CAPS BC brought their monthly event to Toad’s Landing Private Island on Saturday, September 21st, 2019, connecting with the champions in the industry for personal and business development to immerse themselves in island feel private retreat!

Five Amazing CAPS Presenters 

  • David Gouthro, CSP, “Embracing The New Rules of Engagement”
  • Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, “THINK Yourself® SUCCESSFUL”
  • Robin Levesque, “The Power of Positive Leadership”
  • Rosemarie Barnes, “Increase your Impact with Vocal Power”
  • Jeanne Martinson, “Top 5 Publishing Secrets”

Here are my notes from the event:

EMBRACING THE NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (only if you want to remain relevant)!
David Gouthro, CSP

In this highly interactive exploration, David brought us out of our comfort zone to increase engagement.

Instead of putting the call for action at the end of a presentation, David taught us how to make the call for action upfront.

Some resources


Also, an App: Liberating Structures that gives ideas on how to engage audiences.

David also talked to us about what ROI really means = Real Outstanding Impact.

Push on governance and push on accountability.


  • Q&A will add value and relevance
  • Engage the audience in co-creation. Connect the dots with the organization. People already have content in their head and by creating social contract for people to actually buy-in.
  • When you go home, without having time to process it, they may never do anything with it. Better to make them do it live at the session, build connections with each other and process the information on the spot.


There are ways to engage people before, during and after. The most amazing comment you can get as a speaker is people to tell you: wow you know us so well, it’s almost like you work here!!! People need to see you as a friend.


Personalized video before

Questionnaire to find out

Mingling in room before

Shake hands

Gets feel for the room

Survey before

Sent a handwritten postcard to each participant to invite them to your session.

Soundcheck before the presentation about something cute, his dog, his family, calls it a soundcheck in order to show the audience who you are.

Asking what their problems are


Talk to host

Send a survey

Offer a pre-event session, as a bonus, for those who are there early.

Even a few weeks in advance, zoom call.

Send zoom video.

Send something to try in advance before they come to the event.


Give them permission to engage

Invitation to social media

Asking questions

Small group discussions

Write ideas on their own


Walking about to different groups




Sharing something from the heart

2-person dialogue

Share success stories – testimonials

Go on their Facebook profiles or linked and learn something about them and get them to do a quiz on the session to guess who does this and that…

Introduction at a table

Contrast exercise

Working on a real problem together and debrief to a larger group

Before closing a topic, ask them to turn to their neighbour and say what they have learned in this exercise.

Take a moment to think about how this is impacting people in your life that you love.


Stay after and mingle with the group

Evaluation after


Zoom call after the event to share learnings

Video after

Then send emails to share participants success stories

Follow up private Facebook group

I’m going to be there, bring me your questions, come talk to me, that is where I will be.

Linked in QR code so people can connect with you.

You can have your own QR code that connects somewhere.

Physically come up to the person after. Person-to-person.

People have a radar for fauny, so make sure you do something that is authentic to Yourself.

Book:Experiencial Speaking– Jackie Barrie, buy the kindle that includes videos.

You can use voting cards like the following:

You can quickly get the pulse of a room with this tool.

2 more tools:



David expertly demonstrated to us what we need to do, instead of telling us. That was brilliantly done.



Rosemarie Barnes

During her energetic, engaging, and fun presentation, Rosemarie taught us now to use our vocal capabilities, and how to use them effectively.

Thirty-eight per cent of your message is sent via vocal finesse.  Are you spending 38% of your preparation time focused on that aspect of your presentation?

We all have different voices. There is more to your voice than what you think.

Only 7% of your words are part of your message. The rest of the message:

55% is sent by the body – physical

38% of the message is sent by the tone of your voice. – para verbal

How much of the time do you spend prepping your voice?

Head tone: the way you speak to a child that is frightened. It is light and focused.

Chest voice: Big bottom voice, the loud one.

Mixed voice: is a combination of the two.

In order to find your voice, you have to experience with the extremes.

First: examine your low register. Place your hand on your chest and speak really low. You can feel it in your chest, using the chest as the resonance chamber.

Then examine what you look like when you do the reverse and speak really high pitch.

We want to make sure we don’t bore our audience with a monotone voice. Change speed. We need vocal agility. Everybody’s voice is unique, we need to expand it.

Pacing: change your pace. Try to speak as fast as you can and notice how loudly you speak.

When we use the upper registers of our voice, we smile more. When we speak in low voices, the face drops. The lower pitch doesn’t travel through air very well. The head voice travels so much better.

Lowering your pitch not only makes your face look sad, it also doesn’t allow your voice to travel as well. Stop trying to lower your voice to match “industry-standards”.

Let your voice be. But add to it. Add to your toolbox.

When we breathe, our lungs expand, it forces our diaphragm down to force air out. If you lower your voice, you can’t breathe. What could be worse for speakers, than having no oxygen to go to the brain?

When you yell, your vocal cords can break. That is why speakers lose their voice. Make sure you use a powerful voice without yelling. When you breathe properly, you keep your vocal cords loose and therefore it is less dangerous to break.

Add emphasis. Add variety. Boredom is our enemy. Don’t memorize your speech. When you recite, you tend to go flat. To be a perfect speaker, you need to be an imperfect speaker.


Jeanne Martinson, Co-Publisher, Wood Dragon Books

Speakers need a book to extrapolate their knowledge beyond their voice: A book.

A book will justifies hiring you instead of someone else.

Is it meaningful? What is the content about? How will you entertain, inspire people?

Is it readable? People need to be able to read the whole thing. It has to be beautiful.

Is it marketable? What are the mistake people do?

Is it truthful? Does is fulfill the promise of what you have been saying?

After 10 books, Jeanne started to work with people that wanted to know how she succeeded with her book. So she wrote a book about how to write a book. Hemingway or Twain.


Author personality.

Are you an early bird or night owl?

Recognize when you are in the zone because otherwise, writing is painful. Don’t write when people say you should write.

Are you introvert or extravert?

When you think about writing, extravert write in different places. Be around people when they write but not with people. In coffee shops, restaurants, bars. Not alone and lonely.

Introvert authors prefer to be alone somewhere on a deserted island or in the woods. Lonely author experience.

Know what your style is and make sure you take in the information to see how it works for you.

Are you linear or lateral thinker?

Kangaroo or ladder?

Ladder: sequential, symbolic, logical. Talk numerically. Lots of stats and charts.

Kangaroo: jump all over the place and not in any special order. Random. Concrete. Intuitive. Talk concrete stories. Few charts.

Are you pressure-prompted or pleasure-prompted?

If there is no deadline, it could take for ever. If you are pressure-prompted (Procrastinating author), then you will write faster is you have a deadline. If you are pleasure-prompted (Planning Author), you like to follow a plan and you can stick to it. If you are a procrastinator, book a signing session and then you will work hard to make the deadline. It is okay if you know yourself. You can spend way too much time writing if you don’t know your style. Writing a book is approx. and 8 months process.  “Procrastinate now and panic later.”

A speaker vanity book: record your speech and transcribe it and publish it.

A credibility piece: topic researched and justifies the fee.


Market before, during and after. What can you do at each of these stages to promote your book.

When you start thinking about your book, get cover design, start advertising, and show the cover design right away. Create your marketing strategy and get clarity on your market. Who do you think this book will be for? If for senior, maybe the font should be bigger. Think forward about the steps coming up. Book signing and launches. Media interviews, book awards apply dates, there are book awards in each province. You want to get short-listed and get the marketing around it, theme-related opportunities.


Developmental Editor. Flow of the book, purpose of the book, imagery of the book.

Line Editor.

Copy Editor. Spelling, grammar, punctuation

Proof-reading. Error free.


Make sure your cover is attractive.


Curiosity. Title: Half committed. Attracts attention. Subtitle: explains actually what it is.

You can reach Jeanne here:


Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

This is weird, that as the CAPS Secretary and Social Media director, I am doing a re-CAPS on my own session. LOL!!! I guess I kind of know what I talked about… So here you go:

I shared with the CAPS Reboot participants a vulnerable truth about the day I booked my first paid speaking engagement. I hung up the phone, and I felt like a fraud. I remember sitting in my office hearing this nasty voice telling me: You are not a REAL professional speaker, you don’t deserve $1,000 paycheck for an afternoon. I had made a video making the audience look bigger than it was, and I had made-up a corporate rate on the spot, none if it was real. I was just trying to look more than I really was because somehow, I felt like JUST me, wasn’t enough.

Why do we have this tendency of trying to look like we are MORE than we are? Why don’t we LOVE ourselves?

That’s when I realized I needed to find a system to shut down the negative self-talk in my head and start changing the way I talk to myself!

So, I spent the last decade studying neuroscience and negative self-talk and how to program our inner voices differently. That’s the system I shared in my 8 International No.1 Bestselling books… So in the afternoon session, I showed how the brain works, how people use it wrong and the things you need to do to make it work for you.

BRAIN 1-0-1.


Our brain has many parts. I mainly talked about two parts: THE LOGICAL MIND and the UNCONSIOUS MIND. The logical mind can process an average of five to nine pieces of information at a time.

We multitask all the time! Let’s say you are driving to a new address, music in on, as you come closer, you slow down and you start looking at the numbers on houses… Have you ever had to  lower the volume on the radio? Do you do that? I am sure a lot of you do this, unconsciously… Now what does the volume of the music have to do with being able to see the numbers on the houses? Somehow, As you are driving, with the foot on the brake/accelerator, noticing the red light ahead, the child about to cross the street, the woman that more likely will cut you off and the weird guy in the car next to you winking at you, gross, somehow, when you add, looking at the numbers on the houses, the music becomes the one too many. your ‘five to nine’ pieces of information get filled up very quickly.

The other thing that’s not so great about the logical mind is that research shows that 70% of our thoughts are negative.

“We would not have any friends if we talked to them the same way to talk to ourselves.”

Our logical might not be that great after all, right?

Your logical mind is working really hard trying to do everything right.

Living at a logical level, is like this: You go in one direction, trying to build your speaking business. Following your dream life. You get up early, you prep your slides, you refine your keynote, you organize your travel schedule, you go over and above to wow your clients, you prospect new speaking gigs, you check your eSpeaker profile, you listen to Jane Atkinson’s Podcast, you stay connected to the CAPS facebook group, you network, you go to conventions, you post on social media, you take your kids to school and sports in between calls with clients and while you are at soccer practice you create new content in your head, you work hard, you do everything right and yet, you sometimes you are not charging your full fee or just don’t get the gig altogether, the harder you work, the more exhausted you feel, you have zero life balance, you still live paycheck to paycheck because building a business costs a lot of money and you are going further and further away from your dream life, and it’s like you want to go to Halifax, but you are in an airplane that’s flying to Vancouver.

You can work as hard as you possibly can, but the airplane is exponentially so much more powerful and fast, that you feel you will never get there if you stay in that aircraft.

Do you feel you should get off that plane?

No! you should stay on the plane and talk to the pilot and say: Can you turn around, that’s where I want to go. Imagine how fast you will get there once the pilot is on board! When your plane is going the wrong way, you talk to the pilot. In real life, this translates to talking to your own pilot. I call it your Personal Assistant.


So your Personal Assistant is this other part of the brain that I am VERY excited about: YOUR UNCONSCIOUS MIND. It is your PILOT. It can handle over 2.3 million pieces of information every second. Logical mind: 5 to 9, unconscious mind: 2.3 million pieces of information every second. That’s where the power is!!


So your personal assistant is inside your head taking notes and making sure that everything that you say or think gets done. Just like a pilot follows a flight plan, your personal assistant will follow your life plan.

The problem is people wake up in the morning and look at themselves in the mirror and say: “Oh my! I look tired!I am so stressed out! I think I am getting fat… ” Your personal assistant writes it down on your life plan and makes it happen. What’s my itinerary for today? Tired… What can I do for this? Oh, I know I will keep her awake all night so that she’s gonna be really tired in the morning. Got this. What’s next? Stressed out. I know, I will make her forget something at home and she will have to turn around in traffic on the 401. That’s gonna be stressful! Got this. Check. I think I am getting fat. Easy one, I can surely find a chocolate bar or something deep-fried for her to eat today.

Your personal assistant is your pilot following your life plan.

So I used Robert Dilts six neurological levels on which my D.N.A. System is juxtaposed to help the participant reprogram each layer of their brain from Environment, Behaviours, Skills, Beliefs and Values, Identity and Life Purpose.





Robin Levesque

Robin shared with us five practices that he learned when, in his life, he faced a perfect storm.

Drawing from positive psychology to decide what you do as a speaker. Like a Social contract with yourself.

Robin landed his dream job a few years ago. Dream employer, dream job, dream location, for the government. The leadership changed and somehow, this dream job, was not his dream job anymore. He was miserable. He was being second-guessed, micro-managed and never good enough. He started seeing signs of high blood pressure, kidney failure, his marriage was falling apart… he decided to look for other opportunities, could not find anything, he had been practising doing speaking and workshops on the side and aspiring to do this “someday”. He somehow got offered a package and the feeling at that point was a huge relief and, at the same time, he felt lots of anger, fear on how will he replace a six-figure income in Victoria? Lack of control on what is going to happen next. Somehow, the universe decided for him. The perfect storm continued with his wife leaving and his pet being put down.

Here is a recap of a few tools he used to regain calm after the storm.


Think about the best speaker you have ever seen. What did they do for you enjoy this. Then, on a scale, how engaged were you and what was your level of satisfaction.

Vulnerability – shocking truth – humble – walk the talk – confident – organized

Think about the worse speaker you ever had and what was your level of engagement?

Some of the ideas that came up:  Sell – reputation – arrogant – not prepared – busy slides – powerpoint – canned – no mic – distracting – me, me, me

How do you want to show up in your speaking business?

Dream Matrix

Discover, what you want.

Reach for the stars, what is your personal vision

Engage and elaborate, what are the steps

Act, put plan into action

Monitor and motivate, metrics to measure


Whole Life Garden

It starts with me, because Me is the only person I can change.

Me: spiritual, mental, physical

We: Relationship, friendship, team

Us: career, income, wealth

+: Calling, contribution, adventure, membership


Inner-Outer Life Iceberg

Most of things are unconscious.


Four soul questions:

Who I am?

What do I want?

What’s my purpose?

What am I grateful for?


Robin’s Hedgehog Principle



Life S.A.V.E.R.S

Silence –Affirmations – Visualization – Exercise – Reading –Scribing (journaling)


Positive emotions

Robin finished the day with a meditation asking the following three questions for each of these words, as we processed with our eyes closed, brilliantly feeling the magic in our minds, feeling the results of the answers generated in results of these powerful questions.  He suggests starting every day using these powerful questions. Priming and stacking to create a positive mindset for ourselves at the beginning of the day.

Why Is there so much joy in my life today, what is the source of this joy, how do I attract even more of it today tomorrow and in the future?

Joy – gratitude – serenity – pride, interest, hope, pride, amusement, awe, love



Here is how to connect with Toad’s Landing – Johnson Island.



The perfect day ended with an evening social/dinner mix and mingle event at Stephen Hammond’s in Victoria where the charm of his home mixed with the amazing food and the great company contributed to an elegant and warm closing to CAPS BC Island Reboot!


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