Thanks Giving in Toastmasters “Thank You, Toastmasters”

Should you say “thank you, Toastmasters” at the end of your speech?

We are celebrating Thanksgiving here in the United States this week.  It’s a time to think about the things we’re grateful for and express our gratitude to those who have blessed us.

I am extremely grateful to many Toastmasters I have met over the years.  My life has been blessed by men and women who have demonstrated public speaking skills and leadership skills.  And frankly, they’ve made my life a lot more fun.  Where else would I have learned about self-priming jiggle pumps?

I should thank my club for teaching me about painting with diamonds or why your arteries are like pumpkin roll pastries – neither of which I knew before tonight.

Yes, an audience should thank the speaker.  But what about the speaker thanking the audience?

It’s a Toastmasters controversy.

INTRO

Do you want to learn to be a great public speaker?  Do you develop your leadership skills?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  We will give you the opportunities to learn and grow in an hour a week!  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci. Continue reading “Thanks Giving in Toastmasters “Thank You, Toastmasters””

Reflecting on Your Path: Toastmasters Finale

Let’s take a look at the Toastmasters Path final project:  Reflect on Your Path.

Reflect on Your Toastmasters Path

Have you ever cleaned out a garage or storage shed and had the great sense of completion that one gigantic task is done?

It’s so satisfying when you close the door and you know that it’s done… for now but right now… Ahhhhh.

This summer, my husband and I have been cleaning out not our own garage, but my parents’ garage.  My parents have lived in this home since… since… Ok, 50 years.  Over the years, they have accumulated objects that well, have some sentimental value, some tools that have lost their value, and a whole lot of dead leaves and spider webs in the corners.

Bit by bit, we’ve tackled this task, and this week, we addressed the back wall – the place where half-full bottles of bug spray and undrinkable soda pop go to die.  The wall of unloved tools and broken ladders and that shelf that we’re all afraid to look behind… Ok, maybe I’m getting a bit over-descriptive here.  But you know what I’m talking about.  That final hurdle of the big task that justifies sitting down with your feet up and something comforting to drink in your hands.

We brought home a trunk full of recyclables, a backseat full of donations, and a significant number of things that just don’t have any value to anyone anymore.  What was left behind?  My childhood sled and a spool of string.

What’s this got to do with Toastmasters?

When you’re done… are you done?  What do you do with what you’ve got when you’re done with a Toastmasters Path? Continue reading “Reflecting on Your Path: Toastmasters Finale”

Toastmasters Speech Contest: Are You In?

Sometime in the next few months, your Toastmasters club is going to hold a contest.  For new members, a Toastmasters speech contest sounds maybe a bit… childish?  unnecessarily competitive?  waste of time?

I suspect that you’ve never seen a Toastmasters speech contest.

On today’s podcast, let’s take a look at one of the biggest events in Toastmasters around the world, and the benefits to you and your club when you hold a contest.

INTRO

Do you need to be able to speak to groups of people?  Do you have ideas that can help create a better world, if only you could get them out?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  In an hour a week, we can teach you public speaking and leadership skills and have fun while we do it.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Toastmasters Speech Contests

I joined Toastmasters because I was a high school speech and debate judge.  My experience with public speaking was already competitive, so a speech contest in Toastmasters didn’t surprise me.

Whether or not you’re competitive in nature, it’s pretty natural for people to compete against each other.  My kids used to compete over whose side of the car had the better Christmas decorations on the houses that we passed as we drove around town.  Yes, that makes no sense.  Don’t try to figure it out.

Competition is built into us.  There are certainly those who think we ought to outgrow it when we become adults.  We need to be cooperative, not competitive. Continue reading “Toastmasters Speech Contest: Are You In?”

A Professional Presentation at Toastmasters?

I’ve mentioned my friend Terry in previous episodes.  Terry owns a painting company here in Ohio.  Because of his successful business, he was asked to give a 45-minute break-out professional presentation session at an international conference about how he built his business.

If you were in his shoes, what would you have done?

Many people join Toastmasters because their jobs require public speaking and presentation skills.  But most of those professional presentations aren’t limited to 5 to 7 minutes.  How can you use Toastmasters to help you build a longer professional presentation and how can Toastmasters help you practice?

Today on the podcast, let’s chat about your professional presentation.

INTRO

Do you need to develop your professional presentation skills?  Whether it’s a short impromptu answer to a question at a business meeting or a major project presentation, Toastmasters can help you craft the professional presentation you want to give.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

“My boss told me to join Toastmasters”

We hear this a lot.  I’d bet that at least half of the people who walk through our doors join Toastmasters for professional reasons.  Either they’re going to be speaking as a representative of their company, or speaking to other employees, a lot of people walk into a Toastmasters meeting for their job. Continue reading “A Professional Presentation at Toastmasters?”

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”