Area Director Visits

Get ready for your area director visits now.

Toastmasters International is a worldwide organization.  We are seeing massive growth outside of the United States, where Toastmasters is based.   Do you ever wonder how they manage over 300 thousand members and thousands of clubs?  Do they know what’s happening in the clubs?  How do they know what’s going on in the clubs – and where there are problems, how can they help?

In today’s episode, we’re talking about area director visits:  what the area director is doing, what the visit looks like to the club, and what they can do for you.

Do you want to develop your leadership and public speaking skills?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  In one hour a week, we’ll teach you the skills and give you the opportunities to practice them.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Toastmasters Area Directors

If you’re a member of a Toastmasters club, you might not know how the Toastmasters International organization is run.

Toastmasters International is a big organization – 300 thousand plus members to help to achieve their goals means that there must be some levels of management inserted into the program.

For an organization that teaches leadership – this gives thousands of people the opportunity to build up their skills in a hands-on way, instead of just reading a book or taking a class.  As a club officer or a district officer, you’re going to deal with the problems that leaders face – managing an on-going program that’s just updated its basic product and delivery system, personnel turnover, and confused new members who don’t know what’s going on.

That’s in a healthy club.  But what if you’re in a club with issues? Continue reading “Area Director Visits”

Your Online Meeting Agenda: The Power Tool You Need

What does your online meeting agenda look like to a guest of your club?

What?  You don’t have one?

Can you imagine trying to cut down a tree with a power saw – without starting it up?  Absolutely ludicrous idea, isn’t it?  The power tool is designed to be used to solve a problem quickly and more easily than it would by hand.

Have you ever thought about your agenda as a power tool?  That maybe it can do a lot more for you than you expect?

Some people think of an agenda just as a check list, nothing more.

What value does an agenda bring to a club?  How does it improve the club member and the club guest experience?

Does it need to change for online meetings?

Today on the podcast, let’s chat about your agendas – in person and online meeting agendas.  What yours looks like, what you may need to change up, and how to use it out to recruit your club guests to become members.

INTRO

Are you looking for an effective way to learn public speaking and leadership skills?  We’ve got it at Toastmasters.  In one hour a week, you can learn what you need to change the world.  This is Toastmasters 101 podcast and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

On-site meetings vs. online meeting agendas

A few years back, I tried an experiment with my lunchtime Toastmasters club.  Instead of printing an agenda, we opted to use the Free Toast Host agenda online, but we copied the information onto a whiteboard in our meeting room.

Saving money, saving paper, saving time – we thought.

What we found was that we were missing a critical part of our marketing to guests when they walked through our doors.

The meeting agenda provides more than just “who’s the Toastmaster and who’s the Table Topics Leader” information to the people in attendance. Continue reading “Your Online Meeting Agenda: The Power Tool You Need”

The General Evaluator Creates Great Meetings

What’s a general evaluator?  What do they do?  Why should you take on the role?

As I was chatting with my protege Joy today about tomorrow’s meeting, she told me that it took her 3 weeks to figure out how to spell our club’s name.

Yeah, Cuyahoga is not the easiest word to spell or even guess at the spelling of.  Since it’s most prominently known as an environmental disaster site in the 1950s and 60s, I never thought she’d have a hard time with it – but our burning river has apparently lived down its reputation.

You see, I have a blind spot.  I’ve pretty much lived in this part of Ohio all of my life.  I don’t notice that Cuyahoga – spelled C U Y A H O G A – is a complicated word to spell.   So Joy, who lives about 800 miles from us, has no idea how to find us online.

That’s what a good general evaluator does for the club meetings.  They help us look at the blind spots that club might miss.  Today on the podcast, we take a look at the master of the Toastmasters secret sauce of success:  the role of general evaluator. Continue reading “The General Evaluator Creates Great Meetings”

Come Back to Toastmasters

Peole leave Toastmasters clubs for many reasons.  What reasons do we have for them to come back to Toastmasters?

In today’s podcast, we have interviewed past District 10 Governor Deonna More Taylor.  She’s a 7.5 time DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster Award) with the next one just one project away from completion. Continue reading “Come Back to Toastmasters”

Customize Your Toastmasters Path

How do you customize your Toastmasters experience?

“At least, they didn’t have to amputate my foot.”

That’s how my conversation with Joy, my Toastmasters protege, started yesterday.

“What?” I must have screeched into her ear.

“I think it might make a good speech at the Toastmasters meeting,” she continued.

Ya think?

Joy is a gifted copywriter and marketing specialist.  She knows how to put together a story to help a business grow.  That line “amputate my foot” is typical of her ability to capture my attention.  She was calling me about the confusion she had with the Level 1 Project 2 instructions.

Intro

Today on the podcast, we’re going to talk about making Toastmasters education program work for your goals. To customize your Toastmasters experience. I want to talk briefly about that Level 1 Project 2 confusion, and how Joy is looking at her next speech project. We’ll put that together with my report on adapting the Visionary Communications Path to storytelling.

Do you have goals in your life?  Do you want to make changes in your world and have an impact on the world around you?  Then Toastmasters is here to help you.  We teach leadership and public speaking skills that will be the tools you need to reach your goals.  This is Toastmasters 101 podcast, and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Customize Your Toastmasters Experience

When Joy called me yesterday, I was making dinner and thought for a second that I should just call her back later, but I picked up the call and I am glad I did.

Not just because Joy had a question about the Level 1 Project 2 confusion – although let’s start there. Continue reading “Customize Your Toastmasters Path”

Adding Images and Vision to Your Speeches

How do you show your audience what you want them to see?  How do you add images that support the vision of your speech?

The Nature of Communication

Like dance, like acting, public speaking is a movement of ideas from the artist to the audience.

I believe that public speaking is an art.  It comes down to our ability to create a vision in our audience’s mind that inspires them to do something.  That the ART of rhetoric.

Then again, there’s the old saying that a picture says a thousand words. This might imply that you should include images – pictures – with your speeches to make them more effective. Actually, that’s the whole idea behind presentation software.

I’m not going to argue that having images helps explain complex data.  But do you need images for your speech presentation?

Today on the podcast, we’re talking about adding images to your presentation to help you know when and how to use images and when to choose language that creates the images in your audience’s mind that exceeds any image you might show. Continue reading “Adding Images and Vision to Your Speeches”

Your Speech Introduction: Sell Your Speech First

How an introduction visit to a different Toastmasters meeting changed my club meeting participation forever.

Two shocking changes improved our Toastmasters meetings – you can do these too!

Do you get emails with this kind of subject line? Do you see ads with phrases like “You won’t believe what happened next!”

Yep, me too. In fact, that’s part of my paid job – to write sales copy and headlines that will encourage people to click through to look at a product. So I’m very aware of them.

Clickbait or Curiosity?

Some techniques are manipulative, I agree. The best ones aren’t manipulative – they create curiosity in the people who need this product. They scratch that itch, as it were.

What does this have to do with Toastmasters? What if you could write a title and an introduction to your speech that gets your audience excited for what you’re about to tell them?

Today on Toastmasters 101 podcast, I’m going to give you a few hints about how to make your audience respond better to your speech – and it will change your Toastmasters experience forever!

Intro

Do you want to change the world – but don’t have the skills you need? Toastmasters can help you learn how to communicate your message well – and become a leader at the same time.

This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci

Introduction to a New Toastmasters Club

What did I learn when I visited another club for the first time?

When I found out I could visit other clubs, I immediately picked the first Toastmasters club I’d ever heard of – it met in the office building where my mother worked. The club – then it was Firestone Toastmasters – had several advanced Toastmasters. Many of the members had been in Toastmasters for years.

I was made very welcome and discovered that not all Toastmasters meetings are alike. Yes, our structure is essentially the same – prepared speeches, Table Topics, evaluations – but this club had a flair that I genuinely enjoyed. Two people showed me potential that I hadn’t seen at my home club. Continue reading “Your Speech Introduction: Sell Your Speech First”

Toastmasters Triple Crown and Smedley Awards

What are your goals this year in Toastmasters?  Have you given that much thought?  What if you decide to think big and go for a Triple Crown?

What’s a Triple Crown, you ask?

Today on Toastmasters 101, let’s discuss your work and what you can do to win three awards in this Toastmasters year.

Do your goals this year include learning how to speak in public?   Are you interested in leadership?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  We teach public speaking and leadership skills.  This is Toastmasters 101 podcast and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

How many projects can you do in one year?

Continue reading “Toastmasters Triple Crown and Smedley Awards”

Table Topics: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

The fear of public speaking is an insidious thing.  It grabs us when we have time to prepare our presentation, and its hold is just as strong when we don’t have time to prepare.  But so much of our communication is impromptu speaking – how do we cope with our fear of public speaking when we don’t have time?  In Toastmasters, we have Table Topics.

Learning to Cope with Table Topics Coping with Unexpected Fear

There’s a lot of people talking these days about politics.  In the US, this is a presidential election year, so we’re used to the upswing.  Add the current social unrest and we’re seeing even more people talking on the media, at public meetings, at events… Sometimes we have time to prepare those remarks, sometimes we don’t.

How do we cope with the paralyzing fear of the unexpected question in front of other people? Today on the podcast, let’s talk about impromptu public speaking and how to do it well.

Intro

Do you have a message you want to tell the world?  Do you need the public speaking skills to do it?  Then Toastmasters can help.  We teach you how to speak – and how to make it effective. This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Continue reading “Table Topics: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”

2 Keys to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Let’s talk about dealing with your body’s reactions to your fear of public speaking

Our bodies are supposed to do what we want them to do, right?  So why do we get the shakes, feel our knees go weak, or get nauseated as we approach the podium to give a speech?

My friend Joy said she’s not afraid of public speaking, she’s terrified of what her body is going to do to her.

She makes a great point.  What are we afraid of?

Bringing the bad news to a hostile audience

Have you ever had to present bad news to a hostile audience?  I have.

The news I had to deliver was unpleasant, but not unexpected.  I was a member of an organization is a deep crisis – the leadership had been removed and the remaining members were highly polarized and barely speaking to each other.  I had taken on a task and it was time to report on it – and it was bad.  Very bad.

No, this wasn’t last week.  But it might have been because I remember this day and this meeting very well.  My hands were shaking.  I was hot and felt cold sweat all over my body.  I could barely breathe and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to talk to these leaders who were on the other side of the situation than I was.

I was terrified.

Because everything was poised against me.  Now, I don’t want to sound paranoid – but look, everything was going against me.  The people I had to talk to – the topic I had to address was about the future of the organization – or the lack thereof – and the news I had was very bad.

Today on the podcast, let’s finish up our series on overcoming your fear of public speaking with two important keys.

INTRO

How do you give a speech when you’re afraid of public speaking?  If you want to learn or improve your public speaking skills, Toastmasters is here for you to help you develop your skills, your message, and your voice.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci. Continue reading “2 Keys to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”