Tell Your Story at Toastmasters

Tell Your Story At Toastmasters

Tell Your Story at Toastmasters

David Hughes, DTM
District 73

Everyone has a story, yet not everyone tells a story well. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because of doubt, fear, or reluctance. Perhaps it’s because we think our story is not worth telling, and even if we tell it, no one will be interested. Perhaps also, it’s because we’ve never learned the structure of story-telling.

There is a way you can learn to tell your story, much like I learned to tell mine, but more of that later.

Since time immemorial, we humans have told stories to each other; to express feelings; to describe living conditions; to warn of danger; to share information; to be remembered and to leave a legacy. Read more

Friends helping friends succeed

Friends helping friends succeed

In 2001, I bought a ticket to a Leadership Seminar without realizing that iFriends helping friends succeedt was a Toastmasters conference with a Speech contest.

My first Toastmasters workshop conducted by a speaker from Singapore was so fantastic that I rushed to find out about the sponsoring organization.

A few days later, I attended the first Toastmasters meeting, answered my first table topic question, and joined as a member at Thai Airways Toastmasters Club at the venue of the company I had worked with as a communication and customer service trainer for 26 years. Read more

brand guidelines

The Toastmasters brand and some guidelines to follow

Ask any designer or the VP-PR of your club about their most dreaded moment in Toastmasters and this would clearly win hands down. Yes, we are talking about the brand violations, the single sore point which has given countless designers grief and agony in the past. Having seen the confusion and lack of clarity on what is allowed and what can be called a “violation”, we at the District 82 Social Media Team have put together a primer you can readily reference for any brand related queries.

Read more

Humour-Blog-Poster-870x490

What makes humor tick?

Humour exists not just for its own sake.

It can be thought of as the brahmastra that helps in making any speech powerful. The genius of the device is such that it can be used to convey any feeling, be it love, hate, anger, grief, jealousy, disgust, cynicism, and so on, and ironically, it can also be used in bringing down the impact of those very feelings, when deployed in a different way.

All the same when used well, it can work wonders by effectively communicating any subject. Case in point: Comedian John Oliver’s weekly show “The Last Week Tonight”.  While Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert established the style and foundation for satire and  sarcasm laced examination of “serious” subjects, it was John Oliver,  in this author’s opinion, who popularized it so much that his show is considered  a serious contender in the  category of mainstream journalism despite the anchor’s vehement insistence that it’s just a  comedy show. Oliver’s brand of humour  takes the form of sarcasm,  slapstick, innuendo and self-deprecation,  many a time. But it also  succeeds in telling the story of the day. It manages to  CONVEY. That’s a near perfect demonstration of what humour can do to any kind of  messaging.   

What makes humour work? For the sake of brevity, let’s examine the most important  components in a speech that gets humour working.   

  1. Conflict For any story to work, it has to stay within the boundaries of logic, even if its  basic premise is as unearthly as possible.  Conflict, a.k.a the second act, gets the audience’s’ interest and keeps them guessing until resolution, i.e. the climax.  A humorous speech or  story works along the similar lines. Even if the idea  is to  make the audiences laugh, a humorist should also get  them to  care. Once the laughter dies out, they should still be interested in  knowing  what  happens to the story.    
  2. Characterisation A corollary to the previous point, great characters help in making a story  interesting.  Great characterizations make humour a lot more situational. Those situations  can be made more relatable with the use of localisms, and cultural references easily  identifiable to the audience. It’s here that a humorist strikes the chord.    

While writing this piece, I was wondering if I should make it humorous for the reader, just as  a way of presenting the purpose of the article in a subtextual  manner. And that’s when I remembered another cardinal rule ­ No humour is better than bad humour. Bad humour,  short of getting a  few laughs, can create  controversies. Nothing leaves a worse aftertaste  than forced or misplaced humour.   

Unless an individual is very skilled, including humour in speeches takes serious thought and  preparation. When it’s done right,  it’s an excellent tool  to have in one’s communication arsenal.  

This article was first published on the Deccan Chronicle VIT’s blog section.

Visit: http://reverberation16.com

 

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4 Reasons Why You Should NOT Attend Reverberation 2016

Disclaimer: Content of this blog post is a work of pure sarcasm. Readers are advised not to be mislead without understanding the underlying meaning of it. Please read it fully…

 

‘Reverberation….Registration…Reverberation…Registration…Reverberation…Registration…’

Aaaarrrggghhhhhh! These days, these are the two words that keep reverberating in our minds after every Toastmasters meeting! The PR and Registration fellows have been working hard to somehow make us all register for the conference. All their gimmicks, be it a troll or a blog post or even their speeches tempt us register for Reverberation, sometimes even more than once. But boss, wait!

Let me give you 4 good reasons as to why we should NOT attend this year District 82 semi-annual conference. Here goes: Read more

Toastmasters District 82

Toastmasters District 82 – #2 in the world!!

98 – That’s the total number of districts in Toastmasters International, excluding District F and District U.

Second best!

That’s us – District 82.  

As an ardent Toastmaster, I speak for all of us when I say our relationship with the fraternity is like a marriage.

When we – each of us – walked into a club, we were novices. We made new friends, found hidden talents and built memories in this forum. It hasn’t been all fun and games. We made mistakes – lots of it on stage. We fumbled and fell. But we forgave each other. And we grew in the process. Read more

How it all began

How it all Began – A Brief History of the Oldest Club in D-82

This article was published in the District Newsletter – PULSE Vol 3. Issue 3, that was launched on 1-July-2016. To read and download the full edition, visit: http://www.d82.org/info/newsletters. The author is Toastmaster Vijayalakshmi Gunasekarapandian , the Editor-in-Chief of District 82 for the year 2016-17. She can be reached at editor-in-chief@d82.org . Thanks to TM Sarma Mahalingam of The Colombo Toastmasters club for collating and providing us the details

It was at a Rotary meeting many years ago that the seed was planted. An American Rotarian, who was a guest at the meeting, accredited his formidable voice to Toastmasters and this sparked the initial interest.

After this an informal group began meeting regularly, led by the late Mr. R B Ekanayake. In 1982, the American Ambassador Mr. John Reed who was a member of the Kiwanis club and the Toastmasters club in the USA, lent his patronage to this group. Whenever he attended a function, he would identify potential members for both Kiwanis and Toastmasters. He used to go around asking for names and addresses of reasonably good speakers and everyone wondered why? He used to brief the informal group about Toastmasters but ideas were very new and hazy about this organization. Informal meetings were held at the American Center at Flower Road and later at the Orient club with the late R. B. Ekanayake, the late Sam Samarasinghe and Haleem Ghouse. Amongst others was Ambassador John Reed who was also a regular attendee at these meetings. However, these meetings were more fellowship than educational and soon the group was searching for their Toastmasters identity. Read more