Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Did your club pay your dues?

One of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, had a short but insightful blog post today titled, "If Craigslist cost $1" and since the deadline for submitting Toastmasters dues is Oct.1st, I thought it would be appropriate to share his key point ....
Money creates a sort of friction. In the digital economy, magical things can happen when there is no friction. You can scale to infinity. On the other hand, sometimes you want friction.
If you lead a group that allows anyone to join, for free, your group might be large, but it's not tight, it's not organized to make important change. Commitment slows things down in the short run, but ultimately aligns interests.
If your club still needs to submit dues, please do it today (or tomorrow). If you are using a credit or debit card, dues can be submitted by a club officer via www.Toastmasters.org. Just be sure to get them paid before the deadline of October 1st.

Toastmasters is about making "important change" and you can demonstrate your commitment to your personal development by paying your dues.

In other words, now is the time to "Put your money where your mouth is" !

Monday, September 28, 2009

Winter Toastmasters Leadership Exchange

Did you attend the TLI events this past Summer? If so, you will recognize the tune that accompanies the video below...

If you do not see the video below (after giving it a couple seconds to load), try clicking here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Speaking to the media

We have all seen it on TV... the interview on the courthouse steps with a million microphones all crammed in front of the attorney's face.

How many of us would be able to handle such a situation? What if we practiced it at a Toastmasters meeting as a TableTopics exercise?

Here are some pointers that I got from a recent e-newsletter from TJ Walker, a speaking consultant who helps people craft their message for the media ...
Preparing your Message for the Interview
  1. Don’t talk to reporters without giving yourself time to prepare the message.

  2. Don’t dodge questions!

  3. Answer the question in eight seconds or less and bridge back to your main message for the next 25 seconds or so.

  4. If a reporter asks you a complex, detailed, five-part question, focus on answering the one question that leads you back to talking about your message points.

  5. When listening to a reporter’s question (and you must listen very carefully), don’t think about how your vast database of knowledge can provide 10,000 new facts to answer every nuance of the reporter’s question. Instead, focus on how you can honestly answer the question in a way that allows you to talk about one, two, or three of your message points.

  6. Remember, questions don’t matter. The subject matters.
Now, you just have to come up with some scenarios to serve up to your club members as TableTopics !

Here are some suggestions ("torn from headlines", so to speak) ...
  • CEO indited for misappropriation of company funds
  • Celebrity arrested for ...
  • Tradeshow TV reporters asking about your newest widget
  • Politician caught ... (too many possibilities here)
  • Evangelist asked about his role in the organization
I'm sure you can think of even more!

Have Fun with it !
(and help your club learn to cope with the media)

Dave Wheeler

Friday, September 04, 2009

Writing your contest speech...

Michelle Russell over at copyblogger.com wrote an interesting article about writing ... which could very easily be applied to your speech for the upcoming Humorous speech contest.

Michelle's article is titled, "Write with a Knife" and she suggests...
... Write for yourself, edit for your readers ...

1. Find the spine of your content and stick to it
2. Cut the first paragraph
3. Don’t over-spice your words
4. Watch out for “creep-in” words
5. Cut exaggerations
6. Find a more precise word
7. Reuse the leftovers
To learn what she means by each of these suggestions, check our the article by clicking here.

Have you signed up for your club's Humorous or Evaluation contest?