Toastmasters District 86 Spring Conference Contests

Having been a Toastmaster on and off for over ten years, I had attended some Area and Division speech contestants, but had never been to a District 86 Conference until April 2017. Therefore, the highlight of the Spring Conference for me was the District International Speech Contest, which was held on April 29, 2017. Roger Caesar, ACS, ALB chaired the Speech Contest. Roger was the District 86 International Speech Contest Champ in 2015 and 2016! There were ten incredibly polished speakers. I have never seen so many high caliber speakers on a stage in my life! All of their speeches were impactful with strong messages. Each of the speeches was orchestrated for amazing delivery with perfect vocal variety, gestures, comfortable use of the stage and of course the speech preparation itself (opening, body, close, call to action). It was a very strong competition and meticulously organized. It would have been really difficult to be a judge. I hope to one day be on the District 86 Conference stage competing in a speech contest…. The winners of the International Speech Contest were:

1st Place – Jose Vivar
2nd Place – Ross Mackay
3rd Place – Neil Dunsmore

The District Evaluation Contest was held on April 30 and was chaired by Brian Brennan, DTM. I noticed that many of the conference attendees were madly taking notes about effective evaluation techniques we were learning! I wished I could have performance reviews from these very effective evaluators! The winners of the District Evaluation Speech Contest were:

1st Place – Kwesi Millington
2nd Place – Andrew Mertens
3rd Place – John Constant

Kudos and thank you for all of the judges in both contests!

Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA, ACS, ALB

District 86 Spring Conference 2017 Business Meeting Results

DivisionDirectorInstallation2017

I was a First Timer at the Spring Conference 2017 and wanted to take everything in. I also attended the Business meeting on Saturday, April 29, 2017. My work requires me to run a lot of committee meetings where I use Robert’s Rules of Order. Therefore, I appreciated that Toastmasters’ business meetings does use these Rules to ensure the meetings are efficient and follow an Agenda.

The following fantastic team of new leaders will be in place beginning on July 1, 2017:

Lisa des Vignes, ACB, ALB – Division A Director
Maheeza Mohamed, ACB, ALB – Division B Director
Mallika Sothinathan, ACS, ALB – Division C Director
Kyla Werrett, DTM – Division D Director
Myrna Barthe, DTM – Division L Director
Patricia Burness, ACS, ALB – Division M Director (not in picture)
Natalie Champagne, CC, ALB – Division N Director
Clifford Graham, ACS, ALB – Division S Director
Satinder Chane, ACB, ALB - Division T Director
Chris Brown, ACS, ALB – Division W Director

Congratulations to all of you!

Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA, ACS, ALB

My First District 86 Spring Conference – Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA, ACS, ALS

I have been a Toastmaster almost ten years and I have always loved and embraced the Education Program. I find every aspect of my club involvement to be educational and supportive. I quickly took on a leadership opportunity. April 2017 I attended my first District 86 Spring Conference. The large selection of outstanding workshops added to my personal growth by sparking new ideas and creativity. I attended workshops which helped me to develop and fine tune my career strategies as well as I learned of techniques to help my Club, the Area, the Division and of course the District all succeed.

The contests were amazing! The speakers and evaluators were high caliber and therefore, inspiring. One day, I would love to be able to speak like these contest winners. The countless volunteers who ran the workshops themselves were solid, confident speakers. Everyone was so professional, so willing to learn more, to improve and to collaborate. I was in Toastmasters heaven!

Every second of the Conference offered excellent face-to-face networking opportunities. I built positive relationships with other like-minded Toastmasters throughout Southwestern, Central and Northern Ontario. I had the chance to meet many Toastmasters who I have only communicated with by email. I met key people who can help me in my Toastmasters strategy and met others who can serve as informal mentors for me. For the networking reason alone I will commit to attending every Conference because it will help me to keep connections with my network.

Finally, I was so inspired by the new Distinguished Toastmasters Recognition Dinner and the District Award Winners who were recognized for achieving their goals. I found the DTM dinner so symbolic and special. What amazing achievements and I couldn’t help but feel motivated and energized.

District 86 Toastmasters are quite a party bunch and were dancing and celebrating until early hours of the morning on the Friday (the Galactic party) and Saturday night of the conference. After all the days activities, I was too tired to go, but will make it a plan to attend the evening celebration at the Fall conference.

The Conference was an amazing experience and it has left me with a positive frame of mind. Mark your calendars for the District 86 Fall Conference, which is being held November 10, 11, 2017 at the Kingbridge Centre, King City. Take full advantage of what the Toastmasters experience can offer by attending the next District Conference. I look forward to seeing many of you again and meeting more of you. I guarantee that you will find it re-energize your passion for improving and it will help you focus on your public speaking and leadership goals by fine-tuning your development strategy for success!

Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA, ACS, ALB

Toastmaster Strategies-Part 1

My Toastmasters Strategy for Success – Part 1 by Muktha Tumkur, P. Eng., MBA

Muktha TumkurI have been a Toastmaster on and off since 2007 and am currently a member of the Port Credit Toastmasters Club in Mississauga. My most recent hiatus from Toastmasters was because I was completing an MBA. In the MBA program the courses that resonated the most for me were the ones related to strategy. I was surprised to learn how many companies struggle with their strategies (if they have them at all) to be successful. Successful companies have a solid vision, related measurable goals, transparency to share what they need with all staff, and they measure their results regularly to track performance.

Toastmasters, like any successful organization, have a clear vision, mission, strategy and goals to achieve their strategy. They are also transparent and share all of this information freely because they know that their success depends on yours, as a member. The benefits that you gain from your Toastmasters experience are measured throughout the entire organization. Therefore, Toastmasters membership certainly has its benefits!

Since you are President and CEO of “Me Inc.”, lay out your vision, mission, and strategy for your communication and leadership goals. Once you have that roadmap and you commit to it, you will succeed. Here are some tips so that you can be more strategic in your goals:

  • If your goal is to improve public speaking, the leadership track helps too. At every meeting, you should try to have a speech, and a leadership role. You can be evaluated for a speech and one leadership role in any one meeting. Take on a leadership role at each meeting and try to complete speeches with a regular frequency
  • It’s about quality (not paralysis by analysis), not quantity. Rehearse your speeches for timing and delivery!
  • For speeches, pick a topic that interests your audience, send an outline to your mentor, and rehearse for timing and delivery, which develops confidence!
  • Read the Evaluation Guide and evaluator’s criteria in your manuals carefully before you take on roles and especially for speeches. The evaluation guide is how you are being evaluated, so if you want a good evaluation, see what you are being evaluated on.
  • Reach out to a fellow member in advance to ask them to be a speech evaluator for you. This gives them time to read the evaluation guide and allows them to come prepared to the meeting along with you.
  • Use the leadership roles Project Matrix and develop a strategy that works for you. You can take on the timer role every week until you don’t need the credit anymore. You can also approach it by project and take on the roles that help you to finish one project at a time.
  • Help Organize a Club Speech Contest, Club Speech Contest Chairman, Help Organize a Club Special Event…. We have lots of events coming up, and we need horsepower to make them happen. Please contact your VP Ed for information on how you can gain more leadership skills.
  • Ensure that the Project Completion Record at the back of your CC and CL manual are up to date and signed off by the VP Ed as soon as you complete a project. Leaving it until you finish all ten projects can be a nightmare.
  • For effective meetings, the meeting agenda and duty roster must be prepared weeks in advance by the VP Ed. Set targets for yourself and help the club by signing up for roles and speeches in advance.

I titled this article with “Part 1” because we can learn so much from each other. I am sure that many of you have similar strategies, which helped you achieve your Toastmasters communication and leadership goals effectively. I challenge you to write the next article for this series!

Member News September - 2016

Brilliant Bob’s 90th Birthday Bash

Bob's 90th Birthday

On August 30th Hershaw Toastmasters hosted a perfectly charming celebration of long time Toastmaster, DTM and inspirational gentleman Bob Dye in honor of his birthday. No detail was left unchecked in preparation of this special event with guests and members donning handmade bowties and 1920’s fashion. Musical performances of Summertime, Moon River and Edelweiss were elegantly sang out by Mikael Gatje, Merle Miller, Alice Siefert and Isabel Hershaw with keyboard accompaniment of Rueben Calalang. Friends from Toastmaster of Cambridge and District 86 Director Vitaliy Fursov brought with them merriment to this special occasion with Bob brilliantly taking center stage. It was a delight for all in attendance to share their heartfelt memories, impressions, admiration and amazement of all things Bob. A Happy 90th Birthday to our dear friend, mentor and fellow Toastmaster Bob Dye!

Lyndsy Johnson

Member News July - 2016

Inside Outside of an Area Director by Anne Dockeray

As part of the Go Outside Your Club Contest I wanted to share with you as an Area Director some of things that I have found to be very positive and extremely helpful when trying to come from within yourself and out of the box. How do you sum up a year of a newly appointed Area Director? Well if you joined toastmasters to gain more knowledge in communication and in leadership, then you will fit in as an Area Director. Taking on this appointment was a challenge within myself. You see I have sights of the Distinguished Toastmaster!!! That alone helped to get out of my box to achieve my goals.

When I first agreed to take on this role I did not realize how much I would grow. There are plenty of highlights that I could share with you but the ones that stand out the most are Club Visits and Contests. Getting not only to meet new people but to feel their passion for the program was very uplifting. Also being able to share my passion for this program – you see that is so a leadership skill. You are doing it and you don’t realize the impact you have on others. This was so noticeable when trying to get other club members to come outside their box to our Area Club Contest. Just watching others excel, each member at different stages of their program. I think that most members join and think that the club level is all I need, but I feel you don’t get outside of your box to inside yourself unless you journey forward and try something new. This contest was a great stepping stone to see what others have done and to apply it to myself. Growing, growing is what stands out the most.

Thank you Toastmasters for an excellent learning year. Still more to come!!

In Praise in Going Beyond Your Club

I have always believed in going outside of my home club. Twenty-one years ago, when I joined Toastmasters, I visited two different clubs a few times before I made my decision on which to join.

I joined Ambitious City Toastmasters, a Hamilton club, on April 11th. On May 1st, I was in Kingston for a four month work contract. I was eager, I was motivated, I was bored in the evenings. I visited every club I could find. I made a discovery: every club is the same, and every club is different. At every club I found friendly, welcoming people. There was table topics, there were speeches, there were evaluations. Yet, there were differences as well. This club had the evaluators go to the lectern, that one had them evaluate from their seats. One club had a display table for guests, another had their names written on the front and back of the name tents. I had fun, and I learned a lot. I also went back to my home club in September with all these new ideas and implemented some of them. My club thought I was a genius.

I have never stopped visiting other clubs. This year I've been to five in my immediate geographical area and to several more anniversary parties as the District Historian. Always friendly people, good times and the chance to see a different way of doing things. There are also the contests, the conferences, and the officer training sessions. All fun, all a chance to see how large Toastmasters really is.

Now that a new Toastmasters year is upon us, it is a good time to set goals. I urge you, go beyond your club and see what is there. If you belong to an evening club, go visit a lunch time club, or vice versa. The experience is radically different, and yet comfortingly familiar. Go to a contest, attend officer training. Learn. Make new friends. Have fun. Happy New Year.

David T. Shaw DTM
Ambitious City #1586 and McMaster #6307
District 86 Historian

 

Member News June - 2016

Go Outside Your Home Clubs

As a member of 3 Toastmaster Clubs this term, I had an opportunity to participate in 16 events outside my clubs. I attended many of these events to support my TM friends and was given many opportunities that I would not normally get in a club environment. This included facilitating club officer training and being a (chief) judge at contests at all levels including at the District Conference. I was enriched with meeting new friends, experiencing different and better ways of performing roles and giving back.

My favourite event was performing a judge’s role at an Air Cadet’s Effective Speaking Competition in Richmond Hill. These youth have embraced Inspirational and Impromptu speaking at a high level with most members of the York Region Squadron competing.

In 2016-2017, Go Outside Your Club and gain amazing benefits.

AirCadet LC OPC

Business Meeting at the Spring Conference – Mississauga (April 23, 2016)

MargaretWaechterIn all the years that I’ve attended District conferences, the Spring Business meeting has been a “bust”. Why is that? I’m thinking there’s MORE business to be dealt with such as District, Division and Area elections at the Spring conference and less free time before the dinner program begins. Mind you, the agenda items were adhered to and time allotments, in most cases, were honored. Janice McDonald did a fine job in keeping the elections flowing and the audience entertained. Deferring to Bill Bienia for rules of order only made me appreciate her concern for doing things right. In a way, the elections, this time were exciting – multiple people running for the same office. Clearly there’s interest by the membership to step forward to help continue to make District 86 strong, vibrant and appealing to our communities. Patience, tolerance and acceptance can be tough to exhibit, especially when the 2 hr meeting time came and passed. When the business meeting was over, one could hear a sigh of relief before dashing out of the room to get ready for dinner. Yes, business meetings can be “painful”; however, the outcome is for the good of Toastmasters. Something to be mindful of for the next time.

Margaret Waechter
Waterloo, ON

 Club Officer Training – Round 1 – Div.W – Guelph (June 18, 2016)

This may sound crazy but I look forward to this type of training. Learning, sharing and fellowship are evident at any Toastmaster function whether it’s workshops, speech contests or officer trainings. The beauty of it is that ANYONE can attend Club Officer training – from the newly elected club officers to those club members who want to know more about the role & responsibilities of a specific position before running for the next club election. Being a Club Officer S T R E T C H E S your competent leadership skills and your comfort zone. This training is invaluable to your club through you.

Open House – Agfa Cheers Club – Waterloo (June 22, 2016)

This Open House event taught me something – the importance of showing support to your fellow Toastmaster clubs. You’re probably saying to yourself: “Yeah, yeah, yeah – well, I’m busy with my own club activities and don’t have the time to go to other clubs or even workshops/conferences!” To me, Toastmasters is about encouraging others to grow in speaking & leadership skills, confidence and vision. If your club is thriving – that’s great. If you know of a club that is taking steps to augment their low membership – that’s when Toastmasters show their support by attending Open Houses. Experienced members are on hand to demonstrate to others the benefits of their Toastmasters training while at the same time doing a bit of public relations with the guests.

Margaret Waechter
Waterloo, ON

Member News April - 2016

Club Succession Plan – Questionnaire to measure a Toastmasters learned skill by Conrad Rodrigues

The Chairman and CEO of a company called one of his employees into the office. "Ryan," he said, "you've been with the company for a year. You started off in the mail room, soon you were promoted to a sales position, and next you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Within one year, you were promoted to vice-chairman."
"Now it's time for me to retire, and I want you to take over the company. What do you say to that?"
"Thanks," said Ryan and began to leave.
"Thanks?" the CEO replied. "Is that all you can say?"
"I suppose not," Ryan said. "Thanks, Dad."

Is this how you would see a successor to a leadership role?

Have you identified your successor? If you did, then what were the criteria for that appointment? Is that person qualified, competent, have the integrity, the confidence, does the person inspire and have the ability to motivate others.
This Succession Plan is offering to invest in the development of our members to become stronger and confident leaders so that they are ready to transition seamlessly into leadership roles.

Let’s examine the benefits of a succession plan to the club:

Succession planning will motivate you, the members to understand the potential paths available and the development you need to get you there. This leads to improved retention, morale, and commitment of the membership at large.

Since Succession Planning is built with the strategic plan in mind, it gives us the opportunity to identify ourselves and create specific training and developmental opportunities based on those specific needs before the time when those needs become urgent.

Succession planning is an opportunity to build on the diverse intellectual abilities and specialized skills in the club because it will identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities of each employee as well as individual developmental interests.

And finally, Succession Planning allows you to gain confidence in your own abilities based on your own development to become a great leader.

We will do a succession plan in four stages (i) identify the competencies (ii) assess yourself. This will be done using a clear measurement* (iii) you will create development plans (iv)Finally, you will measure, monitor and revise the development plans, if required.

We learn Toastmaster leadership skills during the Leadership stream as we perform roles within the Toastmasters club.
Ray Blunt who is a leadership and business scholar says: It takes leaders to grow other leaders.

For the clear measurement* aspect of the succession plan we have designed a questionnaire where we are trying to solicit responses from leaders as to how they knew that they learn a particular skill.

This survey will focus only on the measurement aspect* of a core competency and its associated skill.

If you are excited and would like to participate then you can by completing a survey/questionnaire. Send an email to conradrodrigues104@gmail.com requesting to participate.

In participating, I guarantee you will see yourself in a brighter and better light while contributing to a future that will shine on a future leader.

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

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