Monday, July 31, 2017

Club officer training (TM Southern Division) - June 2017 - report by Ursula Beatty

Is it worth giving up part of your  precious weekend time to attend the Club officer training? That is often the question for the various members who sign up for a club officer leadership position.

“It was the best Club officer training I have attended to date.” Sarafina Zubovic, outgoing VPE of Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters club and incoming Area 24 Director.
"It was great value for money and very worthwhile."- Ursula Beatty, VPPR

Christine Lennon, Immediate past president of Helensvale Daybreak (HDB), organised this years excellent club officer training as the  training officer for Southern Division. Well done Christine, who received lots of positive feedback, from the many satisfied participants.

Attending the Club officer training at the Nerang Bicentennial Community centre, Nerang, QLD:
Sarafina Zubovic - Area 24 Director, Ursula Beatty - VPPR, Mark Butler -SAA and Julie Anne Cantwell - HDB club President.

What I liked about the training: It was great value for money and worthwhile giving up my Saturday  to attend!  For a nominal contribution of $15.00, not only did we receive morning tea and lunch, plus useful training on our specific club officer roles,  we also got to participate in numerous worthwhile workshops facilitated by experienced and highly trained presenters.

The first workshop was on  "Building a healthy team: there is no I in Team!" with exercises to identify whether we, as individuals are multipliers or accidental diminishers. This was facilitated by Carolyn Shaw (based on the highly acclaimed  work and book of Wiseman & McKeon).

The second workshop: Building quality clubs, using the club success plan for the upcoming Toastmaster year, facilitated by Christine Lennon DTM,  was  useful for club teams members to get together, plan and share ideas.

This was followed by a specific workshop for each of the club officer roles.

I attended the (Vice President Membership) VPM and (Vice President Public relations) VPPR training with Rachel Pleasant, who is well qualified in this area, having worked in marketing for more than  20 years, as well as held VPPR and VPM roles in her club: “Southport Toastmasters club.
After lunch, we had a choice of sessions to attend, on topics such as Conflict resolution, Youth Leadership and Speech craft or Mentoring. Followed by a large group session with Mark Hunter on enhancing evaluations. Giving and receiving effective evaluations is such an integral part of the Toastmasters programs.  

 I attended an interesting and worthwhile workshop on Conflict resolution: (types of conflict, methods for resolving and facilitating collaboration), facilitated by Shane Cooper, DTM and the head strategy officer for the QLD police service. Shane is  well  qualified and experienced in this field and dealing with conflict resolution.
In the Enhancing Evaluations workshop with Mark Hunter DTM; Mark highlighted the importance of giving feedback Vs Advice: feedback is "In my opinion" or "I would suggest", whereas advice is more like "You should do this or that" etc.  Feedback is coaching, advice is more like telling someone what to do or just criticising.

Mark looked at potential obstacles to giving effective evaluations, and drew from his own vast experience as both a leader and educator, speech coach and Toastmaster speech contestant. He used some wonderful examples of rotten advice and feedback (deflating and demoralising evaluation techniques) which he was given, prior to and after he won the world championship speech contest in 2009. Mark certainly learned firsthand, how not to give an evaluation, which is in itself very useful.  

Sarafina Zubovic, Mark Butler and Julie Anne Cantwell all fired up after the training day to face the toastmasters years ahead!

I would certainly recommend the training to all club members, whether they are club officers or not.
Thanks again to all involved in organising this years worthwhile and educational training day and to all of the workshop facilitators and presenters.   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dispelling the myth: Toastmasters is just for old people! - Report by Ursula Beatty

A Selection of past and present members of Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters Club

"Toastmasters - isn't this just for old people? "is a comment or similar that I have heard a lot lately. For instance:  

 "I thought Toastmasters was just for people like my Grandpa" said 20 year old Jay from Melbourne, who was visiting our club recently, from Melbourne with his Grandfather, Ian Garvie.  Ian, a long-time member of Toastmasters, as well as Lions is in his mid 70's.

 Jay was pleasantly Surprised to see many younger members - (a lot younger in fact!), and especially to see young Hannah,  our current membership officer who was Toastmaster or MC for the meeting that day.

 Jay was also surprised to see how structured the meetings are. This didn't stop him enjoying it and he  did a terrific job participating in the introduction of members as well as  the table topics (Impromptu speaking) sections of the meeting. Ian tells me, Jay was so impressed,  that he plans to source a TM club in Melbourne, if it fits in with his studies! 

Please Note: All guests are given the option whether to participate or not.
Also, Many universities and colleges have on Campus Toastmasters clubs, such as 'Griffith Guild TM club' at Griffith University,  Gold Coast campus.

I am not sure where this myth came from, but Toastmasters is not just a secret society for the older generation learning to Master the art of making Toast!!

It is for anyone 18 years and over, who is interested in public speaking and improving their communication and leadership skills.

It is probably one of the cheapest forms of personal growth and development educational courses you will ever do. For approximately AU$5.50 per week – not much more than a mug of coffee!

Toastmasters members come from all walks of life – whether you have a speech coming up for an upcoming wedding or special occasion, or you are required to give presentations as part of your work or college, or you just want to overcome anxiety or fear of speaking in front of a group.

Many people join to improve their communication skills but the leadership skills and opportunities are often one of the reasons members continue with the organisations for many years. The fact that the meetings are fun and great way to start the day certainly helps! That's the reason I like coming every week. 

Why not come along to experience TM for yourself. Visitors are always welcome to our Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters Club weekly meetings. Or if the 6.45am time slot on Wednesday Morning is not for you, there are numerous other clubs to choose from that meet at different times (evenings or lunch time.) Visit the TM international website (see links on this website)  for further info and to find a club near you.

Some of the members at a leadership training workshop, Jan 2017 

4 club members achieved their Competent Communicator awards - March 2017
See blog: Four-club-members-achieve-CC awards.

Area Director  Sarafina Zubovic, presents  educational awards to Rivella Lewis, July 2017