What’s Your Prize?

Going from Ds and Fs to 3rd-in-my-class with an A meant switching from hardly studying in the American River College cafeteria to consistently finishing my homework every Tuesday and Thursday (the same days homework was assigned) at home. This “same day” cycle was crucial because I’m lazy AF and it’s easy for me to “put it off ’til tomorrow” (which always ended up being Sunday night at 10pm – UGH).

Question: What motivated me to switch routines – and stay disciplined?

Answer: I wanted a 100% care-free, pressure-free, panic-free, cram-free Sunday. That’s it! That’s all I wanted.

Finishing my homework on Tuesday and Thursday (the days it was assigned) meant I got the exact prize I was after: a care-free Sunday!

Find The Tool That Works For You

I turned on the air conditioner, so why isn’t my place cooling down? Then I discovered I had the unit dialed to low warm instead of low cool.

Reminds me of the awesome Toastmasters meeting we had this evening about addressing and acknowledging feeling overwhelmed at work (like me realizing my place was still warm) by adjusting our mindset in the moment – and finding a TOOL that works for you (like my physically adjusting my heating/air conditioning unit’s dial).

For Matt, it’s going for a quick run or doing pushups when he feels overwhelmed. For Othello, it’s saying to himself “this is going to be overtime” when he’s tired and really needs to be productive at the end of an already long work day.

Jenny had a bad day at work as what-could-go-wrong did-go-wrong turned into her telltale symptoms of doom: heart racing, flush face. Her next step: report back to us what tool(s) she tries in the moment when work feels overwhelming.

We’ve all been there; just need to find the running, mental adjustment, breathing technique – THE TOOL – that works for you in the moment.

Reid Walley leading Public Speaking & Confidence Workshop with Resident at UC Davis Chapter Association of Women Surgeons. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sacramento, CA. Aug 2, 2018. Photo by Dr Amanda Kirane.

Confidence Workshop – UC Davis Chapter Association of Women Surgeons

A big thanks to Dr. Amanda Kirane for inviting me to present a hands-on bootcamp-style Public Speaking & Confidence Workshop for her UC Davis General Surgery Residents at their UC Davis Chapter’s Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) meeting. Location: UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sacramento, CA. Date: Aug 2, 2018.

UC Davis Chapter Association of Women Surgeons (AWS) members, after Reid Walley’s Confidence Workshop.

Reid Walley on stage with Resident - UC Davis Chapter Association of Women Surgeons - Photo credit Dr Amanda Kirane - Aug 2 2018
Reid Walley leading Confidence Workshop with UC Davis Association of Women Surgeons Resident. Photo: Dr. Amanda Kirane.

UC Davis AWS meeting Aug 2, 2018

Brandon Greathouse – Push for Greatness Leadership Speech

A “Reach Higher” Spotlight: Brandon “Knowbody” Greathouse delivering his “Push for Greatness” motivational speech to the dancers at his Sept 5, 2017 Warriors of Rhythm dance crew auditions. Step 1 Dance & Fitness in Sacramento, CA.

Catch Brandon “Knowbody” Greathouse here:

Losing vs Loser

Has your favorite sports team ever lost? Losing is part of the game. All hail the game!

I lost this weekend’s District 39 Toastmasters International speech contest at the District level (round 4 of 6). Didn’t even place. And when the top-three winner’s were announced, and I wasn’t one of them, I was immediately handed two options:

1. Bewildered

2. Be grateful

Rich Hopkins: “It’s ok to be both.”
Me: “As long as I firmly land on Be Grateful as soon as possible, then I can move forward with extreme freedom.”

John McCain: “In your opinion, what made the winning speech better?”
Me: “Keerthi Karnati‘s District-winning speech (at District 39’s 2017 Spring Conference) was simply a deeper, heart-felt, funny, scary, well-presented speech. And only Be Grateful allows me to see that clearly.”

Michael Stephens: “I don’t think it’s that you’ve “lost”; I just think it’s that someone else “won”… great job:)”
Me: “I firmly believe in meritocracy. I also believe in losing as a normal part of living – everyone should not get a trophy. That’s one thing I like about Toastmasters, there are clear distinctions between trophy and no trophy. Like winning, losing is equally a natural possible outcome of participating.”

Robin Robinson: “Next topic, sportsmanship and being a good player. Competing with dignity, and dealing with the outcome graciously, is a worthwhile skill. And you did that. Bravo.”
Me: “Sportsmanship is a big deal to me. I’m all for analysing my own loss, but pointing fingers is definitely not cool. So, yeah, sportsmanship has huge value.”

Losing vs Loser

Losing is part of honing one’s craft. The loser stops honing.

(To move forward) I must be willing to admit that I lost

I have to admit that I lost the speech contest in order to re-calculate my destination. Losing a speech contest and turning down the wrong street are the same. They both require self-realization and re-calculation. I feel a certain freedom when I look in the mirror and accept my loss. Owning it is liberating!

Love Is A Risk – Do It Anyway

Maybe love – just flat-out 100% pure love – isn’t a risk at all. Maybe it’s the parceled-out, somewhat held back love that’s a risk.

I’ve totally done that: where I only released as much love as the other person released. I worried about the “balance” of love so much. I never wanted to be more in love than the other person. That always felt painful – like I was out on a limb all by myself. Love had to be fair and it had to be measured as fair. But, shit, that just forced me to match whatever I received, instead of just being purely loving.

Being more in love with someone who was less in love with me always sucked. But the truth is I wasn’t really in love at all, I was in a contest to see who could love the least so as not to get hurt. Instead, I should just “be love” instead of “being in” love.

Love Is A Risk – Do It Anyway

You Are Not Limited By Someone Else's Options

Just because you’re offered 2 options – this VS that – does not mean you don’t have a third choice: YOURS! Hats off to my friend Stephanie Maynard for thinking beyond binary with this kick-ass Facebook post!

“Everyone is updating their profile to declare their Batman or Superman alligence and I’m over here like #TeamBatwoman”

Posted by Stephanie Maynard on Friday, March 18, 2016

Strengths Finder – What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Model speech for Toastmasters 2015 Area 45 Speech Contest.

As Cathy Davidson points out in her book about technology and education, Now You See It:

65 percent of children entering grade school today will have jobs that haven’t been invented yet!

And as my 4-1/2-year-old grandson, Tino, is currently inspired by Toy Story’s Sheriff Woody to be a cop, Cathy Davidson points out that job may not exist by the time my grandson is 20 years old. A better assessment of strengths is Tom Rath’s book, Strengths Finder 2.0.

[lgc_column grid=”50″ tablet_grid=”50″ mobile_grid=”100″ last=”false”]

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath[/lgc_column][lgc_column grid=”50″ tablet_grid=”50″ mobile_grid=”100″ last=”true”]

Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business for the 21s t Century by Cathy Davidson[/lgc_column]

How To Practice A 5-7 Minute Toastmasters Speech

You will discover that some techniques for practicing your speech work well, while others do not. My approach for practicing a speech is unique to me, so it’s important for you to gather advice from others as well. Research which patterns, practices and procedures work best for you to present a 5-7 minute speech, without notes, while coming across as confident and natural.

I added Ryan Avery‘s advice and write my speech in as close to poem form as possible. Then I took the advice of a number of World Champions of Public Speaking, like Ed Tate, and I memorize every word (for a 5-7 min speech). I then take my printed-out speech outside to my practice area and practice my speech out loud at least 6 times. This is my first of many run-throughs to get a feel for the stage and timing.

I’m also going through my stage positions while practicing out loud. I discovered that my stage positions also help me remember my next line/story.

After practicing my speech in my practice space over a week (3-6 times per day), then I don’t need my printed-out speech anymore. The speech has become part of me because it’s been marinating throughout my practice sessions.

At this point, I start doing an exercise that Ed Tate recommends: saying my speech at 2x it’s normal speed. It’s tough-going at first, but I find it very helpful.

There also comes a time when I don’t practice my speech at all – because I’m sick of all the damn practice. I take a break and come back to it a week later. This break, like a much-needed vacation, does wonders for being confident and sounding natural.

World-renowned speech coach, Patricia Fripp, advises that writing out your speech in a logical sequence helps you remember it better.