quick look at three different options offered by Square, what they do, what they cost including their latest all-in-one Square Terminal.
The podcast is based on Greg’s two previously published articles: With Square, you too can accept wireless debit and credit card payments (Gadgetguy.ca) and It’s Hip to be Square published by Troy Media.
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 email@example.com.
September 30, 2019
[31:35] Yes, your non-profit organization may be eligible for a Google Ad Grant giving you $10K per month in free Google Ad Words Advertising and it's not fake news. In this episode, Greg speaks with David Ries, a Certified Google Ad Grant Professional who’ll give us an insight on this great opportunity for qualified non-profits and share how getting one is not as difficult as you think.
David will explain what the grant is all about, how to find out if you qualify and some of the things you need to do and have in order for your application to be successful. He’ll also demystify some of the misinformation about the grant.
David also offers a good primer on Google Ads to maximize a Google Word Ad campaign. He’ll share some tips on using keywords to drive searches to your landing page or website - information that’s relevant to anyone who may consider using Google ads. He also gives us a real world example of a client with a successful Google ad campaign and some of the ways they used keywords to zero in on their right target market.
David Ries, a Business Development Representative at ConnectAd, assists with the assessment and strategy process for nonprofits to get started with the Google Ad Grant opportunity. His background in exclusively the startup & nonprofit sector allows him to understand how to add value to nonprofits and increase their digital presence.
David lives in Edmonton, Alberta Canada and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more info, check out G Suite and Google Grants for Nonprofits.
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. : )
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.
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 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.