Episode 121 — Toastmasters and Vulnerability with Ari Gunzburg

2-Minute Tip: Be Vulnerable


When you open up and share your story with an audience, it gives them an opportunity to connect with you on a deeper, emotional level. When you establish that connection with them, they listen more closely, relate to you better, and are more likely to retain your message or execute your call to action.


It’s not something to fake though. Audience’s can generally sense when someone is being authentic, rather than being fake. And vice versa.


So on stage, you don’t need to pretend to be perfect. You can share failures and mistakes. You won’t chase away your audience. You’re more likely to inspire them to join you on the journey.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Ari Gunzburg


Ari Gunzburg stand at a railing, presumably on a ship, with water in the background

Ari is now a motivational speaker, a podcast host, and a wilderness liaison. Once his two podcasts are launched, and his workload calms down slightly, Ari plans to start writing a book, outlining specific programs and ideas to help people build a more meaningful life.


Ari learned about death early in life. He experienced a traumatic moment when only 10 years old, when his teacher passed away while on a hiking trip. This would affect his life deeply and change his perspective forever.


Following the death of this teacher, there was trouble afoot at school for all of the traumatized kids. This created a domino effect of changes and decisions that all culminated in Ari getting his “PhD” from the school of hard knocks, through multiple bad decisions and the outcomes of those decisions.


Having to live through these decisions and consequences has taught Ari many important life lessons; all of which he passes on to others.


“Regret not, but learn from your mistakes,” says Ari, reminiscing the wild cycles he experienced during his misspent youth. “Any lesson gained from real life experiences is one you no longer need to learn in a formal educational setting.”


Ari has had many life-changing experiences, each of which shaped him; from dropping out of high school, to going to jail, to experimenting with drugs, to wild partying and more.


After more than a decade working in marketing, branding, graphic design and websites, Ari realized that his experiences can help others. That his mistakes don’t have to be lived over and over again, if he can just tell over his story, and help people understand.


Ari is now focused on helping others, all while taking care of four fantastic children and the most amazing wife.


He is building programs and workshops to help others, using his ability to speak. Ari is producing podcasts to help others find their path to success and greatness. Ari helps others experience the wilderness, and the calm that comes from being immersed in nature. And Ari is helping kids and teenagers make better decisions.


Ari is now building lives of meaning.




This week, we get to learn a lot more about the competitive aspect of Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a well-known international organization with thousands of chapters around the world. It’s a fantastic resource for folks who want to improve their public speaking skill, practice, and get feedback.


While we do talk about competition in Toastmasters this week, keep in mind that is only part of the program. If you don’t want to compete, that’s perfectly fine. Most Toastmaster folks don’t.


But for those who do want to explore competitive speaking, though, Toastmasters can be a great option.


Vulnerability and Rebranding

Ari’s tip about vulnerability is important, and you hear it come out a few times, including the last segment where Ari talks through his rebranding, refocusing, and redesign of his website. His new website is  now live. If you’d like to see how it changed, you can check out the old version in the Internet Wayback Machine.





Call To Action

  • Check out Ari’s new website at AriGunzburg.com, and Ari’s other inks above.
  • If you want to try your hand, or mouth, at competitive speaking, or just want more experience while you improve your speaking, check out a local Toastmasters chapter.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don’t get best…get better.


2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that help you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

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