This Toastmasters year Smashing the Envelope has an ongoing record of 17 consecutive meetings with 4 speeches! To keep this record intact, members are self-motivated and ‘ready to go’ with speeches. Each speech creates 2 roles – the speech and the speech evaluation role. This engages all members with more speaking opportunities and every chance to complete manuals. 4 speeches per meeting has played a big part in the club obtaining the 10/10 President’s DCP award by February. End result an accelerated learning curve. Check out the District Facebook page for more club photos! – by Ross Brunt
Archives for March 2016
Speak With Credibility, Influence and Impact
By David Hughes DTM – Toastmasters; A journey to what’s possible.
I believe, all successful people have one quality in common – the ability to communicate and lead effectively. I fervently believe it is important to develop this ability so that we may successfully meet the demands and challenges of today’s world, and have credibility, influence and impact when engaging with society everywhere. Toastmasters’ has assured this. My incredible Toastmasters journey began in 1986, when I joined to overcome my rapid speech problem, and now can speak at appropriate and coherent speeds with pace, pitch and pause for optimum effect.
Here in D73 and around the world Toastmasters have inspired, applauded, comforted and supported me to meet all challenges I’ve faced with their honest feedback, persuasive motivation and deep friendship.
Toastmasters’ is invaluable and my membership has made me a better communicator and leader, accelerating my speaking ability, attentive listening skills and team building skills. Toastmasters’ has the organisation, structure and programs to enable anyone who wishes to improve, become a more effective communicator and leader. It also accommodates, calls for and empowers members wishing to improve, to attend regular meetings, get involved, give speeches only from the project manuals, and step up as and when appropriate as a club, area, division and District officer, to serve the organisation as the organisation serves them..
The step by step process and applied steady pace working through, first, the Competent CC and CL Manuals, equips us with the basic skills; add to this the ‘Advanced’ manuals, Club Officer roles, District service, and the opportunity to compete in the four annual contests, attend Area & Division Councils, have your say at District Council, eat, drink and dance the night away at change/over dinners, learn from specialised workshops at semi-annual conventions, listen and applaud spectacular keynote speakers at district conventions and be enthralled by the size, glamour and overwhelming magnificence of International convention.
For such a small investment, I know of no other organisation in the world that gives me the opportunity to meet, engage with, learn from and receive feedback from members World-wide, through regular meetings and social media backed up by state of the art technology, with downloadable material, newsletters, podcasts and social media platforms which offer a smorgasbord of relevant information and activity.
I left Toastmasters in 1992, to raise a family, and returned in 2008. Since then, I’ve served as Club Officer, Area Governor (2) and Division Governor. In August 2012 I achieved DTM, and also was Division Governor of the Year in District 73.
Today, I’m a servant-leader, who enjoys being a DTM, REP Ambassador, Club President, and past Work-shopper at Convention and Semi-Annual Conferences. My wide circle of Toastmaster friends here and around the world is testament to the power of TI and the place ‘Where Leaders Are Made.’
All that I am was helped enormously by a mentoring manager who once suggested that I join Toastmasters.
You want your Toastmasters journey to be the best decision you ever make. You grow in confidence, overcome fears and achieve your personal and professional goals.
It took me a long time to decide if Toastmasters was right for me – four years, in fact, to visit and then join a club. Even then, I really did not know what I was getting myself into.
I knew that what I wanted to do was overcome my fear of public speaking.
Now, four years later, what I have achieved and still aim for far exceeds my initial goals.
Toastmasters has truly given me a platform to develop confidence. It’s given me access to a great support network, as well as amazing opportunities.
It’s taught me to go out there and just do it!
Toastmasters is more than just overcoming your fear of public speaking. It’s about developing a whole new respect for the self and becoming a leader who inspires others. What would I recommend when thinking about joining Toastmasters? If you want an amazing and rewarding journey in this organisation, I think you need a GPS to navigate your public speaking future!
- Set a GOAL
Those who know me know I keep raving about goals – but it is such a crucial element in achieving milestones.
I think you need to be SMART with your goals!!
S – Be SPECIFIC in what you want,
M – Have a way to MEASURE your success,
A – Make it ATTRACTIVE enough to inspire you to take action,
R – Be REALISTIC in making your goals achievable and
T – Put a TIME stamp on it.
An example of a SMART Goal is :-
By 30th June 2016, I have achieved my Competent Communicator (CC) award by delivering 10 speeches.
(TIP : Write in past tense to assume that you will achieve this goal)
- Create a PLAN
Now that you’ve got a smart goal, you need a plan.
How are you going to achieve this goal?
I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet that acts as a checklist to help keep you on track.
If we look at the goal of achieving a CC award, you need to plan how you’ll achieve your goal.
You will need to know when you’ll be delivering these speeches, where you’ll be delivering them, and what your speeches are about.
Creating a Plan provides a roadmap to success.
- Reach out for SUPPORT
With your goal and plan in place, now it’s time to reach out for support.
Share your plan and goal with your mentor, VPE, fellow members, colleagues and family members.
Not only will you have people to support and cheer you on, you’ll ultimately inspire others to create their own GPS.
It’s vital to know why it’s important for you to achieve this goal and what achieving this goal will bring you.
This is the process I went through in June 2014 when I set myself the goal of achieving the Distinguished Toastmaster Award.
At that point, I had only completed my CC, but I was really inspired to take on this goal.
My why was so huge that it inspired me to create a plan to achieve this award.
In June 2016, I’m proud to say that I’ll be achieving this award, and the journey has been an amazing and rewarding one.
It all started with setting a goal, creating a plan and reaching out for support along the way.
If you aspire to achieve more in your Toastmaster journey, adopt the GPS, be clear on your why and I know you’ll get to where you want to go.
Happy travels! – by Debbie Lee
Outside the Five to Seven Minutes
By Darrell Pitt
Did you know that belonging to Toastmasters will help you live a longer life?
This might sound completely irrational, but there’s good science to back it up. The Harvard Study, which began in 1938, has since changed the way we think about health, success and longevity.
The study focused on 268 Harvard male undergraduate students, and later, 456 boys aged 12-16 growing up in the Boston area. The two groups could hardly be more different. The Harvard students came from well-to-do backgrounds, and those in the Boston group were specifically chosen because they were largely from underprivileged backgrounds.
So what did the study find?
Some of the results were unsurprising. One was that alcohol can have a devastating effect on your life. (A recent statistic confirms this: 15 Australians die every day from alcohol related illnesses.) Another was that people’s desire to be rich had little effect on their ability to gain wealth. Some people who came from rich backgrounds ended up penniless while others rose from obscurity to become immensely wealthy.
What did take the researchers by surprise was the effect of relationships. The men who were in healthy relationships lived healthier, longer, happier lives. These relationships didn’t need to be marriages—although this helped—but extended to their involvement in the community as well. Men involved in their communities were more successful and better adjusted in later life.
The Harvard study is not alone in this finding. Dan Buettner’s groundbreaking book, Blue Zones – 9 Lessons for Living Longer, presented similar results. Buettner studied people from regions across the globe where people lived the longest lives. They came from five zones – Ikaria in Greece, Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, and a Seventh Day Adventists community living in Loma Linda, California.
Buettner found that the groups had many features in common. They ate in moderation. They shared a diet high in vegetables. They also engaged in moderate physical exercise. But something else they also had in common was their relationships. People in all five regions had strong family and community relationships. Their level of social engagement was high with spouses, brothers and sisters, and members of their community.
The people in these areas kept busy, increasing their sense of belonging. This tied in closely with their ability to de-stress, usually by being part of a close, social network.
This confirms studies that have shown exactly the opposite: people who feel lonely don’t live as long. Loneliness can be a crippling condition, almost as dangerous to health as cancer or heart disease. One study showed that loneliness increases mortality risk by as much as twenty-six percent. Staying involved in communities, being able to share your worries, and feeling supported can add years to your life.
So how does this relate to Toastmasters?
We often think about Toastmasters as being a one-to-many relationship. That is, one person stands before a crowd for five-to-seven minutes to practise their public speaking. But possibly the greatest advantage in this organisation is what goes on outside that five-to-seven minutes: the one-to-one talking during the breaks, the getting together over coffee, the lifelong friendships that are born within the clubs.
It’s these relationships that add to the richness and fullness of our lives and are as much a part of the Toastmasters experience as any speech.
So think twice before you skip that next Toastmasters meeting. The biggest advantage may not be speaking to the audience, but speaking to the person sitting next to you. It’s probably adding years to your life.