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Quote of the Month

"It is the mind that maketh good or ill, that maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor." 
- Edmund Spenser

Coach's Calendar

IWAP Christmas Bazaar

Rotary Holiday Gluhwein at Novy Smichov

Recommended Reads

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Volume 12, Number 9 - November 2013


As you’re reading this, we recently had a day off in the Czech Republic, to celebrate the original creation of Czechoslovakia, in 1918. And on November 17, Czechs also commemorate both the 1939 uprising against Nazi occupation, and the 1989 demonstrations that started the Velvet Revolution against Soviet rule.
We’re coming into the season of celebration all over the world, with Canadians having just celebrated  Thanksgiving, and Americans to do so at the end of the month. Most Christians elsewhere think of Christmas as the biggest holiday of the year, but my Canadian and American friends assure me that Thanksgiving is the big one for them – a chance for people of all persuasions, religious or not, to get together and be thankful for family and friends. A nice tradition, don’t you think?
And though it’s barely the beginning of November, when fall provides us its variation of sunny and grayish days, soon we’ll see the Christmas kiosks and the carp tanks come out around Prague, and people bustling to and fro, bundled up against the winter cold. 
Read on and you’ll find a suggestion for another way to defy the cold, and do a good charity deed at the same time. Of course, there is more news after that. I hope you enjoy it, and the cooler weather. 
Wishing you a happy prelude to the holiday season,
Karin Genton L'Epée

Public Speaking Tips from Toastmasters

Feeling nervous before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. But too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here’s how you can control your nerves and make effective, memorable presentations:
  • Know the room: Be familiar with the place in which you will speak
  • Know the audience: Greet some of the audience members as they arrive
  • Know your material: Practice your speech and revise it if necessary
  • Relax beforehand: Ease tension by doing exercise
  • Visualize your presentation: Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured.
  • Realize that people want you to succeed: Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining
  • Don’t apologize: If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience’s attention to something they hadn’t noticed.
  • Concentrate on your message: Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and outwardly toward your message and your audience
  • Turn nervousness into positive energy: Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
  • Gain experience: Experience builds the confidence that is the key to effective speaking. 
Toastmasters can provide the experience you need to be a better public speaker. Learn how to add life and excitement to your presentations and speeches and learn to deal with an audience! Join a Toastmasters club! 

Rotary Club Prague International's "Indian Food Helps" Campaign

On November 4th, Rotary Club Prague International launched its 2nd Indian Food Helps campaign, with people all across Prague ordering Indian food, a portion of the proceeds from which was donated to the campaign. 
The purpose of this campaign is to support the primary education of children in rural India. Every lunch ordered generated 50 Kč to our Indian school project. The contribution from just five lunches pays a child’s primary school fees for one year.
I would like to thank those of you who generously ordered their Indian lunches during this effort. Due to the success of this campaign, it ran for two weeks instead of one. Thanks again for your support.

Why is Santa Red?

Find out on December 12th, 13th and 14th, when Rotary Club Prague International hosts its 5th annual gluhwein and punch sale at the Nový Smíchov shopping mall in Anděl. We’ll have alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions and a drink for kids, and we’ll fill your cup for a donation of just 30 crowns. 
Since we are all volunteers, 100 percent of our proceeds, after costs, go to various charities we support. These include Nadeje, Život 90, Sananim, Naše Dítě, Teen Challenge, Armada Spasy, Indian schools and the Rotary International campaign to End Polio Now. Our hope is to raise at least 200,000 crowns. With your help, we can do it!
Please stop by to see us. We’ll be set us up in front of Nový Smíchov all three days, between 10:00 and 20:00. Bring your family and friends, enjoy some gluhwein, and contribute to a good deed this holiday season. Thanks!

Communication Tip of the Month: How Can You Enjoy a Rewarding Life?

It has been said that we can control our destiny by controlling ourselves. We are each responsible for our lives and, more importantly, for the thoughts that create them. To enjoy a more rewarding life, we must be ready to change the way we think.

The human mind is like a computer with an unlimited store of memory. As such, it allows us to store past experiences for the future, as life is a constant learning process. That way, we learn from both our failures and our successes. We can recreate the actions that have led to prior successes, and we can reflect on things that may have gone wrong and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Regardless of our age, culture or professional position, most of us are eager to reach for the stars. Below are some basic suggestions which over the years have helped me enjoy a rewarding life.

Learn from your experiences, both positive and negative. Every situation presents you with an opportunity to learn, so long as you make the effort to look at it with an open and receptive mind.

Take ownership of your mistakes. Every action is your responsibility. Avoiding responsibility for your actions will create more pain and discomfort, as unresolved issues have a tendency to come back to haunt you.

Never make the same mistake twice. Repeat the same actions and you can expect the same results.

Never be afraid to transform something negative into something positive. With practice, anyone can find a silver lining in the darkest cloud, and turn a mistake into an opportunity to learn. In the face of adversity, carefully take note those things you can control and take action to change what you can.

Don’t beat yourself up. There are plenty of people who will do it for you. It is all right to be your own worst critic, but never undermine yourself. Nor should you let criticism or scrutiny of others have too much influence your life and your actions.

Your mind is what you make it. By thinking positively and being aware that you create the world as you see it, you will be able to achieve a lot more than you thought you could and therefore enjoy a rewarding life.

Enjoy reaping your rewards!

About Karin

Karin Genton-L’Epée is a business coach with 30 years of extensive professional experience in the United States, France and the Czech Republic. Based in Prague since 1995, for the past 15 years she has developed a range of coaching and training programs for mid- and top-level managers, focusing on leadership development, cross-cultural understanding and effective communication in a global environment. By providing a structured environment that supports people in clarifying who they are and what they want, Karin enables her clients to devise more effective strategies to achieve their personal and professional goals. Thanks to her knowledge, skills and range of international experience, Karin is in demand as a speaker at business conferences and educational institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. She is also a regular contributor to business journals and magazines. She works in English and French and can be reached at

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