Category Archives: Imitators

An Oration Revolution is on the Ready

What should you do when you recognize a lack of quality, structure, and execution in a particular setting, and get caught in the fallout because of it?

I recently competed in the second level of six at a Toastmasters International speech contest. A restructuring of typical protocol placed my event near the end of the day, which allowed me to watch most of the contest before giving my speech.

Deeply disappointed describes well my reaction to the lack of quality in the competition speeches. One unfortunate contestant actually used a power point in a strictly timed 5-7 minute presentation. This wasn’t a TED talk situation where power point is frequently used, but perhaps part of the problem is that she thought it was.

Death by powerpoint

Almost from the get-go, her slides wouldn’t advance. She looked at the person in the audience who helped set her up and said, “It’s not working”.

In a contest situation, you can’t simply call on tech support and expect delivery. You’re timed. You have to get on with it.

The poor woman tried to get on with it, but it was easy to recognize her unpreparedness. It would be my guess she had relied too heavily on the content of her slides, and not the content which should have been in her head and heart. It appeared that without her slides, she couldn’t remember what she wanted to say. A tragedy for her.

I wondered, “Where is her mentor who should have told her not to use a power point in a competition? Isn’t there anyone in the club she’s representing who could have advised her?”

Her opponent was only slightly more prepared. No clear message, and no clear purpose in his content. I learned afterward he has been part of Toastmasters for 16 years. Obviously he’s not using the Toastmasters program to its fullest, since he announced his last educational award was from a program which hasn’t been used since 2007.

I wondered, “Where have his mentors been for 12 years? Why hasn’t he been encouraged to move forward into a new, better structured, program?”

Then it was my turn to give my speech. I have competed before. In 2015 I made it to the semi-finals (level 5) of the world championship of public speaking. That had been an emotionally draining summer, but I learned so much more about crafting and delivering a winning speech than I’d ever expected to. Today I teach young people 5 days a week how to do what I learned.

11. Jackie

My presentation was excellent (even if simply compared to the others). It was actually structured professionally, and delivered like a champ. I’m sure I changed the energy in the entire room, as the audience witnessed for the first time that evening an actual competition speech.

 

My one opponent was a man I’d see compete before. He has a strong, natural stage presence, and having worked as a pastor, was confident in speaking. However, his delivery was lacking in deliberate word use and a clear message. I guessed he may have simply threw some thoughts onto paper the day before the contest.

Imagine my surprise when I placed second to him (my opponent). I was disappointed in my loss, as anyone would be. I was even more disappointed in the lack of quality from other contestants AND the judges. Were they not aware of the criteria they were assigned to judge?

How was I the only contestant to actually meet the contest criteria, and come in second?

Elementary age children

My greatest disappointment was knowing a few of my young students were there to witness the entire competition. I had considered the opportunity for them to see a contest as a powerful, impactful teaching moment. Yet, what they saw was a competition in which the bar was set so low, it was a waste of time (a three hour waste of time)

I’m saddened to report that within 5 years since I previously competed, the quality of contestants and judges have steadily sank. I’m not alone in that thinking. Many others in my district have voiced a sense of dismay and disappointment in their own competition losses, which were not deserved.

Had I not been competing the other night, and saw what I saw, I would still be just as disappointed in the outcome.

I believe it will take purposeful, persistent, and powerful leadership to bring a sense of championship-desiring speakers and judges back into the Toastmaster district. If I can be a part of the oration revolution, I will be.

 

“Shades” of Communication and How to Be Authentic

I’m a youth pastor. Recently, I was teaching a group of girls about communication. We were also decorating sunglasses with paint, glitter, nail polish and ribbons. I asked them, “How does communication relate to sunglasses?”

One young woman replied, “If I’m wearing sunglasses, people may not feel like talking to me.”

I began to tell a personal experience I’d had with sunglasses…and a few other props.

Please take a moment to watch this video titled SUNGLASSES AND COMMUNICATION

This is a picture of my “Where in the Mall is Your Mother?” disguise…

The lessons learned from my personal experience are four-fold. In other words, Four Shades of Communication:

  1. Be sure of your message. What are you trying to say?
  2. Dress in such a way that your appearance is congruent to your message.
  3. Act in such a way that your message will not be misunderstood or in any way undermined.
  4. Communicate your message clearly. Speak in a manner that makes people want to hear your message

We HAVE to communicate. Make sure you’re being authentic when you do so!

By the way, here’s a picture showing the results of our decorated sunglasses…

If you’d like to up your communication and leadership game, be sure to register for, and attend my 2015 Fall Leadership Laboratory on September 26, 2015. You can find the details in the image below AND by going to my website to register. EMERALD CITY CONSULTING

Reason Five Reveals Five Imitators of Happiness

We are surrounded by imitations, fakes and counterfeits.  Some of them look so much like the original that it’s difficult to perceive the hoax.

Food, video games, fabric, jewelry, money, even communication can be counterfeit.  These can all be imitation versions of the real thing.

Fake money

These imitations are the cause of unhappiness because we can believe they are true, only to find that not only are they false, but possibly dangerous.

In my book, SELF Centered Leadership, I identify Five Imitators of Happiness that we should be wary of.  This is likely an unexpected list, because you are probably being fooled by the items on my list.

Knowing where the counterfeits are helps us to begin to live a more genuine life.  Reading my book will help you do that.

Are there any guesses as to what the Five Imitators of Happiness are?

I’m down to the last five reasons to read my book.  I began with a countdown of 30.  Have you been keeping up?

If not, here are the REAL, GENUINE reasons YOU should read SELF Centered Leadership……

#30 – You’ll learn to prepare for and survive an ODYSSEY!

#29 – You’ll learn how to spot IMITATIONS everywhere!

#28 – I’ll show you an APP to help you make tough decisions

#27 – I’ll introduce the Three P’s of Empowerment and how to apply them in your life

#26 – Wanna overcome regret?  I show you how!

#25 – I will illustrate how YOU can be heroic in your leadership!

#24 – You’ll learn my one-word definition for leadership

#23 – Friendship can sting.  I’ll tell you what I mean when I introduce you to Lexi and Debbie.

#22 – You’ll learn how to be EXCEPTIONAL!

#21 – You will know how to rise to the top of your fishbowl.

#20 – You will learn how to EMPOWER your life, your love, and your actions!

#19 – Love can be hazardous.  I teach you how to LOVE in a SAFE way.

#18 – My book makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone 12 and up!

#17 – You’ll be surprised to learn the 10 ways you influence others constantly!

#16 – You’ll learn to have charitable, brotherly love year round

#15 – You’ll learn the fishy art of caring for goldfish, and how to navigate your own fishbowl.

#14 – Learn to prepare for winter conditions

#13 – Learn how to communicate with credibility

#12Learn to lead with Intention

#11Learn ways to stop asking, and start helping

#10 – Help someone with oral cancer smile again by purchasing my book on www.smile.amazon.com  choose Oral Cancer Cause

#9 – Stop eating Styrofoam!

#8 – You’ll have access to the SACRIFICE or VICE chart for decision making

#7 – Pain, Pain, Go Away!

#6 – Service is the best medicine.