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Member Spotlight

Toastmaster Tara Tucker

Meet Tara Tucker, Coach, Mentor, Author, CEO

Tara Tucker first discovered Toastmasters when she was invited to attend a club Open House by a friend. “It was different,” she said. “I felt safe, and encouraged. I knew I could grow here.”  Soon after, she joined Club 2714 “Secondary to None”, and started with the Coaching curriculum in Pathways. “I really enjoy getting evaluations. These are critical for my growth.”

Tara also looks forward to Table Topics. “The ability to do impromptu speaking is important for coaching and mentoring others.” This helps in her work as an author and coach as she inspires others to, “speak up and share their stories to heal, deliver and transform the lives of others.”

Tara was hooked on communicating at an early age. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, and my first publication was at the age of 13. However, I never aspired to be an author. Writing was a way to release my inner thoughts and feelings, so I didn’t bottle them up.”

When asked for her thoughts on the future of Toastmasters, Tara noted that,

“… the skills that Toastmasters teaches are necessary, especially for younger people. The program needs to be as inclusive as possible, since you have to know how to talk, either virtually or in-person. Try it out! See what we all have in common.”

Tara Tucker is a Best-Selling Author, Coach, Minister, Podcast Host, and CEO of Tucker Publishing House, LLC. She is also a youth mentor with The IMAGINE Mentoring Program of Michigan. She is strong in her faith, and through her transparency in authentically sharing her story, she empowers women and youth to unmask, speak up and share their stories to heal, deliver and transform the lives of others. Visit her web site at https://iamtaratucker.com/

Secure Your Zoom Meetings

In this short article we provide some tools, tips and techniques for ensuring that your Zoom meetings are secure from unautthorized or malicious use.

Prevent Issues in Club Meetings

In the past two years many Toastmasters clubs have migrated their meetings to an on-line space, either in whole or in part. The most common tool these clubs use is Zoom. In this short article we provide some tips, tools and techniques for ensuring that your Zoom meetings are secure from unauthorized or malicious use. At the end, we furnish some links to Zoom Support for more detailed information.

Video call group business people meeting on virtual workplace or remote office. Telework conference call using smart video technology to communicate colleague in professional corporate business.

Primary Security Tools

Zoom recommends that meeting planners use random meeting IDs, rather than use the account owner’s Personal Meeting ID (PMI). This is because the PMI is always the same. Anyone attending one of your meetings now has the ID required to attend all future Zoom meetings!  Another feature Zoom recommends is the Waiting Room. Meeting attendees are automatically sent there to wait for the host to explicitly invite them into the meeting. See Zoom’s blog entry on Keep the Party Crashers from Crashing our Zoom Event for more details.

Managing Zoom Meeting Participants

There are multiple security options available for hosts when they create meetings. A few of these are discussed here.

Summary

Zoom provides lots of guidance for hosts and meeting planners on its blog. Zoom hosts should be regular visitors to this site to keep up with new Zoom security and usability features. Recent articles  include, “5 Essential Zoom Chat Security Features”, “How to Nail the Zoom Background”, and “Expert Advice for Hosting A Successful Hybrid Event.” Visit the blog and get up-to-date information on functions and features to keep your Zoom meetings secure.

Overcoming Public Speaking Myths

Here are some common myths that we hear about public speaking.

Here are some common myths that we hear about public speaking. While trendy, these myths omit valuable context that Toastmasters can use to better develop speaking skills.

Too Much Practice Will Ruin Your Speech

Some hold that too much practice will ruin their speech and make it “stale”. This is false. Great speakers like Steve Jobs put in lots of extra hours tweaking and improving their speeches to make them distinctive and exceptional. Speaking is a skill, and skills can always be improved with practice. Remember the “glows and grows” in a Toastmasters speech evaluation? The evaluator generates these by using active listening skills. For more information on speech evaluation see Evaluate to Motivate from the Toastmasters International Successful Club Series.

Speaking Skill is a Gift

False. While some people seem to speak naturally and effortlessly, the reality for most speakers (especially professional ones) is that they do lots of research and take the time to sharpen their skills. For example, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave thousands of hours of sermons and speeches before giving his I Have a Dream speech in August 1963.

You Cannot Master Your Fear of Public Speaking

Fear is a natural emotion when humans interact with other humans. We all want to be liked and have others respect our opinions. Experienced speakers train themselves to cope with their fear by “converting” it into enthusiasm and passion. In this way, they channel the energy created by that fear into positivity.

Summary

Assess how you feel about these myths: do you believe any of them? If so, here is a quote from the original Toastmasters Competent Communicator manual: “More than four million people will confirm that the Toastmasters program works, but it works only when you prepare carefully, actively participate, and speak as often as possible. Apply yourself, and you will experience the benefits you want in all aspects of your life.”

Toastmaster Regions and Districts

What are the geographic boundaries of Toastmasters District 62?

Many Toastmasters ask, “What exactly are the boundaries of District 62, and what other Districts are nearby?” Toastmasters International provides the answers to these questions with its Region and District Maps. An excerpt from this document shows the boundaries of District 62:

Copyright (c) 2022 by Toastmasters International

District 62 includes the following:

  • Most of the lower peninsula of Michigan (excepting the southeast corner of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County, which is in District 28); and,
  • The eastern portion of the upper peninsula of Michigan (the  area in the Eastern Time Zone).

Nearby Districts are grouped into an area called Region 6:

  • District 28, consisting mainly of Detroit, Toledo Ohio, and Windsor Ontario;
  • District 11, which is most of Indiana;
  • District 35, comprising  Wisconsin, Illinois (minus Chicago), Iowa and Missouri, as well as the western U.P.;
  • District 10, consisting of northeastern Ohio;
  • Districts 30 and 103, which together contain most of Chicago, Illinois.

District 62 is adjacent to multiple other Toastmasters Districts. Indeed, sometimes Toastmasters in our District will attend TLI training sessions in other nearby districts. As you can see from the larger maps, Toastmasters has 14 Regions spread across six continents. Regions are further divided into 126 districts. As club membership grows and declines, Toastmasters International headquarters may at times create new districts or merge current districts to maintain a balance.

DLC REPORT: CANDIDATES 2022-23

Fellow Toastmasters,

Please see the District Leadership Committee report. 
We recognize the members of our 2021-2022 committee for the hard work and dedication they did to vet these exceptional candidates. Thank you for your service to the members in District 62.

The candidates will be featured on our website, 62toast.com, in the Candidate Corner and and on a live Candidate Showcase. The Candidate Showcase is scheduled for 4/28/2022 from 6:00 – 6:45 PM (UTC-4). Each candidate will have an opportunity to speak before the vote occurs. All members will have access to the Candidate Corner via the website and the online Candidate Showcase will be by registration only. 

Avar Laws-WrightDistrict, D62 Director 2021-2022

Lead Where You Are!

MEDC Grant Manager Credits Toastmasters With Success of MicroLoan Program

In September 2020, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Grant Manager LeTasha Peebles joined the Secondary To None Toastmasters club. Her goal was simple: “I had severe anxiety when it came to public speaking and simply just wanted to drum up the courage to do it.”

Little did she know Toastmasters and Pathways would far surpass her expectations. 

As LeTasha began to work the Pathways program, she learned the importance of how to arrange her speech and engage her audience. With the feedback she obtained from her club and the Pathways lessons, she started feeling more comfortable. More speaking opportunities opened for her professionally.

In early 2021, after years of hard work, LeTasha and team implemented a grant program in Michigan that impacted hundreds of small businesses.

“I was so grateful,” explains LeTasha, “for the opportunity given to share more about the new microloan program my colleague and I created. This was such a proud moment in my career, and I could not be happier about the program outcomes. Had it not been for my time with Toastmasters, my confidence to go forward and share more on the program would not exist. I now look forward to speaking and engaging with others and owe such gratitude to my club who supported me from day one.”

Matthew French Takes 2nd Place in Impromptu Speaking Extravaganza

During October 2021, Achievers Club #2903 in Caribbean District 81 celebrated Toastmasters 97th anniversary by hosting an Impromptu Speaking Extravaganza (a.k.a. Table Topics on Steroids).

This worldwide competition was open to all past and present Table Topics District Champions from Districts 1 through 121. 

As the 2021 Table Topics winner for District 62, Matthew credits his home club, Cherry Capitol Toastmasters, for pooling their talents to coach and mentor him, helping him acquire the skills he needed to advance.

“When I began the latter stages in the competition, I reached out to my club for help preparing. With one voice they all said, ‘absolutely’. They set aside the regular meetings for two weeks to have mock debates, which was the format of the Extravaganza competition.

I try to encourage members to compete in the contests each year. At the club level we work on the basic elements of public speaking, impromptu speaking, and evaluation skills. By participating in contests, we hone those skills further and polish them to a gloss.

I applaud the tireless efforts of members at every level to organize and present these

contests. I feel a great debt to them as I could not have achieved this level had it not been for those in District 62 that sacrificed to make this all possible.

Thank you!”

Congratulations on your outstanding achievement, Matthew!