Building a Quality Club

Creekside TD Toastmaster is a corporate club. In the 2017-2018 under the leadership of Club President Sonia McGregor, the club became President Distinguished Club. In the 12 year history (The club chartered in February 2006) this is the first time that award has been achieved, needless to say we are thrilled and wanted to share with the rest of D86 or best practices that we feel have contributed to our club's success.

I think it's important to state from the start that in many cases it may take several years to build a quality club, in our case it took about 3 years. The start of the 2015-2016 saw the club struggling to stay afloat with only 11 members, it was a challenge that the President and club executive faced head on and did not back down. By the start of the 2017-2018 year the club was flourishing again, and the new President continued to build on her predecessor's achievements. Once the club is at a certain level it's much easier to maintain that level than it is to build the foundation.

Here are some of the points that contributed to the success of Creekside TD Toastmaster.

  • Keep the club's mission and the member experience at the forefront
  • Focus on the Moments of Truth and let it be your guide to building a quality club
  • Club Success Plan – devote at least two club executive meetings to complete and review the plan at the start of the Toastmaster year
  • Follow the calendar in the Club Leadership Handbook
  • Encourage club executives to attend club officer training (including workshops which are very valuable) and share their feedback with fellow club officers. Implement best practices from the training workshops during the Toastmaster year
  • Refer to the Club Success Plan at the beginning of each club executive meeting to track against the DCP and leverage the contents of the plan to meet education and membership goals
  • Hold regular club executive meetings (at least monthly)
  • Inject variety into your Toastmaster meetings via themed meetings, workshops (speech writing, leadership series, evaluation workshop etc.), social events (i.e. holiday parties), guest speakers and invite other neighboring clubs wherever possible
  • Celebrate member educational achievements. At the last meeting for the 2018 year, we celebrated our members achievements:

Andrew Mertens – Distinguished Toastmaster
Hilgay Beckles – Advanced Communicator Bronze
Sonia McGregor – Competent Communicator, Competent Leader, & Advanced Leader Bronze
Karen Ryan – Advanced Communicator Gold, Triple Crown Achievement for obtaining three educational awards in a Toastmaster year (ACG, ACS, Pathways VC 1)

Pathways Level 1 completion:
Karen Ryan – Visionary Communication Path (VC1)
Glynis D'Souza – Dynamic Leadership Path (DL1)
Rathika Ravichandran – Effective Coaching Path (EC1)

  • Encourage club officers to deliver presentations from the Successful Club Series
  • Focus on building a robust mentoring program – leverage the internet for resources on how to mentor under Pathways
  • For mature clubs consider a Co-VP Ed role (Traditional Path and Pathways)
  • Hold Open Houses a couple times a year
  • Run a Speechathon and sponsor a YLP a couple times a year if possible
  • Publish a club newsletter (at least annually or biannually)-these have been published on the D86 FB site
  • VP Membership follows up with each guest after every meeting
  • Encourage members to participate in speech contests
  • Take photos of club events and post them to Easyspeak and/or your Facebook or intranet site
  • Prepare a club budget and review it regularly during the Toastmaster year
  • Treasurer and/or VP Membership reaches out to everyone prior to the renewal period to encourage membership retention
  • Consider a SharePoint or shared drive where content can be stored for reuse in subsequent years


Sonia McGregor -Past Club President -Creekside TD Club (2017-2018)
Hilgay Beckles -Past Area Director -Area 47
-Past Club President -Creekside TD Club (2015-2016, 2016-2017)

Swearing-In Speech @ Port Credit Toastmasters Club by Philip Lai (President, 2018-19)

I will talk about our Club Vision, the Distinguished Club Program, etc. in a later meeting when our Team has a chance to sit down, discuss and agree to the business plan. For now, let me just tell you a story.

Several weeks ago, I invited a Toastmasters member whom I had never met to give a speech at the Clarkson Toastmasters Club of which I’m one of the sponsors. She promptly accepted the invitation with a simple yes in her email. Last week, she showed up quietly, on time, brought along with her a large and heavy bag of stuff she’s going to use in her speech. And most of all she looked very pregnant!

Her speech was well prepared. Her message was crystal clear. The delivery was impeccably polished. That bag of stuff turned out to be all kinds of beans and they were part of her speech, and we all had learned much about the nutritional value of beans from her 6 min 45 sec speech (I was the timer, that’s why I remember). Without any doubt, she is an eloquent speaker and an experienced Toastmaster.

But I have seen something more than that. I see in her low-key appearance, sincerity, humility, commitment and fun-loving. If I were in her shoes, I would have thought of many good reasons not to accept an invitation from a stranger. She really didn’t have to in every sense of the word. But, she did, and she did it because of her own commitment. She reminds me of why we joined Toastmasters and why we choose to serve the Club. Becoming a better communicator and leader is the only reason we’re here. The way to grow in Toastmasters is to try, to learn, to make mistakes in the trying and learning, taking on challenging responsibilities, and to do our best to support each other. To me, what I saw in this person is the pinnacle and true spirit of Toastmasters. I want and I need the qualities I saw in her, and I don’t mind achieving a DTM along the way!

Finally, I want to say that I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to serve this great Club together with the remarkable people in the team. Thank you for saying yes to the responsibilities. We didn’t have to do this, but we all choose to step forward because of our own commitment to continuous growth. Individually, we are all very strong in our capability and we all have a certain way to get things done. What you’re going to bring to the team are invaluable and will be much appreciated. I really hope we all emerge a better leader and most of all a better team player by our working together. And to my fellow members, please support and help us to help you in our toastmasters journey. Last but not the least, I want to thank Hollis and his team for the hard work and contributions to the Club. Together we’ll make Port Credit Club Great Forever!

Not all Porcupines are Prickly

Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate said “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world. Did you know that one Toastmaster, one District Leader, one Facebook post and one telephone conference can rejuvenate a Toastmaster club?

In the fall of 2016, Porcupine Toastmasters had only one member, Yvan Tremblay who posted to Facebook asking for help to save the Toastmaster club in Timmins. Told 3 former members were required and a total of 8 by April 1st 2017 the last man standing found the will to make it happen.

With much determination the club grew in diversity with a mix of new and former members and enthusiasm spilled out across Area 2 in Northern Ontario. The former Porcupine members were joined by 2 Toastmasters from Southern Ontario and 1 from the south of Area 2. By June 30, 2017 the club was 8 members strong, ready to start working as a team for an exciting 2017/2018 year.
PorcupineToastmasters

Round 1 COT Training

Read how Porcupine made it to President’s Distinguished in the next blog from Area 2.

Ericsson Toronto Toastmasters 2nd Anniversary and Open House

2ward Greatness!

Ericsson Toronto Toastmasters
2nd pic. Left to Right, Dragana Vulpic-Bork (Club Mentor), Melanie Pereira (President) & Glynis D’Souza (Club Sponsor)

We had an amazing 2nd Anniversary Celebration hosted by Katie Tran! Our theme was, ‘2ward Greatness’ and the Keynote Speaker, Glynis D'Souza, gave us an inspirational speech on 'The Terrific Twos', reminding us how lucky we are to have a Toastmasters Club at Ericsson and reminisced fondly on the hard work put in by our Sponsors (Glynis D’Souza and Melanie Pereira) and Mentors (Dragana Vulpic-Bork and Maria Martinez) to make this happen!

Mark Henderson, the Chairman & Lawrence Roy, Program Director both, huge supporters of the Toastmasters program, encouraged Ericsson employees to take advantage of the in-house club and learn a thing or two about leadership while honing their communication skills.

The highlight of the event was a testimonial style, documentary film which was a labour of love, produced by Katie Tran, VP, Public relations. She recorded club members while interviewing them sharing their Toastmasters experiences and encouraged viewers to join. It was very well received and generated a lot of interest with the guests, some of whom, who have converted to club members!

Ericsson is a corporate club in Area 41, Division C, with approximately 20 members and achieved Select Distinguished Status in its first year, this year we are aspiring for President’s Distinguished!

- Melanie Pereira, Club President

Toastmasters at Work

clarkson tm muktha

In April 2018, I started a new role with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as their Cycling Engineer.

I’m responsible to collaborate with internal stakeholders throughout MTO’s five Regions to develop standards, guidelines and training to design safe cycling facilities.  

Since starting in this position, I’ve applied everything I have learned so far in Toastmasters. I listen effectively to understand and learn about the issues and gaps. I applied my leadership skills to take initiative, challenge status quo and collaborate with my Team to develop solutions. I communicate with internal and external stakeholders to encourage dialogue and express myself clearly. As a Team, we have achieved so much over the past few months and was asked to present at a Highway Standards Branch meeting. Here’s the catch, the director is a Toastmaster, and he asked that I keep the presentation to 5 - 7 minutes! With all the Toastmaster experience I have, I rose to the challenge! I wrote out a script, reviewed it with him and once we agreed on the outline, I filled in the content. 

 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to practice my presentation with Port Credit Toastmasters, Speaking for Success Toastmasters and Clarkson Toastmasters. Something else I apply from Toastmasters…I rehearse my speeches and presentations, many times. What was amazing was that the director told me that there would be about 100 staff attending. Just before my presentation, I found out that there were 220 people at the meeting! I had rehearsed so many times, that although I was nervous, I knew I would be fine. Guess what, the presentation went well! I forgot some material, but no one in the audience would have known that, except my director! If you would like to learn tips on how to get the most out of your Toastmasters membership, or want to learn more about the benefits of Toastmasters, I encourage you to come on out to Clarkson Toastmasters Club! We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 pm at Christ Church, 1700 Mazo Crescent. 

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALS

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, District 86

Happy Birthday, District 86

On July 1, 2018 we turned exactly 10 years old! Although may I say – with due modesty – that we don’t look a day over five!

Yes, it was exactly ten years ago when District 60 gave birth to a new district under the leadership of our first District Governor (now called District Director) Lori Lococo. Maybe we should have been scared of venturing out on our own – but we weren’t. We had strong, experienced leaders – Bill Bienia, Ross Mackay, John MacDonald, Joan Binetti, Jean McAllister, Gina Cook, Ralph Williamson, Harold Usher, just to name a few.

Toastmasters of the new District 86 were in large measure the heart and soul of the old District 60. In many ways, one could think that the “new” district was the reconstituted District 60, rather than the “official” new District 86. Not just because of our leadership, but also the nature of the districts themselves. District 86 became a mix of urban and rural, stretching from Niagara Falls to northern Ontario (eventually including Sault Ste. Marie); District 60 became a heavily urban district, centred mostly (but not exclusively) on the City of Toronto. Which of these districts was markedly different from the old District 60? I would say the reconstituted District 60!

District 86 has accomplished much over its first decade. Many “Distinguished District” honours have been achieved; our District has been represented on the Toastmasters International Board of Directors; the District has been incredibly well-represented at the World Championships of Public Speaking; but more importantly, members continue to set and achieve their goals to improve their speaking and leadership skills, as recently evidenced by our recent achievement of “Presidents Distinguished” for Distinguished Clubs.

Bring on the next 10 years! History is waiting to happen! Be a part of it – it’s up to you!

Michael Proudlock,DTM 

 

 

 

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

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