Tag Archives: Toastmasters

Happy New Year

Hello All

Whew, this year flew by.  It was a busy one. 

 In Spring of 2010, I was busy getting my first book, “Sunny and her Cochlear Implants”  ready for print.  Finally, after much back and forth between the publisher, illustrator and I, the book finally went to print and was released in June 2010. 

Meanwhile, I was busy showing and riding Chance throughout the spring.   We finished the show year at Region 9 in Forth Worth.  Chance and I had our ups and downs.  The winning moments were especially priceless and emotional because it goes to show that hard work, perserverance, with persistence doe pay off!!!!!! 

As we moved in to fall 2010, I was very busy with Toastmasters.   Even competed in the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contest.  The highlight was winning in both.  

In addition, I took the next step in advancing  my professional speaking career by speaking outside of Toastmasters and Hearing loss Association meetings.  I spoke for a quite a few organizations and I had a blast doing it.  I love speaking as much as I love showing horses.  I became a member of the National Speakers Association Pro Track program.

Finally, ended the year by taking Chance to the xmas show in Katy 2010.  We had a great show!  Even received a first place in a large class with a flawless ride.  My trainer Jennifer Goslin told me that was probably the best ride of my life with Chance.  To receive that first place ribbon was the “icing on the cake.

I know 2011 will be an even better year!!!

I wish everyone a sunny new year don’t forget to book Susanna for your next event at www.susannamdussling.com or buy “Sunny and her cochlear implants” at www.sunnyandhercochlearimplants.com

As always,


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The Nucleus 5

Hello Everyone!

Spring is here! Which means we are in contest season in Toastmasters.  I had participated in a contest and I had a blast.  I also had a chance to enjoy several contests as an audience member.  It is a real learning experience to hear great speakers and learn from them.

Well,  I presented at the CyFair SuperSpeakers this past Monday.  I gave a speech titled, “The NUCLEUS 5”  In this speech, I shared many features and benefits of the Nucleus 5 and I involved the audience.  It also had humor and was conversational.

I enjoyed presenting and I was delighted when I received many compliments afterwards on the presentation.  The icing on the cake was my “Best Speaker” award.

Cochlear Implants are the best thing that ever happened to me!  As always, Have a sunny day.  Susanna

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An Update: Long time, no write

Hello Everyone!!

I know it has been way too long since I’ve blogged.  6 months has gone by.  I have been as busy as ever.

Still working at Academy, I am thankful to be employed during these trying times.

On the other hand, I have been as busy as ever, when I am not at work.  I am still involved with the horses.  Megiddo is happy and well with LRPH in Buda, Texas.  I still visit him often.  He is paired up with a young lady and they have been doing great.  He is still winning at the young age of 23.  Jackie, is his youthful partner.  She is learning and they go to schooling shows together and win. 

Chance and I are still at Goslin-Nix’s.  It has been just a little over a year since I have moved Chance here.  We are learning so much together with Jennifer patiently teaching me  how to improve my riding.    We have been very successful in the ring already this past Xmas.  Chance and I were the Champions in the AOTR Half Hunter Division.  We went on to the HAAS Show, where we competed only in the Open division, competing against several heavy hitters, i.e Wendy Potts, we placed right behind the trainers in all the classes.  It was fun.  Thanks Jen!  All your hard work with us is paying off!!!!!!!

Now, we are prepping for the San Antonio Fiesta Show in May.  We are ready to claim our Championship in Half Arabian Hunters AOTR.  Then on to Region  9 Regionals!  Once again, ready to win!  I can’t wait.  I am looking forward to it.

I am still very involved in Toastmasters, now I am involved in 2 clubs instead of 1.  CyFair Super Speakers and Laffmasters.  I have been having fun honing my speaking skills, participating in contests and attending conferences.

In addition, I have a big suprise coming out this summer!  It is another project I have been working on.  You’re just gonna have to wait.  I will give you a hint:  It is related to cochlear implants.  Stay tuned!

As always, have a sunny day!


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Busy, Busy,Busy!


Hello Everyone!

What a week!  This past Thursday, I was a contestant in an “IceBreaker” Speech Contest for Toastmasters.  This contest was held by a local Toastmasters club called “Story Tellers.”  Eleven of us, from various clubs around the Houston area participated.  Wow, it was awesome!  I heard eleven outstanding speeches.  Just like people come in all shapes and size, great speeches are presented in just as many ways!  I enjoyed listening to the others and I learned alot about the various contestants.  After all, an Ice Breakers speech is a short speech about you!  How hard can that be?  It is not that hard to talk about yourself; however, you still have to organize it, make it interesting, and make it not seem like it’s all about you.  After all, you are also trying to make the audience feel good about themselves too and perhaps learn a thing or two!

My speech was called “Dare to Be Different.”  It was about a challenge, I presented to the audience, utilizing my experiences as  a “Hard of Hearing” person.  It was a positive speech, it really was not about my story, it was about what the audience can do for themselves to live their lives in a more fulfilling manner.   I received lots of compliments, although I did not win.  I may not have won, but I felt great after the presentation with the good feedback.  I enjoyed the contest, it was my first Toastmasters contest and I hope it is the first of many more speech contests.  As y’all know, I am competitive and I have a new challenge to conquer,  winning a speech contest.  There will be a contest in the fall, and I will be back.

Writing of competition, I will be off to the Region 9 Horse Show in Fort Worth tomorrow.  I can’t wait!  It’s been 6 years since I had shown at the Regional level.  Chance and I are ready!  We have been practicing hard and we had an awesome lesson this past Friday.  Hopefully, we will repeat that same awesome ride!

I will be showing on Tuesday in Half Arabian Hunter Select Rider and on Wednesday in Half Arabian 40 and over! 

Stay tuned, as I will post a new blog entry on how it went.

If you are in Fort Worth, stop by the John Justin Arena and watch the show!  Lots of Gorgeous horses and incredible riders, with their patient trainers!

As always, have a sunny day!  Susanna

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Toastmasters D56 Spring Conference 2009

Susanna 1 “Reach for the Stars, Fulfill your Dreams”

This was the theme for the spring Toastmasters Conference held at the Clear Lake Hilton on May 29-30, 2009.  If you were not there, you missed out on a great time.  It was an awesome learning experience and it was alot of fun.

It all began on Friday night, with a dinner, introduction of District Officers, and the Evaluation Speech Contest.   Wow, I was totally impressed with the Evaluation Contest.  All the contestants did an awesome job.  These contestants made it through 3 contests to compete at the District contest.  The next step for them is the Area Contest in Denver and  finally the International Contest.  As I listened to the contestants, I learned many techniques to help me give a more positive and organized evaluation. 

The fun and learning continued on Saturday.  In the morning, there was the Parade of Banners, Business Meeting and the Governance Plan presented by Charlotte Howard. 

The real fun began Saturday afternoon with an excellent Pasta luncheon combined with the District awards.  Then we had three awesome breakout sessions, with the Grand Finale of the District Speech Contest.

The first education session I attended waas presented by Vivek Rajan on “Authentic Communication.”  In this session, I learned effective breathing techniques to help me communicate more effectively.  I loved the “ballon exercise.”  It was a unique and fun way to get to know people during this session. 

Secondly, I attended John Nguyen’s Presentation on Inner Strength.  It was a powerful and thought provoking presentation.   John presented us with a series of questions to help us discover our “Inner Strength.”

Most importantly, you need to discover what “Intangible catalyst that uniquely motivates you?”  Secondly, “what are your core values?”  Thirdly, “What is your mission statement?”  Finally, “What does Succcess look like to you?”  Then, John challenges you to create a “Vision Collage” of what motivates you.   After all, ” If you can see it, you can have it.”

Finally, I attended Vikas Jhingran, “Public Speaking:  An Emotional Approach.”  It was a real treat to listen and learn from Vikas, after all he is the 2008 World Champion of Public Speaking.  Vikas gave us another powerful presentation.  He used music as a metaphor to establish an emotional connection with the audience.   Vikas emphasized many speakers do not take us out of our comfort zone.  He challenged us to “Rise to the top and let it go.”    He shared some other great tips such as the element of suprise, creating a title and how to create that “wow” conclusion.

By attending the Saturday afternoon break out sessions; I learned many tools to enhance and finesses my presentations.  Speakers are always constantly learning and observing from other speakers.  This was especially helpful to me, because I will be speaking at the National Hearing Loss Convention in Nashville in June 2009 on 2 presentations.    

Lastly, we had the District speech contest.  Once again, I was floored with the quality of the contestants!  It was hard for me to pick a winner!  I thought they all did an outstanding  job.   They all aspired me to be an even better Speaker.

As dinner was served, we heard a very humorous speech from Houston’s own Weatherman, Frank Billingsley.  He shared his story with us, using lots of humor and the life lessons, he encountered along the way.  Finally, Frank shared with us some of the unique reporting of Hurricane Ike.

I wish you were there!  It truly was a memorable weekend!  I hope to see you at the Fall conference!  

As always, Have a sunny day.  Susanna

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The Cochlear TV Show

Hello Everyone!

Tiffanie, Teri, Karen & Sons, Susanna, and Paula

Tiffanie, Teri, Karen & Sons, Susanna, and Paula


A fun time was had by all last night.  It was the live taping of the Cochlear TV Show.  It was a blast.  The show was produced by Houston Media Source.  Tiffanie was the host.  She is a Cochlear Implant Wearer and Hearing Aid user.  She only had her cochlear implant for 2 months.  Since, she has worked in media productions for many years, she decided to use her experience in media and her personal hearing story to create this unique show.  The tv show consisted of footage of Tiffany  before, during and after surgery.  This video was interwoven with live questions from the panel  which consisted of Teri Wathen, Paula Holzband and I, who all have Cochlear Implants.  In addition, Karen L was the mom of a child, Seamus, who wears a CI.   Some of the questions related to surgery, Mappings, and our CI experiences. 

I am so thankful for my Toastmasters experience.  Why, because one of the things we do in Toastmasters is have weekly table topics.  Table topics is when they give you a question and you have to answer it immediately in 90 seconds.  Th goal is to be able to put together an organized and well constructed “off the cuff” speech.  I will never forget my early “Table Topics”  speeches, they were not great, but the more I particpated in them, the better I was at them.  This experience came in handy, because we were “live” it really felt good, when afterwards one of the members of the production stafff gave me a hug and said I was “articulate, well spoken and very clear!”   It made my day. 

 After it was done, we all commented that we had enjoyed the experience.  I thanked Tiffanie for letting me be a part of the show.  She had mentioned that last night’s show will be the first in a series about Cochlear Implants.  I am also looking forward to my copy of the show.  I have not seen the finished results, but I have been told that we all did great.

As Always, Have a sunny day! Susanna100_0210

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Laffmasters Toastmasters Club


I haven’t really shared much about another passion of mine.  I know what you’re thinking, she’s doing enough already with her hearing loss awareness and showing horses.

I also enjoy being involved in Toastmasters.  It is an awesome organization that has tremendous benefits for everyone involved.  Some of the many benefits include how to speak in public with more confidence, giving effective and timely meetings, in addition to building leadership skills.  Go to http://toastmasters.org to find out more.

What I enjoy most about Toastmasters is actually giving speeches, I love to speak!  Toastmasters gives you effective evaluations so you are always striving to improve your presentations.

Laffmasters is a unique Toastmasters club because they require you to use humor in your presentations and evaluations.  I learned that if you can make your audience laugh, even if it is a motivational and inspirational speech, it will be even more effective presentation that reaches the heart and soul.  After all, who doesn’t like to laugh.

I have received many compliments on my presentations.  However, my mom told me I need to inject more humor into my talks.  Thus, I am now a member of Laffmasters Toastmasters.

Furthemore, I will be attending the Spring Toastmasters Conference in Clear Lake in late May.  I hope to learn many new interesting speaking tips and to network with other speakers. 

In addition, Toastmasters, puts on many neat speaking contests and I will be a contestant at a contest on June 4, 2009.  I am excited. It is an Icebreakers contest.  The theme is to share something about yourself with the audience.  I will share with the audience my hearing loss story and how I did not let my hearing loss stop me from leading a productive and satisfying life.   So, come to the Tracy Gee Center in Houston and hear this story and lots of other unique stories.

As for speaking, I will be speaking twice at the upcoming Hearing Loss Convention in Nashville in mid June.  I am real excited.  Why, this is my first real large speaking event.  I am ready. 

By the way, when you book a speaker for your next event, contact me, at susannadussling@yahoo.com.  I have several themes I can share with your audience to include overcoming adversity, hearing loss awareness and communication stragedies, goal setting, competition, and finding your purpose in life.

Their will be a business website coming soon, with audio and video tapes for sale.  So stay tuned!

As Always, Have a Sunny day.


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National HLAA Convention Nashville 2009

Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays!!!! It has been a hectic time.  I work in Retail Management for a large sporting goods chain and what can I say, Xmas season is our busiest time of the year!

On the other hand, I have some exciting news to share with you,  I was accepted to be a “presenter” at the National HLAA www.hearingloss.org Convention to be held in Nashville JUne 18-21, 2009.    It was so exciting to hear the great news!  I will be presenting “Bouncing Back.”  It is a 3-part workshop: 1. My personal story of the cochlear implants. 2. Coping Stragedies with Cochlear Implants and 3.  Listening Exercises  to achieve optimal success with your cochlear implants.   

I had already presented this presention at the Texas HLA conference in October 2008 and it was a success, at least from all the positive feedback, I received from members of the audience. Yes, there are always areas for improvement , so at Nationals this presentation will be even better, due to constructive feedback, which I welcomed, so you can hopefully enjoy an educational, and inspiring presentation. 

I love helping others and educating others about Cochlear Implants and my tips.  It makes me feel like I accomplished my job, when others tell me that my suggestions, ideas and story was helpful in their lives! 

I had been a member of Toastmasters www.Toastmasters.org for a short while and I discovered I love speaking.  The speech in October was my first professional speaking engagement and I hope to eventually have many more speaking engagements! 

In the new year of 2009, one of my goals which I am sharing with you, is to develop a speaking company called “CenterRing Presentations.”  The focus of CRP is How to Overcome Adversity, in addition, to Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implant Awareness and of course, the many stragedies of how to handle your hearing loss and lead a positive, rewarding life in spite of it! 

In 2009, CRP will have a web site, books, audios, and dvd’s available.

Like they say in the movies, “Coming Attraction.” —-So, be on the lookout for it — Center Ring Presentations is going big in the new Year.

By the way, Susanna is accepting invitations to speak in the new year, so contact me at 281-818-0547 or email me at susannadussling@yahoo.com

On the other hand, I have never been to the National HLA Convention and I am so excited, it will be at the fabulous Gaylord Hotel! I have been told this is one of the most beautiful hotels in the country.  It is also HLAA 30 th anniversary.  In addition, Teri Wathen- Co President of HOuston HLA with me is also presenting! How awesome is that! Both Co presidents of the HOuston HLA Chapter will be presenting in Nashville. Come join us  in Nashville!  We would love to meet you and visit with you!

By the way, if you live in Houston and would love to know more about Houston Hla or would love to attend a meeting let me know.  We have some great things in store for 2009! Don’t miss out! Be a part of HOuston HLA!!!

Happy HOlidays! and as always, Have a Sunny day.


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Filed under Cochlear implants, Hearing loss, Hearing Loss Association, Public speaking