Please help me Congratulate Mr. Gabriel Mendez for earning his Competent Communicator Award. Congratulations for Job well done!
Sweetwater Valley Toastmasters International Club #3225
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES: A BASIC INTRODUCTION
(based on Robert’s Rules of Order)
Rules of order prevent chaos in a meeting while allowing for a standard to follow. These rules allow everyone to be heard in a fair manner. But members need to understand the reason for the rules and a few basic rules. These rules can be placed on the lectern for each meeting to guide the President and the Chair. Each organization needs to have Robert’s Rules of Order in the hands of the Parliamentarian
for each meeting.
In each case that follows, a member needs to stand and state his point. Then, if the Chair recognizes him, the member proceeds to elaborate. Remember that the one chairing the meeting cannot move a motion. The parliamentarian of the club can rule on an issue or question but only when asked by the Chair. Typically, all business and motions are made during the club business portion at the beginning of the meeting.
A quorum must be met for business decisions to be valid. The business meeting begins at the striking of the gavel by the presiding officer. A quorum, typically, is one more than 50% of the active members. The presiding officer needs to ask the Secretary to confirm is a quorum is present by counting members present. So if we have 24 registered, but only 20 are attending regularly and have paid dues, then 11 would be a quorum for that meeting. The number for a quorum changes as often as weekly as active members change. A member is not attending regularly if he or she has not attended for three straight meetings without a reason being told to the club.
Moving a Motion
If we want to talk about anything in the club, we need a motion. The motion needs to be simple but complete. The key words to tell the club you want to do something is to say
“ I move that….”
An example of a simple but complete motion follows. The key to a complete motion is to include, if possible, the who, what, when, where, and why of the motion. Otherwise, complications immediate result in making a club decision.
“I move that our club have a member appreciation party on September 17 during our regular club meeting from 6:30-8:00.”
This motion answers everything except the cost issue, agenda, and attendees. Will it be pot luck? Who will chair the meeting? Will there be certificates? Will we have a special speaker? Can guests and family members come? Will the meeting be open to the public? How will the agenda change?
These questions not answered in the motion should be addressed at an Executive Committee meeting before a motion is made to the club.
Immediately, a member needs to say “I second the motion.” That statement means the club can discuss the motion. The Secretary needs to be given time to write down the motion and to read it back to the club for accuracy.
Next, the maker of the motion gets to discuss it first. So the maker stands and explains. The explanation should state that the unanswered questions have been addressed already by the Executive Committee. The maker of the motion then states the answers to the questions.
Next, the Chair asks if anyone else wants to speak in favor of the motion. Following that, the Chair asks if anyone wants to speak against the motion.
Once the Chair realizes everyone has been heard, he calls for the vote. He asks, “ All in favor say,. “aye.” After the count, he asks, “All opposed say, “nay”.” Finally, ask, “All abstaining raise your hands.”
Once the count is clear, the Chair normally states, “The motion passes. Then he restates the motion. “The club has passed that our club has a member appreciation party on September 17 during our regular club meeting from 6:30-8:00.”
Finally, it is a good ideas for the Chair to state, “Mr. Secretary, please note in the minutes the passing of the motion.”
Moving an Amendment
If the motion is incomplete or you disagree with it, move to amend. The key words to start are
“I move to amend….”
Similar procedures as above are followed. However, several ways to amend exist. We may add words at the end of the main or first motion. We can delete, or we can delete and insert. Or we can insert words. An example follows.
“Mr. Chair, I move to amend the main motion by deleting 17 and inserting 24.”
This move to amend would mean that the mover of the amendment realizes that the club already has a special event on the 17th and others in the club forgot that!
Point of Information
This means that you need information. The key words are
“I rise to a point of information.”
The Chair would recognize the speaker and ask, “What is your point of information?” or “What is your question?”
An example might be, “Mr. President, will we have three speakers today or will we have time for an educational talk?”
Point of Personal Privilege
This one means you are uncomfortable, or you see others are uncomfortable. The key words here are
“I rise to a point of personal privilege.”
An example would be, “Mr .Toastmaster, please ask the Sergeant at Arms to open some windows. I am uncomfortable and it is stuffy in here.”
Point of Order
When rising to make a point of order, you are stating that a problem exists with the agenda. The Chair is not following the agenda, so you want to know why. The key words are
“I rise to a point of order.”
The Chair would ask, “What is your point of order?”
The member might respond, “We have had a long business meeting already, and we have three speakers. May we stop and proceed with table topics which is where we are supposed to be?”
Orders of the Day
This one should rarely be used. It is a demanding immediate requirement to stop what is going on and proceed to the item on the agenda that fits the current time on the clock.
The key words are
“I move the orders of the day.”
At this point, the Chair states, “The orders of the day have been called for. We shall proceed immediately to Table Topics.”
This special strong motion requires no second and no discussion is allowed. Everything stops. The member is stating his or her high frustration with the running of the meeting. So this one borders on rudeness, but it is categorical.
We all want to give a wonderful speech! Unfortunately, we try to deliver using all the many aspects of an award winning speech. What to do? I am going to share some tried and true, on the mark, and totally awesome lessons from my own personal experience! If you try it, you’ll like it!
Those are 10 secrets for giving wonderful speeches. Try these! They work for me.
The first article of the Speech Analysis Series explained how to study and critique a speech.
In this second article, we examinehow to improve your own speaking skills by teaching others in the form of speech evaluations.
You should regularly provide evaluations for other speakers — not only because it is a nice thing to do, but because the process of evaluating another speaker helps you improve your own speaking skills dramatically.
Speech evaluations are a core element of the Toastmasters educational program. After every speech, one or more peers evaluates how well the speaker delivered their message.Frequent feedback from peers helps speakers improve their skills.
However, speech evaluation is not limited to the Toastmasters program.
I recently led a speech evaluation workshop. In that workshop, we discussed the following tips for delivering helpful, encouraging, and effective speech evaluations.
I often hear statements like “Only the speaker gets any benefit from an evaluation of their speech.” This is false.
Before the speech takes place, ask the speaker what their objectives are. Sometimes the objective is obvious, but not always.
Perhaps the speaker has just read the Presentation Zen book and is experimenting with a modern style of visuals which goes against common practice.
Evaluating the (very) inexperienced speaker:
Treat novice speakers with extra care. Be a little more encouraging and a littleless critical, particularly if they exhibit a high level of speaking fear. Compliment them on tackling their fear. Reassure them that they aren’t as bad as they imagine.
Be supportive. Ask them how they feel it went.
Evaluating the (very) experienced speaker:
A common misconception is that you cannot evaluate a speaker if they are more experienced than you. This is false. Though you may have limited speaking experience, you have a lifetime of experience listening to presentations.
Your opinion matters. As a member of the audience, you are who the speaker is trying to reach. You are fully qualified to evaluate how well that message was communicated.
Every speaker, no matter how experienced, can improve. Perhaps more importantly, every speaker wants to improve. You can help.
A speech evaluation is a pretty simple thing. Just listen to the speech, take some notes, and then share your opinion. Right?
That’s a good formula when you’re learning the art of delivering evaluations, but to really improve your skills, you’ll want to start assembling the many tools at your disposal:
If you did not like the speech, do not say that you did. If you did not like a component of the speech, do not say you did.
There is a tendency to want to be nice and embellish the positives. Dishonest praise will only damage your credibility and character.
Avoid speaking on behalf of the audience with phrases like “Everyone thought…” or “The audience felt…” You can only accurately talk about are your own thoughts and feelings.
On the other hand, suppose you observe a spectator crying as a result of an emotional speech. In this case, you can remark on this as evidence that the speech had emotional impact.
Magical phrases in a speech evaluation start with personal language: “I thought… I liked… I felt… I wish…”
There are very few public speaking rules. For every best practice, there’s a scenario where a speaker would be wise to go against convention. Phrases such as “You should never…” or “One should always…” should rarely be part of an evaluator’s vocabulary.
How can you make sure that the constructive criticism doesn’t completely outweigh the praise and end up discouraging the speaker?
The answer: be specific. Studies have shown that specific praise is much more encouraging than generic praise. This applies to criticism as well. Specific feedback (positive or negative) is more meaningful than generic feedback.
e.g. “I liked the dynamic opening of your speech.” is better than “I liked your speech.”
In addition to being specific and tying comments to examples from the speech, it also helps to explain why you liked or didn’t like a particular aspect of the speech.
Consider the effectiveness of the following four statements:
Statement #4 is phrased in a positive manner, it is specific, it references an example from the speech, and states why it is good not to grip the lectern.
Evaluate how well the message is delivered, not the messenger.Keep your comments focused on the presentation.
Similarly, avoid evaluating the speaker’s objective. For example, suppose the speaker’s objective is to convince the audience that recycling is a waste of time. If you always reduce, reuse, and recycle, don’t let that influence your evaluation. (By all means, start a debate about it later, write an article, give your own speech, etc.) As an evaluator, your primary role is to help the speaker achieve their objective in the most convincing way possible.
Everything other than the speaker themself and their primary objective is fair game for your evaluation: content, speech structure, humor, visuals, eye contact, gestures, intangibles, etc. and everything else covered in the first article from this series.
All three elements are essential, but can be mixed in numerous ways. This is the focus for the next article in this series: The Modified Sandwich Technique for Evaluations.
Photos by Andrew Haney
Welcome to your new website. Your page already has rich content from Toastmasters International, District 5 and other clubs. There are several things that you need to do to make your site ready for the general public. I will list those things below. After you have made suggested changes, you can delete this post.
1. Login. Go to the bottom of the page and you will see the word Login. Use the login/password that you received in the notification email and you are ready to begin.
2. Set up your meeting info.
Here is a video that explains 1 and 2:
3. Add your meeting information to the calendar page and the calendar widget. Here is a video:
4. In order for other clubs to see your postings correctly, please change your default category. Any new posts that you add will then appear correctly on other club sites. Here is a short video:
5. The most important thing that you will do as webmaster is to share the exciting news about your club. Here is a video that explains how to post a story.
6. It is important for members and guests to be able to contact officers. Members might want to publicize important things that they are working on. Here is a video about Creating the Member Directory.
That pretty much covers setting up your website. Look around and if you have any topics that you would like for me to cover in a later tutorial, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Adding an author (coming soon)
8. Registering your site on Toaastmasters International
· Please allow up to 24 hours for the changes to fully process and display on our website.
Thanks to Michelle at toastmasters.org
Thanks for joining iCrewClubSites. Good luck with your new Toastmasters Website.
“What does that mean?” “Who has the answers?” “I am so confused!” Every single person asks these questions when first encountering a new environment, when first joining a new organization.
Toastmasters is no different.
A guest walks in and is immediately greeted by two or more smiling people!
“Sign the guest book.”
“How do I do that?”
“Here is some material about Toastmasters.”
“But where do I sit?”
Immediately, people are confused and their minds are whirling. Then, the meeting starts! More confusion.
The answers to a new member’s questions come after joining a club, then having a mentor assigned. However, we also have to explain things and answer guests’ questions, or else they probably will not join your club. Over the many years I have been in Toastmasters and in many other organizations, a mentor has made all the difference. Out of a mental morass into a mind-opening motivational state! How does a new member receive a mentor? Either directly ask another member to be your mentor or ask a club officer for a mentor.
Typically, in Toastmasters, a mentor guides the new member through the first three speeches in the competent communicator manual, the first or basic speech manual. Also, one’s mentor assists in explaining how each functionary role is to be performed. The functionary roles are the leadership roles in any club.
So, in my two clubs, I volunteered to be the VP of Mentorship. I explain what mentorship is to each club. I ask each member to be open to becoming a mentor. Then, I announce to each new member and to the entire club that I would assist in assigning a mentor to every single member of the club, not just new members. After all, mentorship in business or any organization can last for years.
Once two are paired, I frequently update and publish the club mentor/mentee list. Ideally, one experienced member has only one mentee. And, I urge each mentor and mentee to talk to each other! The mentor needs to be sure the new member asks the Vice President of Education to sign off each speech. Plus, the mentor should monitor the mentee’s leadership assignments to be sure they are signed off as soon as completed.
The result? Many questions are answered quickly for the new member. The experienced members who choose to have mentors have a friend who is willing to offer a suggestion or two when needed. And both clubs have more informed and more competent Toastmasters!
As you read this short essay on mentorship, decide to talk to your mentor today, or ask your VP of Mentorship to assign one. Remember, the answers can come from your mentor!
Ted Parsons, DTM
President, Bilingue Toastmasters
Vice-President of Mentorship, Sweetwater Valley Toastmasters
Ted Parsons has been a member of Toastmasters since 1966 when he joined during his career in the U. S. Navy. He is a 37 year charter member of Sweetwater Valley Toastmasters. As president of Club Bilingue, Ted took a small, struggling club to Select Distinguished in 6 months. –R.L.
Why I joined
Some of my reasons for joining Toastmasters initially were to advance in my job, improve my confidence, and learn. I knew I needed to improve my communications and leadership skills. All that I achieved. I improved immensely in my effective communications abilities and my leadership skills.
Over the years, I have been a leader on many weekend retreats, governing bodies, associations, and been the master of ceremonies for many events. My speaking skills, confidence, and leadership abilities, including success in my Navy, engineering, law, and teaching careers is based on my Toastmasters experience beginning in 1966.
Why I am still in Toastmasters
Now, I remain in Toastmasters because I treasure helping other Toastmasters, teaching, having fun, and being enthusiastic. My Toastmasters experience has been especially positive, exceptionally rewarding, and essentially a key part of my life. Toastmasters has allowed me to experiment and be silly, childlike, and innovative. So, I want to continue to improve my clubs by helping others, and, by doing so, I shall continue to improve my own speaking and leadership abilities.
Toastmasters, and life, is all about relationships. My Toastmaster friendships in many clubs have lasted for almost 40 years. Toastmasters has helped me to enjoy life. Thank you all for your friendships. May we continue to be friends and maintain our positive relationships for years to come.