Newsletter of Toastmasters International - District 84
This is one heckuva ride!
Welcome to the final Winners' Circle issue of the TI calendar year! Our District Leaders are in their end-of-year push, so their resources shall be dedicated to that endeavor.
We had a great District Conference, and we're looking forward to the accolades to be seen over this last month of the year! Thank you, District 84, and tune in next year for the next incarnation of your District e-Newsletter!
Features from our Race Track Trio...
The Grandstand View
from your District Director...
Nancy Hoehn, DTM, DD
Whether it's a sure-thing horse race, an Auburn vs. Gators game or the last lap at Daytona, nothing is more exciting than what happens in the final moments, when
everything can change! The same excitement stirs in the blood of many Toastmaster members on June 30
th, the final day of the Toastmaster year. For this is when many last-minute educational goals are posted; when those last few member renewals are paid; when the results of teamwork and leadership are realized.
My dear family of friends, I'm right there with you, biting my nails, making those phone calls, cheering you on and enjoying seeing the resourceful ways you make things happen! So if things look tough and you feel you're out of ideas, please, please, please, reach out to your Area Directors, Division Directors and District Trio, as we've got a huge team filled with last-minute ideas. Reach out...grab the reins and barrel down for the most exciting ending in your club's history. Remember, Starting Strong is Good...Finishing Strong is Epic!
Not sure where your club stands?
Click on this link
and enter your club's name or number on the upper left hand side of the screen. You might have met your goals, but could be just one member payment away from qualifying. Please don't let that happen to your team; it's time to unleash your inner-thoroughbred!
- Nancy Hoehn, DTM - Riding "D84 Prancer" in our Run For The Roses!
By Bob Fischer, DTM, PQD
This year can't possibly be over...
It's only just begun!
The time really does fly when you work with great people in a great District and try to do great things.
I have truly enjoyed my year as your Program Quality Director or PQD
(properly pronounced as P-cutie)
While we all keep our eyes and efforts focused on helping our members meet their goals and our clubs become
DISTINGUISHED or higher I thought we could all take a moment and enjoy a little:
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Joanie Zisk
- 18 whole graham crackers the 4-section large sheets
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter melted
- 1 tablespoon clementine zest Cuties
- 1/2 cup clementine juice
- 2 whole egg yolks
- 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the crust:
- Crush the crackers in a food processor or Ziplock bag. Pour the crumbs into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and melted butter. Press into a pie pan and bake for 5 minutes or until golden and set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- For the filling:
- Mix the clementine zest, clementine juice and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Add in the condensed milk and mix until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Serve with whipped cream and garnish with clementine sections.
Bon Apetit! - Bob Fisher, DTM, riding "Snark Bisquit" in our Run For The Roses!
By Mike McLean, DTM, CGD
Food Rules - Part 2!
Do you know that District 84 has bought Pizza (or other food goodies) for clubs in our District? Did your club take advantage and offer your guests some yummy, free pizza? If not, there's still time left this month to do so. Take advantage of our Food Rules promotion today.
Of course Food Rules, don't you have much more fun when you attend an event and you get FREE FOOD? Of course you do! Now imagine your next club open house. Imagine the fun your club would have if you could offer FREE FOOD to your visitors (and maybe some for yourself, also!)
For the next couple of weeks, District 84's leadership will up-the-ante for your club when you hold an open house. The incentive: Pizza Party! Members, encourage your officers to hold a Pizza Party Open House! Club Officers: Throw a party, invite more guests, increase your membership.
Well "Great, Awesome! How does this terrific event work?" I can hear your exclamation from here! Funny that you ask that question, since I have the answers!
You could assist your Club Officers as they plan, schedule, and hold a Membership Building Open House between now and June 30. As a member you could offer to assist your club officers. You could even earn credit for your Competent Leadership Project 6 (Help Organize a Club Membership Campaign) by helping or your Competent Leadership Project 10 (Membership Campaign Chair) by leading the event.
Your club does not even need to call this a "Pizza Party." You can theme it and promote it in whatever ways works for your club. District 84 will reimburse one large one-topping pizza (maximum $13 each; maximum 6 pizzas) for every six expected attendees.
But, we meet in the morning, what do we do? Pizza in the morning sounds, just ... yucky. I agree! So we do have an option for you! District 84 will reimburse up to the same dollar amount towards coffee, donuts, etc. as you would incur buying pizza. Requirements - Before Your Open House
Great! I Love It! Now what? Your club officers have received a how-to email, contact one of them and volunteer to run your club's Pizza Party. You can also contact us at
with any questions or clarifications.
Here's wishing you the best! - Mike McLean, DTM, riding "May The Growth Be With You" in our Run For The Roses!
The Press Box
By Scott Hoehn, DTM - Public Relations Manager
Feelin' Like a Clydesdale, ya'all!
I never knew how busy District 84's clubs would make my role, but MAN did many of you take advantage of Club Growth Director, Mike McLean's Open House Incentive! Numerous clubs sent me prepared press releases (using Toastmaster-provided templates), announcing their events. From there, I submitted the releases to media outlets in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Ocala, Gainesville, Melbourne, Orlando, Apopka and some little towns I had no idea existed in Florida.
The results? Many clubs reported outstanding turnouts to their events resulting in several new members! What's your story; what's your event? Send it my way (email@example.com) and we'll make sure the word gets out. If it doesn't make it to press by June 30th, our incoming leadership team will carry your message forward. Here's to an outstanding race to the finish line. Cheers!
- Scott Hoehn, DTM, PDG, riding "Outta Focus" in our Run For The Roses!
Bits & Bites
Division tid "bits" from your Division Directors
Division A celebrated the 40 years anniversary of Lilian R Bradley at an event in downtown Jacksonville.
The club is proud to promote its members and to award its distinguish recognition to its leaders and members.
Guests included Past International Director David Hollingshead, Past District 47 Governor Wanda Brown, Program Quality Director-elect, Mike McLean, and District 84 Club Extension Chair, Linda Sarkis.
Lilian R Bradley is proud to have served Area 12 and District 84 with its many members including Valerie Braham, Division A Governor, Area 12 Director Kenny Harper, and Murika Davis. We're also very proud to have our very own Earl Kitchen bring home the 3rd Place trophy he won at the District's spring conference, "High Anxiety."
The club is also proud of its President, David Langley - A 14 year veteran member who has not missed one(1) single meeting and was the recipient of the Lilian R Bradley recognition Award, a rarely given award.
As the Division A Director, I am proud to all of our clubs and congratulate 4 clubs that have reached the 40 years milestone of existence, service to the community, and have enriched the lives of many:
- River City Toastmasters - Club 892 - Chartered in 1972 - Celebrated its 45 years anniversary
- Top O' the Rock - Club 2155 - chartered in 1975 - Celebrated its 42 years anniversary
- Lillian R. Bradley Toastmasters - Club 2346 - Chartered in 1977 - Celebrated its 40 years anniversary
- Toastmasters at UF & Shands - Club 3661 - Chartered in 1977 - Celebrated its 40 years anniversary
It's been an honor and a privilege to have served as the Division A Director. I wish our membership and the 2016-2017 Leadership team all the best in their future endeavor.
Wilson Santos, DTM
Division A Director - riding "Appaloosa Shining Star" for our Run For The Roses!
Division B salutes our Outstanding Club accomplishments:
- 00605137 Viera/Suntree
- 0068584 South Beach
- 00006690 Collins Club
- 00000363 Harris Communicators
- 00621469 Beachsiders Club
Well Done Division B. I'm so proud of all your efforts and accomplishments!
Several additional clubs are within imminent reach of Distinguished Status. Go Division B! We're rounding the final stretch!
Congratulations to newly chartered club : Peace Talkers, who meet at an idyllic and peaceful setting outside a Buddhist Temple. Special thanks to Pim Parpart.
Immediate Past District Director, Becky McGilton is in the process of chartering another new club at the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce. Go Becky!
It's been an honor for me to serve as the Division B Director this year. I've met many amazing and enthusiastic members in our clubs who are truly committed, and supportive of their clubs and members.
I'm eternally grateful for the outstanding team of Area Directors, Candace Anderson, Warren Winters, Tina Smith,Paul Edwards, Terrance Burt and my assistant Deb Wilde. We've laughed, learned, and grown as individuals and in our Division B family.
Our Advanced Communicators Club is hosting our Division B end of year picnic and TALL TALES CONTEST on Saturday June 17, 12 noon - 4pm at Pelican Beach Park, 1525 Highway A1A, Satellite Beach.
In closing, please help me congratulate our incoming Division B Director Elizabeth Muchow.
Susan Schulz DTM
Division B Director 2016-2017 riding "Saltwater Speaker" in our Run For The Roses!
Division E has had an "energized" year! I would like to thank our leadership team for all they have done during 2016-2017. I also would like to thank every club officer who helped their club thrive with enthusiasm. It has been an honor working with you all and I am so proud of everything we have accomplished.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Stephanie Swyers, DTM
Division E Director 2016-2017 - riding "Energized Eclipse" for our Run For The Roses!
Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to make each of your Areas strong this year:
- Area 50: Humberto Santiago CC, CL - Assisted by Astrid Rios CC, CL
- Area 51: Keshia Gaines ACB, ALB - Assisted by Nicole Meola CC, ALB
- Area 52: Regina Cruz CC, CL - Assisted by Lynn Ramsey - ACG, ALB
- Area 53: Shelley Paros ACG, ALB - Assisted by Cathy Knott CC, ALB
- Area 54: Debbie Kent-Zimmerman ACG, CL - Assisted by William Mellas ACB
Speaking with the Champs
Don't Panic -- Those are the words found on the great book of universal knowledge -
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Douglas Adams, the author of that the wonderful book of the same name, did me a great service as I've taken "Don't Panic" as my personal mantra before stepping into any and every speaking opportunity.
Any speaker will experience a certain degree of stress and anxiety in the moments leading up to and sometimes during a presentation. But it's nothing that can't be channeled into the performance itself. While you're waiting to be introduced the next time you present reflect on the following:
Have you practiced this speech? -- If you have, then --
Have you warmed up? Are you vocally prepared? If you are --
Have you done your technical and logistical work prior to this performance? If so,
Don't Panic -- you're ready and you've positioned yourself and the audience for a great time.
If you've not had the opportunity to complete the above 3 check in points by all means
PANIC! and run screaming for the hills! Regroup and come back at a later date. You owe it to audience to be prepared each and every time your allowed the honor to present.
So take it to heart and
Don't Panic -- and prepare.
I'll also leave you with a further bit of insight from Douglas Adam's
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy -- "It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes."
Welcome to Jordan's Pondering, that sliver of the universe where I tinker with tidbit-ish questions of words and wit, writing and speaking, and stories and yarns. I'll try to serve up stuff you can use, and if I don't know the answers (as may well be the case) at least I'll strive to ask the right questions.
An Orthodox View on Using Original Material
I was lucky enough to lead a workshop on storytelling at the District 84 Spring Conference earlier this month. The audience was engaged, the material was fresh, the energy was high - the morning unfolded the way I had hoped it would. The only drawback might have been that there wasn't enough time to cover everything - but, really, that would have taken days; there's never going to be enough time. I covered the several points that I thought my audience could easily harness right away. I left other points on the table, though I did include them in my outline.
Rather than wait for the next workshop, I'll tackle one of those points here:
Don't use other people's personal stories.
Some twenty years ago I was a featured speaker at an evening event. I wanted them to have my very best - which is always the attitude you should bring to your presentations. I invested serious time and energy weaving a tale that actually featured a number of the people in the audience. My labors paid off. The audience loved it. People even asked for written copies of my remarks. I felt great.
Imagine my surprise when, a few years later at a similar event, with some of the same people attending, a speaker occupying my old slot told almost the same story: same setting, same plot, same theme, many of the same characters and whimsical phrases. Of course, many people in the audience had no idea that this was not his brainchild. He certainly never let on.
But there were a few folks in the crowd who knew better. One of them asked the speaker about it, in a quiet moment later that evening. He sheepishly acknowledged that his work had been "inspired" by mine, and that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Of course, some of the audience were bound to tell me about it - which is how I'm able to share this with you.
Years ago I attended a workshop presented by a humorist who has enjoyed a national audience and performed at major events. He urged his students never to purloin someone's signature joke, tagline, or story. Of course, amateurs do it all the time. Most of the time, professionals don't. When they do, people hear about it. For example, check out the new item at this link. This Washington Post Story, titled "A writer accused Conan O'Brien of stealing his jokes. Now, they're going to trial," is an education in itself:
Of course, this doesn't apply to the countless oft-told jokes we find in those old, massive tomes, like Milton Berle's Private Joke File. For example, you can comfortably use Berle's "A specialist is a doctor with a smaller practice but a bigger home." And I wouldn't want to discourage my friends from telling me the best one-liners from a Kimmel or Fallon routine that aired the night before. Just don't use that routine in a presentation like its your own.
Of course, it is fine to employ an historical anecdote - say, Joshua Chamberlain's charge down Little Round Top. It is also okay to use famous parables and fables, such as Aesop's gem about the fox and the grapes, as long as you do nothing to encourage the audience to believe that you are their creator, and you use them sparingly (the fables, not the grapes). The audience has probably heard another speaker use the same fable to make the same point just last year. And the year before that.
How many more times must I hear a speaker, whom I know to be capable of so much more, build up to a conclusion by saying, "it mattered to that one. It mattered to that one...."
Why the fuss? Is it illegal? Well, as the Washington Post piece indicates, it is uncommon for a humorist to lose a copyright suit for stealing a joke or two - though someone is certainly gunning for Conan. However, stealing a personal story, laden with more detail, may make you a better target. Still, unless you have 2.3 million Twitter followers, or are using your material on a national stage, it is unlikely to land you in court.
is unprofessional, though. If you aspire to be a professional speaker, or to satisfy the higher standards of the craft as an amateur, then you should avoid this problem.
Use your own material.
This, of course, forces you to sift through your memories, review the events of the day, look for relationships in seemingly unrelated events, and search for meaning in the zillions of mini-stories that comprise your life. This is how you'll grow as a speaker, writing your own material. Shortcuts won't do.
A final payoff: audiences recognize authenticity. They recognize the imitation, as well - if not consciously, then at a deeper level, but most of them pick up on it. Be authentic. When you present, don't purloin someone else's signature jokes. Serve a steady fare of your own personal stories. If you are using some old reliable one-liners, make sure to include some new material, all your own. You'll hone your skills, hew to a higher standard, and connect with your audience.
Jordan Camenker is an award-winning humorist who provides coaching, teaching and entertainment on topics pertaining to writing and public speaking; comedy and wit; humor in the workplace; and Lincoln, law, and Tesla. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great Ending to a Long Tradition of Fall Conferences
Toastmasters International has recently decided that for the most efficient use of district resources, members will be best served by reducing the workload of those involved with organizing, creating, budgeting, negotiating and promoting semi-annual conferences. And believe us...it's a TON of effort to put on our spectacular events! This coming November will be our final fall conference with the most-fitting theme of "The Great Gatsby!" It will be held in the gorgeous Renaissance Hotel at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. Complete details will be revealed at the upcoming Toastmasters Leadership Institute, by conference chair, Julie McLean, DTM. Don't miss it!