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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!
International award-winning trainer and Distinguished Toastmaster Sheryl Roush, crowned the "Queen of Content" by the Founder's District, shares how to get paid for your presentations when you learn how to Speak And Market Like a Pro!
All levels of speakers will discover valuable skills that can be used immediately. This fast-paced two-hour program provides more than 36 tips and 3 solid gold templates to help you design your marketing materials with greater know-how, confidence, and professionalism.
Learn how to…
--- Identify your true target market
--- Understand what your audience needs
--- Build tailored and engaging presentations
--- Leverage the three vital stages of communication
--- Create effective speaker marketing materials that get you hired
Sheryl's insider's point-of-view as a marketing and graphic designer of 35 years and more than 25 successful years as a paid speaker can jump-start your speaking business. So when she gives away time saving secrets on what-goes-where and why on the speaker's one-sheet template, you know it's solid gold marketing.
The Founder's District and Speakers Bureau are thrilled to have Sheryl Roush return to give, and give again, to help you succeed and achieve your presentation dreams. Best of all, this workshop of "Speak And Market Like a Pro!" held at National University in Costa Mesa on March 12, 2014, is free. Register here and if full, click on "Add to Waitlist".
TEDx YBC members believe in the possibility to change the world one positive word, gesture, or action at a time. Carpe diem! More than ten seasoned Toastmasters, led by Jack Nichols, have been selected to coach these young innovative thinkers in the new TED presentation style.
“That’s great,” I hear you say, “but what’s TED, TEDxYBC and TED presentation style?”
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.
TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.
TEDxYBC (Youth Bommer Canyon) are all ages and races sharing ideas and building community – Orange County’s finest doers, thinkers and change agents. Instagram #tedxybc
TED presentation style challenges the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. Shorter talks are not lesser talks. It may only take 5 minutes to make your point unforgettably. Like this one: Joe Smith: How to use a paper towel.
Come watch and participate in the Third annual TEDxYouthBommerCanyon conference:
Theme: Mind the Gap – stories of disruption, innovation, and crossing the chasm
Saturday, October 19, 2013
5:00 PM to 11:30 PM (PDT)
Orange Coast College's RBM Theater
2701 Fairview Rd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For more information: www.tedxyouthbommercanyon.com
Founder’s District leadership team tips their hat to these magnificent mentors:
Contestants at the November 9th conference “stretch the truth” to audience delight!
Speech competitions at the district level are always a treat for spectators and when the affair includes Tall Tales, the entertainment factor skyrockets. The big event, emceed by Contest-master Jeanne Cassidy, was held at the La Mirada Holiday Inn and was the grand finale to an action-packed conference that is sure to go down in the record books as one of the best ever!
Professor Walter Clark and more than a dozen of his student from West Wood College descended upon the BergenMeisters Toastmasters club on Thursday, August 22, during their lunchtime meeting to take their first steps in making a positive impact and rewarding career in the field of criminal justice.
In addition to giving a well-planned presentation, Clark believes being able to think on your feet and answer coherently in a clear and concise manner is a vital skill set. Several students participated in Table Topics, stood at the lectern at the front of the room and answered impromptu questions.
When polled the results were split in half – 50% felt it was hard and 50% felt it was easy to talk to a group of strangers. But all agreed practicing answering random questions would be beneficial.
What recent Founder's District Event combined eating birthday cake, extoling the virtues of procrastination, frolicking with a 160 pound wolf, staring at the Mona Lisa, and mingling with 214 Toastmasters members and guests (not necessarily in that order)? If you guessed our Spring Conference, then you would be absolutely correct!
On May 3, 2014, Toastmasters from all over Southern California gathered at the Beautiful La Mirada Holiday Inn to celebrate our district's 70th birthday and Toastmaster International's 90th birthday! Daniel Rex, CEO of TMI, kicked off the extravaganza with a riveting keynote address that showcased all the amazing milestones that have been reached throughout the decades. He wished that Founder Ralph Smedly -- who could only wistfully dream of someday having four-hundred clubs…an impossible number in his lifetime -- could see how we currently charter that very amount…EVERY SIX MONTHS! Wow!
Check out all of the conference photos here.
Founder's District is excited to announce our Spring 2015 Marketing Workshop!
Guest speakers and seasoned Toastmasters will share their knowledge and experience with you to help expand your skills and gain training for advancing toward your DTM:
Join us on Saturday, March 7 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Santa Anita Church in Arcadia.
Of course, we are just beginning competition season and there are more opportunities coming right up with the Orange County Academic Decathlon. Judges are needed on two separate dates and locations. The first will be held on January 25, 2014 at Tustin High School, and the second on February 1, 2014 at Westminster High School. If you are interested in either opportunity, please visit the Volunteer Information webpage and notify Avis French if you participate, as she tracks Toastmaster community involvement.
Distinguished Toastmasters Michael Varma, Peter Albini and Kevin Graham added color commentary for more than 100 entries in the 22nd annual Lake Forest Fourth of July parade.
This hometown star spangled salute filled with entertainers, sports teams, church groups, hot rods and city officials were watched by more than 6,000 residents sitting on the sidewalks, including a pretty pink poodle named Margarita.
The red, white and blue entries started the mile long parade route at 10 a.m. at El Toro High School and concluded near Heritage Hill Historical Park. Varma and his talented talkers kept the crowd engaged with good family humor, Independence Day trivia, and Lake Forest fun facts.
City leaders believe the annual Independence Day parade signifies the importance of embracing the city’s rich, historical past so that future generations may enjoy the same hometown spirit. The city's motto, "Remember the past, challenge the future," is the Lake Forest way of life.
Michael Varma, Peter Albini and Kevin Graham announce the 22nd annual Lake Forest Fourth of July Parade