Hello and welcome to the May newsletter!
There’s just time to squeeze in a quick club update before we head into June and what promises to be a packed month for Bloomsbury Speakers.
But before we get into the detail, I want to say a big hello to five brand new members: Christopher, David, Ilze, Angela and Steven. Welcome to the Bloomsbury Speakers family.
We’re delighted to have you on board and I look forward to you all becoming familiar faces in club meetings!
What’s happened since the last newsletter?
We had a great meeting at the end of April with Bloomsbury co-founder Craig Reid returning as our special guest Toastmaster and some great speeches from Paula, Hari, Renars and Femi. If you missed it check out the meeting report courtesy of Elena, our official ‘scribe’.
Our first meeting of May was another lively one, complete with special visitors from a Toastmasters club in the US and more stand-out speeches, this time from Marielle, Elena, Jo and Adam. For more details, again you can go and check out the report.
What’s still to come this month?
Only a few days left in the month, but we still have this:
- Monday 28th May – TONIGHT! – is our last regular meeting of the month. At the time of writing all roles are booked so it should be a good one and well done to our VPE Femi for keeping the programme in such rude health. Expect an ice breaker from Saija as well as speeches from Janet, Hari and Henry.
What’s planned for next month?
Due to popular demand (and lots of new members) we’ve added an extra meeting in June to help people who were finding it difficult to get a speaking slot. It will also help a couple of more experienced members complete their ten speeches before the end of the TM year.
So here’s the full meeting line-up:
- Monday 11th June – Regular Meeting – currently fully booked (apart from a reserve speaker slot – in case someone drops out). We should have an ice breaker from Mike, and speeches from Wayne, Elena and Jo.
- Monday 18th June – Regular Meeting – almost fully booked but there’s still a chance to book yourself in as Topics Evaluator. We’ll have an ice breaker from Christopher as well as speeches from David, Kate and, er, me!
- Monday 25th June – Regular Meeting – again, almost fully booked but there’s a reserve speaker slot and a couple of evaluator slots – get in there! Currently we are promised an ice breaker from Ilze, and speeches from Ahmed, Kate and Femi.
What’s on the horizon?
At least twice a year we like to run workshops to help members learn from more experienced Toastmasters and develop specific skills.
I’m delighted to say that in July we’ll be holding a Table Topics workshop which will focus on that area of a normal meeting agenda alone. Our current VP of Membership & Mentoring Hari is taking charge of this and more information will be sent out in the near future, but here are the basic details:
- Table Topics Workshop – Monday 30th July 2012 – this workshop (free for members) will help you to hone your impromptu speaking skills by providing helpful tips and lots of opportunities to practice in a super-friendly environment. Places will be limited and we hope that everyone will get the chance to tackle three topics.
You can book your place at the workshop here:
NEWS – Change to Table Topics
Table Topics is a popular section of our regular meetings. One of the main purposes is to give members who are not on the programme an opportunity to speak. We do also like to give keen guests a chance to experience the buzz of speaking impromptu, but we aim to give priority to members.
To facilitate this we’ve decided to try an experiment – allowing up to four people to book table topics slots in advance via ClubPlan. We won’t push to fill the slots, but if you do bag one, we’ll do our best to make sure you get to speak.
It’s just a trial, but if it works out we’ll keep it going.
INFO – What is the Distinguished Club Programme?
Some information from Nazia – our Past President and DCP Co-ordinator – about the Distinguished Club Programme.
As the end of Toastmasters year approaches I wanted to tell you a little bit about the DCP. How can we know if we are making progress or meeting our goals? Unless we have metrics in place we can’t know.
At Toastmasters the key milestones include the Competent Communicator (CC) programme, that you achieve by completing the first 10 speeches, and after this there are further communication milestones that measure your progress.
Also included is the Competent Leadership (CL) programme which acknowledges your successful progress through various leadership mini-projects, usually by taking on a supporting role in a meeting.
By completing either – or hopefully both – of these programmes members receive an award.
You may not realise that every member who achieves an award contributes to the success of the club as well.
Clubs too are measured by how well their members are doing through the Distiguished Club Programme. Successful clubs are recognised and can proudly display the award ribbons on their club banner. During our first full year of operation we achieved the President’s Distinguished Club award – that is the highest award that a club can get!
And this year we are poised to achieve the Select Distinguished award! The DCP ensures that members are reaching their goals and the club is a high performing club with quality educational meetings.
Success speaks for itself and I’m sure you’ll agree that we are a successful and thriving club thanks to the contributions of our members.
Tip of the Month – Tell A Story, Make A Point
I’ve heard this said a number of times while I’ve been a member of Toastmasters – that the difference between good and great speakers is that great speakers “tell a story then make a point”. (Sometimes it’s the other way round – make a point, tell a story).
I saw it in very effective action last week when I was fortunate enough to attend an event in NYC with Seth Godin – the best-selling author and speaker.
(If you’re at all interested in marketing, the digital economy, or even just where the world of business is heading, I recommend that you follow Seth’s blog).
His opening speech – lasting around 45 minutes – consisted essentially of around half a dozen stories, each illustrating a specific point he wanted to make. Some were personal stories, some were in the public domain. They were often funny, sometimes inspiring, but they were all there for a specific purpose. To further cement his point.
What I particularly liked was that he was always very direct about his point. After telling a story, he would often say “and here’s what I want you to take from this…” or “and what this means for me is…”
He was perfectly happy to sacrifice a more subtle style – where the messages were left for the attentive listener to infer – at the altar of getting his point across. It seemed to me that was his primary purpose.
So try telling a story and making a point. And don’t be afraid of telling exactly what your point is.
I think that’s everything for this month. Next month will be my last as president (it hardly seems possible a year is almost up) so I’m keen to go out with a big bang – but that shouldn’t be hard with three busy meetings.
Our new committee is almost in place. The current team will be doing a handover next month so that the new ‘administration’ can hit the ground running from the start of July.
There are always ways that you can get involved in the running of the club and help it to keep on growing and getting better. So if you’re interested in lending a hand, even if it’s just an hour or two a month, let me know!
All the best,
Key facts – just the stuff you really need to know
- Our next meeting is tonight – Monday 28th May – upstairs at The Clerk & Well, 156 Clerkenwell Road, EC1R 5DU
- We have three – yes three! – meetings in June, on the 11th, 18th and 25th.
- We’re holding a special Table Topics Workshop on Monday 30th July – details here