Friday, June 29, 2007

What does an Area Governor do exactly?

I was swapping emails with one of the incoming Area Governors in Div.A and I thought I would share the following for the benefit of the other Area Governors (as well as anyone who might be curious about the role)....

First... there is Training!
As Area Governor, there is a special training session that is put on by the District to cover "everything you ever wanted to know about being an Area Governor". The first of these sessions was done on June 2nd but they are going to do another (probably shorter) version after the Executive Committee meeting on July 21 up near Albany, NY. I will be driving up there if anyone wants to carpool.

Now, the "Reader's Digest" version of what an Area Governor does is ...
- Help clubs in the area achieve Distinguished Club Program (DCP) award. If the Area Governor comes from a club that does consistently well in this category, they should have a headstart in this area. Part of this is helping make sure the clubs receive officer training and if they are not able to make one of the TLI events, working with them to find other "make-up" training opportunities (either at the Division or Area level).

- Run Fall & Spring Area Contests. The past couple years we have combined some of the Area contests into one "event" so that the workload could be shared between two area governors. For example, Area A2 and A4 were combined and Area A1,A3&A5 were combined for the Spring contests. There will also be training by the District to give Area Governors some tips on how to run a successful area contest. (It is really pretty simple once you have done it... and I gave the training last year, so I can definitely help answer questions.)

- Visit each club in your area at least twice, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The "official" visit is basically a checkup on the health of the club, how they are doing toward DCP and finding out what challenges they have where they could use some help. The district has numerous resources that many clubs are never aware of including club coaches (for clubs under 10 or 11 members), PR help and much more. As Area Governor, you will learn about District 53 and what it has to offer club members. (This will also allow you to bring some great material back to your own club!)

- District Executive Committee meetings are held about once a month, but Area Governors typically only have to attend every other month. Will Ryan, the District 53 governor, has said that some of these meetings will be done as conference calls so that will cut down on the travel and time commitment as well. (On a personal note, I have found that while some people miss these meetings they are a good opportunity to learn about Toastmasters as well as meet some great people within the District.)

Be sure to contact the outgoing Area governor to see what suggestions they might have for you as you start out as the new Area A4 Governor ! (Let me know if you don't know who that is or if you need their contact info.)

My final(?) recommendation is to "make the role your own". By this I mean to seek out the things you want to learn, think of ideas for things to do that would be enjoyable for you and/or other members and, in general, put your own style on the role of Area Governor. The more you do this, the more fun it will be for both you as well as everyone in your area !

Let me know if you have any questions. I am hear to help !

Dave Wheeler
Division A Governor, 2006-8
Our Div.A blog....

P.S. There is also a DCP for Areas and the specific items that go into it can be seen by looking at the report on the TI website that shows how Area A4 did this year....

The Toastmasters Leadership Institute (Officer Training and more) is being held on the following dates and the one at Marist is probably the most convenient ....
8:00 AM Registration starts. Full program is scheduled to be done by 1:30pm.

TLI 2 on June 30, 2007 at
Marist College, Dyson Center
3399 North Road (Route 9), Poughkeepsie, NY

TLI 3 on July 14, 2007 at
MassMutual Learning & Conference Center,
350 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, MA

TLI 4 on July 28, 2007 at
Manchester Church of Christ
595 Tolland Turnpike, Manchester, CT

More information e.g. travel directions, is available at
P.P.S. Be sure to put Nov.3rd on your calendar. Division A is hosting the Fall Conference and we are expecting it to be an incredible event! If you know anyone who would like to help out and learn what goes on "behind the scenes" please let me know! We can also help them use it to get credit toward part of their Advanced Leader award.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Nana wins 1st Runner up at Regional !!!!

Sent in on 6/25/07 by Steve Rock of BI Toastmasters....

Here is a photo of the top two finishers in the Region 7 International Speech Contest (Nana Danso, First Runner-up and Vikas Jhingran , Champion) along with one of the 3 members of BI Toastmasters who were in attendance (Steve Rock, CTM and V-P Education, Nana Danso, CC and V-P Education-elect, Andre White, V-P Membership-elect) .
Here are some comments I shared with our club members :

The 2007 Toastmasters Region 7 International Speech Contest took place on June 23, 2007, beginning at 8:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Arch Street in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Val Albert, DTM and International Director 2006-2008 was the Contest Master. The Chief Judge was Carol Graves, DTM.
In attendance from BI Toastmasters were (of course) Nana Danso, CC, who represented District 53 in the contest, Andre White and me (accompanied by my infinitely patient and ever-supporting wife Margaret).
The order of the contest speakers was as follows:
1 Shawn Doyle
2 David Romanchick
3 Vikas Jhingran
4 Nana Danso
5 Samuel Conner
6 Michael Futty
7 Charlie Vaughan
8 Clarence E. Featherson
Vikas Jhingran brought his audience out of Philadelphia and transported us to a picture-postcard scene in his native India – the Taj Mahal. His self-deprecating humor earned him plenty of laughs as he convinced us to savor the moments of our lives as we live them. His story included a personal experience and loss that moved everyone and his closing statements were profound. Vikas, I believed at that time, was Nana's only serious competition. That opinion did not change much by the end of the contest, despite some excellent speeches delivered by the other competitors.
Nana was next, and he performed like never before. He opened up by "driving" us along at 90 mph, while being pursued by a police car, which had the audience cracking up almost immediately and wondering how the scenario would play out. From there he proceeded into the meat of his speech, in which he discussed the very serious topic of why dishonesty seems to be so commonplace these days.
His dramatic depiction of a reporter who begs for her life when threatened by Angolan rebels was juxtaposed with some very funny comments about modern day politicians and white lies so common to the rest of us. As he neared his conclusion he satisfied our curiosity about the outcome of his encounter with the police and then challenged us to join him in our own revolution wherein we would steer future generations to a more honest lifestyle and the rewards it will provide. The applause he received was hard-earned and well deserved.
Nana had obviously put many hours of preparation and practice into his speech, incorporating feedback he received not only from his fellow BI Toastmaster club members but also from other clubs and a previous world champion of public speaking. I am certain that you would have been as proud of him as Andre and I (and the District 53 dignitaries) were of him.
Finally, the contest results were announced. The second runner-up was the speaker I'd scored in fifth position, David Romanchick. What did this mean in terms of my assessment of the top two speakers in the contest, Nana and Vikas?
As it turned out, nothing – they were indeed the top two finishers in the judges' collective opinions. Nana was announced as the First Runner-up, and Vikas as the Region 7 International Speech Champion. Should Vikas for any reason not be able to compete at the World Championship of Public Speaking on August 18, Nana Danso will represent Region 7 in that contest.
Nana Danso, after only one year as a BI Toastmaster, took first place in the International Speech Contest at the Club, Area, Division and District levels and represented District 53 at the Region 7 competition, at which he defeated 6 of the 7 representatives from other Districts in our Region.
He took home not only the beautiful second place trophy for his performance in that contest but also the respect and admiration of all who were fortunate enough to be in attendance to hear him speak. We were indeed very fortunate to have Nana represent BI Toastmasters, Area A2, Division A, and all of District 53 in these formidable competitions, and congratulate him on his many awards and accolades.
As we do so, let's remember that he also deserves our respect, our admiration and our continued support of his efforts as he continues to pursue his public speaking and leadership objectives as member of BI Toastmasters and Toastmasters International.

submitted by Steve Rock

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

When there is no quiet, there can be no loud

Presentation Zen (a very interesting blog) had a great post recently...

They point out that "if there is no quiet, there can be no loud" and, as Toastmasters know, without vocal variety and well placed pauses, your speeches can be very "flat".

The post goes on to explain in more technical terms why this happens and they provide a video to show what happens when an audio file is "clipped" of the highs or the range. Very interesting!

Click the link below to read the post...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Officer Lists into Toastmasters Intl.??

This is the month that all the club officer lists should be sent into Toastmasters International!

Sending in your officer list is one way that you can get a head start on next year's Distinguished Club award... the other way is to attend officer training at one of the TLI upcoming events.

The table below shows, as of June 18th, 2007, which clubs in Division A have sent in the lists of their new officers for 2007-8:

Club# Area Officer List Status 6-18-07 Club Name
4396 ..A1 ...Received - 6/11/2007 ...Poughkeepsie Area Chamber Toastmasters
315 ...A1 ...Received - 6/8/2007 ...IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers
9977 ..A1 ...Received - 6/12/2007 ...IBM East Fishkill Speakers
7386 ..A2 ...Received - 5/8/2007 ...BI Toastmasters
3401 ..A2 ...List Not Here ...Diversity USA Toastmasters
4839 ..A2 ...Received - 5/4/2007 ...Putnam Speaks Club
9685 ..A2 ...List Not Here ...Wooster Heights Toastmasters Club
4507 ..A3 ...List Not Here ...Henry Hudson Club
9315 ..A3 ...List Not Here ...Orange County Club
9542 ..A3 ...List Not Here ...Catskill Toastmasters Club
4720 ..A4 ...List Not Here ...Socially Speaking Club
875053.A4 ...List Not Here ...Cartus Magnus Club
599 ...A4 ...List Not Here ...West-Conn Toastmasters
1701 ..A4 ...Received - 5/24/2007 ...Barnum Square Club
2623 ..A5 ...List Not Here ...Rhinebeck Toastmasters
9107 ..A5 ...List Not Here ...Marist Toastmasters Club
790849.A5 ...Received - 5/15/2007 ...The Bureaucrats Club
5614 ..A5 ...List Not Here ...Arlington Rotary Toast Club

Please help your incoming officers get off on the right foot by submitting the officer lists !

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fwd: Year End Toastmaster Deadlines

From: Roger Brown, D53 Webmaster
Subject: Year End Toastmaster Deadlines

Become a Distinguished Club in District 53
Time remaining in this Distinguished Club Program (DCP) year:
See countdown in the right margin >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

JUNE 30th MARKS THE END OF THE TOASTMASTERS YEAR and the end of the 2006-2007 Distinguished District, Division, Area and Club Programs. Club charters, dues renewals, membership applications and education awards must be received at WHQ on the following dates and times:

  • Postmarked (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) on or before June 30th and received at WHQ no later than July 7, 2007.
    • USPS Mailing Address:
      Toastmasters International
      PO Box 9052, Mission Viejo, CA 92690 USA
    • Shipping/Courier Address:
      Toastmasters International
      23182 Arroyo Vista, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 USA
  • Online or by e-mail must be received at WHQ on June 30th, by midnight, PT.
  • Faxed documents must be received at WHQ by June 30th, by 5:00 p.m. PT.
  • Web, e-mail or FAX is available 24 hours a days, except for those times listed in TI's Electronic Transmission Policy (.doc).

    Although WHQ accepts fax and e-mail submissions, it is the responsibility of the sender to ensure the submission was successfully received by WHQ. Please choose only one method of submission to prevent duplicates. WHQ accepts dues renewals, new member applications and educational award applications online through .

    Fwd: New TLI Registration Forms

    Have you registered for at least one of the TLI sessions?

    Why TLI?
    - Learn more about Toastmasters and bring home ideas to help your club.
    - Earn credit toward your Distinguished Club Award
    - Meet other interesting Toastmasters !
    - If you have more reasons... leave a comment below !

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Roger Brown
    Date: Jun 12, 2007 8:31 AM
    Subject: New TLI Registration Forms

    New TLI Registration Forms for TLI 2007 have been posted to the D53 Web:

    For MS Word fans
    and for Adobe Acrobate Reader fans

    Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) Plans for the June, July, and August 2007 Club Officer Training Period have taken shape. Officer Training begins with Toastmasters Leadership Institute. TLI provides the essential training courses to help you understand
    the full responsibilities of your role as a club officer and will help you get started with effective methods and strategies.

    Toastmasters Leadership Institute
    8:00 AM Registration

    TLI 2 on June 30, 2007 at
    Marist College, Dyson Center
    3399 North Road (Route 9), Poughkeepsie, NY

    TLI 3 on July 14, 2007 at
    MassMutual Learning & Conference Center,
    350 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, MA

    TLI 4 on July 28, 2007 at
    Manchester Church of Christ
    595 Tolland Turnpike, Manchester, CT

    More information e.g. travel directions, is available at

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Points To Ponder ... from Roger Brown, D53 webmaster

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Roger Brown
    Date: Jun 15, 2007 7:55 AM
    Subject: Table Topics or Points To Ponder

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    The things that come to those who wait ... will be the things left by those who got there first.


    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Welcome New Area Governors for 2007-8

    Welcome to the 2007-8 Area Governors who will be starting (officially) on July 1, 2007 !

    Mike Ruppert, Area A1
    Dan Legg, Area A2
    Ozgur Turkman, Area A3
    Pat Wilson-Perkins, Area A4
    Janice Parker, Area A5

    We appreciate that they have stepped forward to serve the clubs in their area and we will be working together to make 2007-8 the best Toastmaster year EVER !

    Congratulations New Area Governors !

    Dave Wheeler
    Division A Governor, 2006-8

    Wednesday, June 13, 2007

    Div. A.... CC and AC Goals + Performance

    Division A is doing well compared to the 2006-7 CC and AC goals set by the district and international but the real news is that we are helping members achieve their goals.... to become better speakers and leaders... and we are also creating a better Toastmasters experience within each and every club in Division A!

    The numbers below, forwarded to us by Roger Brown, District 53 webmaster, show where we are as of June 9, 2007. There are still 3 weeks to go so I expect we will have even more awards by the end of the Toastmaster year... June 30th !

    Remember, you can submit awards online at !

    Keep up the good work !

    Dave Wheeler
    Division A Governor, 2006-8

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Roger Brown
    Date: Jun 12, 2007 11:31 PM
    Subject: Current CC and AC Awards Goals + Performance
    Data as of June 9, 2007 - Three weeks to go.
    Div A Goals for 2006-07 - Competent and Advanced Communicator Awards
    Competent Communicator (CC)Advanced Communicator (AC)
    CC GoalCC to Date% of GoalAC GoalAC to Date
    % of Goal
    AREA A158160%AREA A117400%
    AREA A27571.4%AREA A224200%
    AREA A35120.0%AREA A3100.0%
    AREA A47685.7%AREA A423150%
    AREA A57685.7%AREA A525250%
    DIV A312683.9%DIV A819238%

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Singing Your Way to a Great Speech !

    Guy Kawasaki, former Apple evangelist and now a famous blogger & author, posted a great list of ways for improving your speaking performance based on ideas from his buddy Doug Lawrence...

    The 15 ways to make your speech a work of "Performance Art"...
    1) Circulate with your audience.
    2) Command attention.
    3) Snarl.
    4) Bite your tongue.
    5) Check your Equipment.
    6) Use your eyes all the time.
    7) Move away from center to make your point.
    8) Get quiet.
    9) “Underline” certain words with a pause or repetition.
    10) Take a risk and be vulnerable.
    11) Tee it higher.
    12) Know when to go.
    13) Use Q and A as an “encore.”
    14) Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
    15) Perform for a hero.

    Click here to visit Guy's blog and read the explanation for each one !

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    Open Letter to 2006-7 Area Governors (and all members) in Division A !

    Greetings 2006-7 Area Governors in Div.A!

    I would like to take the opportunity to thank each of you for a GREAT year ! You have made my job as Division A Governor a genuine pleasure and I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to meet and work with each of you. I hope you got as much personal growth out of this year as I did and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

    As you probably know, I am continuing on as Division A Governor and I would like to ask on favor from each of you ....
    ... can you give me some ideas for what can be done better in the coming year? Perhaps you learned something valuable late in your tenure that could have had a large impact if you had learned it earlier in the year?

    While we did not lose any clubs (some were close), we did not charter a new club in Div. A this past year and I would really like to hear your suggestions for how we can add multiple clubs in 2007-8. I would also like to hear your ideas for "raising the bar" in Division A ... for myself as well as each and every Toastmaster in the Division!

    Thanks again and I hope to see you at the District 53 Executive committee meeting on Saturday or, at an upcoming TLI or, at the very least, at the Fall Conference (hosted by Div.A)!

    Best wishes!

    Dave Wheeler
    Division A Governor, 2006-8

    Sunday, June 10, 2007

    The Div.A Traveling Gavel has moved !

    Official "Gavel Capture Notification" !!

    Socially Speaking Toastmasters of Area A4 have captured the "Alex" Traveling Gavel on Wednesday June 6, 2007.

    The following members of Socially Speaking visited WestConn Toastmasters of Area A4:
    Don Lococo, Diane Smigala, Croix Sather and Dave Wheeler.

    Socially Speaking Toastmasters meets every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at Congregational Church of Brookfield, 160 Whisconier Road, Intersection of Routes 25 & 133, Brookfield, CT, 06804.
    Contact phone: (203)240 0954

    Who is next?????

    Come and Get it !

    Dave Wheeler
    For "Traveling Gavel Guidelines" see:

    On 6/9/07, Don Lococo wrote:

    Hello all,
    Thanks to Diane, Croix and Dave, we are the proud (and probably very temporary) owners of Alex, the Traveling Gavel. Since we were well represented at Westconn last Wednesday, we qualified to capture the toy car. I think we should start a bumper sticker "log" to document the date and club that carjacked (gavel jacked?) Alex.

    Diane is ensuring its security at the moment, and will be bringing it to our next meeting. I thought she would get a kick out of showing it to some of her friends and fellow residents at the Lutheran Home. I will try to get a picture of it.

    Hope to see you Wednesday,


    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    Toastmasters... the perfect graduation gift

    I saw this comic strip and immediately thought... "A Toastmasters membership would make a GREAT GRADUATION gift!"

    Click the link below to see the full-sized version at!