Personal Development

Personal Development (4)

This section includes articles related to personal development. As Rae has journeyed through life, he has learned a few things along the way. Many of them were learned the hard way.  

Enjoy the articles and feel free to comment. Keep the discussion going. 

Sunday, 14 August 2016 01:20

How do I deliver a good impromptu speech?

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How do I deliver a good impromptu speech. Article by Rae StonehouseFirstly, you need to develop your all-round public speaking skills so that when the opportunity arises, you have the ability and the self-confidence to deliver an impromptu speech. Secondly, you need to say something that is worth your audience’s time to listen to.

Let me clarify impromptu speaking scenarios for anyone reading this response. Here are some examples of impromptu speaking opportunities:

· The scheduled speaker is unavailable

· You are sitting on a panel answering questions from the audience

· You are fielding questions after your own talk

· You are being interviewed on television, radio, webinar, or telephone

· You are invited (at the last moment) to say a few words at a company gathering

· You are asked to provide a brief status report for your project at a department meeting

· You are motivated to join the debate at the parent association meeting for your child’s school

· You decide to give an unplanned toast at an event with family or friends

Accountants & Public Speaking: Article by Rae Stonehouse.It doesn’t really matter if you are a funeral director, a tow truck driver, a cosmetician or even an accountant, the same rules apply to becoming an engaging speaker.

The first two caveats are likely that you have to something worthwhile talking about and secondly you need an audience i.e. somebody who is interested or could benefit from your message.

The secret to becoming an engaging speaker is to be confident in your speaking. Darren Lacroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, often says that the secret to becoming confident in your speaking is “stagetime, stagetime, stagetime” which can also be interpreted as “practice, practice, practice!”

Any local Toastmasters club will give you ample opportunities to hone your speaking skills and in turn increase your self-confidence. Fellow club members will provide constructive feedback that will help hone your skills. As a 22 year member of Toastmasters, so far, I have certainly benefitted from the opportunities that my club membership has provided. I have also accepted many speaking opportunities out in the public that also continue to help me hone my speaking skills.

Saturday, 30 July 2016 04:01

Top Ten Personal Empowerment Tips

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Top Ten Personal Empowerment Tips by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Personal empowerment is something that many of us take for granted, yet for others it is an elusive and difficult concept to grasp.

One definition of personal empowerment is “deriving the strength to do something through one’s own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows what is best for oneself.”

From a different perspective “a management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.”

“Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.”

Saturday, 30 July 2016 03:56

How Big is Your Sandbox?

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How Big is Your Sandbox? by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. How big do goldfish grow? It seems an innocent enough question. The answer is "it depends". It depends on the size of the aquarium that they spend their days swimming around in. House-bound goldfish can perhaps make it to 2 to 3 inches. Goldfish that have been released to the wild and haven't ended up on the menu of somebody higher up the food chain have been reported to grow to a whopping 12 to 14 inches.

Unless you find the collecting of trivia to be fascinating I would expect the next question forming in your mind to be "Who cares? Why is this important to me?" Okay, that was really two questions disguised as one...