Tag Archives: Toastmasters

Toastmasters Table Topics Competition!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

The Book Kahuna

I have not recently done a blog post about Toastmasters, but I thought today was a good day to catch up on where I’ve been a where I am going. To be a coach in the publishing industry you have to be able to get your words out effectively and succinctly in order to communicate with those who could be possible clients and future clients. I have found that I highly enjoy the interaction with an audience and this could be troublesome for my publishing competition in the future.

Speech Number 4—Competent Communicator

On Wednesday, March 18, I gave my fourth speech to the “Speak with Ease” Toastmasters group in Louisville, Colorado. The reason why I chose this particular Toastmasters group was that they come highly recommended by people I respect and trust. They have won a distinguished Presidents award ribbon, which only 1% of the Toastmasters groups in the US are awarded, every year for the past nine years. If you want to test your mettle against the best speakers, you go to where the best speakers are speaking. In my eight months with this club I have been completely impressed with all of my fellow Toastmasters and have never regretted my decision to join this particular Toastmasters club. I am humbled to be among these many excellent speakers.  I am attaching the YouTube video of my speech on March 18 for your viewing pleasure. The name of my speech was “Re-invention”, and yes that hyphen supposed to be there because that is how I titled this particular speech.

Table Topics

Today I represented my group at the area E5 Table Topics Speech Contest. I spent many a long hour practicing for this competition. I practiced not so much for my own edification but because I did not want to represent my group badly. I was able to secure second place in my first attempt in a Toastmasters competition. I am very happy with the way things worked out and I am looking forward to future competitions where I will be much more successful. I was told that the voting on this particular contest was razor close. I know that my speeches can only get better from here and I am very much looking forward to the next few months and years working with my fellow Toastmasters in the “Speak with Ease” group.

Table Topics Competition

Table Topics Competition

Speak with Ease

The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I walked into a room with 40 to 60 people I did not know and spoke for two minutes with authority on a topic that I’d just been given five seconds before. (There were 6-8 members of my group there, but the majority of the people were strangers.) The topic I was given had to do with what superpower I wished I had and how I would use it. The basis for my two-minute speech was that the power is knowledge. Knowledge is contained in the public library. The public library is basically the Batcave of advancing your own professional and personal development. As Matt Damon said in Good Will Hunting:  “Everything you need to know for a complete university education is contained in the public library.”  I am paraphrasing of course, but this is a true fact.

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I will be continuing blog posts on Toastmasters and my speaking development as topics transpire. If you want to help your speech and advance your career, there is nothing better you can do then to find your local Toastmasters group and start speaking your words out!

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Toastmasters: Get Your Words Out

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

I gave my first Icebreaker speech last night at my Toastmasters Group. The title: The Book Kahuna: Chapter and Verses.
The art of public speaking, and I do mean art, is one that is the stuff of many a nightmare for uncounted numbers of people. The thought of standing in front of 15, 20, 100 people, completely naked, in a figurative sense, and leave them with a kernel of knowledge is something that takes time, diligence, patience and a will to succeed and excel in this oratorical forum.
Don’t Do This…

Yes Do This…
For years I have been thinking that I need to advance my ability to expound my ideas and visions in a compact and succinct way. There have been times in business when I have left too many “ahs”, “so’s”,” ums” and double clutch, “then again, and then agains” out dangling in the verbal realm for my own good sake. About two months ago I started the process to alleviate this gap in my professional toolbox by looking into a Toastmasters group.
A close friend told me that to get the most out of your Toastmasters experience; you need to join a very active and successful group. I looked into and visited several groups, but then this same friend recommended that I visit the Lafayette “Speak with Ease” Group. I am very happy that I took his advice.

The Book Kahuna Unleashed
I work in publishing and have started an enterprise that will require me to give many speeches, interviews, podcasts and presentations on all facets of the digital publishing realm. To do this work effectively, I will need to be armed with a vocabulary and structure that will make this set of projects a joy and not a chore. The Book Kahuna has started the process of upgrading the ability to present topics in logical, understandable verbiage that will entertain as well as inform the attendee and listener. I see this as a complimentary education to the experience and academic credentials already brought to the table.

Speaking well is no less a streamlining process on the entrepreneur’s infrastructure as any physical and fiscal set of tools that can be brought to bear. If you can get your ideas and information across to your audience in 1/3, to ½ the time it would take if you did not have these skills, then you are making your process that much more efficient in the long run. Time can be monetized, and the longer it takes to explain a topic or set of directions the less time you have available to shift into other areas of your corporate entity. Speaking well advances efficiency and puts more revenue stream into your pockets in the long run.

I have never had a problem with putting words to paper. Writing is an art-form that I love very dearly and have never experienced any sort of writer’s-block that would leave me lacking for sufficient topics to discuss. Speaking and writing are not interchangeable expression forms. Being a good writer does not mean you are a good speaker. The inverse is also true: A great speaker is not necessarily a gifted writer. The trick is to take the talents that you have and fine-tune them so you are conversational in both communication formats.

For anyone who wants to advance their career in Publishing or in any other corporate or entrepreneurial area: I highly suggest a Toastmasters group to advance your public speaking abilities. It will pay off ten-fold down the road.

Publishing like it Oughta Be!  (Homage to the ’86 Mets!)



Follow me on Twitter at:  Donald Schmidt@thebookkahuna

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