Conference

Spring 2019 Contest Season

Contest Season

By John Cox – Program Quality Director

Spring Contests 2019As we move into the contest season many of our members, some who will be new to roles such as chief judge or contest chair, will be meeting the challenge of running an entertaining, well organised, quality contest.

I believe that our contests are a real test of our leadership and how well we do in delivering quality and excellence.

I have already received several questions regarding eligibility, speech originality, test speakers, clubs not in good standing, whether one or two finalists go through to the next round, and a myriad of other questions.

In all circumstances your first port of call should be the Speech Contest Rulebook which can be downloaded from the Toastmasters International website at: https://www.toastmasters.org/resources/speech-contest-rulebook.

There is generally an answer to every question in there. Take note of any changes that are highlighted with a diamond in the left margin.

Some of the major changes include:

  • The video recording of the District International Speech contest, where the winner’s video will used for the Regional Quarterfinals.
  • The announcement of the first, second and third place winner in contests with three or more participants.
  • The announcement of the first and second place winner (if applicable) in contests with less than three participants.

If there is an issue of interpretation of any of the rules then raising the question with your District Program Quality Director can provide the District’s guidance, or in some situations it will be referred to the Speech Contests Team at Toastmasters International for a judgement.

Spring Contests 2019We recently had one such eligibility question regarding the “minimum of two levels in the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.” Did this mean Level 1 and Level 2 of one Path, or maybe two Level 1’s of two different Paths? TI confirmed that they would be looking at this rule again next year but for this year both options were allowable.

As well as becoming familiar with the Contest Rulebook. I would always recommend that both the chief judge and the contest chair are familiar with all the documentation, the Judge’s Certification of Eligibility and Code of Ethics (Item 1170) and the Certification of Eligibility and Originality (Item 1183).

Talking of documentation, I have experienced the two extremes of speech contest organisation. On the one hand all the up to date documentation was at hand, divided up nicely into two envelopes one for the chief judge and one for the contest chair. There were then separate envelopes for each contestant and judge. There were the correct numbers of each document, including a few spares, and certificates had been pre-printed, where possible. Very professional.

On the other hand, I’ve seen out of date materials in insufficient quantities, with a scramble to get more copies at the last minute. And a lack of clarity on who is judging, and a mad panic prior to the contest to fill roles.

Be aware if using a previous contests’ materials – that some of the documents have been updated – particularly to add references to Pathways.

Please also be familiar with the eligibility rules regarding International Speech contestants, chief judges, voting judges or tiebreaking judges.

Toastmasters International’s Eligibility Assistant is there to help. https://www.toastmasters.org/leadership-central/eligibility-assistant

Spring Contests 2019As in many things in life preparation, preparation, preparation is paramount.

And remember the Toastmasters Promise – To prepare for and fulfil meeting assignments – and our Values – Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence.

Quality briefings of the judges, counters and timers, and the contestants are critical – even if they have done the role before, things may have changed. Make sure you allow plenty of time for the briefing, covering all the key points and allowing questions, particularly from people new to the role. Remember we are an educational and learning organisation.

I know there has been some recent discussion regarding the training of contest officials and maybe this is something for the incoming Program Quality Director to consider

I wish you a very successful contest season and the very best of luck to all our contestants.

Mar 19 update – District Conference Norwich ‘My kind of town’ #Norwich2019

District Conference: Norwich ‘My kind of town’ #Norwich2019

Red Skelton Conference Team member – Immediate past District Director

”Norwich” is my kind of town; might not be the exact words that were sang by Frank Sinatra in 1964 but, they will be the words that everyone will be singing while attending the Norwich Toastmasters Conference in 2019. #Norwich2019

There will be so much to do and so much to see that the time you spend at the conference will whizz by. You will have the chance to listen to Accredited Speaker (AS) Eldonna Lewis Fernandez AS, only the 68th Toastmaster to be awarded this coveted title. She will be telling us about the ”Art of Negotiation”. Marcus Hemsley will be the second Key Note Speaker who is the co-founder of a Google Global Award Marketing Agency. Marcus will be telling us about his journey and how his success is attributed to Toastmasters.

You will have the privilege of enjoying some world class entertainment each night. The D-Day Darlings, who became famous on Britain’s Got Talent, will be performing on Friday evening. The Rock Vox Choir will be entertaining you on the Saturday evening before Dinner and The Joe Ringer Band will be your entertainment for Saturday evening.

Friday will be 8 Semifinals where you will get the chance to listen to the best of the best from our District competing for a place in the finals being held on Saturday and Sunday. Along with the Council Meeting being held on Saturday, where the elections will be held for the 2019-2020 Toastmasters year. Also, any District business will be discussed and voted.

Will you be singing ”Norwich Is My Kind of Town” with us? If so, great will be seeing you there! If, you have not booked but are thinking about it, don’t think about it and book. If, you are not thinking about it, please do. Please think about all the fun and camaraderie you will experience and book the conference now. You will then be singing ”Norwich Is My Kind of Town”.

Website www.norwichconference2019.com Enquires info@norwichconference2019.com

#WeAreToastmasters shout outs

District Conference Agenda and Booking

District Conference #Norwich2019

By Red Skelton DTM, Conference Team Member

Dear Fellow D71 members,

The Agenda is finalized and it is my pleasure to announce to you the line-up for the upcoming Norwich Conference (Please click on Conference Agenda to be directed to document)

What an action packed three days this conference will offer to those that book. There will be a total of 6 workshops and two Keynote speakers. There will be a total of 12 speech contests; 8 Semi-finals and 4 finals. There will be a Candidate Showcase where those running for District office will be asked a series of questions, so you will know them better. The District Council meeting will be on Saturday where our new District officers will be elected, and any motions will be voted on. There will be entertainment each evening and a lot of food. So, the question is…. What are you waiting for?

Keep an eye on the website for additional information and remember, “Keep Calm and Book Early Bird”

Norwich Conference 2019 May 10 – 12 May 2019

Come, see and hear great speakers at our eight semi-finals and four finals of the Humorous Speech, International Speech, Table Topics and Evaluation Contests.

All the semi-finals will be held on Friday the 10th May.

The finals of the International Speech and the Table Topics Contest will be held Saturday 11th May, and the finals of the Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests will be Sunday 12th May.

For more details please go to: https://www.norwichconference2019.com/programme

January Update District Conference, #Norwich2019

By Red Skelton DTM, Conference Team Member

What does Norwich, 1940s, May 2019, fun, educational and yourself all have in common? If you guessed the 2019 Norwich Conference you would be 100% correct. I am getting excited that we are only five (5) months away from what will be a fantastic and history making conference.

Fantastic? You bet. We will have two outstanding Key note speakers. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, Accredited Speaker, Toastmasters International will be visiting us from the United States. Eldonna speaks all over the world and we are fortunate to have her come to Norwich for her Keynote and will also be presenting a workshop. Our own Marcus Hemsley is our second Keynote speaker from Norwich. Marcus is the Founder of a Strategic Digital Marketing company, Fountain. Marcus has worked with many well-known companies but also enjoys working with start-up companies as well. Fountain has been awarded two prominent awards in 2017; Growing Businesses Online Award for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Four weeks later, Fountain was a Global Google award winner. He will be presenting both a keynote and a workshop, so we are very fortunate to have Marcus at our conference.

#Norwich2019
#Norwich2019

History Making? You bet. For the first time in our history, we will be holding eight (8) Semi Finals and four (4) finals Speech competitions at one conference. Please come along and support your Division Contestant in each of the Semi Finals and for those lucky enough to make it to the final, they will need your support to help them win!!

Please go to https://www.norwichconference2019.com for more information and to book your place. Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new. If you have any questions, please email info@norwichconference2019.com.

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

Dec ’18 Program Quality Update

By John Cox, Program Quality Director

Season’s Greetings

Club Quality – How are we doing?

It’s been a busy time of year leading up to Christmas with Club, Area and Division Contests, a visit from Toastmasters International CEO, Dan Rex, and Area Director Club Visits and their reports being produced. Many thanks for all the challenging work that has gone into these activities.

I urge club Presidents to share the Area Director’s Club Visit Reports with all their officers and identify those key areas for improvement.

Consider carrying out the Moments of Truth educational in your clubs to get members’ views on areas for improvement. You will find their feedback and potential support invaluable.

Identifying areas of improvement is the easy bit – doing something about it will be the real test for the leadership team and their members.

Common themes for potential improvement that have emerged from those reports include:

  • Information provided to guests
  • Inducting and engaging new members – bringing them quickly up to speed
  • Promoting/marketing the club
  • Running a Guest/Open Night to bring in new members
  • Navigating Pathways
  • Social events
  • Educational sessions
  • Increasing membership

The Japanese practice something they call Kaizen – change for the better, continuous improvement – and is a measure of both the leadership of their organisations and the engagement of their employees.

I believe we need to get better at challenging the status quo – in the same way that we encourage our members to improve, we need to apply the same improvement principles to our clubs.

Let’s strive to make our clubs better each year and I’m sure we will see that reflected in member retention, increases in membership and more members achieving their personal goals.

The second Club Visit Reports, to be completed by May, will be a good indicator of the improvements that have been made.

[Always check the The Latest Information on District Incentives]

Youth Leadership and Speechcraft Programmes

I am still pushing for clubs to reach out into their communities with new Youth Leadership Programmes and Speechcraft. I have YLP and Speechcraft Kits, and promotional materials available so please get in touch.

[This edition contains a selection of Speechcraft case studies http://d71toastmasters.org/speechcraft-case-studies/ to help and inspire you]

Pathways

Please also look at who in your club has still to enrol on Pathways. This information is available on your Club Roster on the TI website.

Appoint a Pathways Champion to help those who may be struggling to get to grips with the programme. There are now materials around to help understand each of the 10 Paths and the associated Projects at each level: http://bit.ly/2BjKc3R.

All the Evaluation Forms can also be found online and downloaded at: http://bit.ly/2EkvaxS

It would be great to see which clubs manage to get 100% of their members enrolled on Pathways and all their newer members progressing through their various Levels.

I will be looking to reward those clubs who make the greatest progress.

2019 Norwich Conference – May 10-12

Don’t forget to book your place https://www.norwichconference2019.com for our only conference in 2019.

As well as all four contest semi-finals and finals, there will be educational workshops, the District Council meeting with the District Leader elections and some great speakers’ including Eldonna Lewis Fernandez and Marcus Hemsley.

The theme will be the 1940’s and we will be entertained by the D-Day Darlings and The Joe Ringer Band. The venue is the Holiday Inn Norwich North, right next to Norwich Airport. I’m sure it will be another great conference so Book Now!

I guess this will be the last newsletter before the Christmas break so can I please wish you a brilliant Christmas and New Year and hope that you get all you wish for in 2019.

#SafeHaven2018 All the photos online

Full photo-sets from District 71’s Conference in Cork, Ireland, May 2018 #WeAreToastmasters. These are published on the Conference’s Facebook page.

#SafeHaven2018

https://www.facebook.com/pg/safehaven2018/photos/?tab=albums
Depending on your browser you might see embedded iframe albums from Facebook below






16 Nov Evening Dan Rex at D71, Division M contests.

D71, Division M finals of the Humorous & Table Topics speech contests.

Breaking News….

We are honoured to welcome Mr Dan Rex CEO Toastmasters International, who will attend and speak at our contest!

 

Dan Rex
Will we see you there?

A great night’s entertainment guaranteed.

  • 6:30pm Briefings for contestants & SAAs by Contest Chair, Mary Burnham.
  • And also 6:30 briefings for Judges, Timekeepers, Tallies by Chief Judge, Shaun Durnin.
  • Doors close at 7:25pm SHARP!
  • 7:30 pm start.
  • €10 entrance for ALL except contestants.

Don’t forget your TM club banner!

Venue

 

Talbot Hotel Stillorgan Talbot Hotel Stillorgan
Stillorgan Road, A94 V6K5 Dublin, Ireland
Map: https://her.is/2PjWvah

District 71 Conference Early Bird deals

Join us at the Conference Norwich 10th – 12th May 2019 #Norwich2019

For the first time ever, we will have a District Conference that will feature 8 Semi-Finals and all 4 Speech Competitions: Humorous, International, Evaluation and Table Topics finals. It’s going to be quite an event!

WE’RE going BACK in time to the 1940’s!

It’s called the ‘Conference’ for good reason! So the theme this year is the fabulous 40’s! There will be a grand celebration on the Friday night, with a big band suited to the occasion. So pick your perfect period costume and join in on all of the fun!

Dancing to The Joe Ringer Band

Saturday: Keynote Speakers

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez

Marcus Hemsley

BOOK NOW

https://www.norwichconference2019.com/ Email: info@norwichconference2019.com

Friday – Sunday Early Bird Rate Only
Friday Only
Saturday & Sunday
Saturday Only
Sunday Only
Partner Saturday Only
Gala Dinner Night Only
£240
£120
£170
£140
£110
£110
£70

Accommodation details and costs are on the conference website

Stage Payments Available on Full Package Friday – Sunday Only

Special Guests the D-Day Darlings

2019 District 71 Conference

Norwich, Norfolk 10th to 12th May 2019

Our 2019 Toastmasters Conference will be held at the Holiday Inn, Norwich from the 10th to the 12th May 2019.
#Norwich2019
In keeping, the theme of the Conference is the 1940’s so there’s plenty of scope for the Friday evening fancy dress.

Come and hear the four District Speech Finals and Keynote speaker – Eldonna Lewis Fernandez.  Entertainment will be provided by the D-Day Darlings from Britain’s Got Talent and the Joe Ringer Band.  There will be educational workshops, the District Council Meeting and much, much more.

There’s also lots to see in and around Norwich so why not make a holiday of it and think about booking now.

Go on to https://www.norwichconference2019.com/ for more information and to book.
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Kindest regards

John

John Cox

Program Quality Director | District 71