Month: July 2009

SAY MY NAME!!!! … Rethinking Toastmasters WOTD

The poor neglected WOTD (Toastmasters Word of The Day), not the refulgent thing it can be – so sad 🙁

The Toastmasters Word of The Day is a nice feature of almost every Toastmasters meeting. It is also very often selected poorly, ignored or forgotten during most of the meeting and used in contrived ways. Yeek! I still like the WOTD, but there are ways to get a LOT more out of it.

My basic assumptions here:

  1. Most things can be improved
  2. A lot of what we do –  we do because “we always do it that way”
  3. 2, above is not usually a good long term strategy – trying new things/shaking things up is a good thing.

refulgent

\rih-FUL-juhnt\ , adjective:

def: Shining brightly; radiant; brilliant; resplendent.
example: This blog is, dare I say, refulgent in its on-target analysis and oh so helpful recommendations. 🙂

On the WOTD – Let’s rethink some of things many clubs do.
Please spare me:

  • A loud CLAP when someone uses the WOTD  – anything disruptive – disrupting the speaker is NOT the point
  • Nouns – It is easier to try a new adjective or adverb than to work in a noun.
  • Common words – I mean, do we really need to use the word “Power” as a word of the day? How does that expand our vocabulary and communication?
  • People who giggle or point to the WOTD when they use it – making fun of the WOTD is NOT the point. Is that how you use new words outside of Toastmasters – with a giggle?
  • WOTD in a font too small to see from the back of the room

What I like (But which I rarely have seen a club do)

  • Asking all members to write the WOTD ALL OVER their agendas – put it “in their face” – Try that one meeting and see if the WOTD gets ignored. The fact is many people learn and intake information in many ways and repeating something is even better. Even the act of writing the WOTD onto the agenda primes people’s minds to the word – it makes them consider it.
  • Have all members say the word – with enthusiasm – after it is presented early in the meeting. Speaking the word primes … (well, you know what I said above)
  • Hang ‘Em’High – and wide – If you post the WOTD, post if in the back of the room (and the sides?) where speakers will see it when they stand to speak. Posting it on the back of the lecturn is good but not for reminding the speaker!
  • Fun – even funny example sentences. Did you watch the Scripps Spelling Bee? Word pronunciation, languages of origin, definition and use in a sentence.
  • Adjectives and Adverbs are best most of the time. These words add flavor and nuance to our speech. Nouns are OK from time to time but are often much more ‘forced’ when worked into a speech as WOTD.

Now, go forth and be refulgent with your next WOTD!