Project 7 for Competent Communication – Toastmasters 101 – 4 February 2014

This speech, my next to last in the Competent Communicator manual, was focused on research.  We are also requested to write intro, so here is mine…

CC, CL, ACB, DTM…?  What language is this?  Karyn joined Toastmasters in May of 2013 and although she nods a lot like she understands what all of these letters mean, she doesn’t.  However, Karyn is a little obsessive when it comes to collecting awards… I mean setting goals and achieving them.  She is too lazy to get a PhD, but desperately wants some letters to put behind her name, so she researched what it takes to earn those letters and will be sharing that information with us tonight.  This speech also puts her only one speech away from adding the coveted initials of CC to her name!!!

I am proud to say, I won Best Speaker tonight, but even more important… No Ah’s!!!  Was kind of sorry to be a speaker though as I was ineligible for Table Topics and they were a blast!!!!!  I am going to make sure not to sign up for a speaking role the next time Dan is Table Topics Master.  🙂

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Who here is a CC?  Who here knows what a CC is?  How about a CL?  ACB, ALS, DTM???  Have any of you been to a Distinguished Club meeting?  If you are here tonight, you are in a Distinguished Club meeting.  Not only a Distinguished Club, but the first one in our area to achieve that status this year.

Good evening fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests.  Tonight I am going to give you a quick Toastmasters 101.  By a show of hands, who is here to further develop their speaking skills?  How about their leadership skills? Just here to get away from the family for an evening????  For me, I joined in order to ace a job interview.  Although I have yet to do that, I do have a new goal in mind… DTM in a President’s Distinguished club.  Now, how do I get there?  To find out, did some research this week and found out that this is a team effort so I am going to need your help to reach my goals.

Now before I ask someone else to help me out by achieving their CC by June 30th, I want to let you know what that involves. [Note to readers: I picked up Competent Communication Manual at this point.] Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual and we should all be pretty familiar with this by now.  By coming back each week, you are showing you have the resolve to work your way through the book, but we have had a big problem lately….. the growth of the club.  It has exploded in the last year.  And with that comes a lot of people competing for a select number of speaking spots.  If you cannot make your scheduled speech, please let us know ASAP so that we can find a replacement.  Sure, we could spend the extra time doing additional table topics, but then we lose some valuable prepared speech time.  Toastmasters would like to see every member present a minimum of 10 speeches a year.  We have 27 members currently.  If we met every week and had two speeches, that would be 104 slots in a year.  Even at three speeches, we only reach 156 slots, still well shy of the 270 slots we need, but closer.  This is one of the main reasons we felt it important to switch to a three speech format meeting.

Once you get your CC, it is time to move on to your ACB, ACS, and ACG or Advanced Communicator Bronze, Silver and Gold.  To achieve ACB, you must have your CC status and then complete two Advanced Communicator manuals which you can find on page 87 of your CC manual.  To make me a more valuable volunteer with my groups, I am planning on completing the Public Relations manual and to further cement my World’s Best Aunty title, I am also planning on completing the Storytelling manual to get my ACB.  To get an ACS, you need an ACB, two more Advanced Communicator manuals AND two presentations from The Better Speaker Series and/or The Successful Club Series.  To get the top level, or ACG, you have to have an ACS, complete two more Advanced Communicator manuals, complete a presentation from the Success/Leadership Series, the Success/Communication Series or a Youth Leadership AND coach a new member with their first three speech projects.

But this program is much more than just speaking.  Toastmasters is Where Leaders are Made.  [Note to readers: I picked up Competent Leader manual at this time.] To get your Competent Leader or CL, you need to complete the ten projects in your CL manual.  This is done in large part by participating in meetings as an evaluator, a grammarian, and Toastmaster.  After you earn your CL, you can earn your Advanced Leader Bronze by having your CL, your CC, serve at least six months as a club officer, participate in the preparation of a Club Success Plan, attend a district sponsored club officer training program and conduct any two programs from The Successful Club Series and/or The Leadership Excellence Series.  Next level up is Advanced Leadership Silver.  You start with an ALB, add a term as a district level officer, complete the High Performance Leadership program and serve successfully as a club sponsor, mentor or club coach.  Then comes the ultimate achievement, DTM or Distinguished Toastmaster.  To be eligible for this, you need to earn your ALS and your ACG.

As I stated earlier, I want to be a DTM from a President’s Distinguished club.  Has a nice ring, doesn’t it?  Please take a look at the handout.  The Toastmasters year runs from July 1st to June 30th.  The program has a list of 10 goals to achieve each year in order for your club to reach Distinguished status.  Meet 5 of the goals and your club is a Distinguished Club.  Meet 7 and you are Select Distinguished.  Nine gets you the status of President’s Distinguished.  As you can see from the handout, we met only 3 goals last year, but we also went down on membership and were not eligible to participate.  This year, not only did we earn five points in the first half of the year, but as I said earlier, we were the first in our area to achieve that status.  Our officers completed their spring training, so we are up to six points.  I am one more speech away from achieving my CC, so we only need one more person to complete their CC, or we need one of the advanced speakers to achieve an Advanced Communicator award, and our club will achieve Select Distinguished for this year.  What a great way to honor Peggy, Franco, Yousef, Stan and Joan who kept this club together during the lean times?

Is your head spinning?  Cannot keep track of all AL this and AC that that I have discussed here tonight?  Then remember this one important thing… all this information is available on the Toastmasters website.  There is an 8 page Member Achievement Record [form 1328 on the Toastmasters website] you can download that will help you keep track of your progress through the Toastmasters program.  And please remember to bring your books each week as you never know when you might be called upon to fill a role and be able to check off your progress.  There is no magic about it.  If we work together, we can help every member here reach their speaking goals and we can… excuse me we will achieve President’s Distinguished status next year.

Who is KalKaryn and why is she publishing a blog…???

Welcome to my little corner of the online world.  Not sure yet what direction I am heading with this blog, but I have to start somewhere.  Please be sure to make comments about what you do and do not like about my entries so that I know what steps to take next.  If I am going to do this, I would like to do it right… create something interesting to people other than myself and maybe my family! 😉

Little about me: I am a Modern Renaissance woman with a wide variety of interests and talents, interested in making my mark on this world and leaving it a little for the better.  Whether you are “into” animals, kids, history, the environment, seniors, etc., I think everybody should have something they believe in and contribute back to society.  To that end, I have recently started a blog about my activities in my hometown, which you can link to by clicking here and choosing KalKaryn, so I will not be talking about them too much on this blog.  A SoCal girl transplanted here from the Midwest, my immediate family lives within a 1.5 mile radius, the rest of the extended family is still living in Ohio. (Except for one cousin in St. Louis, one in Kentucky and one who just moved to Colorado after a tour of duty in Germany.)  I have a young niece and younger nephew and I thoroughly enjoy my status as their favorite Aunt.  We recently took them on a trip back to Ohio to meet the family.  They had so much fun doing all the sorts of things my sister and I used to do when we were their age.  It is so entertaining to see things from their young perspectives, but when they get too out of control, home is just up the road… and as my niece found out the hard way, Aunty does NOT have a problem taking you home at two in the morning. (Luckily for Aunty and Mommy, only had to do that once!)  Other than the playing with/teaching the kids, I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, photography, music, genealogy, old movies, fundraising, etc., etc., etc. (told you I had a wide variety of interests).  Most importantly, I enjoy learning something new every day.  Whether it is something good or a hard lesson from the school of hard knocks, both can help make me a better person.

My life is in more transition at the moment than it usually is.  Since February, I have really had to reevaluate my life.  After 23 years with the same company, it was time to seek employment elsewhere.  I had to make a major decision that would affect the rest of my life and I had to make the tough call lots of parents of furry children have to make… when to put my dog down.  I decided that I could let these circumstances crush me or I could thrive from the challenge.  I won’t say which path I chose, but I do love a challenge!

As I said, I do enjoy my music and have quite an eclectic collection.  From the 1940’s to today, rock to Broadway, the Bahamas to Zimbabwe, St. Patrick’s Day to Christmas, I have a little bit of everything.  My fave song/singer/genre??? Depends on the day!  Driving around the other day, I was listening to Martina McBride and heard “Happy Girl”.  I have to admit it is not one of my favorite songs of hers, but I thought it sums up my life at the moment:

I used to live in a darkened room

Had a face of stone and a heart of gloom

Lost my hope, I was so far gone

Cryin’ all my tears with the curtains drawn

I didn’t know until my soul broke free

I’ve got these angels watching over me, yeah

Oh watch me go, I’m a happy girl

Everybody knows

That the sweetest thing that you’ll ever see

In the whole wide world is a happy girl

I used to hide in a party crowd

Bottled up inside, feeling so left out

Standing in a corner wearing concrete shoes

With my frozen smile and my lighted fuse

Now every time I start to feel like that

I roll out my heart, I like a welcome mat

Oh, watch me go, I’m a happy girl

Everybody knows

That the sweetest thing that you’ll ever see

In the whole wide world is a happy girl

Laugh when I feel like it, cry when I feel like it

That’s just how my life is that’s how it goes

Oh, watch me go, I’m a happy girl

And I’ve come to know

That the world won’t change just ’cause I complain

Let the axis twirl, I’m a happy girl

Oh watch me go, I’m a happy girl

Everybody knows

That the sweetest thing that you’ll ever see

In the whole wide world is a happy girl

Oh yeah, oh yeah

I’m a happy girl

And that I am, one happy girl!  Of course, I would like to be a happily employed happy girl, but that will come soon enough.  Till then, I am enjoying my break to expand my horizons.  I had been working 12+ hour days during the week and working weekends in addition to participating in several other activities and playing with the kids.  Some days off, I could barely put one foot in front of the other.  But that is the way I like to live my life – work hard, play harder.

One of the first things I learned during this break is that job hunting has really changed over the years.  While the old adage of “it is who you know” is still important, “who knows you” is more important…  hence the reason for my starting this blog.  While I would rather be out doing things, I have been told by several people that having an online presence will help me as well.  As I am not a huge fan of Facebook, I figured this would be the better route to take.  This blog will allow me to share with you my adventures and, as I stated at the beginning of this blog, I look forward to hearing what you think of my writings in order to help me guide the direction of this blog.  Thanks in advance for your assistance and welcome to the KalKaryn blog.