Author Archives: Bill_W

A Toastmaster’s Journey

From Academic to Speaker

toastmater blog April 24 2016

I am often asked why I would join Toastmasters after teaching college for thirty years. Was that not long enough for me to learn to speak in public? When I first ran for municipal office I discovered just how different speaking to a large group of strangers and trying to win them over was from that of teaching.

As I was preparing to retire from teaching I planned out my new coaching business. I was told by many experts that the key to building a coaching practice, and many new businesses, was to speak in public. Even with my background in teaching the notion of speaking in public still made me nervous. I turned to Toastmasters to help overcome that feeling.

Toastmasters International has been training speakers and leaders since 1924 and have over 300,000 members world wide. I figured that with a track record like that they should be able to help me on my journey from academic to public speaker. And what a journey it was! I felt that I was quite a good speaker with not a lot to learn.Boy, was I wrong! I was not long learning that Toastmasters had a lot to offer me in developing as a speaker. I joined in 2010 and am still learning from the program and my fellow Toastmasters every meeting.

The Learning Environment

The program is very structured and you learn in a friendly and supportive environment where we help each other to grow each week. Did it work for me? I am now an award winning professional speaker with Toastmasters being a major factor in achieving that.

Studies have shown that eighty percent of success comes from communication and people skills with the remaining twenty percent from your job expertise. If you want to get better at speaking, Toastmasters is the place to be. Won’t you join us this Wednesday and start your own Toastmasters journey.

GENERAL EVALUATOR report February 4, 2015

Written By Mike Gorman
Start:

  • Not with standing challenging weather, we had eleven members and guests in attendance, starting the meeting right on time, with all agenda roles filled in advance
  • Shawn explained the meeting theme of ‘New Beginnings’, noting how the new year provides opportunity for new personal learning and discoveries

Summary of roles:

  • Gerald provided a short but potent word of the day, INFUSE
  • Bill’s Toast noted how the path suggested by the meeting theme ties into the teaching tool of accentuating small beginnings
  • Darryl’s Joke was replete with horse sense
  • Jim led us in an extensive and very challenging round of Table Topics, based on famous quotes with a motivational, self-improvement potential, with almost all attendees participating

Summary re G.E. report:

  • Mike obtained reports from Darryl (Timer), Gerald (Grammarian), and Isabelle (Ah Counter)
  • Bill challenged us with a variety of Quizmaster questions
  • Mike noted the value, for the three guests in attendance, of the Grammarian, Timer, and Ah/Counter explaining their roles

Other comments:

Under Notices for the Good of Toastmasters, Jim (as Area Governor) confirmed that the TLI make-up session is February 21st and the next Area speech contest is scheduled for March 10th

The Nepean Wingtalkers Toastmasters Club meets every Wednesday from noon to 1:00PM. We have a free parking.

GE report for the October 8,2014

Written By Isabelle

Shawn was the Toastmaster for the October 8, 2014 meeting and he provided a great introduction to the theme he selected for the meeting: ‘Times Change’. Many members were present and each member had a role in the meeting.

Mike the Grammarian, presented the word he selected for the meeting: “imbue”. This verb means to instil or inspire. This word was well chosen and in line with the theme. Mike also presented the Toast. The meeting continued with the Joke presented by Jim.

Gerald then provided an excellent educational speech on how to become more effective evaluators. He first describes the benefits of evaluations for the audience, the evaluators, and the speakers. He continued by providing ideas on how to improve the effectiveness of evaluations before, during, and after a speech. Gerald concluded his speech by describing how to provide a balanced evaluation.
Following the educational speech, Darryl led the table topics where the speakers travelled through time.  Darryl had good transitions between the speakers.

Isabelle, the General Evaluator, then called for reports. Cathy was first and provided a great evaluation of Gerald’s educational speech. Then Margo, the Timer, Mike, the Grammarian, and Asma, the Ah-Counter, provided their reports. Isabelle then evaluated the meeting and Cathy was the Quizmaster.
The meeting concluded with the annoucement that Cathy provided an excellent speech at the Area 4 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests which occurred on October 7, 2014.
The same day, Gerald sent an email to all members and provided in writing the takeaway points from his educational speech.

Meeting Highlights for Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Written By Asma

Gerald was the toastmaster for Sep. 24, 2014 meeting. Jim as sergeant-at-arm gave the nice introduction  about Gerald who is  longest member in our club since the club was military  club. The meeting started on time. Gerald introduced the theme Expressions by using some expressions.

Mike  presented the word “Cliche”. Almost every one used the word during the meeting.  Jim gave the toast with enthusiasm and also he used some expressions in his toast. Cathy added the sense of humor to the meeting when she introduced the joke by using the body language and vocal tone variety.  Darryl as the timer and Mike as the Au_Counter gave a brief and wonderful introduction about their roles.

Margo who is the table topics master came with the fantastic idea by giving expression with definition to talk about it. And since there was no speech, she had prepared with two rounds of table topic. Our winner of  table topic award was Shawn where he demonstrated his impromptu speaking  . Also Shawn tested our listening skills by being the quizmaster.

Gerald adjourned the meeting on time and with encouragement to participate in upcoming toastmaster competition .

Meeting Highlights for Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Written By Jim Kelly

Opening

Our Chair, Jim, chose the theme of “Go For Your Goals”. He described how his understanding of what a goal is has changed over the years from: something Gretzky got more than 1,000 of; to things others set for him; and finally Toastmasters teaching him to set his own. Darryl introduced the word “dissuade” and persuaded us to use it during the meeting: we used it a lot. Margo gave us a few humorous perspectives on procrastination for our joke. Jim toasted the meeting’s two speakers.

Speeches

Isabelle gave her #8 Competent Communication speech project “Using Visual Aids.” The speech was titled “Small Pox: Are We At Risk?” She gave a confident, compelling, informative presentation in her area of expertise that grabbed us from the very start and kept us riveted till the end with slides, statistics and suspense. Gerald gave the #3 Specialty Speeches project “Sell a Product.” In his speech titled “Bones to Pick” he sold us on pursuing our Toastmasters educational goals for this year with an effective blend of memorable, humorous stories and slides inspiring us to go for our goals.

Table Topics

Our Table Topics Master, Cathy asked 3 members to describe their SMART goals for the year. Mike, Bill and Margo gave concrete examples of their plans to reach their Toastmasters goals this year.

Evaluation

Both evaluators, Mike and Bill, gave exceptionally supportive feedback to the speakers highlighting several strengths of each speaker and giving helpful suggestions for improvement for future presentations. Asma gave us a detailed Timer report which showed the prepared speakers kept their speeches under the requested time: Bravo! In his Grammarian report, Darryl said we used the word 9 times during the meeting. Then asked 3 questions as Quizmaster which were duly answered correctly showing we were paying attention. Gerald gave a brief ah counter report. Jim gave a glowing overall meeting report and closed the meeting out encouraging us all to achieve 1,000+ lifetime goals like Gretzky.

GENERAL EVALUATOR report September 3, 2014

Written By: Mike Gorman

Summary of roles:

  •  Cathy provided a word of the day with APLOMB
  •  Bill’s toast tied into the them with comments about personal activities
  • Darryl told a joke out of school
  • Jim led us in a well-researched round of Table Topics, providing a number of education related quotes from a range of well-known commentators

Summary re G.E. report:

  •  Mike obtained reports from Darryl (Timer), Cathy (Grammarian) and self (Ah-Counter);  Cathy stepped in to challenge us with a range of Quizmaster questions

Other comments:

  •  Cathy was awarded winner of Table Topics
  • Under Notices for the Good of Toastmasters there was discussion about the forthcoming club level speech contest, scheduled for September 24th, as well as maximizing member renewals this month

Summary of roles:

  • Cathy provided a word of the day with APLOMB
  • Bill’s toast tied into the them with comments about personal activities
  • Darryl told a joke out of school
  • Jim led us in a well-researched round of Table Topics, providing a number of education related quotes from a range of well-known commentators

Summary re G.E. report:

  • Mike obtained reports from Darryl (Timer), Cathy (Grammarian) and self (Ah-Counter);  Cathy stepped in to challenge us with a range of Quizmaster questions

Other comments:

  •  Cathy was awarded winner of Table Topics
  •  Under Notices for the Good of Toastmasters there was discussion about the forthcoming club level speech contest, scheduled for September 24th, as well as maximizing member renewals this month

GE Meeting Report on Aug 8th,2014

Written By Gerald Leahy

The meeting was held outside on a warm summer day.  Our Chairman was Darryl Macarthur and the meeting theme was “Beer” in recognition of International Beer Day

Jim Kelly provided an inspiring speech which was #8 from the Communication and Leadership Manual.  The speech objective was “Using Visual Aids” titled “Do what you Love”.

Bill Wright provided an evaluation of Jim’s speech

Cathy Chalykoff lead us in impromptu speaking as the Table Topic Master with topics related to the meeting theme, Beer.

Asma Eshakshuki did a stellar job of handling the roles of Timer, Grammarian and Ah-Counter.

Mike Gorman provided our Joke for the Day

Gerald Leahy lead the evaluation of the various aspects of the meeting as the General Evaluator

GENERAL EVALUATOR report Nepean Wingtalkers meeting June 18, 2014

Written By Mike Gorman

Start:

–        Meeting started with a limited number of attendees at approx. 12:10 pm

–        Mike filled in as SAA, with assistance from other members

–        Due to limited attendance the Ah Counter role was omitted

–        Kowshy explained meeting theme ‘Gardening’, noting time of year and family activity

Summary of roles:

–        Mike provided a word of the day with some connection to the theme, PROPITIOUS

–        Cathy’s toast re families was tied into the meeting theme

–        Cathy’s joke about children also was related to the meeting theme

–        Darryl’s speech about ‘Ketchup  – King of Condiments’ was filled with a potpourri of information about the subject, including popularity, history, market data, quality control, and economics; he interwove the narrative with involving attendees with questions, using humour, and reinforcing the message with projected slides

–        Acting on short notice, Bill led us in a round of Table Topics using TM cards based on the meeting theme involving growth and its place in improving the member experience in our club

Summary re G.E. report:

–        In addition to a group evaluation of Darryl’s speech, Mike obtained reports from Bill (Timer) and Mike (Grammarian);  Kowshy stepped in to challenge us with a range of Quizmaster questions; Mike noted how our limited number of attendees worked together to insure a meeting of value to all

Other comments:

–        Under Notices for the Good of Toastmasters there was discussion about next week’s last meeting of the club year, expected to conclude with a short ‘post Toasties’ (food & soft drink)

GE report for the May 21, 2014 meeting

Written By Isabelle Robert
Bill was the Toastmaster for the May 21, 2014 meeting. He introduced the theme “Leadership” by comparing a good leader to a manager. He then pointed out the benefits of being a mentor to a member of the club.
The club then welcomed a returning guest, Cathy.
Cathy Chalykoff, the Grammarian, then presented the word she selected for the meeting: “aplomb”. This noun means having confidence and style. This word was well chosen and in line with the theme.
The meeting continued with the Toast presented by Kowshy. She indicated that leadership is often practiced everyday, even as a parent. We then all raised our glass to the sentence “Lets develop our leadership skills”.
A good portion of the meeting was dedicated to the club officer election for the 2014-2015 executive.
Following the election, Cathy led the table topics.  Carine, Cathy (welcomed guest), Isabelle, and Kowshy spoke on topics on today’s theme, leadership, selected by Cathy.
Isabelle, the General Evaluator, then called for reports from Carine, the Timer, Cathy Chalykoff, the Grammarian, and Cheryl, the Ah-Counter. Asma was the Quizmaster.
The meeting concluded with the annoucement that the next Toastmaster Leadership Institute (TLI) – Club Officer Training and Communication and Leadership Educational Session will be held on Saturday June 7, 2014 in Orleans.