District 35 Toastmasters

December 2020 Newsletter

In This Issue:


From the Desk of District Director, Kris Pool, DTM

Season’s Greetings!

Have you seen the movie “Toys” with Robin Williams and Robin Wright? “The Closing of the Year” song from the opening scene is one of my favorites and always goes on my playlist.

“The Closing of The Year”
If I cannot bring you comfort
then at least I bring you hope
for nothing is more precious
than the time we have and so
we all must learn from small misfortune
count the blessings that are real
let the bells ring out for Christmas
at the closing of the year
let the bells ring out for Christmas
at the closing of the year

We are nearing the end of 2020 and what a year it has been! So much in our lives have changed – some for better, some for worse – but we have managed to navigate these challenges. As the song mentions, we all must learn from small misfortune, count the blessings that are real. And we truly have done this.

At home, we became teachers to our children and personal shoppers for our high-risk family members. At work, we have seen the number of colleagues work from home go up, the amount of travel gone down, and get “zoomed” out from being online all day. We’ve changed how we eat, play, work, party – and if you’re like me – gone into withdrawals from the lack of physical contact.

And as Toastmasters, we have risen up to the challenge of mastering online technology in order to continue meeting, giving speeches, and developing our communication and leadership skills. This is a new skill that will not go away. Hopefully, you are honing this skill with Toastmasters and then taking it to your work. I’ve done this in small ways – from asking the facilitator to call on each person individually for round table feedback instead of asking everyone at one time for any comments to a tutorial on how to mute yourself. And I’m also working myself into a new position as trainer. We’ve gone to all online training across the state, and I have conducted online training for groups as large as 75 at one time to one-on-one training with supervisors so they can learn new ways to do some of their new responsibilities; these are happening weekly and I continue to get asked for more training and get volunteered to give more. I would never have been able to do this without Toastmasters.

What have you learned from the various misfortunes this year? How have you turned them into blessings? How has Toastmasters helped you during this past year?

I wish you health and happiness as we flip the calendar to January 2021. Thank you for being you and all that you do! HUGS!!!!


From the Desk of Program Quality Director, Teri McGregor

Speech Contest Season Begins December 1

Speech contests are an important part of the Toastmasters program.  Contests offer all members an opportunity to grow in their speaking abilities.  Participants gain experience and others learn by watching proficient speakers.  They also offer variety to the Toastmasters experience and bring networking and social opportunities with area, division, and district events.

This year, contests will be held virtually – another opportunity to learn, grow, and develop new skills in hosting online events!  The district is sponsoring the International and Evaluation Speech Contests.  All clubs are encouraged to host a contest December 1, 2020 – January 30, 2021.  All the tools you need to execute your contest can be found on the Contest Resource page at District35.org.  Here you will find contest checklists, sample scripts, links to all of the ballots, forms and certificates, as well as links to all the online resources available from Toastmasters International.  The D35 Contest Forum is the place to ask questions, share tips and tricks, ask for help filling functionary roles, and volunteer to help.

For more support, be sure to attend one or all of the following training sessions available.  Click on the links to register.

December 9, 2020:  Virtual Contest Training

December 14, 2020:  Techmaster Training for Speech Contests

January 11, 2021:  Techmaster Training for Speech Contests



What is TLI?

The Toastmasters Leadership Institute is training for Toastmasters.  While it is designed to help officers learn the skills needed to lead their club, all Toastmasters will benefit from attending.  This half-day training opportunity will energize you and arm you with the tools needed to continue to lead your club to reaching their goals!  Club officers are required to attend.  When 4 or more officers attend both the summer and winter training sessions, clubs receive credit toward the Distinguished Club Program.

Why should you attend?

This is a FREE event that you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  Join us virtually for topics and inspiration that you can take back to re-energize your clubs.  Hear from talented speakers on topics that will help you learn and grow and will put you in a better position to support the members of your club.  Attending a TLI is a great way to network and share ideas! Hear about what others from across the district are doing and share your own success stories.

When can you attend?

December 5, 2020 | 9:00am – 1:00pm

  • Keynote speaker:  Gina Glover From Conversations to Connections
  • Club Quality Workshop:  Kris Pool
  • Panel Discussion on providing a quality experience while navigating towards our new normal
  • Speech Contest Training
  • Closing Keynote:  John Scott Listening

January 19, 2021 | 5:00pm – 9:00pm

  • Agenda still being finalized

February 6, 2021 | 8:30am – 12:30pm

  • Agenda still being finalized

Visit the District 35 Website for details and links to registration.



Congratulations to the following members who completed level 5 since our last newsletter!!

Innovative Planning

  • Yuying Feng
  • Steve Wittmann

Leadership Development

  • Robert Swanson

Engaging Humor

  • Bonniejean Alford

Dynamic Leadership

  • Susan Brushafer
  • Bruce Bitter


Fast 5

Congratulations to Eastside Madison Toastmasters Club for earning the Fast 5 Incentive.  Eastside has had 5 new members and met 5 DCP goals by November 30 to earn $50 District Dollars!


Leap into a Full Year of Membership

Congratulations to the following clubs who had 8 members renew for a full year by the September dues renewal date!  These clubs have earned $30 district Dollars!!

  • Menomonee Falls Toastmasters
  • Toastmasters In Control
  • Love of Laughter
  • Waukesha Toastmasters Club
  • DJAB
  • Generally Speaking Toastmasters
  • North Shore Badgers
  • NM Speaks!
  • Oak Creek Toastmasters
  • Southwest Toastmasters

Individual members that renewed for a full year have earned a “leap frog” pin.


From the Desk of Club Growth Director, Jennifer Kibicho, DTM

We are midway through the Toastmasters year! The time has really flown by!

CGD by the Numbers

Of the 115 active clubs in our District:

  • 90 clubs are in Good Standing (with 8 or more paid members)
  • 16 clubs are within reach of Good Standing status with 3-7 paid members
  • 7 clubs have not submitted any membership renewals



Dick Hawley, DTM, our District 35 SpeechCraft Liaison held a very successful SpeechCraft training workshop on November 17, 2020 with 26 individuals in attendance. Please take the time to watch the Speech Craft Training Presentation and the Speech Craft Training Q&A videos. Participating in SpeechCraft presents opportunities for:

  • Clubs not in Good Standing Status or who are experiencing decreased membership and are looking to increase membership and generate new energy
  • Members working towards HPL in the traditional education program or Pathways, or looking to earn a SpeechCraft credit for their DTM under Pathways
  • Club Coaches hoping to earn club coach credit towards their Advanced Leadership Silver under the traditional education program or DTM under Pathways
  • Newly chartered clubs seeking to quickly orient new Toastmasters to Pathways

If you have questions about SpeechCraft and how your club can utilize this club rebuilding tool to recruit and increase membership, please reach out to Dick Hawley at dick21hawley@gmail.com.


Gratitude in Loss

Reflecting on a most unusual year in recent times, I am grateful that Toastmasters gave me a voice in the workplace that led to my promotion. Toastmasters gave me the words to pay tribute and honor the memory and legacy of my parents—my dad passed shortly after I joined Toastmasters in Summer 2014, and my mum in Fall 2020.

For those of you who have experienced loss this year, I hope that Toastmasters will provide that outlet for you—where you can use the power of words and storytelling to celebrate their lives and grieve the void left by those who will be missed at the table this holiday season.

How has Toastmasters helped you navigate life? Share your Toastmasters story with others and invite them to attend your next club meeting.


Starting 2021 Strong

With the COVID-19 vaccine within weeks of rollout, we are hopeful that in Spring 2021, life will begin returning to a “new” normal. This new normal will involve a blend of virtual, hybrid, and in-person club meetings and is a great opportunity for clubs to recruit new members and re-engage with those members in hiatus. Consider reaching out to businesses and organizations in your area and inviting them to your Open House or organizing a special SpeechCraft Workshop to attract new members to your club.

Please reach out to your Area and Division Directors if your club is looking for support to conduct virtual or hybrid meetings. Please reach out to the Club Coach Chair Keith Cumiskey at khcumiskey@ra.rockwell.com with your Club Coach needs and Dick Hawley at dick21hawley@gmail.com, our SpeechCraft Liaison, with your SpeechCraft questions. Our Club Growth team is here to support you in achieving those personal and professional development goals that brought you to Toastmasters.  


Call for Volunteers

We are looking for people to help with facilitating SpeechCraft workshops and serving as Club Coaches. Also, as Rozaline Janci, our District 35 District Leadership Committee Chair notes in her article, we are looking for individuals to serve the District. If you are considering being the next CGD, please reach out to me @ kibichodtm@gmail.com. I would be happy to hear from you.

It is my highest honor and greatest privilege to serve as your Club Growth Director in 2020/2021.

A Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy and Prosperous 2021!


District Leadership Committee Chair, Rozaline Janci, DTM

District 35 Nominations for 2021-2022 Toastmasters Year

District 35 is accepting nominations for all Division Directors, Club Growth Director, Program Quality Director, and District Director.  A candidate may nominate himself/herself or nominate another Toastmaster. Each candidate will need to submit a candidate application (links are below) for any of the offices along with the officer agreement and release form.

Deadline for receiving the applications is January 15, 2021. The committee will be conducting interviews in February.

Please send your application to DLC Chair Rozaline Janci:  rozaline.janci@usbank.com


Club Growth Committee Chair, Jean Rossett

New Online Specialty Club, Demo Meeting January 13, 2021

Fellow Toastmasters, I am delighted to announce that the District 35 Club Growth Committee is chartering an online specialty club that focuses on business and leadership.  And we need your help!

As the committee chair and club sponsor, I am asking fellow members of District 35 to help spread the word about this exciting new club.  This club will focus on business and leadership and is open world-wide to existing members of corporate clubs, and toastmasters or members of the community that own their own business, or work for companies that do not have a corporate club.  Club meetings will practice various elements of business such as, presentation and training, interviewing, managing people, project management, and networking, just to name a few.  As you know, Toastmasters is a safe environment to practice these skills and this specialty club will be made up of members looking to achieve similar goals while maintaining the core values and structure of Toastmasters.

Right now, there is a special incentive for new clubs that charter before January 31, 2021 to have the charter fee and new member fee waived, which is a huge savings!  We will be conducting an online demo meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at noon, with the goal to charter before the end of month deadline.  Please share the Facebook Invite  with your friends and family!  The chance to be a founding member of a club does not happen very often and it is a privilege not many can say they have.  Being a member of one of District 35’s first online specialty club is a unique event and a milestone in your Toastmaster’s journey!  If this is of interest to you or someone you know, please contact me—I’d love to help you get started!

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm CST

Zoom Meeting ID: 892 3539 9841 / Passcode: 713715

For more information, contact Jean Rossett, jean.rossett@yahoo.com


Corporate Club Article – Recruiting Globally

Does your company have multiple locations, either at a local level, nationwide, or globally?  If so, this is a perfect opportunity, two-fold.  One, to form Toastmasters clubs at each location and two, to collaborate with those other clubs.  CNH Industrial is just one company that has taken advantage of their international alignment.  CNH Industrial is a global leader in the capital goods sector that produces and sells agricultural and construction equipment, commercial vehicles, and specialty vehicles.  Present in all major markets worldwide, they employ more than 63,000 people in 180 countries.

In the video, three CNH Industrial corporate clubs located in Racine, WI, New Holland PA, and Turin, Italy came together for a joint meeting.  Without virtual capabilities, this would not be possible.  If you’re not currently collaborating with other areas in your multi-location company, you’re missing out on so many opportunities for growth and leadership.  Take a few moments to watch this short 10-minute video CNH Corporate Club Video to hear and see for yourselves the benefits of networking with others in your company.


SpeechCraft Liaison, Dick Hawley, DTM

Speechcraft – Your Club’s #1 Membership Building Tool

Speechcraft is designed to teach public speaking skills to individuals who are not Toastmasters members. Experienced Toastmasters from your club present the fundamentals of public speaking in the atmosphere of a Toastmaster club meeting during 4 to 6 sessions. Speechcraft brings prospective new members into your club to see, first hand, what Toastmasters is all about. Go to the District 35 website under files and forms for tips and ideas to make Speechcraft simple and effective. Also order the Speechcraft Starter Kit from Toastmaster International for manuals and promotional materials to kick off a successful program (and let Jennifer Kibicho know when you’ve completed your Speechcraft and get a $20 reimbursement). Please contact me at dick21hawley@gmail.com if you’re interested in having me attend either your club meetings or an Area Council meeting. I can answer your specific questions about Speechcraft and share lessons learned over 30 years conducting this membership building program.