Saturday, December 30, 2006

Get New or Returning with Toastmaster Resolutions

From: Roger Brown, D53 Webmaster
Date: Dec 29, 2006
Subject: Get New or Returning with Toastmaster Resolutions
January is an excellent time to launch a membership building program. Some people make New Year's Resolutions and others simply say - "After the hectic holidays - I'll get organized."

Take the effort to contact former or inactive members and all the guests for the past 6 to 12 months. Send them an email or snail mail invitation with words of encouragement and tout the communication and the leadership benefits of the Toastmaster programs. A sample message is provided below. Edit the message below and provide the specific information for your club.

But we must ACT NOW! If you or your Club is going to catch the wave of New Year's Resolutions, you need to get the word "Toastmasters" placed before the public eye! You need to let people know that your Club is meeting in January and guests are welcomed!

And if your Club has a public web site, make sure that it is up to date ... clearly indicating that your Club is alive, meeting in January, and welcoming guests.

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The Central City Toastmasters Club would like to invite you to attend a regular meeting in January. Our organization, i.e. the dynamic Toastmaster members, will provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment. Every member has the opportunity to develop and improve their
communication and leadership skills.

Join us on Thursday, January 4th or January 18th , or on any 1st and 3rd Thursday at the Central City Library, Room X, 555 Main Street, Central City, CT. We gather for conversation at 5:30 PM. The meeting and educational program starts at 5:45 PM prompt. Meeting adjourns at 7:15 PM .

Our new Club web site is available with more information about the Central City Toastmasters Club. Please visit: http://

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about Toastmasters either before or after the meeting. Or feel free to reply to this email with any immediate questions.

Consider the definition of resolution \Res`o*lu"tion\ , n. The state of being resolved, settled, or determined; firmness; steadiness; constancy; determination.

Become a better speaker. Put more confidence in your presentations. Enhance your leadership skills through informative and persuasive communications.

Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. Check out the TI website at

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Area A1 Holiday Luncheon

Toastmaster Clubs from Area A1 had their holiday luncheon on Friday Dec. 15th, 2006 at Umberto's in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Division A Governor, Dave Wheeler was the speaker for the event and he talked about "The meaning of life ... your one thing".

The Holiday Luncheon also featured the "Area A1 Holiday Singers!" who led the audience in the singing of some Christmas Carols ! A great time was had by all !

A New Club Web Page in Area A4

A new Toastmaster Club Web site has been Discovered!
Let's welcome Cartus Magnus Toastmasters Club of Danbury, CT and their new Club Web Site at
Bravo! Great picture of the Club members.
submitted by Roger Brown, the District 53 webmaster, who has also added a link to their web site, see

Fall 06 Conference Photo Gallery - more PIX

From: Roger Brown
Date: Dec 18, 2006 8:14 AM

Subject: Fall 06 Conference Photo Gallery

I recently received photos from our D53 Photographer, Don Logie, and thus we have new photos to enjoy. Check out the following links.
The Fall 06 Conference Photo Gallery Index
Pictures from the District 53's 50th Anniversary
Pictures from the District 53 Evaluation and Humorous Speech Contests
Picturesof the Educational Seminars and Networking
Pictures of the Hall of Fame and other Toastmaster Recognitions
Pictures of the Fall 06 Conference - Saturday Daytime.
Pictures of the Conference Banquet and Humorous Speech Contest

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 18th Evening with Two Champions

On Monday December 18th why not treat yourself to an early holiday gift?

Our members will have the unique opportunity to be coached by two World
Champions of Public Speaking. This is a unique chance for everyone that
attends to receive expert and proven techniques to make them a better
communicator immediately. All of the information that is needed to
attend is on the attached flyer. Please reply to
"" to save your seat. We are limited to
200 people and for security purposes you will need to pre register to

We would like to personally thank Marsh Kiley and her team for all of the
work that they have done to make this event possible for our members.
Pass this message on to all of the clubs in your area and anyone that
you feel can benefit from this program.

Monday, December 11, 2006

WHQ transactions postponed due to Inventory 12/16/06 - 01/07/07

Subject: WHQ Transactions Postponed for Inventory 12/16/06 - 01/07/07
World Headquarters–Transactions Postponed for Inventory
Add new members, file new club charter forms, file educational award applications, and order all supplies for mid-winter Club Officer Training, etc BEFORE December 15, 2006 (i.e. received at TI WHQ in California).
As part of TI's inventory process, which is required by law, we will be unable to process the following transactions between Saturday, December 16, 2006 through January 7, 2007.

This includes submissions online and/or by mail:
• Supply
• New member kits
• Charter kits
• Education award certificates (including free advanced manuals)
Submissions received by Friday, December 15, 2006, 11:59 p.m., PT, will be
processed and shipped, with one exception – orders that require engraving
must be received by Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 11:59 p.m., PT.
Between December 16 and January 7, supply orders, applications for
educational awards and applications for new members cannot be
entered online. Any of those items, as well as new club charter forms
received by mail will be held and processed after January 7.
We suggest you hold your submissions until January 8 and then enter
the information online. This is the fastest way to get your materials.
If you know you will need materials during this time, place your order
in early December so you will have the materials you need and you
won't be disappointed. Have some Competent Communication and
Competent Leadership manuals on hand to give to new members if
they join your club during this time. Once they have submitted their
application and check and have been voted into your club, you can
give them a set of manuals to get started. Then, when they receive
their new member kit they can turn the manuals over to the club.
The club can then give the manuals to other new members as they
join while they are waiting for their new member kit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

FREE EVENT..Toastmaster World Champions - Monday, Dec. 18

"An Evening With Toastmaster World Champions"
"The Champions' Edge ... Live!"

How much would you pay to be coached by a World Champion Speaker? How much would you pay to be coached by TWO?

If you want to improve in any skill, it pays to seek the advice of others who have already "been there; done that." The fact is, if you want to improve your skills you need a coach -- someone to teach you to think, act, and perform at a higher level. Even Tiger Woods has a coach.

On Monday, December 18th (7:00 pm til 9:30 pm) , you'll get a chance to experience the magic of coaching from two World Champions of Public Speaking. Our Toastmaster Champions David Brooks (1990) and Darren LaCroix (2001) invite you to a special free program at The Hartford, Tower Bldg, T22, 690 Asylum Ave, Hartford, CT.

Dave and Darren have taught, coached, and mentored thousands of business communicators around the world. Here's your chance to be coached by two of the best in the

After a short opening presentation from Darren and Dave, volunteers from the audience will be given a rare opportunity to deliver a short presentation, and then receive instant feedback
from the champs. If you're one of the volunteer speakers, you'll experience the kind of coaching Darren and Dave give finalists in the World Championships.

And even if you aren't a volunteer speaker that evening, you'll learn just as much by watching how we coach. In short, whether you're sitting or standing, as long as you're there, you'll learn!

To read and know more about Dave and Darren, please visit their websites: and

Listen (with your audio speakers on) to Darren's personal invitation, an audio postcard ... click

Reservations are required by Monday, 12-18-06, 11:00am. We're sorry, but due to space limitations and security requirements, walk-ups (or walk-ins) can not be admitted.
Call 860-547-6337, or email Area B4 Gov, Judith Chambers

Keep your Web Eye on

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Spring Contest Scheduling

The spring contest season is on the horizon ....

And before we all get too busy with holiday shopping and parties, it might be a good idea to put our Area and Division Contests on the schedule for 2007. This will also help the clubs in your area plan their club contests.

The deadlines are:
Club contests by March 17th, 2007
Area contests by April 7th, 2007
Division contest by April 28th, 2007
District Contest ON May 19th, 2007 at the Sheraton Hotel in E.Hartford, CT.

I can probably get a location for the Division A contest in the Danbury, CT area, but if there is someone who would like to host it somewhere on the NY state side of Div.A (and have the "home court advantage"), I would be happy to work with them to make it happen. We just need to get it on the schedule SOON.

Please let Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, know when you have a date for your contests and he will post it on our Division blog at

Best wishes for a great holiday season !

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Div Govs Offer The Leadership Exchange

Leadership Exchange and Officer Training - Winter Dec 06 , Jan/Feb 07

Division Governors Offer The Leadership Exchange
by LGET Will Ryan, DTM

Here comes winter training.

Between December 1, 2006 and February 28, 2007, the Division Governors will be hosting biannual training and development sessions for club officers. This year we have a new name for winter training - The Leadership Exchange - inspired by a suggestion from Jim Parsons, Area F1 Governor. Thanks, Jim.

Webster's online dictionary lists these definitions. (My interpretations relative to The Leadership Exchange follow the definitions):
Exchange = Reciprocal giving and receiving.

We will share winning leadership strategies and in so doing, all attendees will give and receive. Something offered, given, or received in an exchange. Leadership Exchanges will work well when club officers attend with a give attitude and come to the event prepared to share their experiences in club leadership. A place where things or services are exchanged.

Our winter gatherings will surely be places to exchange ideas that work. In the same time frame, Area Governors will be conducting make-up Exchanges for those club officers who are unable to attend the Division sessions.

Each year Toastmasters club officers gather twice for training and development. During the summer, we assemble an expert faculty to offer many courses designed for all club offices. We call this annual gathering the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI). The breadth and depth of subjects is impressive, and feedback indicates that we're on target, offering courses that club officers need and want.

The Distinguished Club Program (DCP) identifies ten goals that 80 years of experience indicate, when achieved, result in very strong clubs. Goal #9 says, "A minimum of four club officers trained during each of two training periods." If your club was not able to have four officers trained during the summer, your club is ineligible for a DCP point for training. But remember, it's the learning that really counts, and statistics show that well-developed club officers lead strong clubs. So attend your Division's Leadership Exchange, and be prepared to give and receive by sharing your experiences with fellow club officers.

If you're a club officer or a club leader, put your Division's Leadership Exchange on your calendar and BE THERE!

Editor's note: You may want to "exchange" your questions and your ideas on Officer Training, The Leadership Exchange, or any Toastmasters educational programming with your Lt. Governor Education & Training, Email Will Ryan, DTM . Don't be shy.

The dates for the two Division A Leadership Exchange events are:

Jan.24th, 2007 at 7:30pm
Hosted by Socially Speaking Toastmasters, Brookfield, CT
at Brookfield Congregational Church (basement, door in back)
160 Whisconier Road, Intersection of Routes 25 & 133, Brookfield, CT, 06804,

Jan.27th, 2007 at 9:30am
Hosted by Marist Toastmasters, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601 (building and room TBD)

Contact your area governor for more information or questions.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Feb.& March Membership Drive (and an added bonus)

District 53 is putting their money where their mouth is ... and for an organization that is based on communications that is pretty important !

As part of the "Talk Up Toastmasters" membership drive that Toastmasters International runs in Feb/March, District 53 will award any club that adds 5 or more new members a credit for $10 toward Toastmasters materials !

If a club meets this target in Feb/Mar and achieves Distinguished status by April 30th, the total credit would be $60 ! (Which would go a long way toward a full sized banner for your club or other valuable Toastmaster materials.)

Do you think you can do it?
Of course you can!
Now is the time to put your marketing and public relation ideas in motion so that they can bear fruit by the Feb/Mar timeframe. For example, some clubs are running SpeechCraft workshops to draw in new members while others are reaching out to their local newspapers or TV stations to get their meeting times announced. And, of course, if you don't already have a club website, be sure to create one! ( is a great resource!)

If you have any questions on this program or need more ideas to boost membership, feel free to contact your Area Governor or myself at the email address below:

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

P.S. Did you know that Division A was tied (with Div.D) for the most clubs receiving Smedley Awards in all of District 53? The Smedley Award is given by TI for adding 5 or more new members in the August / September timeframe and it was achieved by IBM East Fishkill Speakers Club, BI and Cartus Magnus. Can we do it again in Feb/Mar? Can we do better than Division D? (I bet we can!)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fall Conference 2006 - Humorous Contest

Division A was represented by Bruce Goulart in the Humorous Speech Contest and he did a GREAT job !

Pictures below show Bruce during the contestant interview session. (There was no flash photography permitted during the speeches so we could not take a picture of his speech.)

After the contest, Bruce went home, got a few hours sleep and then ran the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 5th. His time was 4 hours, 45 minutes for the 26.2 mile race.

Wow! Congratulations Bruce ! I'm sure you now have material for the next speech contest !

Fall Conference 2006 - Pat H. places 3rd in Eval Contest

Division A was well represented at the Fall Conference held on Saturday, November 4th, in Albany, NY.

In the Evaluation Contest, Pat Hendrickson placed third. (See photos below of the contestant interview and Pat accepting her award).

Congratulations to Pat for a job well done !

The Power of Enthusiasm ...

Seth Godin's blog post about enthusiasm (click here to read it) got me thinking about how much our attitude impacts our experience of Toastmasters.

For example, the Fall 2006 Conference last weekend was attended by a LOAD of enthusiastic Toastmasters and it was an incredible experience! (More on that in later posts). If you missed it, the next district conference will be held in May 2007!

What are you enthusiastic about? How can you bring more enthusiasm to your Toastmasters club? If you do, you will find that more things get done, they get done quicker and more easily and everyone has more FUN !

If you have some great examples of enthusiasm (or the opposite of enthusiasm) and the consequences / results of same, please email them to us at !

Speak UP !

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Are you still "In the pool"?

I read a great blog post today that...

1) Highly recommended Toastmasters (which got it off to a good start) and

2) Presented a bit of wisdom that all Toastmasters could use. (After you read the post, the title of the entry will make more sense.)

Let me know what you think !

Click here to read the post at Scott Ginsberg blog, "HELLO, My Name is...".

Post by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Press Coverage for Marist Toastmasters

David Gavin, Area A5 Governor, forwarded a copy of the following article about Marist Toastmasters that appeared in the Marist College newspaper.

click here to read it !

Note: Marist is already an official Toastmasters club, but they are working on becoming an official school club since that provides additional benefits and could attract more potential members.

Congratulations to David and Marist Toastmasters for getting this PR for their club!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Videos and other links...

WestConn Toastmaster's VP-Education, Croix Sather, forwarded the following links that you might like .... Click a speakers profile and get an example of a presentation
(this looks like a contest speech!)

Ideas for beginning your speech ...

The beginning of your speech is CRITICAL to its success. Either your audience "gets on your bus" or they don't. You have to interrupt their internal dialogue about all the other things going on in their life and get them to engage with you and your speech. Otherwise, they will be planning their shopping list or what to have for lunch and missing at least half of your speech (if not more).

Kathy Sierra posted a great article on her blog that really hits it on the head ...

Check it out by clicking here !

What did you find that you are going to use in your next speech? Is there something that you could even apply to a CONTEST speech? The contest that are coming up in the Spring are the Tall Tales and International Speech contests and they both would benefit from a strong opening!

Enjoy !

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fall Conference Update ....

Treat yourself to a celebration and conference on communications and leadership. Pay heed to Stephen Covey's 7th habit of highly effective people, namely Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal." Register for the 50th Anniversary Celebration and the District 53 Fall Conference. Do it Today and save!

What: 50th Anniversary Celebration
When: Friday, November 3, 2006
Join the 50th Anniversary Celebration - District 53's Fiftieth Birthday Bash!
There will be 50's music played throughout the evening, door prizes, continuous video displays of club memorabilia from years gone by, many surprises, and dancing to the hits of the 50's, 60's, and beyond.

Questions? Contact Frank Kane, 50th Anniversary Chair,
Phone: (860) 228-3261

What: District 53 Fall 2006 Conference
When: Saturday, November 4, 2006

* Enhance your Communication or Leadership skills with a choice of 9 outstanding Educational Seminars
* Evaluation Speech Contest (10:00 AM)
* Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon
* District 53 Council Meeting
* Humorous Speech Contest and Dinner Banquet

Where: Holiday Inn Albany-Turf on Wolf Rd, Albany, NY

Stay Overnight: Call the Holiday Inn Turf before October 12 at (518) 458-7250 and mention "Toastmasters International Block" to get a special discounted room rate of only $99.00!
Visit Holiday Inn online at

Conference Co-chairs:
Jabbar Fagan Phone: (518) 447-8267 (w)
Sandra Buxton Phone: (518) 746-2560 (w)

Registration Chair:
Sarah Gebbie-Measeck
Phone: (518) 747-7390 (h)

Education Program Chair:
Jeff Sobel
Phone: (518) 355-3731 (h) (518) 356-7598 (w)

****** information provided by Rich Couture, DTM ************************

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Division A Fall Contest results !

The Division A Evaluation and Humorous Speech Contests were held on October 11th at 7:30pm, hosted bythe WestConn Toastmasters at the Wooster School Library in Danbury, CT.

Humorous Speech Contest Results
1st place - Bruce Goulart, WestConn Toastmasters, Club #599
2nd place - Carole Hurst, Orange County Toastmasters, Club #9315

Evaluation Speech Contest Results
1st place - Patricia "Pat" Hendrickson, Catskill, Club #9542
2nd place - Geoff Crew, IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers, Club #315
3rd place - Cynthia Slater, Diversity USA Toastmasters, Club #3401

pictures will be posted soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pictures from Area A1 / A5 Contest !

Area A1 Governor (and ContestMaster), Colleen Yarter with Area A1 Evaluation Winner, Geoff Crew.

ContestMaster Colleen Yarter with Area A5 First Runner-up, Toni Bass, Arlington Rotary Toast (5614), Evaluation Winner, Susan Doyle, Arlington Rotary Toast (5614) and Area A5 Area Governor, David Gavin.

This happy (and very humorous) group includes....
Area A1 Humorous Contest Runner-up, John "Gasbag" Paulus, IBM East Fishkill Speechmakers ( 9977), Area A1 Governor /ContestMaster Colleen Yarter, and "Cursed" Alison Easton, Richard "Changes" Bessner, Area A1 Humorous Contest Winner Adam "Stag Warrior" Izzo, Voices of the Valley ( 4396).

Area A1 / A5 Fall Contest winners !

The winners from Area A5 are:
Area A5 Evaluation :
1st ~ Susan Doyle, Arlington Rotary Toast (5614)
2nd ~ Toni Bass, Arlington Rotary Toast (5614)

The winners from Area A1 are:
Area A1 Evaluation :
1st ~ Geoff Crew, IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers ( 0315)
2nd ~ Adam Izzo, Voices of the Valley ( 4396)

Area A1 Humorous
1st ~ Adam Izzo, Voices of the Valley ( 4396)
2nd ~ John Paulus, IBM East Fishkill Speechmakers ( 9977)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Area A2 / A4 Fall Contest Results

Here are the results from the Area A2 / A4 Fall Contest ....

Bruce Goulart, Humorous Winner, Area A4, club 599
Croix Sather, Evaluation Winner, Area A4, club 599

Cynthia Slater, Humorous Winner, Area A2, club 3401
Cynthia Slater, Evaluation Winner, Area A2, club 3401

Reminder: District 53's 50th Anniversary...Reserve your Room & Register

From: Roger Brown
Date: Oct 4, 2006 10:16 AM
Subject: Reminder: Reserve your Room & Register

Celebrate District 53's 50th Anniversary Year

WHEN: Friday, November 3, 2006 from 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM
(The night before the Fall Conference)
WHERE: Holiday Inn
Albany-Turf on Wolf Rd (ARPT)
205 Wolf Road, ALBANY NY 12205

COST: $39.00 per person for evening program and dinner.

There is a choice of 3 Dinner Entrées:
__ Pan Fried Chicken Breast, __ Prime Rib of Beef, or __ Eggplant Parmesan. In addition to the entrée, the dinner includes appetizer, salad, dessert, and coffee/tea.

Stay Overnight: Enjoy the Fall D53 Conference the next day, Saturday, November 4, 2006.
Reserve your room today, call the Holiday Inn Turf before October 12th at (518) 458-7250
and mention "Toastmasters International Block" to get a special discounted room rate of only $99.00!
Hotel parking is free for all attendees. Visit the Holiday Inn Turf online at


There will be 50's music presented throughout the evening, door prizes, continuous video displays of club memorabilia from years gone by, many surprises, and dancing to the hits
of the 50's, 60's, and beyond. Music provided by our own District 53 DJ's. Please bring your club banner for display.

Questions? Comments? Contact:
Frank Kane, 50th Anniversary Chair
Phone: (860) 228-3261

Area A3 Contest Results !

Area A3 held their Fall Contests on Monday night, Oct. 2nd at the Gardnertown United Methodist Church in Newburgh, NY and everyone in attendence agreed ... it was alot of FUN !

John Capen gave the target speech for the Evaluation Contest entitled "Humor for Health" and the contest was won by Patricia "Pat" Hendrickson (see picture to the right)

The Humorous Speech Contest was won by Carole Hurst who advances, along with Pat, to the Division A Contest on Wed. Oct. 11th at Wooster School Library at 7:00pm. A picture of Carole is shown below.

The Division Contest is hosted by West Conn Toastmasters ( and contestants should arrive at 7pm. Directions are available on the WestConn Toastmaster's web site (see link above).

Hope to see you there !

Monday, September 18, 2006

Neat Idea from the Saratoga (NY) area

At the recent District 53 Executive Committee meeting, the group of Area Governors from the Saratoga, NY area showed us their "chart" for tracking members progress towards their goals. They created a racetrack and each member had a "horse" with milestones on the way to the "finish line". For example, one "racetrack" was the Competent Communicator award with 10 speeches on the way to the finish.

A neat idea !

See below for a close-up of the banner ...

Area A3 Speech Contest set...

Area A3 has scheduled their Fall contests (Humorous and Evaluation).

It will be held Monday October 2, 2006 at 7:30pm.
The location is at the United Methodist Church in Gardnertown, NY and will be hosted by Orange County Toastmasters.
Gardnertown United Method Church
1191 Union Avenue
Newburgh, NY 12550-1633
Phone: (845) 564-4134
Contact Dave Wheeler, John Capen or Carole Hurst for more information.
Dave Wheeler can be reached via email at

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Running A Toastmasters Speech Contest

Running a Toastmasters Contest for the first time can be a bit intimidating ...

There seem to be tons of rules; many, many roles (some of which you might not be familar doing and much less managing or leading others in those roles).

On top of all that there are excited (and probably tense)contestants and loads of audience members who you might not know ... especially if you are running an Area or Division contest.

What do you do??? Where do you start???

If it is Summertime and you are preparing for the Fall Contests, you can attend training at TLI. There is always at least one session on running a contest and you will pick up some great information as well as a good handle on the paperwork and protocols.

Of course, if you are like me, you've put it off and the contest is next week and you have to pull things together NOW !!!!!

So, let's dig in ...

Running a Toastmasters contest is really very simple. You only need 3 things for a successful contest.

  1. PEOPLE,
  2. FORMS, and the
  3. AGENDA !
Well, that doesn't sound too hard...
... except for the fact that I have no idea what any of those things mean !

:() <-- That's the symbol for "OH NO!!!"

District 53 to the rescue !
The linked text below gives you the handout developed by Dave Wheeler for training Area Governors in District 53. There are links to different formats depending on how you want to print it out.

Contest Survival Guide
(11 x 17 two sided format ... good for folding and holding all your forms).

Contest Survival Guide
(8.5 x 11 single sided format ... good if your printer does not do two sided.)

Contest Survival Guide ... tall version of "People" page
(if you have ALOT of people in your contest or your contest is a combination of multiple clubs or areas.

Now, from this point on, I will assume you have the Survival Guide in front of you ...

First, the "People" roles that are most critical...

Contest Master and Chief Judge.

These two people are the team that will make a successful contest meeting. It also allows the division of labor so that neither person has to do everything. If you are running a contest, most likely you are filling at least one of these two roles.

Next, recruit the key role players including Judges, Timers, Counters and Sergeant at Arms. You can use Judges for both contests and you should be sure to pick a mix of people from different clubs or areas so that there is no chance for biased voting. Shelly Hathaway, District 53 Chief Judge, has put together a table of "Requirements for Contest Roles" and you can download them by clicking here.

If you are having an Evaluation Contest, it is important to recruit your "Target Speaker". This speech should be a reasonable length (5-7 min. is good) and can be from a manual (although you won't tell the audience or the contestants that it is from a manual). This is a great opportunity for a speaker to get a number of evaluations of their speech and it can be a great experience for the Target Speaker.

Now, before we get to the Contestants... let's get our forms !

All of the forms listed in the Survival Guide can be ordered from Toastmasters. Most of the forms are not allowed to be posted on web sites due to copyright laws, but if you search long enough you will probably find them (or some old, out-of-date versions). The best bet is to purchase a set of the listed forms from TI's online store.

Now that you have all your forms... you need to start getting the room and contestants ready!

Contestants can start by filling out the Biographical Information (BI) and Eligibility and Originality (E/O) forms if they have not done it already. The Survival Guide has check boxes to make sure you get the forms from all the Contestants.

The Chief Judge should review the Technician and Judge Briefing Guide that was provided by District 53's Chief Judge, Shelly Hathaway. (Click here to download it in PDF format.) This covers the "Judges Briefing" portion of the agenda shown on the Survival Guide.

Next, the Contest Master should review the Contestant Briefings Guide ... also provided by District 53's Chief Judge, Shelly Hathaway. Click here to download it in PDF format. The Contest Master should also review the Fall 2006 Contest Script provided by Shelly Hathaway. Click here. There are also some additional "Good Ideas" on the back page of the Survival Guide that you should review before you get started with the pre-meeting activities in the AGENDA.

Now, all that is left is to run the meeting according to the agenda provided in the Survival Guide with the guidance provided by the Briefing Guides and the Contest Script.

If you have learned the material presented here, it should be very staightforward to use your Toastmaster skills to run the Contest as you would a Toastmasters meeting.

Good luck and enjoy the process !

Contributed by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7 (Survival Guide) and Shelly Hathaway, District 53 Chief Judge, 2006-7

Most of the linked documents in this document are in PDF format and, if needed, free viewer / reader software can be downloaded at

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fall Contest Season ... some tips for Contestants

I came across the following site with some tips for Toastmasters who are entering contests ...

Fall Contest Season ... running a contest

Attention Contest Masters (Toastmasters for Contest meetings) and Chief Judges:

The Fall Contest season (Humorous & Evaluation contests) is fast approaching and hopefully you are scheduling your club level contests.

Club Contests by Sept. 16th
Area Contests by Oct. 7th
Division Contest by Oct.21.
The Division Contest has been scheduled for Oct.11th, hosted by Socially Speaking Toastmasters in Brookfield, CT starting at 7:30pm.

These contest materials (agenda / briefings) might be worth reviewing to help get a good overview of the contests:

The scoring sheets are supposed to be purchased from International (but there might be some ways around this...send us an email if you are stuck without forms). You can also check out the categories and weights on the forms at:

Let me know if you have any questions.

Speak UP !

contributed by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7,

Area A4 / A2 Fall Contest Scheduled !

The Fall Contest for Areas A2 and A4
will be a combined event on:

Wednesday Sept. 20, 2006
Hosted by WestConn Toastmasters,
Location: Wooster School Library, Danbury, CT
Time: 7:30pm (contestants should show up at 7:00pm for briefings)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Barnum Square Celebrates a "Banner" year!

Press Release:


Bethel's Barnum Square Toastmasters celebrated their "banner" year yesterday during their weekly meeting held at the Bethel Senior Center in the Bethel Municipal Center.

Barnum Square Toastmasters achieved "Distinguished Club" status by April 30th, 2006 and were awarded $50 toward Toastmasters materials. They used this award to order a custom Toastmasters banner for their club and it was presented to the club yesterday.

Toastmasters clubs can become "Distinguished" by meeting a number of requirements set out by Toastmasters International. These goals include having club members achieve communication awards (within the Toastmaster program), leadership awards (also part of the Toastmasters program) along with meeting membership goals.

On hand to present the banner was Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor for District 53 Toastmasters and former Area A4 Governor, and he is shown in the picture above giving it to 2005-6 Club President Pat Kelly and 2006-7 Club President, Richard Smith. A HiRes version of the picture can be obtained by clicking here (approximately 1.2MB) while a REALLY, REALLY High Resolution version can be downloaded by clicking here (approx. 3.2MB).

About Toastmasters:
Toastmasters clubs provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment where every member can develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth.

Barnum Square Toastmasters meets every Tuesday at noon to 1pm in the Bethel Municipal Center at 1 School Street,Bethel, CT. The club can be reached via telephone (203) 790-1638 and guests are always welcome.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A-team theme music ... straight from the 70's TV show!

Roger Brown, D53 Toastmasters webmaster sent along the following...

On 8/22/06, Roger Brown wrote:
The A-team never disappoints. :-)

Possible A-Blog sound effects ... yes?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Contests UPDATE

Here is some very important info. from the district ...

Regarding Number of Contestants (Club to Area):

- Each year, the district decides, whether they allow...
  1. clubs to only send 1 contestant to each of the area contests
  2. clubs to send 2 contestants to each of the area contests IF the area has 3 or fewer clubs
  3. clubs to send 2 contestants to each of the area contests IF the area has 4 or fewer clubs.
On Saturday, the District team voted for the second option. i.e. Areas that have 3 or fewer clubs get the benefit that their clubs can send 2 contestants to each Area contest
In Division A, Areas A1 and A3 benefit from this rule, but not A2/A4/A5
Please note this change !

Friday, August 18, 2006

Membership Growth Materials (courtesy of Roger Brown, D53 Webmaster)

First Aid For Your Club
Membership Growth Materials

All Toastmasters Clubs need new members. Even though your Club may currently enjoy a healthy membership roster, a few months from now that could change as members move, change employment, or reach their speaking and leadership objectives. Toastmasters International has created a variety of materials to help:

Toastmasters On-line Store

Item # 1620 Annual Membership Programs Flier . . . . . . . . . 3 free*
Item # 1621 A Simple Membership Building Contest . . . . . . . 3 free*
Item # 1622 Membership Building 101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 free*

Item # 101 Confidence, The Voice of Leadership . . . . . . . . . . 10 free*
Item # 99 Find Your Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 free*
Item # 103 Clear Communications. Your organization needs it. . 50 cents
Item # 124 All About Toastmasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 cents
Item # 114 Toastmasters Can Help! (50 fliers) . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2.50
Item # 115 Toastmasters. It’s More Than Just Talk (50 fliers) $2.50
Item # 367 Toastmasters. It’s More Than Just Talk (5 posters) $4.00
Item # 108 From Prospect to Guest to Member . . . . . . . . . 3 free*

Item # 1158 How to Rebuild a Toastmasters Club manual . . . . $1.00
Item # 1159 Membership Growth manual . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.25
Item # 1160 Membership Building Kit . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5.00
Item # 1162 New Member Orientation Kit for Clubs . . . . . . . $5.00
Item # 1140 Let the World Know – Public Relations manual . . . $2.50
Item # 1150 Public Relations & Advertising Kit . . . . . . . $18.00

Certain items above can be downloaded in PDF format (FOR FREE) from the TI web site or by clicking on the linked text above. Free viewer software for PDF files can be downloaded at if needed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Area A5 - Fall Contest Scheduled

On 8/16/06, David Gavin, Area A5 Governor, wrote:
The Area A-5 Fall Contest (Evaluation) is scheduled for October 4, 2006 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Marist College in the Ulrich Conference Room.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Asking GREAT questions ....

One of my favorite blogs to read is Seth Godin's. Part of it is his great ideas on marketing but every now and then he throws in new topics or ideas that he picks up from other people. Today's post by Seth gives John Sawatsky's "seven rules for a great interview" as well as a link to a great article from the American Journal Review. John now works as director of talent development for ESPN.

The following paragraphs from the AJR article were of particular interest and might be helpful the next time you are your club's TableTopics Master !

American Journalism Review: "He sees his method [of interviewing] as the journalistic equivalent of judo. 'When someone attacks us, our first instinct is to resist with force. This is not good news for small people. Judo teaches cooperation, to use the bigger opponent's size to our advantage. It's the same in an interview. We're playing on their turf. We're generalists interviewing people who know their subject, and we don't. If we fight them head-on, we lose. They know more than we do. If we turn it around, if we make them prove everything, we turn our weakness into strength. Don't fight their superior knowledge, use it.'"

"Without agreement, the journalist spars for control with the source, lurching back and forth between coercive questions and flat assertions. Sawatsky calls it "moving back and forth between 'outputting' and 'inputting.' " Outputting is any time you make a statement, interject a value, voice an opinion. Inputting is when you ask nothing but neutral, open-ended questions. People, by nature, are either "inputters" or "outputters," he says. TV journalists, for instance, tend to leave their dial on output. Inputters are straight men, allowing sources to crack wise and showcase personality. "I can go into any newsroom and usually tell you who gets the best stories in the paper. It's usually the reporters with the blander personality. They're not the life of the party. They're amazingly consistent if you eavesdrop on them during interviews: You'll hear plain, neutral, bland questions. Colorless questions usually provide colorful answers."

John provides a glimpse into the media and interviewing that not many of use get a chance to see, much less analyze or understand the mechanics so we can use them in our own life.

I am definitely going to try using John's techniques the next time I am talking to someone I don't know. I think these ideas would be very valuable in normal conversation when your only goal is to get to know the person.

Speak UP!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Special Event: "Emotional Intelligence" Aug.23, 7:30pm

Socially Speaking Toastmasters of Brookfield, CT will be hosting a special event on August 23rd titled, "EQ Profiling: Using Emotional Intelligence to develop effective leaders, teams and individuals" by David Gavin. The session will be held at 7:30pm in Fellowship Hall of the Brookfield Congregational Church located at 160 Whisconier Road, at the intersection of Routes 25 & 133 in Brookfield, CT.

In his ground breaking book, Emotional Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman shows how being truly “smart” is not a matter of IQ but EI (emotional intelligence).

Emotional Intelligence has quickly become the standard for measuring a person’s ability to achieve success both personally and professionally.
By attending this session, you will learn what emotional intelligence is and how to measure it.

Plus, David Gavin will show how to use EI for self-improvement, creating high performing teams, and developing truly visionary leadership. A flyer for the event is available online: click here.

About David Gavin:
David Gavin is an Emotional Intelligence Consultant and teaches Organizational Behavior in the School of Management at Marist College. He has used Emotional Intelligence in a variety of industries, including food service, book / magazine publishing, and computer software development.

About Socially Speaking Toastmasters club:
Socially Speaking Toastmasters meets on the 2nd and 4th Wed. of every month in Fellowship Hall in the basement of the Brookfield Congregational Church. The church is located at 160 Whisconier Road, at the intersection of Routes 25 & 133 in Brookfield, CT.

The club can be reached via email,, tel. 860-350-2669 or on the web at

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What is the "2006th Really Awesome-est Thing on the Internet"?

Check it out ....

Click here to find out what is the "2006th Really Awesome-est Thing on the Internet" !

(I could not resist signing up for it ! DW)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Date for Fall Contest ... Division A contest set

We have a date for the Division A Fall Contests:

When: Wed. Oct. 11, 2006.
The contest will start at 7:30pm and contestants should arrive by 7:15pm.

Where: Hosted by Socially Speaking Toastmasters who meet at the Brookfield Congregational Church, 160 Whisconier Rd, Intersection of Rtes 25 & 133, Brookfield, CT.

More news on Club and Area Contests as they come in ...
Keep in mind ...
The deadline for Club Contests is 9/16 and the deadline for Area Contests is 10/7.

(Still looking for an Area A3 Governor! Email Dave at if interested.)

Membership Building Module presented at TLI

Dave Wheeler presented a module on Membership Building at last weekend's TLI in Hartford.

The module included a handout (click here for a copy) and an interactive session where the audience came up with items under the "Hook'em, Cook'em and Sign'em Up" categories of Marketing of Toastmasters.

For more information on this module you can attend the Division A training sessions where it will be featured again (in addition to some other fun stuff).

(The actual responses from the session will be published after the August 19th Division A Training session so that we don't "spoil the surprise" for attendees of the make-up training sessions.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Division A - Officer Training

Division A - Fall Officer Training Sessions !

Wed. August 9th
Host: Socially Speaking Toastmasters
Where: Brookfield Congregational Church basement meeting room. Enter at back of church.
160 Whisconier Road, Intersection of Routes 25 & 133, Brookfield, CT
Time: 7:30 - 9:30pm

Sat. August 19th
Host: Marist College Toastmasters
Where: Marist College, Dyson 145 (room)
3399 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601, United States
Time: 9am - 12noon

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Area A4 ... now with info for Area's A1, A2, A3 and A5!

The other Area Governors in Division A thought it would be a good idea to combine all the area blogs into one BIG BLOG rather than have a bunch of individual blogs that would have much of the same information (contest deadlines, info. from the district, etc.). Since Area A4 blog has been going for a year already and has lots of information in its archives, we thought it would make sense to use it as the "BIG BLOG" !

If you are joining us from Area A1, A2, A3 or A5 ... Welcome !

Please check out all the past posts (there is lots of stuff that might be of interest to Toastmaster members) and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment. We would love to hear any ideas you have that could make the Toastmaster experience even better for members in your club, your area or anywhere in Division A !

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smedley Award and Back-to-School for Toastmasters

Here is the email announcement regarding "Back-to-school" TM Marketing and the Smedley award in case you want to edit it and post it to your area blog.
- Dave Wheeler, Div.A Governor, 2006-7


For immediate release to all Toastmaster Club Officers and leaders.
Please distribute to all Toastmaster Clubs and Club Officers.

The Smedley Award and Back-to-School
Have you noticed that the back-to-school advertisements have
started to appear in the newspapers? We too can start our
marketing plan today and promote Toastmasters as an educational
item for back-to-school.

Let your Toastmasters community know that better communication
skills are just as important as stocking up on paper, notebooks,
pencils and pens. Take stock in Toastmasters.

Imagine the pressure of communications if you were starting your
business, your MBA or your law degree. It takes awhile to
recognize the need, even engineers, scientists, and computer/IT
professionals need more than just technical expertise to get ahead
in their career. Let's find the time to promote Toastmasters.

Share the gifts of our communication and leadership program and
help your Club earn the Smedley Award - named for our founder,
Dr. Ralph C. Smedley.

Toastmaster's Smedley Award
Add 5 New Members in August / September 2006

October 1924 Was When It All Began - Ralph Smedley and a few
men met in Santa Ana, California YMCA and conducted the first
meeting of what would eventually evolve into what we know today
as Toastmasters. One person initiated a program that would go on
to affect millions of people.

In Ralph Smedley's honor, a Toastmaster Club will receive the
Smedley Award Ribbon for display on their Club's Banner ... IF the
Club qualifies by increasing their club membership by 5 or more
new members in the months of August and September 2006.
The club will also earn a choice of one module from The Better
Speaker Series, The Successful Club Series, or The Leadership
Excellence Series.

TRIVIA CHALLENGE: What is Ralph Smedley's middle name?
What does the "C" in Dr. Ralph C. Smedley stand for?


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Great examples from TED ...

I saw this post on Guy Kawasaki's blog (click here to read it) where he evaluates one of the speakers at the 2006 TED conference. He does a great job of evaluating and he also points out some great videos of excellent speakers at under the "TED Talks" section.

Check it out !

Contributed by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Check out "The Speaking Channel"...

I came across "The Speaking Channel" website in a post by Guy Kawasaki on his blog and thought it might be of interest to other Toastmasters.

Check out "The Speaking Channel" by clicking here.

The site includes speeches by famous speakers (Rudy, Bill, Arnold and more) along with an analysis of each of their speeches. This could be very helpful for anyone who is thinking about entering the Evaluation Contest this fall. (Club deadline for contest is Sept.)

Contributed by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7


The District 53 mission phrase this year is "Lead with Vision". Division A Governor Dave Wheeler has posted the Toastmaster Training Institute flier (the second blog down) announcing the training day in Hartford August 5th. Come One! Come All! All TM members are welcome. Register early. Bring your club officers! Expand your Horizons!

Clubs with 5 new members registered by August 31st will receive the Smedley Award, a banner attachment of distinguishment. How about all 4 area clubs achieving this honor!!! (Using WOM may be the way- see prior blog from Dave). This is Club Challenge 3! We are moving along! Club Challenge 2 is having 5 officers trained before August 31st. TLI! Challenge 1, posting a timely report of Club Officers, has been met by all clubs. Go Team A4! Sailing into the Future!

At WestConn's meeting the Calley award was garnished by Paul Tanner for an excellent job as Toastmaster, running the meeting in an inspiring and proficient manner in this his first experience. Carmine Coco deYoung's prepared speech "Seize the Day" was voted best speech with excellent vocal variety, verbal acuity and wonderful message.

Seize the following Days!

November 3- Friday- District 53 50th Anniversary!!! Party- Holiday Inn Turf, Albany

November 4- Saturday- "Sail into the Future"- District 53 Annual Fall Conference
Speech Contests, Education, Hall of Fame, District Council
Holiday Inn Turf, Albany register early!

September- Fall Contests! Humerous and Evaluation- Club Contests by September 16!
Check the Calendar, Seize the Day, Sail into the Future!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Word of Mouth Basic Training -- Word of Mouth Marketing Association -- WOMMA

One way (and a very effective way) to market Toastmasters to prospective new members is through Word of Mouth (WOM) Marketing.

The link below includes a list of 43 ideas from WOM Marketing experts and while most are stated in terms of business, I'm sure you will see some that could be used in Toastmasters!

Word of Mouth Basic Training -- Word of Mouth Marketing Association -- WOMMA

Link sent in by Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Scheduled: District 53 Toastmasters Leadership Institute


District 53 Toastmasters Leadership Institute
When: Saturday, August 5, 2006
Registration: 8:00 AM Classes/Forums: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM


Where: Rensselaer at Hartford, 275 Windsor Street - Hartford, CT

Who Should Attend: Everybody!
Especially club officers since this can count toward "officer training requirements".

There is a wide range of excellent training courses provided this year - the NEW recognition programs and the NEW communication and leadership programs. For the Club Officers, we provide the essential training courses to help you understand the full responsibilities of your role and to get you started with effective methods and strategies. For the new member,
we offer courses that will put the entire Toastmasters program into perspective and allow you to get more out of the program. For the veteran Toastmaster, we offer several advanced electives (the TM 600 series) to extend your knowledge of public speaking and
effective leadership.

Got Questions? Need Registration Information?
Check the District 53 Web Page

Print you catalog and registration form:

Early registration is encouraged so that all club officers can get the classes that they need, receive handouts and reserve a lunch.

or Contact the TLI & Training Coordinator:
Arnie Grot, DTM <>
87 Chapman Dr, Glastonbury, CT 06033-2729
Phone: (860) 633-5849 (H)

or Contact the LGET
Will Ryan, DTM <>
297 East Rd, Alford MA 01266
Phone: (413) 528-0501

Please note that the District is absorbing 60% of the expenses for TLI by paying for the facilities and the handouts in order to encourage all club officers to attend by keeping your out of the pocket expenditure down. The District wants you and your club to succeed so that we all have a great year.