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Showing posts with the label Public Speaking

Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life

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Two days ago I gave a speech at the Red Lotus Gallery open mic night in Muskegon, Michigan titled, "Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life".


Here are the notes that I carried on a piece of paper in my wallet.

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adventure
why?
3 values - experiential, attitudinal
3 levels of knowing
experience of what
loss of control, regaining
step into the unknown, conquer it
face anxiety, overcome it
encourage you do same

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Every speech I give is a little different. I like it like that. In the moment I cut out the part about the three levels of knowledge. Two psychology concepts back to back just seemed like too much. I also added that we were doing medical checks on the alligators.

Here's the video.

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The speech went well, it was fun. It was my first time at the open mic night there. I try to take fun and interesting topics and connect them with deep and meaningful topics. I think it works well.

This speech affected the MC so much…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 2 of ?

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You know when you start a project that's somewhat similar to one you've done before, and then it ends up being a bit more complex than you first imagined? That's what we're into here.


I've given hundreds of speeches on many different subjects. In the last month or so I've given speeches on resentment as the most destructive emotion, analyzing the philosophical roots of rock lyrics, how my family originated as Leprechauns, how I raised a dragon egg when I was a kid, the importance of comic books as an art form, and what a virtuous human being is. I've had people come up to me after every one of those speeches and tell me how much they liked it and how much it made them think, because I seem to have a unique view on most things. Next week I'm giving a speech titled "Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life". But these Harry Potter speeches are a... challenge.

I have 2 things that are solid. I have 3, or 4, or 5 things that still have to be wo…

How to Make Better Toastmasters Club Presentations

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This is a major problem in Toastmasters. It won't be easy to implement, but it should be done nevertheless, and I know how to do it.


A couple of weeks ago I went to an open house put on by the Book Nook Toastmasters Club in Montague, Michigan. I was just going to drop by the club, I didn't realize they had an open house event going on that night. It worked out well. There were a few members from another local club. It was in a coffee shop/ bar/ bookstore that's a nice location, with a raised platform to speak from and everything.

The meeting included several different things, the best part was the impromptu speaking during Table Topics where I talked about how my family is descended from Leprechauns. It was a big hit.

There was also a club presentation made detailing what Toastmasters is about. I've given a few of these presentations. The powerpoints are made by Toastmasters and you are given instructions on how to go through them. I've seen many and I've never…

How to Make a Speech About Comic Books

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I gave a speech about comic books today. It was to an audience that has no direct connection with comic books. They still loved it. How do you do that?


This was at the Arconic Toastmasters Club in White Lake, Michigan. It was a fun meeting. I was invited there by a member who saw me give an impromptu speech at the Book Nook Club in Montague about my family being descended from wise Leprechauns.

I emailed back and forth with Forbes about the meeting. I wanted the club to choose what I was going to speak about. Here are some of the options that I gave.

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Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life
Philosophical, Psychological, and Theological Depth in Contemporary Rock Lyrics
How to Not be Suicidal
The How and Why of Writing Comic Books
Resentment as the Path to Destruction
How to Fail and Succeed at Mountain Climbing at the Same Time

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He told me that the one about comic books would probably work out well. I was surprised by this, but I thought it would be a fun…

How to Make Toastmasters Better

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I've become so good at impromptu speaking that I was accused of cheating this morning. I gave a prepared speech about comic books at the Arconic Toastmasters Club in White Lake, Michigan. It went well. Then, I volunteered to give a Table Topics speech, which is a short impromptu speech, based off a prompt on a card.


I read the card. It said something about "the most virtuous person." I moved the lectern while I was trying to think of what to say. I opened with "Who is a virtuous person?", or something like that. I was still trying to figure out what to say, but I acted like I knew what I was going to say. I went into how you might look and never find a wholly virtuous person. I transitioned to how life is suffering. Everyone has their own issues that they're suffering from, for instance I have bones pressing on my brainstem. How do we redeem this suffering? - through meaning. We find meaning in creative, experiential, and attitudinal values. Pursuing these …

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 1 of ?

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I'll be giving speeches at Potter in the Park this year. That's a Harry Potter festival held in Sparta, Michigan. I'm the Professor of Muggle Studies. It's awesome! (Muggles are non-magical people.)


How did I get this position? I wrote a couple of articles on Harry Potter, which is an interest of mine. One of them was noticed by Rebecca, the woman that organizes the event. She contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be involved. Of course I said yes! Then we had to figure out how I would be involved. There were really only two good options, I could either do writing or public speaking. She had been wanting to have a Professor of Muggle Studies for a few years anyway. It worked out perfectly.

We worked out that I'll be speaking from the main stage. I've stood in that audience before and it's possible that it gets into the hundreds of viewers at a single time. Presenters on things like owls who have participated in previous years will have priority, so I'…

Minister Jeff's Wedding Speech and Ceremony: An Analysis

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I've been a minister since 2012, but I haven't done anything with it, until now. I recently officiated the wonderful wedding of Ashley and Joshua Plecas. It was a lot of fun. It was also a unique experience. I'm going to break it down here.


Many people are afraid of speaking in public, which is reasonable. It's an animal thing. All of those people staring at you is intimidating. Eye contact is one of the fundamental forms of dominance displays. I've learned to enjoy it. But, a wedding ceremony is a little different.

When I'm giving a speech I only have to worry about me. I'm 100 percent in charge. If I want to change something I just change it, and nobody else even knows. A wedding is a little more like acting. You have to wait until it's your turn, other people are moving and responding to you. Also, people want to know what you're going to say beforehand.

Luckily for me Ashley and Joshua are pretty easy going, and I have a bit of experience creati…

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