Clueless in Vancouver

Clueless in Vancouver

by Keith Maderer, DTM, Club Growth Director

Ellen, Lillian and I spent 8 days in Vancouver representing our district in officer training, interviewing international officer candidates, working the International Speech Contests and voting during the TI annual business meeting.

Trio with Jonathan Brooks

This was my first Toastmasters International Convention… so I had no clue what to expect.

Every day was filled with training, workshops, interviews and activities from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm, but we did find time to talk, share, get to know each other and bond as a team.

We met toastmasters from all over the world, supported our District 65 International Speech contestant – Jonathan Brooks and learned some best practices from some of the most successful district officers in the world.

Jonathan Brooks did a great job presenting his speech and while he did not advance to the finals, he represented District 65 with pride and excellence. There we 100 semifinalist from every area of the world and each speech that we witnessed was as good as the next.

I personally watched 40 speeches, including the top 10 finalists. I can tell you without a doubt… this Toastmasters “Stuff”… really works.

As our week was winding down, we heard word about Hurricane Harvey heading toward the gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. Many of the district officers at the training and convention were from those areas of the United States. We were lucky to come home tired, enlightened and ready to get back to normal life.

Many of those Texans are still struggling with the aftermath of the Hurricane and it makes you feel lucky to be in Central and Western NY… where snow comes and then it melts. Aside from hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and mudslides, many toastmasters from other countries have to deal with governmental oversight, censorship and even the military attending their toastmasters meetings. It put life, toastmasters and freedom of speech in proper perspective.

The entire trip was an experience that I will never forget and I hope each of you can attend a Toastmasters International Convention in the near future. It will open your eyes, teach you the value of freedom and build empathy and character beyond your expectations.

In the coming months, we will share many of the new marketing, club building and district success strategies that we learned.

We appreciate your continued support and help in making District 65….

Better Tomorrow Than It Was Yesterday. Thank you.

Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets

Club Meeting Role Cheat Sheets

by Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

TM Cheatsheets

Every club has their own New Member Orientation program. When I was a new toastmaster, I remember being anxious about stepping up for meeting roles. My mentor, Caroline Organ, helped me to identify the specific items that each role entailed.

Now we have some great resources online through Toastmasters International that can help provide an overview of each role and guide your through the nuances that make them unique.

Here is a link to that page: https://www.toastmasters.org/membership/club-meeting-roles

But one thing that continues to create stress for new members is that club meetings are live. They are unpredictable. They are not as prepared as a video depicts them.

Because of that I decided to create a small cheat sheet that new members can use during the meeting to help them over the rough spots.

The good news is that I have shared these with many clubs over the years and now I am going to post them on the tmdistrict65.org website for anyone to download, print and use.

These are also great for recording the date, club, notes and information about when you did a role for the Competent Leader projects and award.

Here are the Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets that you can download, print, use and even upload to your club’s website.

They are just something that I have found useful and I hope you will too.

Timer’s Report Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Timers-Report-Sheet.pdf

WAG Master Sheet: (Word of the Day, Ahh Counter and Grammarian)

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/WAG-Master-Sheet.pdf

Dual Evaluation Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dual-Evaluation-Form-1.pdf

Evaluation Workshop Booklet:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Evaluation-Workshop-Booklet-06-27-2017.pdf

Grammarian Uses:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Grammarian-Uses.pdf

General Evaluator Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/General-Evaluation-Form.pdf

Toastmaster Role Guidelines:

https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.194.59/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Toastmaster-Guidelines.pdf

Push Past Your Safety Net

Push Past Your Safety Net

by Carina Paton

Social Safety Net

Most people are afraid to initiate conversation with strangers. In fact, even those who appear to you to be comfortable are often terrified on the inside!

Many of us join Toastmasters to overcome a fear of public speaking. But rarely do we realize that Toastmasters is also an ideal place to overcome a fear of interacting one-on-one with people that we don’t (yet) know. Even more rarely do we utilize what opportunities the organization makes available to us to build these skills.

Your upcoming Area and Division speech competitions are just two of these opportunities. Even if you aren’t competing in the contest or filling a contest role, attending the contests will benefit both you and your club.

Many of us are comfortable at our club meetings. We quickly get to know our fellow club members, and each greeting and speech adds to our comfort. Our club members, once a group of very welcoming strangers, fast become our safety net. Given that, it’s not surprising that when we go to Toastmasters events above our club level we tend to stick to this safety net of our fellow club members.

I’m not going to tell you to leave that safety net behind entirely; rather, I would like to see more Toastmasters in our District use that safety net as a trampoline instead. Go to Area and Division contests with your fellow club members (in fact, why not be the one to encourage them to go with you). But instead of sticking to them like a fly in a spider’s web, use them as a point to jump off from and a place that you can come back to if you need it. This way they become true safety net—and a fun bouncy one at that!

We all have our own level of comfort at social events with unfamiliar people. Some of you will be what I call a “notworker,” which is someone who avoids networking entirely. If this is you, I encourage you to go to your Area and Division contests with others from your club. Consider carpooling—not only is it great for the environment, it can also ease nerves to arrive at an event with your safety net in tow.

If you are already what I call a “safety networker,” then take that next step: try initiating a conversation with someone you don’t yet know. The “strangers” that you will meet at Area and Division contests are some of the nicest to practice with. Think of how forgiving the Toastmasters in your club are of your mistakes. Toastmasters in your Area and Division are no different! In addition, those that you approach will very likely also be feeling out of their comfort zone. By being the one to initiate conversation with them, I bet they will be thankful for your courage. Who knows, you may even make a new friend!

Getting to know other Toastmasters in your Area and Division is priceless. Want to share ideas with others in your officer role at other clubs? They’re now just a phone call or email away. Need to find a test speaker or judges for your next club contest? You’ll now have numerous people to call to ask if they, or someone in their club, would be willing to take on a role. Having trouble filling speech roles in your meetings, or have more members ready to give speeches than you have space for in your meetings? Use your new network! Giving a speech at another club (or even listening to a speaker from another club) can prevent your meetings from becoming stale by bringing new ideas to your club.

I look forward to getting to know some new people at upcoming contests. See you there!

 

Members, Members, Members

Members, Members, Members

by Kate Olsen, DTM, PDG 2013-2014

Have you completed your Club Success Plan? This plan is your blueprint for success. The plan helps you achieve the Distinguished Club Plan goals. Membership building for most clubs is the hardest goal to meet.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

Things to consider when developing your Membership Building Program:

  • Develop Membership Building Committee
  • Set dates for your events at beginning of program year
  • When one event is finished, have the next ready to go
  • What kind of events have worked well in previous years?
  • How will you advertise your events?
  • Who will Chair each event?
  • Ask club members to help
  • Have fun planning the events
  • Set a SMART goal
  • Find out if there are District Incentives to help fund your events
  • Consider themed events

If you truly want to be successful and become a distinguished club, take time to write your plan, set realistic goals, and start working to make it happen!

Use this link to learn about the Distinguished Club Program and Club Success Plan: http://www.toastmasters.org/~/media/549134EFA75548B6928C43B6BAAFE433.ashx.

In the Spirit of Toastmasters,

Kate Olsen, DTM

Past District Governor 2013-2014

District Sponsored Incentives

District 65 Incentives for 2017-2018

ToastmastersLogoColor

August 1, 2017

Dear District 65 Toastmasters,

The incentives this year will be in place throughout the year. As with every year, it is important that we end out all of our incentives by June 1, 2018 to enable the finances to be closed out and able to be turned over to the next District team. We hope you understand our need to incentivize the District but also to enable a smooth transition to the next team.

Club Building

In order to bring in new members, it is important to showcase our clubs and to have open houses.  In the past, record keeping has become an issue on how money was spent, etc. For every open house hosted by a club, the club will receive up to $50 from the District for reimbursement of expenses incurred. To be eligible, the club officer must submit the date and time of the event, and a general assessment of the event in terms of success and/or failure, including a short lesson learned and receipts for up to $50 worth of food, printing, drinks, etc.  This incentive can be used once in the summer/fall, and once in the spring. The incentive will not be reimbursed for any open house taking place after June 1, 2018.

Program Quality:

Lessons learned have showed that clubs developing a club success plan perform better. The plan must also be developed and implemented in a timely manner, if it is to be effective. For this reason, every club that develops a valid club success plan, submitted by December 31, 2017, the District will provide a $25 TI Gift Certificate to the club.

Membership Strength:

The District has had membership retention and membership challenges, yet consistently strong clubs outperform weaker clubs, in terms of numbers. For every club that recruits and brings in 4 new members, the District will provide a $25 gift Certificate to that club for the TI store. To be eligible, the club officer must submit the date and time of the event, and a general assessment. This must be a new member to District 65 and not a dual member. It can be a reinstated member, if the member has been out of Toastmasters for the past year or more. A member can also be a transfer, if the member is transferring from another geographical region.

District Pride Cup Incentive:

This year the District Pride Cup has a new set of criteria. We believe that this is a way for even struggling clubs to be able to win this award. Click on the link below to take a look at the new criteria and start planning your club success plan to help achieve it.

District Pride Cup Criteria – Click Here

Notes regarding collecting the incentives listed above:

1) The District will place an order to TI once per quarter. Your club may choose to spend any earned District Bucks by sending your supply order list to the District Director, up to the amount you have earned. Any amount greater would need to be paid to the District prior to the order being placed. The dates an order will be placed will be noted on the District 65 calendar, accessible via our webpage. Shipping and handling will be taken into consideration when placing the order. Our goal is to ensure clubs spend the bucks and that having to come up with the money up front is not a hindrance to earning and using the incentives.

2) All expenditures for reimbursement greater than $50 must be approved PRIOR to the expense being incurred or the District will not reimburse it.

3) A completed voucher and corresponding receipts must be submitted within 30 days of incurring the expense. We plan the budget, by month, for when we believe the expenses will be incurred.

4) The District Director and Finance Manager will meet a minimum of once per month to review/sign Reimbursement Voucher requests and checks. One checks are signed, they will be mailed to the Club per the information on the voucher.

5) Payments will NOT be made to individuals for club expense reimbursement without PRIOR approval. The only exception will be in situations when the club is prohibited from having a bank account (corporate sponsors may not permit the club to open an account due to presumed tax liability or corporate policy).

Please reach out to the any member of the District Trio if you have questions about the incentives described above. Also note, the incentives as stated may be subject to change during this Toastmaster year, without prior notice, as deemed necessary to meet the District Success Plan and Financial goals. Any changes made will be posted promptly on the District website and noted in District Leader email/social media communications. Awards earned prior to a change will be honored.

Sincerely,

Your D65 Trio

Ellen Pieklo, District 65 Director
Lillian Knight-Faison, Program Quality Director
Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director
Toastmasters International
Where Leaders Are Made
www.toastmasters.org
www.tmdistrict65.org

For questions, please contact the District Trio at D65Trio@gmail.com

Click here for a PDF copy.

If You Fail To Plan

Tips From Our Past

If You Fail To Plan, You Are Planning To Fail

by Jared Kronenberg, DTM, PDG

Jared Kronenberg

This mantra was repeated over and over during club officer trainings and district leadership sessions. I wasn’t sure what it really meant until I became a club president. As I am sure everyone experiences, club officers come from one of two categories: those who are passionate and want to serve vs. those who were “arm-twisted” (or “volun-told”) to fill a position. Although each group has different motivations for taking on their officer responsibilities, both have the same goal: to be successful.

I have taken positions where I had a good idea of what was required (or thought I did…), but I didn’t have a handle on the year until I sat down with my fellow officers and began talking about our goals. Some people would emerge with their “big ideas” of how to completely transform the club into a beaming metropolis of constant visitors and engaged members. Others would use their past experiences—either as a club member, an officer, or both—to “correct” those wide-eyed officers to the error of their ways, identifying assumptions that will “never work” and serving as the devil’s advocate to all changes. Still, there are others who spent most of the time remaining quiet, listening to everyone, and providing opinions and limited comments that are usually profound and insightful.

In my lawyerly way, I submit that there is a place at the table for all of these officers. Knowledge of the past is instructive, openness to new ideas is vital, and a willingness to try something new is brave. No one likes to be the first to suggest that something isn’t working, but we should embrace those comments and recognize that they are not meant to be destructive, but rather an honest recognition that the club is not meeting a specific need of a member (or many members, as the case may be). On the other hand, a new year is not the time to throw out everything done by our predecessors. Just because our names are not attached to something doesn’t mean that it is wrong and cannot be touched.

We are all in Toastmasters to improve ourselves. Let’s treat this new year, with new officers, and hopefully lots of new members, as our chance to make meaningful changes and recognize that different does not mean wrong. Instead of letting the process play itself out, venture into this opportunity with purpose and create a plan that every member can be a part of and contribute to. Let this Toastmasters year be the year to embrace the past… and the new… together.

This… is a true plan for success.

Jared Kronenberg, DTM

Past District Governor (2014-15), District 65

BOOK REVIEW MEETING

FUN Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

Fun meeting make members and guests welcome and engaged. Here is another fun idea that everyone can participate in.

book review

BOOK REVIEW MEETING: Announce this meeting at least 2 weeks in advance and ask each member to prepare a short 2-4 minute presentation on a book of their choice. The assigned topic would be to review a book the member read, liked, hated, would recommend, would not recommend, should be burned, etc.

The object would be to get everybody up to the lectern to share their short review. The book reviews will enlighten other members as to what type of literature they are interested in and whether or not the book is worth reading.

These type of meetings can help members bond and become more engaged with each other. If guests re in attendance they will get to see some short, interesting presentations that are tailor made by your members.

These short presentations are a cross between a full speech and an evaluation. With 40 to 50 minutes available for a one hour meeting, you can continue to have a Word of the Day, Ahh Counter, Grammarian and a General Evaluator. The Toastmaster can introduce each member with the book’s title and author that they are reviewing.

Have fun with it and you are guaranteed to be exposed to some valuable lessons and great literature.

Save

Making Large Groups Less Scary

Meeting Mixing Motivations

Making Large Groups… Less ScaryMingling at meeting

By Carina Paton

Carina Paton

When I first ventured to events above the club level last year, the first thing that I noticed is that people were tending to stick with the people they knew. This is great to continue building relationships with people that you may not see as often as you like, but it’s not so great for the first-timers who have not yet built their “circle.”

I noticed this phenomenon because I was that first-timer. I sat and talked with a couple others in my club who attended the conference. One of the reasons that I came to the conference was to meet new Toastmasters that I could learn from. But despite my best efforts, my fellow club members were pretty much the only ones I talked with. It did not feel like an environment in which I could approach people that I didn’t know.

Those of you that attended Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) trainings (a.k.a. officer training) in Batavia and Syracuse this past month may have noticed that it felt different than the last one you went to. Our new District TRIO, Ellen, Lillian and Keith, encouraged everyone sit next to people that they did not already know, and get to know them.

You may have grumbled about it feeling like a forced speed networking session—but honestly, did you feel that way because it put you a little bit outside your comfort zone? The result was incredible! By the time lunch came around, people chose to sit with “strangers” and it was hard to hear over all the wonderful discussions that people were having over their salads and sandwiches.

This is the first step our District has taken this year to create a welcoming environment for all. And a welcoming environment is one of those “intangibles” that Corey Wilson and Alex Turner, spoke about in their presentations both at the TLI and in their workshop in the Spring conference in Rochester earlier this year. If we create a culture of welcoming environments, we will have more successful clubs, areas, divisions, and districts—and as a result we will have more successful members.

We are always telling new members that Toastmasters is a safe place to try things out. But we forget that this also applies to our social skills, our mingling skills, our networking skills—whatever you call it. Your next club meeting is the perfect opportunity to push the boundary of your comfort zone ever so slightly. Often people will tend to sit in the same seat, next to the same people meeting after meeting. Mix it up!

When you next enter your meeting room, ask yourself: “Who haven’t I chatted with for a while?” Sit next to them. Ask how their week has been or what they did over the weekend. Ask about their family. Ask about their work. Ask about their next goal in Toastmasters and how you can help them.

Take every opportunity to practice those skills—the more you practice, the more confident and friendly you will be, and the more you will help your club, area, division, district and yourself.

3 Step Approach To Successfully Building Corporate Clubs

by Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Corporate clubs are comparatively quicker and at times even easier to build than traditional community clubs.

When an organization or a corporation initiates and communicates their interest in having a corporate Toastmasters club at their place of business; it’s always a slam-dunk!

It is always good to have a good point of contact established early-on to have ongoing communications. As a result of initial communications, the level of interest coupled with the extent of their need to form a Toastmasters club can be quickly determined.

Preplanning before the actual DEMO meeting is crucial, in order to establish what the two parties working in harmony will bring to the table in starting and forming of a Toastmasters Club. The corporation will generally [a] provide the facility for the meeting place; [b] make internal announcements communications, re: the Toastmasters program, including distribution of TI promotional materials, etc., and [c] provide the critical mass of employees [preferably between 20 to 30 members] to attend the DEMO meeting at a given date and time.

Ideally, the DEMO meeting should be between 45 minutes to a maximum of one hour, including at least 5 to 10 minutes at the end for Q&A. Toastmasters will provide [a] the expertise in starting of a new Toastmasters club; [b] support for the club with two experienced mentors for the first six to as much as twelve months, if needed; [c] hands-on training for the individual club officers, and [d] support of the Area and District leaderships to ensure smooth transition and success.

Here is a three-step approach in building and chartering a corporate Toastmasters club.

Step 1:

The DEMO meeting team ideally should have a combination of some experienced as well as newer Toastmasters. The DEMO team can have between 5 to 7 Toastmasters roles as follows: an experienced Toastmaster, a fairly proficient speaker, a dedicated evaluator, a Table Topic Master, a General Evaluator, with a Timer and a WAG Master [Word master, Ah Counter, Grammarian] as optional roles/positions. The purpose of the DEMO meeting needs to be explained upfront and the benefits of Toastmasters need to be described throughout the DEMO meeting event. In special circumstances and with prior consent, an employee or two may be invited to participate in the Table Topic session. [When at least 17 or more employees are ready to join, as a result of the DEMO meeting, the follow-up date for step 2 needs to be put in-place, immediately at the end of the DEMO meeting and/or within a week.]

Step 2:

At the “organizational meeting” the following items are conducted [a] decision regarding the name of the club by vote; [b] decision on time, place and frequency of the club meetings, by vote and consensus, [encouraging weekly meetings vs. twice a month and/or every other week meetings]; [c] decision on the subsidizing of the membership dues, if any, etc.; and [d] election of the club officers, by vote. [When step 2 is completed, step 3 can be done immediately on the same day and/or within a day or two.]

Step 3:

Actual collection of membership dues, signing of the club constitution and club by-laws, membership and club officer listing, and mailing of the final documents to TI, can be accomplished in this meeting.

Please note that in certain circumstances it may become necessary to take the ATO [Application To Organize] route/approach in chartering a corporate club, especially when the respective corporation is not fully ready and/or committed to start a new club and/or does not have the critical-mass of members required to start the club. Patience and perseverance are required when dealing with low-member clubs.

The key to success of the three-step approach requires comprehensive preplanning, a dynamic DEMO meeting, and keeping the enthusiasm alive immediately following the success of DEMO meeting in organization/execution of the new club.

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Sam has been personally involved in building and sponsoring over a dozen corporate and community clubs. Sam has used the above three-step approach in forming corporate clubs successfully and many of these clubs are still thriving today.