Monthly Archives: February 2016

Asking members (1): “What do you think of Toastmasters?”

I.
What do I think? The truth? I’m still exploring it, so I can’t answer this question yet. But since I know our VPM would appreciate —rightly— a discussion amongst members to have a feed-back, I’ll try to say what my thoughts are. About a different matter. I can say something about us as a group. In particular as a group of “evaluators”. Maybe is still a first impression opinion, so it might to be taken with certain reservations.
I love this group but as a group of individuals who have also the task of making evaluations — with all the pros and cons of this operation— I think we could improve. And the direction I’d like to see blossoming is the one towards a more supportive attitude in all of us (some members are very supportive and I’ve found careful attention and precious advices when I asked for help).
But all of us have to learn not only to comunicate better, but also being more attentive to other people needs, that can be very different. To be good evaluators we have first of all to strive to really listen, not half-listen (thousands of time we have heard this phrase, still this remains the most difficult task). And if possible, listen with benevolence. Our focus must be encouraging and let  blooming,  not drying out (so sometimes  we have to be very tacful and consider other people sensitiveness). Our opinion, also if is always personal, it’s never neutral, and we should be aware of that.Beginners make a lot of mistakes, in many points, we know that, but is there use in stressing them all? Couldn’t that be a bit confusive?  My personal opinion is that is better trying to enhance the better part of an individual than trigger an inner war against  “flows”. It’s more important to know where our strenght is, than focusing on our shortcomings and struggling against them. The most of us has limits which are difficult to overcome, but many of us, in particular if young, don’t know where their strenght is. We can help each other. We all need time to improve and we really cannot work on all our weak points at once. So priority first and one step at a time.The kind of evaluation I liked most in Toastmasters, till now, was the one we used to have during the speechcraft: oral opinions shared in a group. Having also the possibility to replay and explain, where appropriate. So a dynamic situation.

My hope: I’d like to see this group to meet the most difficult, but at the same time most intriguing challange, the one of inspiring others to find their voices. Finding our “own voice” is more important and valuable than avoiding hesitations when speaking. Our voice means authenticity not perfection. Connection and consistency between what we say, why we say it and how we say it. To me, be yourself, flaws included, it’s better than aping some unattainable ideal. But its also important to find the best part of who we are, which is difficult to find alone. That’s also why a group is important.

Maybe my speech sounds a bit provocative (and maybe it is) but I do believe we have to think about the aim and the intention which lies behind our evaluations, not doing them as a cold task, without consequences and side effects. When the words forget to be supportive and are just judgmental, can be very biting.

I do think  being collaborative is much more important than being competitive, and at the end make us stronger not just as a group —which is very important— but also as  single individuals.

Love to all,

Alessandra

P.s.: any kind comments on the subject will be welcome of course

II.

I would like to give a fast and warm answer. Knowing that the “fast and warm” is the worst mind mood to answer and to avoid misunderstanding. Just two perspectives. The first is that probably we could devote 5 or 10 minutes at every meeting to share these kind of opinions in a sort of brainstorming; my personal experience is that emails could drive more misunderstandings than a face to face debate, discussion. Writing, a lot things are taken away as last great Stefano 5th speech taught us: stance, movements, gestures, facial expression, emotions, empathy. The second one is that even the evaluation role is something that, above all for the beginner fellows as me, needs to be learnt. The immediate consequence is that the same correct indulgence and sensitivity that should be applied on evaluating the speakers should be also applied on the evaluation of the evaluators. Personally, I have received for my few speeches some strong remarks among others very encouraging (from same or other people). I didn’t up set, I appreciate at first the attempt and sincerity of it. About me, as I wronged many things in my first speeches, for sure I wronged also a lot of things in my evaluations, obviously without awareness of this. In case I apologize, but at the same time I am happy of this: I believe we are here to make mistakes through which we can learn more things.

The ‘ideas’ of Alessandra drive my mind to a recent post of mine on our club whatsup group in which I asked if it was possible to organize some educational on the evaluator role and on the evaluation process. Speaking with some of our more expert members I understood that there is nothing exhaustive and ready from the central organization of Toastmaster. Despite this, I think that the knowledge sharing between more and less experienced members could be a great opportunity to let the evaluation process be a fruitful and serene experience for everybody. If I correctly remember I received an answer just from two members. I would appreciate a lot if we could discuss a bit about this proposal. I agree with Alessandra that evaluation is at the same time a very important need and a very delicate process and probably should be tailored on every person character and need.

Enjoy.

Federico.

“We learn best in moments of enjoyments” Meeting#41>>24th February 16<<19:15

Diversity, potential, improvement, effective listening, helping each other to develop these priceless skills in a fun, supportive and positive learning environment
where you can discover about Riga, about storytelling, about Raplh, about the most human profession, about King Arthur and the Round Table
all in a Toastmasters meeting.
Yes, Ralph is Raplh C. Smedley, founder of Toastmasters, and one of his famous quote that was mentioned last meeting was: 
“We learn best in moments of enjoyments.
Fellow members and dear guests,
 
The Toastmasters Program has the potential to raise the personal worth of its participants.How much do you think you are worth? That is a loaded question and has many answers depending on which part of your life is being referenced. With respect to your job, your value is measured in the amount on your paycheck. With respect to your family, the number can jump exponentially. For today, let’s think about the personal worth and value you believe you have as a person interacting with others in a specific area: communication.

To find this value, you would have to assess your ability to communicate effectively on the subjects presented to you, both at work and non-work interactions. How well do you perform when asked to give a presentation at work? Do you choke when asked a question you did not expect?

Some have heard of Toastmasters and some have experienced it first hand in a Toastmaster club meeting. Those who have say it changed their lives.
Debbi Rose Fields from Mrs. Fields Cookies is quoted as saying, “The idea of getting in front of a group, not as Mrs. Fields but as Debbi, made my knees shake. But the Toastmasters group understood. Here’s a place where you can learn, grow, develop — and where other people are doing and feeling the same thing.”

Linda Lingle, former Governor of Hawaii, states, “Toastmasters is the best and least expensive personal improvement class you can go to.”

The host of the Discovery Home Channel’s hit show “Neat,” Hellen Buttigieg. had this to say: “How often in life do people really listen to us? At Toastmasters, people are truly listening; they’re not thinking about what they’ll say back. It’s a safe place to speak, so I could use my speeches to work out what resonated with the audience.”

And you, what do you think about Toastmasters?


Each club in the world is unique. Visiting the clubs is easy and free. For someone just starting out, there are two clubs to choose from in Torino: the only English one Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters http://radiantrhetoric.tmclub.eu and Toastmasters Torino torino.tmclub.eu bilingual club English & Italian. Radiant Rhetoric meets after work (7:15 p.m.) on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at the Talent Garden Torino. The Torino club meets in the evenings of every Thursday, 7:00 p.m.

Specific details of the meetings of these clubs is available on Toastmasters International’s website, http://toastmasters.org.
Here attached some screenshoots for you to know better our neigbouring clubs and potential contestants for the upcoming CLUB, AREA & DIVISION contests.

 Neighbouring TM club.PNG

If you are interested in your personal growth and achieving success in your business, work or education, visit one or more of these clubs to experience the safe harbor Toastmasters provides to turn your ship and begin a path of success.
Raise Your Personal Worth.

See you in March, same place, same hour!!!

[20@Carnival] Meeting#40>>10th February 16<<19:15

What an amazing Carnival evening we had last meeting!!
As decided previously each of us wore a “hat” as set in the agenda.

Our senses enjoyed three speeches from the Competent Communication (CC) manual: we felt the Unity of Italy in Antonia’s Ice breaker “Where do you come from?”. Good luck in this CC path!
Afterward, we heard and saw two very well prepared speeches from the same 4th
How to say it project. The specific objectives to attain by  Gabriele & Alessandra were: to be as clear as water, to use a structure for words and sentences, to enhance and to emphasize ideas with the help of rhetorical devices where grammar is the queen in her home.
Gabriele, father of two, husband of one, maker of many things accomplished the objectives in his “Vigorous Vibrations” speech. What an amazing alliteration he used as a title!!!
And Alessandra’s speech, “Rational Illusion”, increased the audience’s understanding related to economic decisions made by human mind. She was inspired from an International Best Seller written by Daniel Kahneman – a
renowned psychologist and winner of Nobel Prize in Economics.

I have added this book to my must read list.
The cognitive mystery is still to be discovered. 😉

Thank you to all prepared speakers, you achieved the objectives! Keep moving forward!!

During the evening we had even the Battle of the Oranges, that Lumi started in order to involve the guests and members into the Table Topic session. The allegory of it was one of improvisation standing in anothers clothes: of a nun in Rio, of the Radiant Rhetoric president etc.

As Toastmasters, we are accustomed to clapping for other members after they give a speech, evaluation or Table Topic. We believe that it’s important to acknowledge our fellow members for the accomplishments, big and small, that they’ve made along their journey of self-improvement in leadership, communication, public speaking, growing the club.

A round of applause to all of you!!! Here we are:

20 Radiants after 40 meetings:
1.Keith
2.Gonzalo
3.Monica M.
4.Orlando
5.Lumi
6.Stefano
7.Gabriele
8.Mircea
9.Marija
10.Alessia
11.Daniele
12.Antonia
13.Alessandra
14.Valentina
15.Tommaso
16.Federico B.
Please welcome the four musketeers that took us to chartering !!!
17.Irene
18.Evghenija
19.Monica A.
20.Federico P.
We are the Founders of the Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club in  Torino.

IMG-20160212-WA0003Joining Toastmasters is one of your best life decision. Toastmaster is a global organization providing a fantastic environment to develop Public Speaking and Leadership skills. Your friends deserves to know about it!

Here you can learn more about www.toastmasters.org and here about our club www.radiant-rhetoric.org or http://radiantrhetoric.tmclub.eu

Ask us further information:

education@radiant-rhetoric.org

Because we act with Integrity, Respect for the individual, Service to the member, dedication to Excellence.

See you next meeting on February 24th, same place, same hour!!!

 

…and we made it!

Even if I cannot still figure it out… we made it! We are a CLUB! An official chartered club! 😀

As a Past President, I would like to thank everyone involved, even if I am almost sure I am going to forget someone.

Our location staff, Talent Garden Torino, who believed in our group and in the social value of our program. I have always believed Italy needs Toastmasters and Toastmasters needs Italy. I am happy we are doing something real towards this goal.

Our founding members and everyone who decided to come aboard, trusting us and believing in our vision. Friendship is a powerful tool to progress towards excellence.

So… do you want to see a REAL Toastmasters club? Join us on 24th of February!