Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Division B / C Midwinter officer Training

Division B & C joined forces to create a great officer training event on Saturday, Jan.24th in Manchester, CT. Carter Sutherland created some excellent refreshments (very healthy too, I might add) and there was a good number of club officers in attendence. (Initial estimates were over 100 people!)
The District Bookstore was available for anyone looking to pickup Toastmasters materials that would help them reach their goals for the end of the Toastmaster year (June 30, 2009).

Did you know..?
All materials submitted to Toastmasters International must be received by June 30th to count towards this year. This is different from past years when it simply had to be postmarked by June 30th. Toastmasters Intl. is doing this to speed up the year-end process.

Marsha Kiley, LGET, was the person responsible for bringing the Bookstore materials and she had help from a number of fellow Toastmasters who helped run the Bookstore. (She also made sure that everyone was looking for MORE CC's !)

The newest club in District 53, Fuss & O'Neill Toastmasters, from Manchester, CT, had only chartered the week before ... and they still sent 5 club officers to the training ! What a great way to kick off a new club !

There are a bunch of training events coming up... look for ones in your area ! They are loads of FUN !
Are you having FUN?

Potential meeting theme?

I listened to Barack Obama's inaugural address at lunch time last week and had an idea for your next Toastmasters meeting ...

What if you could "recreate" the inaugural address with each member presenting a portion of the text? Members could evaluate each other (and the content of the speech) afterwards.

If you do it, be sure to get the word out to the local newspapers and get some publicity for Toastmasters. It would be bit of a challenge, but then again, we are Toastmasters!

Here is a site with the full text ...

What do you think? Does it sound like it could be fun?
If you do end up using this idea at your club... be sure to submit it at the D53 Meeting Themes wiki (pictures would be great too!).

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9
Be The Change You Want T0 See!

" I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... I'm asking you to believe in yours." - Barack Obama

Sunday, January 25, 2009

LGET Article: Why Attend Club Officer Training?

From: Marsha Kiley, LGET, 2008-9
Subject: LGET Article: Why Attend Club Officer Training?

Hi everyone,
I was just on the TI website and came across this neat article. Please take a look and use it to help boost attendance at your Division and Area trainings!

A reminder: please forward your list of attendees to me so I can update TI; let me know if you have any questions. I plan to attend all Division level trainings and know they'll be great!

Please remind all clubs that Spring Speech Contests involve Table Topics & International. (not the usual Tall Tales!!) Trophies and certificates for Area & Division contests will be distributed at the EC Meeting in Feb.

Thank you!


Why Attend Club-Officer Training?

Here are 9 good reasons.
By Shelia Spencer, DTM

I always look forward to our district's bi-annual club-officer training sessions, and am surprised if I see any empty chairs. There are so many good reasons to attend these events!

However, when I speak to individual club officers, I sometimes hear indifference or reluctance to take advantage of this wonderful resource. Instead of, "of course, I'll be there!" I hear, "Oh, I used to go to those when I first joined, but I don't need training any more." Or "Why bother? I have the manual, isn't that enough?"

For the benefit of current club officers, their area governors and anyone thinking about serving on their club's executive board in the future, here are some reasons to attend your next mid-year training:

1. Help your club earn a point in the Distinguished Club Program (DCP). Don't think of it as a duty, but as an opportunity for you and your fellow officers to have direct impact on your club's success for the year. Earning one DCP point – by having at least four current club officers attend both initial and mid-year training – means that you and your club's leaders have demonstrated a unified commitment to achieve club, district and TI goals. What a great example you are to all your members!

2. Get direct access to your district leaders and the important information they have to share. Area and division governors, as well as other district leaders, attend the training sessions, often as facilitators. They bring news from TI headquarters, announcements of coming district events and a wealth of knowledge about our program. Don't hesitate to approach them individually for advice. They have relevant personal experience, as well as access to resources that can help you achieve club and personal goals.

Don't be a passive listener; bring a list of your questions and concerns so you can take advantage of this forum. (Note: Even if you've filled this same officer position in the past, some of the guidelines may have changed! Attend and review the current club officer manual to ensure you have timely information.)

3. Share your own ideas and experiences with other officers at your table. Personal growth is subtle; we often aren't aware of how much knowledge and experience we are gaining while developing new skills and handling new responsibilities. But when we participate in our mid-year training session, we suddenly realize how much we have learned since July! Now, instead of merely receiving information from the trainer, you may find yourself sharing unique, practical insights with the other participants at your table. Appreciate this validation of the skills and wisdom you are acquiring in your role as a club officer!

4. Achieve your goals by networking with members from other clubs. A training session is the perfect place to connect with experienced, supportive individuals who can offer advice and assistance. Ask vice presidents of education who have scheduled their spring speech contests to help find seasoned members to serve as judges or other contest officials. After one club president training session in my district, the participants decided to maintain contact via e-mails and monthly dinner meetings. They continued to advise and support each other during the rest of their term in office. Not surprisingly, their clubs each achieved at least seven DCP points for the year.

"What is the best way to spend the remaining
six months of your year in office?"

5. Build on the personal relationships you formed at the last training. You may not have the same trainer, but you will see familiar faces. Socializing and nurturing relationships outside your club is a wonderful benefit of attending these training sessions. Not only do friendships make the event more enjoyable, they also enrich your experience within our international organization. The members of your extended Toastmasters family are eager and happy to share ideas, activities and growth opportunities that will nurture your development as a Toastmaster, communicator and leader. Some will become very special long-term friends.

6. Expand your network by meeting new club officers. Every training event is attended by a different mix of district dignitaries, trainers and participants. Your table is likely to include newly elected officers who will begin serving their clubs in January. Take time to introduce yourself, help newcomers feel welcome, and find common ground that will contribute to a friendly, supportive atmosphere for everyone. Don't feel that you must restrict your conversation to Toastmasters issues; share your career goals and other information that will allow you to expand your personal and business network.

7. Revisit the goals you set in July, and determine the best use of your time and energy for the second half of your term. Your year is half over! Think of this meeting not only as training but as a time for reflection, review and reassessment. Share your progress and achievements to date and consider where you need to spend more time and focus. Based on the discussion you have with your trainer and fellow club officers, what is the best way to spend the remaining six months of your year in office?

8. Introduce your mentees to leadership opportunities. In a few months you'll be handing over your club officer role to another member, perhaps someone you've already been mentoring toward that goal. Who has impressed you with their desire and potential to take on a Toastmasters leadership position? Why not invite that person to attend a training session with you, as a guest observer? While that person's attendance does not count toward your club's DCP credit, most sessions can accommodate interested members who would like to observe. With prior approval of your local training coordinator, offer to accompany your interested club members to a session, and introduce them to your friends.

9. Explore other Toastmasters leadership roles, so you can serve in a different spot next year. Whether you ask at your training table or approach other members during the social time, feel free to request input about the duties, benefits and challenges of serving in various Toastmasters leadership positions. If you would like to run for a different club position next year, consider attending a second training session. This way, you can hear more about the role of educational vice president, club treasurer, etc.

Also, don't hesitate to ask, "What does an area governor do?" or "How does someone become a district parliamentarian?" Who knows? Next year you may not only be looking forward to attending a club officer mid-year training session, you may be leading it!

Shelia Spencer, DTM, has held all club offices and is grateful for the experiences of each. She is an active Toastmaster and freelance writer living in New York. Reach her at bocki@attglobal.net.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Youth Leadership .... In The News

Dear All,
I thought you'd be interested in reading an article about a Youth Leadership Program that was coordinated by Hilda DeLucia and assisted by Pat Kelly of Barnum Square Toastmasters.

Pat Wilson-Perkins, President
Barnum Square Toastmasters

Here is the link for the Bethel Beacon's article about the Toastmaster's Youth Leadership Program sponsored by Barnum Square Toastmasters.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What is your THEME?

Have you ever wondered how strong the theme was in your speech?

Well, here is a tool that might be able to help...

At Wordle.net you can copy/paste the text of your speech and the site will create a "Word Cloud" (also sometimes called a "Tag Cloud") based on the the frequency of each word.

Here is a cloud for the speech given by Dave Wheeler, D53 LGM, at the District 53 Kickoff event last Saturday (also known as the "Jan Jam").

Can you guess what his speech was about?

History of "The Wheel"

from the 2009 desktop calendar featuring "The Argyle Sweater" comic...

Toastmasters Region VII Conference

Forwarded by: Roger H Brown
Subject: Toastmasters Region VII Conference
(Region 7 includes District 53 and this conference is where the International Speech contest will be conducted to determine who goes on to the International convention in August here in CT.)

District 45 Toastmasters is honoured to host the
2009 Region VII Conference
Friday - Saturday, June 5 - 6, 2009

Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown
1005 Main Street, Moncton, NB, Canada

Greater Moncton is the geographical hub of the Canadian Maritime provinces. It offers a variety of attractions for visitors. The Tidal Bore demonstrates the wonder of natural science and Magnetic Hill the power of illusion. Don't forget to visit Crystal Palace, Magnetic Hill Zoo and Magic Mountain for family fun.

If you head east from Moncton you'll soon find yourself in Alberty county, the home of the world famous Hopewell Rocks where you can see some of the highest tides in the world. Bring the family and enjoy our vibrant city with arts & entertainment, theatre, movies, shopping, dining and everything else that you'd expect for a getaway to the Maritimes.

Keep Your Eye on the Region VII Conference Web Site for updated information.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Promote Your Club online ... and earn $ towards Spring Conference!

Promote Your Club online ... and earn $ towards Spring Conference!

Greetings District 53 Toastmasters !

The D53 Sr.Team (Karin, Marsha and myself) have been thinking about what types of actions would help clubs boost membership and one key area that we see many clubs missing is their "Online Presence".

Over the past few years we have improved the number of clubs who have web sites (which definitely helps) but few are taking advantage of some of the other PR avenues online such as Craigslist or Backpage.

Here is the BIG NEWS....
To encourage clubs to place their meeting information online, we have created a way for each club in district 53 to get a $5 discount toward registration at the upcoming D53 Spring Conference on April 25th by putting their meeting information on just 3 sites.

We have created a half-page, double-sided flyer with more details, including step-by-step directions that can be downloaded by clicking here or the link below.http://www.notewordy.com/PDFs/SprintProgram09-OnlinePR_half-pg-flyer.pdf

Only one discount per club will be awarded so be sure to get your club listed online soon and send an email with your links to the address in the flyer. Submissions for the discount are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our goal is to increase the visibility of every local Toastmasters club in our district (while also encouraging them to attend the Spring conference). The timing of this promotion should also help clubs increase membership as they enter the next "Sprint Program" in February & March ( Talk Up Toastmasters).

What about Closed Clubs?
We thought about that too. Since closed clubs can only draw from a particular company it does not make sense for them to put their meeting info. on these 3 internet sites... but we have a related idea for how they could earn a $5 discount to the Spring Conference as well. Details about this addition to the Online Promo will be announced on Jan.26.

We look forward to seeing many new guests at your Toastmasters club in the next couple months !

Let me know if you have any questions.

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9
Be The Change You Want To See !

Reminder: Advanced TM meeting Thurs. Jan.22, 7:15-8:45pm, Ridgefield CT Library, History Room

Greetings Advanced Toastmasters !

DiversityUSA Advanced Toastmasters will be meeting this week at our normal location (Ridgefield Library, History Room, Ridgefield, CT from 7:15-8:45pm) and if Ed Grosso can bring his DVD with the World Champions speeches, we will evaluate one of the speeches like we did at the previous meeting.

If anyone has a speech that they would like to have evaluated, please let me know and I can put you on the agenda.

Since we have not met for a while ... I expect that we will have a bunch of tips & ideas to pass along to our fellow members !

See you on Thursday !
Guests are welcome too !

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9
DiversityUSA Club President, 2007-9

Monday, January 19, 2009

D53 Toastmasters: Spring Contests 2009

Here is some important information regarding Spring Speech Contests for 2009. (A copy of this message is being sent to your VP Education.)

1.) There will be * Table Topics and the International Speech Contests.
(*No Tall Tales this Spring.)

2.) Contest Deadlines:
All Club Contests need to be completed by: 2/27/09
All Area Contest need to be completed by: 3/17/09
All Division Contests need to be completed by: 4/3/09

3.) More information is on our D53 website using the link below - including a Conference Call Offer with our Chief Judge and the LGET on 2/5 if you have any questions regarding speech contests:

Let's have a great Spring Contest season! Please email me with any questions at lget53@district53toastmasters.org

Thank you very much and I hope to see all of you at our Spring Conference on 4/25/09 in Norwich CT.

Marsha Kiley
Lt Gov of Education & Training

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best District in Toastmasters?

Leave it to the French to come up with this...

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" in France had an interesting question...

"Which district is considered "The Best in Toastmasters"?

Of course that is an easy question ... but you can check out the results yourself.... (click here).

(Comments welcomed!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Call for Spring Conference Keynote and C&L Award Recommendations

Nathan.B.Jaycox [at] dom.com


Call for Spring Conference Keynote and C&L Award Recommendations

Hello All District 53 officers and volunteers!

First, I hope you all are having a good New Year so far and have come back refreshed instead of stressed from the holidays!

Second, we are looking for recommendations for a Keynote Speaker for the District 53 Spring Conference on April 25th, 2008. If any of you know of someone, please email me to pass along their name and a little bit about them.
IMPORTANT: Once the recommendations are received, the conference committee will decide who to extend the invitation to based on a number of different factors. Do not extend the invitation to them yourselves!

Third, we are also looking for recommendations for a high profile
individual working in the communications area (but is not a Toastmaster), preferably from the Division C geographical territory, that could be considered for the annual District 53 Communications and Leadership Award that will also be given out at the District 53 Spring Conference on April 25th, 2008. If any of you know of someone, please email me their name and a little bit about them.

Thank you so much for your help.


Nathan Jaycox
District 53 Conference Tri-Chair
Millstone Toastmasters Club

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Humor in Toastmasters

As many of you may know, District 53's LGM, Dave Wheeler, took a stand-up comedy workshop in Feb. 2008 that culminated in a performance at a real, live NYC comedy club on March 1st !

When he was getting prepared for "his 5 min. set", he had his eyes and ears open for ideas and ways to improve his humor ... and he found a few neat articles that might help other Toastmasters who want to "pump up" the humor in their speeches!

Check out ...

How to tell a Joke

Does your meeting have an "Observational Humor Master"? The first link above describes the process that the OHMaster uses along with some suggestions and ideas to help improve your humor.

Do you smell something funny?
... for your next meeting?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How can we encourage more CCs?

On a recent conference call the question was asked,
"How do we encourage members to complete their CC's (Competent Communicator award)?".

Karin von Kaenel, our District Governor, responded with a reference to an article one of our past International Presidents, Dilip A., wrote entitled "Twelve Ways To Encourage Members To Present Manual Speeches".

Please visit his website at http://www.drdilip.com/toastmaster_tips.html and you will see the article there.

Of course, the other option is to run a speech-a-thon which I'm suggesting all AGs try now in January, again in April and in June.

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions and, of course, great results!!

Thank you for your help in making sure members are experiencing growth opportunities.

Marsha Kiley
D53 LGET, 2008-9

How can we also boost membership with Speech-a-thons?
  • Promote them as special events (which they are) and invite the general public.
  • Invite a local politician or celebrity as the keynote speaker (and publicize the event).
  • If you can't get someone famous, you could invite one of the senior team to speak. (We are all working on CC's too!)
  • Use it as a "Toastmasters rally" for multiple clubs in an area. (The added enthusiasm will pump up all club meetings that follow.)
  • Include a manual speech about membership building, mentoring or some other Toastmasters topic so attendees take home some club building information.
  • Think of 3 more ways to boost membership through a Speech-a-thon. (I know you can do it!)
Any upcoming special scheduling opportunities?
There are a bunch of clubs that meet on Wednesday nights (either the 1st & 3rd or 2nd & 4th Wed.) and there are months that have FIVE Wednesdays (e.g. April). This means there is an extra meeting opportunity ... or the perfect time for a Speech-a-thon !

How many speechathons can we have on April 29th? It will be the week after the Spring conference and it could be a great time maintain the momentum and excitement from the conference!

Happy Toastmastering in 2009 !

Dave Wheeler
D53 LGM, 2008-9
Be The Change You Want To See!

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Toastmaster quote...

... in an unexpected place.

I received a Christmas card from one of the vendors at work last month and while that is not unusual, the postmark or cancellation of the stamp caught my eye.

The postmark (close-up shown to the right) included a quote by John Adams which seems very appropriate for Toastmasters. It is part of a longer quote...
"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write." - John Adams
How are you going dare to "read, think, speak and write" in 2009?
How about a High Performance Leadership (HPL) project. Click here for the D53 wiki website about HPL projects.
How about stepping outside your club to promote Toastmasters? There are plenty of opportunities to participate in demonstration meetings, district events and more! Contact Dave Wheeler, D53's LGM, via email at theshot92 [at] gmail.com for info on demo meetings. You can also subscribe to the d53toastmasters Yahoo group for news about district events ... and opportunites !