Why do the people do the things they do? Its because there is a reason. This idea came from me the other day after someone said “establish your why”.
Welcome Toastmaster readers....
Establishing your why is important. It gives you a reason to keep on going or maybe that decision to try something new.
My name is Shelly and I have been a Toastmaster since January 2016. I decided to join Toastmasters because I wanted to improve my communicating skills and I love talking!!
Toastmasters has given me the ability to become a more confident person and I have slowly applied what I have learned in my life. Fellowship with a great group of people, a better understanding of people and a great team work environment has been an added benefit of being a Toastmaster.
Working hard has always helped me find my way. I think we need that or at least I do. To have a purpose and even making/checking off lists. WORK IS DEFINITELY PART OF MY WHY!! As a Toastmaster I am here to work on my goals. I joined because I wanted to work on my public speaking. I didn’t realize that it would change my world.. Recently I was told by a fellow Toastmaster that “ we have one mouth and two ears and we need to listen twice as much”.... that has always been a challenge for me. What challenge you say? Thinking before I speak. I get excited most times and not think before I speak. Has Toastmasters helped with that? Yes it has but it has been a slow process in other aspects of my life. A saying by lots of people” keep it simple” and that is another goal I am working on.
Establishing your why is an important question in life. Its what keep you going. Having a goal and even if the plan changes the goal should not. That’s why establishing your why is important!!
Establishing my why? I need to work to make money, pay my bills, Toastmasters is a necessity so I can keep working on my communicating skills through listening/speaking. Fellowship with past, present and future people in my life.
Establishing your why is an important question one should ask themselves in starting a new venture!!
Establishing your why whether just to inspire yourself to become a better well rounded person is a last thought to leave you fellow Toastmaster readers.
Shelly Grant (1603 club secretary)
Do you know you have an extended family all over the world? Yes, you do! Toastmasters is a family without boundaries, and when you visit another country – of course, you have to visit your family over there!
And that is exactly what I did on my last trip to Hong Kong. It was great to connect with my (real) family, but I also dropped by a local Toastmasters club, TGIT – Thank God It’s Toastmasters Club, which is Hong Kong’s first advanced club. The theme of the meeting was “Masterchef” and, as promised, the meeting served up a delectable assortment of speeches. For example, I learned how to make a perfect cup of chai tea, and why steak should always, always be paired with potatoes. The advanced speeches were all from the Persuasive Speaking manual (under the traditional education program), which perfectly suited my palate because I have plans to work on that manual this year.
This visit resulted in a fun record of “firsts” for me: my first Toastmasters meeting outside Canada, my first visit to an advanced club, and, most delightfully, my first experience with a wine and cheese reception before a Toastmasters meeting. (Now, that’s food for thought!) I loved the congenial atmosphere of TGIT and I was greeted so warmly that I felt right at home with this new family.
The next time you travel, I encourage you to go see your extended Toastmasters family! This welcoming, worldwide family is a perk of being a Toastmasters member, so definitely go see them when you have the chance!
Jeanie Lai, ACB, ALB
Sheridan Park Toastmasters
Thanks to the kind invitation by fellow toastmaster Ryan Belluz, I had the opportunity to attend my first ever Gaval Club meeting on April 21, 2018. As the test speaker at the Brampton Gaval Club’s Spring Speech Contest, It was such a treat and learned a great deal.
The speech contest ran smoothly and I had the opportunity to reflect on the enormous amount of preparation required behind the scenes by the organizers who were so dedicated. The various roles for the contest were executed seamlessly by the members who had seized the opportunity to polish and demonstrate their speaking skills and leadership.
As test speaker, I received so much constructive feedback from the 7 contestants, and was very much impressed by the youngsters’ sincerity, insights, and eloquence. Where on earth could we find a place where one speaks and others listen, and most of all they listen with the intent to understand and motivate? Only in Toastmasters!
While Toastmasters is where leaders are made, it is also where understanding happens. When we truly understand, we are empowered to respond meaningfully and purposefully. Understanding is exactly what we need more at home and work today.
By Philip Lai, ATMB
Member of Port Credit Club (1474)
Reflections of Contest Season by Tuula Redditt
This year my plan was to take time out for myself and relish in my guilty pleasure ... of Toastmasters. Contest season kicked off early with clubs scrambling for volunteers to be test speakers, judges, chairs and contestants to take the 'Wild Ride' in Toastmasters challenging themselves with fantasic leadership roles. My 'Beyond Boundaries' card was burning a hole in my pocket and I volunteered where ever I could sneak out of the house with the excuse that I will get a point on my card if I go out. Or another favourite excuse to my husband was I can do my 'Wild Ride' speech again as test speaker... and get a point. Before you knew it I had 7 points and decided to go after the big prize and get 12 points, a $50 gift certificate from Toastmasters International.
Wild Ride by Tuula Redditt: This speech takes you on a journey of the many wild rides I loved going on as a kid starting with the coin operated pony ride at the Woolworth Department store in Timmins, Ontario. Later loving the thrill of eating candyfloss which resembled pink fiberglass insulation and then going on the Tilt-a-Whirl (nicknamed Tilt-a-Hurl) with my friends and feeling sick afterwards. Even as an adult continuing to step out my comfort zone and going on the 'Bahemoth' roller coaster ride at Canada's Wonderland. My reflections of the past coincided with the Wild Ride of Toastmasters beginning with the pony ride and eventually building up courage enough to enter your first speech contest and experiencing the 'Tilt-a-Hurl' of Toastmaster rides, feeling a little sick afterwards. Finally discovering the 'Moment of Truth' when suddenly that near death experience transforms to 'EXCITEMENT'. You suddenly find yourself at the 'Bahemoth' of Toastmaster rides and competing at the District Conference Contest. I challenged everyone to take that coin out of their pockets and put it towards their next 'Wild Ride' but don't leave it in your pocket too long or the chocolate within the coin might just melt.
I had the pleasure of competing in the International speech contest for Area 34 with some amazing and talented speakers. Two speakers in particular Michael Georgie from the City of Brampton TM and Veronica Hislop from Brampton Alpha both spoke about the Brampton libraries. Earlier that day I was busy having fun with free services provided by the libraries...3D printing. Check out the fun Ferris wheel clock that my husband and I designed in a 3D program called 3D MAX. I've named it 'Time is Fun'. So I challenge you all to take your precious time and have some fun. You never know what kind of Wild Ride you might end up being on. 'Go Beyond Your Boundaries' and have some fun!
P.S. Just so you know, writing this blog will give me my 12th point, completing my mission. My husband will be proud.
"Two frogs are sitting in a pond and the one frog says the other,"Time is fun when you're having flies!"
Tuula Redditt. DTM
VP of Membership
Speak to Inspire TM Club
“Whether I am in my wheelchair, dealing with my light sensitivity or my sound sensitivity, I am treated as an equal.” This is one of the key phrases in my entry for the International Speech Competition this year.
For people dealing with disabilities, some disabilities are easy enough to overcome than others, like having meetings held in an accessible facility. Other things like overcoming exhaustion, illness, sensitivities you can’t control, and having the need for an interpreter can seem too large a gulf to bridge.
From personal experience, what I’d like to tell everyone is, “Go For It!!!”
I live with a severe chronic illness that at one point kept me 98% bed bound, but thankfully is now down to about 75%. Since regaining a little strength, I started looking for opportunities to improve myself and was guided towards Toastmasters, where I have been able to “Find My Voice.”
I was worried that my wheelchair would be a barrier, that I constantly must be wearing a hat and sunglasses would be a barrier, that I am scent sensitive would be a barrier, and that I am sound sensitive would be a barrier, but my fears were unfounded!
I am a grateful member of Cambridge Toastmasters #2728, where people have welcomed me in from Day 1. The facility we use is wheelchair friendly, people have learned to track my head movement rather than my eye movement for the purpose of evaluations, our club has gone scent free, and traditional applause has been substituted for the form of applause used by the deaf community. These small changes have reduced pain and suffering I would otherwise have to just chosen to “endure”. I wasn’t expecting people to change tradition for me, but this open willingness has touched me deeply and created a sense of inclusivity.
Many people living with disabilities are part of a marginalized population and having disabilities can lead to isolation, feelings of inadequacy, and depression, but it doesn't have to be that way!
One of my personal goals at Toastmasters in the years to come will be to help encourage and be a bridge between those with (dis)Abilities and the clubs in our District. I am hoping that I can help others dealing with (dis)Abilities “Find their voice” too and become a positive instrument of change in our world.
My loving challenge to other clubs is to think outside the box and find new ways to think about how to be inviting to members who may fear acceptance because of being “different” or “limited”.
Ms CJ Janzen
Member of Cambridge Toastmaster
Knowing when to make a speech and when to make a presentation may be more important than you think.
You may have seen a Toastmaster speak passionately about issues of importance only to dampen the impact of his or her speech by putting up Power Point slides full of technical data. The effect was to dilute the passion and conviction in the speech. When this happens, how do you evaluate the speech? Do you view the Power Point as part of the speech?
When do you speak and when do you present? First, it helps to know the difference.
A presentation typically employs visual aids to convey data.
A speech relies on words alone to create feeling and imagery in the minds of the listeners.
How do you choose? Determine what’s best for each occasion, each audience, based on their needs, their concerns and expectations.
A presentation is generally the best vehicle for showing specific, detailed information. Ideally, clear uncomplicated visual data detail to prove or support the presenter’s points.
A speech is more appropriate for striking larger themes and conveying emotion, with a greater dependence on language to convey ideas ‘visually’.
Philip Coakley ALB, ACS - Speak to Inspire Toastmasters
Adapted ‘The Total Communicator’
I don’t know how many Toastmasters would do the amount of commuting Michael McAra, DTM does from Toronto to his club in Mississauga. I’d guess more than a few, especially for the Toastmasters living outside major cities.
Another question is how far would you go?
Meena Gurung, a Toastmaster since November 1, 2017, lives in Chapleau. Meena first learned about Toastmasters in her native Nepal while working in the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Program. The long distance made it too far to travel to Kathmandu. Meena returned to university for graduate studies in forestry. Fortunately, she had highly marketable skills needed in Canada and moved to Canada in 2005 with her husband and two daughters. She found employment in Hornepayne in 2008.
Recently Meena was hired by the Ministry of Natural Resources in Chapleau, about three and a half hours south of Hornepayne and only a little over a two-hour drive to the nearest Toastmaster Club in Timmins.
Porcupine Toastmasters now has a new member, who made the 200 km trip from Chapleau to deliver her Ice Breaker speech. Meena told the members of Porcupine Toastmasters, the story of her journey to find a club. Meena grew up on a subsistence farm in Nepal. Most girls of her generation did not have the opportunity to attend school yet Meena was able to complete university, emigrate to Canada and begin a new path of learning as a Toastmaster. Where will Pathways take her?
Colleen Charland, DTM
Something interesting to note about Michael McAra, DTM…. Michael lives in downtown Toronto (District 60), but his Toastmaster home club is Lambs to Lions (District 86), a Club that he is a founding member of. He does not work in Mississauga either. He simply loves the Club and is very committed to it’s success. He commutes between his home and the Club meetings. He notes, “I have an express GO bus that gets me to the Mississauga Central Library, one hour door to door so it’s an easy commute, and as a Charter member, I am proud of my home club in Mississauga.” How many Toastmasters would do this amount of commuting for a Club?
He has also been very involved in providing support to Division leaders in District 86 by helping with our contests. Michael served as Chief Judge at the Area 82 and Division D contests. He recently delivered an Art of Effective Evaluations workshop within Division D. He is very open and willing to share his knowledge and support so that we delivered exceptional events. Kyla Werret, Division D Director notes, “He has always gone out of his way to help on many occasions. Mike always sets an exemplary leadership example. He has a lot to offer and offers his knowledge, time, and dedication to Toastmasters freely”.
In the past, Michael has been a member of two District 60 clubs and he still visits them from time to time. Aside from everything else on his plate, he is also supporting a club looking to charter in District 60. He retired early from the Bay Street “rat race”, but keeps himself busy taking a US Constitutional Law course. This may explain why he loves and excels at being a Chief Judge at Toastmasters contests! When he lives in Toronto and comes to Mississauga so regularly for his Toastmasters, he is truly a member who goes above and “beyond, geographical boundaries”.
Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALB