Thursday, March 26, 2009

Remembering Robert J. Benn, ACS

Division F Mourns the Loss of a Great Toastmaster - Robert J. Benn, ACS

On Friday, March 20, one of our fellow Toastmasters,
Bob Benn, passed away. Bob Benn was an Area Governor and an active member of the Washington County TMs Club #9988 in Fort Edward, NY. He had earned the TM recognition level of Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) in 2007. The District offers its sincere condolences to Bob's family and Toastmaster friends.

DG Karin Von Känel writes, "Bob joined Toastmasters many years ago and I had the privilege to get to know him when we both served on the District Leadership team in 2005-06. Bob was the Area F4 Governor in upper New York state. Bob was extremely active in Toastmasters and just recently completed a Youth Leadership Program. I will always remember Bob for his insightful comments." Link to his obituary.

Monday, March 16, 2009

World Champion Public Speaking Pro Coming to Springfield, MA

From: Shera Cohen
Date: Mar 15, 2009 9:28 PM
Subject: World Champion Public Speaking Pro Comes to Springfield

To all Toastmasters, Friends, Guests, and the Public


Springfield Toastmasters Club

presents special guest


Thursday, May 7, 2009

7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Glass House

1380 Main Street, Downtown Springfield

(free on-street parking
and adjacent parking lots

Mr. Garton earned the title of International Champion in 1962.

He is one of only 68 Public Speaking Champions in the world.

He later became a Senator for the State of Indiana for over three decades.

for information

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interesting book... timed for contest season !

They timed the release of this book perfectly... right near the beginning of the International Speech Contest season !

What do I meant? Rich Hopkins has a book about the 2008 International Speech finalists and as another Toastmasters blog said...
The Finalists:2008 is a compilation of the stories of the 2008 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking Finalists and their path to the big stage.

The 2008 Finalists included:

Rich Hopkins
Robert MacKenzie
LaShunda Rundles
Martin Presse
Colin William
Charlie Wilson
Katherine Morrison
Henry Flowers IV
K. Loghandran
Jock Elliot
You can get a free pdf copy by signing up on Rich Hopkin's web page...

Who will be the next World Champion?
How about You !?!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Slack Time... Toastmasters Time !

Seth Godin (one of my favorite bloggers) wrote an excellent post that finds a silver lining in the current economic situation...

A lot of corporations have seen dramatic decreases in revenue and have cut back projects as well. In many cases, this is accompanied by layoffs, and so everyone is working far harder.

But in other organizations, and for a lot of freelancers, there's more time than work. In other words, slack time.

Assume for a moment you don't have money to develop and launch something new. So, what are you going to do with the slack?

What can you build over the next year that will take time now and pay off later?
If you were laid off, you definitely will have some slack time. You can only look for work so many hours in a day... there will have to be some extra, if only in the time you would not have been commuting.

Seth suggestions two things...

1. Learn something. Become an expert.
2. Earn a following and reputation.

To these two things, I would add ... join Toastmasters !

Seth, as a speaker, you should know that 3 is the magic number ... and Toastmasters is where speakers practice their magic!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Presentation / Meeting tips ...

Kevin Wortman, winner of the District 53 Evaluation Contest last Fall, sends us some ideas about presentation / meeting skills that he picked up at the blog, SixMinutes.

Tips for increasing your "speak-up" rate

1. Let go of perfection
...A perfect thought that never gets expressed is useless.

2. Have a goal for the number of times you speak up at a meeting
...If you currently don't speak up often, commit to speaking up at least once at every meeting you attend.

3. Experiment with speaking first
Once you've mastered speaking at least once at every meeting, make it a point to speak first or as early as possible in the discussion.

4. Voice your support for what other people say
The research shows this is useful and it's a relatively easy and low-risk way to express yourself.

5. Get used to interrupting people if you have to
In some aggressive corporate cultures this is the only way to get heard. ...Here's how I do it. I say "Can I just interrupt you there?" Then as soon as they've stopped speaking, I make my point.

6. Use a formula to help you structure your thoughts
A formula will help you think on your feet and you'll come across as credible, organized and persuasive. An easy formula to use is PREP. PREP stands for Point, Reason, Example, Point. Here's an example of how to use it:
  • Point - Speaking up can enhance your career
  • Reason - People who speak up are perceived as being competent and intelligent leaders
  • Example - Richard Backstrap has just been promoted for the second time this year. He speaks up a lot - but he's no more competent than the rest of us (note: fictional example)
  • Point - Speaking up can enhance your career.
As our district governor, Karin von Kaenel, often points out, "Toastmasters is about going from not having a voice to having a voice" and speaking up for yourself is obviously part of that process !

Thanks Kevin for bringing this to our attention !

Sunday, March 01, 2009

D53 Theme ... comes alive !

I just read about a butterfly (shown to the right in 2 different lights) that has nearly transparent wings.

Here is some background (from this article)...

Greta oto may sound like the name of a silent movie star from Eastern Europe
but is in fact the scientific name for one of the most exquisite - and little
known - species of butterfly on the planer. This butterfly's claim to fame
is that its wings, spanning up to six centimeters, are almost completely
transparent. That's right, you can see just about right through them.
It got me thinking... haven't I seen something like that before?
Check out the logo for our District Governor, Karin von Kaenel's D53 theme (shown below).
Amazing similarity don't you think?