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: http://www.d4tm.org/D4_events/contest_materials.html

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, theshot92@gmail.com

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, www.westconntoastmasters.org
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 www.adobe.com 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, sociallyspeakingtm@yahoo.com, tel. 860-350-2669 or on the web at http://sociallyspeaking.freetoasthost.com.

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 theshot92@gmail.com 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?