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.
Business Meeting at the Spring Conference – Mississauga (April 23, 2016)
In 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Would Anyone Like To Be “Closed”?
A couple of months ago, I wrote a Linked-In article about asking questions. I wrote it in response to another article that claimed "closing skills" were most important to sales success. I feel that very few people want to be "closed" but lots of people want to be able to do what they do . . . . better.
I am writing a book titled "Asking" which includes the idea that if we can find out what people do to succeed, how they do that, why that works for them, who they succeed with and when and where, we can figure out how the product or service we offer will help them to do whatever it is they do . . . better. If we can do that, we won't have to "close" them . . . they will buy.
When I posted my article, I was surprised that the majority of the positive responses I got were from fellow Toastmasters who felt it applied to our program.
The question I love to ask potential Toastmasters is, "What would you like to get out of Toastmasters in the coming year?"
Now I am starting to think much more in depth. I want to ask:
What do you do (day to day)?
How do you do that?
Why does that work for you?
Who do you typically deal with?
When and Where do you work with these people?
People love to talk about themselves and if we truly give them a chance to talk and if we are willing to listen carefully, we will learn that there are numerous reasons for them to join Toastmasters. Then all there is to do is help them to understand how the Toastmaster program helps them achieve the things that are important to them. If we can do that, we won't have to persuade them to join, we will have to beat them off with a stick. Ask questions of your friends and acquaintances. It is the most powerful tool you have in your toolbox to get them to understand what the Toastmasters program has to offer them. No one wants to be "closed" but many people want to know how they can get better results. Get your friends and acquaintances better results today!
Bud Brown DTM
Joining Forces in Niagara to Promote Toastmasters
As I watched the snow blowing around at 6 pm my heart sank. Would anyone show? Thankfully by 7 pm, 37 people (17 guests and 20 Toastmasters) had braved the weather to find out from Neil Dunsmore how to “Unleash the Humour Inside You” at the 1st Annual Niagara Area Toastmasters Clubs Open House on February 29, 2016.
With ten clubs in the Niagara Area this event was encouraged by District 86 to promote the Toastmasters program in our wider community and to connect clubs with some potential new members for all of us.
Testimonials from various members were used to wrap up the evening. Your Toastmasters journey is personal to you, but elements of your story can inspire and connect with others thinking about their own next step. I challenge every Toastmaster to develop a 1-2 minute answer to “why I joined Toastmasters and why I stay” to use the next time a guest visits.
The question on the bottom of the guest sign-in slip said it all. “Seeing the article in the community paper” brought in all but one guest. You should still put effort into other avenues, but do everything you can to get your event into the community paper. I will suggest you give two ways for guests to contact someone for an RSVP. The paper transcribed my email address wrong, but thankfully my cell number was listed correctly.
Did you notice I said 1st Annual? There is already talk about next year. As eight of the ten clubs had at least one member in the room, the excitement generated and success of the event will be brought back to each club which will lead to stronger partnerships and participation for the 2nd Annual Niagara Area Open House in 2017!
Kristin O’Connor, ACB, ALB
VP Public Relations (2015-16)
Grimsby Toastmasters, Club 1415201 and Lakeshore In Depth Toastmasters, Club 9912
Standing Out at Accra Toastmasters in West Africa
by Dave Wheeler, from Honeymoon City Toastmasters in Niagara Falls
West Africa is a developing region of a developing continent and a part of that development, it seems, is a developing interest in Toastmasters. In Ghana, where I am visiting relatives, I found to my delight that Accra Toastmasters met every second Wednesday just a short ten minute walk from my relatives’ digs. I was welcomed there and enjoyed the meeting. I was the only one at the meeting who was not from West Africa so I thought it ironic that the theme for the meeting was 'Standing Out’.
Participant's Adventure by Patricia James
By visiting various clubs and events, I realized that I was able to help out by taking on roles or filling in when needed. I even had the opportunity to practise my humorous contest speech! My personal and professional skills were strengthened, and I learned new skills that I can use in any new Adventure that I take on. Practising Table Topics at another club gave me the confidence to compete in the Table Topics contest. This lead to the most rewarding experience from this Adventure and that was making it all the way to the Division level in the Table Topics contest. I learned that no matter what, I was still a winner for trying.
Leadership Adventure by Patricia James
My leadership Adventure consisted of me stepping up and stepping out of my comfort zone and by trying new things. I took on speaking roles at 3 different clubs to build my confidence and becoming a workshop presenter for the Spring District 86 Conference 2015. It was a great experience and lots of fun. I grew as a leader and personally as an individual.
Shelli Donofrio Ubriaco Gives great Tips on Body Language
Shelli explains the importance of body language when speaking to others. Check out her video on YouTube.
Shelli Donofrio Ubriaco Explains the Importance of Preparing and Practicing Before Making a Speech
Here is the second of our five Toastmasters segments, which will air all this week on Shaw Cable 10. ENJOY! Hard to believe this is FREE publicity. David, from Shaw, is so eager to continue working with Superior Speakers over the summer and remainder of the year. I am treating him to lunch in the coming weeks to thank him for his willingness to help, his flexibility and overall generosity. I think I may even ask him to share hard core communicating on video tips with our members in the future. Chck us out on YouTube.
Doreen Hillier Celebrates 20 Years as a Toastmaster
The Lincoln Road Toastmasters (Waterloo), held a special evening on May 20th to recognize Doreen Hillier DTM, PDG for her upcoming 20th anniversary of joining Toastmasters in October 1995.
Messages were made to Doreen detailing extensive contributions to Toastmasters were delivered by dignitaries:
• Past International President Alfred Herzing (2001-2012)
• District 86 Governor Carolyn Hoxie
• Division W Governor Bud Brown
• Area 63 Governor Mary Lynn McPherson
• Chairs Kelley McIntyre and Shawn Salokannel
• Club President Kami McClelland
Club President Kami McClelland’ Speech
We, Lincoln Road Toastmasters Club are honored to have Doreen as the Founder of our club as well as a Member, who is currently our Vice-President of Public Relations. As founder of our club Doreen has invested her time, energy and imparted her wealth of knowledge and experience to our club. Doreen's unwavering commitment to Toastmasters has shown us that it is possible to persevere and achieve our goals.
If, I were to ask aloud - "Who is Doreen Hillier?" Even the mountains and the meadows, hills and valleys would echo" She is a Toastmaster"(club members response). Doreen has touched many lives over the span of 20 years and will continue to do so. As we know, Toastmasters is about relationships, if I may borrow some words from Abraham Lincoln and give it a little twist - Toastmasters is of the people, by the people for the people. Yes, indeed we need people to function as Toastmasters. Doreen loves people and embraces people from all walks of life and that is what makes her a great Toastmaster.
On a personal note, I call Doreen a mobile bank of speeches. There have been times when we have been in need of a speaker for the meeting and Doreen would oblige and she would spew out a perfect speech! Needless to say I don’t like evaluating her speeches.
Doreen's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has been an integral part of her achievements. Her faith helped her to stay the course, to touch lives, to reach for bigger and better goals.
Knowing Doreen, she will continue to pursue higher and greater goals and we wish her the very best.
President Lincoln Road Toastmasters
Alfred Herzing and Doreen Hillier
Left to right: Mary Lynn McPherson, Alfred Herzing, Kami McClelland, Doreen Hillier, Carolyn Hoxie & Bud Brown.
Congratulations to our Newly Distinguished Toastmasters at Port Credit Toastmasters Club
John Wang, Cathy Herschell, Mark Hayes, Bob Yewchuk.
Brampton Toastmaster is in the News!
Brampton Guardian published a great story about a newly Distinguished Toastmaster in Brampton. Check it out at Brampton Guardian!