Brahm Memone Receives His DTM
Congratulations Brahm for acheiving your DTM!
ADVENTURE-Susan Griffiths Visits The Court of Blarney in Newmarket
On February 5th I had the pleasure of visiting another club within my area. Myself and the president of my club attended The Court of Blarney (club 5591) meeting in Newmarket. The visit was truly enlightening.
Our club is very new, having charted in October of 2014, and we are therefore all learning as we go.The members of the court of Blarney welcomed us with open arms and we picked up a lot of time saving and organization tips that have improved our meetings immensely. We left feeling very energized and motivated. Our club president went home that night and wrote her next speech, and I went home and made notes of all the things we learned. I was also very honored to be voted the best table topics speaker of the evening. It is one thing to be successful within your club, but when members of another, much more experienced club tell you are doing a good job, it is very empowering and motivating. The Best table topics ribbon is very proudly displayed on my desk at work along with my Charter certificate.
THANK YOU court of Blarney for having us visit, and your ongoing support of our new club. The comradery and support that I have discovered within Toastmasters is truly amazing.
ADVENTURE-Susan Griffiths Member of Allied Global-Leaders in Speech
Contests are amazing!
Energy is high, enthusiasm is electric and everyone is routing for all contestants!
I had the opportunity this week to attend my first contest. This was the international speech contest and the evaluation contest for our area. While I did not compete, I was asked, and honored to be able to fill the role of timer for the contest. Getting out to contests allows you to meet other toastmasters from other clubs. It allows you to hear amazing speeches and evaluations.
I met many members from many levels of many clubs. Even though it was a “competition” the comradery and support for all members is still the most obvious theme in the room, not “who won”.
I want to congratulate all toastmaster members who have participated in contests this year. Even if you didn’t “win” your contest, you have still experienced a personal win by successfully competing. Our club is very excited about jumping into the competition circuit this fall and next spring (we just chartered in October).
What Story Are You Telling? by Brian Gomes
At a recent Toastmasters meeting, I was excited to learn that one of the speakers would be talking about Affiliate Marketing since Affiliate Marketing is what I do for a living.
The speaker started out a with a definition of Affiliate Marketing which is a type of performance-based marketing in which a company pays a commission to affiliates when they refer customers that lead to sales. He then talked about different industries engaging in affiliate marketing, the size of the industries, trends in the industries, and he provided lots of numbers. My excitement fizzled, the speech was drier than I expected and it almost had me rethinking my career choice.
After his speech, he fielded a question from the audience: “How did you become interested in Affiliate Marketing?” The speakers face lit up and he explained, “Well, I have a friend who was broke and unemployed. My friend was approached by a company that was struggling to sell windows and doors and they asked him to help them get sales. In his first month, he earned $300 but he stayed with it and was able to increase that to $2,000 a month after three months. Today, he earns over $100,000 a year and the company has made him a partner in the business. I’m learning everything I can from my friend and I’m going to start in Affiliate Marketing soon.” That’s the speech I wanted to hear!
In talking with the speaker after the Q&A Session, he saw how he could have done things differently. The speaker just needed to tell the story of his friend’s experience in Affiliate Marketing and how it inspired him while also adding details and explaining Affiliate Marketing. There was no need to manufacture a speech with research – he had an interesting, personal story to share which he was passionate about and that the audience could connect with.
By telling his story, the message of the speech would also be focused. His title and message could have gone from, “Affiliate Marketing” which is a broad topic to, “Why I Want to Become an Affiliate Marketer” which is a narrowly focused, interesting message.
The audience always wants to hear our story. Stories are engaging, they’re what actually happened to us during our life journeys, and they are the situations and events that allowed us to learn the messages we are delivering in our speech. Stories allow us to show rather than tell. Audiences are less receptive when they are told things, they want to be taken for a ride, a journey where they see and live what happened, and these stories also convey our message.
If you’re doing a speech about your father and telling us he’s the greatest man you know, you can give us a list of things you admire about your father, or you can instead tell us stories in which your father’s great qualities come to life. A full story is not always required and anecdotes will often do. Anecdotes are short stories or descriptive accounts that are interesting or amusing. Even an informational speech can and should include stories and anecdotes. Let’s say you are doing a doing a workshop on “Outstanding Customer Service” - you can tell us the value of going above and beyond in customer service and explain to us how we can accomplish this, but to truly sell this to us, include a story about the airline pilot who, after a severely delayed flight, stayed at the luggage carousel until every passenger got their bags.
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest is a great forum to see storytelling in action. Winners and finalists of the International Speech Contest always tell a story – you cannot get to these highest levels of speaking without telling a story. At the Toastmasters club level, you will often see speakers telling rather than showing through stories. Stories are not just for the storytelling manual, we need to tell stories to engage and interest our audience, to personally connect with our speech, and to deliver our message. With every speech, it’s important to ask ourselves, “What story am I telling?”