Yesterday I was at Area contest – 57 with the most simplistic role play of Chief Judge. Simple off course that’s what I believe; until I found a detour.
I believe every role play is simple and straight forward until you find a detour. Because in times like these is the test of your capacity to extend justice to the role play. And yesterday was the day I found two detours. Having said that incidences like these bring in the learning and maturity.
Yesterday I learnet few things:
- When briefing don’t assume your team knows or would remember everything. Hence share important instructions even at the extent of sounding trite and boring.
- Request for feedback after sharing instructions.
- Invite questions on the role play. And if no question is forthcoming and to encourage initiative, bundle important information in a question format such as “I am sure you are aware that your ballot will be rejected if it does not carry your signature?”
- Invite suggestions and caveats from your team members. Trust the wisdom of Crowd Sourcing.
- Finally write down the list of instructions on a piece of paper you would like to share after all I don’t expect myself to remember it verbatim.
Wishing you a superb day ahead.
This afternoon I was attending Area level contest and while watching the contestants perform, a question popped up in my mind; How can you short circuit to instant FAME in Toastmasters. And rewinding back to over a decade old experience in Toastmasters, three tips surfaced in my mind …
- Participate in Table Topic session: This is the most dreaded part of Toastmasters club meeting wherein even the veterans are reluctant to risk stage time. Whereas you must risk attempting Table topics again, again and again and sooner you will find a winning edge in the impromptu public speaking. There are two benefits of Table topic, firstly you kill your fear of stage fear and secondly you are the new star to dare Table topics. I call this section License to ATTENTION because Table topic speaker attracts legitimate audience awe. Remember the English Proverb “NO RISK NO GAIN.”
- Become an Excom member: Whenever the opportunity arises volunteer your name for the Excom committee. This gives you the legitimate power to connect with your club members and also communicate with Toastmasters outside the club. And with the help of Social media this can give you instant visibility. I call this tip as License to COMMUNICATE because you are expected to email or post to communicate vital decisions.
- Come forward: At every toastmasters meeting, take the initiative to introduce yourself to other Toastmasters. And sooner you will find this as your niche to make new friends out of strangers, within Toastmasters and outside toastmaster community. I call this as License to CONNECT because you are taking the pain to introduce and connect.
Someone wisely said “OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND” and the three tips err THREE LICENSES fixes you UP in Toastmasters mind. And sooner you will find your fame on the trajectory; always in mind for important objectives in Toastmasters.
Best audience does not mean that you are a silent spectator; conversely it reflects you are the most active participant member of the audience. I believe the best learning happens when you plan your participation; and absorb the learning compliant with your goal. Hence let’s analyze how do I maximize my learning during the two hours of meeting when I am not the role play?
- Reach Early: Reach early and connect with members and guests. Set your targets; what you want to achieve during your socializing; do you want opinion on Sales, new openings and so on.
- Carry a Notebook: You can depend on your memory to remember up to “7” things. But you can trust your Notebook to recall any number of learning verbatim. I carry Notebook and note down good quotes, exciting usage of words and use that in my blogs.
- Listen: This is important because when you listen, you learn and when you listen intently, you learn exponentially. Having said that decide what you want to pay attention to ? Good usage of words, humour, quotes or others? During the Burj TM club meeting SAA shared the three taboos as follows. “ You can use three topics on Sex , religion and Politics outside the club meeting”
- Observe Gestures: Observe speakers gestures that make an impression. Can you use those gestures in your next public speaking?
- Take Notes: Take notes during the meeting and begun noting down good usage of language, words or reference to books, URL and others.
- Question but in your Mind: Always questions the speaker. What if he had put a pause? What if the speaker raised the pitch? What if he avoided reference to the TMOD?
- Applaud the Speaker: Applaud the speaker. There is power in applause; it encourages the speaker and in some strange way it also puts you in receptive mode.
- Give Written Feedback: Provide written feedback to the speakers. A very essential process to hone your written feedback skills.
- Give Oral Feedback to the Speaker: Give oral feedback. It’s an excellent process to give feedback and receive instant feedback reflected in the facial gestures. Observe them closely.
- Compliment the speaker when you meet the speaker after the meeting. This is important; it motivates the speaker and also forces you to find positives to speak about.
Once a renowned author said “Do more than Belong: Participate.” Hence be the best audience, PARTICIPATE.
Sharjah Cornish in UAE is one of the best places to take a morning stroll, not because it’s Cornish. But simply because it has a walking strip and the greener patches around. You can walk to your heart contentment and if you ever get tired you can rest on the greener patches or on the side benches. And if you plan to engage in stretching exercise or Yoga, there is no better place than the green patches around. Over all it’s a bargain deal.
My topic is not about Cornish; greener patches or morning walk. But since the weather has improved in the past 10 days, the population of early morning walkers and joggers have increased exponentially and I believe it will improve further. When during summer time we could spot 3 or 4 walkers distance away but now you are practically rubbing shoulders. You can spot young, old and kids. You can spot male and females.
Why such increase in the number of joggers and walkers? Is it now people are more aware of benefits of early morning walk? Or people have more time? None of the above, they were aware of the benefits and they have the same 24 hours. The simple reason is that weather has improved, has become cooler and pleasant. It has become enjoyable to walk. You don’t sweat so much unlike the summer time.
What is the lesson? Lesson is people are very much familiar with what is beneficial for them and what is not? And they will exercise their choice where they experience more Comfort, Fun and Education. So are your Toastmasters meeting experience is more Enjoyable and Fun? Take a decision.
This evening it was a treat listening to TM Sudhir Menon delivering “MOMENTS OF TRUTH” at Al Nahda TM Club and thereafter eating fish/potato snacks brought in by a member TM was the “Moments of Truth”.
I was reminded of my Grand Mother – god bless her soul she is no more. She was a very lively lady running a joint family of 6 sons and a daughter. It is a big joint family and whenever we visited her I would see a continuous stream of visitors during the day. And my Grandmother was never tired of being the perfect host. But sometime it irritated her sons.
If someone appeared on the doorsteps she would gladly invite them inside the house and offer juice or Tea. Rule # 1 was no visitors casual or otherwise should leave from the door.
And if the visitor was a close acquaintance she would greet her with a mile long smile and invite her inside the house. If he was a first time visitor he would be given the tour of the house and then made comfortable on bed made of jute rope (In Punjabi this bed is called Manjee) spread in the verandah. He would be served Tea, juice followed by the meal of the day. The kitchen was a 24 hours routine with Tea on the fire.
She would listen intently to the guest and enquire about guest’s kins by name. Narrate them the stories and when it was time to leave she would pack few parathas or achar for the guest and entreat them to visit sooner. She did not go to school but by the current standards she had a Phd in the “Art of Hospitality.” And when I look back I am not surprised that people loved to visit my Grandmother’s house. And perhaps that was one of the reason that she kept the joint family together.
She was a perfect embodiment of “Moments of Truth.” When I dissect her routine, it reflects the secret recipe of winning and retaining members in toastmasters Program. And if I may dissect it into a “10” point program; it will reflect…
- No Guest should leave your meeting without getting the VIP treatment. Guests are the life line of club because they reflect membership growth.
- When Guest walks in he is greeted with a mile long smile and welcomed.
- Guest is taken around and introduced to the Excom and other members of the club and left in the company of a senior member to take care. Guest is never left unattended and offered Tea/Coffee first.
- Give a patient hearing to the Guest conversation.
- Guest is made comfortable by asking questions of his interest.
- Guest is narrated success stories of the members’ growth.
- Guest is given the snap shot of Toastmasters program
- Guest is asked to join or asked to return for the next meeting and his contact details taken.
- Guest feedback is requested, formal or informal and documented.
- Create a guest kit and hand it over to him after the meeting.
The ultimate objective is to make your guest feel at HOME; after all Toastmasters are a BIG JOINT FAMILY.
Last week had been a whirlwind of visiting various Toastmasters club meetings and would like to share few tips that I believe would enhance the performance of participants and experience of audience across the Toastmasters club.
- Create a mentor pool within Excom that should provide VERBAL feedback to TMOD.
- Create a 30 minutes early time pocket for either Table Topics session ( Lagoon Toastmasters – Sharjah ) or utilize that time for effective networking with an objective. Read the rest of this entry »
This evening I attended Lagoon Toastmasters Club meet at Ryan Hotel – Sharjah. I reached early since I was aware of their best practice of conducting Table Topics session half an hour before the actual start of the meeting time. The popularity and success of early Table Topics session is reflected in the proof that the tradition continues un-interrupted having initiated over an year and early. The occasion also marked the celebration of 88th Birthday of Toastmasters movement and cake cutting ceremony by the club members.
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements and Toastmasters Clubs across Division – F decided to send in their winners to Division – F “Tall Tale contest” to indulge in fantasy, dreams and aspirations. However tall they were, the intent was to entertain the audience. And stretch their brain muscles with stretched stories. Watch the part – 4 of the Tall Tale contest held at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sept. 28, 2012 .
There were “14” contestants and am publishing the next part # 4 watch for the rest tomorrow morning. Enjoy watching…….
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements and Toastmasters Clubs across Division – F decided to send in their winners to Division – F “Tall Tale contest” to indulge in fantasy, dreams and aspirations. However tall they were, the intent was to entertain the audience. And stretch their brain muscles with stretched stories. Watch the part – 3 of the Tall Tale contest held at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sept. 28, 2012 .
There were “14” contestants and am publishing the next part # 3 watch for the rest tomorrow morning. Enjoy watching…….
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements and Toastmasters Clubs across Division – F decided to send in their winners to Division – F “Tall Tale contest” to indulge in fantasy, dreams and aspirations. However tall they were, the intent was to entertain the audience. And stretch their brain muscles with stretched stories. Watch the part – 2 of the Tall Tale contest held at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sept. 28, 2012 .
There were “14” contestants and am publishing the next part # 2 watch for the rest tomorrow morning. Enjoy watching..