7 Ways Conversation

Video Training:

7 Ways to Make a Conversation With Anyone

A TED Talk with Malavika Varadan

by Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

Malavika Varadan Video - 50%

As we all work on building a stronger club, sometimes having a genuine conversation with a guest or new member can be challenging. In this video, Malavika shares 7 great ways to initiate a conversation that will engage and encourage others to feel welcome. Here is a list of her 7 main points. If the titles don’t ring a bell… you better watch the video.

  1. The First Word Floodgates
  2. Skip the Small Talk
  3. Find the “Me-Toos”
  4. Pay a Unique Compliment
  5. Ask for an Opinion
  6. Be Present and Make Eye Contact
  7. Name, Place, Animal, Thing

It will help you grow and help you build stronger relationships with your club, members and guests.

The video is only 15:22 minutes long, with many real life stories and examples. I hope you enjoy Malavika’s bubbly personality and guidance as much as I did.

Click here to watch the entire video – https://youtu.be/F4Zu5ZZAG7I

Who Introduced You To TM

Who Introduced You To Toastmasters… And Why Do You Stay?


By Lillian M. Knight Faison DTM – District 65 Program Quality Director

Fellow Toastmasters and District leaders I take fun seriously. If your club is having fun, potential members will see it and they will want to have fun too. It has been said that we learn best in times of enjoyment. As a professional clown Sunny Hope I truly take my fun seriously.

I have experienced the positive collective effort of the Toastmasters core values Respect, Integrity, Excellence and Service. When they are consistently put into action we will achieve our goals. Our World needs Leaders with excellent Communication and Leadership skills.

I did not obtain my Leadership and Communication growth on my own. Mrs. Gloria Langston, DTM my mentor and friend invited me to a Toastmasters meeting in 1991. I constantly strive to identify the tools to achieve my most authentic and best self. Toastmasters has been one of the vehicles I have used to achieve this goal. In my journey I have had the tremendous support of many Toastmasters, too many to name. Thank you!!!!

District Leaders and members let us continue to strive to train 100% of our officers. When four club officers are trained in both in the summer and winter, a club receives 1 point toward the Distinguished Club Program.

District Leaders thank you for holding successful TLI’s in your Divisions. Better trained officers contribute to a better member experience and meeting their needs.

Our Chief Pathways Ambassador Sam Mehta has all Pathways Ambassadors and Guides on board and assigned to their perspective clubs. Pathways is scheduled to roll out this May and our guides are contacting our clubs with roll out kits for their visits.

Yahoo!!! It’s Contest season. Contestants you are all winners!! Some of you have chosen to step outside your comfort zone to compete. Kudos to you!!

Our Spring Conference Theme is SATIS SUPERQUE (Enough and Beyond). My journey in Toastmasters has definitely helped me learn that I am just enough and I have grown to my surprise beyond my own expectations. Conference planning team your effort is appreciated in organizing our Conference in Binghamton, New York on April 20th and 21st. I look forward to seeing you all. Please attend and invite someone. Our Spring Conference is an opportunity to meet our ID Radhi Spears, support our contestants, network, meet new people, learn and have fun.

Members as I have said before we need your energy, passion, leadership and enthusiasm. When District 65 works together as a Team including our core values and positive action we will accomplish our goals. Toastmasters is a program where Leaders are made.

Where do we want to go and how do we plan on getting there? Our world needs leaders more than ever today!!

Next New Member

Who Is Your Next New Member?

Why Member Personas Matter

Keith Maderer, DTM, Club Growth Director

Member Personas

Wouldn’t it be great to know who the next new member coming through the door of your meeting would be?

Well Toastmasters International recently completed a extensive and through research project with focus groups from all over the world to find that answer for you. At our Regional Training for District Officers in Raleigh, NC last month, we were one of the first groups to see and discuss the findings of this study.

Toastmasters has decided to begin an advertising campaign across several test markets and they wanted to know who is target of their advertising.

YES you heard me right… they are gong to be rolling out an international advertising program to create awareness about the benefits and skills that toastmasters provides.

Your club could be the recipient of that advertising…

  • if your club is ready
  • If your club website is inviting enough to a prospect
  • if your officers respond to an inquiry
  • if your meetings are fun, engaging and educational
  • if your group is welcoming and encouraging

I have outlined the 6 personas that toastmasters has identified as prime candidates for new membership. The advertising program will only focus of the first 4 as Toastmasters found that The Self-Help enthusiast and the Retiree are going to join anyway and they will find a club even without advertising. The other 4 groups need to become aware of toastmasters and how we can help them.

  1. Young Professionals
  2. The Career Advancer
  3. The International Professionals
  4. The Mature Manager
  5. The Self Help Enthusiast
  6. The Retiree

The link below will take you to the complete PDF document that was shared. In it you will find out more about each persona type and what motivates them to join and stay with your Toastmasters group. Take a look now and be ready when they come calling.

Click Her to download and view the complete PDF: 



Mingling Open House

Mastering Mingling at an Open House

By Carina Paton

Carina Paton

Yet another wonderful opportunity to practice your mingling skills is nigh. That’s right, it’s Open House season again! As a club member, you have one of the most crucial roles at your club’s upcoming open house… to float and interact with guests.

Every club is unique because it is composed of unique individuals. And because you are one of those individuals you are the ideal spokesperson. Is your heart suddenly aflutter because you have no idea what to say to guests? Never fear, your mingling mastery guide is here!

By simply attending your club open house, you move up the mingling mastery ranks from a Notworker to a Safety Networker. I encourage you to use this upcoming event to push yourself to progress the next level in mingling mastery, which I call a “cabinetworker.”

The cabinetworker takes standard items that are stored on the shelf in their cabinet and uses them to help network. These are the building blocks that can help you make a new connection. Standard items many cabinetworkers have on their shelves are:

· Hi, I’m (name). And you?

· What do you do for a living?

· Where do you work/study?

· Where are you from?

These are great questions to pull out when you are making your first courageous foray into mingling. They are easy to ask, and because they are so commonly asked, generally easy to give a well-rehearsed answer to.

In the open house environment, we can stock much more valuable questions on our cabinet shelves:

· How did you learn about us?

Not only is this an extremely easy question to ask and answer (and therefore an easy way to begin a conversation), it’s a simple way to find out what marketing and outreach methods are working for your club.

· Why did you decide to come to our meeting today?

Asking about a guest’s motivations help us frame how we can help them. Rather than rattle off the myriad ways that Toastmasters is beneficial, it’s much more effective to listen to the guest’s motivations for coming, and then aid them in understanding how your club can help them meet their goals.

· What did you think about our meeting?

Asking this question one-on-one helps threefold: 1. It gives us immediate feedback on meeting from the perspective of a guest. 2. It gives the guest an opportunity to practice giving an evaluation in a non-threatening environment, and they feel that their opinions are heard and valued. 3. It can often serve as a bridge to further conversation on an aspect of the meeting or the club that they are interested in.

· Can I answer any questions?

Remember that guests are in an unfamiliar environment, and they may be afraid to speak up. Asking this lets them know that it is okay to ask questions. Even if they can’t think of any questions right at that moment, it lets them know that you are willing to help them understand what Toastmasters is all about.

· Would you like to join our club?

This is the question that guests are often waiting to be asked, so don’t be afraid to put it out there!

Now that you have the tools to be a proficient cabinetworker at your upcoming open house, go and give your club all that you have. And remember: You can practice these mingling questions year-round. Every time there’s a guest at your club meeting is one more opportunity to push the boundaries of your comfort zone that little bit further. You might be surprised just how flexible those boundaries can be!

This is the third installment of a series encouraging fellow District 65 Toastmasters to take every opportunity to develop their mingling skills. The first two articles are Making Large Groups Less Scary and Push Past Your Safety Net.

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

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.