People

Mar 19 Member Spotlight

Name: Martina Clancy

Date joined: March 2016

Clonmel Toastmasters, Co Tipperary, Republic of Ireland

Club number: 00005462, meetings 2nd & 4th Thursday each month

Highlights

  • Club Officer roles: Membership Management, VP Education and currently President
  • Completed CL, CC and PL1 pathways
  • Contributed in achieving President’s Distinguished for the last 3 years

My quote:

Give it a go before you make up your mind, you might even enjoy it.

My sister asked me to come to her first Toastmasters meeting with her. After sharing that experience with a friend, three of us joined in March 2016. I saw Toastmasters as an opportunity to help me to prepare for a job interview. I set and achieved my goal to complete my CL within 12 months. I served as VP Education and VP Membership – increasing membership by 33% in a six-month period.

My confidence in presenting in public has grown. I improved my listening skills. I learned many transferable skills in Toastmasters, that I can utilise in my career.

The evaluations and feedback, I receive from club members tell me what works and what doesn’t. I learned the importance and power of a ‘PAUSE’! My club is supportive and positive. It is a safe space with no negativity. I tell others that Toastmasters is a superb platform that provides tools that offer skills for life, both personal and professional.

As Club President, I encourage all our members to take ownership and responsibility for making our club the friendliest and the best. Our members are friendly, committed and organised. They bring a range of experiences, facts and great stories.

Our most recent success was our open night where we had a Clonmel Toastmasters record of 13 guests. This was achieved by all members promoting our club and sharing a combined vision. At every meeting, I remind members that it is our club and encourage them to participate and strive to achieve as much as they can.

I joined Toastmasters to help me with preparing for an interview, but I got so much more: confidence, improved communication and leadership skills, new friends and THE JOB!

Feb ’19 Member Spotlights

Member Spotlights

Asma Riaz

  • Date joined Toastmasters International: March 2013
  • Home Club: Walsall Speakers (Division E)

Journey Highlights

  • Served as a Walsall Speakers Club President for 2 years
  • Got to Division E Contest level in Humorous Speech Contest 2018
  • Walsall Speakers chartered in September 2018
  • Presented at Toastmasters events such as Better Speaker Series Days, Leadership Days and Club Officer Trainings
  • Conducted Youth Leadership project at a local Junior School, which was a success

Why I joined Toastmasters?

In 2012 I started my new job and the role entailed a lot of speaking in the forms of training, speaking to customers internal and external. It was early on in my career and I froze while conducting a training session in front of 50+ people. I felt like I had failed myself and felt nervous knowing I would have to conduct more training sessions! One of my colleagues asked if I had a Toastmasters club near me, she really boasted about the fantastic experience she had with toastmasters and mentioned if I could find a club and try it out it might help me at work! I felt like a ray of hope had hit me and maybe this is what I had needed to do to get myself back on track!

I went to visit Heart of England Club in December 2012 and became a member in March 2013. The members were so welcoming and encouraging and just the environment I needed!

How has toastmasters helped me?

Toastmasters was a life saver for me, it has been like a springboard of opportunities. Since joining Toastmasters, I have run many training sessions at work, had plenty of interactions with clients and have been kindly promoted 3 times in the last 6 years, I always asked the reason for promotion and always ask what can I do better? I was told it was the skills I have obtained in being able to lead, being confident taking a task and running with it and having the ability to explain the same thing in different ways. All these skills came from being a committed Toastmaster and practice makes perfect!

Outside work I feel as though I have found my voice, I practise Tae Kwon Do and in the years of being a Toastmaster I finally plucked up the courage to become an instructor and without Toastmasters, I would not have been able to lead classes on my own.

My aim now is to do the Area Director role, gaining my DTM award and helping others achieve their goals. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing others progress and being the best versions of themselves!

What are you most proud of about your Toastmasters club?

I am currently the President of Walsall Speakers. There are so many things I am so proud of with this club I don’t think I can limit it to just one! We recently chartered in September 2018 and it was such an achievement and commitment from the club committee to get the word out there and get us finally on the map! Since then the club has gone from strength to strength and the vibe is so amazing every time we meet! I always leave with a positive energy wanting to achieve so much more!

Mohammed Raza Khan

  • Date joined Toastmasters International: November 2013
  • Home Club: Hertfordshire Speakers (Division H)

Journey Highlights:

  • Helped in dealing with C’ level people (Chief Level e.g. Chief Financial Officer) and gained the confidence to deliver a presentation which brings business to the company.
  • Invited to deliver two keynotes at Cambridge University on Emotional Intelligence and Multitasking

Why I joined Toastmasters?

While working in the IT industry, I got the opportunity to speak in front of 200 people in Belgium on a technology problem. The presentation did not go as planned, but that gave me the motivation to learn more about public speaking and gain confidence. Eventually, I attended a Toastmaster meeting in Bristol. Later I move back to Hatfield, and that is where I joined Hertfordshire Speakers, and since then I have never looked back.

How has Toastmasters helped me?

Since joining Toastmasters, my confidence has improved tremendously, due to the valuable feedback I have received from club members. I see clearly what works and what doesn’t

Learning to track my time, construct a concise message and control my filler words and getting valuable feedback has helped with my efforts to learn public speaking and gain confidence in delivering speeches.

My colleagues, friends, peers, and staff now come to me for advice on how to improve their confidence and increase their presentation skills. I advise them to join Toastmasters to practise speaking in front of an audience and to develop their stories and story-telling abilities. Public speaking is a significant way to establish credibility and attract clients.

What are you most proud of about your Toastmasters club?

My club offers a supportive environment and an atmosphere where I feel safe. Members like Elizabeth Jordon, Bob Ferguson, Jillian Haslam and Davina Malcolm are friendly, committed, organised and willing to help, and they are great story-tellers. Sometimes we meet outside the club for special celebrations. It is great being a member.

“Toastmasters (Hertfordshire) offers a secure & supportive environment and an atmosphere I enjoy—I feel safe there.”

Sue Burt

  • Date Joined Toastmasters International: October 2018
  • Home Club Northampton Speakers (Division H)

Journey Highlights:

  • Elected Vice President of Public Relations January 2019

Why I joined Toastmasters?

Almost two years ago I read an article in a newspaper about Toastmasters. I had previously imagined them to be a stuffy guild for the kind of Toastmaster you see at posh weddings – how wrong I was.

I was looking for ways to improve my confidence, having been in the same job for the previous 17 years and therefore rusty on interview techniques! I had even turned down the offer of presenting a piece of work at a National developer conference – potentially a significant career boost – because I was petrified of the very idea. Meeting more local people was also a priority; having commuted an hour each way for those 17 years, I knew very few people in my home town.

How has toastmasters helped me?

It took almost a year for me to pluck up the courage to go along to a meeting and, when I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was interesting, fun and everyone was very friendly. I noticed how supportive they all were and decided to go along, as a guest, some more. At each meeting I was asked to talk about my experience, and I spoke first time – for a full 15 seconds – from my seat. The next time I was invited to the front to do the same and, slowly with all that support and applause, I gained confidence.

When I joined, and gave my first speech, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it! I may not be good at it… yet… and am still very nervous, but I do enjoy public speaking. Now, if asked to give a speech at a national conference, I would no longer run away screaming.

Gordon Adams #ChantalCookePR

Gordon tackled the subject of great speech openings to leave your audience well and truly hooked.

What do a great novel and a great speech have in common?  They both grab people’s attention at the very beginning. From the moment you first open your mouth to speak, you need to hook your audience’s attention

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

#ChantalCookePR

Gordan Adams of North Bucks Speakers (Milton Keynes)

1st April 2019

Seven ways to give your speech a flying start

Seven ways to give your speech a flying start

Business Leader Readership: 120,520 visits per month

29th March 2019

How to grab immediate attention when you start your presentation

https://businesscomputingworld.co.uk/t/how-to-grab-immediate-attention-when-you-start-your-presentation/1931

Business Computing World Readership: 150k

28th March 2019

https://www.businessinsider.com/toastmasters-presentation-tricks-hook-audience-2019-3?r=US&IR=T

Business insider: Readership: 36,683,285 (monthly unique views)

28th February 2019

Richard Foster Fletcher lends a hand to Gordon Adams with this radio interview on Speech Openings.

https://www.shareradio.co.uk/podcasts/share-interview-the-secrets-of-speech-making-28-feb-19/PodcastPlayer

ShareRadio Listeners: 35k
It is already on Twitter https://twitter.com/ShareRadioUK/status/1101158271556218880 (where they have 11k followers)
We have been told that the interview will be broadcast on Share Radio on Monday 4th March at 12.30.

27th February 2019

How to engage your audience from the first words of your speech

Lidradio Readership: 26k

22nd February 2019

How to Make Your Presentation Fly

Indezine Readership: 10k

21st February 2019

How to create an attention-grabbing opening for your speech

Small Business Insider Readership: 1000

How to Grab Attention with the Opening Words of Your Presentation

Your Coffee Break Readership:17k The editor has but it on Twitter @urcoffeebreak

Division Autumn ’18 Contest Photos

We invited the Division Directors to send in a picture or two from their contest if possible. This is what they sent

Division A Humorous Speech 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Left to right: Humorous Speech winner: Laura Mehigan (Cork Douglas TM); Division A Director Phillip O’Brien; 2nd place – Holly Blake (Carrigaline TM) and 3rd place – Paula Kelleher (Guardian TM) Division A Table Topics 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Left to right: Table Topics winner: Murt O Súilleabháin (Bishopstown TM); Division A Director Phillip O’Brien; 2nd place – John Keating (Republic of Work TM) and 3rd place – Eric Downey (Cork East TM)
The Humorous speech contest winner, Sean Dwan {“Roscrea Speakers” club}, with the Division “B” director, Larry Lyons. The table topics contest winner, Pat Sexton {“Speak Easy” (Mallow) club}, with the Division “B” director, Larry Lyons.

Division C Stephen Morrow (Lagan Valley) 1st place Humorous Speech

Division C Deirdre Davis (Phoenix Tara) 1st place Topics
Charles Shier (Contest Chair), Tom Murphy (Humorous Speech winner), Shaun Durkin (Division D Director). Charles Shier (Contest Chair), Kae Slattery (Table Topics winner), Shaun Durkin (Division D Director).
Hello from Division E contest

Humorous Speech winner Rob Partridge congratulated by Division F Director Pat Croke


Table Toipics winner Gerry McNutty congratulated by Division F Director Pat Croke


Division G Director Aleex Knibbs and Humorous Speech winner Peter Lawton


Division G Director Aleex Knibbs and Table Topics winner: Angéline Chenu


Division H Tom Farrell (North Bucks Speakers) 1st Place Humorous Speech. Left to right: Steve Campion (Division H Director), Ryan Parke, Tom Farrell, Kat Anderson, and Faye Ritchie (Area 14 Director and Contest Chair)

Division H Vinette Hoffman Jackson (Bedford Speakers) 1st place Table Topics. Left to right: Binal Sawjani (Area 44 Director and Contest chair), Samantha Fairclough, Vinette Hoffman Jackson, Clifford Hurst, and Steve Campion (Division H Director)

Division J Humorous Speech winner Dermot Carey (Uncensored Club) being presented with his trophy by P.J. Claffey, Area 57 Director, who was Contest Chair

Division J winner of the Table Topics Contest was Elaine Gallagher (Dublin Toastmasters Club) being presented with her trophy by Mairead Murphy, Area 7 Director, who was the Contest Chair
Division M Humorous Speech Contest winners 2018/19. Left to Right: Jill McGrath (Greystones) 2nd, Chris Werner (Dublin South) 1st, Will Doyle (Wicklow) 3rd. Division M Table Topica contest 2018/19 winners. Left to Right: Eoin Broin (Clondalkin) 2nd; Mary Burnham (Area 5 Director) Contest Chair; Carmel Wynne (Engineers) 1st; Patrick Byrne (UCD Smurfit) 3rd.

Division N Humorous Speech contestants. Kate Trafford of Warrington Toastmasters (2nd left) won

Division N Table Tropic contestants. On Right Division N Director John McFadzean and 2nd right winner Jonathan Carvell (Doncaster Speakers)

Division S Director Avril Stringer & Jim Boyd (Contest chair) – Humorous Speech contest winner – William Feek

Division S Director Avril Stringer & Pauline Dix (Contest chair) – Table Topics contest winner – John Wood

2018 Fun Festive Photos

2018 Fun Festive Photos! Let us join in the festive season together over the coming months of The District Newsletter. Send in your pictures to Daniel.pr_manager_d71@sandars.org.uk

“We learn best in moments of enjoyment” Ralph Smedley

Here We Come a Wassailing:
Traditional Christmas Carol Song Lyrics

 

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.

And all your kin and kinsfolk,
That dwell both far and near;
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New year

A few to get us started

Karen O’Donnell #ChantalCookePR

Karen tackled the subject of the presentation pitfalls you need to avoid to gain more sales – we are all selling be it a message, a service or a product.

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

karen O'Donnell #ChantalCookePR

Karen O’Donnell of Baltinglass speakers Toastmasters

13th January 2019

How to avoid pitfalls, improve your presentation and make more sales

Family Friendly Working Readership: 10k

3rd January 2019

How to avoid presentation pitfalls and make more sales

How to avoid presentation pitfalls and make more sales

NetworkShe Readership: 18k

21st December 2018

Presentation pitfalls to avoid if you want to close more deals

https://www.recruiter.co.uk/advice/2018/12/presentation-pitfalls-avoid-if-you-want-close-more-deals

The Recruiter Readership: 53k

19th December 2018

How to improve your chance of signing more deals after your presentation

https://www.bbpmedia.co.uk/business-insights/professionalservices/how-to-improve-your-chance-of-signing-more-deals-after.html

bbpMedia Readership: 40k

12th December 2018

Eight presentation pitfalls to avoid if you want to make more sales

https://dealersupport.co.uk/eight-presentation-pitfalls-to-avoid-if-you-want-to-make-more-sales/

Dealer Support Readership: 10k

12th December 2018

8 presentation pitfalls to avoid if you want to close more deals/make more sales

8 presentation pitfalls to avoid if you want to close more deals/make more sales

Entrepreneur and Investor Readership: 40k

The day Dan Rex, CEO of Toastmasters International, came to District 71

Dan Rex District 71 IrelandDan Rex District 71 Ireland

By Patricia O’Reilly, DTM, District 71 Director, 2018-19

It was on, it was off and then miraculously it was on again and Dan Rex touched down on District 71 soil on Friday 16th November.

After a quick lunch it was off to EI Toastmasters to present the Toastmasters International Corporate Recognition Award to Enterprise Ireland, the company that supports EI Toastmasters. The engraving reads “Toastmasters International recognizes Enterprise Ireland for enhancing employee engagement through continuing support of Toastmasters Communication and Leadership programs”.

At EI, Lucy Clarke took on the role of Toastmaster and we were treated to a moving speech by member Greg Coyle, inspiring words from Dan Rex as he presented the award and an acceptance speech by Stephen Creaner, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland.

Next it was off to pre-charter club Irish Life where Ronan Kearney and Paul Egan had organised a lively topics session and Dan spoke about the benefits of joining a Toastmasters club.
Dan Rex District 71 Ireland
On Friday evening Dan addressed the audience at the Division M contest and impressed everyone with his easy, relaxed style and his accessibility. Running a contest is pressure enough but that pressure is magnified when the CEO of Toastmasters International is attending. My thanks to the Division M team – Teresa, Bobby, Shalini and John.

Dan Rex District 71 IrelandOne member of Toastmasters was sitting on a train at 6 am on Saturday morning as he travelled from Cork to Dublin to interview Dan for his [District 71 sponsored] Podcast “Talk Show for Talkers”. [see http://www.irishtalkers.com/ on 24th Nov and 7th Dec shows]

That’s commitment for you. Ted Mellamphy is seen here interviewing Dan. I was present at this interview and I was struck by Ted’s interviewing style. It was like looking at two people having a relaxed fireside chat, although there were times when I wondered just who was interviewing whom.

Saturday afternoon Dan delivered an informative and thought-provoking workshop on “Quality Clubs”. He started this workshop by flashing on screen the club mission which is “to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth“. He then dissected the mission statement word by word. It redefined for us what is at the heart of our clubs. Everyone who attended the workshop was struck by Dan’s accessibility, by his knowledge of the club environment and what makes a quality club. Dan was very generous with his time and willingly and patiently posed for photographs. I am indebted to Colin Byford for the photographs which follow. It was an honour to have Dan Rex visit our District. He was likeable, approachable and gave very generously of his time.

Dan Rex District 71 Ireland

Dan Rex District 71 Ireland

Dan Rex District 71 Ireland

Dan Rex District 71 Ireland

Please note: Colin Byford sent me the photographs he took at the workshop. If Colin took any of you then email me patriciaoreillytm@gmail.com and I’ll email it to you.

Stepping into a Leadership Role – Why not you?

By Elizabeth Nostedt, DTM; Region 10 Advisor, Past Region 11 Advisor, and Past District 59 Director

Within a brief time (if it hasn’t already happened by the time this goes to print), your District team will be asking YOU if you would like to step forward and take a leadership role at the District level – as an Area Director, Division Director or higher. You may have many different thoughts about this – like:

  • Am I ready for this?
  • Do I really want to do this?
  • I have so many other things happening now.
  • What do I have to do in this role X?
  • and so on.

Leadership roles are not obvious to all of us, but they can certainly help us grow as people. Let me tell you a few leadership stories from my career in Toastmasters and in a corporate setting.

As Area Director (AD) – this is the true test of serving others.

As Area Director, people may look up to you as the person that should know everything. But that is not necessary – because there are so many resources in Toastmasters to help you – like the District Leader manual. This is exactly what I learned – I did not have to be an expert. I knew how to read – and I learned to ask good questions. I could ask the person who was AD before me, and I could ask other District leaders. I could also say – “I don’t know the answers to that.” I further learned that when I conducted Club Officer Training and when I visited the clubs in Area – I learned so much about people. I learned about their wants and needs and dreams for being a leader. I learned that I was the servant leader to them.

I set the vision for the Area for the year. I believed that our clubs could be Presidents Distinguished and through the training sessions, we reviewed how to do it with the club leaders. They caught the vision and understood it. We achieved it.

As soon as that Leadership Vision was clear, then it was my role to help them implement it. It included further interpretation of what each goal meant and what actions were necessary.

The biggest learnings came from working with others as volunteers. Of course, all the club officers are volunteers! And as AD, we are volunteers. So, it is not like at work where we work with employees, that they are expected to do the work because they are employees and get paid to work. It meant that I reflected on if I needed help with something, how could I best ask for help, and would this appeal to the person I asked, so that they would help.

As CGD, PQD and District Director

These roles further expanded my learnings as a leader, because there were more committees and more work to be done THROUGH others. A vision, an inspirational idea, enthusiasm for the work, willingness to do the work myself – these were all ways to work through others to achieve our goals. I learned to coach others with great open-ended questions so that they often found the answers they were seeking.

Was it all easy? Definitely not! I can certainly say there were challenges – but they also meant large leadership/personal learning lessons. There were people who could not get along with each other, an area director who did not want to build a new club – because he/she knew better, keeping District conferences within budget, and so on – each challenge came with a new lesson to be learned.

Servant leaders are motivated by caring and the agenda they seek is mutual benefit.” -Stephen M.R. Covey

When working in a corporate setting

I have worked for many years in various corporate settings – from being an “ordinary” employee, to being a department manager and leader of a large group and to my current position as a Senior Project Manager on IT and Business projects. Each of these roles of leadership meant something new.

As an “ordinary” employee, I was the leader of my own work. I learned time management of my own time. Some of you may think that it is tough when a manager is telling you what to do, but what if you yourself are the slave driver!! This is comparable to you as an ordinary Toastmasters member who also must take responsibility and needs encouragement to reach the next level of growth and awards.

As a Department manager, then I saw the people who were motivated by what they were doing, and those who were not motivated. As I see it now, all motivation is “self-motivation” and it was my work to ensure that we could find the things that would keep all the employees motivated in some way. This is perhaps like you as an Area Director, where you can see the clubs that are motivated to reach DCP and others that simply do not care.

As a Senior Project Manager now, I am caught between what my Management Team wants me to deliver, and what my team members say they can deliver. That is another dilemma. This is perhaps like the Division Director role – caught between the Area director and the District Leadership Team.

In each role at work, and in each level at Toastmasters, I take the time to reflect what lessons I have learned, and there are so many. They have made me a better person and a better leader – and they were so worth doing because of how much I have grown.

The District Leadership Committee (DLC) is seeking Nominations

Are you interested in serving as a District Leader for the Toastmaster year 2019-2020? Serving as a District Leader is a wonderful opportunity to further develop your communication and leadership skills.  Leadership roles can be challenging, but mostly they are rewarding, and they are always a learning opportunity.

The District Leadership Committee (DLC) is seeking Nominations for the roles of:

  • District Director
  • Program Quality Director
  • Club Growth Director
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Division Director (for Divisions A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, M, N and S)

For more details please click on the links below:

 

First call for Nominations for District Officers for 2019-20 by Saturday 15th December 2018

 

If you know of someone you feel would make a suitable candidate, or would like to nominate yourself, please complete the following paperwork

  • From the candidate themselves
  • Both Submissions should be made to
    • the District Leadership Committee Chair – Immediate Past District Director, Red Skelton, DTM at skeltonred1@gmail.com
    • Deadline for candidates to declare intent to run is

Saturday 15th December 2018.

 

After this date, the DLC will contact candidates to arrange interviews and will seek out other candidates as appropriate.  The final report of the DLC will be circulated to District Council members by April 2019, 4 weeks prior to the District Council meeting in May 2019, when voting will take place.  Any questions, please contact the Committee Chair Red Skelton at skeltonred1 (at) gmail.com

Vinette Hoffman-Jackson #ChantalCookePR

Chantal Cooke (#ChantalCookePR) of Panpathic Communications is a Public Relations agent retained by Districts 71 and 91 to help us obtain national press coverage. See here to read the article writing brief and you might win tickets to the next district conference.

#ChatalCookePR Vinette Hoffman Jackson

Vinette Hoffman Jackson (Bedford Speakers)

 

8th January 2019

10 of the best, unusual, most effective props to use when giving a speech

NetworkShe Readership 18k

11th December 2018

How to add impact to your presentation by using unusual props

How to add impact to your presentation by using unusual props

Lidradio Readership: 26k

28th November 2018

How do I… use creative and unusual props in my presentation?

http://www.bqlive.co.uk/national/2018/11/28/news/how-do-i-use-creative-and-unusual-props-in-my-presentation-34481/

Readership: BQLive says they have audience of 153k entrepreneurs, MDs and CEOs across the UK

19th November 2018

Nine of the Best Props to Add Impact to Your Presentation

https://blog.indezine.com/2018/11/nine-of-the-best-props-to-add-impact-to-your-presentation.html
Indezine: Make better presentations, fast!; Readership: 10k

Discover how mosquitoes were used as props in a speech as Bedford speaker shares her top tips

https://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/discover-how-mosquitoes-were-used-as-props-in-a-speech-as-bedford-speaker-shares-her-top-tips-1-8710606
Bedford Today, Readership 88k

14th November 2018

Ten of the best, unusual and most effective props

https://www.newbusiness.co.uk/articles/trainingeducation/ten-best-unusual-and-most-effective-props
NewBusiness.co.uk, for better business advice; Readership: 42k