Toastmasters International

Can Someone Please Explain This to Me?

Cds IMG 3018 You know, there’s one activity that mom does on a regular basis that simply doesn’t make sense to me – going to meetings. I mean, we get into a car and go somewhere interesting, meet up with lots of fascinating people whose shoes and clothes often smell of interesting things like other dogs, cats… and on one remarkable recent occasion, even a Rabbit! Now, all of that makes a certain degree of sense – we dogs are social beings so going somewhere we can connect with others is lots of fun. But then they all go and sit down and it just gets really boring for me – a few people stand up and go to the front of the room and talk for a bit (sometimes even mom does this) and then they sit down while everyone smacks their paws together. And then someone else stands up and walks to the front of the room and the whole thing happens all over again. I promise I really try to sit still and behave like mom wants me to but I get so bored that eventually I start to sniff the floor to see if anyone perhaps dropped something interesting, or I put my head on someone’s lap in case they’re as bored as I am and are also looking for a distraction – I’m sure they appreciate that I’m giving them something useful to do. But then mom gets me to come and lie down and the seemingly endless cycle starts again. So, if any of you can explain this very peculiar human behavior to me, I’d really appreciate it… Wags!

OMW! I Still Can’t Believe It!

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Fairly early one Saturday morning I found myself sitting in stunned disbelief staring at the announcement that I had been awarded a Presidential Citation by Toastmasters International. Even now, a few weeks since I received the notification, I still find it hard to express exactly how I feel – honoured, overwhelmed, valued, appreciated and, perhaps above all I have a profound sense of gratitude knowing that the work that I’ve done has helped to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Perhaps I ought to explain a little more about the award. The Presidential Citation is an annual award that recognizes work done by one or two individuals in each of the 14 Toastmasters regions. Here’s how the award was described In the letter I received notifying me that I was one of this year’s recipients:
“ This award is presented in recognition of your outstanding achievements in representing the goals and ideals of Toastmasters International and is one of Toastmasters’ highest honors.”

I was recognized as a member of Region 11, which comprises Southern Africa, West Africa, East Africa, England, Ireland, Europe and the Middle East.

It’s just a sad reality that I won’t be able to attend the Toastmasters International Convention taking place in Vancouver, Canada in august to receive my citation in person, but I have no doubt that the Southern African Toastmasters leadership will arrange a suitable time to present me with my citation on behalf of International President, Mike Storkey.

I’ll be sure to let you know when that event will take place – it would be wonderful to see you there!

Look Who’s in the Cape Times!

I was really excited to have an article about my recent Toastmasters award published on page 3 of the
Cape Times newspaper on 18 July, 2017.

Here’s a photo of the article.

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And for those who can’t see the photo… or would prefer to read it online, here’s the link to the article:

Yay! International Media Exposure!

IMG 20160611 WA0001Whoever would have thought that they would get international media for simply doing what they love? Well, maybe some people might, but I certainly wouldn’t number myself amongst them! And yet, that is what happened…

And what wonderful exposure it was – an article about me in the toastmasters International magazine, that goes to 325000 Toastmasters in 135 countries around the globe.

This story starts many months ago. Back in January I was asked if I could be interviewed for the Southern African toastmasters website. I was honoured and excited to be asked –especially since the article was being written by Zoya Mabuto, the southern African speech champion for 2015/16

I had the opportunity of meeting Zoya just before she was announced as the Southern African champion and was immediately struck by her energy and passion.

Through the article I enjoyed getting to know Zoya a little better. She is passionate about our beautiful country and our diversity of people, and her message is often one of hope, which strongly resonates with me. I guess it’s no wonder that our half hour Skype interview lasted far longer than we had anticipated– we had sooo much to talk about! The article Zoya crafted captured exactly what I would have wished.

Both Zoya and I were excited when one of the Southern African PR Editorial Team suggested submitting the article to the toastmasters International magazine – and it was accepted. The article was published in the June 2016 issue of the Toastmasters magazine.

Here’s a link to the article. Member Achievements.pdf

And a link to Zoya’s “Zoya Speaks” Facebook page

The PSASA – A Great Business Decision

Cds IMG 0090Here is a photograph of me receiving my certificate of membership as an Associate Member of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa, with Cape PSASA Chapter President 2015 – 2016, Richard Mulvey

In June 2015 I joined the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and I can honestly say I think it is the best business decision I have ever made for my speaking business.

I have been a member of Toastmasters International for many years and have learned a great deal about constructing and presenting speeches, and have developed useful leadership skills through the toastmasters structured learning programmes.

However, from the PSASA I am learning how to build my speaking business – learning from those who have travelled this journey before me, and those who are experts in their fields of speaking. As a result, I am gaining insights into the speaking industry and the next steps I need to take to build my business. I am grateful to the many PSASA members who have been willing to share their knowledge and experience with me as part of this journey.

This year (2016-2017) I will be assisting the Cape Chapter of the PSASA as a part of the organising committee, and I look forward to an exciting year ahead with our new Cape chapter President, Jason Sandler and his team.

Find out more about the PSASA.

Find out more about Toastmasters Southern Africa.

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