Club ‘Invasion’? Bring it On!

There were not 2, or 3, or 4... but 9 guests from Port Credit Toastmasters who literally ‘invaded’ our Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters meeting on January 11. WOW!!!!! With our club members’ habitual camaraderie and their amazing energy, that meeting was simply OUTSTANDING.

Following their visit and inspired by that initiative, we decided to pay back the 'invasion’, having 7 of our members join the Port Credit Toastmasters meeting on February 4th. The result? Another fantastic meeting with guests and members alike truly enjoying the experience! Have you ever considered doing a ‘club invasion’ of this sort? Well... we absolutely loved it AND recommend it!

ClubInvasion

The best part about visiting other clubs is being inspired by their best practices, to share these new ideas with your own club members. I was personally impressed by the way Port Credit Toastmasters has a “Guest Greeter” role in their agenda, to introduce each guest and give them the chance to speak or be introduced by a seasoned member.

In my corporate clubs, guests are usually introduced by the Toastmaster of the meeting, but depending on the experience of the person in the role, welcoming of guests and requesting their feedback at the end of the meeting are sometimes ‘hit and miss’ practices, rather than the formal process I saw performed so well by the “Guest Greeter” at Port Credit Toastmasters. A great meeting role to suggest and start applying in my other clubs!

They also have a “Book of the Week” practice, that allows their club members to borrow a book on Communication, Presentation Skills or Leadership for two weeks. What a neat idea and an additional way to entice guests to join the club, so they can also benefit from that unique opportunity!

Visiting other clubs is an awesome way to discover great ideas that can make the experience of guests and members a lot better in our own club(s). Make sure to plan a visit to another club if you have never done so -maybe even plan having an ‘invasion’ of your club members to another club, to change the routine up and give memorable and truly enjoyable meeting experiences to all involved, and share any awesome best practices you discover here in our blog! In the end, everyone leaves a winner thanks to the experience, and stronger inter-club connections are built.

At Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters we have enjoyed this couple of ‘invasions’ so much, that we plan to continue doing them throughout the year. Will your club be next???

Looking forward to our next club ‘invasion’!!!!!!

 

Sudbury Braves The Cold to Hold Area 3 International Speech and Evaluation Contest

Area 3 and Area 4 collaborated to hold back to back speech and evaluation contests at College Boreal in Sudbury on Sunday 27th January. Area 3 Contest 1 – 4pm and Area 4 from 4 – 5:20pm.

All clubs from Areas 3 and 4, were involved in the contest and 4 clubs had members competing in the Area 3 contest. Despite a -42C wind-chill there was a great turnout and fantastic speeches and evaluations.

Area 3 International Speech Contestants were Mickey Teed, Mary Ellen Shepley, Carla Gagne and Dan Vincent.

Area 3 Evaluation Contestants were Jennie Carroll, Shawna Kirkwood, Mette Kruger.

1st and 2nd placings proceed to the Division N Contest on Saturday 2nd March, 1-4pm at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University, Sudbury.

Area3ContestArea 3 International Speech Contest 27Jan2019 at College Boreal, Sudbury ON
L to R: (Photo by Natalie Champagne)
John Cooney (Chair), Mickey Teed (1st), Mary Ellen Shepley (2nd), Carla Gagne (3rd) and Dan Vincent

 

 

 

 

 

 

Area3B

 

 

Area 3 Speech Evaluation Contest 27Jan2019 at College Boreal, Sudbury ON
L to R: (Photo by Natalie Champagne)
John Cooney (Chair), Jennie Carroll (1st), Mette Kruger (3rd), Shawna Kirkwood (2nd), and Mickey Teed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to our Chief Judge Christine Lewis, Area 4 Director Melanie Mayer, College Boreal for use of the wonderful Jean Watters Auditorium, to all of our judges, sergeants at arms, ballot counters and timers. Thank you to all our contestants for preparing high quality speeches for this contest.
We wish all of those moving on to Division N the best of luck!

John Cooney
Area 3 Director/Contest Chair

Enhancing Our Toastmasters Experience

People are attracted to Toastmasters because they see the opportunities to learn and grow in a friendly environment. At least, this was exactly why I was drawn to Toastmasters about two decades ago! Over the years, I have observed that, in order to retain, motivate, and excite our members, there are more that needs to be done by all members. We are engaged when we achieve our communication and leadership goals in a fun-loving and mutually supportive environment. While the club’s executives are tasked to foster an engaging club environment, it’s also our responsibility to help sustain a club culture that is fun and achievement oriented.

The good news is that Toastmasters does offer a time-proven structure that works. In other words, when we stick to the 'game plan', we will be on track to promote achievements (via prepared assignments and evaluations, etc.) and fun (table topics, quizes, humor, etc.) in our meetings. As such, we need full cooperation of our members, whose actions could be summarized as A.S.A.P. below:

A-ttend and fully present in meetings

S-ign up meeting roles in advance

A-ssist one another as necessary

P-repare speaking assignments

For most clubs, A.S.A.P. is exactly what they would need to succeed. On the other hand, for the more established clubs, there are actions beyond the basics that could be considered to further enhance the members’ experience given 'achievement' and “fun” have no real end point. There are always more challenging projects to be achieved as Toastmasters, and more “fun” in the meetings is always welcome!

In closing, I would like to encourage you, my fellow Toastmasters, to do the A.S.A.P. asap! At the same time, think of one additional specific action that you could take to help you achieve more and have more fun in your Toastmasters experience. After all, Toastmasters is not a spectator’s sports!

Philip Lai,

President, Port Credit Toastmasters Club (1474)

OPS North Bay Toastmasters Launches 2019 with Moments of Truth

January is a time for taking stock of things in our lives and for making New Year’s resolutions. So, OPS North Bay Toastmasters decided to kick off our first meeting of 2019 with a Moments of Truth event!

Led by our Club Coaches, Lisa Wilson and Joanna Liritzis, we took a closer look at where we want to improve as a club in the year ahead. And, with the benefit of brainstorming by a mix of new and older members, we have come up with some concrete ideas that we intend to put into action right away. We also had our first Pathways / Ice Breaker speech of the new year on the agenda, also titled Moments of Truth delivered by Melanie Alkins.

OPS North Bay Toastmasters is a relatively young club; it began six short years ago. We are indebted to the founding members, including current members Anthony Akomah, Pat Devereaux, Siobhan O’Leary and Arlene Phillips, for their vision and persistence. Our club is one of the few Ontario Public Service corporate clubs in the province.

As a smaller group, our members have taken on quite a bit of responsibility with executive and meeting roles. The energy and enthusiasm of the group and willingness of people to step up is infectious! This is a great base to build from as we grow our club in 2019.

OPSNorthBay TM

OPS North Bay Toastmasters at January 10, 2019 meeting. (missing are Club Coaches Lis Wilson and Joanna Liritzis)

If you live in the North Bay area, or are just passing through, we meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday, noon to 1 pm, Library Boardroom, 2nd floor, 447 McKeown Ave.

We’d love to have you visit us!
by Sandy Bell-Murray
2018 / 2019 President,
OPS North Bay Toastmasters

What is Your Intent When Conducting a Speechcraft Program?

Speechcraft3

You probably had it. Maybe there are some fellow Toastmasters that still experience the symptoms of this condition. It’s not contagious…just a nuisance. However, you took steps to address this condition and now look at you! 

Do you know what this condition is? It is called Glossophobia – the fear of public speaking.
To me, the word “public” alone is fearful – speaking in front of a crowd, a large gathering. One definition for the word ‘public’ is “done in open view”. When I hear the word “public”, I envision more than 50 faces before me.

As Toastmasters, we practice speaking to a small audience. We gain confidence in our ability to speak in front of an audience, whether it’s at work as part of a team; a community group; a church committee or at an association meeting.

The number of attendees at these gatherings range from maybe 5 to 10 to 20. A small audience. Speechcraft sessions and club meetings consist of a small audience.

What does this have to do with Speechcraft?

It’s all in the intent to ATTRACT non-Toastmasters to this program.

Generally speaking, Toastmasters International is an unknown entity. By telling the public to join Toastmasters to improve their public speaking skills probably won’t get them even interested in exploring what Toastmasters is all about, let alone sign up for a Speechcraft program or join a Toastmasters club.

Solution? – In your promotional fliers and announcements on social media, why not ask the public some questions about their “fear of public speaking”. Then position the benefits of Speechcraft as the answer to those questions. Your INTENT is to offer a solution to their fear by offering a workshop! For example –

  • Does the fear of speaking in front of a group evoke fear, make you sweat and get your heart pounding?
  • Do you find it difficult to find the words to express your ideas in a clear and concise manner?
  • Do you find it challenging to give effective feedback to fellow co-workers, friends and family?
  • Would you like to learn some techniques on how to make your presentations interesting, informative and interactive?

Here’s the solution: “Consider participating in a 6-8 week Speechcraft Program, where you will present short, effective speeches to a small group while improving your presentation skills with the help from an experienced Toastmaster advisor. All sessions are conducted in a friendly environment, no judgment is made and encouragement is abundant.”

The fear of speaking in front of an audience is all about the non-Toastmaster, not about joining a club to increase your membership strength – that’s a bonus. With the guidance from experienced Toastmasters, you can help them improve their speaking skills.

Sure, as a program host, you want these participants to join your Toastmasters Club...boost membership roster, add more variety to regular meetings, etc. Wait until the last session to make a pitch to join your club. Frequent mentioning of joining Toastmasters could disenchant the participant with the whole concept of Toastmasters and the benefits gained from Speechcraft.

If the program is conducted like an abridged Toastmaster meeting, the participant will feel more comfortable when they attend a regular club meeting…that’s a bonus!

Remember at the last Speechcraft session to INVITE all the participants to your club meeting and assure them they will receive a warm welcome and will be made to feel at home.

I believe as Toastmasters, we want to share our learning experiences; we want to encourage others to gain the benefits that you have gained; and, we want others to experience personal growth and development as they proceed through Pathways.

By marketing Speechcraft as a program to address “What’s in It for Me” (WIIFM) concerns, there is the potential to increase membership numbers, subtly. Continue to be mindful of who is attracted to Speechcraft and focus the benefits of Speechcraft as a solution to their “fears”.

Speechcraft plants the seeds to help grow the Toastmasters exposure to the community. With nurturing, mindfulness and persistence on the INTENT, your Toastmasters club will grow and who knows, maybe it will be responsible for the launching of a new club! That’s a bonus!

Margaret Waechter, ACG, ALB
Speechcraft Chair
District 86

 

District 86, Division A Toastmasters Expo

DivAExpo2019

ARE YOU AFRAID OF PUBLIC SPEAKING OR IMPROMPTU SPEAKING? IF SO, WE HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU

Do you have a fear of public speaking or impromptu speaking? Jennifer Hutter, a Toastmasters member, quoted “Interviews were a nightmare for me. My face would get red and my mouth would get dry. Suddenly, I forget how to speak. I join toastmasters 4 months ago because I’m sick of my nervousness getting way of my success.”

If this statement resonates with you, we are extending this invitation to you to attend District 86, Division A Toastmasters Expo. at Markham Civic Centre in Canada the Room on Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 6:30 PM for registration and commences promptly at 7 PM to 10 PM.

We are thrilled to announce that District 86, Division A Toastmasters Expo will commence its very first Toastmasters Club meeting. Jennifer Jones McConnell, District 86 Speakers Bureau Coordinator, Markham Talk of The City Club President, Advance Communication Bronze and Advance Leadership Bronze, will conduct a workshop on the benefits of Toastmasters and a fun-filled Table Topics session.

About Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International is a worldwide non-profit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., the organization's membership exceeds 352,000 in more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasterson Twitter.

For more information: http://www.toastmasters86.org/district-86-contacts/division-a

  • Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019
  • Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST
  • Location: Markham Civic Centre | Canada Room | 101 Town Centre Boulevard | Markham | ON | L3R 9W3
  • Admission: Free


register here on eventbrite

Youth Leadership Program Cyril Clark Library Oct 20 to Dec 8th, 2018

CC YLP 14 18

My name is Cal Lockhart and have on several occasions assisted and acted as a judge for Gavel Club (junior Toastmasters) speech contests. On these occasions, those kids are nothing short of amazing! Granted, in the contest arena we are treated to the ‘creme de la crème’ of the genre.
I was told of a previous Youth Leadership Program (YLP) that the Brampton Library had sponsored, where only 12 of the starters actually completed the program. Taking on this YLP I was astounded that of the 26 participants 24 completed the program! I arbitrarily added one whose father told me that his son was on the waiting list and was very anxious to be part of the program.
Our 9 week program was reduced to 8 weeks. I had planned the 9th session to include the representatives from the Brampton Library, Brampton City Council and other dignitaries from the Toastmasters Organization and district 86. The participants however, in one of the Parliamentary Procedures exercises, made a motion which was seconded, that we cancel the 9th session and that a simple Certificate Presentation Ceremony be held instead on the 8th week. The motion was discussed by the group, the question was called and passed by a huge majority. Hence, I "bowed to the will of the people" and cancelled my 9th session plan.
I must add that not since my experience as Assistant Scoutmaster, between the late 1950's and early 1970's, had I ever dealt with teenage boys, and I have never encountered teenage girls at all. To do so, in a quasi-academic situation was enlightening, to say the least! While I tried to treat the group as young adults, I was never certain that the approach was either proper or appropriate. Nevertheless, it was the 'road taken' and my approach never changed.
I was, therefore, absolutely astonished by the program evaluations from 21 of 24 participants of the program. It would appear that they not only heard an 80 year old man talk, they ACTUALLY LISTENED, and apparently learned! That is a measure of success!
With respect to our desire for 100% attendance, I'm very much of the view that such is an 'impossible dream'. Some of the reasons for this included pressing appointments with University of Toronto with possible ambitions to enroll as students for a coming term. Also withe the fast approaching holiday season, with its associated needs for shopping, parties and social events tends to rate much higher on 'Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs' than the requirement to listen to an old man talk!
In summary, in retrospect I think the program was far more successful than I had imagined to have ever thought possible. I am grateful by the encouraging comments provided by the participants, and I am appreciative of the opportunity afforded me by the Brampton Library and my home club 'Speak To Inspire Toastmasters'.


With my very best regards,
Cal Lockhart ALB, ACG

To view the PDF of evaluations click HERE.

Youth Leadership Program Four Corners Library Oct 20 to Dec 15, 2018

YLP2018 TrinhLu

Photo credit: Lyndsy Johnson

My name is Trinh Lu and have had the pleasure of helping out as Assistant Coordinator twice before for past Youth Leadership Programs but this is my first time running one, and it's definitely not my last.
I am glad I had a chance to plant a 'Toastmaster' seed in these kids' lives. I hope there are more Toastmasters running future programs because I truly believe in its benefits.
I can see first hand how our programs change shy, timid kids to becoming confident speakers. Their eyes light up after completing a speech, or an evaluation, or table topics well done. The joy in their parents' eyes watching their kids' progress at the lectern is all worth it.
These kids now have the tools to succeed, to become the leaders of tomorrow. They now have gavel clubs to join, resources to go to when they need them. They can even become our club members in the future.
The last session we had 20 youth, 4 Toastmasters and 16 parents in attendance. I know I did the right thing when kids asked me to take pictures with them, and send me emails for christmas. Even the parents sent me thank-you notes and updates on their progress.

I also want to thank the fellow Hershaw members whose help was much appreciated: 

David Burt (assistant coordinator), Sue Hopcroft, Alice Siefert, Ron Kosciolek, Sandeep Kainth, Colleen Dotson, Binu Cherian, and Veronica Headley.

by Trinh Lu

 

Check out the attched feedback from the Library and youth 

Toastmasters International Values:  Respect • Integrity • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:  Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team 

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