In This Issue:
- A Magical Investment
- Club Officer Elections
- District 35 Spring Conference
- Spring Conference Digital Banner Parade
- Donations for Silent Auction
- District Leadership Committee Report
- How to Vote at the Annual Business Meeting
- Virtual Speech Contests Are a Success
- Congrats – Education Achievements
- New Strategic Doing Initiative: Testimonial Video Library
- Club Coaching Opportunities
- SpeechCraft – Flexible Programs
- SpeechCraft hosted by Leveling Up Leadership
- Recruiting for Your Corporate Club
- New Club Member Success: Onboarding vs. Orientation
A Magical Investment
How much are you worth? Are you worth at least a quarter a day? A mere twenty-five cents? Me – I’m worth a whole 75¢ per day! What am I talking about? It’s the daily cost of your Toastmasters membership for an entire year (and I belong to three clubs)! Whether you look at it as $90 per year, $45 for six months, $7.50 per month, or 25¢ per day, the financial investment in yourself for professional and personal development is literally pocket change.
I know most people think of “change” as a bad thing, but it truly is an investment. You joined Toastmasters because you wanted to become a better speaker/communicator/leader, increase your self-esteem and confidence, improve your impromptu speaking skills, or a variety of other reasons. You joined Toastmasters because you wanted to change! I’ve seen the positive changes in you as well as your club members and other Toastmasters.
And we sometimes forget that we do actually need change in our lives. We get so comfortable where we are, that we forget to challenge ourselves to do better or try something different. And this is where we are missing out on so much! It’s not until we leave our comfort zone that the “magic” happens.
If you’re looking for some new magic, consider some of these options:
- Join an additional club. Look to a specialty club that develops specific skills or one that gives you more opportunities for speaking.
- Help mentor and unofficially coach a club – join a smaller club and offer your guidance and knowledge.
- Officially coach a club and help bring them to distinguished status. This is an option to consider if you’re trying to complete your DTM.
- Compete in a speech contest. It’s too late to compete this year, but plan for next year.
- Attend a speech contest as an audience member.
- Start a new (or additional) path. Look at the project objectives and complete them from a new perspective.
- Help start a new club as a sponsor.
- Work with a new club after they charter as their club mentor.
- Attend the virtual Spring Conference in May and the International Convention in August.
- Volunteer to be on a district committee, either as a chair or member.
- Become an Area Director. District 35 is looking for additional leadership to work with local clubs in an area. You go through training and have the support of others to help you; you do not need to have experience as an Area Director to become one.
If you have questions on these or other magical moments in Toastmasters, please reach out to me at Kris.Pool.DTM@gmail.com.
If you have already renewed your March membership dues, THANK YOU! If you haven’t, please consider this magical investment in yourself and renew today. Don’t let the magic fade away.
Every club needs leaders who can work with and motivate others to move the club forward. Electing these club officers is a critical aspect of a club’s success; those in leadership roles should make it a point to actively identify other members with leadership potential and encourage them to serve.
Annual office terms must run from July 1 through June 30; semiannual terms must run from July 1 through December 31 and January 1 through June 30. Holding elections at any other time is in direct conflict with the Club Constitution for Clubs of Toastmasters International and Bylaws of Toastmasters International.
To help you prepare for your upcoming elections – usually held the first meeting of May per Club Bylaws – a training on Parliamentary Procedure is planning for Sunday, April 18 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Register in advance for this meeting:
A quorum—a majority of the active members—is needed to conduct club business, including electing officers. Proxies or absentee ballots are not allowed at the club level. Members must be in good standing and present to vote.
When your club has elected new officers, the current president or secretary should submit their names and contact information to World Headquarters online through Club Central by the end of June. It is preferred that clubs submit this information as soon as possible after the election. The District needs this information to invite the newly elected officers to Summer Officer Training.
Outgoing and incoming officers should plan to attend the Club Officer Transition training scheduled on Sunday, May 16 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModOGvqzIpH9emmD2bO0B3f2y_NVQ6McSa This training is to help you learn how to plan for the transition of your current officer role to your successor.
As you talk with your members about the responsibilities of the various officer roles, please refer to the
Club Leadership Handbook (02/20 version) so they can get an idea of what to expect for each role.
Lead From Where You Are means something different for each of us. To me, it means that I can continue to learn, grow, and lead differently. Over the last year, I have learned that I can get the job done from the comfort of my own home. While I miss the office, it is no longer a necessary tool. While I miss seeing all of you in person and shaking hands as I transition to and from the lectern, I’ve learned to make connections virtually while in my comfy socks. That is the message I want you to take from this event. Leading, learning, growing, and connecting can still be done and we can have fun doing it!
The District 35 Spring Conference is back and promises to be an event you will not want to miss. Our first ever virtual conference will have all of your favorite events – a welcome ceremony, keynote address, speech contests, networking, Friday Fun Night, and the annual business meeting.
A schedule of events is available on the district website. Check back often for updates: https://district35.org/lead-from-where-you-are/
Register via Eventbrite today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/district-35-2021-virtual-conference-lead-from-where-you-are-tickets-145365019687?aff=Email
Special thank you to Lois TeStrake, 2021 Spring Conference Chair.
Spring Conference – Digital Banner Parade
We missed it last year, but we are having a Club Banner Parade at this year’s Spring Conference! We want the recognition for our clubs that continue to promote the Toastmasters program.
For our Digital Banner Parade, each club is asked to creatively prepare a picture of who they are, preferably including their club banner. These creative banners will be introduced during the Spring Conference.
What are we looking for? If you’re meeting in person (or have a club picture from when you met in person), you can use that. Or take a screen shot of a Zoom meeting. Or take a variety of pictures and put together into a one-page PowerPoint presentation, then save it as picture. Have some fun and be creative! Examples are pictured below.
Save your picture using the following naming convention, adding an underscore between each element:
- Divisions get one space (A, B, C, D, E)
- Areas get two spaces (01, 02, …… 99)
- Clubs get eight spaces (00005752 …. 01345083)
- Copper Country Toastmasters: E_05_04299987
- Chrome Conversations: D_02_05264984
Once your banner is created and properly name, please submit to Kris Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than Monday, May 3, 2021.
Donations for Silent Auction at Spring Conference
Thank you to all who helped make our Winter Silent Auction a success. Donations are now being accepted for the Silent Auction to be held during the District 35 Spring Conference, scheduled for May 13 -15, 2021. If you are interested in making an individual or group basket donation, please contact Janet O’Rourke at email@example.com or 904-535-9548.
The auction will take place via an online bidding site especially designed for non-profits. Right now, we have nine (9) donations, and we are hoping for at least 20 items.
Donations to date are:
- Toastmaster Swag Bag
- Wine Basket (picture shows basket from the Winter Auction)
- Wisconsin Basket
- Gift cards
- Gift certificate from a local merchants (restaurants, stores, specialty shops)
- Club, Area, or Division themed baskets!
The auction site should go live the week before the Spring Conference. Items will either be shipped or hand delivered. Thank you in advance for your support.
District Leadership Committee Report
In accordance with Toastmasters International guidelines, the DLC committee performed the task of finding the best candidates to serve as district officers.
The DLC has selected the following candidates to be placed on the ballot for election at the District 35 Annual Business Council meeting on Saturday, May 15, 2021.
Nominated Candidates for 2021-2022
- District Director Terry McGregor, VC5, IP3
- Program Quality Director Jennifer Kibicho, DTM
- Club Growth Director Jason Feucht, DTM **
- Club Growth Director Janet O’Rourke, DTM **
- Division A Director David Hendrickson, DTM
- Division B Director Karen Brouwer
- Division C Director Robin Cosgrove, DTM
- Division D Director Tracy Rothman, LD3, PM1
- Division E Director Atul Sharma, SR1
- Division F Director Jean Rossett, EH2, MS3
- Division N Director Lucas Roberts, EC4
All Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education are invited to attend the Annual Business Council meeting and vote for the incoming district leadership team. The only contested position is for Club Growth Director. Please take the time to get to know your candidates.
How to Vote at the Annual Business Meeting
The annual business meeting will be held virtually on Saturday May 15, 2021. As a member of the District Council, you will be voting on realignment and district leadership for 2021-2022.
Plan now to attend a training session on Sunday, April 11, 2021 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn how to get your credentials to vote and how to vote at the meeting.
This training is suggested for all members of the District Council (District Executive Council, Club Presidents, and Club Vice Presidents of Education).
Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctdeuqqDgiHNFqkjJI0InuZhqzVpuJyKxg
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Virtual Speech Contests Are a Success
As we wrap up our Area speech contests and move on to the Division contests, I’m overjoyed with how successful these events have been. Clubs took on the challenge of hosting contests. They attended training sessions, asked questions, and practiced ahead of time to make sure members were able to participate in a fair, online contest.
Moving contests online taught us all a lesson in teamwork and collaboration. Area and Division Directors shared resources, tips, tricks, and best practices as they hosted their own contests and learned from their experiences.
We learned from our mistakes. We learned how to manage change, go with the flow, remain agile and flexible, and make it work. I am proud of the work done by everyone who participated in speech contests this year!
Congratulations to all of our Area Winners! We look forward to hearing you at the Division and District contests ahead.
Congratulations to the following Toastmasters on their Education Achievements!
DTM – Matt Wuteska
Leadership Excellence – Matt Wuteska
Advanced Leader Silver – Matt Wuteska
Persuasive Influence – Fatma Demirbilek
Team Collaboration – Kris Pool
Strategic Relationships – Jennifer Kibicho
Dynamic leadership – Tim Griep and Pat Lindsey
Visionary Communication – Judy Bauer
New Strategic Doing Initiative: Testimonial Video Library
I am a Toastmaster because…..
Many of us join Toastmasters for many reasons and we want others to join, too. Sometimes the challenge is either communicating it or not having a resource we can share with others. District 35 is preparing one such tool using the Strategic Doing method.
Strategic Doing is a planning approach designed to help communities identify opportunities to solve complex challenges and take the action needed to generate results.
District 35 is embarking on this new Strategic Doing effort to generate ideas and take action. Eight (8) District 35 members participated in a workshop on February 28 to answer the question: “What would the District look like if Toastmasters was the brand of choice for personal and professional development needs across diverse groups in the community?”
Through the workshop process, the team generated many great ideas. There were so many we narrowed down the ideas and selected one that had high potential for impact while being relatively easy to complete. What did we choose?
We are designing and developing a targeted library of testimonial videos that can be shared out to specific industries! This library will live on the District 35 website and will be accessible to members so they can share individual industry-focused videos or a broader, more general-reach video.
The team is working hard to make this vision a reality. We have researched industries, built out storyboards, designed reach-out and promotion plans, and even developed a member survey to help determine if our work is successful in the long run. We’re currently refining these plans and looking at video editing tools. As all of our planning comes together, we’ll be sending out the survey and reaching out to find volunteers to record testimonials.
We believe this library can become a powerful recruiting tool if optimally configured and promoted. If you have social media marketing, video editing, and/or SEO expertise, we could use your help! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join the team.
We’ll continue to post updates as the project continues. Keep checking back to learn more!
Club Coaching Opportunities
As we enter the final three months of the Toastmasters year, opportunities remain for both coaches and clubs.
Members – Consider serving as a club coach to develop new, or utilize existing, leadership skills. Currently, 38 clubs in the District are eligible to accept a coach with more expected after dues renewal. Two clubs have requested a coach that we have not yet been able to fill. In today’s virtual world, you have an opportunity to coach a club that you would not normally be able to attend.
Club Officers – If your club has 12 or fewer members, you may request a Club Coach to assist you in increasing membership and achieving club goals.
Contact Keith Cumiskey, DTM, PDD for more information about club coaching.
Flexible Speechcraft Program Conducted Using Different Formats in District 35
The Speechcraft program from Toastmasters International allows clubs to utilize this membership building tool to fit their clubs needs and goals.
The Sentry Club in Stevens Point conducts Speechcraft every spring and fall. On March 8, 2021, ten (10) participants graduated from the spring Speechcraft, with five (5) joining the club as members. Sentry ran a 6-week program using the traditional manual system.
The Coulee Region Toastmasters started a 6-week Speechcraft on March 15, 2021 to build membership in their low member club. They are also using the manual system facilitated by Tony Cooper.
Julius Theisz is planning a 4-week Speechcraft in April to help bring the potential Kerry corporate club in Beloit to 20 members and allow them to charter. He is using the new digital/online Speechcraft program just released from Toastmasters International. Please contact JT at Julius.email@example.com, if you are interested in helping and viewing how the new program works.
Jean Rossett, along with Kelly Martyn, are also planning a 4-week Speechcraft in May to help jump start the Leveling Up Leadership club to reach charter strength of 20 members and bring a new club to District 35. They will be using the new online program as well. This new club is for current members who want to focus on business and leadership, as well as new members to Toastmasters. Please contact Kelly Martyn at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
For more information regarding Speechcraft, contact Dick Hawley at email@example.com.
NOTE: Clubs using the manual Speechcraft program materials from the traditional education program have until June 30, 2021 to complete their program and receive credit. After July 1, 2021, only the digital version of Speechcraft can be used and members (and future members) to receive credit.
Leveling Up Leadership is a new online prospective club focusing on business and leadership. Our goal is to charter before the end of this Toastmasters year! We will be running a 4-week virtual Speechcraft Bootcamp in the month of May, every Tuesday at 12:00 Noon Central Time via Zoom starting May 4, 2021.
This Speechcraft Bootcamp is open to everyone and offers various benefits.
- Never been to a Toastmasters meeting? Come check out what we’re all about!
- Been to meetings but still haven’t joined? What are you waiting for? Jump start your Toastmasters Journey with an Ice Breaker speech!
- Once a member and now looking to rejoin? Dive right back in; you never forget how to be a Toastmaster!
- Already a member of a club and looking to join another? Speed up your education goals with more opportunities to complete projects!
- Is English your second language? Come practice in a safe, friendly, and encouraging environment!
The cost to participate in this Speechcraft Bootcamp is $25. This will cover the cost of digital material ($10) and the remaining $15 will be applied towards your membership if you decide to join the club.
If you are interested in participating, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/149715287455
Only those that register will be provided Speechcraft material. Deadline to sign-up is April 27, 2021.
Share this opportunity with your fellow Toastmasters, friends, family, and colleagues! Please contact me for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recruiting for Your Corporate Club
Corporate Club, CNH Industrial Toast Team, recently held an informational meeting with the company’s North America Management team to help recruit new members. This was an opportunity for managers to hear how their direct reports can gain public and intrapersonal speaking confidence and develop leadership skills by using Toastmasters in goal setting and employee development.
Some of the key highlights that we talked about were: the real world transferable skills Toastmasters teaches; the cost-effective membership fee; the self-paced, experiential learning opportunities; and what paths correlate to various job roles. For example; Management roles might benefit from the Dynamic Leadership or Leadership Development paths; Human Resources roles might benefit from the Effective Coaching or Motivational Strategies paths; and Administrative roles might benefit from the Team Collaboration path. No matter your role in the workplace, there is a path that will help in your professional development.
Check out the video to hear from Club President DeDe Obuch, VP Education Kim Hoover, and myself, as we talk about the benefits of using Toastmasters for employee development: https://youtu.be/ncrHtkaymVs
We’d be happy to share our experience with you if you’re interested in conducting an informational meeting for your own corporate club! Contact me at email@example.com
New Club Member Success: Onboarding vs. Orientation
Remember when you got that new job? Were you thinking “now what?” You may have participated in a day or two of New Employee Orientation. You were shown the basics, given company documentation, learned where the cafeteria was located, and filled out a ton of legal forms to ensure you and the government got paid. That’s orientation.
Organizations that value new employees go beyond a routine orientation. They make orientation part of the New Employee Onboarding Program, a series of activities that last between three months and one year. SHRM.org (Society for Human Resource Management) provides a very succinct definition of onboarding:
“Onboarding helps new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their jobs so they can quickly become productive, contributing members of the organization.”
When your Toastmasters club secured that new member, were you thinking “now what?” Help that new person feel valued, start Pathways, and contribute to your Club by taking meeting roles. Envision new members as future leaders. Let’s onboard our new members!
In the Menomonee Falls Club, onboarding starts the day a potential member visits a meeting. The Vice President-Membership (VPM) sends a follow-up ‘thank-you for joining our meeting’ email along with a Guest Welcome Packet. The VPM stays in touch with the visitor until he or she either joins the Club or indicates otherwise.
The Treasurer’s ‘New Club Member’ email, sent to the Club officers, triggers a series of events that flawlessly ensures the new member feels welcomed and gets off to a good start within our Club. Here’s our process:
→President sends Welcome Email to new member.
→President sends ‘New Member!’ email to Club Members.
→VPM sends ‘New Member Packet’ and introduces the new member’s Mentor.
→VPM enrolls new member in New Member Orientation offered monthly by Cream City Communicators Club.
→President welcomes new member at next Club meeting.
→VPM adds new member to schedule for future ‘Member Spotlight’.
→Mentor connects with new member.
In our Club, the formal mentor relationship lasts approximately three months — for the new member’s first three speeches and first three meeting roles. After that, the mentor is ‘on call’ as the go-to person for the new member. Mentors follow the ‘tried and true’ information included in our Mentor’s Toolkit to ensure the new member’s success in the Club and in meeting his or her goals for joining.
Is it time your Club started onboarding its new members? Here’s to successful onboarding of your new members!