Table Topics: Once upon a time

Whether in Toastmasters, at a networking event, in an Interview, or maybe doing a Question and Answer section of a presentation…Impromptu speaking skills are important for establishing your credibility and being interesting.

How to prepare a Speaker IntroductionWill we always be great? Not necessarily, yet with practice we will always be better than when we started.

I was in San Diego for a business conference recently and we had to partner up, pull an object from a bag, and then sell it to our partner.

This is an excellent exercise to practice with silly objects and I have asked Toastmaster members to tell stories with their object as the primary character in their story.

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District 26 Toastmasters 2014 Spring Conference with Mark Brown!

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District 26 Toastmasters
2014 Spring Conference
is just around the corner!
May 16 & 17, 2014
Make Plans to attend now!

Early Bird Registration Coming Soon!

Keynote Speaker:
Mark Brown
1995 World Champion of Public Speaking

Mark Brown World Champion of Public Speaking“Mark Brown’s purpose is threefold: to touch your head and make you think, to touch your heart and make you feel, to touch your hands and make you act.”

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Table Topics: Storytelling #1

Whether in Toastmasters, at a networking event, in an Interview, or maybe doing a Question and Answer section of a presentation…Impromptu speaking skills are important for establishing your credibility and being interesting.

How to prepare a Speaker IntroductionWill we always be great? Not necessarily, yet with practice we will always be better than when we started.

One exercise that is fun do with another person or in a group setting is telling a story that everybody creates. It works on both your impromptu speaking and your listening skills. Continue reading

How Yvonne Bryant became 2011-2012 Toastmaster of the Year by Connie Akins

Yvonne-Bryant-2011-2012-Toastmaster-of-the-Year-District-26This past November, the new District 26 Toastmaster of the Year for 2012-2013 was selected and it has given me a moment to reflect on my past year as the out-going Toastmaster of the Year.

My friend Alan Swartz likes to kid me a bit because he knows I didn’t have a strong grasp of the honor when I was selected. (My Toastmaster journey only started in February of 2010.) For me, it was a special honor to be selected for doing something I love to do…help other people while also growing organizations using my unique set of skills.

The District 26 Toastmaster of the Year is selected from ~3,000 members across Colorado, Wyoming, and Western Nebraska. The selection process starts at the club level, moves up to the Area, then Division, and finally the District level. The surprise announcement was even more so as I knew that I had not made it past one of those levels! The outgoing District Governor, then Mr. Norm Frickey, made the final selection.

The honor is bestowed upon a member for Exceptional Leadership and Devoted Service.

For those who would like to know a little of what lead to my nomination and selection, I have provided a pdf version of the article in the District Dialogue and a copy of the article by Connie Akins below.

District 26 Toastmaster of the Year

by Connie Akins, ACS, CL

It’s the District Conference Hall of Fame Luncheon, and it is almost time to announce the Toastmaster of the Year award.

Alan Swartz and his wife,Connie,are whispering up a storm at their table.

“Who do you think it will be this year, honey?” whispers Connie.

“Oh, it just has to be Yvonne!”

“Really? Yvonne Bryant? She is amazing!”

“She has done SO much for the F-1 Area. For instance she has:

  • Set up officer training conference calls to make sure all her club officers were getting trained.
  • She’s been working with all her clubs to help each one build membership and PR programs.
  • She also uses Drop Box to make available all kinds of templates for all her clubs to use.”

“Wow!” Connie only half whispers, “She did all that?”

“Much more than that! She also:

  • Made up a One-Sheet with all the clubs and their contact info to hand out to groups and individuals that might be looking for a club to join.
  • She made up an F-1 calendar based on the District calendar to help her clubs get connected into being a part of our whole District.
  • On top of all of that, Yvonne would get the names from Tom Hobbs of people who were interested in starting new clubs and call them and help them understand the process.
  • She’s always promoting, encouraging,training and assisting clubs and officers wherever she goes. And her clubs are really spread out! Sometimes she even has to stay overnight.”

“My gosh! She is more amazing than I realized!”

“Well, there’s even more,like helping her people connect their Toastmasters lives with the other groups they’re in, helping clubs develop their own club culture, showing officers how to set up their
websites and on and on.”

“Yvonne better win! I can’t imagine anyone who deserves it more. Plus she is the nicest, kindest person!” whispers Connie one last time.

“And now” says Norm Frickey, Immediate Past District Governor, “the Toastmaster of the Year award goes to…Yvonne Bryant!”

Yvonne Bryant, CEO Motus Design GroupOriginal article: How Yvonne Bryant became 2011-2012 Toastmaster of the Year

Yvonne Bryant is a nationally recognized leader and consultant who enjoys speaking and training Executives and Entrepreneurs. She is based in Colorado where she operates her Executive Coaching and Business consulting practice, Motus Design Group, llc.
 
Yvonne was recognized as the 2011-2012 District 26 Toastmaster of the Year for Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska.

8 Tips on How to Think Fast

Life is a series of presentations in which we are called upon to think fast and deliver a quick response.

“When you are fast…people think you are smart, they think your products are higher quality, they think the management of your organization is higher quality, and they are willing to pay more for your solutions as a result. You can never rest on what you have accomplished in the past, you can only coast in one direction, down.” – Brian Tracey

It is important to keep our lives simple and to think fast on our feet…

But how do you do this?

I found this neat info graphic while reviewing the article:
Let Go, Keep it Simple, Move Quickly: Secrets to Being a Productive Entrepreneur (Infographic)

How to think faster - Anna VitalLets review this further:

  1. say, “Yes, and…” – first principle of improv comedy
    Now typically, we hear the word “but” such as “yes, but”. My friend Karl Steinkopf did a short 7-minute presentation on conjunctions that has given me a new respect for “yes, and”. Yes we want the cake AND we want to eat it. The “yes, and” is for creative problem solvers. The “but” people are not in the think fast mode are not geared up to take advantage of opportunities (or create them.)
  2. relax your jaw, your mouth may talk on its own – body intelligence
    When we are tense, all areas of our body tense up. I know the back of my jaw gets a little sore when I am under a lot of stress. There are some exercises that I go through (even hen waiting my turn to speak) to relax myself. This suggestion makes me think of the times many of us comment on when we are in the flow and don’t always know quite what we said.
  3. if the other side is silent, let the silence be, don’t feel like you have to fill in
    In other words…”Shut up!” It’s okay for there to be silence so that the other person has time to think. Give people time to think, this is especially important in sales. Give those around you time to process the information that you have given them.
  4. repeat something several times while you are thinking
    This could be interpreted in several ways…I don’t know about you, but I play scenarios in my head over and over in preparation for meetings, phone calls or presentations. When working with a client, I may repeat what they have told me while thinking to reinforce what they have said to make sure I understand what they are trying to tell me.
  5. follow the least effort principle
    To me, this speaks to our natural strengths. About 14 years ago, I was asked to present to a congregation for the company that I was with. While on the road to the presentation, I was told how to answer a concern that they had that had not been told to me previously (this was before handy internet on the telephone, so I did not I don’t know about you, but I am n
  6. visualize your knee jerk, now produce a “mind jerk”
    Hmmm…What do you think on this one?
  7. listen to your gut, it thinks faster than your brain
    According to Malcolm Gladwell, in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, our decisions and even first impressions occur fast – think instantaneously or in two seconds. Our gut or subconscious mind knows our decision before our conscious minds.
  8. work with the first thought that comes to mind – it is there for a
    reason.
    This one goes back to Malcolm Gladwell also.In Toastmasters, we have a part of the meeting called Table Topics which works on our impromptu speaking skills. I’ve learned over the years it is best to go with your first instinct and run with it; otherwise, the message gets garbled.In business, it is easy to go into paralysis by analysis. Again, sometimes you just have to go with it.

Bottom line…think fast and see what opportunities arise around you.

Yvonne Bryant, CEO Motus Design GroupReprinted by permission of Yvonne Bryant. Original article: 8 Tips on How to Think Fast

 Yvonne Bryant is a nationally recognized leader and consultant who enjoys speaking and training Executives and Entrepreneurs. She is based in Colorado where she operates her Executive Coaching and Business consulting practice, Motus Design Group, llc.
 
Yvonne was recognized as the 2011-2012 District 26 Toastmaster of the Year for Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska.