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”

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”

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”

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?”

Leadership in Adversity in Toastmasters

What does leadership in adversity look like?  What do leaders in adverse situations do?

This week was the most important religious holiday of my year. What’s normally a day of celebration and feasting with my extended church family was instead kept at home, in front of a screen.

No candles, no shouts, no procession.

But the following morning, we opted to create a physical event that met all of the existing regulations. We met outside. We socially distanced ourselves. Many of us wore masks and gloves.

For an hour, we were together.

Was it enough?

When we talk about 2020 and Toastmasters in the future, what are we going to say? Was it enough?

INTRO

Learning leadership skills takes us out of our comfort zones. Do you want to learn leadership skills in a safe environment without the risks of harming your career? Then Toastmasters is for you. Toastmasters is where leaders are made – we’ll introduce you to the foundations and give you the opportunities to grow your skills. This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci. Continue reading “Leadership in Adversity in Toastmasters”

Your High Performance Leadership Project in a Pandemic

Today’s podcast is about your High Performance Leadership Project in a Pandemic – what to do when you are stuck.

TI Extends the Deadlines

Toastmasters International made a huge announcement last week right in the middle of my recording last week’s podcast. The big news? An extension has been made for those who are currently stuck due to the pandemic – the Advanced Leadership Silver award and the Distinguished Toastmaster Award in the classic education program have had their deadlines moved to 2021. Inside this extension is the Club Coach project – also extended into 2021.

What wasn’t extended was the deadline for the High Performance Leadership – which is part of the Advanced Leadership Silver award.

What’s a Toastmaster to do?

My suggestion? Pivot. Continue reading “Your High Performance Leadership Project in a Pandemic”

Mastering Online Meetings

Mastering Online Meetings

Toastmasters are facing a lot of challenges right now.  As we make the transition to mastering online meetings, we get to

  • Learn how to manage a meeting platform
  • Present projects with a remote audience
  • Plan out our path for us to achieve our goals.

Yeah, that’s not much, right?

What’s even more challenging is that your equipment is what you’ve got to work with.  So how do you make that work?

Online Meetings

Good question.  We can’t possibly address every single variant – this equipment, that platform.  But what we can do is try to help you face your audience at the meeting with some confidence that you can do it.

So today, we’ll spend some time talking about how to learn your platform, presentation skills in the video format, and what your next project will teach you – a lot more than just what the Pathways instructions told you. Continue reading “Mastering Online Meetings”

Working Toastmasters Pathways

What Order Should You Follow in Toastmasters Pathways?

“What good is skipping a step on a ladder?” Toastmasters Pathways were built to be done in order, right?

I saw this ladder analogy on the Official Toastmasters International Members Facebook Group this morning about a member who has completed their level 5 project – but had to skip completing Level 4 first.

I’d like to discuss the ways that we work our paths. How are you doing it?

INTRO

To be a leader, you have to have a good foundation in public speaking. In one hour a week at Toastmasters, you can learn the communication skills to reach your goals and achieve your dreams. This is Toastmasters 101 podcast. I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Dropping the Walls

One of the biggest improvements in Toastmasters Pathways that I’ve seen is the dropping of the barriers between the levels. Continue reading “Working Toastmasters Pathways”

Chief Judge and the High Performance Leadership Project

Toastmasters Contest Chief Judge

Do you love paperwork?  Then the role of chief judge is yours.  Because there is a boatload of paperwork that the chief judge has to manage.

I guess they called this organizer the Chief Judge because she is – wait for it – in charge of the judging and the judges.  And the ballots.  And the ballot counters and the timers and… all that paperwork.

The chief judge is technically not a judge.  They have no votes in the contest at all.  I tend to think of the Toastmasters contest master as a ringmaster in a circus – the one out front, directing the audience’s attention to the next attract.  The Chief Judge is more like the backstage manager – handling the logistics.

Continue reading “Chief Judge and the High Performance Leadership Project”

Level 1 and Level 4: Taking Risks

This week, I took a risk and went to an exercise class that was advertised to be a low-impact workout.  I have issues with my feet, ankles, and knees, so a lot of jumping or running is not an option for me.

This class is probably a lot of fun for someone who didn’t have to worry about her ability to walk the next day.  I took the risk and… it wasn’t for me.

If you’re new to Toastmasters, you’re starting at Level 1.  You’re not thinking about Level 4 at all.  But in both levels, it’s about taking risks.

We forget pretty quickly how much of a risk coming to a Toastmasters meeting and joining a club is for most people.  Continue reading “Level 1 and Level 4: Taking Risks”