Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Division A Advanced Club ... next meeting

The Div. A Advanced Club held a brief organizational meeting last Thursday (Jan.25th) at the Ridgefield Library and we are continuing to move ahead with this new club.

The next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 22nd at the Ridgefield Library's "History" room at 7:15pm. We have to be out of the library before it closes at 9pm. Topics to be covered at this meeting include:
  • Schedule for upcoming meetings (probably at least once per month either at Ridgefield Library or at other Toastmaster clubs as a special, "advanced speakers" meeting.)
  • Roles / Officer positions
  • Plans for "Big Event" on Thursday, April 19th, in the "Big Room" at the library which holds 60+ people with a stage and A/V facilities.

Please email Dave Wheeler ( or Anne Swartout ( if you are interested in this advanced club and/or will be attending the meeting on Feb.22nd.

Ideas to help build a Tall Tales speech ...

I came across a post that was comparing two types of virtual worlds - gaming and non-gaming - and found the following quote that sounded like it could be applied to a Tall Tales speech ....

Games have at least three advantages other virtual worlds don't. First, many games, and most social games, involve an entrance into what theorists call the magic circle, a setting with simplified and knowable rules. The magic circle saves the game from having to live up to expectations carried over from the real world.

Click here to read the whole article and learn about the other two advantages that games have over other virtual worlds.

If you think about it, isn't a Tall Tale speech sort of like a virtual world? The speaker takes us to this world and shows us around, hopefully something interesting happens and then it gets resolved (perhaps unexpectedly) and everyone's happy. If you have played a computer game with a "virtual environment" you can see where there are similarities to a Tall Tales speech.

How can you use this to build a better Tall Tales speech? Try practicing your speech with your eyes closed. Visualize the virtual environment that you are trying to describe. Use your practice time to immerse yourself in this world so that you know it "inside and out". This way you will have a strong "feeling" for the environment and when you describe it as part of your speech, it will be easier to remember and, most likely, more vivid for the audience.

Give it a try!

Dates to remember....

Spring Club Contest deadline: by March 17th

Area Contest deadline: April 7th

Division A Contest: Wed, April 11th at 7:30pm, Wooster School Library, Danbury, CT. Hosted by WestConn Toastmasters.

District 53 Contest / Leadership Summit Conference: May 19th in East Hartford.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Story of dedication and perserverence...

I came across the story of the Apple Graphing Calculator (click here) and while it was enjoyable, I thought it could also provide some ideas for a Tall Tale or International speech ...

What do you think? How could you take this and exaggerate it or adapt it into a Tall Tale contest speech? How could you take these concepts and make an inspirational speech for the International Speech Contest?

Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comments section (see link below).

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

Monday, January 22, 2007

Organizational Meeting set for Div. A Advanced Club ....

From: Dave Wheeler, Division A Governor, 2006-7

Thanks to the efforts of Anne Swartout, Area A4 Governor, we have finally located a place and time to have an organizational meeting for the Div.A ADVANCED Toastmaster club ....

Ridgefield Public Library, in the "History Room"
472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877
click here for a map showing the location

Directions are also available on the library's web site:

Thursday, Jan. 25th, 2007 (sorry about the short notice)
7:15 to 8:45pm (please try to arrive at 7pm so we can start on time)

Proposed Membership Guidelines:
Open to any advanced Toastmaster or any Toastmaster who will be at least an AC-B by the time we charter this club (i.e. soon). The proposed membership guidelines (click here) will be discussed at this meeting, so please attend or send us your comments via email. Membership is open to Toastmasters in all Divisions in District 53 or even adjacent Districts (assuming they want to travel to Division A for meetings). Click here to see where Division A is located within District 53.

If you miss this meeting...
If you or anyone in the clubs in your area are not able to make this organizational meeting, please have them send me an email expressing their interest. We expect that we will have another meeting in February which will be geared toward planning the meetings for the upcoming 6-12 months. This information is posted on the Div.A blog, so check here occasionally for updates.

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

Friday, January 19, 2007

Added Bonus for Talk Up Toastmasters!

From: Roger Brown
Subject: Talk Up Toastmasters!
Talk Up Toastmasters! - Add 5 New Members in February / March

Do Toastmasters Like to Talk?

During the Talk Up Toastmasters! membership contest, encourage your club members to invite as many guests as possible to your regular club meetings. Consider conducting a special guest meeting or open house. That is, conduct a regular meeting, but also specifically discuss the benefits Toastmasters members receive as they participate in the program.

Add five new, dual or reinstated Toastmaster members to your roster between February 1 and March 31, to receive a special Talk Up Toastmasters! ribbon to display on your clubs banner.
The club will also earn a choice of one module from The Better Speaker Series, The Successful Club Series or The Leadership Excellence Series.

Membership applications and payment for members who join between February 1 - March 31, must be received at World Headquarters or online no later than March 31. Each members join date as listed on the application must be no later than March. Transfer
and charter members do not count for credit. There is no need to apply for this award. Your club is automatically entered when the first new member application is received in February.

Better Speaker Series

The Successful Club Series

The Leadership Excellence Series

In February and March 2006, seven Clubs in District 53 (only 5% of the District) earned a
Talk up Toastmasters! r
ibbon. Can we do better in 2007 ?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fwd: District Dollars for you!

From: Marv Cross
Date: Jan 18, 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: RE: FW: District Dollars for you!
Fellow Division D Toastmasters! Your club can win some D53 District Dollars! Like this!

The blurb on the ten-spot is just one way to earn the bucks!

District 53 will also give a $50(yes, that is fifty) bookstore credit to every club that achieves at least Distinguished Club status by April 30th!

What that means in a nutshell is that, if your club achieves at least five DCP points by April 30th and shows either charter membership (20 or more members) or a net gain of five (five more than the "base" on record for your club last July 1) on the TI reports, your club gets the District Dollars!

Remember that renewals are due April 1st so don't forget to begin collecting dues in March and submit them on time (part of a DCP point).

Your membership and DCP numbers are reflected on your club's DCP report on the Toastmasters website (

Imagine what $50 or $60 worth of bookstore materials (like additional Successful Club, Leadership Excellence, or Better Speaker modules or some new CL books or nifty little "golden gavels" to award to your members) could do for your club!

So, put out the posters, spread the word, and make some dollars for your club's library and members!

Take advantage of your club's contests (the Tall Tales and International Speech Contests) to spark additional interest since they need to be complete by March 17th anyway.

Let's grab some of those District Dollars and put them back into our club's and member's (yes, that means you too) goals! Please forward this to all of your members. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact your Area Governor, your Division Governor, even your Lieutenant Governor of Marketing, Karin von Kaenel.

Thanks and good luck!

Marv Cross, ACB/OCL
Division D Governor

Attn: Authors & Reporters for District Newsletter

From: Roger Brown, D53 Webmaster
Date: Jan 18, 2007 9:31 AM
Subject: Submission Guidelines for Yankee Activator Authors & Reporters
A Message from the Yankee Activator Editor-- John Osborn
Get Published!
Sharpen your written communication skills by writing an article for the Yankee Activator! How about ... Success in your Toastmasters Club, or"How to" for leaders or speakers or report on individual/club recognitions, anniversaries, community and/or corporateawards or tell us "How Toastmasters has advanced my career."

Articles for the Spring '07 Edition must be submitted to the by 24 February, 2007.
New! See the Article Submission Guidelines for YA Authors & Reporters

--If we want something different - something greater - we must
think greater thoughts, we must have greater visions. Lead With Vision.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Idea for an International Speech?????

I read this post (copied below) by Seth Godin and thought it would make a good "kernel" of an idea that could be developed into speech for the International Contest.


If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?

Most of us live programmed lives. Tomorrow is set, finished, done, and you haven't even started it yet.

And we accept that as part of the deal in setting goals and reaching them.

But what about the tomorrow thirty days from now? Or a year?

If you could do those over, would you? How?

It is not a big post, but it is an interesting idea ....

On a related topic.... has your club and area planned the date for your Spring Speech Contest? How many people are working on their Tall Tales and International speeches? Do you have a manual that you are going to target for the speeches so you get credit towards your next award?

Happy Contests !

Dave Wheeler

Monday, January 15, 2007

What is "Fun"?

I came across an interesting article on the web that relates "challenge" to "ability" to determine how something is "fun".

Check out this article ....

How do you think this relates to Toastmasters? to the upcoming Contests? To the upcoming leadership opportunties (new club officer elections, district officer positions, other district functions)?

Please comment by clicking the link below !

Exaggeration .... animation-style

Since some of you are preparing your speeches for the upcoming Tall Tales contest, I thought this link might be of interest ....

It talks about how exaggeration is achieved in some Disney cartoon, but it could just as easily be applied to your Tall Tale speeches !

Leave a comment and let us know what you think !

Martin Luther King Day, Jan.15, 2007

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, here is a link to his famous, "I have a dream" speech, as posted on!
(A blend of new technology with a classic speech.)

Have you ever taken the time to listen to the whole speech? I probably had heard it before, but I took the time to listen to it all the way through today (in honor of the holiday). The speech runs about 17 minutes and it has lots of interesting points that a Toastmaster might pick up....

Did you know that in the beginning of the speech he used notes? (Or at least he looked down and appears to use them.) Notice how little he uses them toward the end of the speech!

Check out his use of Pauses ... especially as the speech builds up to its climax.

He also uses some great verbal "word pictures" and his vocal variety builds through the speech until it is greatest at the end !

40+ years later ... we are still learning from MLK !
Happy Martin Luther King Day !
Dave Wheeler

Friday, January 12, 2007

Leadership Exchange Sat. 1/27 at Marist

The room has been set ....

The Leadership Exchange for Division A is scheduled for January 27, 2007 at Marist College, Dyson Building, room 149, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Thanks to Area A5 Governor, David Gavin, for setting up this location !

Here is a link that shows where Marist College is located. [Click here]
or you can paste this link into your browser:,+Poughkeepsie,+NY+12601&ie=UTF8&z=15&ll=41.726487,-73.932023&spn=0.01358,0.032959&om=1&iwloc=addr

We will start around 9:30am and we look forward to seeing you there !

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-7

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spring 2007 Club/Area Speech Contests

From: Roger Brown, D53 Webmaster
Date: Jan 3, 2007 9:48 PM
Subject: Spring 2007 Club/Area Speech Contests
Subject: Spring 2007 Speech Contests for all Toastmaster Clubs and Areas in District 53
It is never too early plan ahead !
Contest Deadlines:
All Club Level International Speech and Tall Tales Contests are to be Completed by
** March 17, 2007 **

All Area Level International Speech and Tall Tales Contests are to be Completed by
** April 7, 2007 **

International Speech Contest
Contestants will deliver an original speech with a meaningful and clear purpose or theme. The speaker will demonstrate outstanding speaking skills - proper speech development, effectiveness, and speech value. The speech can be on any topic; serious or with light humor; persuasive or purely entertaining.

Time: 5 - 7 minutes, +/- 30 seconds
International Speech Contest Rules

International Speech Contest Scoring (Ballot Synopsis)

Tall Tales Speech Contest
The Tall Tale is an opportunity to be very creative, to exaggerate; to engage and excite the imagination of the audience. Very often, a tall tale is a story that uses irony, humor, and surprise twists. The speaker may stretch the truth and tell one of those "entertaining" campfire stories. The speaker's appearance, gestures, body language, expressions, should reinforce the story.
Time: 3 - 5 minutes, +/- 30 seconds
Tall TalesSpeech Contest Scoring (Ballot Synopsis)

Any Toastmaster member in good standing, from a Club in good standing. For the International Speech Contest all contestants must have also completed at least 6 speeches in the Competent Communication Program Manual. {Exception: Club Members of any Club chartered after July 1, 2006 may compete with less than 6 speeches completed.} For both contests, District Officers (DG, LGET, LGM, District Secretary and Treasurer, Area and Division Governors, Public Relations Officer and IPDG) are ineligible.