Easy-Speak Speaks Pathways

Apr 21st, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Main, Pathways, Toastmasters

Easy-speak club – the best of class club automation website / database system – works with Pathways.

The Pathways features are enabled for clubs when their district officially has Pathways enabledes01


The new Pathways evaluation scoring gets “Personal-al”

Apr 19th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Hmmm, Evaluations are much more standardized in Pathways than in “old” T education program.

Those details are covered in other posts here

But one issue makes me scratch my head…. The standard scoring/grading criteria that moves from feedback about the presentation to feedback about … The Person

For example, examine the scoring criteria for “Clarity:” which appears exactly the same on over 90% of the 60 or so Pathways projects

Clarity: Spoken language is clear and is easily understood (evaluator is to select 123,4, or 5)
5 – Is an exemplary public speaker who is always understood
4 – Excels at communicating using the spoken word
3 – Spoken language is clear and is easily understood
2 – Spoken language is somewhat unclear or challenging to understand
1 – Spoken language is unclear or not easily understood

5 and 4 are about the person not the presentation. I guess these would never be applied to a new member or icebreaker ?
or what exactly does “always” mean? Is it supposed to mean “always in this speech” or is the evaluator supposed to have experience with this speaker before this presentation?




Demo system for entering Pathways speech evaluation online

Apr 19th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Pathways, Toastmasters

Not every Pathways path is fully online…
Members may upload scanned or typed files for recordkeeeping.

I built a system for my own use to enter Evaluations


It can create a simple PDF and also email the evaluation in html format to you

The dome covers Level 1 so far


Is Consistency needed in Pathways titles?

Apr 17th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Pathways, Toastmasters

Grammarians/Writers: Is there value in using consistent verb or noun choice in a list of options – Looking at #Pathways #PathwaysMK electives list in level 3, for example:

which list is better?
1. Pathways Now list:
-Deliver Social Speeches
-Focus on the Positive
-Using Presentation Software
-Inspire Your Audience
-Connect with Storytelling
-Prepare for an Interview
-Creating Effective Visual Aids
-Understanding Vocal Variety
-Using Descriptive Language
-Effective Body Language
-Connect with Your Audience
-Active Listening
-Make Connections Through Networking

2. List revised to use Active verbs
- Deliver Social Speeches
- Focus on the Positive
- Use Presentation Software
- Inspire Your Audience
- Connect with Storytelling
- Prepare for an Interview
- Create Effective Visual Aids
- Understand Vocal Variety
- Use Descriptive Language •
- Use Effective Body Language
- Connect with Your Audience
- Use/Learn Active Listening
- Make Connections Through Networking

3. List revised to use present participle consistently
-Delivering Social Speeches
-Focusing on the Positive
-Using Presentation Software
-Inspiring Your Audience
-Connecting with Storytelling
-Preparing for an Interview
-Creating Effective Visual Aids
-Understanding Vocal Variety
-Using Descriptive Language
-Using Effective Body Language
-Connecting with Your Audience
-Using / Learning Active Listening
-Making Connections Through Networking

4. Who cares about consistency in such a list?


Toastmasters Pathways – 61 evaluation guides….

Apr 16th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Pathways, Toastmasters

Each Pathways project, each required course and each elective has it’s own project guide and evaluation resource.
Compared to evaluation guides in the CC and Advanced Communications Manuals, Pathways evaluation forms are much more standardized.

These standard Evaluation Criteria are common, rating each category from 1-5 in standard categories
Included in Almost All (

  •  Persuasive Speaking does not include any of these
  • Understanding Vocal Variety is completely unique
    I am still reviewing and may find more exceptions)

Categories included in 95% of all evaluations:

  • Clarity
  • Vocal Variety
  • Eye Contact
  • Comfort Level

Also Included in Most  (over 80%) project Evaluation Guides

  • Gestures
  • Audience Awareness
  • Interest

In addition 0, 1 or 2 other Evaluation Criteria custom sections are included for each project
A common one of these is “Topic” – though the meaning of 1,2,3,4,5 varies with the project

You can see which evaluation criteria are use in each project and access all the evaluation guides here:

Sample content from evaluation guide Criteria page:

“This criteria lists the specific goals and expectations for the speech. Please review each level to help you complete

the evaluation.

5 – Is an exemplary public speaker who is always understood
4 – Excels at communicating using the spoken word
3 – Spoken language is clear and is easily understood
2 – Spoken language is somewhat unclear or challenging to understand
1 – Spoken language is unclear or not easily understood

Vocal Variety
5 – Uses the tools of tone, speed, and volume to perfection
4 – Excels at using tone, speed, and volume as tools
3 – Uses tone, speed, and volume as tools
2 – Use of tone, speed, and volume requires further practice
1 – Ineffective use of tone, speed, and volume

Eye Contact
5 – Uses eye contact to convey emotion and elicit response
4 – Uses eye contact to gauge audience reaction and response
3 – Effectively uses eye contact to engage audience
2 – Eye contact with audience needs improvement
1 – Makes little or no eye contact with audience

5 – Fully integrates physical gestures with content to deliver an exemplary speech
4 – Uses physical gestures as a tool to enhance speech
3 – Uses physical gestures effectively
2 – Uses somewhat distracting or limited gestures
1 – Uses very distracting gestures or no gestures

Audience Awareness
5 – Engages audience completely and anticipates audience needs
4 – Is fully aware of audience engagement/needs and responds effectively
3 – Demonstrates awareness of audience engagement and needs
2 – Audience engagement or awareness of audience requires further practice
1 – Makes little or no attempt to engage audience or meet audience needs

Comfort Level
5 – Appears completely self-assured with the audience
4 – Appears fully at ease with the audience
3 – Appears comfortable with the audience
2 – Appears uncomfortable with the audience
1 – Appears highly uncomfortable with the audience

5 – Fully engages audience with exemplary, well-constructed content
4 – Engages audience with highly compelling, well-constructed content
3 – Engages audience with interesting, well-constructed content
2 – Content is interesting but not well-constructed or is well-constructed but not interesting
1 – Content is neither interesting nor well-constructed

5 – Delivers an exemplary speech about … (project specific)
4 – Delivers a compelling speech about … (project specific)
3 – … (project specific)
2 – Mentions some… (project specific)
1 – Speaks on a topic other than … (project specific)


How Mentoring changes in Toastmasters Pathways

Apr 15th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Pathways, Toastmasters

“Virtual Mentor” new term in Pathways
A virtual mentor is an experienced member who shares knowledge and experience in a specific area via the internet. As with a traditional mentoring relationship, the goal is to empower protégés to reach their goals.
The requirements for mentoring are the same, regardless of the vehicle for communication.”

“The Benefits of Virtual Mentorship
Virtual mentorship has a number of unique benefits because of its reliance on technology for communication.

Create a Global Community
Virtual mentorship creates a forum for Toastmasters from the global community to share experiences and support one another.

Expand Learning
Connecting with members from other cultures presents a chance to learn new methods, skills, and gain a better understanding of the world.”

And there is no “Mentee” it is a PROTÉGÉ

A protégé is any member who seeks guidance and support from a mentor to reach his or her goals.”

And TI makes a clear distinction between coaching and mentoring…


Pathways Level 1 Insights (Toastmasters)

Apr 15th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Pathways, Toastmasters

Level 1 is the same in all 10 paths and has 3 projects which require 4 speeches and one role as Evaluator

Level 1 – Project 1 -IceBreaker – Prepared 4-6 minute speech

Level 1 – Project 2 – Feedback and Evaluation – has 3 parts

2.1 Give a 5-7 minute speech on anything and review your feedback
2.2 At another meeting, Give a 5-7 minute speech (same speech or different) and incorporate some or all feedback
2.3 Evaluate a speech

Level 1 – Project 3 Researching and Presenting

3.1 Prepare and present a 5-7 minute speech for which you did research







Pathways Level 2 insights (Toastmasters)

Apr 15th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Here is some detail on Level 2 – which is part of all paths.

3 courses – the 3rd course is common to all paths – Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring, the other 2 courses always include one of 1. Understand Your Leadership Style (speech about your Leadership style or a leadership style)

the Mentoring step involves giving a speech about a time when you were a protegee

2. Understanding your Communications Style (speech about your communication style or a communication style)

Some paths use both of the “Understand …” courses, some paths replace one with something like “Active Listening”

In any event
Level 1: 4 speeches, 1 evaluator role
Level 2: 3 speeches

One example of the required speeches: Mentoring “Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor.”

2017 Word of The Week provided by TI on official Facebok group

Mar 6th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Main

2017-01-16 Loquacious
2017-01-23 Condign
2017-01-30 Recapitulate.
2017-02-13 Prodigious
2017-02-27 Nexus
2017-03-06 Disparity
2017-03-14 Ineluctable
2017-03-20 Assiduous
2017-03-20 Aplomb
2017-04-03 Contemplative
2017-04-10 Riant
2017-04-17 ResPlendent
2017-04-24 Foment




Unofficial guide to Getting a DTM in Pathways

Mar 5th, 2017 | Posted by | Filed under Main

With Toastmasters new Pathways educational system, the “path’ to DTM has changed…

1. Required parts – all must be done
2. Electives – do 1 from each of the 2 Elective boxes
3. DTM project is required final piece
4. All required pieces and electives may be done in any order






Toastmasters District website 2016 gallery

Jul 12th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Main



The 6 Rules for public speaking (plus a zeroth rule)

Nov 29th, 2015 | Posted by | Filed under Main

A list completely based on Neil Gaiman’s “8 Rules for Writing”, customized for speaking/communicating

1. Speak
Get up and speak. Put one word after another. Find the right words in your way.

2. Finish
On preparing: Finish building in your mind – and in your speech – what you want to say. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

3. Walk away
Put it aside before presenting it. Review your recorded practice sessions as if you have never seen them or heard them before.

4. Get feedback from trusted sources.
Show it, present it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
** Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.**

5. Fix it.
Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to prepare to speak about the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

6. .The main rule
The main rule of speaking is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for speaking. But it’s definitely true for speaking.) So speak your story as it needs to be spoken. Speak it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

0.  Zeroth rule: Know your audience, at any and all pints of this figure out what your intended audience wants and needs…


The BETTER way to Evaluate Club Officer Training

Aug 14th, 2014 | Posted by | Filed under Main

“How good was club officer training?” in Toastmasters. Each of the 7 club officers is expected to attend club officer training every 6 months, once each 6 month term.

The quality and effectiveness of this training varies all over the map; and the training effectiveness is very poorly measured in almost all places.

District leaders and trainers, want to know this of course. The problem is, they ask the wrong questions at the wrong time.

What is usually done to evaluate club officer training:  In the final 5  (or fewer) minutes of the session, participants are asked to complete an evaluation form. Often it asks about the facilities, the presenter, the material (sometimes).

The BETTER way/ What is needed: monitoring and evaluation of the trained officers 3,6 and 12 weeks after training.
with questions like:

Essay answer and 1-4 rating: 1 Very much 2=Some 3=Little 4=None

- Have you used what you learned in club officer training in your club officer role

- Have you changed your behavior/actions based on the club officer training 

Getting this kind of data, consistently, is the key to improving club officer training.

What will it take?






Judge briefing for 2014

Dec 3rd, 2013 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Judge training for 2014

TI has online judge training which covers the basic forms and rules,

0. Judges need to be told that more than anything else – they should do their best to be fair and unbiased towards all contestants.

1. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: At Area+ (area or higher) contest, all judges become ineligible to compete in this type contest at this or any higher level this ‘season’ i.e.:
“If you agree to be a cheif judge, voting or tie breaking judge in this Area+ (area or higher) contest, YOU MAY NOT COMPETE after this in this contest type in this contest typoe season.”

2. ELIGIBILITY: All judges must be members in good standing (implied: of a club in good standing). For Area+ (area or or higher) International speech contests only: Judges must have completed a minimum of 6 speeches from the CC manual and been a Toastmaster member in good standing for the past 6 months.

3. Apart from the Chief Judge, judges do not need to concern themselves with timing of any contestant or whether the contestant was over or under time. they can ignore time completely and just judge the effectiveness of the speech/topic/evaluation ….

4. Judges do not need to concern themselves with deciding on a speaking area. Judges are free to penalize, enhance or do nothing to the score of any contestant who goes beyond the announced speaking are.

5. Judges are free to ignore the score guide and use any criteria they want. No one will see or check your scoring. This is important and part of the rules since using the guide is NOT required and is open to interpretation anyway. Note: The contestants expect the judges to use the suggested point values and criteria and TI recommends that strongly!

6. Judges need to tell the Chief Judge if they believe a prepared speech is not original ( greater than 25 % not original = speech not original)

7. Judges need to be told to destroy their scoring materials and to not discuss their decision with anyone. Note: after the contest, the chief judge will destroy all ballots, the timing record, and the tally sheet.

8. Judges need to know that they need to break their own “tie” and write down the name of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best speakers and sign their ballot.

9. Apart from being fair and unbiased, judges should identify themselves as to what club they are a member of in case they are not permitted to judge a particular contest because of the club affiliation of any contestant – which should be determined by the Chief Judge anyway (cat Division+ no judge may be from same club a contestant represents.)

10. Judges should vote for who they thought presented the best speech/who was just the best speaker during the contest (using whatever fair and unbiased criteria they apply). Use of the recommended scoring guide is STRONGLY recommended, but its use is not enforced or audited.

11 Any other “training” and discussion of what the contest scoring guide means category by category is subjective and – in my experience – means slightly different things to different people. There is NO right answer. so it cannot be trained into judges. Maybe that sentence needs to be part of judges training.

See #0 again, That is the most important thing.


District 60 Communications and Leadership Award winners (fall 2013)

Nov 14th, 2013 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Toastmasters International District 60 Announces

Communication and Leadership Winners

Presentations at the District 60 Fall conference


Rocco Rossi and Dave Perry


Toronto, Ontario, November 16, 2013 – The District 60 (Toronto and area) Fall conference is being held at Holiday Inn Yorkdale, 3450 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6A 2V1 from November 15-17, 2013.

The Communication and Leadership award is presented to individuals, who are not Toastmasters, who are outstanding communicators and Leaders. An individual involved in Media, Provincial or local politics, business, or community volunteering can also be honoured.

Past recipients include: Christine Bentley (Anchor for CTV News) Nrenda Herchmer, Dr Gordon L Fleet and Ed Holder. The awards are presented at the Communications and Awards Luncheon  12:30 – 2:00 PM on November 16th.

Nominees are available for interview by arrangement. Please contact pro@Toastmasters60.com

Rocco Rossi: A successful entrepreneur and business executive, champion fundraiser, and dedicated public servant, Rocco Rossi is currently President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada.

His unique blend of experience intersects general management, philanthropy, public policy, politics, business strategy, and new media.

As CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation – one of Canada’s largest non-profit organizations – from 2004 to 2009, Rossi oversaw four consecutive years of record fundraising raising over $500 million in total and launching many new, life-saving initiatives.

His passion for public policy has led him to stand for election both for the position of Mayor of Toronto and for MPP.

At Boston Consulting Group, he provided strategic advice to Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Rossi then joined TORSTAR (publisher of the Toronto Star, one of the largest circulation daily newspapers in North America), in 1996 as Vice-President, Strategic Planning & New Media. As part of an executive team that ran the Star, he rolled out a series of structural changes to the advertising, circulation and press departments, and led the newspaper’s internet and new media properties.

As Vice-President, Interactive Media at Labatt from 1999 to 2001, Rossi launched the most popular consumer beer website in the world, beer.com.

A past board member of United Way of Greater Toronto and Toronto’s Olympic Bid Committee, Mr. Rossi has been an active community builder. In fact, in 2012 he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his Philanthropic and Community service.

An adventurer, he has walked the fabled Camino de Santiago five times, cycled the 1900 km length of Yonge Street from Rainy River to Toronto, kayaked the 500 km from Toronto to Ottawa, and recently co-chaired an expedition to Everest Base Camp and the summit of Island Peak in support of injured Canadian veterans.

Mr. Rossi has a BA (Hons) in political science from McGill University and a Masters of Arts in politics from Princeton University. He is married to his wife of 25-years, Rhonnie, and they have a 23-year-old son, Domenic John, who attends Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dave Perry is an accomplished senior executive who has established an international reputation as one of Canada’s premier investigators. As a result of a distinguished, 27 year career with the Toronto Police Service, Dave is called upon regularly, by various media outlets to provide expert opinion on domestic and international cases. He has been sought out by the private sector and law enforcement and governmental agencies, worldwide, to conduct seminars on investigative strategies, interviewing techniques, and major case management.

Dave’s record with the Toronto Police Service speaks for itself. Prior to retiring at the rank of Detective Sergeant, he led a number of the city’s most complex and high-profile cases.

Upon retiring from the Toronto Police Service, Dave accepted a position as an Adjunct Professor at Durham College, where he could share his passion with his students. As a member of the faculty for the highly successful LEADER program for middle managers within policing and public safety agencies, Dave won accolades from his students, who considered him a valuable mentor and invaluable resource on Public and Private Investigations, Police Foundations, and Law and Security Administration
In addition to his academic activities, Dave has been sought out to provide consulting services in such areas as Investigative Interviewing, Security and Corporate Risk Management, Labour Relations, Leadership Development, and Human Resources.

Dave has continued his work with youth through his participation in Durham Region’s Pro-Action Cops & Kids Youth Program. Dave, together with his colleagues at ISN, is happy to contribute his time and resources to assisting disadvantaged youth in our area

About Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization’s membership exceeds 292,000 in more than 14,350 clubs in 122 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters60.com. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.


Unofficial review of 2014 Toastmasters Speech Contest Rulebook changes

Oct 2nd, 2013 | Posted by | Filed under Main

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest Rulebook for 2014 has several changes that may have a dramatic impact on speech contests starting January 1, 2014.


Note – this review applies to the version of the document available on October 2, 2013 – that document may change or be revised at any time.

Note – This manual only applies to contests on after January 1, 2014

TI’s official guide to 2014 Rulebook changes:  http://www.toastmasters.org/2014rulebookchanges


  • the manual contains terminology and wording changes, making a distinction between “voting judges” and “chief judge”
  • The manual removes the “unless practical” relief for minimum number of judges at Area+ (area or higher) contests
  • the non-eligible status of District officer candidates for next July 1 starting term  - now only applies to elected positions – this means – in Districts where Area Governors are appointed – members who announce their intention to be Area Governor for the next year can still compete until July 1

wording changes – only for clarification changes include:

  • Instead of saying “contest functionaries” are not eligible to compete , the manual lists the contest roles which cannot compete in a contest in which they serve:
    “Contest chairs, chief judges, voting judges, timers, counters, sergeants at arms and test speakers may not compete in the contest at which they are serving”
  •  Several places include the change from judges to “voting judges” to distinguish “chief judge” from judges who submit a ballot

Listed next are all sentences marked as “changed” in the 2014 “Speech Contest Rulebook”:
(Changes are highlighted by rotated black square in the left margin of the rulebook)

1. Under eligibility, for all contests

  • PAGE 4  (4. The following are ineligible to compete in any Toastmasters speech contest:)
    a. “A member serving as a chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge beyond the club level for a contest in which the member is still competing or intends to compete

THIS IS HUGE!! It means someone may judge at club level contests (not in the same club in which they compete) and remain eligible to compete in their area contest – even if they judge another club inside their same area!! That does mean you could judge someone and later compete against them – Hmmm, that sounds like a conflict of interest…

  • PAGE 5
    4.g. District officers or announced candidates for elected positions for the term beginning the upcoming July 1
    (added words “for elected positions” – this implies that area governor candidates can compete until July 1)
  • 5. Contest chairs, chief judges, voting judges, timers, counters, sergeants at arms and test speakers may not compete in the contest at which they are serving.
    changed from “Contest functionaries may not compete in the contest at which they are serving as a functionary”
  • B. To be a chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge at a Toastmasters speech contest, you must meet all eligibility requirements identified below.
    (added detail – changed “judge” to “ chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge” – also moved this from General Procedure to Eligibility)
  • (B) 4. Voting judges at all levels shall remain anonymous when practical
    (changed “judges” to “Voting Judges” and moved to Eligibility)


2. General Procedure (page 7)
(the wording changes below no longer include the words “where practical” for minimum representation or minimum number of judges - 
THIS implies contest cannot be held without the minimums of qualified judges – including 3 ballot counters!)

  • 2 . At area contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each club in the area, or a minimum of five voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers shall be appointed.
  • 3. At division contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each area in the division, or a mini-mum of seven voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters and two timers shall be appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
  • 4. At district contests, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each division in the district, or a mini-mum of seven voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, tiebreaking judge, three counters and two timers shall be appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member.
  • 5 . At the semifinals for the International Speech Contest, there shall be an equal number of voting judges from each district, or a minimum of nine voting judges. In addition to these voting judges, a contest chair, chief judge, a tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers are appointed. No chief judge, voting judge or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member
  • 6. At the World Championship of Public Speaking, there shall be one voting judge representing each region. In addition to these judges, a contest chair, chief judge, five qualifying judges, tiebreaking judge, three counters, and two timers are appointed. No chief judge, voting judge, qualifying judge, or tiebreaking judge shall be a member of any club in which a contestant is a member

This no statement of what is to be done if these minimums or numbers of “shall be appointed” officials cannot be fond

General Procedure (page 8)

  • K.3. The chief judge personally collects the tiebreaking judge’s ballot, which must contain all contestants ranked in order by the tiebreaking judge.
    NOTE: the above line is marked as changed – but I cannot see any change from 2013 Rulebook
    The change is actually the addition of  a) below it:a) The top portion of the ballot is not provided to the chief judge and must be discreetly discarded by the tiebreaking judge after the contest.

Below is a wording change not indicated as a change in the 2014 version

  • 5 j.When the last contestant finishes speaking, the contest chair will ask for silence until the ballot counters have collected all ballots.
    changed from
    “K . There will be one minute of silence between contestant speeches, during which the judges will mark their ballots. All judges will judge all contestants, except the chief judge, who does not judge contestants”

7. Protests and Disqualifications (page 10)

  • A. Protests are limited to eligibility and originality and shall only be lodged by voting judges and contestants. Any protest shall be lodged with the chief judge and/or contest chair prior to the announcement of the winner and alternate(s).
  • B . Before a contestant can be disqualified on the basis of originality, the contestant must be given an opportunity to respond to the voting judges. A majority of the voting judges must concur in the decision to disqualify.
  • C. The contest chair can disqualify a contestant on the basis of eligibility.
  • D. All decisions of the voting judges and qualifying judges are final.

(changed “judges” to “Voting Judges and moved to Eligibility)


Other changes – in checklists and other “non-rules” parts of the rulebook

Contest Chair Checklist, page 13

  • Page Note: If there is an entry fee for the contest, that fee must be waived for contestants. Contestants cannot be charged a fee to compete.
  • 7. Select the chief judge. See the Eligibility section in this rulebook for eligiblity requirements for a chief judge.


Chief Judge’s Checklist

  • Judges’ Briefing Checklist (page 15 , 4th item  added)  Judge’s Certification of Eligibility and Code of Ethics (Item 1170)
  • (During the Contest) 3. Resolve any eligibility or originality protests that may arise.”
    changed from “3. Resolve any protests that may arise due to judge or contestant concerns over eligibility or originality.”


Contestant’s Checklist (page 15)
Before the Contest

  • 3. Inform the contest chair of any props you plan to use. (added)

If you notice things I missed or got wrong – please let me know!


Talking Care of Your Voice – part 1 – 3 basic tips

Aug 19th, 2013 | Posted by | Filed under Main

This is one of series of posts on caring for your voice.

#1 Hydrate – keep your body hydrated, if possible, have some humidity in the air:
Dry vocal cords in a body which is dehydrated tire and roughen very quickly

#2 Rest – Short rests do help in the midst of a long day of vocal use. Long rest after long period or intensive vocal usage is needed.
Both stresses on the vocal cords: pressure and vibration made rest necessary

#3 Variety – Animate your speaking and talking. This variation gives your vocal cords more chances to stretch and relax  and move through various positions.

Keep Talking!


2013 Contest Chairs scripts: Evaluation -part 1

Jan 15th, 2013 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Based on 2013 TI Speech Contest Rulebook, I am rewriting Contest Chair scripts.

Here is part 1 of Evaluation Contest- Chair Scrip for Before the Contest ….

Link to formatted document: http://Kleinosky.com/toast/contests/script_chair_evaluation_before.doc

The less-well-formatted-here content of the document is also included below:

Overview: Two ideas for the contest chair can help lead to a great contest:

1. BEFORE the contest: Preparation before the contest is key, now you may innovate and use your best ideas to get yourself ready.

2. DURING the contest: Restrain from innovating (“Stick to the script”) to make things go smoothly.


** Contact the Contestants:

As soon as possible, as much before the contest as possible: Email and/or telephone each contestant and advise them of the venue, schedule and agenda for the contest.

Explain the purpose of the contestant briefing, when it will be done, what their options are if they cannot attend (send a representative or just not attend).

Ask each contestant if they have physical conditions which require special access or vision limitations which require audible time signaling.

Collect contact information for each contestant. This may include email address(es) and/or telephone number(s). The contact information of every contestant ho is not disqualified during the contest will be provided to the contest chair/organizer of the next level, if any, of the contest.

** Find out who the Chief Judge is and contact the Chief Judge.
Confirm that the chief Judge will be invited to speak before the contest to confirm that all contest officials have been verified and all judges have signed their eligibility forms.
The Chief Judge does NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN the rules to the audience.

Anything beyond a quick (1 minute or so) talk by the chief judge about the rules to the audience is usually not of great benefit and onlr delays the start of the contest after all officials and contestants and the test speaker are raring to go!

The contestants need to be briefed on the rules that they compete under and the judges, timers and ballot counters need to know their roles and be briefed. The audience does not need to be briefed, although, time permitting, they may be.
However: At the club level a briefing on the contest may be done in a meeting before the contest or time, permitting, before the test speaker. This explanation of the operation of the contest can be an educational opportunity for the club. However, the best way to do it is in a meeting prior to the actual contest.

** Read the Contest Rulebook
Understand that the contest officially begins when the contest chair is introduced.

Contestant Briefing Issues:

If any contestant cannot attend the re-contest briefing, they must do 2 things before the chair is introduced to start the contest:
- Be present (have personally checked in with the Contest Chair)
- Sign the eligibility section of the contest Originality and Eligibility form (Form 1183). Each contestant must do this at every level of the contest, even if they signed the form at a previous contest level.

At Area + (Area or higher) contests:
If any contestant indicates they will not compete or may be late, contact the contestant who finished next in the previous level contest and ask if they can compete.

At Division+ (Division or District) level contest: Advise the chief judge of the alternate contestant so that if there are any judges who are members of the same club as the alternate they can be prepared to withdraw as a judge.

The speaking area is determined by the Contest Chair.
Determine the speaking area before the contestant briefing and inform the Chief Judge so they may include that information in the judges briefing.

If, during contestant briefing, the Contest Chair changes the speaking area for any reason, inform the Chief Judge immediately.

The test speaker is NOT restricted to the contestant speaking area.

Determine speaking order and write down the speaking order during the contestant briefing. You may do this at any time during the contestant briefing. It may be good to do it last in case any contestants show up late and miss part of the briefing. Attendance at the contestant briefing is NOT mandatory.

Drawing the speaking order when the maximum number of contestants are present has the best appearance of fairness to all.

You may use any fair method for “drawing the speaking order”.
You may have the contestants pick from numbered playing cards or numbered slips of paper in an envelope or any other fair to all method. Any fair system to randomly choose/ draw speaking order is allowed.

Contestant Briefing Script: This may be read verbatim or customized:

Welcome contestants.

A 5 to 7 minute test speech will be given by a test speaker, only the title and speaker’s name will be announced.

As soon as the test speech is finished, ALL contestants will leave the room and remain under the supervision of the Sergeant At Arms (SAA).

You may make notes during the test speech using materials you choose strictly for note taking. You may take those materials with you when you leave the room to prepare your evaluation.

You may use a smart phone, IPad, etc. solely for note taking purposes. You may NOT use the device to access any outside sources (apps, internet, etc.)

You may not make any telephone calls or contact anyone else after the contest begins. When all contestants have arrived in the preparation are the SAA will tell you that you may begin the preparation of your contest speech evaluation. You will have 5 minutes to complete your preparation using the materials you choose.

At the end of 5 minutes, the SAA will collect any materials you used to prepare your evaluation including any electronic devices used. The SAA may write your name on them or on a paper to be put with them and hold them until you are introduced to present your contest evaluation.

No contestant should prepare their evaluation after the 5 minute preparation period has ended.

When it is your turn to speak, the SAA will get you from the holding area and escort you to the contest room.

The SAA will return your preparation materials to you when you are introduced. You may use your preparation materials or not use them, that is up to you.

You will speak in the designated speaking area which is: … (FULLY DESCRIBE THE SPEAKING AREA)

If any contestant have special needs or require audible time signaling, make sure the contestant has provided the signaling device and given it to the times]

I will now review the contest timing:
Your timing will begin with your first verbal or non verbal communication with the audience. You must speak between 2 minutes and 3 minutes 30 seconds or you will be disqualified.
You will be given the GREEN signal at 2 minutes. The GREEN signal will remain displayed until 2 minutes 3 seconds.
At 2 minutes 30 seconds, the YELLOW/AMBER signal will be displayed. The YELLOW/AMBER signal will remain displayed until 3 minutes.
At 3 minutes the RED signal will be displayed and remain displayed until you complete your evaluation.
You are responsible to make sure you speak within the contest time limits: A contestant will be disqualified if their speech is less than one 1 minute 30 seconds or more than 3 minutes 30 seconds.
If there is a technical malfunction of the timing signals you will be given 30 seconds extra time before disqualification.
No signal will be given if you exceed the time limit.

I will introduce you by saying your name twice.

[If you have not drawn for speaking order yet during the briefing, do it now.]

[If you have not collected contact information from every contestant, do it now.]

[If any contestant has not yet filled in and signed (Form 1183): Speaker's Certification of Eligibility and Originality, have the contestant do that now.]

Does any contestant have any questions? [Answer any questions.]

[Close the Contestant Briefing:
- Ask each contestant to confirm the pronunciation of their name
- Confirm the speaking order with the contestants, make a written list for the SAA
- Remind the contestants of the starting time of the contest
- Dismiss the contestants
- Give the speaking order in writing to the SAA.


I’m not on a “journey”, thank you very much

Nov 7th, 2012 | Posted by | Filed under Main

I’m not on a TM “journey” , thank you very much
(Warning: this is a rant)

My transparent facial expressions reveal my feeling every time I cringe every time I hear someone ask someone something like, “How long have you been on your Toastmasters Journey?”

I don’t know why it bothered me, but I did not and do not like it when the word “Journey” is used like that.

I heard an Ice Breaker speech yesterday while visiting a close club as guest speaker. The young woman gave a great speech and then in the third part said , “Now I want to tell you what I see in the future part of my Journey …” and I winced inside and though, “Darn, you had me loving this 100% til now”

Then, at the speed of thought, she said, “Let me change that, because *Journey* seems to me to be a word with possibilities as a negative, I prefer the word *adventure* which is full of positivity, challenge and fun”

Thank you Emily, for a wonderful speech and for explaining to me my *issue* and giving me the solution.

Enjoy your Toastmasters (and all other) adventures!


Gag me with a Gag Order II

Nov 6th, 2012 | Posted by | Filed under Main

First it was …
Gag me with a Gag Order (http://umeryouknow.com/?p=145)
Sep 25th, 2009

Message from the Official Toastmasters Facebook Group -
From Gary Schmidt:
Effective immediately, I have asked Board members to refrain from responding to questions about policy and guidelines on social media sites and all social networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Ning. If you have specific questions regarding Toastmasters International policies and guidelines, please visit http://www.toastmasters.org/contactus to select the appropriate contact for your inquiry.
Members of the Board, myself included, may remain members of this forum to listen to and learn from your feedback and ideas, but will not be responding to discussions. We do value and listen to the voice of every member, not just on social networking sites, but in all forms of communication.

Well, how is that for effective oral communication?

in 2012 Intl Director CANDIDATES – people announced to be running for office – may not participate in social media on TI issues… Gag me More…


TI hits a Home Run with “Club Officer Essentials”

Nov 1st, 2012 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Toastmasters International added an online video tutorial providing club officers (and anyone) with broad, quick information about the Toastmasters educational program, the Distinguished Club Program (DCP), officer roles, meeting roles and more.

The only downer: It is Adobe Flash based – so that may stop it from being used on many mobile devices.

It is just over 20 minutes in length if you watch all the sections and click on all topics and links.

I don’t know who “marcus” is though!!

Watch it and encourage all your club officers to take 20 minutes this month to get Essential Club Officer information – Free!



The last word in introducing the speaker…

Aug 6th, 2012 | Posted by | Filed under Main

The last word in introducing the speaker…

There are many components to doing an introduction of the next speaker/role but one thing is the same in all properly done introductions. That is to have the last thing you say be … the name of the speaker.

In a toastmasters meeting, we have many introductions as we pass control of the meeting to the next role or introduce the next prepared speech.

EVERY introduction, regardless of how long it is, is best when it ends with the name of the person being introduced. In Toastmasters meetings it even helps people know when to start clapping. :-)

This does NOT mean that you may only say the person’s name once and at the end, in fact you may user the person’s name more than once. But please always end your introuction with their name.

A basic example: instead of

Please welcome up todays general evaluator, John, to describe his role and tell us what he will be doing in the meeting today.
Consider trying
Our next speaker is the general evaluator who will introduce the evaluation team. Please welcome up today’s general evaluator … John!


District 60 Humorous Speech contest November 12, 2011

Nov 18th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main


Toastmasters has changed the gold DTM badge

Nov 10th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

Compare the old and new DTM badges :


Competent Kate?

Sep 27th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

I am passing along an email I was copied on, from an energetic Toastmaster leader.
It is funny, the connections people make!
What do you think?


Here is what was in the email

” … as a result of a comment that a guest at a demo meeting last night at Woodgreen Community Centre made regarding the girl on the CC manual.
Some background: The group at Woodgreen consisted primarily of new Canadians, who are looking for work, and who attended the session to learn more about TM.

When I showed the newly branded CC manual at the meeting, one gentlemen asked, “Oh, is that Kate Middleton on the cover?”

I took a second a look and thought, “Yeah – well, close enough”, and soon was referring to our beloved CC manual as the “Competent Kate Manual”.

You be the judge: Have a look at the attached .gif file, which actually compares the Toastmasters Kate with the “real” Kate! What do you think?

I’m up for getting my “Competent Kate” designation!”


A new DCP proposal

Sep 20th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

A proposal for a new Club DCP

If I were to redesign the Toastmasters DCP (Distinguished Club Program), using the information that TI has for clubs, and I am proposing this for NON Advanced clubs only (which usually have quite different club make-up and goals than regular clubs).

A. Competent COMMUNICATION (max 8)
# CCs – 1 point each, 2 points if the CC is a first-timer rather than an repeat by an experienced memBER, (Unlimited number of repeat CCsb ut max points for 4 new ones)

B. Competent LEADERSHIP (max 8)
# CLs – 1 point each 2 points if the CL is a first-timer rather than an repeat by an experienced member (Unlimited number of repeat CCsb ut max points for 4 new ones)

C. Advanced Communications (max 8)
# ACB/ACS 1 point each (max 4)
#ACG 1 point each (max 4)

D. Advanced leadership (max 9)
#ALBs 1 point each (max 7)
#ALS – this one is tricky – it awards a club in the year following the members service – I like the idea of this being awarded retroactively until July 31
1 point each (maximum 2)

E. Officers trained: (Phase I being July-Aug, Phase II being Jan-Feb) (max 4)
Four or more in Phase I – 1 point
Six or more in Phase I – 2 points

Four or more in Phase II – 1 point
Six or more in Phase II – 2 points

F. Membership retention/growth (0 or 7)
Attaining 20 or more membership or +5 over previous year: 5 points – NOT a minimum requirement to be distinguished, but if not you get 0 points for this …


Retaining over 90% of members from previous year

G. Administrative (max 6)
Submitting officer lists on time – 3 point
Submitting minimum club renewals on time both April and October: 3 point

DTM – no extra credit in DCP

Max possible: 50, A+B+C+D+E+F+G

Then determine 3 levels of distinguished awards ….
25+ points = Distinguished
30+ points = Select
40+ points = President Distinguished

(I was thinking of including credit for Area Governor visit – but … can’t blame club if AG a no-show….)

ALL of the above can be tracked by TI automatically, nothing is open to interpretation, and it is easy to think in terms of tens (10,20,30) for the levels….


FreeToastHost 2.0 is here / FTH 1.0 to die

Aug 18th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

New domain name, new branding, new features … FreeToastHost 2.0 (http://www.toastmastersclubs.org/welcome/)

The bad news is that you don;t migrate your free Toastmasters club website from your existing FTH website – you start over!

There may be a few (thousand) clubs unhappy about this change …


Recommendations to TM District Webmasters for 2011-2012

May 31st, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

My (not TI sanctioned) advice to District webmasters for 2011-2012 …

Hello District Webmasters ( and District incoming Governors if you have spare time on your hands :-)

Here is my personal opinion and advice regarding issues for branding next year – this is NOT from TI – this is from me. Some of it will be technical, some is tactical, some strategic – hopefully some of it is understandable and useful.

(1) If you are like most Districts, you need to rebrand your District website every year. In that respect, this year is no different.
Instead of rebranding just for an incoming District Governor’s theme, logo, tagline, etc. you will have TI’s recommended website branding specs and files – all available in one place: the Branding Portal available August 17.

(2) Expect to get some help from TI in the form of specs for official brand colors (including html RGB code), and images for logo, text emblem, tag line text and “people photos” you can use and are encouraged to use throughout the District website – again all will be at the TI Branding Portal

(3) Do not panic. You do not have to be using the exact colors, fonts, typography and images on August 17th, TI will not be militant about this!

(4) Even if you are 100% ready and willing to rebrand for the august 17th brand launch, there is an issue of what to do between July 1 and August 17.

(5) I recommend that you start planning now – if you are not already way ahead of me …
For whenever after June 30 you were planning to implement rebranding for the incoming District Governor, which in many cases means *removing* a District theme and logo, make as many quick-hits on your district website that make rebranding less complicated.
Use the existing TI logo and text emblem – as it is today – see and bookmark http://www.toastmasters.org/Members/OfficerResources/Logos.aspx

************** GEEK ALERT ****** it gets techy here for a bit:
** Use themes and Cascading Style sheets (CSS) which allow you to specify menu color and fonts, background colors, logo image file names, link colors, font families etc. SITE-WIDE.

** Expect that the new TM logo and text emblems will be usable in the same dimensions as the files available at the logo link above.
When August 17 comes, plan to replace your files: logo.jpg, textemblem.jpg and the text of the tagline (what may have been your previous year slogan/theme statement)
I realize it will not be just that simple but that strategy will make rebranding fairly straightforward.

** The branding colors, fonts, typography may not be your personal favorites, but they have been selected as among the best of breed and I personally recommend that your consider migrating to them, if not immediately, then within a year.

************** END OF GEEK ALERT ******

(6) There will also be help from you fellow Toastmasters. For what it’s worth, I will provide what assistance I can to any District webmaster who asks for it regarding preparing for the rebranding launch before August 17 and implementing the new brand on./after August 17th.
I am not the most knowledgeable or talented TM webmaster so you have been warned – but I am at your service. Let’s roll!

(7) Do not panic. You do not have to be using the exact colors, fonts, typography and images on August 17th, TI will not be militant about this!
Yes, I am repeating this one point.


iPhone app for Ah Counter/Grammarian

Apr 23rd, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main
Ah Counter iPhone app
Ah Counter iPhone app

Info: http://kleinosky.com/iphone/ahcounter/

See app in iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ah-counter/id432492414?mt=8&ls=1

iPhone app: Ah Counter (432492414)

Description This app lets you count up usage of Word of the Day and count up usage of filler words such as .. um, Er, Uh, You Know, Like. It is perfect for speech club meetings and for helping your kids (and colleagues) prepare presentations and break the “filler word” habit.
– Add Word of the Day text to box.
– Tap WOTD box it to add to the WOTD count
– Reset WOTD count button (with confirm)
– Tap any of the 7 Filler word orbs, each tap adds 1 to the count for that orb plus the Filler Total: Count

  1. Um, Uh
  2. You Know
  3. And
  4. Actually
  5. So
  6. Like
  7. Other – use for anything else

Filling the gaps in the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook

Apr 7th, 2011 | Posted by | Filed under Main

If anyone has been a certified referee in any sport, they know there are rules that cover nearly everything which can happen. Heres a recent update to the ASA softball rulebook:

If discovered using the wrong number of females or males in the
outfield or infield and brought to the umpire’s attention by the offended team:
a) After a pitch legal or illegal or play made,
EFFECT: All action stands.
b) Before the next pitch legal or illegal or play made,
c) Before the defense has left the field,
d) Before the umpires have left the field of play,
EFFECT: b, c and d
1) If the batter hits the ball and reaches first base safely, and all other
runners have advanced at least one base. All action of the batted ball
2) If all runners, including the batter runner, do not advance at least one base.
The manager has the option of taking the result of the play

Eeek! I am not suggesting that Toastmasters make the rulebook resemble the rulebook for major sports. But the 2011 speech contest rulebook and manual [ LINK to rulebook ], while a GREAT improvement over the previous version just has too many gaps that are causing pain to members when “stuff happens”.

What seems fair and proper to one person may not seem so to another person or contestant. The result? I have heard from several people who are disgusted with the Toastmasters contest process, having seen well meaning people make very poor choices in handling contest “situations”.

Recently, I saw a person, not associated with a contest in any way, walk into the contest room via an “extra” door and proceed to use an automated bank machine – beeps and all, while a speech contestant spoke. By my watch, that contestant went over time, without a time extension and in fact a time DQ was announced. There was no malfunction in the timing so no time extension was indicated. But *something* was indicated.

What is the best thing to do in cases “like this”? Various people have various opinions. I don;t have the answers to all but I do know that it would be better if the Contest Chair and/or Chief Judge were empowered – by the rulebook – to make a decision and take action. I have been sent many stories like this, where the details vary, but the gist being, something we did not expect or ever see before happened and at least one contestant feel a bit abused.

To start, I recommend that the rulebook people/committee consider adding a “Special Circumstances” section with something like:

If special circumstances occur which are not covered in this rulebook, which by their nature cause a conflict with the rules, the chief judge shall make the required decisions required to conduct the contest as fairly as possible to all contestants.

This section is not meant to describe all possible scenarios but as an example, medical or other safety emergencies which interrupt the proceedings, disruptive behavior, not enough judges present, etc. may be situations where the chief judge should make the decisions to support the ongoing conduct of the contest as fairly, congenially and orderly as possible.

After the completion of the contest, the chief judge should document the circumstances and the decisions made simply and clearly and forward these to the District Governor within 5 days.

The purpose of forwarding the info to the District Governor is not for them to have the power to overturn the decisions made but to allow things which happen to be considered in future rulebook revisions.

I do not think we need to specify everything which can happen, but we do need some guidance on what do we do now, who is in charge when, for example a table topics contestant gets early knowledge of a topic, a speech is severely interrupted, etc.

From my perspective, that would go a long way to giving a method/process for handling “everything else’ which puts the control into a few, experience, reliable hands.