November 16, 2022

  • REGISTER for Online Club Officer Training
  • Member Spotlight With Tara McCoy-Jones
  • Check Out the New Cleary University Toastmasters Club
  • Toastnotables Special Event is Tonight!
  • Advertise in the Newsletter

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Make-Up Session #1 – November 29 and December 1, 7:00-9:00 pm EST (Must attend both sessions to receive credit)

Make-Up Session #2 – December 6 and December 8, 7:00-9:00 pm EST (Must attend both sessions to receive credit)

District 62 Toastmaster Spotlight: Tara McCoy-Jones

by Lock Lyon

Improving Work-Related Communication Skills

Tara McCoy-Jones was once told by her employer that she had some “bad speaking habits.” Luckily, she already knew about Toastmasters from posted signs at one of her clients. She googled “Toastmasters”, found the Trail Blazers club in Jackson, Michigan, attended a meeting and became a Toastmaster on April 1, 2014.

As she advanced in Toastmasters, Tara discovered the leadership component of the program.  This caused her to expand her “why” for attending meetings. “I believe long-term, as I saw my communications skills improve, I stayed because of the camaraderie and leadership skills. I loved it when Pathways came in, because it’s instructional design, and that’s what I do.”

Problems with Pathways

Tara, along with many other Toastmasters felt that the original Pathways rollout was somewhat problematic. Moving through Pathways and getting levels approved seemed to be unduly difficult. The biggest challenge from her perspective was to get late adopters to finally join Pathways. Tara now thinks that most of the original issues have been properly addressed, and that the current Pathways “experience” is much more straightforward. “My experience in instructional design made me realize early on in Pathways that it was a bit cumbersome. Now, however, it’s much simpler.”

Opinions on the Club Experience

Tara, now a District Director, thinks that afternoon clubs with virtual or hybrid meetings seem to be having success; however, potential members in academia or education may have difficulty attending due to their packed schedules. Clubs considering expanding membership should keep their potential audiences in mind, perhaps considering changing or expanding their planned meeting dates and times.

Suggestions for Managing Guests

Tara thinks that personal contact with guests is important. “What are they looking for in Toastmasters? Have you clarified meeting roles and expectations? Are guests given web links and references so they can investigate on their own?”  She points out that the CDAS and Power club web sites have these features.

The Future

Tara doesn’t see herself leaving Toastmasters for quite a while. “I’m too Toastmaster-y ,” she notes. “The leadership roles and social interactions keep me coming back.”

Toastmasters is coming to Cleary University on November 17!

Cleary University is establishing a Toastmasters chapter on the campus! Come to the kickoff informational meeting on Thursday, November 17 at 7 PM at Cleary Commons, located just inside the campus at 3750 Cleary Drive in Howell, MI. This chapter is open to students, staff, faculty and the public.

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