Friday, February 25, 2011

Tip of the week: A speech in your hip pocket??

One of the unintended consequences of having a strong club with 20+ members is that the prepared speaker rotation is such that several weeks or months may pass between your scheduled speeches.  If you would like to speak more often than that, try preparing a “hip pocket speech.”  This is a speech that you have written and rehearsed a few times, but haven’t delivered to the Electric Toasters yet.  It ideally is on a topic with which you are very familiar.  Carry a copy of the speech – maybe not in your hip pocket (!), but in a folder or notebook that you bring each week to Toastmasters.  Then when a speaker needs to give up their role for the week, you already have a speech ready to go.  This will help you meet your educational goals faster, and will help our meetings run more smoothly.  Recently, one of our members used “hip pocket speeches” to deliver three speeches in three consecutive weeks – only one of which he was scheduled for!

By Jason Kent, VP Education

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February Recap

Electric Toasters kept us on the edge of our seats throughout February. Here's a recap of all the speeches we had a chance to enjoy:

On February 2nd Aliza Scott  took us on a colorful trip to the German wine country, while Craig Jones delivered an impromptu speech on a successful Toastmasters Club.

During our "Lessons I never learned" meeting on February 9th, Ashley Wilson was convincing us to become disciplined and motivated to save and think about our retirement: short term pleasures vs. long term pay offs. In the spirit of the financial theme, Craig Jones shared a theory from the "Cashflow Quadrant" book, and presented an employee, a self employed individual, a business owner and an investor on the quadrants of security and cash-flow.

The King of Impromptu speeches, Craig Jones, also did not disappoint us on February 16th when he took us on a search for the Wizard of Evaluations. Ania Osińska-Bulloff had us board a plane to go around the World (of Valentine's chocolates and roses) in 7 minutes.

The last February meeting was a full house of club members and guests. That did not scare away Karen Groth with her speech on effective research tricks, nor did it scare Steve Connor with his "Irish Icebreaker" a story of a perfect blend of Irish virtues (hearts), magically turning into a clover.

What other excitement will March bring? Stay tuned!

A full house of Electric Toasters Members and Guests on February 23rd. Not captured: the second row of members and guests.
By Ania Osińska-Bulloff, VP Public Relations

Friday, February 4, 2011

Table Topics tip of the week!

Table Topics is an exercise for us to work on our extemporaneous, last-minute, “fly by the seat of your pants” speaking skills, because that is how most of our communications occur on a day-to-day basis!

When you are a Table Topic Master: there are any number of ways to select people to field the table topics.  Which way is the best?  While there may be no best way, there are a couple of guidelines to follow.  First, the Table Topics Master should ask any guests before the meeting if they would like to field a table topic.  You can ask at the beginning of the Table Topics session, but its best not to put them on the spot.  Second, select people who don’t have a speaking role that day to field a table topic. Our goal is to have everyone speak at every meeting.  Occasionally it might be OK to do a “jump ball” – i.e. to ask for volunteers to field a table topic.  But in general it is best for the Table Topics Master to pick someone and direct the table topic question to them.  

By Jason Kent, VP Public Education