Friday, December 30, 2011

Toastmasters Friday: Toasty Resolutions for New Years'

It'd be easy to write a blog today suggesting you get your DTM, run for District Office, or even just finally finish that CL manual (or, for some of you, open it up!). Toastmasters is filled with awards for completed goals, and the organization does a pretty good job of motivating us any time of year.

Instead, I'd like to suggest we all resolve to take a few 'smaller' actions that will make us better Toastmasters, and have a little fun while we're at it.

1. Say 'Hi' to a guest, and actually chat with them. Some of us are great at this, others just sit back and don't interact at all. If you're the latter, step up!

2. Bring a guest. I've always been bad at this - partially because I don't actually work anywhere, and when I do, I don't really want any of the people I work with at TM. Maybe that's why I work for myself. Still, most of us have access to friends we can bring. Make this year the year you do it.

3. Stop canned Words of the Day or Table Topics. Get creative. Put some effort in and people might actually remember to use the WotD. Inventive Topics almost always beat questions from the card boxes. It's always nice to have resources to fall back on, but too often I see the fall back position act as the only position.

4. Prepare your speech in advance. More than, say, a day. Or an hour. Or as you sit their ignoring the speaker ahead of you. Push yourself to write your speech. Practice it 10 times before you give it in the preceding few days. You might amaze yourself.

5. Judge. Especially if you've been competing for a long time. Get out of the game and into the stands, and feel what its like on the other side. If you aren't a competitor, volunteer to judge to get your feet wet. Just make sure you go through training and are prepared to be objective.

6. Go to training, even if you aren't an officer. Some Districts are better than others at putting on events, but if you have a big TLI (Toastmasters Leadership Institute), go meet some new people and head to an ed session you wouldn't normally attend.

7. Visit 4 clubs you've never gone to before. That's one every three months. Participate. Even call ahead and see if you can give a guest speech. If you head out of state, or out of the country, make it a point to visit a local group of Toastmasters - they make great extended family. Consider having a 'Passport Contest' in your club - and see who visits the most outside clubs, in the most interesting locations!

8. Give a presentation from the Successful Club Series or Leadership Excellence Series. Or two. Please, please, please tailor them to your style.

9. Find out what your officers are doing. Volunteer to be the Sgt. at Arms, and set the room up in a new formation. Join a committee for the VP of PR. Attend an officer's meeting. Ask how much is in the Treasury. Take notes for the Secretary. Anything new!

10. Go to the International Convention. This is a big financial and time commitment, so its a bit of a stretch goal - especially if you choose to get their as a contestant. But it is worth seeing at least once in your life. The pomp and circumstance. The big stage. The people from all over the world. Treat yourself!

Maybe you're doing all these things. Great. What else can you do? Just do something new in TM this year. Keep it fresh for you and those around you. There's so much TM has to offer, and so few, if any, who have truly sucked all the marrow out of their TM life.


  1. Three suggestions - based on my FB comment to this post.

    1) Present training at TLI. (Although I've done that for several positions, others may not have.)

    2) Present a workshop at a conference. I submitted a proposal a couple of years ago, and was chosen as an alternate (which is a lot of preparation to put into something that isn't certain). I'm deciding now whether I want to try that again or go for a keynote at a conference - which is my ultimate goal.

    3) Help at a conference - whether it is being part of the conference committee or volunteering for that weekend. I have a blast working on the registration desk. What better way to meet almost everyone! I'm looking forward to when I have the time to be on the planning committee.

    Thanks for making me think about this seriously, Rich.

  2. Did almost all you suggested, last year.
    Plus, become Club President, created an ongoing Personal Storytelling Workshop, been to Vegas, gone to Stand Up training, next year: "impro training" for me. And preparing successors for Officers in Club.

    Most important? "Say Hi to a guest!" And with a big smile an open body language. That is how we have now 9 new members. Let them feel really welcome.

    As to "prepare", after having done all to ACG speeches, last time, for a renewed CC I did not prepare well, and I felt the difference! How right your remarks are!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...