Monday, April 28, 2008

Can Your TM Club Beat The Clock?

From: Roger H Brown
Subject: Can Your TM Club Beat The Clock?

Is your Club membership below charter strength (20 members)?

Or maybe you just need to add new life to your club?

Now is the perfect opportunity for your club to build or strengthen their membership AND receive recognition for its efforts.

Beat the Clock! • May 1 - June 30, 2007
This Isn't About Finishing a Speech on Time:
It's About Finishing the Year With a Bang!

Make earning the Beat the Clock! Award a club goal and formulate a contest in your club to motivate every member to get involved.

Does your Club have a membership contest plan to share with others? If so, please post to the d53toastmasters discussion group or leave a comment on this blog.

Clubs adding five new, dual or reinstated members during May and June 2007 receive a Beat the Clock ! ribbon to display on the club's 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 building is a challenging, yet rewarding, task. By adding new members to your club ... you add new perspectives, personalities, and potential club officers/leaders.
Membership Building Results 2007 - 2008
Smedley Award: Four (4) Clubs Recognized 2007.
Talk It Up Toastmasters: Ten (10) Clubs Recognized 2008
Beat The Clock: Starts May 1, 2008, ends June 30, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Div.A Traveling Gavel has a new home !!!

The Division A Traveling Gavel was "captured" at the Division A contest last night by IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers Toastmasters club!

Picture at right...(l-r) club members John Thayer, Geoff Crew, Thomas Franklin, Ozgur Turkmen and Div.A Governor, Dave Wheeler.

In a very close contest, John, Geoff, Ozgur Turkman and Thomas were able to acquire "Alex", the Division A Traveling Gavel, for their club.
The "contest" for the gavel was based on the number of members in attendence from each club at the Division A Contest... and the first vote count resulted in a 3-way tie between IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers, Putnam Speaks and Catskill Toastmasters.
Bonus points were awarded to clubs for their selected suggestions for the "Quiet Minute" activities. Picture to the right shows Dave Wheeler reading off the selected / performed suggestions... but when all the bonus points were tallied, the score was still tied!

The tie-breaker was decided by the number of roles that were served by each club and IBM Poughkeepsie was able to edge Catskill Toastmasters in this category 4-2 to take home the gavel !

It was an exciting meeting and I'm sure the IBM Poughkeepsie club looks forward to having another club visit one of their meetings and "capture" the gavel from them !

And, as you can see in the picture here, they are a fun group of Toastmasters !

Division A Contest Results

Text by: Janice Brickwood of BI Toastmasters
Photos taken by Andre White of BI Toastmasters & WestConn TM

submitted: Apr 23, 2008

Division A held their Tall Tales and International Speech Contests last night to determine who will represent the Division at the District 53 Conference on May 17th in Holyoke, MA.

The event was hosted by Contest Chair and Division Governor Dave "The Wheel" Wheeler and featured the top 5 speakers in both categories from throughout Division A.

The Tall Tales contest went first and entertained with stories about Woodstock, economics, gorillas, adventures and chickens. John Thayer from IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers took 3rd place with his tale of exploits in the mud at Woodstock 1994. Second place went to Lisa Edwards of Putnam Speaks for her adventures in the world atlas. A fine, feathered, fearless foul from WestConn took first place. Carmine Coco DeYoung spun a bird tale that was 'no yoke' and will represent Division A in the Tall Tale contest at the District Conference next month.

Next was the International Speech Contest. We were treated to 5 speeches on a wide range of topics that were dramatic, moving and thought provoking. Dan Daly from Poughkeepsie Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters took third with his speech "Students of Toastmasters, Students of Humanities", which highlighted how Toastmasters influenced his behavior during 9/11 and after.

Walter Beveridge from Putnam Speaks took second place with his speech, "Life isn't Fair" about how he treated his brothers killer.

In first place, from Socially Speaking, was Nana Danso with his moving and emotional speech, "Come Home". Nana will represent Division A for the International Speech contest at the District 53 Conference next month.

Congratulations to Nana Danso and Carmine Coco DeYoung!!!

Anyone who can make it out to Holyoke, Mass in May should go and cheer on our Division A representatives, Nana and Carmine.

The contest was great fun, as usual, but the new addition of quiet activities during the minute of silence was very entertaining!


Top: crowd at Div. A contest
Middle: (l-r) John Thayer, Lisa Edwards, Carmine Coco DeYoung
Bottom: (l-r) Walter Beveridge, Nana Danso, Dan Daly (this picture is small since it came out blurry).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Battle of the Border2... schedule change !

IMPORTANT Schedule change !!!!!!
for the Battle of the Border 2 event!

We followed up to make sure everything was ready for the "Battle" event and when we did, we found out that the room was "double booked" !

The good news is that Anne Swartout followed up prior to the event and we did not end up with a crowd on Thursday with no room.

The "bad" news (?) is that it has to be postponed until May 8th.

Same location ... Ridgefield (CT) Library in the Dayton Room.

Same time of day ... 7pm arrival for participants/role players and the contest will start at 7:30pm.

If we look on the bright side ... our speakers get more time to practice prior to the BotB event and it will occur closer to the District contest (which should benefit all participants)!

I hope to see you all at the rescheduled Battle of the Border 2 - Return of District 46 in two weeks !

Click here to download the flyer in PDF format !

Dave Wheeler
Div. A Governor, 2006-8

Indexed ... for Toastmasters!

I have been reading Jessica Hagy's blog (or series of drawings) called "Indexed" for quite a while but today is the first time that she had something related to speaking that I could share with my fellow Toastmasters.

If you go to her blog site, I think you will get a kick out of her unique way of looking at things (and delivering them through charts).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fwd: Tax Filing Reminder for All US Clubs

From: Toastmasters International
Date: Apr 15, 2008 8:26 AM
Subject: Tax Filing Reminder for All US Clubs
The May 15th deadline for filing the 990-N Electronic Postcard is fast approaching!

To help with the filing process, we have put together a set of detailed instructions to help you. Before beginning the filing, please print the instructions and read them carefully.

Note that some clubs will not be able to complete the process of filing the 990-N until after June 30th because the club's year end is not December 31st.
Step 2 of the detailed instructions explains what to do if this occurs.
Email any questions to
Toastmasters International 23182 Arroyo Vista Rancho Santa Margarita CA 92688

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Div. A Traveling Gavel could be coming to YOUR CLUB !

The Div. A traveling gavel has been "redistributed" by CIGNA Lunchtime Toastmasters since they captured all 6 traveling gavels and won the "golden gavel" award.

That means that I have the gavel in my possession and rather than hand "Alex" over to one of the clubs where I am a member (which is a harder decision than it seems since I am a member of 3 clubs)...

I have decided, to make it fair to all clubs, to put the Div.A Traveling Gavel "up for grabs" at the Division Contest on April 22nd !

The Gavel will go to the club with the most members in attendence at the Division A Contest on Tuesday April 22nd at the Gardnertown United Methodist church in Newburgh, NY. Click here for a map. The contest starts at 7:30pm and contestants, judges and other roles should arrive at 7pm. I have copied some of the contestants whose email addresses I had but you will want to forward this email to the clubs in your area too !

I look forward to seeing you there!

Dave Wheeler
Div.A Governor, 2006-8
Candidate for Lt.Gov. - Marketing, 2008-9

In case you are wondering ...
"What happens if there is a tie?"
In the case of a tie based on the "number of members in attendence", an extra point will be awarded for each of the club members who served as judges, timers or other roles. This "tie-breaking rule" will only be used in the event of a tie. Please send me an email if you have someone who would like to sign up for a role. We will try to be as fair as possible when handing out the roles... but, keep in mind, it will be first come, first served!

"What if there is STILL a tie after the roles have been taken into account?"
As the "double-tie breaker", clubs will be awarded an extra point for each contestant they have in the Division contest from their club.

"What if there is STILL a tie after the "regular- and double tie-breakers" have been enacted?
It will go to "triple overtime" and we will draw numbers for the winner, lowest number wins. (We probably won't get to this... but wouldn't it be exciting if we did?)

"Can clubs from outside Division A 'capture the gavel' by having their members at the Div. A contest and filling a role?"
Yes, if they sign up for a role (before all the roles are filled) and have more members than other clubs in Div. A they can get to take home the gavel to their club. This information will be posted on the Div.A blog, so it is possible that another club will hear about it and try to capture "Alex", but I would be surprised if they could pull it off.
CIGNA Toastmasters ... did you hear that ... a worthy challenge !?!?!!!

One last note... Be sure to mark your calendars for the "Battle of the Border - Return of District 46" on Thursday April 24th at the Ridgefield (CT) Library at 7pm. The top finishers from the Division contest will have the opportunity to compete against some of the best speakers from Div.G (Westchester County) over in District 46.

Inspire like Obama?

Can we learn something about public speaking from Barack Obama? Carmine Gallo, pictured to the right, thinks so and he has written an interesting article for

He outlines 4 techniques...
1) Hold out hope

2) Use Rhetorical devices such as ...
a) Parallel structure
b) Alliteration
c) Rich Imagery

3) Exude Confident Body Language

4) Use Dynamic Vocal Delivery such as...
[hmm.... sounds alot like "vocal variety"]
a) Pacing
b) Volume
c) Pauses
While some of the suggestions sound similar to Toastmasters programs... Carmine also has insights that can take your speaking to a new level!
It is not too early to start planning your contest speech for the Fall '08 contests !

Carmine Gallo, a business communications coach and Emmy-Award winning former TV journalist, is the author of Fire Them Up! and 10 Simple Secrets of the World's Greatest Business Communicators.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy "HR Day" on April 9th !

From: Marsha Kiley
Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2008
To: District 53 Toastmasters
Happy "HR Day" on April 9th !

Greetings !

District 53 Toastmasters has declared Wednesday, April 9th, as "Human Resource Professionals Day" and we have created a special page on our District website specifically for HR Professionals. It has links to several web-based resources as well as articles and case studies showing how Toastmasters can help them develop communication and leadership skills within their company.

The web page,, has more information about HR Day.

Please pass along this message in an email to any HR Professionals you know. It will renew your connections within your business network and is an easy way to introduce them to Toastmasters !

Happy HR Day !

Marsha Kiley
District 53 Lt.Gov.Marketing, 2007-8

Cartoon above is © 2008 by Randy Glasbergen, displayed with special permission from

Monday, April 07, 2008

Area A-2 Toastmasters-in-Action !!!!

From: Walter W. Beveridge
Date: Apr 8, 2008
Subject: All Area A-2 Toastmasters

The winners of the Area A-2 Tall Tales contest and the Area A-2 International contest are scheduled to present their award-winning speeches next week at three libraries (one in Connecticut) and one coffee house.

Here is their itinerary:

· Saturday, April 19, 7PM – Liana's Coffee House in Carmel, NY -

· Sunday, April 20, 2PM - Somers Library in Somers, NY -

· Sunday, April 20, 4PM – Danbury Library in Danbury, CT -

· Monday, April 21, 2PM – Kent Library in Kent Lakes, NY -

All Toastmasters are encouraged to attend the presentation at the Danbury Library. The room holds up to 90 people and we would like to fill it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Starting to think about the next conference?

Have all the club and area contests got you thinking about the upcoming Spring Conference?

Barbara Neumann of the IBM Poughkeepsie Speechmakers club sent us some photos from the Fall '07 Conference (hosted by Division A) they are posted here to remind us of all the fun we had !

Thanks Barbara !!

Pictures (from top)...

Photo 1: Registration Chair Janice Parker at the registration table.

Photo 2: (l-r) Ozgur Turkmen (Area A3 Governor), Dave Wheeler (Div.A Governor), Janice Parker (Area A5 Governor & Registration Chair)

Photo 3: (l-r) Croix Sather (conference emcee aka "Mr.Energy"), Will Ryan (District 53 Governor), Susanna Opper

Photo 4: (below - right):
Kristin Nicholson giving her evening presentation on the main stage.

Photo 5 (below):

(l-r) Deanna Dunn, Patrick Meaney, Kristin Nicholson (Intl. Director), Barbara Neumann on stage in front of the "Dare to Believe" logo!

Higher resolution versions of these photos can be downloaded by clicking the "Photo #" (linked text) above.

Photo hosting provided by

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Area A2 Contest results ....

On April 2nd, Area A2 had their Tall Tales and International Speech contests. The contest was hosted by Putnam Speaks at Guideposts in Carmel, NY with Steve Rock of BI Toastmasters filling the role of ContestMaster.

The winners of the contests were:

International speech winners:
1st Place:
Walter Beveridge, Putnam Speaks

1st Runner-Up:
Naveen Thalanki, BI Toastmasters

2nd Runner-Up:
Croix Sather, DiversityUSA

Tall Tales winners:
1st Place: Lisa Edwards, Putnam Speaks
1st Runner-Up: Gary McCourry, Putnam Speaks
2nd Runner-Up: Janice Brickwood, BI Toastmasters

* top picture... all attendees !
(notice all the smiles!)

* next picture... (l-r) Croix Sather, Naveen, Walter Beveridge, Steve Rock, Dave Wheeler, Lisa Edwards, Gary McCourry, Janice Brickwood

bottom picture: ContestMaster Steve Rock interviews Tall Tales contestant Gary McCourry.

* Higher resolution versions of these pictures are available by clicking the links below.

Important!!!! TM clubs (USA) must file IRS form 990-N

From: Roger H Brown, PDG

Date: Apr 3, 2008 9:32 AM

TM clubs (USA) must file IRS form 990-N

Please make sure this reminder gets to your Club President and Treasurer.
All Toastmasters (USA) clubs must file IRS form 990-N no later than May 15, 2008.
Failure to file by the due date will cause the club to lose their nonprofit tax exempt status as a subordinate under Toastmasters International.
You will need your club Password and Your Club Number to obtain your Employer identification number (EIN), also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
US Clubs - the IRS 990-N electronic filing is now available on the IRS website, and Toastmasters International has put together a set of detailed instructions to help you meet the May 15, 2008 deadline.
Email any questions to

Area A4 contest Tuesday night - 4-1-08

Area A-4 had their contest on Tuesday night (April 1st) at the Stony Hill Fire Dept. in Bethel, CT. The meeting was hosted by Barnum Square Toastmasters and there were six competitors in each category and the results are as follows:

A-4 International Contest Winners:
1st Place:
Nana Danso - Socially Speaking - # 4720

2nd Place:
Pearl Golay - Cartus - # 875053

3rd Place:
Hilda DeLucia - Barnum Square - # 1701

A-4 Tall Tales Contest Winners:
1st Place:
Carmine Coco DeYoung - WestConn - # 0599

2nd Place:
Annie Sorrells - Cartus - # 875053

3rd Place:
Heather O'Neil - Barnum Square - # 1701

Pictures (from top):
Audience, participant Anne Swartout, fast-moving Carmine Coco De Young and Tall Tale speaker Heather O'Neill.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Area A3 Contest results !

"Area A3 contests went wonderfully! We had very good participation (5 Tall Tales Contest contestants and 2 International Contest speakers)." - Ozgur Turkmen, Area A3 Governor

Here's the results:

Tall tales Speech Contest
1st Place : Mike LaFountain (Catskill TM - 9542)
2nd Place : Clifford Bell (Henry Hudson TM - 4507)
3rd Place : John Capen (Orange County TM - 9315)

International Speech Contest
1st Place : Mike LaFountain (Catskill TM - 9542)
2nd Place : Sharron Phillips (Orange County TM - 9315)

Featured in the picture from the Area A3 contest are:
(l-r) Clifford Bell, John Capen, Mike LaFountain, Sharron Phillips, Ozgur Turkmen (A3 Governor), Daniel Sarno (Tall Tales participant from Henry Hudson TM - 4507)

Area A1 and A5 contest results !

A great time was had by all who attended the contests on April 1st, 2008, at
Marist College, in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Area A5 held their contest prior to the Area A1 contest and the winners are....

Area A5
1st Place Tall Tales:
Neal Marsh, Arlington Rotary Toastmasters

1st Place International:
Michael Casale, Marist College Toastmasters

Picture (l-r): Neal Marsh - A5 Tall Tales winner, Janice Parker (Area A5 Governor), Michael Casale - A5 Intl. winner.

Area A1's winners included:

Area A1 Tall Tales Winners:
2nd Runner-up: Brian Prasky
1st Runner-up: Richard Basener
1st Place: John Thayer

Picture (l-r): Richard Basener, Brian Prasky, John Thayer,Mike Ruppert (Area A1 Governor).

Area A1 International Speech Winners:
2nd Runner-up: Deanna Dunn
1st Runner-up: Thomas Franklin
1st Place: Daniel Daly

Picture (l-r): Deanna Dunn, Thomas Franklin, Daniel Daly, Mike Ruppert (Area A1 Governor).

Larger versions of the photos on this page can be downloaded using the links below:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools !

You know the great thing about blogs on April Fools Day?

Google indexes blogs in about 5 minutes so you are able to use a blog to pull an April Fools or practical joke on someone.

The key is to use a unique search term or string of words that is unique so that your post will come up first when your "victim" searches to get the "real story".
This way the "April Fools" moment is presented through the use of a Google search instead of in person!

Let's try a District 53 Toastmasters example... hmm, who should be our "target"?
Someone with a sense of humor, of course.
Someone who perhaps does not read this blog as often as he or she should ... what better way to introduce them to the Divison A blog?
How about Colleen Yarter and Bruce Cornwell, the co-chairs for the Fall '07 conference last November in Fishkill, NY?

So, to get it started, I will put variations of the "key phrase" which we will use for the joke into this blog post...
Things like "Colleen Yarter named Best Toastmaster Ever" or "Bruce Cornwell selected Best Toastmaster Ever" or "Colleen Yarter, Best Toastmaster Ever" or "Bruce Cornwell, Best Toastmaster Ever" or "Yarter & Cornwell named BTE!"
... with these specific phrases, the odds are good that my blog post will pop up at the top of a Google search for those exact terms (or very similar)!

We can also improve my chances by adding tags such as "Bruce Cornwell", "Colleen Yarter", BTE, Best Toastmaster Ever and Toastmasters.

Let's try it .... (I just posted this and will wait a few minutes to see if the Google search works).

It worked ! Now to put our plan into action with a telephone call or email ....

April Fools, Bruce & Colleen ... from Division A !!!

Seriously though... Thank you Bruce & Colleen for all your work on the Fall '07 conference and we hope you will take on new leadership opportunities in the coming year !
P.S. Darren LaCroix also has a sense of humor... check out today's post on his blog and be sure to wish him luck with his Disc Golf resort ...
P.P.S. Even Google themselves are getting into the act... Check out their new "GMail Custom Time" feature which "utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality" so your emails can go back in time. Pretty neat!