November 14, 2012


 By Chris Carnduff

In my line of work people often assume that a Management Consultant has all the answers at the outset to the problems faced by a client. This is not necessarily true although having some subject matter expertise or industry experience is often useful. One of the real tools that a Consultant uses which I am going to share with you here in this article is the ability to ask quality questions from their clients which result in a meaningful dialogue and discovery process that in turn lead to the root cause or underlying issue being identified which then can be resolved by other means. The questions listed below I believe are helpful in discerning how to help a Mentee improve and by design are very general. If you find them useful, please feel free to adapt them to your purposes.

  1. How can I be of greatest help to you in our relationship?
  2. What was the best mentoring or coaching experience you have ever had? Why was it so effective for you?
  3. What are your most important goals right now?
  4. What questions can I help you answer?
  5. What is your time frame for achieving these goals?
  6. What are the most important obstacles you are facing?
  7. What have you tried so far? How has it worked?
  8. What are your greatest abilities or strengths?
  9. What has been most helpful for you in this conversation?
  10. What are your aspirations?

Posted on behalf of Chris Carnduff

November 9, 2012

Using the Website Meeting Agenda as Chair

This is a guide on how to use the meeting website agenda as the Chair of Goodyear Toastmasters.

Step #1: Select Meeting Agenda

The very first thing you want to do is log in as a member. After that, select "Meeting Agendas" from the side column on the left of the page.

Step #2: Edit Meeting Agenda

You will see a set of buttons on the Meeting Agenda page. As Chair, the two you want to pay attention to are "edit this meeting agenda" and "email this meeting agenda". I have circled them in red in the above screenshot.

Click on "Edit This Meeting Agenda".

A new screen will open up. You don't need to worry about any of the stuff under "Meeting Agenda Items" unless you need to manually change who is selected for a specific role or edit any of the text. Members can manually add and remove themselves from roles so this should be up to them. However it's good to know you can do this too. For now, click on "Meeting Agenda Setup" which I have circled in red.

Step 3: Enter your Theme

Scroll down on the next window until you see this box. Type the theme of the meeting in the area I have circled in red as well as any other details that you would like to be sent out in all of the following emails. Whatever you type in here will be sent out in every email for this specific meeting agenda. Click Save and Close.

The theme of the week and whatever else you typed in there will also be displayed in the area I have circled on the meeting agenda on the website for everyone to see.

Step #4: Email Meeting Agenda

Now that you are satisfied with the meeting agenda, click "Email this meeting agenda" to send it out to members. Clicking on this button will not automatically send it out. You still have one more step.

This is the final step. You can type in a custom message here that will only go out with this email if you so desire. For instance, this would be a good place to announce that you are still looking for people to fill in for missing roles. What you type here will not be displayed on the meeting agenda description.

It is also VERY important to make sure that the "Send to all club members" box is checked or else nobody will receive your email.

November 5, 2012

Social Media Explained or rather, Justified.

posted by Leila Bates, Area 63 Governor 2012-2013

Chunking information into bite sized pieces is more memorable. Phew!...there is a reason to our madness.

November 4, 2012

Communicating On Video: Two Toastmasters Chat

Jason Heath interviews Promod Sharmaby Promod Sharma, CC

Do you want to learn how to talk on camera? There is an advanced manual called Communicating On Video. Now that I’m a Competent Communicator, that’s one of the two manuals I’m completing to become an Advanced Communicator Bronze.

I haven’t started but have been on camera several times. This time, I was interviewed by  Toastmaster Jason Heath on the Objective Financial Hour. He’s one of the rare true fee-only financial planners. There’s more background in a “financial doctor” interviews an “insurance doctor”.

The Experience

The experience was quite pleasant. I met Jason once before and we had lunch just before the interview. That familiarity helped me feel comfortable.

Also, the studio was inviting and quiet (like a real room). The background was genuine. I’m not a fan of using a green screen to insert a fake background. How does fooling the audience build trust?

Because the program was almost an hour, we had plenty of time to talk. However, there was no editing. The recording was live.

I’m getting more comfortable with studios and interviews. As Toastmasters, we know that practice helps.

The Surprise

Jason didn't use any notes but was prepared. Perhaps his technique leads to a more conversational style than using pre-planned questions. He's very good at impromptu speaking.

I would not be comfortable without notes. I'd probably use a mind map on my iPad. Maybe that's a crutch. I see it as a form of preparation.


Overall, we both spoke clearly, with some crutch words (“ah”, “so”, “and so”). I didn’t make eye contact throughout. Sometimes my eyes darted to the left on occasion. There are a couple of times when I didn’t feel coherent. Unfortunately there was no editing. That’s a consequence of a life recording.

The Interview

Here is the full interview (no editing).

Here is the podcast. I edited with Audacity, primarily to remove some crutchwords. some duplicated words and the commercial breaks.

direct download | Internet Archive page | iTunes

If you’d like to get better on camera. consider Communicating On Video.


Promod Sharma is committed to building trust in a transparent world. He blogs at Riscario Insider and works at Taxevity.