Congratulations - District 86 Legacy Award
Congratulations to Reema Duggal, ACB, ALB (Glen Abbey Toastmasters) for being presented with the first ever District 86 Legacy Award.
District Governor Carolyn Hoxie and Immediate Past District Governor Tony Bratschitsch presented the award at the 2014 Fall Conference.
The recognition is for a foundational achievement for her vision for a District 86 Member Communication / Engagement Strategy. From April 2014, she and the Member Communications and Engagement Committee have been worked to transform and improve the way the District communications processes, applications, technology infrastructure, organization, and governance work.
The Member Communications and Engagement Committee includes: Dennis Bartel, Tuula Redditt, Chris Brown, Justin O'Donnell, Hitesh Parmar, and Craig French.
I Didn't Want To Be A Leader by Bud Brown, DTM - Division W Governor
I'm not a leader by choice. I feel I make a better second in command. The one behind the scenes who lines everything up and hands the primed tool to a leader who can take all the glory (and also deal with the people in the cheap-seats taking pot-shots).
When I joined Toastmasters, it wasn't for their leadership-building path. It was for their communication program. For my first year in Toastmasters, I was just along for the ride. I did my 10 speeches and was called "competent". What I did not realize was that in that year, I was being groomed for Leadership. They groomed my listening skills by asking me to count ums and ahs and to watch for the use of a word-of-the-day. They taught me to be more organized by making me first a timer, then a Toastmaster, then an General Evaluator.
They taught me how to assess abilities and give positive, constructive feedback with evaluations of all sorts. They taught me about team building through being a General Evaluator and a Toastmaster and finally by getting me to run a contest.
Then they sprung their trap! "Would you be willing to be the VP of Membership?" I looked around at my club which had 26 members at the time and thought, "How hard can it be?" Under my skilled leadership, I took a thriving club of 26 members and turned it into a starving group of 16 rugged individualists. Clearly, I had a lesson to learn about leadership. Then it hit me. I felt a need to learn about leadership. Without my planning for it, Toastmasters had turned me into a leader-in-training.
This isn't a bad thing; whether you are part of a business, a social club, a non-profit organization or even your own family, groups of people need leaders to help them have direction. Often, those leaders are not the people with the titles. Business guru Jim Rohn said, "A leader is someone that people follow". It sounds so obvious doesn't it? but often the people who are leading are doing it unconsciously. They are confident in how they approach things and people sense that. Some people become such leaders because they naturally go in that direction and any group is fortunate to have such people. But the need for leaders is great and only a few get into that role without thinking about it.
A couple of years after I joined Toastmasters, they introduced the Competent Leaders Manual which basically organized the knowledge I had been getting; just by belonging to the organization. The Competent Leaders Manual did three key things. It put into words, the lessons that people had been unconsciously learning, it motivated people to take on different roles at their meetings and it gave credit to people who learned the whole spectrum of basic leadership skills. Now, while striving to become competent communicators, Toastmasters gives us a focussed tool toward becoming competent leaders.
I am currently on my third time through the Competent Leaders Manual and just like the Competent Communicator manual I get more out of it each time I apply the lessons in that powerful book. Have you actually read your Competent Leaders Manual? This week, take a look at what role you’ll be taking in your meeting, then go to the Project Completion Record in your Manual and find that role, read what the project says about it and purposefully grow.
I still don't aspire to be a leader. Even in my present role within Toastmasters, I think of myself as a servant leader: someone who prepares the way for others to achieve their goals. Something has changed though. Now I recognize that even staying in the background, I am someone whose example people will follow. If I want things to go well, I had better pay attention to the example I am setting. That means purposefully handling various skills that are called "leadership": Listening, evaluating, providing feedback, building teams and motivating, just to mention a few.
Be the leader you didn't want to be.
St Catharines Toastmaster attends Moscow Free Speakers Club
Founded on the eve of Perestroika by an American in 1988, the Moscow Free Speakers Club is the oldest Toastmasters Club in Russia and numbers about 75 members. It is English speaking.
So when Daniil Maslyuk, Vice President of Public Relations of this club invited me to be General Evaluator of meeting no. 602 in Moscow, I leaped at the chance. “We definitely would love to experience the Canadian style :-)” he had emailed in perfect English.
Having loved visiting Toastmasters in Paris and New York, Russia was not to be missed.
The meeting was scheduled for 7 pm on October 16th the day of my arrival in Moscow. I wasn’t sure to make it. Luckily I had just spent two weeks in Paris, my birthplace, so jetlag was not a problem and neither was my carry-on luggage. And with two extra hours to my day, (Moscow is two hours behind Paris) I felt the night was young.
But soon it was dark, cold and windy. The rain seemed to fall horizontally as we made our way by taxi to the Famous Gorny Institute of Mining where the Moscow Free Speakers Club gathers bi-weekly. With neither signs nor streetlights, the venue was difficult to find. Eventually, thanks to her flawless Russian, my long time friend Marie Stock found the correct classroom. She and her husband Bob had also agreed to experience Toastmasters in Moscow.
The room was packed. Heads turned. Toastmaster Mikhail Petrov CC greeted us warmly. A great Icebreaker for guests, we were asked to line up in the front, face the audience and speak! No was not an option. Names, occupation and what brought us there. An attentive Grammarian named Natalya Lapitskaya announced she would be listening for sentence structure and correct grammar. This it turned out she did to a tee and was more exacting than most native English speakers. The Table Topics led by Ilya ensued at a humorous clip, followed by two speeches. Given they were delivered in a foreign language (English) and with no notes, these were impressive as were the evaluations.
The meeting was high energy, positive, and well organized. Without exception, members were friendly and welcoming. In addition, Moscow Free Speakers Club has a superb website in flawless and fluid English. A top Toastmasters Experience to be sure, participating in this meeting was a highlight of 2014.
Marie Betteley CC CL President
St Catharines Toastmasters
The Failed Experiment | Medical Researcher Sheetal Pundir | TEDxNickelCity
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Sheetal Pundir walks the audience through her experiences growing up in India. As a female growing up in India the concept of educating women doesn't exist. Despite the personal challenges and several failed experiments as a PHD student Sheetal believes these experiences played an important role in her research and the idea to redesign existing drugs that would improve its anti-cancer activity. As a result of Sheetal Pundirs research a US patent for novel anticancer drugs has been filed and the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada will be establishing a start-up Pharma in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Award winning Public Speaker & Biochemistry Researcher Sheetal Pundir is a dynamic storyteller who captivates audiences all over with her experiences in India. Born and raised in India, Sheetal came to Canada in 2009 to pursue her doctoral studies in biochemistry. She is currently conducting research on the design and use of novel anti-cancer drugs at the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada in Sudbury.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.
View this presentation on youtube
Meet District 86 Toastmasters!
Heather Skolls (Area 25) and her husband Ken (President of Golden Gavel) along with Rose Weinberg (Area 24 Governor). Heather received a MADD award in the Spring for her work on this cause. Check them out on snapd!
Holiday Seaon Food Drive Success Story by Mark McKenzie, DTM
As many of you know since 2013 I have been doing the Holiday Season Food Drive for the benefit of the Salvation Army of Brampton. On the 27th of November Tuula Redditt from Speak to Inspire Toastmasters and Bolton Banter Toastmasters delivered about 140lbs of non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army of Brampton. Today I delivered another 240lbs and we are on track to collect roughly 3000lbs of non-perishable food items for the benefit of the Salvation Army of Brampton.
On Saturday I delivered a speech at Lambs to Lions at the Mississauga Main Library. In my speech I gave specific data and statistics that need to be considered. Check out my speech from Saturday on YouTube for some of these details that were discussed.
Why do I share this information? We are better communicators and we are better leaders....what social issues will you lend your voices to? Or will we sit by and be unsatisfied by the excessiveness of some of those who run charities?
We are leaders! We are better communicators! One way for us to change the matrix is to get directly involved. Our annual Food Drive is one of many ways that you can make a difference.
I want to thank the many members of Toastmasters that have been a tremendous help towards our efforts so far this year....and when we are done ...we will wheel and come again next year!
Mark McKenzie, DTM
City Centre Toastmasters