Toastmasters thrives on the perspectives provided by the introduction of new members. For more experienced members, however, it can be easy to forget what it’s like to experience Toastmasters for the first time. Practices that may seem to need no introduction for the veteran may appear entirely foreign to the recent inductee. This indeliberate thoughtlessness can lead to frustration and early burnout, resulting in the needless loss of what might otherwise have been an enthusiastic addition to your club. In an effort to combat this phenomenon, we recently created a New Member Welcome Packet that provides a starting point along the path to a successful journey in Toastmasters.
Please check out this Event – it is a Zoom call for a Pathways Bootcamp – telling you how to get around in “Basecamp,” the Learning Management System that Pathways is built on. The call will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4th at 7PM. You can attend from the comfort of your own home.
If you have the time to participate in this call, I think you will find it highly manageable for navigating the Pathways online system.
Serving as Toastmaster-of-the-Day for the first time can be a daunting prospect, so much so that it can be difficult to encourage newer members to give it a try. A few of the typical responsibilities include:
- Selecting and sharing a theme around which a short — typically 2-3 minutes — introduction can be given (this is optional but generally boosts the enjoyment factor for participants)
- Making an effort to see that as many meeting roles as possible are filled in the days before the meeting
- Welcoming any visitors
- Running the first portion of the meeting
The decision to volunteer for the role is likely made all the more difficult by the fact that it’s often the more experienced members who end up having to regularly fill this role, giving novices the impression they have to perform at a similar level of proficiency. For this reason, it’s been very helpful in Spirited Speech Masters for our VPE to have created a weekly schedule for this role, giving newer members the gentle push they need to try out this highly rewarding role.
The Toastmasters 101 podcast — a production of Toastmasters District 10 — has some helpful tips for people filling this role, including help selecting a theme and managing time during the meeting. This information is helpfully available as a podcast or as text. Give it a listen and then give the role a try!
Our speakeasy-themed fall open house event was a roaring success with a turnout of more than 20 welcome guests! All participants performed admirably in their chosen roles, with Joann providing warm and enthusiastic transitions between each segment as the President and Toastmaster-of-the-Day. Christine introduced a specially chosen Word-of-the-Day, brouhaha.
Our headline event was a humorously poignant speech about the journey that lead one member to non-contact boxing, a speech that was expertly evaluated by Sally. I had the pleasure of running a variation of Table Topics, and our VP of Enrollment Usamah closed out the meeting with information about how to enroll in the Spirited Speech Masters program.
A huge thank you to everyone who made this event possible, especially the two other members of the planning committee, Usamah and Dawn, as well as our photographer, Allison! I hope you enjoy some of the photographs she took at this year’s event:
Had a great time at the Open House and now interested in becoming part of Spirited Speech Masters? Visit our Join page!
Letting go of mistakes. Embracing change. Being able to say “no” when asked. These are just three of the characteristics of those blessed with emotional intelligence, according to Travis Bradberry, co-author of the well known book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. You can read more about the strengths of emotional intelligence at “Are You Emotionally Intelligent? Here’s How to Know for Sure.” on Entrepreneur.com.