Rootin’ Tootin’ Open House

March 8, 2017

Submitted by Beverley Steeves, VP Education

Professional Edge Toastcrumbs 

The morning was ambushed  by  twelve rootin tootin six shooters, a number of Calamity Jane’s and Jesse James’s.  Amongst the unsavoury gang,  there were clearly cattle rustlers, bank robbers, drinkers, gamblers and saddle bums.  The mob came from the either Tombstone or Early Edition Toastmasters.  Their goal was to retrieve their banner, which they accomplished peacefully, with no gunshots fired.  Being the bandits they are, they galloped off with our banner.   READ MORE

SAA Ken started off the meeting with his usual enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.  All  eighteen guests were introduced.   With fun & humour he turned the meeting over to the Chairman, President Noel.

Noel provided a warm welcome to all the guests and members.  He clearly outlined the agenda and made changes where needed.  In his calm composed manner,  the meeting unfolded in a structured and organized manner.

Introducer, John provided a thorough and inviting introduction to our first speaker.   He set the audience up with anticipation and prepared the stage for Rhona & her second speech in her CC manual.

In  Rhona’s  speech, Sticky Tags and Labels, she started off by painting  a picture of a lovely little child sleeping, with his arms to his side and his little bottom sticking up in typical fashion.  Except, his name was Alan Kurdi,  and he was the little Syrian refugee boy washed up on the shore.  Rhona spoke from her heart of labels & tags we  assign to people.  She reminded us to think of people as fellow human beings and forgo classifying, or categorizing people.  Her confidence and sincerity allows her audience to connect with her.  She set out to challenge us and that was accomplished.  

Rita provided a thoughtful & insightful evaluation.  ‘Wow,’  Rita’s first words, ‘can you believe this was Rhona’s 2nd speech…and without notes’.  She emphasized the very effective use of the pause that Rhona had  mastered and said she had been moved by the speech.   A suggestion for improvement to Rhona  was to raise her voice.  The group evaluation was given.

Introducer Gary used his typical warm sense of humour  with his introduction to Karen.  Gary’s introduction of Karen was very complete and provided a sense of her accomplishments.  He as well, set the stage for Karen.

Karen started off her speech Head Forward by taking off her shoes, walking into water and easing onto a paddle board.   You could see her bliss  & feel she was reliving her time of boarding.  The calmness of the sea was clearly felt with her descriptive words and the motion she created with her demonstrating  paddling.  A vivid comparison was laid out with the difficulties one has in life, with meeting  waves head on when the water gets rough.  How the ‘board of life’ can get us  washed back & forth, and danger can prevail, if not met head on.   She shared a gleeful time when in a boat with her family.  The sparkle and smile on  Karen’s face was engaging.  Karen’s relaxed manner is always enjoyable to see & feel.

Duncan presented an energetic evaluation in which he provided a demonstration on how to help  improve an aspect of  Karen’s speech.   He thought  the analogies Karen used throughout her speech made for a  powerful statement.   Duncan mentioned Karen’s ease and comfortableness.  A group evaluation was given.

We all moseyed into the saloon for 10 minutes for some grub;  baked goodies, fruit tray  & firewater….Starbucks coffee.

The meeting was called back to order by SAA Ken and skillfully passed over to Chairman Noel.  Noel provided a clear guide on the format for the 2nd half of the meeting with Jamie & Alan, both being on the world stage.

Jamie shared a video of his winning speech,The Power of Spit, as delivered at the 2010 Semi Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking.  How fortunate for us to be transported  there. The speech packed the essence of human emotions into 5-7 minute speech. It was humorous, tender, light hearted, and serious.  A  story of love, kindness, sadness, and passion.  Not a sound could be heard throughout the room.  After the speech, Jamie shared his speech’s development, how it came to be, the important factors to have in your speech &  other tips.

With his speech from the 2009 District 21 Humorous Speech Final, Recalculating, Alan had us laughing right out of the gate.   Although not actually knowing Margaret and Ian, we GOT to know them through their drive to Safeway.   With his use of accents & his body language, he touched our funny bone throughout.  His sense of humour, glint in his eye, and expressions, helped him became a comedian telling a story.  Before and after the speech Alan shared his view on what makes a speech humorous, the impact of accents & other tips.

A wonderful meeting was adjourned by the Chairman with a closing by the SAA.

Anniversary Celebrations in April

Victoria Beaver Toastmasters Club #790 (Victoria) – 62nd

Saanich Peninsula (Sidney) – 38th

TRU (Kamloops) – 38th

Norvic (Victoria) – 34th            

Richmond (Richmond) – 32nd                     

Global Speakers (Richmond) – 23rd

Chamber Sunrisers (Nanaimo) – 20th

Master Motivators (Victoria) – 17th

Good News (Surrey) – 17th

North Delta Power Talkers (Delta) – 18th

Campbell River (Campbell River) – 12th

Sooke Harbour (Sooke) – 7th

Fraser Heights Cornerstone (Surrey) – 7th

Thompson Valley Advanced (Kamloops) – 6th

Finding Vino (Surrey) – 3rd    

Boeing Canada-AeroInfo (Richmond) – 2nd

Talking Heads (Victoria) – 1st

Downtown Express (Kelowna) – 1st

If your Club is celebrating a big event next month, we’d love to  highlight your club with a group photo and/or a short blurb!

Speech Evaluation

Article based on interview by Val Adolph


Noel Bentley DTM, is known in his two clubs, White Rock Toastmasters and Professional Edge as a consummate speech evaluator. Here he shares some of his thoughts on that valuable Toastmaster skill – Speech Evaluation.


Every single Toastmaster is more than capable of evaluating a speech. No-one should say, or be allowed to say “I’m not good enough to evaluate yet”. Even if you are not experienced give yourself permission to evaluate someone’s speech. Look at it this way – they are asking for your help to improve. Do you really want to turn down a request for help? They are waiting for you to do just that – to help them. Even the newest Toastmaster can find something good in a speech and something that might be improved.



Decide how you will structure your evaluation BEFORE you stand up to present it. The speaker and the audience want to hear your feedback, not watch you assemble your points while standing at the lectern.

Structure is such an important part of an evaluation. You shouldn’t be trying to figure out how to put your thoughts together as you’re standing up to present them.

Find a structure you can work with – there are lots of them, find one you can work with comfortably. Make yourself a template from it to use each time you evaluate. Many people like the sandwich method (a good point, a suggestion for improvement, and what you liked best.) Others adapt this to a 3-2-1 method (three good things, two ideas for improvement, one great point). There are many more structures to choose from and most have enthusiastic advocates. Try different ways to see which works best for you. The only right way is the way that helps you give the strongest and most supportive evaluation.


Get familiar with the different types of evaluation – how an Ice Breaker evaluation differs from, say, an evaluation of a speech being prepared for a contest. Different speakers have different levels of needs for encouragement and for being spurred on to greater efforts. It’s not helpful to simply guess what the needs are, it’s important to talk with the speaker ahead of time and to ask them.

A ‘before talk’ is very helpful to discover precisely what a speaker needs or is looking for. An ‘after talk’ to give greater depth and a more personal understanding of your evaluation helps too. It’s not only about having listened well, it’s about communication.

The evaluation is based on the needs of the speaker; the evaluator tries to deliver whatever is needed at the time. Sometimes you need to add in a challenge. For instance, if a speaker makes the same mistake each time they speak it’s good to give them a challenge to address that issue.

Higher levels of analysis are needed when you are evaluating a speech that is being prepared for a contest, so you may be providing more suggestions for improvement than usual. Still, it’s important to remember that encouragement is part of the package too.

Evaluation is all about listening. If the speaker indicates that you have nailed the evaluation, then they know you were listening very deeply. It shows that you have taken an interest in the speaker and you care about his progress.

The more you evaluate the more you see its many facets. A strong evaluator:

  •       builds the speaker’s self-esteem as well as motivating and counselling the speaker.
  •       uses concrete examples to illustrates  the points made
  •      makes it clear by using phrases like “it seemed to me…” that this is just one person’s opinion.

Every Toastmaster has a suggestion for improvement for even the best speech, World Champions included. We all have unique insights and perceptions. Offered constructively these can help another Toastmaster along their path.

The Story of the Goose

When geese fly in formation, they create their own unique form of teamwork. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in their ‘V’, the whole flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the ‘V’, and another goose flies point.

When a goose gets sick, or is wounded and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with their companion and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with the group.


Last Month’s Contest Winner

In October, we wanted to discover the ‘Funniest Speech Title’. Drum roll please!

AND the winner is…

Entered by Maureen McBeath of ToastMentors club,

“I’m not Overweight, I’m Under Height”.

Don’t miss the opportunity to win our December contest…  Tap into your creative-thinking with this month’s challenge: It’s 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?

(Scattergories is a game where each player fills out a category list ‘with answers that begin with the same letter.’   For example, given the category of ‘Leadership’, and the initial letter “L”, your answers could include relevant words such as Logical, Lively, etc.)  If no other player matches your answers, you score points.

“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.

Send entries to The deadline for entries is December 23 2016.

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

Do 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.