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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

What Does A Toastmasters Agenda Look Like?


Some of you want to know what a typical Toastmasters meeting looks like.

Here’s a sample Toastmasters agenda (it assumes a 12:05pm start with a roughly 1pm close (total of 55 minutes for the meeting)).

  • 12:05pm: Opening Remarks by Toastmaster (including mention of who Timer & Gramarrian are)
  • 12:10pm: Speaker 1: [fill in their name, topic and number of minutes planned for speech]
  • 12:17pm: Speaker #2 [fill in their name, topic and number of minutes planned for speech]
  • 12:24pm: Table-Topics Leader introduces themselves & calls upon a handful of people to give 1 to 2 minute table-topic speeches
  • 12:43pm: Master Evaluator introduces themselves & the speech evaluators:
  • 12:45pm: #1 Evaluator introduces themselves and evaluates Speaker #1
  • 12:48pm: #2 Evaluator introduces themselves and evaluates Speaker #2
  • 12:51pm:  Timer does their report (recording the time of each speaker)
  • 12:52pm: Grammarian does their report (reporting on the Uhs, Ahs, Likes, Ya-Knows, etc. that each spekaer made)
  • 12:54pm:  Master Evaluator/ Closing/ Announcements

For more on Toastmasters basics, check out My First Experience With Toastmasters.

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Saturday, June 5th, 2010

The Top 10 “John Wooden” Searches On My Blog


My John Wooden Series is receiving a bunch of traffic these days after his recent death.

I always look at what keywords people search on to make sure I’m doing my best to provide good resources on them.

Towards that end, here are the top 10 John Wooden searche phrases (in quotes below) that I’m receiving, along with relevant links/answers:

  1. “john wooden quotes” — Here’s a good list of Wooden quotes (along with how many people like each one)
  2. “john wooden 7 principles” — This refers to the “7 Things To Do” that Wooden’s father taught him
  3. “john wooden steps to success” — Here’s my post on Wooden’s 8 Steps To Success
  4. “pyramid of success john wooden” — Here’s a cool image of Wooden’s Pyramid with
  5. “bill gates and john wooden” — my old colleague Bob Evans of Information Week wrote  here that “Bill had a basketball autographed by John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach and a master strategist himself. I asked about the ball and Bill’s feelings toward Coach Wooden, but Bill just smiled and said we’d have to get to that another time.”)
  6. “john wooden records” (the best listing I can find of John Wooden’s records appears on this “John Wooden: A Coaching Legend Page at
  7. “drink deeply in books’-wooden” (this is from Wooden’s father’s list of “Seven Things To Do” — the exact wording is “Drink deeply from good books, especially the bible.”)
  8. “best john wooden book for teenagers” — I believe that “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off The Court” is the best Wooden book for teenagers
  9. “charlie rose interviews john wooden” — Here’s a link to Charlie interviewing Wooden!
  10. “john wooden personality type” — I researched this and found out that he is likely an ENFJ and Enneagram Type 1

As you know, John Wooden is a hero of mine — if there’s anything else you’d like to know about him, please comment below.

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Friday, June 4th, 2010

John Wooden Quotes From “Pyramid of Success”


[This is part of a John Wooden Leadership Series I’m doing celebrating his 100th year of life]

The following is excerpted from John Wooden’s amazing book The Pyramid of Success.

He begins with this overall quote:

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

And here are Wooden’s 15 “Building Blocks” of the Pyramid of Success along with quotes on each:

1) Industriousness — “There is no substitute for hard work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.”

2) Enthusiasm — “Enthusiasm brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.”

3) Friendship — “Friendship comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted but requires a joint effort.”

4) Cooperation — “Cooperate with all levels of your co-workers. Listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your way.”

5) Loyalty — “Loyalty to yourself and to all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.”

6) Self-Control — “Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.”

7) Alertness — “Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve.”

8) Initiative — “Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it.”

9) Intentness — “Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achievement by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.”

10) Condition — “Mental-Moral-Physical. Rest, exercise and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.”

11) Skill — “A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.”

12) Team Spirit — “A genuine consideration for others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.”

13) Poise — “Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.”

14) Confidence — “Respect without fear. May come from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.”

15) Competitive Greatness — “Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge. “

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Questions To Ask Employers (When You’re Interviewing For A Job)


A friend of mine asked for my career advice the other day as he was preparing to interview for a job — I told him: turn the tables on your employer and ask THEM all the questions.

You may recall from A Simple 4-Step Approach on How To Sell Better (SPIN Selling), that I agree with the SPIN Selling approach in which you ask lots of questions to close a deal.

And this applies to a job interview in which you’re interviewing THEM as much as they are interviewing you.

Note: “Closing” the deal can include you closing it “out” (as in you don’t want to pursue the position)).

So, I rattled off these questions below. I suggest you immediately take control of the interview by saying something like: “Thank you for investing some time in me — would you mind if I began by asking a few questions about you and your business.

*Note: If any of these answers are available through research (e.g. on Web pages), you should research them ahead of time and skip asking them.

Questions To Ask Employers

Questions that Relate to the Person Interviewing You

  • How do you get hooked up with the business?
  • What are the top priorities for you right now?
  • What are some key things I can take off your plate?

Big-Picture Questions To Ask Employers

  • What are the top priorities for the entire business right now?
  • How is the company structure organized (e.g. is it by department or by brand (with each brand having its own departments) and how does your team fit in?*
  • What’s the “secret sauce” to how you make money (or create value)?
  • Who are the shareholders/owners of the company? (Do any of them work at the company?)*
  • Does the company have a purpose statement or mission statement?*
  • Does the company have a set of company values — if yes, may I see a list of them?*

Performance, Compensation & Benefits Questions To Ask Employers

  • How are priorities set? (e.g. within your group)
  • How will you measure my performance?
  • How does compensation work — is it just salary? Is there potential to earn bonuses or equity?
  • What’s the company’s approach to work versus personal/family time ?

Questions To Ask Employers That Relate to Just You

  • Who would my manager be and who do they report to?
  • What is the company’s room for moving up the corporate latter?
  • Are there any training opportunities I could potentially take advantage of?

I’ll add other questions to ask employers as I think of them…feel free to do the same in the comments section.

If you ask a lot of questions, and listen carefully, you’ll be in better shape to size up the job opportunity.

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