Arthur Ogawa participated in Orangebelt Toastmasters until about March 2011, then in Exeter Toastmasters starting in 2014.

Toastmasters Educational Program[edit | edit source]

I track my progress in the educational program here. Putting the information on this wiki allows me to inform those with a need to know (e.g., the club Vice President Education).

A cell with a blue background signifies either a scheduled future event or tells me that I have yet to complete all of the details of the project (e.g., perhaps I have not yet secured the initials of the Vice President Education in my project completion record). In effect, to focus on my program, I need only look at the cells with a blue background.

Competent Communicator Worksheet 2010-01-11
Project Theme Date Title
1 Ice Breaker 2008/08/11 Look at that Night!
2 Organize 2008/08/25 Raisins to Love
3 Get to the Point 2008/09/08 Introducing: the Orangebelt Toastmasters Website
4 How to Say It 2008/09/29 A Speech Timer for Toastmasters
5 Body 2009/03/09 Don't Be a Dope—Look It Up on Snopes
6 Vocal 2009/07/13 The Smile Train Charity Ride
7 Research 2009/09/28 Your Neighbor Condor
8 Visual Aids 2010/02/22 The Thoughtful Ah-Counter
9 Persuade 2009/10/26 If you respect them, set them free
10 Inspire 2015/    /    
Competent Leader Worksheet 20104-01-30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  Theme Listen Think Feedback Time Plan &
Organize Facilitate Motivate Mentor Team
  Requirements 3/4 2/3 3/3 1/1 + 1/4 3/4 1/2 2/4 1/1 + 2/3 1/1 2/2 | 1/2
  Date completed 2009/04/13 2009/04/27 2010/03/29 2009/05/11 2009/10/12 2009/08/31 2010/01/11 2010/04/12 2014/    /     2009/11/09
Ah-Counter   √ 2009/01/26
Table Topics Speaker   √         /    /    
Timer   √ 2009/05/11
Speaker 2 √ 2009/07/13 2009/03/08
Grammarian 4 √ 2008/10/27 2009/01/26 2009/12/14 2009/08/24
Table Topicsmaster 3 √         /    /     2009/09/14 2014/12/22
Speech Evaluator 4 √ 2009/04/13 2009/02/09 2010/03/29 2010/04/12
General Evaluator 6 √ 2009/06/08 2009/04/27 2009/10/12 2010/01/11         /    /             /    /    
Toastmaster 5 √ 2009/03/24         /    /     2009/11/09 2009/08/10 2015/01/26
Befriend a Guest   √         /    /    
Mentor, Guidance Committee   √ 2014/    /    
2 √ 2009/08/31 2009/11/09
Public Relations, Membership Campaign: Principal, Assistant
3 √         /    /     2010/02/08         /    /    

Leadership Track[edit | edit source]

  • General goal: when designing projects, to avoid using Toastmasters itself as a vehicle. Example: A High Performance Leadership project to host a Toastmasters District Conference or Speech Contest. Prefereable: organize a Smile Train Charity Ride.
  • Scheduling Goal: every meeting, perform a role that furthers my progress in the Competent Leader manual.

Timer (2009-05-11)[edit | edit source]

  • Query: When reports are given, should they be timed? Example: General Evaluator's report (exclusive of her introduction of speech evaluators), Grammarian's report, etc.

Evaluation[edit | edit source]

  • When I next do Speech Evaluator (2009 Sep 28, Nov 23), I would like to go beyond the "Tell-and-Sell" method of evaluation. Instead, I will arrange to do either a "Tell-and-Listen" evaluation or a "Problem-Solving" evaluation.
  • When I next do General Evaluator (2009 Oct 12, Dec 14), I will try to get my Evaluators to agree to themselves do one or the other of these alternative methods. Also, I will try to work out with the Toastmaster to let me handle the entire evaluation team.

Toastmaster[edit | edit source]

  • When I next do Toastmaster (2009 Nov 09), I must ask the Timer to mark down the actual time each agenda item is begun. I do not understand where the time is going.

Table Topicsmaster[edit | edit source]

  • When choosing a member to perform a Table Topics speech, prefer those members with a small speaking role in the meeting: Teller (vote counter), Timer, or a member with no meeting role. Refer to the member roster, note which members are present, then eliminate Speaker, Toastmaster, General Evaluator, Speech Evaluator, Grammarian.
  • When I did Table Topicsmaster (2009-09-14), I gave each member pieces of club publicity, along with a personalized member business card, and presented them with one of the scenarios listed.
    • Timing requirements would be relaxed at the short end, perhaps 0:30-1:30? No. We used the usual TT time.
    • I took the place of the fictitious person for the first speaker, and asked each speaker to do so for the next speaker.
    • To prepare, I would ask each Table Topics Speaker beforehand if they attend a church, a service club (which?), work at a business they can shmooze at, etc. I did not do this.
    • The scenarios:
      • You are at the meet-&-greet at your church and are talking to someone who strikes you as someone who could benefit from Toastmasters. Take a moment to visualize that person (perhaps they even have a name!), then begin speaking to them about the club and hand them the publicity and your card, inviting them to our next meeting.
      • You are at a Kiwanis (Rotary, Lions) meeting with a member or meeting guest...
      • You are in your place of business and notice a patron or vendor...

Jokemaster[edit | edit source]

Resources I know about:

  • A Treasury of Jewish Folk Humor
  • A Treasury of Humor and Toastmasters Handbook, Grolier, NY, 1955

Ah-Counter[edit | edit source]

Tracks the number of times each participant uses "ah" sounds and "crutch" words and phrases, and bestows the appropriate award to the winner. You should come prepared to describe your meeting role in 1 minute.

Ah sounds are meaningless utterances, such as "Ah", "Er", "Um", that we produce while speaking (usually to fill up silences when we have not decided what we want to say).

Crutch words include "y'know", "OK", "right?", which we insert willy-nilly into our speech, possibly to elicit sympathetic listening sounds from our listeners. Crutch phrases include, "really", "in fact", "basically", "go ahead and...", "real quick", "what it is, is that...", and "Again". Most times, our speech is more meaningful and powerful when we omit such phrases.

Crutch words (filler words) include not only “Ah” and “Um”, but a great number of other phrases. In each case, the use of such phrases is pervasive and marks one as a not particularly conscious speaker. The Ah-Counter is supposed to detect meaningless expletives along with hackneyed, trite phrases. But it is worthwhile considering why such things creep into our language in the first place. By being conscious of what we are saying and why, we can better eschew such verbal excrescences. The result is speech that is more terse, direct, and powerful—in sum, more worthwhile to the listener, who will appreciate the implied respect.

  • Ah (Er, Um)—Fills dead air, signifying that we have more to say and gives a verbal cue to our listener that they are not yet approved to step into the conversation. When we have the floor, however, we are assured that people will continue to listen even if we should fall silent. In a conversation, if we cannot quite keep up with the pace, we simply have to bear with others jumping in at such times. Remember, if you cannot hold the floor in a conversation, you are probably in a situation where the other person has a greater need to speak than to listen. Perhaps it is time to do just that.
  • You know?, OK?, Right?—We tend to lard our utterances with these interrogatives as a way of engaging the listener's attention with a question. However, the question is meaningless, and we give the listener no opportunity to respond anyway. Except perhaps to emit one of those monosyllabic sympathetic sounds that listeners are supposed to give out in encouragement from time to time. Wouldn't it be better to actually ask the listener a meaningful question and listen for a response?
  • Basically—When we want to explain something to someone, we often preface our explanation with this word. However, our statement is more powerful if we omit it. If we were to use this word in its proper context, we would be pointing out some root aspect of our subject, e.g., “We thought we were in disagreement, but the problem was basically a failure in communication.”
  • Really, In fact—We pepper our language with such adjectives to, in effect, convey the veracity or sincerity of what we are saying. But we should be mindful that overemphasis of the truth of our ideas works against our credibility. Instead, we need to speak the truth in such a way that we convince the listener agrees with us.
  • Go ahead and...—In the context of explaining what I will do or what I want you to do, I slip this phrase in to help give support to the notion that I truly will get off the dime and move into action. Can we rest assured that I will do as I say I will and that you will do likewise?
  • Real quick—Far from expressing the immediacy or speed of some deed, this phrase seems to express more that the thing is small, trivial. To the question, “Can I go to the bathroom real quick?” one might respond “By all means. But take your time, and do a quality job.” Or when asked, “Can I ask you a real quick question?”, one is put on notice that one's answer will be considered unsatisfactory unless trivially short.
  • What it is, is...—A turn of phrase, not so much grammatically incorrect as awkward. It is more direct to substitute, “It is...”
  • Again—An announcement that the speaker is about to become repetitive. Regrettably, one does not become more convincing by stating an opinion with greater frequency, and one does not convey information more effectively by trotting it out multiple times. Repetitious speech implicitly demonstrates lack of respect for the attentive listener. We must say our piece with the confidence that we have the attention of the listener.
  • So—Used as a segue, but without particular significance. If we chain our thoughts together with "So", we give the impression that we are following some logical train of cause followed by effect or a recitation of steps. Oftentimes, though, we are not using the word in its literal sense.
  • "And"—The conjunction and means that two thoughts are related. Much like the crutch word So, though, we use and gratuitously.

Assignment Write a speech that exemplifies the use of all of the crutch words and Ah sounds, such that each one appears appropriately used.

You know what it is about our speech? We really do not self-censor before engaging our tongues! “Ah-ha!,” you say, and I know you are basically in agreement with me. We are called upon to speak to a topic about something real. Quickly, there is no time to stop to think: we instead go ahead, and we fire off some choice phrases before reflecting on what this speech will sound like to the listener. So, the impression we leave is in fact one of thoughtlessness. Now we have to acknowledge what it is. Is that right? And I have done it again.

Other meeting roles[edit | edit source]

Thought for the Day[edit | edit source]

Prepare and read a short quotation or other text. This reading is intended to set the tone of the meeting (some call it the "Positive Thought"). You may select from a wide variety of sources—whatever seems suitable to you. You may also craft something of your own.

Word of the Day[edit | edit source]

Prepare a word for the members to try to use in their speaking during the meeting, and to incorporate into their everyday speech. You should print the word in large letters on a piece of paper suitable for display at the front of the room. In presenting the word, you will give its definition(s) and give a use sentence. It is helpful if the definition or the word's synonyms are also on the paper, in large type, so that people can refer to this information in the course of the meeting.

Some clubs combine this meeting role with Grammarian; other clubs break it out as a separate role, suitable to a new member.

Communication Track[edit | edit source]

  • General goal: when selecting a speech topic, to avoid selecting as a speech topic any that use Toastmasters or the club itself as subject. Example: a speech to inform members about, or to inspire members to participate in, the Leadership Track. Better: A speech describing the Smile Train Charity Ride and inviting support for it.
  • Next speech: (backup: 2009 Sep 28) 2009-10-26, “Give Love, Give Life: Give Blood”, CC #7, Research Your Topic, Collect information; support points with facts, examples, & illustrations from research.
  • CC #8: visual aids
  • CC #9: Persuade
  • CC #10: Inspire

Speech Contests[edit | edit source]

  • Idea: I want to compete in the Evaluation Contest, so would benefit from my club members judging me as if I were competing before them in an such a contest. This should take place every time I act as a speech Evaluator.
  • Likewise, every time a club member gives a speech that could be used in a Humorous Speech, Tall Tales, or Inspirational Speech contest, club members should practice judging the speech.
  • Benefits accrue to the person giving the speech, but also to those doing the mock judging. And the whole club gets behind participating in speech contests.
  • I have volunteered to participate in our upcoming speech contest (2009-08-31) as a contestant in the evaluation contest and as an assistant. In the latter connection:
    • What will be required? See under How to run a successful speech competition
    • Prepare awards and certificates for contestants. I have ordered a set to cover the entire year. I will engrave the certificates (perhaps on the spot).
    • Assemble the other materials to be handed out. This should include judge's guides. What else?
    • Will the club give special recognition to the speech contest Toastmaster and Chief Judge?

Club service[edit | edit source]

  • Sergeant at Arms (2009 July–2010 June)
    • As I carry out my service in this office, I maintain the applicable wiki page.
    • My first officer training was on 25 July 2009: I updated that wiki page with the additional information I learned at that training.
    • At any one meeting, I am simultaneously doing three separate things: serving as club officer, doing a meeting role, and being evaluated for that role in the Leadership Track. Or I may be giving a speech and being evaluated on that speech. Taking care of all of the details involving so many tasks is quite a challenge in remaining organized and in coordinating with my evaluators, the Vice President Education, and (for guests) the Vice President Membership.
    • I am also keeping the club website up to date.
    • At the same time as the above, I am continuing to consider how to better recognize members for the good work they do.
    • Item 1167 “Toastmasters and You” mentions the following items that the club itself will want to include in the packet
      • welcome letter from club President—TI provide a form for this in some packet or other!!!!
      • club bulletin or newsletter— our club has none
      • meeting outline or sample agenda—use the agenda from my most recent Toastmaster job
      • meeting assignment schedule—use the current one
      • club policies—our club lacks this document
      • information on special awards your club presents—our club lacks this
      • club Charter, Constitution, and Bylaws—I must get the Club Bylaws from the club Secretary
      • member list—use the one I get from the website
    • What does TI send to the person nominated on the Proposal for Membership form?

Training[edit | edit source]

--ArthurOgawa 22:51, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

TI have a new feature, Toastmasters Learning Connection, a set of Flash-based video training modules streamed from with an introductory video featuring Gary Schmidt (TI Senior VP, 2008-2009).

The first set of modules are for District Officers and are entitled Leading Teams. Featuring Emma the e-Learning presenter, the modules consist of a “Getting Started” orientation video, and the following four “Sessions”:

  • Session 1: Overview of District Officer Roles
  • Session 2: Five Principles of Motivation
  • Session 3: Five Steps of Delegation
  • Session 4: Resolving Conflict

Each session concludes with a quiz (graded online) that helps you determine how much of the material you have successfully absorbed.

Each session's web page has a wealth of further information for self study, with links to articles on the TI website.

Review[edit | edit source]

Who should use these videos[edit | edit source]

Even though the training is pitched to District officers, Sessions 2–4 covered information that is of general use to Toastmasters in the Leadership Track: Motivation, Delegation, and Conflict Resolution. Anyone would do well to master these skills.

As a club officer, I felt that I benefited greatly from the information in Session 1, the overview of district officers. I was impressed that a single district officer, the Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, was responsible for all three tasks: promoting the Toastmasters Educational Program, leading Speech Contests, as well as Officer Training. What a job!

I also learned what is meant by “marketing”, as in Lieutenant Governor Marketing: I now understand what is being sold, namely Toastmasters memberships.

Execution[edit | edit source]

  • The video format, supplemented by on-screen bullet points that appear in the same frame as the presenter, was effective in getting the information across.
  • The information presented is basic, and only a few points are covered in each session. This means that you can focus on understanding 100% of the content. So the pacing is quite appropriate.
  • The quiz at the end of the session is useful in preventing one from listening to the video with half a brain. I found that taking careful notes was rewarding, not least because it forced me to listen attentively and to think carefully about the information that was being presented.
  • I found the telephone conversations presented in the “Motivation” video to be an effective way of concretizing the abstract principles being discussed: I even became sympathetic with the characters (role playing is an effective training technique).

Points for improvement[edit | edit source]

  • In the “Overview of District Officers” video, the script did not match the worksheet (fourth bullet under “District Governor responsibilities”)
  • In the “Conflict Resolution” video, the closed caption text was not always coordinated with the speaker (during the “boiling teapot” graphic).
  • The on-screen graphics were often in need of improvement (as when the same set of four silhouettes of officers was overused).
  • Ultimately, I grew displeased with Emma’s samey, unnatural delivery, and the timbre of her voice became off putting. At that point, I had to make a conscious effort to listen to what she was saying and tune out how she was saying it (perhaps a personal preference).

Resources[edit | edit source]

As you work through each session, you are encouraged to take notes in a “worksheet” provided in PDF format. Here are mine (red text are how I filled in the blanks in the PDF worksheet):

Session 1: Overview of District Officer Roles[edit | edit source]

To help you identify the roles and responsibilities of the District Governor, the Lieutenant Governor of Education and Training, and the Lieutenant Governor of Marketing.

The Toastmasters districts exist for two primary purposes. First, to support existing clubs and second, to form new clubs so more people can benefit from Toastmasters. District Governor responsibilities:

  • Manage district operations and finances in accordance with policies and bylaws. DG & LGs work together to establish and manage the district budget.
  • Get the right people in place by appointing Treasurer, Secretary and Committee Chairmen
  • Preside at DEC and district council meetings to ensure that decision making is consistent, fair, and focused on district goals
  • Keeps everyone in touch with each other via email, conference calls, and face-to-face meetings. Reaches out to members and clubs providing the information they need to stay active and productive
  • Manage ________ and ________
  • Manage annual transition of district officers at the end of the year

Lieutenant Governor Education and Training responsibilities:

  • Train club and district officers
  • Teach clubs to conduct effective meetings.
  • Promote education and training excellence
  • Plan district conferences.
  • Direct speech contests.

Lieutenant Governor Marketing responsibilities:

  • Build new clubs.
  • Assist struggling clubs.
  • Facilitate membership-building efforts, which should be an important part of conferences and club officer training.

Responsibilities shared by all the above officers:

  • Set and achieve short- and long-term goals for new clubs, membership, educational accomplishments, and training.
  • Promote club quality and member achievement.
  • Identify, develop, and mentor leaders (includes club, area, and division as well as volunteers).
  • Select committee chairmen.
  • Support division and area governors.

Session 2: Five Principles of Motivation[edit | edit source]

Motivation: to generate enthusiasm and to get your people personally engaged so they take ownership of their roles and responsibilities.

Goal: to help you identify five basic principles that will help you engage, encourage and energize your team in real world situations.

Five Principles of Motivation are to:

  1. Understand what motivates each person.
  2. Focus on the values to the individual.
  3. Make expectations clear.
  4. Recognize their work.
  5. Be a Leader.

Scenario 1: District Governor recruits a club president for Area Governor

Scenario 2: District Governor follows up with an Area Governor who is struggling

Session 3: Five Steps of Delegation[edit | edit source]

To examine some reasons people find delegating difficult and identify five steps you can take to delegate effectively.

Delegation is the process of transferring responsibility from one person to another and empowering that individual to accomplish a specific goal.

Barriers to Delegation include:

  • Lack of confidence in others
  • Fear of giving up control
  • Do not want to give credit to others:
  • Fear, insecurity
  • Reluctant to ask for help

To make delegation work, we need to resolve these issues.

The Five Steps of Delegation are to:

  1. Prioritize what needs to be done
  2. Match needs to availability and ability
  3. Assign responsibility: talk, explain, allow the person to accept the responsibility
  4. Empower: ensure he has the tools and resources required. Empower him to make the decisions necessary to accomplish the desired results
  5. Establish accountability: Set timelines, milestones, and ways to report progress.

Always make yourself available to support your team.

Session 4: Conflict Resolution[edit | edit source]

To define conflict and identify the steps you can take to successfully address and resolve conflict

Conflict is the result of differences between two or more people that are not resolved. They often lead to further problems, such as breakdown in communication and personal rivalries that impede and disrupt.

Conflict resolution occurs when we identify and address conflict in a mature and respectful way. Early is key.

Prepare yourself to:

  • Control your emotions; focus on the facts
  • Try to understand the situation; consider other factors and points of view; are there things you are not considering?
  • Determine your boundaries. Take a moment to examine your motives and to determine your boundaries (what outcomes are you willing to accept, where are you willing to be flexible and make compromises?).
  • Commit to address the conflict and be willing to move forward

Reach out to the other person and plan a time to talk about the issue in private.

When you talk about the conflict:

  • Identify that there is an issue
  • Make sure everyone agrees that they want a resolution
  • Share your side of the story and ask for theirs
  • Listen to the other person
  • Ask questions so you understand the others’ perspective
  • Acknowledge where the two of you agree and disagree
  • Commit to move forward based upon points of agreement
  • Be open to adjusting your expectations and poundaries in order to move forward.
  • Follow-up with an e-mail that confirms what you both established
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