Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Toastmaster Mission

The mission of Toastmaster Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster; self-confidence and personal growth.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Visitors Welcome!

Downtown Toastmaster’s welcomes all visitors interested in developing their communication and leadership skills.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What to Expect: Meeting Agenda

  1. Opening by Sergeant at Arms (start no later than 12:05)
    1. Mission reminder
  2. Introduce Toastmaster of the Meeting to begin program
    1. Toastmaster describes theme for the day
    2. Working Members – Describes duties
  3. Toastmaster Introduces Speakers (Introduce 1st speaker no later than 12:10)
    1. Speech #1 
    2. Speech #2  
  4. Table Topics (Start no later than 12:30)
    1. Grammarian – Word of the Day
    2. Impromptu Response #1
    3. Impromptu Response #2
    4. Impromptu Response #3
    5. Timer’s report for Table Topics
    6. Vote for Best Impromptu Response
  5. General Evaluator (Start no later than 12:40)
    1. Timer’s report for Speeches
    2. Vote for Best Speaker
    3. Speech Evaluator #1
    4. Speech Evaluator #2
    5. Timer’s report for Evaluators
    6. Vote for Evaluators
    7. Grammarian’s report for the Meeting
    8. Ah Counter Report
    9. Evaluate the Evaluations
    10. Evaluate the Meeting
  6. Toastmaster (Start no later than 12:50)
    1. Vote Counter’s Report
  7. President (Adjourn meeting no later than 1pm)
    1. Club Business
    2. Invite Guest to comment
    3. Review Next Weeks’ Agenda
    4. Closing Comments
    5. Adjourn

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What To Look For When Giving Evaluations

Giving an evaluation is considered one of the hardest things to do in Toastmasters.  While it may be easy to be critical, it is not so easy to provide encouraging feedback and ideas for growth that is also encouraging.  The difficulty can be compounded when you have to evaluate a more experienced speaker.  But every speaker wants to improve and needs the input of others to accomplish that goal.  Here are some tips to help you in your next evaluation.
What to look for:
  • Does the speakers posture add or detract from the speech
  • Where is the speaker standing (behind or in front of the lectern)
  • Are there any repetitive motions (touch ear, wringing hands)
  • Are gestures over or under exaggerated
  • If the speaker walks around, are the movements from one place to another smooth
  • Does the speaker maintain good I contact with his entire audience
  • Did the speaker take control of the room
What to listen for:
  • Are there any pauses
  • Are the words easy to understand
  • Are there any interesting words
  • Does the speaker have any crutch words, phrases, or sounds
  • Is the volume sufficient for the environment
  • Is there any vocal variety, both in volume and pace
  • Was there a definite Introduction, Body and Conclusion
  • Were you able to hear the transitions from one point to the next
  • Could you outline the speech
Other suggestions:
  • Ask the speaker if there is anything specific he/she wants you to look for
  • Look for one or two suggestions for improvement, spend the rest of your evaluation talking about what you liked
  • Be familiar with the objectives of the speech and comment on the success of meeting those objectives
  • Don’t fill out the evaluation form until after the speech.  This will allow you to focus more on the speech.
  • If selected to speak during Table Topics, pass the question to another member.  Today your evaluation is more important.
  • Listen to other evaluators and take note of what they focus on.
  • Always give a suggestion for improvement.
These are only a few ideas to use for your next evaluation.  Remember every Toastmaster wants to improve and every Toastmaster has something important to say.  This includes a first time evaluator.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Approaches to an Ice Breaker

  1. You can give a brief summary of your life from childhood until now.
  2. You can describe two or three events that were instrumental in making you the person you are today.
  3. You can talk about what motivates you and gives you the desire to learn and take on new challenges.
  4. You can tell a story about something that seems totally unrelated and then show how it is relevant at the end.
  5. You can talk about the different places you have lived and why you like or did not like living there.
  6.  You can do something completely different to introduce yourself to the club.