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”

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking: Your Voice

Last week, we talked about overcoming your fear of public speaking.  This week is part 2 – your voice.  Overcoming your fear when you think everyone can hear your fear in your voice?  This is the battle we face.

It’s very hard to talk about fear.  I spent hours writing this podcast and feeling really awkward because when you share your fear, you become vulnerable.  You let people see a part of you that exposes you to risk.

I called this series Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking, but in reality, I believe that the only way to overcome your fear of public speaking is to do it.  In psychology, I guess it’s called exposure therapy.  But I’m not going there – I don’t have the expertise or knowledge to address this, nor do I want people to think that I’ve got the answers.

What I offer here is better called “Coping with Your Stage Fright Symptoms.”

INTRO

Does the fear of public speaking keep you from sharing your message with the world?  Then you need Toastmasters.  We have ways of making you talk that you’ll find fun along with tools to develop your skills.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking

How do you overcome your fear of public speaking when you can’t even talk? Continue reading “Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking: Your Voice”

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking with Toastmasters

What’s your biggest challenge in public speaking?  Is it overcoming your fear of public speaking?

Do you struggle to tell your stories?  Does the stage fright scare you off?  Are filler words filling up your speeches?  Maybe you’re lost with no idea what to give a speech about?

At one point or another, we all face these challenges in public speaking.  Right now is your opportunity to make some decisions that will help you solve those problems later.

Welcome to the new year – the Toastmasters New Year – and all the promise that a new year has.

Intro

Do you want to overcome your fear of public speaking?  Then Toastmasters can help you.  Our proven plan can teach you the skills and techniques of public speaking so you can share your message with the world.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Getting lost in the plan

Have you ever started a project and watch it go wrong?  You’re stuck at a place with no idea what to do next or how to finish it?

Maybe you’re lost on a trip.  Maybe you’ve got just enough experience to get yourself in a pickle.  Or maybe you just need a better plan.

Public speaking challenges people down to the core of their being.  Whether they’re afraid of being judged or afraid of making a fool of themselves, or concerned that they can’t effectively communicate their message – those go down into the center of who we are, who I am as a person.  Fear might overcome almost every other emotion we feel – even love, passion, or pleasure.

So how does Toastmasters help your fear of public speaking?

Continue reading “Overcome Fear of Public Speaking with Toastmasters”

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”