Category Archives: Speaking for the fun of it!


I had the opportunity during the last week of June to visit Beijing China to provide training to a small group.

Check one off the bucket list!

The training sessions were vibrant and full of discussion and growth.   We discussed everything from sales tactics to service  and processes.

It was my first time to China.  I loved it!  What a vibrant city!  I went not knowing what to expect but I would have to say t that I expected less technology and industry than I found.  Highways, cars, buildings, everything as modern as home.  The subways were packed with people, young and old, actively communicating via their mobile devices.  Some things have no boundaries.

Thanks to my hosts!


Jason Hewlett-Wow is an understatement!

I have been strongly influenced by the best motivational speakers our world has to offer over the last 30 years. I have also laughed and admired the talents of the greatest comedians. Never have I seen a speaker combine the talents of the motivator with the talents of the comedian like Jason Hewlett does. He may be from another galaxy!   

with Mr. Jason Hewlett
with Mr. Jason Hewlett


Tonight there were just a few of us gathered to join residents of a humble half-way house of people looking to change their lives.  He promised to give us his absolute best and he more than fulfilled that promise. I have seen him speak in front of hundreds of people.  Now get this! Jason gave as much in that small living room as he gives on the big stages! He brought me to the point of tears with laughter and then, with inspiration.  No wonder he was the National Speaker’s Association Keynote speaker for the 2016 convention. If you need a keynote speaker for a corporate or community event, it will be an absolute life-changing hit with Jason.  As far as I am concerned, he is the best in the world of motivational speakers today!

Contact him at

Take time to ponder.

I had the opportunity to speak with a group of about  50 people over the weekend.  Some were business owners, doctors, lawyers, salespeople, teachers, mothers and fathers, all walks of life.  One segment of our  discussion centered around the value of taking time out to ponder, taking time out to just think about things in our lives.

For many of us the world moves pretty fast.  We have a hard time finding those quiet moments to just think things through.   We move from task to task, problem to problem, opportunity to opportunity.   We get things handled.  There is however tremendous value in locking yourself in your office, taking a walk or finding a place with a view where you can just let you mind wander.   A notepad isn’t a bad thing to include.

It is in moments like this that I’ve found the most impact-full inspiration and insights.   I started finding moments in these pondering rituals when I was just a teenager.   Near our home in Southern California there were a lot of small hills one could walk or jog to the top of within a half an hour.  At the top I would find a comfortable place to sit for an hour or two and just let my mind sift through the events of my life while enjoying the view of the valleys below.  Often I would come to a resolution on a course of action for something I needed to do.   It was one of the most enriching practices I ever engaged in.

Today, the hills around where I live are not so small but I find the same results when I spend time in my study,  go for a walk in the neighborhood or enjoy staring at the flames in our backyard fire pit.  Its not complicated.   I just relax and think.   Our minds have such power when we engage them outside of the rushed timetables of our lives.


Continuing Education

I enjoyed a marvelous weekend of continuing education.  Jim Key, the 2003 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking,  Eric Culverson, comedian and speaker, as well as Patricia Townsend, speaker and National Speakers Association member all presented a the Toastmaster District 15 Fall Conference.  I loved every minute of their presentations and enjoyed some personal discussion time.

Jim is not only a marvelous speaker but also a speaking coach.  I purchased everything he had.  Eric was funny and inspiring.  Patricia, by her sheer demeanor and stage presence is a tremendous example of speaking confidence and authority.   I am a fan of each of them!

Although I have spoken for the last 30 years I keep learning and developing from professionals like this.  We need to be around people who are successful in what we want to be successful in.   We need to invest money in our ourselves as well.  Their thoughts become our thoughts when we take them in and put them in action.

Your dream is a possible.  If you will do things like this you get closer.  The vision and the pathway becomes clearer, an closer.

As a man thinketh….

All of my life these words from Proverbs 23:7 have kept coming back to me.  Over and over the concept is repeated in books by the greats of motivational speaking and self-help literature.  I’ve repeated the message to audiences as well in my own way.  Even as a speaker though, challenges still  come.  You’d think maybe since I know what right thinking is I would never ever deviate from it again. Why do I?  Why do we?  The answer?  We’re human.  Life is about getting up over and over.
Proper thinking isn’t only a choice.  It isn’t even just a habit. It is a way of life that takes constant effort.  Not just daily effort, constant effort.  Mentally it is the equivalent of being in top shape.  Get lazy with our minds and we will suffer.  Allow discouragement , sadness, anger, jealousy or any other negative wallowing and it will weaken us.

Let’s resolve to have a positive mind set always, today, right now!

Get up!

Choose courage over dis-courage-ment. -Jeff Shoop

Thoughts on Failure

We have all heard phrases like “Failure is never final” and “You only fail when you quit”.  Those statements are true, however too often many of us internalize failure.   We are harsh judges of ourselves when we do so.   Any event that we might call a failure is only a moment in time, an event, a coming short of some goal or expectation, but failure is never a person.   As a matter of fact every failure is a step toward victory.  I have failed thousands of times during my lifetime whether it was in school, athletics or in my career.  But every failure was only a part of a learning experience and a step forward in those spheres of life.   Every failure and every victory were the bricks and mortar that made me successful.   It is a matter of perspective and attitude.   If you are afraid to fail and internalize each attempt that comes short of expectation you need to re-frame how you look at that event.   I recommend a journal.   Write how you feel and what you think about the event.   Think it through.  Keep writing.   Point out to yourself as you write what the affect your errant thinking can have on you, how it can hold you back.   Then write how you should be thinking about the event.   Create within yourself a new expectation and map out how you will take action.   Then take action!


We were meant to experience joy in life.   At times though we don’t get the results we want.  We don’t achieve as much as we thought we could.  We fall short.   We can’t seem to rise above our failures.   Life feels mediocre, stagnant.   Sustained happiness eludes us in our careers, our social and personal lives.

My experience has taught me to look to the man in the mirror in order to assess why.   In moments of introspection and insight I have found that the fruit of my life is the result of the seeds that I planted.   As I have looked at my successes and failures the fruit of my actions grew from my own choices-seeds of thought, vocal expressions, action and habit.   The right fruit, an indicator that I am on the right track.  The wrong fruit invariably indicates the need for change.

Change of this nature always starts within.   If our thinking, speaking and our actions lean toward the negative, if our self image has become weakened due to habits of negativity, laziness, timidity or lack of discipline it is time to change.   The word ‘change’ may not be the most welcome to our ears, however, if our dreams are bigger than what our lives are dishing out to us now, our perspectives on change should be one of excitement.   You see, change is a choice and it can re-open the door to our dreams


Change is never immediate but like a fork in the road, a change of direction is!   When we determine to re-assess our habits, feed our minds with positive conversations and reading, manage our time in a disciplined fashion, turn off the TV or video games when there is work to be done, then change starts to happen.  When we find that new attitude of power over our lives and our direction, we will experience hope, joy and happiness in the process.   Success may take some time but with determination to do the right things that lead to success even failures and disappointments can add to our strength because the right attitude demands that we learn from them and keep pushing forward.

We were meant to experience joy but there is a price to be paid and that price is growth through sustained effort and work with the right mental attitude born of

I have enjoyed a couple of particularly playful speaking opportunities this month in which I really let my hair down.   On the topic of pushing our limits intellectually, spiritually and physically I enjoyed talking about the growth that happens when muscles are pushed in the weight room.

I first stepped into a weight room a good 41 years ago.   I learned that when you push those muscles to their limits they grow in mass and strength.   Even now, though I am a casual lifter, I still lift more than most high schoolers that step into the weight room.   I remarked that I am probably one of the very few 56 year olds you could see doing one armed push ups.

I enjoyed it when I was challenged by a member of the audience each time to prove it.   Certainly though I couldn’t do it without everyone providing the music to the theme of Rocky, “Gonna Fly Now”.    Silly though it sounds, the audience loved it and those speech were home runs!  I will get it on video sometime.


I enjoy going to Toastmasters for several reasons.  I can practice new material without experimenting on a paying audience.   It offers me a little more “stagetime” as one of my mentors Darren LaCroix would say.   I also learn something every time.  I also enjoy it when someone asks me for suggestions on how to improve their speeches.   I really love helping where I can.

Toastmasters encourages a positive environment where people can improve their skills at almost no cost.   Its a great place to grow and I’ve been known to visit 4 to 6 clubs a week, sometimes.

Stagetime = Practice
Stagetime = Practice