Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

The President's Speak.

But it's the soldiers who Deliver.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial - photo by Rich Hopkins

Memorial Day, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Nearly a month since my last post? Doesn't feel like it, that's for sure.

This may seem odd, but I've actually been busy speaking...and coaching...even coaching someone giving a speech about being - wait for it - too BUSY!

How do you handle it when you realize you've left a project, or a blog, unattended to far longer than you imagined? My clients often tell me how easy it is to put off writing their speeches, finding stories for their story log, and contacting potential places to speak. Indeed - I completely understand.

The only answer is to get back to it - to put aside the feeling of overwhelm, the worry that you must come back with some gargantuan effort, and just write, or speak, or call, or whatever it is that you have put aside for so long, and build momentum.

So what have I been busying my time with?

Doris Duke Theatre, filling up for SPEAK.

A trip to Hawaii, for one, where the Toastmasters of District 49 welcomed me to a screening of Speak the Movie. 200 people showed up at the Doris Duke Theatre in Honolulu for a movie style showing. Afterward, I took questions for about 45 minutes, on everything from my mindset to my future plans to how my kids are now, five years later.

Willie Jones - 1997 World Champion of Public Speaking

Sheryl Roush - Accredited Speaker, Author

My host, Cain Kamano, and his wife Liz, showed me a great time the rest of the week, and had arranged for me to give an abbreviated version of my Win Anyway keynote to three Toastmasters clubs in the area, including the home club of World Champion of Public Speaking Willie Jones - who actually showed up and provided me with some valuable feedback afterward.

My last night there was yet another Toastmaster meeting, this time sharing the stage with Accredited Speaker Sheryl Roush, as she and I were assigned to evaluate two speeches that were just a day away from being given at their District contest. If you haven't experienced Sparkle-Tude in person, you can't miss a chance to spend time with Sheryl. Watch for her coming to an event near you!

Coming home, I began going down the homestretch with a few clients competing at Divisional and District rounds of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest here in my home District 26. It's been tremendous working with so many speakers, helping them take their speeches to a higher level than before, and creating a wonderful gift for their audiences. 

At the conference itself over the last weekend, after watching the inimitable World Champion of Public Speaking Jim Key give two outstanding sessions focused on achieving excellence and the value of storytelling, I delivered my own 45 minute breakout session on Creating Championship Speakers with Championship Evaluations - stressing the importance of giving, and RECEIVING, feedback in the most effective ways possible.

Surrounded by 2003 World Champion of Public Speaking
Jim Key and Vocal Coach and Voice Actor Hilary Blair

Before he flew off Sunday morning, Jim kicked off a morning devoted to professional speaking by giving us tips on starting a business as a speaker, followed by some individual coaching. Rounding out the morning, Hilary Blair, professional vocal coach and voice-over professional, offered an entertaining and informative review of vocal exercises and a look into how our voice works both for and against us. I closed the event with 45 minutes with an interactive look at Discovering and Defining your Message, ending with a quick tutorial about product creation.

A whirlwind month, and I've only shared some of the highlights. What have you been doing - what have you been busy with? What stages have you graced? Are you out sharing your message and making an impact? I know you are - many to a much greater extent than I have this month. Share your story in the comments - I love hearing about your successes!

In the meantime, it's OK to get a bit busy, and to get caught up in the gust of wind as time flies. As long as you always remember to occasionally land and catch up, and always, of course, to Speak...& Deliver!


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