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 

Charting New Territory

Are you thinking of chartering a new club? After having been working on the sidelines of the Team that just chartered Clarkson Toastmasters Club, I can say that it is a lot of work. When you look for information in Toastmasters International or within the District 86, there isn’t a lot of published information with best practices or guidelines. This is probably because each club and situation is so unique. There were a lot of things that I learned in this process and I wanted to share what I learned.

Location, Location, Location
Our first launch meeting was May 22 when we were meeting at Christ Church in Mississauga. This Church is located within the Lorne Park community and it is literally nestled within a residential neighbourhood. While we were scouting for locations, this venue had a lot of great features like the grounds which would have been perfect for summer meetings, lots of free parking, storage for our Toastmasters paraphernalia which would mean that we could leave our things there from week to week. After our first few meetings we were having trouble getting people to the meeting because other than our social media forums we had no way to reach out to our audience. In September 2018, we moved our meeting to the Clarkson Community Centre. By the end of October, we reached charter strength. This speaks volumes to the importance of location!

Give Everyone a Role
It can take months to charter and while you work and wait patiently to get to charter strength you can’t afford to disengage the members who have signed up as a member. It is really important to keep them engaged. Since a key success factor for the club is getting members, create a Membership Committee and involve your newest members. You can also keep your members engaged by assigning them roles at the meeting. We encouraged members to present their Ice Breaker and then to deliver the speech again by incorporating their feedback.

Promote
There are many social media forums to promote the launch of a new club, but don’t make the mistake of creating a presence in so many forums that you lose track. Stick to the best ones which may include Facebook, Eventbrite, Snapd, LinkedIn. We also did the following to gain exposure:
1. Reach out to the local newspapers and wrote a short article
2. Contact our Ward Councilor and they welcomed an article for their newsletter
3. Contact ratepayer associations (your Ward Councilor would be able to help you find their contact information)
4. Put up posters in the local coffee shops

Chartering a new club is really exciting once you start to see the results. It can be a long process, so don’t forget to celebrate along the way and celebrate each new member you add. The big celebration comes with the official charter party, which we will hold in March (stay tuned for another blog!). Beyond this however, by successfully chartering a club you have left your community a better place than you found it and that is something to be very proud of!

Muktha Tumkur, DTM

The Gift Of Toastmasters

All I Want for Christmas is to go to the Conference by Tuula Redditt DTM

Conference2When asked by my husband Paul (a non-toastmaster) what I wanted for Christmas I went through my list of regular items like Tweety Bird Pajamas and Body Shop Body Butter. Instead I asked what he thought of registering me for Option 1 at the Spring Toastmasters Conference. I would really like to go. Finances were a little tight this year and I said that's all I want for both my birthday and Christmas which are only a few days apart. He agreed since it was still early bird pricing. I was elated! 

We often think the cost of going to the conference something we can all afford but for many of us like myself its not so easy. Being part of the Conference Committee and helping out with the visual graphics like the program, logos and websites has always been a passion of mine. I work from our home business Sky Studio and give of my time generously towards Toastmasters and so do all our leaders. I am greatful to be part of such an amazing team. My journey as a toastmaster and an artist has given me so many opportunities to explore my creative skills. Thank you all for giving me those opportunities. 

If you are thinking of ideas to get your spouse or other half consider the gift of Toastmasters?

Register today  before Dec 31st for your early bird special!

Are you ready for your guests

Are you ready for your guests?

“Honey? Honey? Hooooneeyyyyy?”

“What?”

“I just got off the phone with Mom. She’ coming to visit for the Holidays!”

When you hear those words, what comes to mind? Okay, beside the “OH NO!”

No not Panic! Planning. You need to know what you will cook; how will you entertain her? Where is she going to sleep? When is she coming? How long is she staying? All kinds of questions whose objective is to plan so your guest’s stay is enjoyable. You put together a checklist, so everything is ready for your guest arrival.

Are you putting that much time an effort for the guests that show-up at your club?

How are the guests finding you? Do you have a website? Is it up to date with the latest names for the Officers? Do the links still work properly? Are the day, time and location of your meetings still accurate? If you don’t have a website, how do guests find you?

Do you have an email address? If so, how long does it take before you answer? Whose responsibility is it to reply to a guest’s request for information? On the email, do you invite the guest? What kind of documents do you attach to your email? Do you send a reminder the day prior to your meeting so your guests don’t forget? If you don’t have an email address, how do guests find you?

Are you on Meetup? WhatsApp? How do guests find you?

Cathy Herschell, our Immediate Past District Director, brought to my attention that some of our clubs’ websites were not up to date. In today’s world, searching for a club is often done on the World Wide Web. Take advantage of that tool. You never know, your next member might come from the WWW! What have you got to lose by maintaining your website and making sure you answer those emails from guests promptly? You never know, your Mom might come for a visit!

Cheers,

Jocelyne V

Members Making a Difference Award

 mmad awards

The MMAD (Member Making A Difference) Award goes to members of District 86 who volunteer their communication and leadership skills learned at their clubs to better their communities and lives around them in a significant and notable way outside of their Toastmasters regular duties.

If you or somebody you know is deserving of the prestigious MMAD Award, please submit the name and a brief bio to clubgrowthdirector@toastmasters86.org

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

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