High Performance Leadership Part V: Analyzing and Presenting Your Results


The fifth and final part of the High Performance Leadership is Analyzing and Presenting Your Results.

The purpose of this step is to review the results of the project and present a five to seven minute speech to your club describing the learning process of running the project and the end results.

I began my presentation with a brief overview of the various steps of the High Performance Leadership and then moved on to the specifics of my project to improve Attendance and Participation at our club meetings.

I described the challenges I faced and needed to overcome and what I learned about leadership by leading the project.

What I learned in particular was the importance of flexibility, because nothing will go exactly as planned and to rely on the support of a well-chosen action team.

I ended my presentation by thanking my action team and my guidance committee and reminded the club that the benefits of the project: a fully functional mentoring program, well-oriented members and an active individual outreach to our members will continue beyond the lifespan of this project.

High Performance Leadership Part IV: Working the Plan


Part IV of the High Performance Leadership is by far the meatiest part of the project.

In this stage, I met several times with my action team, reviewing the progress in each separate Key Results area.  This was also the time for more intensive support and encouragement.

We reviewed the Action Plan and Timetables, making adjustments as necessary.  We also shifted responsibility from one party to another when the first was unable to continue with the project.

Towards the end of this stage, I met again with my Guidance Committee to evaluate the progress so far and make note of any changes to original plan were needed as well as to re-evaluate the entire Vision, Mission and Core Values of the project to ensure they were still valid.  I also shared the feedback for my Action Team on my leadership skills.

What I discovered was that the original timelines and milestones set were a touch too optimistic and needed to be adjusted.

The next, and final step of the project is to analyze the results and present them to the club in a 5-7 minute speech covering the project as a whole and what I learned about leadership through the experience.

 

Toastmasters Year in Review (2011-2012)


The 2011-2012 Toastmasters year has just come to a close and now is the time for a retrospective review of this past year events and accomplishments.

I started the year with the challenge of serving four separate clubs as Area Governor while still helping to guide my own club as Immediate Past President and keeping on track with my personal educational goals.

Serving as Area Governor was challenging and very rewarding.  I was able to get to know many fellow Toastmasters and help the clubs in my area to define and achieve their goals.  As an Area Governor, I also served as part of the District Executive Committee.  There was a lot of traveling involved (up and down the entire State), but I’m glad I stepped up.  My area ended the year as a Distinguished Area.

In my club, I helped to advise the current President to lead our club to achieve Select Distinguished Club status and formed the Nominating Committee to propose nominees for this coming year’s Club Officers.

For my personal educational goals, I completed my Advanced Communicator Bronze and lead several committees as part of my High Performance Leadership project to increase participation and attendance at our club meetings.

In all, I would call this a very successful year.

My plans for the coming year are:

  • Serve as my club’s Vice-President Education, with a goal of having four members complete their Competent Communicator.
  • Finish off my High-Performance Leadership project, which will achieve Advanced Leader Silver.
  • Complete my Advanced Communicator Silver.

 

 

 

High Performance Leadership Part I: Learning About Leadership


As part of the requirements to achieve my Advanced Leader Silver, I am working through the High Performance Leadership program.

The program is broken out into five parts where I will develop my leadership skills by working to complete a project.  To do this, I have had to recruit a Guidance Committee to help me work through the project.  I meet with this committee at the end of each part.

I’ll describe my progress through the program one post at a time.

Part I of the program is Learning About Leadership.

In this part, I learned the six dimensions of servant leadership, performed a self-assessment of my current leadership skills, came up with a set of potential projects to work on and recruited my Guidance Committee.

After doing all that, I met with my committee to discuss my progress through part one and to solicit their feedback on which project to work on.

The project I chose was to improve meeting attendance and participation.

I chose this project because attendance at our club meetings has been low for quite some time.

I’ve seen this as a big problem in our club that I’ve been trying to improve for a while.  My hope is that, through this project, we’ll be able to reinvigorate our flagging attendance and help our members and club improve.

Area Governor Training Recap


I just completed training for my new position as Area Governor in Toastmasters District 66.  I start my year of service July 1.

Beyond learning about some of the workings of the District, my up-coming responsibilities and a ton of other useful things, I also had the chance to meet and network with folks from around the District.

My responsibilities as an Area Governor are as follows:

  • Act as a liaison between the four clubs in my area and the District
  • Visit each club at least twice a year, giving help and guidance towards achieving their Distinguished Club goals
  • Install new club officers if invited to do so
  • Plan and conduct Area-level speech contests
  • Ensure club officers attend District-sponsored training
  • Achieve at least Distinguished Area status for the year.
  • Participate in the District Executive Committee (DEC)
  • Form and chair the Area Council to meet at least twice a year

In addition to the responsibilities listed above, the District is asking each Area Governor to provide at least one new club prospect and to encourage each club to add at least one new member a month.

I will continue to track the Distinguished Club Program status of my home club.  But I will also be tracking my area’s progress towards Distinguished Area.

As with the Distinguished Club Program, there are three levels of Distinguished Area: Distinguished, Select Distinguished and President’s Distinguished.

The criteria for Distinguished Area are based in the number of paid clubs in the Area as of June 30th.  This is known as the CLUB BASE.  The CLUB BASE  for my area (barring unforeseen circumstances) will be 4.

The goals for the Distinguished Area program are:

Distinguished: Achieve 4 of the following 5:

  1. CLUB BASE X 0.75 (rounded down) October renewals submitted on time: 3 needed
  2. CLUB BASE X 0.75 (rounded down) April renewals submitted on time: 3 needed
  3. CLUB BASE X 1.75 (rounded down) Competent Communicator Awards: 7 needed
  4. CLUB BASE X 0.5 (rounded down) Advanced Communicator Awards: 2 needed
  5. CLUB BASE X 0.6 (rounded down) Clubs achieving at least Distinguished Club: 2 needed

Select Distinguished: Achieve all 5 goals above PLUS all three of the following:

  • CLUB BASE X 0.8 (rounded down) first Club Visit reports submitted on time: 3 needed
  • CLUB BASE X 0.8 (rounded down) second Club Visit reports submitted on time: 3 needed
  • CLUB BASE X 0.6 (rounded down) clubs with 20 or more members: 2 needed

President’s Distinguished: Achieve all 8 goals above plus a net gain of one club to the area.

There’s a lot involved in being an Area Governor, but I can tell I’m going to enjoy it.

 

 

Continuing Education


I’ve updated my educational progress to reflect my next goals.  Please refer to the blurb in the sidebar and My Education Progress page.

Having completed my Competent Communicator (CC) and Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB), I am now working on my Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) and Advanced Leader Silver (ALS).

I am already halfway to ALS.  All I need is to complete the High Performance Leadership Program and serve a year as a District Officer.

To achieve ACB, I need to complete two manuals from the Advanced Communicator Series.

I’ve chosen Special Occasion Speeches and Humorously Speaking.

Special Occasion Speeches is a series of five projects to practice for those instances when you’re called on to speak at an event.  Examples include: giving a toast, delivering a eulogy and presenting or accepting an award.

Humorously Speaking contains five projects to help practice integrating humor into your speeches.  It progresses gradually from opening your speech with a joke or funny story to presenting a completely humorous speech, suitable for competition in a humorous speech contest.

CC Speech 10: Inspire Your Audience


The tenth and final project in the Competent Communicator manual is: Inspire Your Audience.

The goal of this project, as the climax of the ten-speech journey toward becoming a Competent Communicator, is to use all of the skills practiced in the nine previous projects to provide an effective and inspirational presentation.

Some tips for this project are: to appeal to the audience’s needs and emotional reactions, use stories and anecdotes to make the message resonate with the audience and to avoid using notes to present an aura of confidence and reliability in the speech.

The title of my speech was: “Serving Your Club”.

I chose this topic for a number of reasons.  Firstly, it is a topic I feel deeply about and about which I have a breadth of knowledge.  Secondly, I presented the speech on the day we were accepting nominations for next year’s club officers.  My goal was to inspire our club members to step up to the challenge of club leadership.

This was only my third speech delivered completely without notes.  The first one was my speech about comic book superhero movies; the second was when I presented “Bugs!” for the second time for my club’s humorous speech contest.

Since I knew the topic so well and practiced enough to feel comfortable not using notes, I was freed up to move about and really connect with the audience.

I began the speech by discussing the accomplishments our club has achieved in two short year of existence and crediting that success to our members who took it upon themselves to serve our club.

Then I pointed out the many ways a member can serve the club and the ways serving the club can serve the individual member, from simple attendance and being part of an attentive and supportive audience at club meetings to serving as Club President.

I feel very good about how this speech went and even inspired myself to give more speeches without using notes.

This speech completed my Competent Communicator requirement, which also completed my Advanced Leader Bronze requirement.

This is the end of the Competent Communicator series of posts.  Be on the lookout for the new Advanced Communicator series, which I will begin once I start presenting my speeches for my ACB.

100th Post!


This is my 100th post on this blog.  From my first post to now, it’s been a lot of fun and a great outlet.

I started the blog posting updates about my Toastmasters club with occasional commentary about language in general.

Since then, I’ve added a bit more structure, running several series: The Competent Communicator Series, the Competent Leader Series, Word of the Week Wednesday, Table Topics Thursday and Song Lyric Spotlight.

Hopefully you’ve all had as much fun as I have.  And I hope you’ll stick around for the next hundred.

On a more “Toastmasters-related” note.  Our club held its elections today so I now know who my successor will be as I take it a little easier next year as Immediate Past President.

I was also presented with my certificates for Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze.

Thanks for reading and special thanks to those who leave comments.  I love them!

Educational Update


Today, as planned, I presented my 10th speech from the Competent Communicator Manual.  The purpose was: “Inspire Your Audience” and I will go into the speech details in a later post.

For my Advanced Communicator Bronze, I have chosen to pursue the Special Occasion Speeches and Humorously Speaking manuals.

The important thing is that this completes the manual and I am now officially a Competent Communicator!  This is the first of four goals in the Communication Track of the Toastmasters Educational Program.

As a result, I have also attained Advanced Leader Bronze, having completed each of the other requirements, which is the second of three goals in the Leadership Track!

Completing all goals on each track achieves Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest honor in Toastmasters.

As an additional benefit, this is the second Competent Communicator award earned in my club this year which earns us one more point in the Distinguished Club Program.

This gives us a total of seven DCP points, which makes us a Select Distinguished Club!  Our goal is President’s Distinguished and now we only need two more points.

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