Posts Tagged ‘executive coaching’

How I Accelerated My Public Speaking at Toastmasters!

How I Overcame Fear of Public SpeakingI love Toastmasters.  I joined Toastmasters earlier this year to increase my public speaking skills. I presented three speeches to this group so far.  With over 25 weekly members, the calendar for public speakers fills up quickly. 

Whether you are already a member of Toastmasters, thinking about joining a chapter or simply curious about public speaking, there will be a golden nugget and insight for you as you reflect upon this extraordinary story. This experience happened to me at the previous Toastmasters meeting only a couple weeks ago.  Looking back, I clearly see how it accelerated my awareness of my public speaking potential.

As you read this story, imagine being the character  practicing your public speaking skills. How would you act? how would you feel? What would you think? And, what would you have done?

This is what transpired…


I received an email from my Toastmasters group “Noonshiners.”  They were looking for a volunteer because a slot just opened up for a public speaking engagement the following day.  I’ve been practicing my speech to be presented at the end of September for three weeks now and felt ready to take on this challenge.  So I volunteered and added myself to the Toastmasters calendar.


The next morning I checked my mail 15 minutes before I left the house to go to Toastmasters.  I received a letter from my mortgage company telling me they were going to stop my current pay plan. They said my bank returned their automatic withdrawal.  I don’t know about you, but for me, this was a big fear I needed to take care of as soon as possible. And this fear was a distraction to my public speaking engagement. Can you imagine what may have been going through your mind if this was happening to you?


However, in my mind, not presenting my Toastmasters speech was not an option for me.  So I practiced my public speaking one more time and was off to present my speech titled “Conversations with Doubt and Fear.”


I was number two of three people that signed up for speaking that day. I honestly felt my heart beating out of my chest as a couple of the members shook my hand to thank me for being a brave soul and volunteer at the last minute.  No one could know how nervous I was to present this speech today. But this time, I wasn’t nervous about my speech. My fear was from the letter I received from the mortgage company.  Can you relate to this? 


While I was speaking, I realized how much I was living the “Conversations with Doubt and Fear.” How real it all was as I spoke. I mean, I even had a line in the speech when Doubt and Fear said to me “Kim, your heart is beating so fast, you can’t even hear yourself speak.”  I was so aware of living everything I was speaking about, but it wasn't distracting .  It was almost like I was an observer in my own experience.


At the end of my speech,  everyone clapped their hands as I bowed, shook the Toastmasters hand and walked back to my seat.  I knew I connected well because everyone laughed when I said something funny.  I spoke without my notes, walked around the room with lots of eye contact to my audience of around 30 people.  I did it!


My Evaluator said “Kim you jumped five levels today from your last speech. You came across as genuine, natural, everything flowed, you weren't nervous at allAnd," she said "I learned so much from you. Everything was great. The only critique I even have for you is to pause a few more seconds before you ended the speech with thank you.” I couldn’t believe it. I never even heard a critique that good since I’ve been there.


Looking back, I realized so many things had to come into alignment for this to happen.

1. I volunteered at the last minute to do this speech three weeks earlier than planned.

2. I received a letter 15 minutes before going to present my speech from my mortgage company which drove my entire presentation.

3. I was speaking on the topic of “Doubt and Fear,” which again, accelerated my awareness of my speaking potential. 

Oh, and, by the way, the letter from my mortgage company turned out to be a computer error.

“Wow,” I thought, “how cool is all this.  How many things had to line up in the universe to make all that happen?”  The reason I am writing this to you is this… 

There is a reason to be grateful for everything in life, the good and the bad. 

I am so grateful I volunteered to be the public speaker at Toastmasters that day.  And, I am grateful for receiving the letter that filled me with fear and drove me to accelerate the awareness of my potential as a public speaker!

Here's another life lesson I learned while talking to my mentor. I told her I now have to write another speech as funny and impactful as that one. She said to me, "No Kim, it wasn't the speech, it was you. Whatever you did that day, do that in all your speeches."

As I write this blog, I realized two more nuggets for you as a take away…

1. When you are public speaking, be in the moment, think of a time that will put you in the same situation I was in that day. This is similar to what actors and actresses do when they are performing.

2. Begin practicing positive affirmations. I began practicing positive affirmations for all I want in my life. I started this three weeks prior to this event. One of my affirmations is "I am connecting well to my audience at Toastmasters." Could this also be a reason everything came into alignment?


As a Career Coach, my purpose, vision and goal is writing professional resumes and professional coaching. I am focused on Career Development and Life Coaching – helping you realize your true potential and lift the lid from your limiting beliefs! If you need help in these areas, you're welcome to call me to schedule an initial free consultation at 970-672-8476 or email me at  FYI! My next speech at Toastmasters at the end of September is “How to be Happy,” scientifically speaking.

From the Job Seeker’s Tool Kit! 5 Interview Statements. True or False?

Interview QuizAs a professional resume writer and Executive coach, I write blogs on success stories and tips for job seekers going through career transition on the topics of resumes, the interview, social networking, negotiating and many other subjects to help you through career transition.  Today, I thought it would be fun to do something a bit different.  So, this week we’ll take a quiz to review two of my blog posts written earlier this year on the interview and relevant today. Let's see what you remember.  If you haven't read my former interview posts, let's see how much you know. Let’s have some fun with this. Ready? Here we go…

Below are 5 true or false questions based on two of my popular blog posts titled “Job Interviewing Success! The 7 Critical Rules to Remember” and the “Top Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts for Women and Men to Dress for Success.”

5 Interview Question

 Review the interview statements below. Are they True or False?

 1. It's best to answer all situational questions with one of your accomplishments. Even if it’s unrelated to the job, it’s still one of your accomplishments.

 2. Focus your answers on your skills

 3. Wear conservative or power colors. This shows your confidence to the interviewer.

 4. On a warm sunny day, it is acceptable to wear sunglasses in the interview.

 5. Do wear light cologne or none at all.


Man Reviewing Interview Quiz1. It's best to answer all situational questions with one of your accomplishments even if it's unrelated to the job.  False. Do answer all situational questions with an accomplishment. However, you do want to direct your answers to the company needs.  And, present your answers on what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you.  Many interviewees do not remember to do this.  I also recommend using the S.A.R. statement to answer all accomplishments. S.A.R. stands for Situation, Action, Result.  Begin with the verb that best describes your role. For example, managed, developed or represented. Discuss briefly 3 or 4 actions without too much detail. And, end with the result.  What was the outcome of your accomplishment that made it a success? If possible, quantify the results with a specific dollar amount or percentage increased or reduced.  If the results are not available yet, projections are acceptable. Remember to speak the language of the industry where you are interviewing.  This will tell the interviewer you are a good fit and ready to make the change.

2. Focus on your skills. True. Be specific. Say the skills the interviewer is looking for in your answers at least three times throughout your interview.  For example, if you are in Human Resources Management, you may want to name drop the skills Talent Management, Human Resources Management, and Training and Development.  What the employer hears three times in the interview, they will remember.

3. Wear conservative or power colors. This shows your confidence to the interviewer. False. Do wear conservative colors onlyConservative colors include navy blue, black, tan or any earth tone colors that compliment you.  Do not wear power colors to the interview. For example, red is a power color.  Leave the power in the hands of the interviewer.

Business at interview wearing sunglasses4. On a warm sunny day, it is acceptable to wear sunglasses during the interview. False. It is not acceptable to wear sunglasses during the interview. Eye contact is important.  Let the employer see your eye contact. This sounds funny that anyone would wear sunglasses, however, interviewers see it often. I remember seeing someone in an interview with sunglasses and a bright orange tie.  This is a perfect example of what not to do.

5. Do wear light cologne or none at all. True. Ladies and gentlemen, your cologne may offend the interviewer or may even be the cologne of an allergy. Or, remind the interviewer of a former business or personal relationship, which could be a distraction to your interview.


I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and found this week’s blog fun and helpful to you. If you're an Executive with a success story you'd like to share, please email your story to I'll be happy to write your story and use it to encourage others. 

If you are a job seeker, I would like to encourage you to check out, and become a member of this very special non profit organization, whose purpose is to help people through career transition. This is where you can volunteer.  And, you too, can make a difference.  

Do you need immediate help with job interviewing, social networking or salary negotiating? Or, maybe you're thinking about hiring a professional resume writer to help you write your resume. I can help. To email me a comment, ask a question or schedule a free initial phone consultation, please give me a call or contact me at


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