Spirited Speech Masters and guests honor Dr. Farzana Chohan

Public speaking give you jitterbugs?

Come to the Spirited Speech Masters Speakeasy Open House on November 14th to learn how Toastmasters can help you develop public speaking and leadership skills!

Thursday, November 14th
1MC16.3312 (central breakroom on the 16th floor)
noon-1:00 PM

The event will feature an engaging speech by an accomplished storyteller, and we will be serving appetizers along with a bevvy of Prohibition-themed “mocktails” that are sure to be the Bee’s Knees!

Build your confidence while conquering your fears in the warm and supportive environment of Toastmasters, all without having to leave your workplace!

Be Your Best Leader: Executive Leadership Summit

District 56 is hosting an Executive Leadership Summit on November 2nd. This set of workshops will substitute for officer-required Toastmasters Leadership Institute, but all members are encouraged to attend.

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 9a – 2p (Registration at 8:30a)
Where: Fountain Life Center
14083 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77035

Register Here

Please join to learn more from your fellow Toastmasters and let us all grow as leaders!

3 Tips for Making the Most out of Toastmasters

VPE Corner written in chalk on a chalkboard

Well into my successful career in Information Technology, I went back to school for a Master’s Degree in Learning and Development.  My thesis paper was on “Self-Directed Learning”.  During my research for this paper, I realized that I was not a Self-Directed learner.  I needed guidance.

That is what I love about Toastmasters – I call it “Directed Self-Learning”.  With the Toastmasters learning program, you get the basic information you need for picking up the elements of public speaking and leadership (whether you realize it or not).  In addition, if you desire, you can branch out and discover more about the topics through your own research.  The Toastmasters learning program is a package consisting of instructional materials, a supportive environment, helpful evaluation and the opportunity to “learn by doing.”

Even though you receive direction, it is still “Self-Learning” – you are responsible for how much you learn.  Here is a check-list of items to help you get the most out of your learning:

  1. Be sure you have a mentor within the chapter. 
    • If you do not know who your mentor is, ask the Vice President of Education.
    • If your mentor hasn’t contacted you, contact them!
  2. Start your Path.
    • Be sure that you read through each project — there is a lot of information therein, including the requirements, documentation, evaluation, and other forms.
    • Work with your mentor if you have questions, could use some insight, or need a practice partner.
    • Schedule your speech on the web site’s weekly meeting sign up. This is a good way to commit to yourself that you will speak.
    • Print your evaluation form and bring it with you to the meeting.
    • Give your speech, review your evaluation, and log into Pathways to finish out your project.
    • To keep your momentum, start reading your next project right away and continue through the projects and levels.
  3. Be consistent.
    This is perhaps the most important element. It is best to speak on a regular basis. This helps increase your skills and build confidence. When you wait a long time between speeches, you can forget what you have learned and might have to work harder than you might otherwise.
    • It is recommended to speak at least once a month, or perhaps on a 6- or 8-week schedule — whatever works best for you.
    • Consider making a list of prospective titles or topics for several speeches and putting them on the calendar in advance!
Scheduling your speeches in advance is a way of making a commitment to yourself.

Remember, it is YOUR learning program. Make sure you get the best out of it — for you!

Parliamentary Procedure in Motion

If you missed today’s workshop on Parliamentary Procedure, you missed a treat!!  When we think of Robert’s Rules of order, we think of very formal and strict rules for running a meeting.  [Yawn!] Tamesia Garner’s presentation couldn’t have been more different.  She very clearly focused on the heart of the matter that most people can appreciate.

We received a great handout on constructing a successful meeting agenda entitled, “The Agenda: Don’t Leave Home without It” and detailing a number of different segments that can help a group make the most of their time.

Her second handout — entitled “Getting the Train on the Tracks” — discussed how motions are handled, using a train as a metaphor:

  • Getting the train on the tracks; a motion is made.
  • Can the train go anywhere at this point? The motion is seconded (or not, in which case the train is derailed).
  • Once we are chugging along, what happens next to get us on our journey? The motion is restated and possibly voted upon (at the “Voting Station,” naturally).

Tammy has a humorous and down-to-earth style that you can’t help but appreciate.  At the same time, she is inclusive, sagacious, and a great teacher, ensuring that she thoroughly and completely answered every question asked by the audience members.

Thank you to our members who filled roles today:

  • Sally, Toastmaster
  • Doug, Grammarian (word of the day: sagacious)
  • Loni, Timer for a complex speech

Also to volunteers, Usamah and Paulette!

And thanks to Loni for the yummy refreshments!

One Set of Rules to Rule them All

We will have a special guest this week, Tammy Garner, to speak on Parliamentary Procedure.  This is the formal process of running a meeting that is used by Toastmasters and many other organizations.

Sally will serve as Toastmaster for this special event and — while this will not have the standard format of our usual meetings — we still have a few roles to fill.  We still need a Timer, an Evaluator and a Grammarian (for a word of the day).

We encourage you to share the news with your friends and anyone who might be interested in this topic and come support our guest.