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It is my honor and privilege to present the Gene Beckwith award for 2014-2015 to Linda and Richard Daugherty. They have served as the official district photographers for the past three years, but served in that role for several years before that. They have literally taken thousands of pictures of our members at LACE, Area/Division contests, district meetings, special occasions, and conferences. If it had to do with the district and our members, you can guarantee that Linda and Richard would be there - with cameras and smiles.
Photo by Harry Yan, DTM
How do you retain your existing club members? When and why do so many Toastmasters lose interest? Member retention is one of the greatest issues plaguing our Toastmasters clubs.
The Phoenix Club in Anaheim provided the venue and a delightful breakfast for participants in the second Founder’s District Retention Workshop. District leadership and members discussed existing Toastmasters tools and innovated solutions to invigorate clubs and retain members.
Photo by Richard Daugherty
Ninety Toastmasters who attended Founder’s District Spring Marketing Workshop, came away with unbreakable rule #1: Consistency beats Ability! The remaining rules can be found in Cathey Armillas book: The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing: 9 ½ Ways To Get People To Love You.
What helps a club retain membership? Interesting question! The answer is just as interesting, depending on whom you ask. If you ask me, I run, not walk to my weekly Toastmaster meeting for my weekly one-hour therapy session! I wholeheartedly enjoy the camaraderie between our members. New and seasoned members experience a safe and encouraging environment where personal growth is watered like a delicate spring flower. Although encouragement, positive feedback, and growth should be expected of any Toastmasters club, Tools 2 Lead club (Club 921159), based out of Department of Child Support Services in Santa Ana, takes their camaraderie to new levels!
In Toastmasters, we are given multiple opportunities to learn, grow, and to become a better communicator. It also gives us an unusual opportunity to learn first-hand about leadership – what to do, and what NOT to do. But in order for us to really take advantage of this learning opportunity, we need to step up and take on the various leadership roles that are available.
You're probably already familiar with the leadership opportunities that are available at the club level; but did you know there are MORE chances to learn about leadership outside of the club? You can learn about how to work with other clubs as an Area Governor (appointed by District Governor); you can learn how to delegate as a Division Governor (elected); you can enhance your team-building skills in the positions of Lt. Governor Marketing or the Lt. Governor Education and Training (elected).
Does your club have a name? I'm not talking about "Smedley Chapter 1,” “Tongues A Flame,” “Vineyard Journeys” or any of the club names registered at World Headquarters. To be successful, a club must be "human" and have many names and faces. People want to connect with other people who have common interests, who are facing similar challenges, and who want to offer support and encouragement.
Remember the Toastmaster's Promise . . . "to attend club meetings regularly." To me, that sounds like yet another obligation in a life filled with obligations. I prefer to think of it as, "twice each month I'll link up with Lee, Jason, Wendy, Siri, Clint, Sami, Sue, to have some fun and coach each other to become better speakers and leaders." I don't suggest that we revise the Toastmaster's Promise; however, the realization that my friends are expecting me makes a huge difference in my motivation to prepare for and arrive to the meeting on time.
It seemed everyone was there. Leaders were trained and leaders trained. The numbers were impressive. Around 900 members were in attendance at the two events on June 1 and June 29. The variety of sessions offered more than officers’ training. The highlighted workshops included "Secrets to Better Photos", "Job Interview: Get Them to Say Yes", "7 Habits of Successful Leaders", "Winning a Humorous Speech Contest", "The P5 Model for Presentation Success", "You Can Turn the Table on Table Topics", "Sharing the Gift of Toastmasters: A Simple Way to Build a New Club", and "They're Not Laughing Because You're Not Funny. But You Can Be". Much magic was required from almost 50 volunteers at each event to plan the day and deliver the 25 educational classes each appropriately at Chapman and Biola Universities.
Recognition and appreciation must be given to Siri Payakapan, DTM and Wilma Springer, DTM, PDG who planned and coordinated the event, spread the message and assured that the day would be memorable and club officers would be ready to lead Founder’s District to greatness and be Distinguished for the 2013-2014 terms.
Marriages that last seem to receive less attention than high profile, short term break-ups. The media has it all wrong. Let's take a stand and shower attention on the simple and good things in life, after all good things last the longest.
Fellow Toastmaster Luby and her husband Bob just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. What can you say about a couple of crazy kids that married on the steps of Avalon Community Church on November 10, 1962, on Catalina Island, Calif., and returned fifty years later to renew their vows on the same church steps?
Here’s a copy of a tasteful toast that attendees said, “That was a wonderful” and "A truly fabulous toast.":
Good Afternoon, my name is Michael Varma and I met Luby more than ten years ago at a Toastmasters meeting.
Luby is our resident celebrity. She a triple threat: she acts, she sings and can tap dance her way out of a question she doesn’t want to answer.
And we’re here to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary to Bob. Fifty years is quite an achievement. Most folks don’t make it that far.
Britney Spear’s first marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander lasted 55 hours.
Kim Kardashian's second marriage to New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries lasted a mere 72 days.
But those are marriages that didn’t make it. How about other celebrities that are still together?
Hollywood sweethearts Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are still together, but it’s only been 24 years.
My wife and I have been married for a little more than 10 years and know I adore my wife more today than when got married. (Honey, did I say that right?)
Luby and Bob, you’re at 50 years. That’s five times more love than I’ve yet known. I’m in awe and offer this anniversary toast.
You are blessed from above
With devotion and love
I have a good notion
To second His motion
We bid you good cheers
Partners in love for many more years
When Luby was asked what was the secret to her marriage, she offered a favorite quote, “Love creates a marriage and after several years, the marriage make love.”
By creating a new website using free Google Site software, Michael Varma was awarded the Diamond Web Award at the Toastmasters Founder’s District Fall Conference on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2012, at the Sheraton Hotel in Cerritos, California.
Varma, a Distinguished Toastmaster and webmaster for the BergenMeisters Toastmasters club, created a new informational and interactive website for the public speaking organization that gives site visitors the ability to communicate more effectively at work and at play .
“The new Google tools are simple to use and it took me less than 30 minutes to set up our club website,” said Varma. “I presented the initial pages to our members, solicited feedback and kept adding pages, pictures and resources as requested. It was a team effort.”
Entries were judged by independent web designers on content (65%) and presentation (35%) with an emphasis on portraying the benefits of the Toastmasters program to meet personal and professional goals.
“The judges confirmed his club website is a colorful smorgasboard of pictures, events, tips on leadership and public speaking and even a few jokes along the way ,” said John Barry, the Founder’s District Community Relations and Recognition Chairperson. “ It’s an excellent example of how a webmaster with creativity and technology can design an attractive website that club members can be proud of and is very impressive to guests and visitors as well .”
BergenMeisters Club President Kevin Moniz said, “We knew we had to make our web presence a top priority. Thankfully Michael worked his magic to bring our website into
modern times. It has paid off more than we expected; our last nine club members found us online. We can now help more people learn public speaking skills in a supportive setting.”
BergenMeisters Toastmasters club meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 12 to 1 p.m. at 505 City Parkway West, Orange, CA 92868. For more information about the club, please visit BergenMeisters.org.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has more than 260,000 members in approximately 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since its founding in October 1924, the organization has helped more than 4 million men and women give presentations with poise and confidence. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit toastmasters.org .
Funny-man and sometimes serious-guy Michael Varma, DTM, was honored by Toastmasters at the recent Founder’s District Executive Council ceremony: “Best Male Actor in a Comedy” for his appearance in a video promoting the communication organization’s Humorous Speech Contest, and the more serious 2013 Toastmasters Distinguished Service Award, for his contributions to the international non-profit that helps people hone their communication and leadership skills.
Toastmasters everywhere are learning to set lofty goals, meet them, and enjoy the spoils of success. And we find that there are those around us who are more than willing to help us succeed in our endeavors. In Toastmasters we honor them with plaques, certificates, and awards for going above and beyond the call of duty. But the ones who support us the most, and who deserve the highest appreciation, are the ones who stand by our side, each and every day.
Our spouses, our partners, and our loved ones, whether they are members of Toastmasters or not, are the ones who silently guide us, inspire us, and complete us. They struggle when we struggle, suffer when we suffer, and celebrate when we succeed. We are empowered by the unconditional love they bestow on us.
This Valentine's day, Founder's District invites you to take a break from Toastmasters and honor the one who loves you the most, with all of the pomp and flair they deserve. Put your best Toastmaster's leadership and communication skills to work for you and do something extraordinarily special for your loved one. Post your most creative and unforgettable moment together this Valentine's Day on the Founder's District Facebook page and enter to win a $25 gift certificate and your story featured in the next Founder Newsletter. Include a story and photo or video. Three winners will be picked. We'll choose the ones that best exemplifies the Toastmaster's love.
“I don’t know what to talk about,” is one of the most common excuses for not giving a speech. Fortunately for you Frances Jordan Stein, Ph.D., DTM, can turn your (speaking) life around with one question.
Every person you meet wants to know, but is afraid to ask, “Who has been a light in your life?” Answer the following questions and fill in the blanks and you’ll have “something to talk about.”
Today I will talk about who has been a light and made a difference in my life.
Body of speech:
Describe the main character and tell how and what that person has said and done to make a difference in your life.
[There might be many events, but select only three main points to explain.]
Closing: Tell what makes the story important to you and what you hope others understand are key “take-aways.”
Take a bow. You’re all done. That was easy…but why was it so easy?
It’s a technique called “Speech Starters”. Speech Starters are questions that give rise to meaningful material that you can use in a conversation with others, organize a speech and deliver it with passion.
Here are three additional speech starters that you can “pop into” the above template and have a winning, passionate presentation every time.
1. Who do you admire and how would you benefit having him/her as your mentor?
2. What has made you a better human being?
Share how others will benefit knowing this information.
3. Excluding your computer and smart phone, what one item couldn't you live without?
Talk about why it is important, what it does for you and how it simplifies your life.
To ensure your speech has a strong closing and your audience has tangible “take-aways,” ask these questions:
Speaker’s Tip (and favorite mantra):
Never make a point without a story.
Never tell a story without a point.
Founder's District Tech Tools Toastmasters Club #2094157 celebrated its first anniversary with an open house that enthralled all in attendance. The event took place on Saturday, November 10, 2012 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tyrol Plaza Club House at 891 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim,CA 92806.
There were many things that made this a remarkable event. One of the members had a very interesting cake baked and decorated with a smartphone and laptop. It was a beautiful and attractive cake! Celly Adamo, DTM, PDG traced the history of Toastmasters and its founder, Ralph C. Smedly, from 1903 to the present. Then, there was a panel discussion of five tech savvy individuals who described various benefits of joining a specialized Toastmasters Club. The Tech Tools club focuses on teaching and talking about technology, smart phones, laptops, iPhones, and other tech gadgets. In addition, we discuss their benefits to, possible dangers to, and impact on individuals and society. Following is a list of panelists and their topics:
· KimChi Nghe, ACS, AB- Toastmasters, Women and Technology: Don’t Be Intimated by Technology
Do you hear the drums? It’s “The Rhythm of Teamwork!” Come to the Founder’s District Fall Conference on Saturday, November 9, to discover how something as simple as drumming can enhance your communication and leadership skills and help your clubs develop strong, cohesive teams. The Fall Conference will be at the La Mirada Holiday Inn and Conference Center. Registration opens at 7:00 a.m. with a continental breakfast. The program starts promptly at 8:30 a.m., but be there early—we have some surprises for you. Check out the Conference Information page for more information about our keynote presentation, our C&L Recipient (a non-Toastmasters related person or organization that provides leadership and communication in our communities), the education sessions, the business meeting, the Hall of Fame luncheon, and, oh, yes, the Evaluation and Tall Tales Contests. Did I mention there will be opportunity drawing gifts, a silent auction, the bookstore, and the Drum Café booth? If you register before the early-bird date of November 2, you only pay $65 PLUS you get a free opportunity drawing ticket. Come be part of the fun and excitement!