Hobby Or Talent Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

Hobby Or Talent Meeting:

By Angela D’Amico – Marketing Committee Member

For this meeting, you suggest that each of your members who signs up for a speech provides a talk about their favorite Hobby or a specific Talent that they feel is unique.

In addition to their presentation, live demonstrations are encouraged and audience interaction is also a welcome addition.

Focus your daily Table Topics around hobbies, talents or even super-powers to maintain the theme and get everyone engaged.

Have Evaluators contribute as well with a brief description of their own favorite hobby and what they learned from the Speaker.

Remember that variety is the spice of life. Toastmasters meetings that encourage fun will encourage members to attend and re-engage.

Here are some creative ways to get your club’s endorphins pumping at your upcoming meetings.

  • Once a month keep an element of surprise.
  • Change the layout of the room.
  • Place the lectern in a different spot.
  • You can assign roles at the door as each member picks their roles for that day from a bag.

The more fun you have, the more fun your members and guest will have. Focus on Fun and your club will grow.

Four Ways To Spice Up Your Meetings

 Four Ways to Spice Up Your Toastmasters Meetings

Eddie Kasprzyk

By Eddie Kasprzyk –  Marketing Committee Member

· Relate the theme to a current event. As we all know, the 2018 Winter Olympics has just wrapped up. In our last club meeting, we did have a Winter Olympic theme. Random Olympic trivia was asked throughout the meeting and whoever answered a question correctly received a plastic Olympic Medal ribbon to proudly wear around their neck (kudos to Wendy Miller of Westwinds!). It was such a fun meeting and we even got to keep the Gold Medals that we “won”.

· Invite other clubs. Having a group of new faces in the room may prompt you out of your comfort zone and you’ll be able to work on fine tuning your public speaking skills that you usually don’t get to work on. Example: Evaluating someone’s prepared speech that is a total stranger.

· An All Table Topics Meeting. Who doesn’t love table topics? Break out of the norm and allow every member to have a speaking role and possibly speak multiple times. This is a great way to get those fellow members, who are a bit shy, to come out of their shell.

· Change up the location of your meeting. By having new surroundings, you’ll get the opportunity to practice in a setting that you may not be used to. Example, if you generally meet in a classroom, try having your next meeting in a restaurant around the table. This is a great way to practice giving a toast for your next dinner party.

Remember….this is your club. Try something new for one of your upcoming meetings and have fun. Having fun is what Toastmasters is all about!

Fun Meeting Idea – Backward Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

The Backwards Meeting

If your club is up to a challenge, try a Backwards meeting. Make sure that you have experienced speakers because their evaluator will tell them more about what they have to do during their speech. If the speaker can provide their project and evaluation form in advance, the evaluator can add some very interesting twists that they will need to comply with.

Here is an overview of a Backwards Meeting. Take your regular agenda and turn it upside down and laugh your way to the end of another great meeting.

Sample Agenda Ideas:

  1. Toastmaster closes the meeting
  2. Toastmaster and General Evaluator hand out Awards
  3. General Evaluator offers their evaluation of the meeting
  4. General Evaluator presents Role Reports
    1. Word of the day – How many times was it used
    2. Grammarian – offer some great suggestions for speakers, table topics and evaluators.
    3. Ah counter – makes it up and tells speakers how many they had of each
    4. Timers Report – make it up and challenge the speakers to comply
  5. Evaluator 3 gives evaluation of speaker 3 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  6. Evaluator 2 gives evaluation of speaker 2 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  7. Evaluator 1 gives evaluation of speaker 1 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  8. General Evaluator introduces Toastmaster
  9. Toastmaster introduces Table Topics Master
  • – TT contestant 3 gives Table Topic 3
  • Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 3
  • – TT contestant 2 gives Table Topic 2
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 2
  • – TT contestant 1 gives Table Topic 1
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 1
  1. Table Topics master hands meeting back to Toastmaster.
  2. Speaker 3 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  3. Speaker 2 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  4. Speaker 1 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  5. Toastmaster introduces Roles and Guests
  • Timer
  • Ah counter
  • Grammarian
  • Wordmaster
  • Introduce Guests
  1. TM – Humorist share their laughs
  2. TM – Invocation is given
  3. SAA – TM – Pledge of Allegiance
  4. SAA – Gavel the meeting

Big Distraction Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

The Big Distraction Meeting

Distractions

While most toastmasters meetings are orderly and welcoming, in real life, speaking to groups can be more challenging. Dinner meetings, meetings with children in the audience, meetings with construction going on outside, cell phones going off, people talking in the back or even hecklers can all be disruptive to a speaker’s “flow”.

But the reality is… it happens.

So if you want to prepare your fellow members for the potential distractions they could encounter, a Big Distraction Meeting can be a lot of fun.

Download some random sounds, noises, crying babies and other potentially distracting noises which can be played back during the meeting.

Appoint a couple of members to deliberately have a side conversation, mildly heckle or otherwise distract the speakers, evaluators and others during their presentations.

Watching members handle distractions can be humorous and entertaining, but will also be a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Be sure to warn each member before the Big Distraction Meeting and make sure to inform any guests that this will be happening on purpose.

As long as the distractions are thought out in advance and properly planned, everyone should have a fun time, learn a little more about tolerance and truly appreciate that “positive and mutually supportive environment” of your regular meetings.

Speaker-Evaluator-Table Topics Exchange

The Speaker-Evaluator-Table Topics Exchange Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas – Sept. 2017

Speaker Exchange

A great way to encourage club members to grow is to arrange for a Speaker, Evaluator and Table Topics master exchange program with one or more of your nearby clubs.

Each club gets to hear a new speaker and has one of their speakers receive an evaluation from someone outside their club and hears favorite table topics from another club. Both clubs get a new speaker and a fresh evaluation. Plus everyone involved has the opportunity to speak in a different setting without leaving the Toastmasters’ umbrella. We can always learn something new from other toastmasters.

This is a particularly great strategy for clubs that are struggling with membership. Sometimes having a few new people involved in their meetings can motivate members to invite additional guests or send an email to their co-workers, friends or family inviting them to visit a meeting.

If you are interested in exchanging with other clubs, please contact your Division or Area Directors. They can provide you with a list of clubs in your area that might be willing to swap members for a few meetings. They can also provide the email and phone numbers for the club officers of each club that you are interested in exchanging with.

As another idea. Try to make this exchange a monthly or quarterly event, or a round robin with 3 or 4 clubs. Each club involved will benefit from the exchange and it will help all clubs become stronger members of the district.

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/166.62.110.213/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/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/WAG-Master-Sheet.pdf

Dual Evaluation Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dual-Evaluation-Form-1.pdf

Evaluation Workshop Booklet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Evaluation-Workshop-Booklet-06-27-2017.pdf

Grammarian Uses:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Grammarian-Uses.pdf

General Evaluator Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/General-Evaluation-Form.pdf

Toastmaster Role Guidelines:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/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!

 

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.

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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.

Fun Meeting Ideas – Comical Courtroom Caper

FUN Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

One of the most important ways to build a great club is by having fun, inclusive and engaging meetings. While every club’s personality is different, the most successful clubs have a nice balance between structure and laughter. Every month we will try to share a different idea on how you can add some FUN to your meetings.

COMICAL COURTROOM CAPER MEETING:

Comical Courtroom Caper

Try to allow 1-3 weeks preparation for this meeting to assign roles and give details of the topic and proceedings.

Choose a member to be the defendant, real or imagined, and assign a crime to them. One of the members portrays the character on trial. The meeting can be fun if the charges are something funny. For example, they could be charged with stealing the cookies from the cookie jar, Santa Claus damaging a roof, or Popeye selling steroid enriched spinach.

You can also search google for: “Worlds Dumbest Criminals”, or click the following link for other great ideas from Reader’s Digest. http://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/worlds-dumbest-criminals-politicians-bosses/

Assign members to be the bailiff, judge, lawyers, news reporters, and conduct a mock trial. Vote for or against acquittal. The charges against the accused and the description of the scenario are handed out a week or two before the meeting. The two prepared speeches are the opening arguments by the prosecutor and defense attorney. Table topics is the testimony of the witnesses. News reporters will offer feedback on the opening remarks and testimony.

The judge is the general evaluator who oversees the entire trial meeting. Give each evaluator 2-3 minutes to comment on the speakers opening remarks and witness testimonies.

Typical 1 Hour Meeting Agenda and Roles:

  • Toastmaster: The Bailiff – Introduces all roles and keeps meeting moving
  • General Evaluator: The Judge – Oversees the meeting and adds final FUNNY verdict
  • Timer: Times all roles
  • Wordmaster: Same as always – Try to have a legal or trial theme.
  • Grammarian: Same as Always – Try to have a legal or trial bias.
  • Ah Counter: Same as Always
  • Speaker 1: Prosecuting Attorney – Opening Arguments (5-7 Minutes)
  • Speaker 2: Defense Attorney – Opening Arguments (5-7 minutes)
  • Table Topics Master: Randomly selects 3 – 4 witnesses for testimony – for or against
  • (1-2 minutes each)
  • Evaluator 1: News Reporter – Offers feedback on Speaker 1 (2-3 minutes)
  • Evaluator 2: News Reporter – Offers feedback on Speaker 2 (2-3 minutes)
  • General Evaluator: Delivers final role reports and verdict

Have fun with the roles. Take liberties to exaggerate and enhance testimony. Encourage members to add insight and humor throughout.

Most importantly, engage all members, use CC or advanced manual speeches to fill the speaking roles if possible… and have FUN.

If you have a FUN Meeting Idea that you would like to share, please send your ideas to Keith Maderer at KeithMadererDTM@gmail.com. If your idea is selected, it will be printed in the newsletter, and shared on the District 65 Blog.