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From Good to Great: District 14's Pursuit of Excellence in Communication and Leadership

Avoiding the Last-Minute Scramble

November 2022

Avoiding the Last-Minute Scramble- Bill Brown, DTM

There is an annual event that takes place every year. It is called the Last-Minute Scramble. Each year every Toastmasters Club elect new officers, conduct Speech Contests and achieve DCP goals. All of these activities are to be completed by June. However, most clubs wait until May or June and try to complete those goals. The article talks about starting now and look for members to become part of the Executive team for the following year. Set a goal to earn your DCP goals by March or April.  Encourage your club members to participate in the speech contest and explained the benefits.

Although it is November, think about where you want to be in June so you can avoid the Last-Minute Scramble and possibly run out of time.

Summary by Dwight Jones, DTM

Speaking Up To Change Lives By Ruth Nasrullah

December 2022

Speaking Up To Change Lives By Ruth Nasrullah

Comment:  Stories of individuals who overcome tremendous obstacles to become successful and confident are always inspiring.  This story gives me the idea for one or more future speeches on similar topics.

Summary:  This story detailed the poverty and difficulties in which Jillian Haslam grew up in, and how that, her experiences working with the poor, and meeting inspiring workers motivated her to engage in activities to help the less fortunate.  Part of her development was overcoming her fear of public speaking through Toastmasters.  Today, she is an inspiration and role model for others.  Her confidence and competence are a testament to the effectiveness of Toastmasters.

Summary by Mike Coe

What’s In a Name? By Fiona Swee Lin Price, PhD

November 2022

What’s In a Name? By Fiona Swee Lin Price, PhD

It is often said that it’s the little things that matter the most and show that you truly care.  Our name is our identity and hearing it mispronounced can be irritating, and even considered a sign of disrespect, or not caring enough to get say it right.  Prior to reading the article, What’s in a Name, November 2022 edition of the Toastmaster Magazine I did not give much thought to an occasional mispronounce of someone’s name.   My thought was to do my best to pronounce it correctly and apology if I missed the mark.  

This article made me shamefully aware that not everyone is laxed or even accepting of the mispronunciation of their name and will correct you to a fault, if necessary.  My last name, BISPHAM is often incorrectly pronounced.   I don’t want people to be uncomfortable trying to say it correctly so I don’t make a point to belabor an error, but rather focus on getting to know one another.  I can now see how that is flawed logic.  If I can’t correctly say your name, am I really getting to know you?  Not everyone shares my sentiment and want you to pronounce their name correctly, and sometimes even demand you do so.  

I better understand that taking the time to correctly pronounce someone’s name is a great way to begin to connect, establish rapport, and show respect.  The strategies the author shared on learning to pronounce names unfamiliar were very helpful and in my opinion not difficult to use.  

My greatest take away from this article was “make the time” to say the name correctly.  A name is a person’s identity so don’t minimize the importance of the name or the person by being lazy, get it right.  Consider using the strategies offered and pronounce the name correctly giving the person the respect and dignity due them.  

What’s in a name?  Too much not to get it right.  

Summary by Sadie Bispham

7 Tips to Brush Up Your Small Talk By Diane Windingland, DTM

December 2022

7 Tips to Brush up Your Small Talk

How to have casual conversions during your work parties and holiday gatherings 

by Diane Windingland, DTM


This is a great article. If there is one thing I know how to do is small talk. Unfortunately, I don’t practice it as much. This article caught my eye because the seven steps are doable. The one that sticks out to me is constructing a conversation resume. Per Patrick King, author of Better Small Talk: Talk to Anyone, Avoid Awkwardness, Generate Deep Conversations and make Real Friends (I know, long title, right?), the conversation resume allows you to remind yourself that you are not such a boring person after all. A conversation resume will give you a good answer or story when someone asks,” What did you do last weekend? King suggests regularly updating your conversation resume with talking points about your daily life and significant experience. Can you imagine how better your Table Topics answer would be with this?

Summary by Cheryl Ladson

6 Tips to Jumpstart Your Journaling

November 2022
6 Tips to Jumpstart Your Journaling

By Staff

Toastmasters Magazine personal growth department had 6 tips to jumpstart your journal and was very helpful to me.  I have been journaling on an APP on my iPhone for several years and I have shared my journey doing this to my club members several times.   Journaling is an opportunity to put your thoughts and feelings in your own words and it is a great opportunity to set personal goals.   One of the tips that I believe is to make it a habit.  I make a habit of starting my day with a positive thought or word.  This helps me through the day.   And as I make note of my day activities it is encouraging to know that I started the day positively.  Another point that I follow is to review and look back.  Sometimes looking back gives me a reason to look forward to better things in my life.

Summary by Brenda Marshall

Next-Step Networking

December 2022
Next-Step Networking

By Victor David

Fellow District 14 Toastmasters and friends, when reading the article on: Next-Step Networking: How to develop meaningful and useful connections with new contacts. This is what I am continually working on Networking and Interpersonal Skills. The first point of Doing your research is important not only knowing that person but what type of environment you are meeting them in unless its spontaneous and there is a podcast that goes in depth on networking in the article. One point for me that really took some pressure off in doing follow up is that “If someone you follow up with doesn’t welcome your invitation (or simply doesn’t have the time), don’t be disappointed. Even if it’s a “no” for now, nothing is stopping you from rekindling the relationship in the future”. 

The number one thing I agree with is that tell your story and not bombard with facts or rambling. It maybe time to polish off that elevator pitch and know it well. Moreover, see where you can adjust your story due to the audience or the vibe you are getting from that person. The next point of What if you’re approached? Talks about when you begin to lead or brought to the forefront more often people will recognize that they may want to form a connection with you. Which I have personally experienced as I was going outside of my box to grow myself in learning how to connect with people as a behind the wallpaper introvert can without sending myself into shock by working behind the scenes and then I became bolder with leadership roles in District 14.

I really like how they gave examples for verbiage, and I was inspired and used it to make my own sample for a company that I am with to gain referrals in the future, yet the sample is easy to use for any venture even Toastmasters.

Article example:

 “I would like to find people who might be interested in X. Is that something you could help me with?”

 Instead of:

 “I need to find people interested in buying X. Could you introduce me?”

My examples:

 “I would like to find people who might be interested in joining a network of people wanting to inspire healthier living and it could be an opportunity to add to their income.  Is that something you could help me with?”

 “I would like to find people who might be interested in joining a network of people finding their voice through Effective Communication.  Moreover, it could be an opportunity to develop or enhance Leadership Skills.  Is that something you could help me with?”


The article finishes with Get to your goal and knowing that: If the silence continues, or the other person doesn’t want to proceed, just accept it. Don’t let it stand in the way of your positive relationship. Check in with them in a few months, as things may have changed.

Summary by Jennifer Green

If you’re interested in sharing tips or your summation of a Toastmasters Article, then please contact our Acting-Public Relations Manager , Jennifer Green, DTM at for more details.

Next Post on June 6th