Toastmasters Speech Project FAIL

If you’ve been in Toastmasters very long, you’ve probably seen the Toastmasters speech project that went wrong.  So wrong.  Cringe-worthy bad.  The speech that makes you look at the cobweb in the corner of the room and try to avoid eye-contact with the speaker.

Yeah, that speech.

Here’s a small consolation:  we’ve all done it.  So what do we do about it?

On today’s episode of Toastmasters 101, we go back to the beginning and talk about the speech that failed from the points of view of the speaker, the evaluator, and the vice president of education.

INTRO

Are you looking for a way to share your message with the world – but need help to develop those public speaking skills?  Then Toastmasters is what you’re looking for.  Our proven program will help you overcome fear of public speaking and teach you how to write a compelling and interesting speech.  This is Toastmasters 101.  I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

When your Toastmasters Speech Project goes wrong, what happened?

There are several reasons a speech project goes wrong.  Continue reading “Toastmasters Speech Project FAIL”

Club Success Plan Meeting

Are you a new Toastmasters club officer?  Have you heard about the club success plan meeting?

I got a message on Linked In last week from Roy Monarch, a Toastmaster from the Word Doctors club in Texas.  He asked, “Do you have a plan what we could model as we work on our first DCP plan?”

No, I didn’t plant that.

It’s gratifying to hear from a listener – and then to be asked such a good question just at the time we need to answer it makes my day.

Today, we’ll talk about the Toastmasters club success plan.  What can new club officers do now to become a distinguished club that is serving its members well?

INTRO

Do you want to change the world?  Do you need to develop the leadership skills to do that?  Then Toastmasters can help you achieve your goals in a proven program that teaches public speaking and leadership skills.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

The Club Success Plan

I know some people don’t like the Distinguished Club Program because they feel that some clubs want the title and short the members in the process.

Maybe some do.  Maybe some people cheat the system.  Frankly, it’s not very hard to save club awards from being posted to the system until next year.  Or a member can choose to not submit an award until the new Toastmasters year.

None of that changes that the Distinguished Club Program, as it stands, is a fine metric to show what a Toastmasters club should do to serve its members well.

Recently, I talked extensively about the DCP and each of the goals or points.  This week, I want to look at the mechanism a club needs to work to achieve these goals – and why.

Roy asked me about what new officers can do to make sure a club is successful.

My answer is pretty succinct:  work the program and earn awards that benefit you.  That means don’t do speeches that aren’t projects and get the evaluations so that you will improve.

Being a club officer doesn’t mean you sacrifice your own purpose to learn public speaking in being a member of Toastmasters.

In successful clubs, I’ve never seen a single club officer fail to work on their own skills.  I’ve seen some unsuccessful clubs – where speeches are given without being part of a project to get credit – those clubs often fail their members in other ways.  But what we often see is that the lack of project progress is a sign of a club that may not be taking seriously the growth of the members.

Remember – each project has a purpose.  Pathways education system is based on the objective to learn and practice a new skill.  When that purpose isn’t recognized by the speaker or the evaluator, the member will not progress in their skills.  We should probably do a show on that purpose statement on every evaluation form… but let’s get back to the club success plan for now.

So, if you’re a club officer – work your Pathway and reap the benefits that you joined Toastmasters to get.

Make the Club Succeed

Continue reading “Club Success Plan Meeting”

New Toastmasters and Ice Breaker Speeches

We’ve got a new member or two in our Toastmasters club.  They’re working through the Toastmasters education program Pathways and selected their paths.  As they get ready to give their ice breaker speeches, I’ve been asked for advice.

What do you tell someone who’s getting ready to give their first speech in Toastmasters?

Today, we’ll talk about how to coach someone – or how to look at your first speech – and what not to expect.

Intro

Do you dream of changing the world?  With a goal that big, you need the leadership skills and public speaking expertise to make your dream come true.  Toastmasters is dedicated to teaching these skills in a fun and safe environment.  We’re meeting online right now – so you can join any club in the world.  This is Toastmasters 101 podcast, and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Ice Breaker Speeches

Have you heard the statistic out there that 90% or so of members join Toastmasters to learn public speaking?  I believe it.  In the past couple of months, we’ve gotten three new members in our club that span the range of the average member:  terrified, motivated, and aware of their shortcomings in the face of change in their career.

How do you advise them about their ice breaker speeches? Continue reading “New Toastmasters and Ice Breaker Speeches”

Distinguished Club Program and New Club Awards

Let’s talk about the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) and the new Toastmasters International Club Recognition Awards.

How do you know that a club is serving its members well?

Toastmasters International created a metric to help determine the strengths of a local club. We call it the Distinguished Club Program or DCP, because we Toastmasters love our acronyms.  It’s a list of 10 goals that a club can aim for over the course of the Toastmasters year.

Some people call them the DCP points. I’m not going to argue with you. In fact, just to be fair to both sides, I’ll be interchangeable in how I refer to them. Points or goals.

Intro

What’s your goal? Do you need to learn how to be a leader or how to address a crowd to achieve change in your world? Then take a look at Toastmasters – you can learn public speaking and leadership skills in a safe and fun environment. We’re meeting online – so feel free to reach out to a local club or any club that meets at a time that’s convenient for you. This is Toastmasters 101, and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Distinguished Club Program Points?  Goals?

Regardless of what you call them – points or goals – the DCP has been presented at all officer training sessions every year to be sure that the club officers understand their part in achieving these goals. Most of them are related to the members completing educational awards, such as the Competent Communicator award, or a Pathways Level completion, or the Distinguished Toastmaster award. Continue reading “Distinguished Club Program and New Club Awards”

Guest Packets for Your Toastmasters Clubs

Does your club have a guest packet for guests to help them decide to join?

What persuaded you to join Toastmasters?

Everyone has their own reasons. We could boil it down to a statistic: 98% of members joined because they want to learn public speaking.

So all our guest packets should only address that, right?

No. Not right.

On today’s podcast, I’m going to look at what one club put together for an electronic guest booklet, and a couple of ideas I wonder about – do you think they might work? Continue reading “Guest Packets for Your Toastmasters Clubs”

Get Ready for Online Toastmasters Meetings

After spending time on Pathways, taking the quizzes, reading the material, I created a presentation and practiced, so I’m ready for my online Toastmasters meetings, right?

Not yet.  There are a couple of extra steps that we need to take now that we’re having online Toastmasters meetings that were easier in person.  Today on the podcast, we’ll review the steps you need to take to be ready for your next presentation at your online Toastmasters meetings.

INTRO

Do you want to improve your public speaking and presentation skills?  Then Toastmasters is here for you – we’ll help you develop the skills you need in a safe and fun environment.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

The Value of Preparation

I have this friend, a former Toastmaster, who has this rule:  prior proper planning prevents problems.  He also believes that arriving on time is late and less is not more – intense guy.  But he is right, even if the sentiment is pretty much the exact opposite of my style.  Coasting in right on time, for me, is a personal victory.  Getting someplace early – that’s just nuts to me.

But yeah, he does have a point.  Preparation for a meeting does make it go easier for you, if not for everyone else. Continue reading “Get Ready for Online Toastmasters Meetings”

Evaluating Online Speeches in Toastmasters

Evaluating online speeches:  how do we Toastmasters do it?

Getting a new computer.

For some people it’s exciting. It’s wonderful. A clean slate with speed and power.  Maybe now I can fill out evaluations on my computer and send them back to people?

Moving to a new computer for me isn’t really traumatic, but it is not a task I want to face. In fact, I’ve been putting it off for months. I had the new desktop sitting in its box right beside me but… until the last gasp of the old desktop warned me that I had to move now, I didn’t wanna.  There are the 10 bazillion miles of black cables…

A new computer opens up new opportunities for me.  Moving Toastmasters meetings online opens up new opportunities for all of us, such as evaluating online speeches.

INTRO

Are you ready to improve your public speaking and leadership skills?  Then you are ready for Toastmasters.  We’re an international organization that teaches these skills in a safe and fun environment.  Welcome to Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Fillable PDFs

Evaluations are the one problem I have with having our clubs online.

Evaluations are the key component of Toastmasters. You can get public speaking training in a lot of places – most of them for a lot more money – but getting immediate feedback is where real growth is made. Continue reading “Evaluating Online Speeches in Toastmasters”

Toastmasters Area Director: Is this your future?

Do you want to be a Toastmasters Area Director?

Our District 10 annual meeting is this Saturday morning. While we’re there, we’ll be electing our district leaders for the year – affectionately called the Trio – District Director, Program Quality Director, and Club Growth Director. Then the division directors are elected – in District 10, we have 5 divisions. But the most important member of the leadership team, the area directors, are not elected here. They are appointed by the District Director. Does that sound right to you? The most important members of the district executive committee are appointed?

INTRO

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills? Toastmasters is where leaders are made! We provide a fun and safe place for you to develop your public speaking and leadership skills at Toastmasters! This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

What is the role of the Area Director?

Continue reading “Toastmasters Area Director: Is this your future?”

Attend Your Toastmasters District Conference

I find myself doing less and less in front of the computer right now.  Maybe I don’t have the mental space? Maybe I’m too stressed?  Whatever it is, I’m struggling with the idea of spending a day online for the upcoming Toastmasters District  Conference.

Why should I?

Why should you?

INTRO

Are you interested in building your skills in public speaking and leadership? Then Toastmasters is for you. We teach both in a safe and fun environment where you’ll get immediate feedback to help you grow. This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Toastmasters District Conference

Toastmasters International hasn’t reported the new membership numbers yet, but everyone expects that we’re down – just like everyone else int he world. But we also know that TI has done the work to help us get through this crisis – encouraging online meetings, permitting officer training to go online for credit, and moving the annual convention that was scheduled for Paris this year to a virtual conference – apparently at no charge.

But any conference, to me, is not so much about the speakers. Sorry, keynoters. #Sorrynotsorry. I can listen to your presentation later if it’s available. Frankly, any speaker needs to have unbelievable – and I mean that literally – unbelievable value to get me to sit down at a conference to listen to them. I find the breakout sessions have more value to me because I can choose. Continue reading “Attend Your Toastmasters District Conference”

Visit Other Toastmasters Clubs Today

To visit other Toastmasters clubs around the world is now as simple as logging on.

Can I visit other Toastmasters clubs?

Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Explore exotic locales and meet the people who live there? Or visit the great cities of the world to broaden your understanding?

I always wanted to see Notre Dame in Paris. I’ve seen Notre Dame in Indiana, so it felt like something I ought to do.

Am I stuck here in Ohio?

No I am not. With Toastmasters, I can travel the world without worrying about airport security, missing my flight or hotel reservations.

How?

I’ve talked a lot about the challenges we are facing in Toastmasters with our respective countries’ policies regard the pandemic. Today, let’s talk about the options we have as a result of them! Continue reading “Visit Other Toastmasters Clubs Today”