So many exciting things happening: Accredited Speaker Bob Hooey and International Director Mary Morrison will add to the great education sessions, delicious food and networking, amazing speakers and evaluators, fun and exciting contests and District officer elections. Register now for great rates and remember to help your club create a basket for the silent auction. There is also going to be a special celebration Saturday night that you won’t want to miss. Visit our spring conference website http://d21springconference.ca/
Well, if it does … we have good news for you. Our call for educational session presenters for the 2018 D21 Spring Conference in Kelowna, has been extended until February 18th!
So, if you have been too busy with Toastmasters activities that our last deadline passed you by, then this will be great news.
We are looking for proposals from experienced Toastmasters to deliver educational sessions that will be of interest to our conference attendees and be related to communication & leadership skill development and/or of general interest. You might consider tag-teaming with another Toastmaster as co-presenters.
We have also confirmed that we will be holding Cracker Barrel Sessions. If you aren’t familiar with the term, they are quick 20-minute presentations. As a Presenter you will deliver your presentation three times, back-to-back. Your audience chooses which presentation they want to attend and participate in. If you are looking for a challenging speaking opportunity … dare to be a Cracker Barrel Presenter.
Join our Education Team and don’t miss this opportunity for a fun adventure.
Pass it on! Spread the word! Forward this to people you know that would make great presenters. And, let us know!
Contact the Education Chair, Rae Stonehouse firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-451-6564.
Imagine the Possibilities … Create Your Path!
Click here to download the 2018 District 21 Education Session Presentation Proposal Form.
Note: Last Submission Date: February 18th, 2018@ midnight.
District 21’s last Spring Conference and first Annual Conference will be taking place in Kelowna April 20th – 22nd. Register now for a fun and exciting weekend in beautiful wine country. We are looking for clubs to put together gift baskets for the silent auction fund raiser. Consider a theme night where you bring and assemble goodies for a basket or two, or three. It’s a great way to re-gift and participate in the conference planning, in a small, but incredibly meaningful way. See you there!!
Call For Conference Educational Session Presenters
Spring is around the corner [okay, it is a big corner!] and your District Conference 2018 Team is actively working on maintaining the high standard of Toastmasters conferences that the Okanagan is known for.
If your New Year’s resolutions include delivering a presentation at a District level conference, well then have we got an opportunity for you!
Are you interested in offering a workshop or cracker barrel session at the Spring 2018 Conference?
Do you have a creative and inspiring workshop in communication, leadership, toastmasters or personal development to share? Do you have other creative or valuable topics that you would like to present?
Join the Education Team at the District 21 Conference, in Kelowna on April 20-22, 2018.
Please note that our workshops will be 45 min sessions and Cracker Barrel will be 15 min sessions. As presenters, you can earn credit towards your education goals and expand your horizons.
We are also seeking Workshop Hosts to introduce Speakers.
Come join our Education Team and don’t miss this opportunity for a fun adventure.
Do you know someone who would be a great fit for these roles?
Pass it on! Spread the word! Send this to people you know that would make great presenters or hosts! And, let us know!
Contact the Education Chair, Rae Stonehouse email@example.com or 250-451-6564.
Imagine the Possibilities … Create Your Path!
Click here to download the 2018 District 21 Education Session Presentation Proposal Form.
Note: Last Submission Date: February 10, 2018
A decision has not yet been reached by the committee as to whether Cracker Barrel sessions will be held or not.
Coming to our doorstep this August: The most awesome Toastmaster International event of the year!
Over 2000 members from around the globe will be convening in Vancouver for the world’s biggest speech contest, along with international elections, inspiring speakers and some seriously fun global networking.
Will you be there? Pat Johnson, Past International President, most certainly will be. She’s been attending this annual event since 1987 in Chicago, Illinois and is a huge supporter of its benefits.
This year, Pat is the Host District Convention Chair, as District 21 and District 96 welcome the world to Vancouver as co-hosting districts. One of Pat’s projects is overseeing the search for a large team of energetic volunteers who will be congenial ambassadors and facilitators throughout the convention.
Q. Is the Helping Hands program still looking for volunteers? YES!
In return, they must commit to a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer service during the convention. They also receive a custom-ordered volunteer’s vest.
“That order has to be sent in VERY SOON so we’re being proactive in confirming our volunteers,” reminds Pat. “Do check the convention highlights and Helping Hands link—right now! We expect all 200 spaces will be filled soon.”
Q. How will volunteers be assigned their roles?
Come early July, you’ll be canvassed via email about actual tasks. Make sure you respond quickly. “People get to pick, first-come first serve – so you snooze, you lose! We’re not looking for emcees here,” Pat adds. “It’s really all those supportive, non-flashy roles…but you can’t run a great convention without committed volunteers.”
Here’s Pat’s basic list of those vital volunteer roles:
- Security at the doors, checking tickets and ushering people into certain sections of the contest. You’ve got 2300 people storming the doors, vying for best seats for the world championship, and while it’s open seating, there are people with disabilities and VIPs who need special attention.
- Jacks and Jills of all trades, to help out as needed during contests or sessions, including handing out programs, attending the stages to support entrances and exits, or helping with props.
- Registration for 2000+ attendees, many of whom will be visiting Canada for the first time.
- Staffing the stores that sell TM merchandise.
- Welcoming people at the airport, in the main hotels and on site with west coast hospitality. Where can I find a vegan restaurant? I’m looking for halal food. How to I get to the skytrain? What is a seabus?
Q. Why are volunteers important to the convention?
“I’ve been treated curtly by volunteers and I’ve been treated royally by volunteers, so they truly alter our experience.” And Pat should know—she’s attended an amazing range of conventions, from Kuala Lumpur to Las Vegas to New Orleans.
Q. Any parting thoughts to might-be volunteers?
“Just make it a priority,” says Pat. “Come September, you’ll have no regrets….and you’ll have played a part in this ultimate opportunity that happened on our doorstep in 2017.”
Check out the Helping Hands Program here and be a vital part of the 2017 International 2017, August 23 to 26 in Vancouver.
Richard Kunz is a jazz musician and leader of a five-piece combo. He and the combo jazzed up our evening dances at a recent Toastmasters Conference in Vancouver. The workshop he and his combo led on leadership was beyond jazz.
Leadership Lessons from Richard Kuhn’s workshop:
It is important for a leader to lead AND follow.
First, the leader lays down eight bars of music. Then he throws it to another member of the combo who then improvises within that structure.
Lesson: A leader provides the initial idea, but then lets someone else in the team come up with his idea(s). In fact, everyone in the combo (team) gets to “riff” off the initial idea and subsequent ideas.
Outcome: The sum becomes more than its parts. Everyone has a say and the overall piece of music is much more than one musician (leader) could do by himself.
It is important for a leader to listen.
When a player contributes their 8 bars of improvisation, the leader and other combo members (team members) actively listening. When the leader again contributes, it is with a new, refreshed and invigorated spirit. Same for other combo (team) members.
Lesson: Only by active listening and hearing the others’ contributions can the leader fashion a new, as yet unheard 8 bars of music.
Outcome: The music takes on a life of its own. There are twists and turns that did not exist in the universe until a few moments ago.
Living in the Eternal “Now.”
Only by being open to what is happening at this moment, as scary as it may seem, can the leader hope to have his team create something new and valuable. The music is never the same as in any previous performance. Nor will it be the same in future performances. All that has happened in the past few moments (days, months, years) influences the present moment. But all magic happens in the “now.”
Lesson: Only by being in the now can the leader and other combo (team) members allow that magic.
Outcome: Combo (team) members feel validated by having their contributions listened to, encouraged and added to.
Stepping out of Ego.
No place in jazz for ego. It only creates discord. A leader allows combo (team) members to lead them for a while.
Lesson: By recognizing that he doesn’t have all the answers and stepping out of the way, the leader shows humility.
Outcome: This stance encourages and supports other combo (team) members to reach down inside and share their most intimate selves…allows them to create a joyful sound. The team to feel they belong in the team and that, together, they can and do achieve above and beyond.
It Takes Courage.
An insecure leader may try to have things all his own way. Team members may follow, but they may also not “buy in” fully. The leader may not get solutions other than their own.
The leader’s ideas may be completely changed by the end of the process. There may be very little left of their original idea. Yet the outcome may be far greater.
Only if a leader has courage to let go of their idea(s) can a greater idea or outcome emerge.
This can take great courage. There is a saying that might apply here: you can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit. A leader is willing to have others shine in the spotlight.
Every Toastmasters Conference is different. Richard Kunz and his combo certainly sparked and “jazzed” up the last one.
His site: <https://www.jazzmind.net/blog/category/leadership> What lessons can we glean from Jazz into our daily lives? <http://joyenergyandhealth.com/2017/05/24/jazz-leadership-mastery-newsletter-may-24-2017/>
Submitted by Matti Anttila CC, CL, VPM Oak Bay Toastmasters
The beauty of planning a conference with a team is deciding on what pieces you want to see for yourself in those three days. Over the last twelve months our Spring Conference Teams have expanded, all working towards the vision of providing a refreshing and educational learning experience for our attendees. The Conference Teams embody the slogan of: “A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats”. They are not only members and leaders within their clubs and district, but they are also vibrant people who lead busy lives outside of Toastmasters.
Although it’s always so easy to look at what we could have done to be better, in our debriefing session, the team agreed that it was overall an enjoyable and enriching conference. We had a vision in mind, we worked towards the goals, and we overcame challenges along the way. For Annie and I, we could not be prouder of what the team has accomplished. The heart, thoughts, ideas, time, and efforts put into the conference made it the best we could offer.
This is a Toastmaster experience we will forever remember. Thank you all for being a part of it.
As Conference Co-Chairs, and on behalf of the Spring Conference Team, we wish to extend our gratitude to all the attendees, volunteers, presenters and guests. In addition to all the unsung heroes who generously offered their time, effort and resources throughout the past year to help create an outstanding event, we have a long list of Team Leaders who deserve special recognition…
…District Director Alan Warburton, Program Quality Director John Sherber and Club Growth Director Mike Bown. The generous support, service and dedication of the trio is immeasurable. Following the values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence they were able to lay the groundwork for great things to happen.
…Education Chair & Conference Mentor Chris Kozakowski. It was May 14th, 2016 when Chris, Annie and I sat down at a restaurant for a late lunch. We ordered food and immediately started chatting about Toastmaster Conferences – our first ever experiences, what we liked, and what we wanted to see in our Spring 2017 Conference. We chatted for three hours before parting ways. It was that defining moment that I realized Annie and I were going to really enjoy this conference planning process. Wearing her Education Chair Hat, Chris did a ton of work to make sure the sessions were well-planned and offered high quality. It was a huge bonus to have a mentor with the depth of experience and expertise that Chris offers.
…Program Quality Director John Sherber. Annie and I met John for the first time at the June District Officer Training. Right after that, John immediately involved himself in the planning process. He made many trips from Victoria to Surrey and visited the hotel. Along with Chris, John has been on our teleconference calls from the very beginning, and was instrumental in providing support and feedback to the Conference Team.
…Publications Coordinator Ros Hansen. It’s always a pleasure working with people you admire, and Ros is one of them. As the District Administration Manager (DAM Madam Ros), she truly embodies “A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats”. Ros is not only involved in the District Leadership Team, she is also the coordinator for the District newsletter “What’s the Buzz”. For the Conference, committed services above and beyond her designated role as Publications Coordinator. Ros was also part of the Sponsorship Committee, helping to locate many of the goodies in the registration welcome bags. Ros was also involved in creating the promotional posters and videos we have on the District Facebook page and website. Wouldn’t you also agree that the brochure was professional with messages, acknowledgements and advertising throughout? Thank you Ros! (Note from Ros: Special mention of appreciation goes to Cheryl Crotty for her incredible support; to Don Rokosz, for the inspiration behind the survival kits; to Hana Khalaf our Gift Basket Coordinator who was working at full speed picking up gift baskets from various locations and polishing them up for presentation, and who also prepared the name badges; and to the fantastic crew of Pro Edge and Evening Edition volunteers who helped locate specialty items, assemble the pot of honey gifts and collate the survival kits for the first timers’ welcome package. What a team!)
…Facilities Chair Ron Newell. Ron is also a key Toastmaster role model for us. We saw how Ron would often arrive at Toastmaster events a day earlier to set up as the District Logistic Manager. That’s only one example of the wealth of details we have learned just by observing him. When Ron joined the team, it was evident that we were going to have a spectacular time working with him. Starting from visiting the hotel to meeting the hotel staff before the conference, to working with Focus Audio & Visual on the sound system, to approaching sponsors to offset conference expenses, Ron has gone above and beyond in putting together a successful conference experience for all of our members. As Ron said, he has walked away from the experience learning many new skills…and so have we.
…Sponsorship Chair Cheryl Crotty. Cheryl is such an organized and detail oriented person, which is needed for the Sponsorship Chair. This role requires a lot of delegation and communication with the Sponsorship Team, in getting the logos sent to our Publications Coordinator and Website Chair, and following up with the Registration Chair on getting the goodies into the welcome bags. Special mention to Jamie MacDonald who secured a much appreciated sponsorship for the program brochure. Cheryl’s collaboration with our auctioneer Don Rokosz on getting the live auction items organized and displayed was fantastic. Special thanks to Ron Newell, Don Rokosz and Marcus Ray for doing such a great job of closing deals and accomplishing so much in such short order, and for their enthusiasm and outstanding service during the auction. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteer teams who donated gift baskets for auctions. This is the biggest team we have on the conference committee with sub teams and volunteers, thank you all!
…Public Relations Chair Andy Vuong was enthusiastic in wanting to take on this role. We had multiple phone discussions on ideas and tasks. With the work of Ros Hansen on creating the posters and videos, the PR for the conference proved to be positive and effective.
…Registration Chair Carolyn Bray and Finance Chair Cila Kwong. It has been a blast working with Carolyn and Cila, who are both ‘First-Timer Conference Organizers’. The meetings over coffee and the teleconference calls were instrumental in every way. We got a chance to see how the Fall 2016 Conference unfolded, and planned for what to expect leading up to our Spring 2017 Conference. These two Committee Teams were the busiest over the three-day Conference, often managing their stations during peak hours and dinner times. Thank you to our Committee Teams and Volunteers!
…Volunteer Chair Valerie Adolph. Val has been an absolute gem in our Conference Team. At our first meeting together, we shared our volunteer experiences at past Conferences and Val suggested clarifying the volunteer roles with job descriptions. This really helped us when we got into the later part of the Conference planning when Val worked with the various Committee Chairs in helping them find volunteers. Val has a talent with language and word usage; she often edited our Conference documents before they were sent out, which was a big bonus. Many thanks Val!
…Decorations Chair and Gift Basket Coordinator. It is often the small pieces of the conference planning that contribute to the bigger picture. Karen Van Delft, our Decorations Chair did a spectacular job with color coordination and creative ideas that fit with the theme. (We would have had gold streamers coming off the ceiling if it wasn’t for hotel restrictions!) It was fun coming up with ideas and seeing them come alive on the day. Thanks also to the committee teams who helped fluff up those paper decorations. It will be all the small things that add up when we think of all the memories of the Conference many years to come.
…Banner Parade Chair Fred Jones. It has been a pleasure working with Fred, who assured us he would be happy to help out in anyway. We had heard from our Program Quality Director that Fred would like to take on as banner Parade Chair. From there, Fred knew exactly what he needed to do. Fred was organized in getting the clubs to assemble prior to the open ceremony; he was also stellar as the introducer of the clubs. Fred was another ‘Toastmaster Who Wore Many Hats’ throughout the three days, as he and Ron Newell managed the audio visual table.
...Website Chair Bev Young. We owe all our gratitude to Bev for the beautifully and professionally created website. Our goal was to make it user-friendly for registrants to sign up and find information. Bev brought in her professional background and shared her expertise with the Conference Team. Along with the Website Editor Eric Sayre, they worked on updating the website and keeping the information fresh right up to the Spring Conference.
Submitted by Conference Co-Chairs Jenny and Annie Peng
Many thanks to Shawn Gold, Official Photographer for a great selection of Conference photos.
Drum roll please…the last minute details were all but taken care of, and it was time to find out just how well Co-Chairs Annie and Jenny Peng would make good on their commitment and vision to deliver an amazing Conference.
The results are in. It’s pretty much unanimous. “Spring into action…take the leap and lead” was jam-packed with inspiring stories, rich breakout sessions, spirited networking and exciting highlights.
Festivities started off informally on Friday, with a great turn out at the First Timer’s Reception, hosted by Marcus Ray. Attendees mixed and mingled while enjoying some light snacks and tracking down little known facts about each other to earn a First Timer’s Survival Kit.
Next up, the official opening ceremonies.
Banner Parade Chair Fred Jones smoothly orchestrated the ceremony, formally opening the Conference with the Banner Parade fittingly with a touch of flair and fanfare…and then the very capable, vivacious Emcee Veronica Armstrong took charge of the proceedings, keeping things fun and humourous over the three-day event.
Our keynote speaker Jana Barnhill and Educational Session Lead Marg Hope delivered strong takeaway messages and emphasized the value of learning.
Jana urged us to ” Step Up Baby” and achieve our full leadership potential in ‘Step Up’ and “Celebrate” educational sessions. She drove a point home: we are in this educational organization specifically because it’s focused on the delivery of a communication and leadership program.
Marg Hope’s interactive sessions gave us insight into to the concept of “‘Be a Host, Not a Guest”.
In “Breakfast Basics” she got everyone out of their seats and engaged in the learning process, while we practiced volleying the conversation.
Margaret Page, Pat Johnson, David Hobson, Audrey Pope, Richard Kunz, Jim Marquardt, and Mary Morrison offered a wide variety of intriguing topics (‘Choose Your Words Wisely: The Art of Using More Powerful Language’, ‘The Secrets of Building and Sustaining Vibrant Corporate Clubs’, ‘Pathways’, ‘Make the Mic Your Friend’, ‘What’s Your Leadership Style?’ ‘Challenge Membership’, and ‘Leaders as Champions of Change’ respectively) bringing us a wealth of strategies, ideas, humour, secrets, entertainment and resources to enhance our Toastmasters learning.
Richard Kunz and his musicians entertained us with some cool (hot?) jazz and educated us about the importance of listening and sharing leadership. Matti Antilla (Oak Bay) has agreed to share his memories and impressions of the “Musical” Education Session.
Two big Contests! Props to all the competitors…
and the audience who contributed to the excitement! Cila toasting with Cloverdale Toastmasters…Cila Kwong toasting the crew with Cloverdale Toastmasters…
Karen and Moya with Moya’s daughter Katie…
Some Islanders in party mode…
Jan Ireland and Virginia Keast ‘Puttin on the Ritz” to promote the 2017 Fall Conference in Victoria…
Past District Leaders…
White Rock Evening Edition Toastmasters…
The Live Auction
What a fun idea. The things in the auction were to die for! Our wallets and bank accounts could have easily been drained on the amazing things.
Attendees got a first hand look at the talented Don Rokosz, Auctioneer and Educator Extraordinaire, who not only provided an engaging way to raise funds to offset the costs of producing the conference, but also offered an elegant ed session in disguise for those of us wanting to learn the secrets of adding pizzazz to introductions, motivation, inspiration and selling ideas.
A special note of thanks to the Surrey Toastmasters 2590, who provided a whole squad of dedicated volunteers to ensure the auction ran smoothly and successfully, and to our sponsors (below), who helped us fund so many extras, and provided a great variety of exciting raffle prizes.
DISTRICT 21 CLUBS AREAS & DIVISIONS
with special thanks to…
Early Edition Toastmasters
White Rock Evening Edition Toastmasters
Professional Edge Toastmasters
Fraser Heights Cornerstone Toastmasters
Lead Conference Co-Chairs Jenny Peng, Annie Peng, Conference Mentor and Advisor Chris Kozakowski and Program Quality Director John Sherber are preparing to deliver another amazing conference that will inspire us and ‘Bring Back The Buzz’ in our Toastmaster journey.
There is no substitute for attending a live, face-to-face professional development conference relevant to your goals and needs. It all unfolds starting April 21, 2017 at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Surrey, BC.
Don’t miss out on the fun and learning! The conference offers two exciting contests, unique opportunities for networking, five meals over three days, entertainment and inspiration with top notch speakers such as Jana Barnhill and Margaret Hope...and much more.
Looking for a highly rewarding leadership experience with an inspired Dream Team? Step up now! Contact the Conference Team to explore the opportunities.
Are there other ways to help the hard working Conference Team? Getting your room at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel finalized early is vital to the team…and as a bonus, offers you the most value. Book your room NOW, at a discounted rate of $125 before it runs out!
Christmas Special on Registrations in effect till December 31, 2017. Spring into our Future…Take the Leap and Lead! READ MORE
It is now just one week since we wrapped up the final closing ceremonies of the District 21 Fall Conference. How can it be that something that began as a seed of an idea at this time last year, and has taken the full year to plan, visualize, organize and orchestrate, can now be over?
And yet, it’s not really over, is it? When a team comes together with a clear vision, and that vision is realized regardless of the obstacles, hurdles, and hard work to keep it alive, the after-glow sticks around, the learning lingers.
Phyllis and I had a very clear vision for the District 21 Fall Conference. Our mission was to create a Fall Conference that was different from some of the others we had attended. We wanted to bring it to Tigh Na Mara Resort & Spa in Parksville, where attendees could enjoy the oceanside setting in a beautiful forest, the little log cabins with fireplaces, access to the Grotto Spa. We wanted spaces in the agenda so that Toastmasters could talk to each other, get to know each other, spend time together. Our mandate was to have Toastmasters connect with each other, be inspired by the surroundings, the speakers, the learning, and the food. And we wanted to ensure that everyone enjoyed themselves and raved about this conference.
I have to be honest, there were many times in the planning stages that it felt as though the District council did not fully embrace our vision and it was a learning process for us all to be mindful of both the District’s needs and our own vision, whilst working together focussed on the common purpose of serving the Toastmaster members. The organization of the conference was not without tension, and I don’t imagine planning a conference ever is. In the end, I believe that communication, compromise, teamwork and understanding on the part of the conference chairs, our PQD John Sherber, and the conference team, prevailed to keep us all on track and the result was a fabulous event.
Would I do this again? Well, never say never. It was a huge and arduous undertaking for the whole team, who committed countless hours and support. I can honestly say it was a labour of love for me and it’s still too soon to articulate all the lessons learned. I would absolutely, unequivocally encourage all of you to consider taking this job on at some point in your Toastmaster career. You do not have to have an abundance of experience – there are lots of people out there who are willing to mentor and support you. The skills acquired will follow you out into the real world; organization, team work, facilitating, negotiating, project management, leading. The work is hard and the rewards are great. Will I do this again? Not right away……I am just going to let the whole experience sink in for awhile…..
Kristin Nickells, DTM
D21 Fall Conference 2016 Co-Chair