Monthly Archives: March 2010

Congratulations Marion!

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Toastmaster Donald Knowles

It was a marvellous turn out. The writer was in attendance at the Division B event on the preceding Wednesday and Division L easily had 3 times the number in the audience. Marion was calm and cool as always and it was a pleasure to hear someone using an evaluation structure. We heard 3 Free Formats , 1 Good Better Best, and 1 Three Strongest Points. In the International contest, well let’s just say that I was as enthralled as ever to hear the story of 2 seemingly insignificant men again. The event was well run, the refreshments were well done, and all for the princely sum of $2.00 per head. Marion, thank you for your hard work and performances. Congratulations on your finishes.


Toastmaster Marion West

The Contest

The Fans

The Fans

The Fans

The Medal Count

“Like watching a basketball game in the dark”

Submitted by Toastmaster Hal Shaw

Toastmaster Hal Shaw

Mentor: A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

A few years ago, I recall a freshman at 1st Oakville commenting that after a few meetings, it was a bit like watching a basketball game in the dark…he knew there was a lot going on, but he wasn’t sure what much of it was all about!
As new members regularly join 1st Oakville, more of the seasoned members are being called upon to act as mentors to these “fresh, vibrant, green shoots” of toastmastering. Here are a few of my observations that I hope will help 1st Oakville maintain and improve upon the high standards set by our predecessors and mentors.
As “wise and trusted counselors”, mentors need to take an active interest in their mentee’s progress, more than asking “how’s it goin’ ” when we occasionally show up at a meeting. At the outset, try to establish how you think you can help, and more importantly what the new “grasshopper” would like help with. Weekly phone calls discussing upcoming roles, what happened at last week’s meeting or recounting experiences and anecdotes that give the new member a better sense of what we’re all about, all come under the job description.

Corrective action, in almost all cases, will become necessary at some point. We all make mistakes (otherwise, we never learn) and it is the job of the mentor to identify these in a tactful manner and to offer constructive suggestions for improvement. Overlooking deficiencies to “spare one’s feelings” shackles individual personal growth and weakens the fabric of the club. A few obvious examples include lack of preparation for the assigned role, last minute email pleas for substitutes, or spotty attendance. Along with the privilege of calling yourself a Toastmaster, there is a set of responsibilities beyond giving a few speeches.
In most cases, the recipient of your advice will appreciate the guidance. In some cases, we should be prepared for the prospect of the “I’m not sure this is for me” conversation or as I like to call it, “Darwin does Toastmasters too”
As mentors, it is our task to ensure new members understand what they can expect out of 1st Oakville and what their obligations are as well. So, they don’t feel like they’re just watching a basketball game in the dark.

“Remember, free advice is usually worth twice what you pay for it! ”


The Proroguing of our new business session‏

I am sorry to say that I missed the meeting of First Oakville Toastmasters held Thursday March 4th/2010.  We shall join our members in a discussion already in progress, started by Toastmaster Peter West in his blog. I would invite any further discussion to take place in the comments following this post. Toastmaster Michelle Gillies

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles:

This blog entry is in response to Peter’s recent blog and my short response.

First Oakville Toastmasters is becoming a victim of its own success. We are approaching 50 members again. We had 3 guests last night and if they join up then we will be at 50 members, again. A few Q&A may be in order

1) What is the purpose of Toastmasters? To provide an adult night school process where people can learn public speaking, presentation skills, and leadership skills in a supportive and friendly hands on environment.

2) How involved is the Toastmaster Education process? 4 levels on the communication side; CC, ACB, ACS, ACG and 3 levels on the leadership side; CL, ALB, ALS.

3) Are there any special conditions for these certificates? The ACG requires mentoring someone to the first 3 speeches. All the other requirements are for speeches and presentations. The ALS is different as you must be a sponsor, mentor, or coach for a new club. This may be why we do not have anyone with an ALS designation in the club.

With a membership count of 50 it becomes impossible to service everyone with 5 speeches a year. This means that it will take over 2 years to complete 1 level. With only speaking every couple of months it becomes very difficult to develop proficiency. Having 4 speakers a night is proving to be logistically troublesome given that most people do not want a 2 ½ hour meeting. Next year will have at least 4 new CCs in the club. So that means more people giving longer presentations. An important but unappreciated fact is that the meetings are held in the largest room in the Quality Hotel and it will only hold 35 in a U table configuration. I don’t think that everyone would want round tables of 8 on a steady basis, at least not until we offer coupons for chiropractic work on the neck.

So here are the tough questions. Who is happy about the current level of service? Should 1OV start to consider a split? Who would be willing to venture forth? Who would stick with the current club.

Dialogue would be appreciated. Please speak up and let everyone know what you think.

Donald Knowles

First Oakville Toastmasters

V.P. Education

Submitted by Toastmaster Val Clements:

My fellow toastmasters,

This is the great thing about toastmasters.  The open forum.  I have read Toastmaster West’s blog and I welcome his opinions.
It would be great to satisfy everyone’s desires.  To be honest I was thinking more of letting Michael achieve his project rather than Peter’s propensity for new business.
As I said, I’ve read the toastmaster’s blog.  Would I do anything differently……….no.

Best regards

Submitted by Toastmaster Matt Wagner:

To First Oakville Toastmasters,

This is better than Reality Television.

This is why I go to Toastmasters and not stay home on Thursday nights to watch television.  No cable fees and far more entertaining.

A message to the newer members.

Before you wonder what is going on here, I just want to say that the combined numbers of years, as Toastmasters for Val and Peter, is well near 35 years of experience.

It is best to just watch them circling.

Surprisingly, this is what makes this club what it is – people expressing themselves well and with passion.

Where do you learn to swim better?  In shallow water or deep water?

To Iryna – Happy Woman’s Day.