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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.
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 – 1 of the Tall Tale contest held at Dubai Knowledge Village on Sept. 28, 2012 .
There were “14” contestants and am publishing first three contestants this morning; the next 6 would be posted tomorrow morning and balance the day after. Enjoy watching..
Humorous contest are a treat for the body, mind and soul. Simply not because they create laughter but they raise your mood and also reflect powerful learning in simple mirth. Enjoy and watch Division – Humourous contestants in action.
The humor technique used in this speech is mainly “self deprecating humor” – making fun of yourself. In this speech it is about my height.
Putting yourself down brings laughter up! One humor technique that almost always works, both in conversation and on stage, is self-deprecating humor–making fun of yourself. Even straight-laced Al Gore, at the beginning of the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” used self-deprecating humor when he came on stage and said, “Hello, my name is Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States.”.
The main benefits of self deprecating humor are: It makes you more approachable–you seem less threatening or intimidating. The other person may even get the satisfaction of feeling a little superior. It makes you seem modest, likable and confident. It diffuses tension. It makes people laugh and people love to laugh.
Also a lot of personal stories are used, especially the train journey’s which are actual incidents narrated with a little bit of exaggeration. The exaggeration makes the incidents funny.
Digerati Toastmasters Club, a “DTM” club held its 15th meeting at Traders Hotel on Friday 23rd of September 2011. The theme of the day was “The Art of Saying NO”
What did the 15th meeting reflect?
- Strong, passionate participation by the members.
- Brilliant pre and during meeting performance by the TMOD
- “4” project speakers.
- Creative Table topics attempted by prolific Table Topic speakers.
- An educational session by Division governor DTM Balaji
- A special Trophy for the best role play and the 1st recipient of the maiden trophy was to DTM Balaji for the educational session.
WATCH AND ENJOY the sneak view of the meeting….
You may ask what is special about this meeting of Sept. 9, 2011. My answers would be many among the following
- This is 9 meeting short of 100th meeting.
- TMOD Tirupathi Rao was attempting the role play for the first time and delivering a sparkling performance.
- Meeting from A to Z was a medley of words starting with President’s address by acting President TM Ramesh
- Table Topics by TM Raman with books as gifts for every speaker. There were four speakers including one guest.
- Three veterans Table topics speakers including two DTM’s
- A member leaving Dubai to join his family an emotion filled occasion.
- Two cake cutting ceremonies.
- And all compartmentalized into two and half hour session.
- And foremost an Educational Session by the Birthday Lady, a veteran Toastmaster of six years, a gem by heart who has worked towards providing Kanoo Hak conference room available FOC for numerous Toastmasters meetings; watch her deliver an Educational session. Watch DTM Usha Udayshankar share her wisdom on getting members for the club.
This is snap shot of joint meeting of TGIS and Karama Toastmasters Club on Augsut 27, 2011.
An educational Sessions was conducted by DTM Royston Fernandes on August 27, 2011 at the joint Toastmasters Meeting for TGIS Club and Karama Toastmasters club in Dubai
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization run by volunteers across the globe with over 260,000 members, 12,500 clubs worldwide and around 80 clubs in UAE. The success of the Toastmasters International is success of Toastmasters members mirrored in their belief and Success.
The members participate in the program and help each other to succeed but in the journey members and clubs face many challenges such as
- Declining club membership.
- Poor participation in the club activities
- Quality of the meetings
- Clubs not meeting their DCP milestones
- Financially unhealthy clubs
- Members unhappy about their progress
- Confused members
- Not appropriate meeting venue
- Rivalry for the leadership roles. And many more that reflects the nuances of the demography.
Toastmasters program has a structured program to address such challenges but sometime a better solution may lie outside the circle of TM program influence.
Few months ago I bought the book “Switch” authored by Dan and Chip heath. SWITCH makes a fascinating study in bringing about the CHANGE. Fascinating because it is written in Simple, Unpredictable, Credible, Concrete, Emotions and Story format; ensuring that the book sticks and it’s lessons stick too. The author says, supported by scientific research that for a successful CHANGE to happen three things should happen; 1st change should happen in your head @ practical level; 2nd change should happen at an emotional level @ heart and 3rd target should clearly see the road map with measurable results. In other words SWITCH takes an analogy of a rider riding an elephant and the path. For example HEAD/RIDER knows he has to get up early in the morning and exercise to stay healthy, but on the flip side ELEPHANT/EMOTIONS that is huge, wants to sleep a little bit more in the morning and probably exercise next morning. Now in this case the two have to be motivated and also shown the end point to make an effective change. This is the philosophy of Book SWITCH narrated in 9 principals.
The philosophy outlined in the book is common across from bringing changes in Business, Sales, Personnel development and everything which necessitates introducing CHANGE for better. Read my translation of applying “SWITCH” philosophy to “Challenges in Toastmasters program” ……. The 9 principals of CHANGE like the 9 lives of a cat……. Read on……..
- Philosophy # 1(Head) : “Find out what’s working and how you can do more of it.”
- TM perspective: Explore which clubs have healthy membership and why so? Explore clubs that produce champion speakers and why ? Explore clubs that produce great leaders and why ? Ask why and you will have an answer to your challenge. Study them, script the steps and replicate.
- Philosophy # 2 (Head): Script the critical moves. “Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviour.”
- TM Perspective: Decision paralysis – A avoid giving multiple options to the Guests or existing members. Give them one option and a reason why this option is the best option. Inform guest that upon completing the application he becomes the member of the month. Club inducts only 1 or 2 members a month.
- Script the best practices steps towards welcoming the guest, inducting new members and also encouraging existing members to take up role plays. Script and let the responsible person follow best practices.
- Philosophy # 3 (Head) : Point to the destination. ““Change is easier when you know where you are going and why its worth it.”
- TM Perspective: Show them where they will be in 6 months – 12 months down the line. How it will enhance their professional value, business value, reputation and make them more successful in their work and earn promotion.
- Introduce them to the members who have benefited from the process and let them share their success story.
- Philosophy # 4 (Heart) : Find the feeling. “Knowing something is not enough to cause change. Make people feel something.”
- TM Perspective: Appeal to their emotions, four hours invested in TM in a month reflects compound growth in your career and promotion. When you take the first step you are already on the journey to becoming an accomplished speaker, an accomplished leader in radar for promotion in your organization. Your Toastmasters skills will differentiate and identify you as potential leader in your organization.
- Philosophy # 5 (Heart) : Shrink the change: Break down the change until it no longer spooks the elephant.
- TM Perspective: Break down the members and guest aspiration into small exercises. Such as attempt 1 project ONLY in three months, 1 role play ONLY in one month.
- Philosophy # 6 (Heart): Grow your people. “Cultivate a sense of identity and instil the growth mindset.”
- TM Perspective : Nurture leaders and speakers. Instil in them feeling of pride to achieve CC, ACB, ACS DTM. Show them they belong to elite and privileged group who others look upto. Show them they are the role model inside and outside the Toastmasters community.
- Philosophy # 7 (Shape the path): Tweak the environment. “Tweaking the environment is about making the right behaviours a little bit easier and the wrong behaviours a little bit harder.”
- TM Perspective: Recognise achievements and even a small initiative. Assign mentors for every member who will guide and coach to deliver quality speeches and role plays. Make this a team approach shrinking the pressure.
- Make educational materials available for members let them who and what to refer to participate in TM activities. Make it easier and fun for them to take initiative.
- Philosophy # 8 (Shape the path) : Build habits. “when the behaviour is habitual its free—it does not tax the rider. Look for ways to encourage habits.”
- TM Perspective : Set standards for your club meetings. Standard for time, standard for delivering speeches, standard for dress code, standard for greeting members and guests, standard for role plays and sooner members will adopt them as rule of thumb.
- Philosophy # 9 (Shape the path): Rally the herd. “Behaviours is contagious. Help it spread.”
- TM Perspective: Share Success stories among the club members because they inspires other members. Spread success stories in the club, across the Toastmasters community and outside. Use the help of social media and newsletter to achieve your objective. If he can do it so can I.