Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bridgeport Toastmasters in-the-news !

The University of Bridgeport has a nice article on the "News & Events" section of their website about the involvement of their students with the Greater Bridgeport Toastmasters club (click here).

UB is also where we will be having one of the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) events on Saturday, July 25th !

Hope to see you there !


Monday, May 25, 2009

What's going on with Dave Wheeler?

Dave Wheeler has discovered ... and is becoming an active "tweeter" !

What does that mean?
It means that you can "follow" him and receive super brief updates (up to 140 characters) or other "tweets" from him via your own twitter page.  Visit to sign up for Twitter and then search for "theshot92" to find Dave' updates.  (It is free.)

Why?  What will I get?
Depending on who you are following, Twitter provides quotes, life updates and insights that range from the profound to the inane.  In other words, choose who you follow wisely... but then you probably already knew that from real life !

Why is the media making such a big deal about Twitter?
Twitter is part of what is called "Social Networks" or "Social Media".  In other words, it is an online way to connect with people and spread "the word".   (Whatever "the word" means for you and people who think like you.)  Other sites that are often mentioned as part of the "Social Media" are Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn.  (Dave is on Facebook and Linkedin too, in case you are interested.)

Try it out and let us know about your Social Media experience !

You might be surprised what you find.

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9
D53 LGET, 2009-10

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What are you doing with your Cognitive Surplus?

The video below introduced me to the concept of "Cognitive Surplus" and got me thinking... What am I doing (or going to do) with my own "Cognitive Surplus"?

In short, the gist of Clay Shirky's speech is this...

In the industrial revolution, people were drawn into cities; productivity created a boom in free time (vs. the old agrarian lifestyle) and the "opiate of the people" (to steal a concept from another historical figure)  was GIN (or at least it was for London, which Clay talks about).  The boom in free time (and time to think about things) is what Clay calls a "Cognitive Surplus" and in the industrial revolution it was eventually deployed by society in the form of libraries, schools and other institutions which helped society.

He goes on to point out that, [in the post world-war growth of mass media and business growth], productivity of our business systems has continued to grow and the replacement for GIN is television.  (specificically, according to Clay, TV sitcoms).

His question is ... how are we, as a society, going to use our growing "Cognitive Surplus" (instead of just watching more sitcoms on TV)?

Clearly, Toastmasters is a great choice and the good news is that you don't have to give up sitcoms "cold turkey".  There are now DVR's which will tape your shows and play them back (without commercials) so you can attend your evening Toastmasters meetings !

What are you going to do with your Cognitive Surplus ?

Friday, May 08, 2009

World Champion comes to D53 !

Shera Cohen and Springfield (MA) Toastmasters organized an excellent event last Thursday evening featuring the 1962 World Champion of Public Speaking, Bob Garton. 

There was also television coverage (channel 22) as shown by the YouTube video below.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How to deal with the stress of the current economy...

Tony Robbins on Today Show
The link below shows Tony Robbin's appearance on The Today Show yesterday....

He makes some great points very quickly but his best point is right at the end... and it emphasizes why we should all start to think about our next role within Toastmasters !

How are you going to challenge yourself over the coming Toastmasters year?