‘Best Toastmaster Year Ever’ Challenge

Professional Edge Toastmasters Christmas Breakfast Party

Many Pro Edge Toastmasters revellers took on a challenging wintery snowy morning, for a fun meeting and a great way to end the first half of the year.  While the rest of us were snug at home bright and early, Jamie, the Chair took on both the Chairman & Toast Crumbs “reporter” roles ((Toast Crumbs).  Jamie and the elves outdid themselves with this creative take on the traditional inspirational meeting review…. 

Hey there fellow Pro-Edgers…Here are your “Toast Crumbs” for December 14, 2016.

It was no “Silent Night” – although dark outside…We had 3 speakers speaking, 2 timers timing, and a partridge in a pear tree.

 

  • Angel Sheila was our first speaker, bearing gifts for us all, and she will be “travelling afar”… to Vegas to see the wearable technology!
  • Wiseman Noel shared a “Joy to the World” story of 2500 children rescued in a dark time in history.
  • Time traveller Angelika took us back to 1970 and Simon and Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair – Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme.  Yes, Deck the Halls on a Midnight Clear.
  • Rhona and Cheryl manned the Christmas lights that “blinked a bright red and green… as the speakers rushed by with their treasures…”

 

Good King Ron Wenceslas called us to order and provided feedback – he also provided lots of savory goodies.  Ken and Rita “joined the chorus” and lead a round of feedback for Noel and Angelika.  Renate, Gary and even Tiny Tim provided the introductions.

Ken, the Elf wearing Santa’s red hat said: “I enjoyed the opening remarks to get us thinking…. Where are we going?  I really enjoyed Noel’s speech on how one person can make such an unselfish decision which has such a dramatic outcome in the lives of children which lead to adults and families.”

“Dusting off the crumbs from my tie and sport jacket, this is what I remember,” said Elf Gary, (who apparently is father-in-law to a Tennessee hillbilly),

  • butter tarts and learning about bracelets that shock you into getting some exercise,
  • hot coffee and hearing about a hero in a hot pursuit for her life,
  • herb-flavoured omelettes and being enchanted by the magic of herbs to attract fairies, ward off evil spirits,
  • make dreams come true and deliver world peace.   

Yep… It filled up my belly and loaded my mind.  No better place to be on this morning, a mere 10 days from Christmas Eve”.  Now if I can just get the Nativity scene off the toilet seat… (you had to be there…)

Elf Rita added: “With Jamie, our chair’s opening remarks I have experienced a wonderfully emotional and encouraging meeting where we celebrated not only this Christmas season but each other’s growth.  A meeting worth getting up at 6:00 am”

Elf Noel said: “I feel healthier for having learned about the power of herbs, technology that can help and seeing fruits, vegetables and other guiltless items on a Christmas buffet spread.  I am happy that we have a club that can inspire so much joy at 7 a.m. when it is dark and freezing outside. The gingerbread man on Ron’s sweater will haunt my dreams.”

Sorry Noel, about those nightmares…

Now dash away dash away dash away all!

Chair-Elf Not On A Shelf   

Jamie

 

As the year unfolds, we challenge YOU to ”Have the best Toastmaster year ever!”  

 

Do you have a fun, unique, attention-getting way to promote your club in your community or motivate other Toastmasters?  Send a short article or video clip to letters@d21toastmasters.ca by the end of the month, and we will post it here.  

Last Month’s Contest Winner

It was a game of Scattergories: given the category of ‘Leadership’ and the initial letter “I” (i as in icicle) how many relevant words can you generate?

AND the winner is…   Drum roll please!

Entered by Sofia Simeonidis of OC Toastmasters club in Kelowna.  

And that’s a wrap for our 2016 monthly contests.  Do you enjoy contests?  Would you like to win a $10 Starbucks card?  

Do you enjoy a creative challenge?  We’d love to hear from you if you have fun ideas for future Bee Lucky contests.  We are particularly interested in contests that are Toastmaster-related and have clearly defined goals with minimal potential for judging bias, so we can easily determine winning entries.Our next contest is…. Come up with a contest!

 

Send entries to  letters@d21toastmasters.ca. The deadline for entries is January 30 2017.

The winner will be announced in the February newsletter and will win a $10 Starbucks card.  

 

“In the event of a tie for any potential Winning Entry, we may award two winning entries, consider Relevance/Creativity/Originality as a tiebreaker, or ask a tie breaking Judge to apply the same Judging Criteria to determine the winner.

 

Holiday Wishes from Division Teams

Division A…South Island

Division B…South Island (Victoria)

Division C…North Island and Powell River

Division E…Richmond and Delta

Division F…Surrey, North Delta

Division G…Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley

Division K…Central & South Okanagan, West Kootenays

Division L…Kootenays

 

Merry Christmas to all members,

I hope you all have a time of love and laughter, a chance to reconnect and recharge during this glorious holiday season.  

I have enjoyed working alongside of you and looking forward to meeting more members in 2017. I find working with the members inspiring thus;  Let our word for 2017 be INSPIRING.

 

On January 21 from 9 – 1 at the David Strong Building in UVIC will be the Club Officer Training.  It will be a time of INSPIRATION you can take back with you to your club and for your own toastmaster journey.  

 

See you early in the New Year,

Deborah Furlong, Division A Director

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  

Toastmasters members, family and friends, I wish you all best.

Carson Xia, Division K Director, VP Education, Penticton Speakers Toastmasters Club

 

Christmas time is that special time of year when we can forget about our everyday trials and tribulations and enjoy the company of family and friends. Allow yourself to eat too much, laugh too much, smile too much, because after all…, ’Tis the season!!  

 

On behalf of the Toastmasters of Division L, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Doug Lee, Division L Director

 

Andy Vuong, Area 11 Director celebrated the Christmas Spirit with several clubs across Division B.   

 

Advocates Toastmasters

Christmas Party and Gift Exchanging Table Topics

Victoria Beavers Toastmasters

 

Christmas Party at Harbour Towers

Norvic Toastmasters

 

Christmas Breakfast Party at Frankie’s Diner

Oak Bay Toastmasters

 

Christmas Party at Penny Farthing Pub

Belmont Babblers Toastmasters

 

Christmas Party Meeting

Warm Regards,

Jenny Peng

Division F Director 2016-2017

 

Area 50

Evening Edition Toastmasters ‘Old-Fashioned Christmas-Bring Your Festive Spirits-Get Together’

The Round Robin ‘Talking Stick’ stories revealed a wide diversity of  ancestral roots and traditions at our Christmas Party.  Our folks hail from England, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Quebec (awarded country status here), Russia,  Somalia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey,  Trinidad, Ukraine and the USA…as is our club tradition, we shared stories laughter, wine and yummy treats in a heart-warming Canadian gathering.  District 21 Toastmasters, May your holiday season be merry and bright!

2017 Promises to be a Great Year

“I sincerely hope 2016 has been a great year of growth for you personally and your club. It is so inspiring to see how supportive Toastmasters are to each other no matter what the situation which helps people grow into effective communicators and leaders.  By keeping our meetings interesting with the educational program first and foremost growth will continue indefinitely.  

Looking at 2017 as a whole promises more buzz in District 21:

January: Demo meetings in several potential clubs. Open houses in a few others. Guests flooding in as part of their new year’s resolutions, Ted Corcoran!

February: Toastmasters Month – Have you contacted your council to have a proclamation? Open houses scheduled?

March – April: Contests, Spring Conference.

May-June: Finishing off those last few awards/signing up members to become a Distinguished Club.

Summer:  International Convention with a cruise afterwards right here in BC!

Fall: Pathways Educational Experience launch

2017 will be very busy, but so exciting.  Let’s work together in the new year to make sure every club in District 21 is determined to bring in new members and keep working the educational program – that way we all grow.

Sincerely offer my best wishes to you and your loved ones during the holiday season.”

Regards,

Michael Bown DTM

District 21 Club Growth Director,  2016-2017

Meeting Ted Corcoran in Ireland

Earlier this fall while travelling through Europe, I had the distinct honour of meeting Ted Corcoran in Ireland. It was a pleasure to have had this opportunity.

 

En route to the Fingal Toastmasters meeting, his home club, he regaled me with stories of how he began in Toastmasters in 1985 by attending a meeting, just like each of us, and was asked to become the club President by the end of that meeting. An auspicious beginning to a grand Toastmasters career indeed. 

 

No one can tell his stories like he can, and they are hilarious. He has an amazing sense of humour. We are lucky here in District 21 to have him join us for the winter COT sessions.

 

He also told me stories of how he has dealt with adversity in his Toastmasters career, how sometimes the best ideas come from members like you and me, and provided me with tips on how to improve my corporate club. During the Fingal club.meeting, I could see how he has served his members with excellence, integrity and respect.

 

I have every faith that this winter COT session will be one not to be missed.

Do you want to learn how to create a thriving environment for your club? Are you looking for ways to enrich the Toastmaster experience for your members and improve your leadership skills? Do you want to learn in an atmosphere that will undoubted be jovial? If you answered yes to these questions, then join Ted Corcoran as he guides us on how to to create a quality club experience and become the best leaders that we can be.

 

See you at the Lower Mainland COT on January 14, 2017,

Leah Cheyne ACB, ALB

Area 54 Director

An Opportunity to Change Your Life

Can you remember one of those pivotal times in your life when someone said something to you that changed your life?

For me, meeting Ted Corcoran was one of those times. The man I met had something unique about him. It was the way he framed his answers to my questions.  It was the support he gave you when he knew it would be a challenge to accomplish the goals you had set for yourself. I must say he is even very forgiving when you spell his name wrong occasionally. If you want to hear a motivational presentation, this is the guy to get it from.  He will be with the Trio travelling the province at District 21 COT’s and Public Events (more info to come). Be sure to join us at one of these events near you this January!

Lower Mainland

Saturday, January 14th 2017,  9:00 am  — 1:00 pm

The Theatre, Panorama Ridge Secondary School, 13220 64 Avenue, Surrey

BC Interior

Sunday, January 15th 2017,   11:00 – 4:00 pm

Kelowna OC College, Centre for Learning Atrium, Kelowna

South Island

Saturday,  January 21st  2017,   9:00 am – 1:00 pm  

University of Victoria / David Strong, Victoria

North Island

Sunday, January 22nd  2017,  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm  

Oliver Woods Community Center, 6000 Oliver Rd, Nanaimo

This will be your opportunity to change your life.

Ted Corcoran,  Past International President from Ireland, and D21’s Mentor

Bio: Ted Corcoran joined Fingal toastmasters club in 1985 in Dublin. Having served at club and district level, he was elected District Governor of District 71 in 1994/1995 and led his district to President’s Distinguished District status, finishing second in the world in achievements that year.

This led to his election for a two-year term as an International Director in St Louis, Missouri in 1996, representing all the Toastmasters in the rest of the world outside North America.

In 2000, in Miami, he was elected 3rd Vice President and went on to serve as International President in 2003/2004, the first, and only European, to do so in the 90-year history of the organization.

As President, he presided over an International Board of 23, and 200,000 members in 10,000 clubs in 90 countries. His duties took him all over the world… to Australia, South Africa, the Middle East, Europe, USA, Canada, UK, and, naturally, to every corner of Ireland.  In total, Ted served for seven years on the Board of Directors – five as an officer and two as a director.

In 2011/12 he served as Region Advisor for Region 11 of Toastmasters International which brought him to Scotland, Switzerland, Belgium, India and South Africa.

He is an honorary member of eight Toastmasters clubs and regularly attends both the Fingal and Swords clubs in Dublin.

He has also been a member of Rotary International since 1991 and served as the President of the Dublin Rotary club (founded in 1911) in 2001/2002.

All the best,

John Sherber PQD D21

Building Our Membership Together for Success

Every Toastmaster deserves to be in a Distinguished Club

D21 Spring 2017 Conference

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.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-5-42-10-pmCall for Conference Volunteers

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! screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-50-32-pm

Christmas Special on Registrations in effect till December 31, 2017.  Spring into our Future…Take the Leap and LeadREAD MORE  

Toastmasters Pathways: A Conversation Continued

At the recent 2016 District 21 Fall Conference in Parksville, BC, Anna Rasmussen ACS, ALB

and Nils Erzinger ACB, ALB helped introduce us to Pathways with their presentation “Toastmasters Pathways: A Conversation.” In this article, Anna and Nils explore Pathways further and respond to some common questions from District 21 Toastmasters.

In case you haven’t heard, Toastmasters International will be introducing a brand new revitalized education program to District 21 this coming September. This new program is called Toastmasters Pathways. Click here for a brief overview of Pathways.

1. Why the Change? What are the benefits of Pathways?

In 2010, Toastmasters’ Board of Directors crafted a five-year strategic plan to modernize the communication track and renew the focus on leadership learning. Toastmasters Pathways addresses the growing need to provide greater access to educational materials and expanded online learning resources. The new program continues to offer experiential learning for members while providing a learning structure that is better suited to personalized goal setting and transferable skill development.

2. When can we access materials to get a look at the program?

Due to the fluidity of the rollout process, the exact time frame for each phase cannot be precisely predicted. The roll out phase for District 21 is slated for August/September 2017 as the best case scenario. All District 21 clubs will be encouraged to set Pathways in motion for their members when the roll out phase begins. Your VP of Education will be trained as Base Camp Manager to help you access materials and guide you through the new Pathways program.

3. Will clubs continue to provide manuals from the existing education program? Is there a cutoff date?

All current education manuals including the Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership manuals will be available throughout the two-year transitional phase which concludes at the end of 2019. After this date, all Toastmasters will be transitioned to the new Pathways program and the current education program will be retired.

4. Are there additional costs to Pathways?

Generally speaking, it is intended that members will not incur additional cost from Pathways unless they choose to order printed materials.  The printed materials and associated costs will be posted in the online Toastmasters International shop just as they are currently. Members who choose to have the materials shipped to them from World Headquarters will not have access to the interactive learning tools or to as many learning paths as those who participate online.  There may be a charge for some portions of the online program (similar to the current situation, where your CC/CL manuals are free but your AC manual costs).

5. Why can’t education credits be transferred?

The structure of Pathways is quite different than our current education program. While the current program has separate learning tracks for communication and leadership competencies, the new Pathways program combines and expands on these competencies within project and each learning path. At the heart of Pathways are five core learning competencies: public speaking; interpersonal communication; leading and managing; leading strategically; and building confidence. Each project provides opportunities to develop these core competencies plus other skills that support the disciplines of your chosen learning path.

To learn more, click here.

6. If I can’t transfer my current education credits, what was the point of completing projects in the current program?

Consider for a moment…why did you join Toastmasters? Members overwhelmingly indicate the main reasons for joining Toastmasters are to improve their public speaking skills, build confidence, and become more effective communicators. Each time you complete a project; you learn something new and progress closer to realizing your goals – the main reason for being in Toastmasters! All of our learning – the experiences, relationship building, personal growth, and professional development – we have gained while completing projects in the current education program will remain with us. This is true even if the current educational credits won’t transfer to Pathways. Take a moment to reflect how your investment in yourself has paid off. It’s far beyond any award. Imagine how it will take you forward on your journey in Pathways!

  1. What will the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) look like under Pathways?

The DCP will continue to provide clubs with education, membership and administrative goals. The following table shows the educational goals in the current program and Pathways.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-2-01-46-pm

 

8. How will the online program work for evaluations?

Project evaluation resources will be accessible online via Base Camp. Approximately 50 tutorials will be available to help members navigate the different features of the Evaluation Resources section. Evaluation forms will be different for every project, tailored to assess the skills each member is trying to achieve in that particular project. When a member is preparing to deliver a speech, they can either print the evaluation form and take it with them to the club meeting, or have their evaluator review the project ahead of time and prepare accordingly.

9. How do I apply to be a Pathways Guide?

Pathways Guides will play an integral role in helping members transition to the new Pathways program. All clubs will be assigned a Pathways Guide. You can click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a Pathways Guide. One of the benefits of being a Pathways Guide is the opportunity to earn District leadership experience. This experience will count towards becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). To apply to be a Pathways Guide, please contact one of the following:

Please include the following information in your contact:

  • Your full name
  • Your membership number
  • Your club(s) name(s) Your club(s) number(s)
  • The Area you wish to serve as Pathways Guide

Your expression of interest will be forwarded to the District 21 Program Quality Director and you will receive further details regarding the application process at that time.

Toastmasters Pathways revitalized education program has inspired a lot of questions and conversation from members around the world. We encourage you to investigate the links provided to learn more and to plan your next steps for a journey in Toastmasters Pathways.

Submitted by Anna Rasmussen ACS ALB & Nils Erzinger ACB ALB

I’m a Motivator and I Love It!

An interview with Joe Guenette DTM, D21 Club Coach Specialist, VP Education of Cowichan Toastmasters.

“Everyone in my club works on manual speeches” Joe said.

“Sometimes they are working on two or three manuals at one time. We have between 22 – 24 members and they are a bunch of go-getters.”

When I asked him about how the club keeps the membership up despite the inevitable drop-off at every dues renewal time he said “We have a ‘bring a friend’ night.

And we expect people to bring two friends. At our recent one we had a new speaker, a mid-experienced speaker, an experienced speaker, so people can see the progress. We made it a big showcase night with five speeches so visitors had a chance to see what we do. We had the current Table Topics Champion and D21 International Speech champion Tania Ehrman gave a speech and so did Alan Warburton. They were all evaluated too. No-one in our club goes without an evaluation. Visitors that night saw what we do and what we get out of it.

“Our members are not chair warmers. We have three DTM’s in the group. I was the first one in our club to become a DTM. My father-in-law was the second and my mother-in-law was the third. I don’t believe in sitting back when you get your DTM. Now it’s time to give back, now I have to work for the club.

“I have been awarded two DTMs and I’m very close to my third. For the High Performance Leadership project for my first one I co-chaired the Nanaimo D21 conference with Sylvain Houde. For my second HPL I was Division A Governor with the goal of bringing the whole Division to President’s Distinguished status. We achieved it and that level has not been achieved since.

“This year, as Club Coach Specialist for District 21, I work with the belief that every single club should be successful. If a club has less than 12 members I contact them and ask “Can I help you?” Most of them say ‘Yes’.  At the recent Fall conference I had 21 coaches present and I picked up two more. Since then I’ve picked up five more coaches and been approached by six clubs asking to be coached. Contacting and keeping in contact is very important. I tell them about ‘bring a friend’ night and tell them to set out plenty of chairs and plan on signing up new members. With more members you’ve got more people to bring friends and the numbers build quickly. Even in a college club where you’re losing members at the end of each term we’ve found we can re-build membership that way and bring the club to nine or even all ten DCP points.

“The Distinguished Club Program (DCP) is every club’s report card. It shows what you are doing and helps your club to succeed. It means that every club needs to be a working club – no chair warmers! Each club should be getting 10 DCP points every year and at the same time they should be having fun. Meetings should be interesting with good fellowship. Members need to ask themselves ‘Where is the joy in our meeting? What’s going on that makes meetings interesting?’ If you don’t make it fun and light-hearted people will walk away.

“The VP Education is the key to strong meetings. You have to schedule meetings, preferably five weeks ahead, so that the club is aiming for the 10 DCP points. With good leadership and communication you can have strong meetings and not two hours of Table Topics. Nobody joins a club for two hours of Table Topics.

“Sometimes long-term members can feel a little bit stale. As VP Education I try to find them something worthwhile to contribute to the club in addition to doing speeches. Perhaps they can become mentors; they need to have a reason for being at the meeting, to get the fire back under them.

“As VP Education I take the position to heart. This is the person who takes the career of other members in their hands. In my club, they know I will do all I can for them because I understand that the communication and leadership lessons they learn will boost any career. I’m a motivator, and I love it!”

After half an hour talking to Joe Guenette I felt energized, feeling the positivity of the DCP program and the possibility of finding new members who will benefit from membership in TI.  He is indeed a motivator and he clearly lives it and loves it.

Val Adolph

Arabella Bengson – 1986 World Champion of Public Speaking

So many Toastmasters enjoyed Arabella’s presentation at the Fall D21 Conference! We asked her to tell ‘What’s the Buzz?’ readers a little more about herself. Here’s what she shared with us.

Even before I won the World Championship of Public Speaking, I realized what a great organization Toastmasters is. Almost every Toastmaster I know wants to learn and grow.  And when we develop skills, we love to pass them on to others. The camaraderie, the culture of service, the idea of helping to make every event successful, and enjoy ourselves in the process—these are all wonderful elements of the Toastmaster experience. To me, it is such a privilege to be in a helping organization, sharing my skills and knowledge, and helping others grow. In the process I’ve become a lifetime learner.

An inspiring high school teacher motivated me to teach others, but I didn’t realize that my audience could be the world. Even before I won the world championship, I was asked to speak in different organizations by Toastmasters who heard me speak. The win enabled me to reach a much bigger audience. I left my career of Training Manager in Bell Canada to speak and train on the international stage.  Being a professional speaker and coach allows me to reach countless people from all walks of life. I am so blessed for the opportunity of helping others perform at their best through my coaching.  I am humbled as I admire many qualities I see in others and I am motivated to continue growing.

Authenticity is very important to me.  I can only address my audience from my perspective, though I enhance that perspective with deep respect for the audience and recent research findings to enrich their life, health, and speaking skills.

I find out what my audience needs and how best to address it —I use brain-based, accelerated learning strategies that include fun, novelty and interesting information that challenges the mind, touches the heart, tickles the funny bone and involves the whole person.

I remind my clients that “A presentation is a gift you give of yourself to others”. Speakers avoid worrying about how they are being received, by focusing on the gift they are giving to their audience. The more audience-focused we are, the less anxiety we feel about our own performance.

I do believe that the triumph is NOT in the trophy, it is in the striving to do your best. No matter how the judges vote, I believe you have a winning presentation each time you address the audience’s needs, and impart to them learning, skills and fun they can use in their life, career and speeches.

I realize that we are given the privilege of the platform: the ability to touch others’ lives. I respect and earn that privilege by sharing, the best of what I know and inspiring others to strive for their best.

My top three tips for speakers?

1. Take every chance to speak and prepare for it.

2. Practice, and realize practice does not make perfect, it only makes permanent. If some parts do not work well, do something different. This is when it is very useful to get a coach. A speech coach will help you improve much faster than the normal Toastmaster experience. I do not believe I could have won the world speech championship, without the help of my speech coach Fraser McAllan, and others who gave me specific points for improvement.

To me, coaching is the winning edge that allows us to do our personal best. It is for me, the most memorable and enriching part of my learning experience. This is why coaching is such an important part of my professional career because I believe all of us have a gem that can be polished to brilliance. I also encourage speakers to practice before as many different audiences as they can.

3. Go outside of your club not only to support your club members, but also to be inspired.  Area, Division, District and International conferences are such enlightening turn-ons. You will see what things are possible, and how the best presenters, in whatever capacity, will make you realize that every role can be inspiring. The learning you get will motivate you to do your best at every role.

This is my eighth year in BC. I rejoined Toastmasters after an absence of about ten years, though I was speaking and coaching throughout.  Currently I am an active member of Sixty Minutes Toastmasters and VP of Public Relations in Mid-Island Advanced Toastmasters. My husband, Fraser McAllan, a former DTM, passed on a year ago. His failing health brought us to BC for a gentler climate, and a quieter way of life–away from the bustle of Toronto.  It was wonderful that this gave us eight more years together in our beautiful Comox Valley.  To me it makes perfect sense that when I lost my life partner—my former mentor (and “tormentor” who challenged me to always give the best I can), that I’d return to the organization that brought us together, and re-kindle the love I have for Toastmasters—for all that it gave me, and to give back all that I can.

Arabella’s perspective is embodied in her winning speech which may be accessed Here via YouTube.  Arabella is featured in this month’s Toastmaster Magazine.