Sunday, February 24, 2013
Does your club have a JokeMaster or, as Lance calls it, a ChuckleMaster? This is one role that is often overlooked but the ability to deliver a joke is a very valuable skill that every Toastmaster should develop.
Lance's website is www.LanceMillerSpeaks.com and he will have a review page on www.Pro-Speaker-Review.com in the near future.
Leave a comment below with your thoughts on Lance's speech...
Friday, February 22, 2013
Without your voice, it is pretty hard to give a good speech which is why this free guide caught my eye...
Vocalist's Guide to Recording, Rehearsing and Performing: Care and Maintenance for Singers in every Genre
Don't get fooled by the "Vocalist" in the title though. Every speaker is a vocalist (although we don't always remember that until something goes wrong with our voice).
Don't wait until something goes wrong ! Learn how to take care of your voice NOW !
About the Source:
This guide is offered for free by DiskMakers.com when you sign up with your contact info. I have used DiskMakers.com for production of a DVD for one of my speaker clients and she was very happy with the results. They also have very reasonable prices for low volume orders so you can start small and buy more as your DVD or CD becomes a hit.
Once you check out the Vocalist's Guide please be sure to leave a comment here !
We would love to hear what you think and if you have any suggestions for speakers that would improve or maintain your voice.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Well, he didn't really say that... but if you read between the lines (and, maybe if you are already a Toastmaster) you might get that message from his recent blog article about "Engineering Happiness".
Check out his article if you don't believe me !
Click here !
Monday, January 24, 2011
I found this website (click here) to be an interesting experience... similar to a Buddhist meditation. All you have to do is "nothing"... just listen to the sounds of the waves and look at the nice picture of the water and sunset (or is it a sunrise?). Don't think about what you need to do next. If the waves and picture are not enough to calm your mind, try focusing on the sensations of your breathing... in.... out ... repeat.
How can this make you more productive?
By focusing your mind on "nothing" (or actually the sound of the waves or the picture in front of you), you take it out of "reaction mode" and gain more control over where you place your attention. It also helps you to relax when you notice something causing stress in your body.
Try it ! (And see if you aren't more productive when you go back to work)
Now... GET BACK TO WORK ! :)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Now that you have improved your skills, are you brave enough to speak outside of your club?
Listen to what Darren LaCroix, World Champion of Public Speaking has to say...
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, said in his blog...
The reality is that there are only two conditions you can be in. You can either have an accurate view of your own abilities or an inaccurate view. Confidence is similar to will power in the sense that neither of them exists and yet society is quite certain they do.
I'm not sure I agree that our view of our abilities is either "accurate" or "inaccurate". How do you measure the accuracy of our perceptions? Isn't that something that is subjective by nature? As Scott admits later in his article, it is often useful to be "inaccurate" in how you perceive your own abilities. For one thing, there are too many variables in any given situation to accurately predict with 100% certainty so we are always going to be inaccurate about our abilities to some degree. If it were possible to predict with 100% certainty, then where would the fun be in that?
Growth vs. Talent Mindset
It seems that Scott may have fallen into the "Talent mindset"which says that either you are good at something or you are not. If you fail at something, then don't bother trying again because you don't have the inate talent for it. The Growth mindset is very different. It says that any one outcome is simply an indication of how far you are along your progression to eventual success.
This is where confidence can play a key role. If you are using the Growth mindset and have failed in the past, your confidence can still be high since every outcome is simply feedback on your way to success.
Confidence is important because it gets you to TAKE ACTION. As a famous philosopher once said, "80% of success is just showing up" and confidence gets you to "show up". (I think it was said by Woody Allen.)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Well, I found a business article that agrees with us too !
BusinessPundit blog had the following article about the "Top 8 Traits Employers Look For"...
1) LoyaltyThe article goes on to say...
6) Smart Appearance
7) Positive Outlook
8) Communication Skills
– Communication skills are key. Ensure your application and resume areIt is good to see that others are recognizing the importance of the skills that are developed by Toastmasters !
grammatically correct, ask a friend or family to look them over for you to help
catch any typos or errors. At interview think before you speak, choose your
words carefully and ensure they convey the message clearly. Don’t “um” and “ah”
– it is better to take a few seconds to compose an answer than to say something
Monday, November 15, 2010
Note: Scott's "claim to fame" is that he always wears a nametag and he has built a speaking & writing career out of the topic of "Approachability". In fact, his blog is called, "Hello, my name is.." blog.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Gretchen is the author of a blog called "The Happiness Project" along with a best selling book by the same name. It appears that the book is being adapted into a TV series starring Kristin Davis of "Sex And The City" fame.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Area D-5 Governor
District 53 Toastmasters
Happy 86th Anniversary Toastmasters International!
On this date, October 22, in 1924, Smedley Club Number 1 became the first Toastmasters club. What started as one club meeting at the YMCA in Santa Ana, CA, has grown to over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries with nearly 260,000 members in only 86 years!
Thank you all for your dedication and service to all the Toastmasters of District 53.
Have Fun…And Get It Done!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
... 27-year-old museum curator turned a photo of her mother-in-law,
Sandra Whitfield, into the world's largest toast mosaic - comprising 9,852
Mrs Hadland roped in 40 friends to help her make the tribute, which she describes as 'a treat made with love and a sense of randomness'. ... The portrait, measuring 32ft 8in by 42ft 3in, set a new world record as the largest toast mosaic.
They used a battery of nine toasters to brown the slices of bread to varying degrees before arranging it to make the 32ft 8in by 42ft 3in picture at an arts venue in Mrs Whitfield's home town of Warrington, Cheshire.
After spending six hours painstakingly perfecting the image, Laura surprised her husband Mike's mother with the unusual portrait to celebrate her 50th birthday.
The enormous picture was confirmed yesterday as having set a new Guinness World Record as the largest toast mosaic.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
In Marketing Guru, Seth Godin's recent blog post (click here) he talks about learning and two different "paths" or types of teachers. Check out his short post and see if you can find where Toastmasters fits !
Monday, May 17, 2010
The deadline is TODAY... May 17th.
Be sure to have your club file the IRS form 990-N for this year... if your club has not filed, it could severely impact your status with Toastmasters International. As a district officer, we are just now hearing the exact repercussions but they could be substantial for your club ... ranging from a re-application fee of $850 to a loss of the club's charter.
I don't know the final word... but I highly recommend getting your club filed NOW !
It's a simple form. Here are the instructions:
Please do let your area governor or Division Governor know when your club has filed it. Ideally, when you get your confirmation email from the IRS, just forward it to them (and feel free to copy me at theshot92 [at] gmail.com. (The email format was typed out to avoid spam.)
D53 LGET, 2009-10
P.S. If you are reading this on, or after, May 18th, 2010 ... it may already be too late. In any case, here is a link which allows you to see which clubs have filed and which have not...
At that site you can search for "Toastmasters" and then by state and/or county. District 53 looks to be in pretty good shape (percentage-wise) since a club must have filed in the past 3 years ... but there are still some clubs that may not have filed.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Subject: LinkedIn Event: District 53 Toastmasters Spring 2010 Conference
Roger H Brown found District 53 Toastmasters Spring 2010 Conference on LinkedIn Events and thought you might be interested in going!
District 53 Toastmasters Spring 2010 Conference
Sat, May 22
St. Thomas Seminary Conference Facility, Bloomfield, CT, US
Friday, April 30, 2010
Check out the video by the conference team...
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Did you renew for 6 or 12 months?
During every dues cycle members evaluate what they want to accomplish in Toastmasters versus the cost of the dues. Some clubs have to pay to rent their meeting spaces which can increase the club dues but I have never heard of a Toastmasters club that cost even half of the expensive two or three day seminars that seem to be popping up everywhere.
Toastmasters continues to be an incredible value...
... for those that believe in developing their skills. The members that do not renew are often the ones that either used to being spoon-fed their education or just are not committed enough to their own progress.
Life is not easy.
And it won't get any easier if you don't try new things. It can become more boring by doing less, but that won't get you any more than what you have ... and it will probably end up costing you what you have since nothing is standing still. The competition is always getting better and either you are improving or you are getting (relatively) worse.
You NEED Toastmasters.
Not just for the social interaction with supportive members a few times a month but for a chance to push outside your comfort zone on a regular basis. Toastmasters is one of very few places where you are encouraged to try new things, learn by doing and where failure is only when you don't try.
Make the Most of Your Membership !
Make a plan for the coming 3 months. Take a role or give a speech at every meeting. Complete your CC and your CL. Don't worry about doing things perfect... do the best you can in the time that is available and LEARN from the experience. Next time will be better.
Don't be an April Fool...
If there is going to be a "next time"... I hope you paid your membership dues !
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
(see it at http://www.eaglesneedapush.com/)
Do you know of someone that needs a push... towards Toastmasters?
Do you need a push?
There are a nearly limitless number of challenges (or "growth opportunities") within Toastmasters and if you need a PUSH, just ask a club or district officer what might available.
Do you want to soar on the stage of the District Conference?
Now is the time to enter your club's speech contests which progress through the Area and Division contests and culminate on the District stage in front of hundreds of fellow Toastmasters ! (I can tell you ... it is an incredible experience.)
Do you want to find your wings in Toastmasters Leadership?
Visit the newly improved District 53 Website at http://www.district53toastmasters.org/ and check out the Leadership section (under the Main Menu on the left side of the page). All the current positions are listed there along with the people who are currently serving. Feel free to contact them and find out what they do in their role. Perhaps you will find something to PUSH you to new heights !
.... by Dave Wheeler, D53 LGET, 2009-10
Let me explain what I mean....
I was reading a recent blog article by Jonathon Fields where he talked about various business models and how they impacted the quality and the character of the business.
The business model for your average mainstream gym revolves around automated monthly billing. ... New members sign up, often pay an up front fee, then agree to have their credit cards hit every month in advance. Depending on the contract, they may also agree to a minimum commitment (classically, a year) or a simple monthly payment structure. To end the monthly billing, a member must (a) wait until their commitment, if any, has run, then (b) send notice of termination by the precise channels laid out in the contract.
The alleged beauty of this model is that it shifts the burden of reselling and re-earning the membership fee away from the club and, instead, places the burden of termination on the member. Put another way, instead of the club having to resell members every month, the billing only stops when the member proactively says, “no more.”
Sounds like a killer business model, right?
But, here’s where it gets a bit ugly.
This same model also fosters:
* Widespread lack of innovation,
* Declining emphasis on remarkability and delight
* Exceptionally poor differentiation that requires non-stop aggressive marketing
* Uninspired, disengaged staff working for unsatisfactory pay, and
* A 40% annual drop-out that keeps the sales burden exceptionally high
Monday, February 15, 2010
Part 1 of 3
Part 2 of 3
Part 3 of 3
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Time to set goals for the year and plan for all the great Toastmasters events that are coming up in the next few months !
Did you know...
... that you can order just the evaluation guides from the CC
manual for only $1.95 ! Click here to order them from TI !
- Club Contests should be held by March 19
- Area Contests by April 9th and,
- Division Contests by April 30th.
Did you know...
... that you can get credit towards a manual speech for any speech you do as part of the Tall Tales or International speech contests? It just needs to be evaluated in the manual by another Toastmaster !
Sunday, January 10, 2010
With 7 officers per club, that is over 980 club officers!
These club officers are key to the success of our organization since clubs would not last very long without the people who step up to be officers.
We should not lose sight of why Toastmasters exists (in addition to having Fun)... to develop our members ... and enthusiastic, trained club officers are critical to this mission.
Ode to those who volunteer to be Toastmasters club officers ...
by Dave Wheeler
They arrange the meeting room ....
... so everything runs smoothly.
They greet us at the door with a smile ...
... and set the mood for the club.
They lead by example ...
... by focusing on their communication and leadership goals.
They find time to attend officer training ...
... so they can better support their club.
They serve their members ...
... and help each person grow and develop.
They communicate to their community ...
... so that the value of Toastmasters is not kept a secret.
They collect dues and handle the paperwork ...
... that keeps the club going.
They update the club website ...
... as a resource to existing and potential members.
They measure the progress of each member ...
... because they know that commitment + measurement = results.
They come up with new ideas for the club to try...
... and reach out to members for their ideas.
They are Toastmasters club officers and ...
... they make Toastmasters FUN !
Have you thanked your club officers recently?
The future of the libraryWhat should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?
They can't survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don't want to own (or for reference books we can't afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That's not a long-term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars.
Here's my proposal: train people to take intellectual
Once again, the net turns things upside down. The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books. What we need to spend the money on are leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in
connecting with and leading others.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
If you want to add your own YouTube video for the "Why Toastmasters?" video challenge, be sure to tag the video with D53 (since District 53 is organizing this challenge) and "Why TM" so that your video can be found via a YouTube search.
If you would like your video listed as a favorite on the D53 YouTube Channel, send an email with a link to your video to Dave Wheeler. His email address is theshot92 [at] gmail.com. The email address is listed this way (without the @ symbol) to prevent automatic programs who capture addresses and send spam.
Of course, your video should be "Toastmasters-friendly". If you don't know what that means, ask another Toastmaster or a club officer.
Special Thanks to Sherri, Kristen and Heath for stepping forward and providing these excellent examples !
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
"Why Toastmasters?" YouTube Challenge
Showcasing the Value of Toastmasters !
How to Enter:
Create a 1-2 minute YouTube.com video where you answer the question, "Why Toastmasters?". Your TableTopics-length speech should articulate what you feel is the value of Toastmasters to the viewer. Basically, it is your “elevator” speech for Toastmasters.
All entries will be in the form of videos loaded to YouTube.com. The videos must be tagged with “D53” and "Why TM" and include the contestant’s name, their club name & number. This information can also be added as text overlay or in the description of the video, but the "D53" and "Why TM" must be clear to judges and searchable in YouTube. (Otherwise, we won’t be able to find all the entries.)
Content of the video should be “Toastmasters-friendly” and in good taste such that it could be shown at a District 53 event. District Sr. Team will determine if a video is disqualified for content.
1-2 minutes (2:30 maximum total video time)
Who can enter:
Any active Toastmasters member in good standing of a club in good standing within District 53 may submit a video for the D53 Challenge. Members of other districts are welcome to create videos... they just won't be part of the D53 Challenge. The member who enters the video must be in the video for at least 50% of the time. Non-members may assist and even appear in the video but there is not liability assumed by Toastmasters. Entrants assume all liability.
Current and immediate past district officers may enter except for the current District Governor, Lt.Gov.-Education & Training, Lt.Gov.- Marketing and the District 53 Chief Judge. Finalists may not be finalist judges.
Public opinion will decide the 10 finalists via YouTube.com’s ability for viewers to rank the videos. An important part of this effort will be how entrants promote their videos (to get “votes”). Finalists will be announced 1 week before the District 53 final event where the finalists will be recognized. Current plans are for the challenge to culminate at the D53 Spring 2010 conference.
Judges will be chosen by the Chief Judge & Sr. Team from all District 53 Divisions. The judges will view the finalist videos online during the week prior to the final event and deliver their ballots to the District 53 Judging Team at least 2 days prior to the final event.
Prizes & Recognition:
Finalist Videos will be shown at the Spring Conference and awards presented for:
1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Overall
What if I don’t own a video camera or computer?
A videographer will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at Division contests within District 53. These sessions give an opportunity to members who are not able to enter themselves due to a lack of video equipment or computer access. The number of video slots at the Division contests will be limited so contact your Division Governor to sign up. Keep in mind that these videos may not have as long to accumulate votes online.
Contact Dave Wheeler, D53 Lt.Gov.-Education & Training, via email address theshot92 [at] gmail.com. Be sure to include "Why TM?" in the Subject line.
Monday, December 07, 2009
If you have not heard of him, check out the YouTube videos below...
Here are the links in case the embedded videos don't work on your computer...
Best Year Ever...Video 1 of 3
Best Year Ever...Video 2 of 3 (Measurable Progress in Reasonable Time)
Best Year Ever...Video 3 of 3 (The Day that turns your life around)
In addition, there is a tradition at the regional training that each district's Sr.Team will create and perform a skit after the evening dinner. This year, D53 did a parody on the Bravo TV network's show, "Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton". We had Richard Peck playing the part of James Lipton and Marsha Kiley as the "star" being interviewed. (Dave Wheeler created the clips and ran the audio video.)
While we did not videotape the whole skit, we can pass along the video clips that were used within the skit. The embedded video below features our Intl. Directors, Heath & Annelie...
Here are the links to all the "film clips" we used...
Holiday Greetings from the Region 7 Intl. Directors (in case the embedded video above did not work for you).
Christmas Story featuring Kristen & Dan
Halloween (we used this as a promo on YouTube.com for our Fall 2009 Conference). This link is to the YouTube video which includes text overlaid on the video with information about the conference. Be sure you have "annotations" turned on when you watch it (so you will get the "full effect").
Its a Wonderful Life (featuring our friends from D31)
The D53 Xmas Dancers featuring Marsha, Dave and Richard.
These were all made using JibJab.com if you want to play around with it yourself.
I am also working on a "YouTube Channel" for District 53 and that is where I will be loading up the "Why Toastmasters?" videos. (They should be there soon.)
Holiday Greetings !
D53 LGET, 2009-10
Move Forward !
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
In the picture on the left below, Carmine awards Karin the Hobo Walking stick which includes numerous butterflies painted on it along with the signature of the Hobo King and Queen. Truly a "one of a kind" memento!
Karin also received a certificate (so she can hang something on the wall when she is out walking with the walking stick) !
Roger also sent a link (via PHILIP LEVERE) to an article about how the video came about... click here.
Jim Sacco estimates that his son Josh has watched "Miracle," the film about the 1980 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team's legendary upset of the Soviets, nearly 150 times. Apparently, the movie has made quite an impression on the young fan. ...... No professional coaching. No fancy editing. No script, because Rizzo hasn't learned to read yet -- he was just 4 years old when his father filmed the speech earlier this year, making it all the more remarkable.
What are you born to do? What's your game?
Could your club use a "pregame speech"?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Money creates a sort of friction. In the digital economy, magical things can happen when there is no friction. You can scale to infinity. On the other hand, sometimes you want friction.
If you lead a group that allows anyone to join, for free, your group might be large, but it's not tight, it's not organized to make important change. Commitment slows things down in the short run, but ultimately aligns interests.If your club still needs to submit dues, please do it today (or tomorrow). If you are using a credit or debit card, dues can be submitted by a club officer via www.Toastmasters.org. Just be sure to get them paid before the deadline of October 1st.
Monday, September 28, 2009
If you do not see the video below (after giving it a couple seconds to load), try clicking here.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Now, you just have to come up with some scenarios to serve up to your club members as TableTopics !Preparing your Message for the Interview
- Don’t talk to reporters without giving yourself time to prepare the message.
- Don’t dodge questions!
- Answer the question in eight seconds or less and bridge back to your main message for the next 25 seconds or so.
- If a reporter asks you a complex, detailed, five-part question, focus on answering the one question that leads you back to talking about your message points.
- When listening to a reporter’s question (and you must listen very carefully), don’t think about how your vast database of knowledge can provide 10,000 new facts to answer every nuance of the reporter’s question. Instead, focus on how you can honestly answer the question in a way that allows you to talk about one, two, or three of your message points.
- Remember, questions don’t matter. The subject matters.
- CEO indited for misappropriation of company funds
- Celebrity arrested for ...
- Tradeshow TV reporters asking about your newest widget
- Politician caught ... (too many possibilities here)
- Evangelist asked about his role in the organization