Steven Covey’s First Habit Revisited

In his best seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey urged the first habit to cultivate is to “be proactive.”   Our Toastmaster of the day, Chris Camacho, chose the that Habit, as his theme for the day.  As often happens, even our speeches dealt with proactivity.

Are you planning a kitchen or bath remodel in your home?

A member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Paula Hesch encourages that we take the environment into consideration when building or re-building.  Paula, owner of PAULA HESCH DESIGNS, her interior design business, asked if we are planning  remodeling projects, particularly those that involve, ceramic, stone, marble or granite.  If that’s in your future, she suggested that we take some ideas from her “tool box.”  Here are some:  Use Green Criteria Selection such as 1) Manufacturer Technical Information; 2) Check out the manufacturers’ standards and find out what certifications they have received (Standards: ISO, ANSI) (Certifications: G-2 Square Certified, PTCA); 3) Be familiar with the Natural Stone Council, Marble Institute of America, Tile Council of North America.  Paula’s speech was jam-packed with information enabling us to be better informed and more proactive in beginning a remodel.

How many of you have been a victim of a crime?

Both of our speakers began with questions.  Jim Hartnett asked everyone to stand and then asked several questions such as, “have you been a victim of a burglary?”  If your answer to the question was “yes,” you were to sit down.  At the end of the questions, only two people were left standing.  Frightening?  Of course, but you can remove some of the fear if you are proactive.  Become aware of what’s going on in your neighborhood.  Be observant.  What kind of cars do your neighbors drive?  Who works?  Who is home during the day?  If you see something out of character, call the police.  Work with your neighbors to start a crime watch.  Hmmm, perhaps we should all consider crime watch where we live.

Tu Duong was our Table Topics Master and he delivered some excellent questions having to do with the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Our most “effective” response came from Jason Hesch, our newest member.  Congratulations Jason!

So, what did we learn today?

Our Evaluation Team led by Chris Wolfe included David Nunes and Dominque Stauffer, left us all with some excellent and innovative strategies to use when planning our speeches.  Here are a few:

1.   Use a device to grab your audience in the first 30 seconds to one minute

2.   How does what I speak on affect me?  Facts give us information, stories convey feelings and emotion.

3.   If possible, bring your title, back into your speech at various times.

4.   Give your audience an assignment.

What a great meeting!  Wish I could have gone into more detail, but then, YOU REALLY HAD TO BE THERE.

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