Fall in love with Morningstars Toastmasters this February! Join us for our Open House on Wednesday, February 12 at 7am at Harmony Hall in Gibsons!
Contributed by Michael Worsfold
When I joined Toastmasters in 2014, I was a retired management consultant, still doing coaching, mostly with business people. My motivation for joining was to expand my local community, and grow my ability to speak about my coaching work in in public. I used my speeches to clarify my thinking and practice communicating parts of what I was doing. I also learned to get out my comfort zone by doing humorous speeches and learning to tell stories.
I never expected that five years later Toastmasters would be the incubator for an new venture I call The New Retirement Project.
The New Retirement Project and the New Retirement blog are about exploring new perspectives and new strategies for well-being in retirement; finding order, meaning, purpose and adventure.
Read more about the project in an eight part series beginning here.
Toastmasters are always improving their craft. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes wonder ‘what was I thinking’ when we committed to giving a particular speech. Especially when it’s the night before and we’re panicking and hitting a wall.
Maybe it’s not coming together and we’re worried we’ll look like idiots.
Or maybe it’s the wrong topic that has us in a panic.
Maybe it’s just not quite the right fit. Recently, someone had one speech ready and then when the moment came, she felt inspired, and delivered a completely different speech that what she’d planned.
What if it’s about taking a bigger risk and stepping on to a new learning edge? What if feeling unprepared just means the process for creating speeches has changed from the first moment we stand behind the lectern and deliver (or read!) our Icebreaker speech?
This idea was brought home to me in my recent experience giving a speech about the Wall, the Wobble, and the Wilderness..
And one other W too. You can read more about it here.
The General Evaluator recently remarked on my “uhms” and “ahs” and “sos.”
Damn. Me! A Morningstar for nine years. I should know better.
I thought I had un-uhm-ed myself. I thought I had licked those waffle words right out of my mouth. But bad habits have crept back into my speechcraft. Which reminds me what Toastmasters is all about—it’s a training.
Every Wednesday morning we show up in training mode. It’s built into the ethos of the program that we can always improve. We should never allow ourselves to think we’ve mastered the art of public speaking.
To quote Mick Jagger, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” and that’s okay, even if my speech evaluations are causing me my 19th Nervous Breakdown.
Speaking of the Rolling Stones, I joined Toastmasters in part because I aspired to strut the stage like Jagger. (I’m not kidding.) It was never going to happen, of course, but speaking on a stage seemed like a do-able option. I quickly forgot about rock stardom, because the speakers I heard blew me away.
One of the biggest challenges I discovered was weeding out those weed-words. The very ones that have crept back into my presentations. It makes me wonder if I’ve been coasting on my laurels (CC. CL, ACB. ALB). Am I guilty of treating Morningstars as a social club and not the training program it’s meant to be?
Have I forgotten that improvement is the name of the game?
Come to think of it—many rock stars could benefit from a visit to Morningstars.
Rock stars are always mumbling. For the longest time I thought the Beatles were singing: “I want to hold your ham.” And the Eurhymics were saying: “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.”
And for sure Dylan’s famous song went: “The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.” And what group was it who sang: “Hey, you, get off of my cow…”?
If you see a rock star before next Wednesday, invite them to our meeting.
In the meantime, I’ll be working on un-ah-ing myself.
38 members and former members gathered early this morning to celebrate as Morningstars Toastmasters marked 20 years as a club.
“Kind, confident, and caring” were just three words used by a former member who joined us for the occasion. The meeting was chaired with his usual poise by PJ Reece.
“Very inspiring, filled with kindness. Loved it.” Comment from a guest.
“I am happy to finally get myself out of the house early enough to get to a Morningstars meeting. I had a great time, the energy was very high. Everyone was welcoming. Thank you and congratulations for your 20 years. ” Comment from a guest.
Everyone at the meeting received an agenda to follow along with the different roles.
One of the greetings from a former member who was not able to attend gave us all a glimpse into how much influence TM has in peoples’s lives. Tammie, a former member who has moved out of the community, reminded us of a table topics speech she gave on the textiles of Bali. Members still remember her vivid description, and she shared with us that she has now booked a trip to Bali.
A former member and part of the executive team of Morningstars sent the following message.
“Congratulations you bright MorningStar‘s on this 20th year anniversary!
I wish I could be there to celebrate with you and to share in the stories of transformed lives!
The foundational leadership base in the club is unmatched… I personally owe them a mountain of gratitude for their unwavering belief that I could become all that I was created to be.
Their fundamental belief that EVERYONE, with a healthy dose of affirmation mixed with hard work, can become a better communicator and in turn influence the world around them, has made the club a smashing success!
I give a hearty hip hip hooray to the Magnificent Morningstars of the Sunshine Coast on their 20th year anniversary!
Much love and appreciation for each of you,
Thank you to all members, former members, and guests who made this such an exciting event as we launch into our next 20 years.
It’s a party!
It’s been an exciting, fun, and fruitful 20 years since Morningstars Toastmasters Club had its first ever official meeting in March of 1999. The club was officially chartered on Mar 22 of that year, and has been thriving ever since.
And on Mar 20, 2019, Morningstars Toastmasters is celebrating 20 years as a club with a special breakfast and reunion meeting of former members and new guests. The ‘party’ will be held from 7-8:30am at Harmony Hall, Gibsons.
“Star Quality” is the theme for our celebration and represents the Morningstars experience over the years.
It’s the time of a new moon and the spring equinox, and the perfect moment for launching into new beginnings. You could say the stars are lining up for Morningstars’ as we “support each other to shine” in communication and leadership development.
Please join us for this auspicious celebration.
For more information contact Johanna, VP of Membership at six o four, eight eight six, three one five seven.
Get updates on our Facebook page.
Toastmasters International Speech Competition – Area Level
On Saturday, Feb 23, toastmasters from all four clubs on the Sunshine Coast gathered for the Area contest. Winners from the contests at the club level participated in the Area Contest Level.
Two contests were held, the International Speech Contest, and the Evaluation Contest. The contest was ably chaired by Sandy Wrightman, president of Morningstars.
All speeches were timed by our two expert timers, Kate and Sue.
Here are our speech contest winners. First place Shawna (centre) will proceed to the Division Level Contest.
First place winner Shawna being congratulated by our Area Director, Debra Taylor.
Here are the evaluation contest winners. First place Andrew (centre) is eligible to advance to the Division contest. Eleanor Kroeger, District 96 Director, (right) was present and delivered the test speech for the contest.
Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all the helpers who made the contest possible.
Speech contests play an important role in the Toastmasters educational program. They provide an opportunity for Toastmasters to gain speaking experience, as well as an opportunity for other Toastmasters to learn by observing proficient speakers.
This year our talented speech contest participants were D’Arcy, Johanna, and Michael. Congratulations!
Special thanks to Greg for stepping up as contest chair and more thanks to all the helpers that made the contest possible. You know who you are!
We were a full house this morning, complete with five guests who risked certain death to check out what might cause otherwise normal people to assemble at Harmony Hall at the crack of dawn. The answer, of course is that Morningstars meet to confront their fear of death, otherwise known as public speaking.
And have a helluva good time in a process that never seems to end.
Start your day right was the theme for our breakfast meeting, but it’s true every week on Wednesday mornings for members of Morningstars Toastmasters Club.
The GE Maintains the High Watch
As the General Evaluator of the meeting, I’m meant to keep my eyes and ears open in aid of presenting an end-of-meeting report. The G.E. is generally expected to evaluate those presenters who haven’t so far haven’t received feedback. But I prefer to comment on the big picture, to assess the success of the meeting as a whole. What are we doing right, and how can we pull up our socks?
I like this role because it obliges me to view the proceedings with a soft focus. Someday I might attend with eyes shut entirely. And why not? I know artists who insist they see better in the dark.
Here’s my impressionistic recall of this morning’s Open House Breakfast Meeting:
GUESTS! We love guests!
With guests in the room, presenters are mindful to explain their roles. Guests bring fresh energy. Members are on their best behaviour, making an extra effort to be at the top of their game. I suppose that watching the meeting through the eyes of our guests might make us extra conscious.
THE TOASTMASTER, Captain of the Ship
With a packed room, commanding everyone’s attention is a challenge, and I thought Sandy Wrightman did a masterful job. When someone entered after the meeting had begun, I watched Sandy successfully incorporate the hiccup into her banter, and I knew we were in good hands for the next hour and fifteen minutes.
It’s a joy to see how members have grown into confident speakers. And it doesn’t happen overnight or even a year. It takes years for the confidence to quietly build, as it has for Sheila Cameron who kicked off the meeting with her “Inspiration” for the theme, and her toast to Starting the Day Right With Self Care. Thank you, Sheila, you are an inspiration.
And thank you, Merrilee MacGregor, for a speech that taught us how to psych our way around/through/past the growing number of con artists in our midst. You’ve come a long way in a short time as a Morningstar.
And kudos to Michael Worsfold for a speech on mentorship. Personal stories never fail to make a memorable speech, and Mike showed us how with his memories of being mentored through his first few years in Toastmasters.
It’s a good feeling, hanging out in the presence of people who have the courage to confront their fears. Nowhere more obvious than during Table Topics. When I watch an impromptu speaker accept the challenge, it’s vicarious excitement for me, too. It proves beyond a doubt that the reason we show up every Wednesday morning is to grow.
MORNINGSTARS IS A TRAINING
This morning’s meeting, that’s what it felt like to me, like a training. With eyes half-closed, I could feel the sincerity of members showing up to continue the training. Many of us have been members for years, and we’re still learning.
SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!
Its amazing what you can achieve when you have a great Area Director and a great team.
The Area 73 Extravaganza went off without a hitch, thanks to the efforts of Area Director Debra Taylor and her team, Johanna Rzepa, Maureen Mcbeath, Kim Hart, William Baker. Special thanks to Christina Bacigalupo for providing the sound, and Weegee Sachtjen for art and promotion.
It was a spectacular day with views of the North Shore mountains and across Georgia Strait to the island from the steps of the venue, the Historic Heritage Playhouse.
Things got under way when our extravagantly dressed Master of Ceremonies the great William Baker introduced Debra who explained the theme “extravaganza, extravaganza”, “Its just fun to say”, but the planners were extravagant in many ways.
Not just humorous speech’s or tall tales, but both, not just one speech and an evaluation in our evaluation workshop but 2 speech’s and two evaluations done Pathways style. An amazing workshop was facilitated by Maureen McBeath.
Thoughtful, educational, supportive feedback was given by Dawn Miller evaluating Shawna van Poppelen with her hot topic speech that really spoke to anyone serious about the environment.
Next was an extravagant lunch with homemade goodies provided by Johanna, with a little time for networking.
Another extravagant idea was to offer as a prize 2 chances to speak on the big stage, table topics style to any guest whose name was drawn. Great fun. Both speakers received an expert evaluation by Sandy Wrightman.
Next we heard humorous speeches from Neil Booth and Charles Jeffrey in contest style, There was plenty of laughter, so they hit the mark on humour.
Again, extravagant but both speech’s received killer evaluations by Janice Parkinson and Girije Edwards respectively.
What came next was nothing short of amazing as our three Tall Tales speakers -Bill Endert, Krystin Clark, and Haida Bolton – absolutely crushed it. We will see more from them come contest season for sure.
The team mixed it up again with a round robin style evaluation followed up with written evaluations by three talented evaluators Michael Worsfold, Haida Bolton and Krystin Clark.
We were excited to have with us Area 73 Director Debra Taylor, Division H Director Charles Jeffrey, District Public Relations Manager Neil Booth and all the way for Vancouver our District Program Quality Director Louisa Davis who treated us to an icebreaker like speech that gave us an insight into who she is, as well a look at what Toastmasters can do for you. Yes she also updated us on all that’s going on in the District.
Timing for our event was expertly choreographed by Katherine who gave a report at the end. Ben Rusuisiak offered just the right balance of encouragement and points of improvement as the General Evaluator. William Baker had the last word noting that we finished spot on time.
It was a great time, and I think Debra is already planning the next one. Thanks Debra.