The Planning Notepad and

My colleague John Krissilas has two websites worth checking out if you are interested in learning more about creativity and branding. The first one is, The Planning Notepad According to the site: The Planning Notepad features, “thoughts on advertising, trends, and technology from John Krissilas, an archaeologist turned brand consultant with a passion for understanding people.”

John also is the founder of which is a, “creativity coaching service that helps you boost your creativity and create impactful experiences.” On the site there are tips and techniques that can help you to increase your creativity level. As we are all in the era of the “personal brand” learning new and useful information is important.

Book Recommendation – Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation

Do you know how to fascinate? In other words, do you know how to be captivating so that people take notice and pay attention to your message? In Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, author Sally Hogshead outlines the elements that you need to become more fascinating. The book is based on research from leading experts as well as the results of a national marketing study. In this study over 1,000 people of various backgrounds were surveyed in depth on fascination. The book is divided into three parts. The first part of the book discusses why the ability to fascinate people is so important and some strategies you can use to make your message compelling enough to fascinate.

The second part of the book discusses what are some of the triggers that you can use to get people interested in your message. The seven triggers that Hogshead discusses are: mystique, lust, alarm, prestige, power, vice and trust. For each of the triggers she gives an analysis of how the trigger works and how it can be used to make your message stand out. For the third part of the book, Hogshead helps you to develop your action plan to make your messages more fascinating.

A recommended read for people interested in developing compelling marketing messages and becoming more fascinating.

Featured Business Tool – Trello

There are several project management tools that are on the market right now. One of the most popular is Trello.  As a project management tool app, Trello is one of the most intuitive and user friendly tools. I’ve used the tool to keep track of projects as well as projects where I’ve collaborated with other people. It has features where you can upload documents, track activity and add other elements that you need for your projects. Trello has both a free and paid business version depending on your requirements. For more information visit

Toastmasters: Transforming Lives!

Toastmasters International is an organization that has the power to transform the lives of individuals.  Toastmasters is a leading, global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the communication and leadership skills of its members. Through its individual clubs (over 300,000 members worldwide) members develop their communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment while contributing to the personal development of their fellow members.

As a member for many years, Toastmasters means many things to me. It means: personal transformation, leadership and communication skills development, service, excellence, dedication, fun, friendship and camaraderie. At its core; however, to me Toastmasters is really about service and empowerment. By participating in Toastmasters programs members are empowered to become authentic communicators and leaders. In others words, they are empowered to become who they were truly meant to be while serving others.

The organization started in 1924 by Ralph Smedley. Since that time (for over 90 years) the organization has helped over 3,000,000 men and women worldwide to develop their leadership and communication skills in a supportive environment. While there is an organizational structure in place, it’s the members that are at the apex or the top of the organization.

How Toastmasters works is that members join a home club. Every week, bi-weekly or monthly members come together in the club environment to develop their communication and leadership skills. Members deliver speeches both prepared and impromptu. An important part of the program is learning how to deliver effective feedback through the evaluation of speeches and various components of the meeting. Members develop their leadership and communication skills, along with critical thinking, meeting facilitation, feedback skills among other skills in this supportive environment.

Toastmasters helped me to develop my communication and leadership skills to the advanced level. I have won awards for public speaking. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when members bring their potential to fruition. Through mentoring and coaching members, I’ve seen this beautiful development first hand as members become their true selves as leaders. A personal transformation does occur.

Members take the communication and leadership skills they have developed and use them to affect positive change. Members positively impact their families, friendships, their workplaces, volunteer organizations and their communities. I’ll always be a passionate ambassador and advocate for Toastmasters as I believe that it helps to make the world a better place for all.

What about you? How has belonging to Toastmasters or another volunteer service organization impacted your life?

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The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell – American mythologist, writer, lecturer