Archives for Contests

Contests in the’80s

Contests in the’80s

By Ted Corcoran DTM Past International President

Contests at this stage of district history were quite complicated! The only contest organised in the early ’80s was the International Speech contest – the others were introduced later. There were just 2 Areas each in England and Ireland. The first and second place winners of the English Areas competed in the first instance for the English title, while in Ireland the Area first and second place winners competed for the Irish title. Then, later, all eight of them competed for the D71 title! As it happened in 1981, Harry Knox (District Governor 1987/88) won his Area final, was beaten in the Irish final by his Area runner up, and then beat this rival again in the District final!! All very exciting, but hard to follow! The speech contest for overseas districts at the International Convention was held for the first time the same year in Phoenix, Arizona, where Harry (DSL Communicators) represented D71 and was placed a creditable 2nd in the overseas contest. Ray Fulham, (Dublin 2601), now a Circuit Court judge, went one better in 1983, winning the overseas contest and so, for the first time, our fledging district was represented in the world final. But the outstanding achievement of these days was Marie Pyne of the Ennis club in Ireland being crowned the World Champion of Public Speaking in 1985 in Columbus, Ohio, with a speech entitled, “Age is a Hang up on Numbers”. In winning, she became only the second overseas winner and only the second woman to do so till then. She was presented with her award by the first woman International President, Helen Blanchard, a member of a club in Southern California. A district humorous speech contest was held for the first time at the 1986 district conference in Limerick – prior to this there were separate Irish and English champions. There were just two contestants, one from Ireland and one from England and Celia Carlisle (Blarney), the Irish representative, was finally declared the winner. In 1987, the first District 71 Autumn Conference was hosted by the Blarney club in Cork and featured a District Humorous Speech Contest final, won by David Lindsey (Aylesbury and Thame), with, for the first time, representatives from each of the nine Areas in England and Ireland. A District Evaluation Contest was first held as part of the 1988 conference in Stowe, when the winner was Rosarie Nolan (Oxford).

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

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

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

My Vision for 2018-19 – The Pursuit of Excellence

John Cox, District 71 – Program Quality Director

photo of John Cox, D71 Club Growth DirectorExcellence is one of our Toastmasters Values, – but what does excellence look like? How do we measure it? In sport, excellence is measured in terms of world-class performance – it is obvious and easier to define. Excellence also comes in many disguises and it changes over time, what was excellent this year can become the norm in subsequent years.

Quality is another one of those ill-defined words and it is said that quality is in the “eye of the beholder.” Is this a quality article??? Is ours a Quality Club? How can we measure and target quality improvements?

The best vehicle we have for measuring Club Quality is Moments of Truth https://www.toastmasters.org/~/media/E017290D7ED0458C8C278A364689F7AF.ashx.

Based upon an original book by Jan Carlzon[1] the President of Scandinavian Airlines “a Moment of Truth is an episode when a member or guest comes in contact with any aspect of the Toastmasters Experience and forms an impression of a club’s quality and service”

Measurement is fraught with danger – measuring the wrong things can deliver the wrong results and there can be a tendency to corrupt the reporting of numbers particularly if rewards are linked to them.

Einstein said, “Not everything that counts can be counted…and not everything that’s counted truly counts.”

When it comes to goal setting there is much confusion surrounding the terminology we use, particularly with goals, targets, objectives, strategies, tactics etc. However, does it matter? Yes, it does. What you measure and aim for is generally, what you get, and it might fall far short of your real desired outcome.

For example, do you want to gain a qualification, or do you really want to increase your income? The two are weakly related. Achieving the first does not naturally guarantee the second. Ask the thousands of graduates who have recently left University.

So, let us discuss:

Goals versus Tactics

I’ve spent nearly 50 years advising organisations on improving performance – whether that be improving their bottom line, increasing revenues or just getting more out of their resources.

One of the key things that I have discovered is that many people confuse goals with tactics. They target an activity, a tactic, or an initiative, forgetting what the real goal is. They get enthusiastic and totally wrapped-up in an initiative losing sight of what they are really trying to achieve.

Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus John P. Kotter revealed that 70 percent of transformational change initiatives fail (Harvard Business Review, 1995)[2]. Later studies have produced comparable results. A 2014 Deloitte study (http://bit.ly/2NILABE) of more than 5,000 initiatives over the past 15 years calculated an aggregate success rate of only 4.5 percent.

Many organisations adopt and apply their attention entirely on the latest flavour of the month, particularly if there is an accolade or award to be achieved at the end of it – for example, a customer, quality, technology or process-based change initiative – and lose sight of the fact that what they really wanted to do was deliver more and better services to their customers, increase revenue and profitability.

Too often, the focus of attention becomes the tactic and not the goal.

What is clear is that individuals and the organisations that focus on the end goal achieve far better results than the ones who focus on the initiative (tactic) or achieving the accolade or award.

We should always ask, – Why? Why are we doing something, what is our goal? In Japan, they have a phrase that roughly translates that if you have not asked Why 5 Times you will not get to the heart of an issue or the root cause of a problem.

Personally, whilst I was glad to have achieved the occasional business and personal award I never lost sight of the fact that employee and client satisfaction and the resulting revenues/fee income/profitability were my ultimate goals. Competitions, Awards and learning were merely tactics that helped me move toward my goal.

So, what does this have to do with Toastmasters? Do we tend to be wrapped up in all the learning, achieving awards and becoming Distinguished? Maybe, just maybe, we forget that personally our goal is to win more clients/customers, gain promotion at work, earn more money and improve our quality of life. In addition, as for our clubs, is it to satisfy our members and guests, to grow and retain our memberships, and to make our club the best it can possibly be – better this year than last?

It is too easy to become quantity focused, because it is easier to measure, and not quality focused. My experience of working in Japan and with Japanese companies taught me that if you focus on quality, quantity would follow. Conversely, if you focus on quantity, quality will suffer.

If we focus on increasing the quality of our leadership, the quality of our club meetings, the quality of how we promote our clubs and how we satisfy our visitors and our members, our clubs will grow, our members will achieve their goals and we will retain more of our members.

Striving for quality and excellence must be our club mantra.

Carrying out Moments of Truth in your club will certainly help.

I look forward to working with you this year.

What is Happening with Contests?

Two significant things have happened this year that will impact on our next round of Speech Contests:

1. The District Council voting at the Spring Conference in Cork that, in the light of the TI Board Decision to have only one District Conference a year, all four speech contests will now be held starting at the May 2019 Spring Conference in Norwich.

2. With the growth of our District, we now have 12 Divisions, meaning that we will need to run 8 speech semi-finals and 4 finals starting with the May 2019 Spring Conference in Norwich.

But how does this affect our clubs? Well the good news is that it’s business as usual.

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests

Clubs will still hold their Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contests around September. Area Contests will follow in October and Division Contests must be completed by 30th November.

Division Winners will need to be available for the Friday semi-finals of the Spring conference in May 2019.

International Speech and Evaluation Contests

Clubs will hold their International Speech and Evaluation Contests around February/March 2019.

Area and Division Contests will be in April in readiness for the District semi-finals and finals in May 2019. Division Winners will again need to be available for the Friday semi-finals of the Spring conference in May.

One other major change is that following the District Finals, the International Speech Contest winner will proceed to a Region Quarterfinal. This will be conducted by a video that will have been recorded at the District Finals.

The latest Speech Contest Rulebook (https://www.toastmasters.org/leadership-central/speech-contests) sets out the requirements for the video recording that the Norwich Conference team will need to follow.

Therefore, exciting times are ahead!

Pathways Resources

The Pathways Paths and Projects Catalogue

– 66 pages that describe every Path and all the associated Projects can now be found at http://d71toastmasters.org/club-leadership-Pathways-paths-and-projects-catalogue/

Pathways Evaluation Forms

The complete set of forms your officers will ever need can now be found via http://d71toastmasters.org/club-leadership-Pathways-forms-for-evaluators/


[1] Carlzon, J. (1987) Moments of Truth, Cambridge MA: Ballinger. 135 pages

[2] Kotter, J. P. (1995) Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, 73, 59-67.