Lessons Learned From First Toastmasters Speech

As noted in a previous post, I joined Toastmasters about a month ago and had a hard time writing my first Ice Breaker speech. I'm happy to tell you that I survived! Despite writing my speech the day before giving it and practicing it on my commute to and from work, my evaluator (who has been in Toastmasters for over 35 years) said it was the best Ice Breaker speech he's seen as far as composure. I must admit that it was not nearly as difficult ...

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What Online Ads Say About You

Posted on October 3, 2012

Story is no longer the selling point for advertising execs and agencies anymore. Online advertising as a percentage of overall advertising budgets, has continued to rise steadily over the years, according to Nielson.org. This is because more people are spending time online where advertisers can do a way better job of only paying to advertise to their extremely narrow target market and they can measure each ad's effectiveness a lot better than ...

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Problems With DIY

Posted on September 26, 2012

Gutting my house and remodeling it primarily by myself and help from some loving family members, has taught me a lot about why you should hire contractors. Here are some common sayings and how they have proven to be true for DIY projects: You are your harshest critic. There are cut lines, or seams, in my baseboard and I am the only one that notices it apparently. As much as I appreciate everyone lying to me that they don't see what I'm ...

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How a 5k Boosted My Self-Confidence

My sister and I just did one of those 5k races through the mud with a bunch of obstacles, this one was called the Rugged Maniac. In preparation for the race, I of course did not follow the recommended training schedule but did my own thing...which included drinking for 3 days straight in Vegas the week before the race! Needless to say I was pretty nervous come race day. The last time I tried running (before 'training' for this race) was a ...

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Thank you, Toastmasters!

A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to start writing the speech of my life, even if I don't have anybody to present it to yet. This has been my mission ever since and it has now led me to joining Toastmasters. As I'm writing my first Icebreaker Speech, I realize how much I dislike talking about myself. Sure, I can do it in conversations very easily, but to stand in front of a room of strangers and talk for 5 straight minutes by myself is ...

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6 Remodeling Tips Learned The Hard Way

Everyone, well, most everyone, wants to beautify their house. Especially in this market, more people are opting to remodel their current home rather than buy a new one. Remodeling can be just as expensive as buying a new house sometimes though if you don't go about it the right way. These are 6 mistakes that I made as a novice DIY'er: 1. Help from family and friends isn't always the best way. If you do have family and friends help you, take ...

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5 Things Tennis Taught Me About Life

Posted on August 16, 2012

About 3 years ago an acquaintance moved to Minnesota and was looking for someone to play tennis with occasionally. Having never played tennis as anything more than a joke, I volunteered to play with him one day- provided he had a racket I could use of course. I fell in love that summer, at the ripe age of 26, with a new sport. We probably played an average of 10 hours a week, sometime starting at 6 a.m. and playing until midnight (after we ...

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I've been listening to the book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, right now and it really got me thinking about our expectations in life. The author was talking about a study of the happiest countries and Denmark came up the happiest. Why, you may ask, is Denmark the happiest country? Well, the study said it was because they don't expect as much as other countries. If you don't expect anything then you can't be disappointed. I'll admit, ...

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