Toastmasters Level 4 Project: Create a Podcast

Does the Level 4 Create a Podcast intimidate you?

Did you ever get a two-fer?

Like being in college and writing the same paper for 2 classes. Or discovering that you have a vacation day and being given an extension because the office is closed.

I hear people say they don’t have any ideas about speech topics. They can’t think of anything to talk about.

I think it’s simple: if you’re doing something in your life, you can talk about that. I’ve listened to dozens of professional speeches in Toastmasters and I never mind it. I enjoy learning about other people’s jobs. Surveying streets for new sewer lines? I’ve heard it. How to do renovations – which might have been better called “how not to do renovations” – I loved it. How to open your own business, how to close your business, how to… how to anything fascinates me.

Level 4 Create a Podcast

Which brings me to today’s podcast:

This is a two-fer.

I was asked to give a presentation at one of District 10’s officer training sessions and apparently, the Level 4 Create a Podcast Project is on people’s minds.
As I was writing that presentation, it occurred to me: this is a two-fer. I haven’t talked about podcasting on the podcast, but as a podcaster, I have experience that I can share.

So I can do both with one presentation. I WIN!

Today on Toastmasters 101, we talk about the Level 4 Create a Podcast, and a few thoughts I have.

INTRO

Are you interested in spreading your message to the world? Do you need to develop the skills to do it well and make an impact? Then Toastmasters is for you. In an hour a week, you can learn public speaking and leadership skills together, and have fun while you do it. This is Toastmasters 101, and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Podcasting Equipment Fried

You might have noticed that I’ve missed several episodes of the podcast. That’s because on Christmas Day, my power went out 4 times in about 5 minutes, and it fried some equipment that I use in podcasting.

School of Podcasting Recommendations

A friend of mine, Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting – schoolofpodcasting.com – loaned me some equipment to tide me over when my pusher – I mean the company I buy my equipment from – said the supplier was predicting a ship date to Sweetwater.com was moving further and further out.
So let me start this by saying a huge thank you to THE Dave Jackson, who has been my mentor in podcasting since I started and I recommend his podcast to you.

Why am I starting the podcast with a thank you?

Because Dave helps people understand that podcasting isn’t just about monetiziation. For most of us, podcasting is a hobby.

How to Start Your Level 4 Create a Podcast Project

That’s why I don’t start with what equipment do you need, what software do you need, what platform should you be on. That’s Step 2, or maybe even Step 7.

You must start with your topic, who you want to get your message to – who’s your audience – and how much you are willing to commit to the project.

I just went through the Level 4 Create a Podcast training on Pathways. It took me about 15 minutes.
Granted, I do know this field, so it didn’t take me long to process the lessons. But there’s a lot NOT said in that training and I want you to be prepared for that.

What you need to know

Continue reading “Toastmasters Level 4 Project: Create a Podcast”

The Most Important Speech You Have to Give

Giving a speech is an art.  That’s my firm belief.  It’s art like singing or dancing – it’s the creation of a moment that has an impact on those who present and those who partake.  When we’re faced with the most important speech we have to give – we need to have that same grace that only comes from lots of preparation and acute understanding of how to build on the basics.

Today on Toastmasters, we’re going to talk about the most important speech you have to give – and what I think it is in the Toastmasters Pathways education program.

INTRO

Do you need to give an important speech?  Whether it’s a keynote, a commemoration, or a quick bridal toast, Toastmasters can help you.  In an hour a week, we can teach you the skills you need to create a memorable presentation to achieve your goals.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci Continue reading “The Most Important Speech You Have to Give”

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?”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Prepare to Speak Professionally: Level 5 Elective

Maybe it’s because of who I follow on social media that I’ve gotten dozens of emails and social media ads that say “The best place to reach your customers is on the stage where they’ve come to hear you speak.” So you want to prepare to speak professionally.

That makes good sense. Instead of spamming thousands of people who will likely unsubscribe from your list, you find a place to speak and invite all the interested customers to come and hear you.

The push to become a professional, paid speaker is pretty fierce right now. Whether it’s a fad or recognition of a long-standing truth – there’s a push right now to learn how to speak professionally. And here’s Toastmasters, where it’s always been, getting our members ready to step up onto that stage. In Pathways, it’s a Level 5 elective: Prepare to Speak Professionally. Continue reading “Prepare to Speak Professionally: Level 5 Elective”

Pathways Choices: Resources to Help

It’s time to choose a pathway.  Pathways choices seem more complex this time around.

Decisions in Pathways Choices

There’s been a bit of grousing in Toastmasters land these days.  As the days of the Competent Communicator wane, I see a lot of people mourning a loss that maybe they didn’t expect.

Since I’m still working on a last CC manual, I guess I’m not ready to mourn just yet since I don’t miss it.  But as I make my pathways choices, I’m a bit nostaglic, not for the Competent Communicator, but for the simplicity of the advanced manuals.

Is choosing a pathway that difficult?

Only in my mind. Continue reading “Pathways Choices: Resources to Help”