Meeting #825 Aug 7, 2018

As we are getting ready for tomorrow’s meeting, let’s recap our last week meeting.
Meeting #825 Aug 7, 2018:
The theme of the day was photography. We had three great speeches by Mounina, Daniel and Marna.
– Best speaker award went to Marna
– Best evaluator award went to Heidi
– Best table topic speech award went to Farzaneh & Azfan
– Best table topic evaluator award went to John.

Congrats to all. We hope to see you tomorrow for another McGill toastmaster meeting!

Meeting #824 Tuesday July 31st, 201

It’s entertaining and some times gruesome to think about possible outcomes of the future. It was interesting to see discussions on different views of the future as the theme of the meeting was “futurology “. We were lifted up by the more optimistic visions and a bit frightened by the least optimistic views. But nonetheless it was an engaging and energetic meeting.
We had 3 great talks by Alex, Clifford and Yraida.

– The best speaker award went to Alex for his ice breaker speech “What is my purpose ?”
– The best evaluator award went to Samantha
– The best table topic award went to Ivan
– The best table topic evaluator award went to Sifa

Don’t miss our next meeting on Aug 7th. The theme of the meeting will be “photography”. There is a photographer in each and every one of us. Maybe you will discover your inner photographer next Tuesday

Meeting #823. Tuesday 24th July 2018

It was another great day at McGill Toastmasters yesterday.
The meeting theme was “persuasion”.
We had 3 speeches by Daniel, Laurson and Louise-Veronique.
– Best speech award: Louise-Veronique
– Best evaluator award: Alex
– Best table topics : Cheryl & Azfan (tied vote)
– Best table topics evaluator: Inas
Congrats to all.

5-4-3-2-1, Speech by Elie Haber

We all have desires, things we wish to accomplish, or skills we want to learn in the future. In reality, most people don’t accomplish what they desire for themselves, and many times, this causes us to have negative feelings because we are not getting what we really want. There is a saying that we more often regret those things that we don’t do than those that we do. We can all relate to disappointment and sadness because we didn’t do a particular action: we didn’t call that person, we didn’t apply for that job, or we didn’t go to the gym today even though we promised ourselves.

The issue is that we don’t feel like doing that thing. Maybe I feel OK speaking in public, but writing a speech, and practicing it, nah, I don’t have time. And sometimes we may realize the exact steps we need to take in order to accomplish what we want. Like umm, I do a google search and see a list of steps, and say to myself, umm If I follow these exact steps, I can be the next millionaire. It can be about creating a vision for ourselves. For example the desire to become a great guitarist or a great dancer, and we know the steps, like OK, I have to do this kind of stretching 3 times a week, go to the dance class four times a week, watching dancing videos everyday and get to know all the amazing moves, go to the club consistently and practice these moves, and so on. But yeah we often can’t just seem to do what we really want.

There is the element of fear that constitutes a barrier in many situations, but let’s leave that for later. The other important element is the level of discomfort and the lack of immediate reward that we experience while doing these activities, which is a big part, so we just avoid doing them. OK, I decided to go to my lab and start working on my project at 8 AM. So I go there, and jump to my computer, and then 20 minutes pass, and I am still scrolling through crap on Facebook. OK, we can blame it on social media, or we can just take responsibility and set rules for ourselves, right? On the other hand, there are activities that don’t require any mental effort. Like when I was young and had gotten my first computer, I used to wake up early in the morning and wait for my mom to leave to work so that I can start playing video games as soon as I can. I could not waste any time. I still remember waiting for the clicking sound of the door key, so that I reassured myself that the coast was clear, and then jump on my computer and start my gaming marathon. So why is there discomfort in doing the important tasks? We understood through science that our brains are wired, they are made, to prevent us from experiencing any discomfort, because, for our ancestors, discomfort meant danger and a threat to their life. But in our modern life, we see that discomfort is really necessary for us to grow and stretch ourselves and achieve the success we want.

Now how do we go about doing the uncomfortable when we know it is essential for our growth and happiness. Yes, we can rely on the willpower and why power for motivation at first, but life happens, and someday when the alarm rings: “ahh let’s just press the snooze button again, I can skip the gym today, it is OK”. Persons who studied successful people concluded one thing that sets them apart: the power of habit. Healthy habits are such a powerful thing, and can radically transform lives. They can be the small things in our day, like what is the first thing we do when we wake up, do we hit the snooze button and fall back asleep or we just jump out of bed and start our day with energy. They can be the things we do before bed, the way we spend our free time, and so on.

To understand the power of habits, let’s take an example of two members of a Toastmasters club: the first one practices and applies for taking roles whenever they feel like it, and the other just has a rule: he allocates a specific time every week for practicing his roles no matter what, like every Saturday from 8 to 10 AM. Of these two people, who do you think is more likely to improve and grow his skills and achieve results faster? it is not the first. And the powerful thing about habits is that they become easier to follow once they have been done for a long time. Like when they asked Michael Jordan how can he push himself to train so much, he said that it is just how he is, it is just how he has been for a long time, it became part of his identity.

But now how do we go about building these healthy habits in the first place? We know the beginning is the hardest part because our brains are used to repeating the same pattern for a long time, so it can be really hard to change. One technique that I will talk about today, is the 5 seconds rule. This idea is presented by Mel Robbins, an American TV host, in a book called “the 5 seconds rule”. She talks about her struggle and her difficulty in finding motivation for waking up early every day to take care of her kids. She says motivation is never there when you really need it, because motivation exists when you are comfortable doing the activity, and I agree with her. One day, she was watching a countdown for a rocket launch on TV, which inspired her idea. The idea may appear to be silly at first, but it is a powerful brain hack to make us do the uncomfortable actions, like jumping out of bed, or making that call, or start concentrating on our work. By counting backward from 5 to 1 before doing the thing, we disrupt the habit loop running in our brain, and allow our cerebral cortex to take control and override the automatic behavior and set us into action. And what is powerful is that we can train our brain to adopt this new habit. Once it has been done repeatedly, it can become automatic in the future.

I personally used it last week and it was really effective for me to avoid procrastination and jump into action. I encourage everyone to try this method at least once and see if it makes a difference. After all, The most important thing we can do is try. Maybe just like a rocket, we can take control and launch ourselves fast into that successful life that we deeply desire.

Article by Elie Haber

Meeting #822, Tuesday July 17, 2018

There was definitely something in the air last night as we were exploring the theme of Emotional Intelligence.
We had three great speeches by Samantha, Elie and Azaleea.
– First-Timer award went to Samantha as we discovered her passion to support children learn at their own pace and her initiative to help a school in Nepal provide education for children who are denied it.
-The best speaker award went to Azaleea who really made us think about animal cruelty and how we are being manipulated by food corporations.
-The best evaluator award went to our enthusiastic Stephanie. We must highlight that this was her first evaluation!
-The best table topic speech award went to Binxin. We wish her the best of luck on her exam!
– The best table topic evaluator award went to once an evaluator, always an evaluator, Isha.

Thank you to all our members and our guests for an engaging evening!

Meeting #821, Tuesday July 10, 2018

Yesterday we had a Movie Night and were delighted by the visit of JA Gamache who inspired us with his speech Stronger!

We had three great speeches by Karina, Farzaneh and JA Gamache.
-The best speaker award went to Farzaneh who taught us to be selective about caring what others think of us.
-The best evaluator award went to Sifa who couldn’t take her eyes off JA Gamache’s eyes. 🙂
-The best table topic speech award went to Cheryl who somehow managed to bring us from the Matrix to veganism in the span of 2 minutes!
– The best table topic evaluator award went to Samatha. It was her first time and she did a great job!
Congrats to all!

The One Most Important Leadership Skill That You Need

By Alexandr Thoric

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

– Theodor Roosevelt

Today we have many unhappy people as well as not really successful leaders.


Because many leaders focus more on money rather than on people’s development. It seems that some leaders afraid of developed subordinates or they simply don’t care about people and don’t care about customers.

Those leaders care more about productivity by using a cheap workforce and focused more on themselves. And very often we can see around us an organization that mostly stay on a “Positional level of leadership” where people follow their leaders because they have to, and because they have no chose, this is why they have to follow.

People very often want to bring their leaders and their organizations to the next level of leadership to the “Permission level”, where people follow their leaders because they want to, and people come with a new great ideas and new approaches, but their leaders do not accept their ideas, even if a new idea will be accepted in a “Positional company”, leaders continue to do not care about their people.

As a result these talented people with a great enthusiasm in a non-growing organization, they leave those organizations. It happens because people want to grow and they want to develop their ideas in a successful organization where leaders care about people and where a team environment is pleasant. And these talented people want to grow and be appreciated for the talents they bring to the team. But some leaders just don’t care.

Sometimes some leaders tell me “Alex you just want to be successful through the success of my company this is why you want to help me…..”

For this kinds of leaders my answer is: “Dear leader you have to understand just one simple thing, is that I care only about your people at your organization, neither do I care about you nor me. I do care about your people because your people want to grow and they want to grow you, but you don’t hear you people and you don’t care about your people and this is why they do not care for you either, what makes your people unhappy.

And because of the poor leadership in your organization, it brings your organization and you to the non-growing environment. As a result non-growing people leave non-growing organizations and their non-growing leaders.

A long time ago when I was doing my research while I was working in different organizations I was in the same situations as your employees are and I totally understand what your employees feel while they work in such tremendous environment. At the same time as a leader, you have to understand, that your employees bring you to success.

You can be successful, but only then, if you will change your mindset and think more what you can do for your people and how you can grow your people, and how you can serve them. And remember, your people bring your organization to success. It will be a great achievement for you. So, It’s not about to make me successful, it’s all about making you, successful. I just help you to serve your people who will bring your organization to success.

And of course, if I will be able to make you successful, I will be successful too, because your success and mine come through collaborative work with each other.

My goal is to create as many successful people and organizations as possible. So, my business is to make other people more successful and to grow you, your teams and your business.

In other words, I would say I’m a successful team’s creator and successful people’s grower.

Some people have asked me “Alexandr, why do you spend so much of your time and your energy on growing other people even if they don’t care for themselves?”

And you know what usually my answer is? “The most important point for me is that those people have a great desire and discipline and if so, they are willing to be successful and I don’t care if they care for themselves or not, my job is to bring my message to them, to show them the way and opportunities, to unlock their abilities and talents and to place them in the right spot where people will be more productive, more successful and happy. And if I will be able to do that, my mission on this earth will be carried out in accordance with my destiny and my talent which I received from God.

One of my favorite proverb is: “The greatest shot of adrenaline is not when you skydiving or bangy jumping, neither car racing, it’s when you make other people grow”.

Let me know in comments or on social media if You care about Your people.


Meeting #820 , Tuesday July 3rd 2018

What an amazing meeting it was. We talked about “Learning”, complained about the weather and had a great time.
We are happy to announce that McGill toastmaster family has two new members as of yesterday; Cindy and Serge. Please reach out to them and give them a warm welcome 🙂 .
We had Three great speeches by Daniel , Louise-Veronique and Maryam.

-The best speaker award went to Maryam for her great Ice -breaker speech
-The best evaluator award went to Nadia.
-The best table topic speech award went to Brian. Its worth mentioning that Brian was a guest yesterday and yet he won the ribbon!. We hope to see him next week as well.
– The best table topic evaluator award went to our very own Ivan.

Congrats to all. Stay tuned for more updates