Posted by: kevinw1 | July 22, 2009

Current Schedule Update

Sunshine Speakers Toastmasters # 1363

All meetings at School Board Offices, 4351 Ontario Avenue, lower board room

Please print out the schedule, highlight your name on it, and post it by your calendar.

CLICK HERE to view and print the MONTHLY SCHEDULES   – Please make sure you click the correct month tab at the bottom.

Click here for personal Speaking PROGRESS RECORDS  – Choose your name at the bottom.

Click here for personal CL Progress Records  – Choose your name at the bottom.

Let  VP of Education or the Toastmaster for the meeting know ASAP if you are unavailable then try and find a replacement.

Posted by: write2dream | February 18, 2013

2013 Moments of Truth Results

Moments of Truth

Sunshine Speakers Feb.14/13

As facilitated by Barb Rees

 Moments of Truth is an annual evaluation of the health of the club. Groups were given the six areas of importance to evaluate. These are the results given from members and guests.

First Impressions

Doing well:

  1.   Guests greeted warmly and introduced.
  2.   Guest book signed and information package given.
  3.  Professionally arranged meeting room.
  4.  Arrangements for meetings meet the speaker’s needs.
  5.  Guests invited to join, not pressured but always asked if they want to fill out the application.
  6.  Tea and coffee offered.
  7.  Asked guests at the end what their views were on the meeting. One guest said he’s never felt so comfortable at a first meeting of a club.

Need to work on:

  1.   Too much greeting could overwhelm some people.
  2.   Forgot to give guests a name tag.

New Member Orientation

Doing well:

  1.  On joining, a new member is assigned a mentor ASAP. Badge ordered. CC manual loaned if we have them in stock.
  2.   Newbie 101 conducted once a month to orientate new members.
  3.  Education program discussed, explained and plenty of recognition given.
  4.   VP of Ed and mentor find out what the needs are for the new person so they can be scheduled accordingly, and what meetings  they are available for.
  5.   Question was: Is the member involved in all aspects of the club’s activities? Answer: It’s always your choice to put your hand up and take things on.
  6.  Members are inducted by voting them in and presenting them with their badge.

Need to work on:

  1.   Keep members committed to their goals. How?
  2.   Members should be encouraged to accept roles earlier. Encourage them to put up their hand for executive roles. With elections coming up in May, time to think about it.
  3.   Mentors must take their role seriously to help the newbie become rooted quickly in the club, to make sure they don’t get scared and leave before they get started. Encourage, encourage.

Fellowship, Variety and Communication

Doing well:

  1.   Guests greeted warmly.
  2.   Enjoyable and educational meetings planned.
  3.   Regular social events planned or different themed meetings. Ex: Taste of Toastmasters potluck every couple months. Table topic marathon. Christmas and end of the season parties.
  4.   Some members participate in area, district and other events outside the club.
  5.  Barb sends out weekly letter to keep club up to date, give recognition and welcome new members.

Need to work on:

  1.   Have an interclub mixer.
  2.   More members need to attend area, or district events to see the bigger picture, and meet other Toastmasters. It helps expand our minds and social network.
  3.  More information on blog regarding up and coming events. Anyone can post on the blog.
  4.   Do more theme meetings. Encourage members when they are the Toastmaster for the day to use a theme.

Membership Strength

Doing well:

  1.  Club has 20+ members.
  2.  Not losing excessive members due to anything more than relocation or  busy lives.
  3.   Club program is interesting, varied, seriously fun and challenging.
  4.   New members recognized.
  5.   Regular membership drives held offering incentives: Feb.1-March 30, for each guest brought the member gets their name in the draw for $30 off dues. Encourage members to sign up new ones and go online to TI and apply for the 1+1 award.

Need to work on:

  1.   Do more promotion within the community. Put up posters at members place of business with their own contact name on it so they get credit.
  2.  Write articles for the Peak about special awards or highlights.
  3.   More members need to take part on the Facebook page and post fun bits on their own sites to spread the word.
  4.  Find out what Welcome Wagon charges to carry an information package for new comers. Who would be in charge of looking after getting information to them?

Recognizing Accomplishments

Doing well:

  1. Award applications immediately submitted by VP of Ed to Toastmaster headquarters.
  2.  Member progress recognized each meeting on the Progress chart and online.
  3.  DCP program emphasized and explained. Club working on the 11th consecutive year to win the Presidents Distinguished ribbon for meeting the DCP goals.
  4.  Club, District and International leaders recognized.
  5.   Email recognition sent out regularly by Barb.
  6. When members reach an award level, the VP of Ed can put in the name of their employer for TI to send them a letter of recognition.

Need to work on:

  1.   Put more recognition on the blog and sent to the Peak along with photos if appropriate.

  Program Planning and Meeting Organization

Doing well:

  1.   Schedule is posted one month in advance on the blog.
  2.   All speeches are given from TM manuals.
  3.   Meetings mostly begin and end on time.
  4.  Very creative table topics and held the first table topic marathon.
  5.   Excellent evaluations.

Need to work on:

  1. The agenda could be publicized in advance if all members applied themselves to confirming their roles or finding a replacement if they are unable to do so. This area needs serious work as the Toastmaster for meeting is left in the lurch not knowing who is coming.
  2. Work on keeping meetings on time.

These points will be posted at the meetings so the club can track what we are doing to work on those areas that need improvement. Let’s keep polishing the diamond, not becoming complacent.

Posted by: write2dream | February 8, 2013

Happy 40 Years of Improving Communication!

In December 2012 we recieved an exciting  letter from Toastmasters International congratulating us on our 40th anniversary. In an age where clubs come and go, it is truly a testament to Powell Riverites thirst to improve, who over the years kept it going. Even the last 12 1/2 years I’ve been part of it, I’ve seen it make incredible progress to become one of the most successful clubs on the coast. For the last 10 years we have achieved our Distinguished Club Program/DCP Presidents ribbon by fulfilling almost 10 out of 10 every year. We will earn ribbon #13 this year because Sunshine Speakers works together as a team to encourage and educate all who are involved.

Feb.7/13 during Toastmasters International week, we celebrated our anniversary with a scumptious cake. In a brief 55 minute noon meeting, under Tara’s capable leadership we packed the room and packed the meeting. Mayor Dave Formosa spoke to us, giving high praise for the effect Toastmasters  have in the community. District Governor of Publicity, Isabelle Southcott spoke on the importance of sharing the benefits with others. Newbie Cheryl, gave her second speech with humour, and left us all smiling.  Of the five guests, three are considering joining. Everytime a member brings a guest the member’s name goes in a draw for $30 off their dues in March.

Mayor Formosa cuts cake with Tara Chernoff and President Barb Rees

Mayor Formosa cuts cake with Tara Chernoff and President Barb Rees

Also Toastmasters International is running a 1 + 1 initiative. When your guest signs up, you go online and fill out the form to win goodies from TI. Let’s share the benefits we all have experienced.  It really does change lives.

If this is the first time you’ve looked into Toastmasters, take the time to check out this site for other stories about what Sunshine Speakers do. Feel free to come as a guest to our meetings.

President Barb Rees, who wouldn’t have a successful speaking business were it not for TM!

Posted by: write2dream | October 27, 2012

Teamwork Works

Have you ever been Toastmaster for a meeting and nothing seemed to be coming together? You sent out the reminder email at the beginning of the week  with little response. The night before…nothing. The day of…nothing. Now you’re in full panic mode with no speakers so you call someone if nothing else but to rant. And that’s when teamwork starts.

That was the case this week for TM Sharon but then we sent out a plea for members to step up and just tell a story. “No one else sees the world the way you do so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” Charles de Lint. Most of the time giving speeches is just story telling.

Suddenly besides myself, three of our newbies jumped in scared or not. Nancy hadn’t even given her Ice Breaker yet but she had us rolling in the aisle with her story about lost keys at the marina. Tara was up to her eyeballs in other responsibilities but she too said she would speak about something she’d used in another avenue. Candace used part of an article for her magazine.  All four of us were evaluated in our manuals so the speeches counted. At the meeting other people stepped in to fill roles. Teamwork at its finest.

We came dressed in silly costumes so the mood was light. It was one of the most fun and inspirational meetings in a long time. I came away high, no drugs needed. Next time you are in a position of leadership and things are not coming together, take a breath and get other people involved in coming up with a solution. In the customer service program I teach, the most important question a service provider can ask an unhappy customer is, “What can WE do to make this right? Or What can WE do to come up with a solution?” Same question in Toastmasters takes the load off your shoulders and involves others in resolving the situation.

You can make the Toastmaster’s job easier if you check the schedule weekly to see if you have an assignment then contact the TM and confirm. Don’t hang them out to dry so they’re stressed on the day of the  meeting. We all have a role in Sunshine Speakers to be team players. Everyone wins when we do.

Teamwork works!!


Posted by: write2dream | September 9, 2012

Welcome to Powell River’s Oldest Toastmaster Group

Welcome to Sunshine Speakers, the oldest Toastmaster group in Powell River, not to be confused with the oldest members for we are young and older. Check us out for a warm, and friendly place to improve your communication or leadership skills, meet new people, or build up your self-confidence.

We meet four times a month with meetings conveniently designed to suit most schedules. The first and third Thursday, we meet at 12:05-12:55 and the second and fourth Thursday we meet from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the School District office, 4351 Ontario in their lower board room.

Give either Barb 604-485-2732 or Howard 604-485-9136 for further information. Guests always welcome, no charge.

Posted by: write2dream | May 17, 2012

Darren LaCroix Tips For Great Speeches

At District 21 Harrison Hot Springs Conference, we were privileged to hear from Darren LaCroix three times. For me he was the highlight of the conference. He saved the best for last in his Sunday session ” Good to Great.” The following are a few of his “must have’s” for great speeches.

1) Authentic body language is more powerful than scripted gestures which can appear theatrical.

2) Use pauses often to give your audience time to reflect. How long should you pause after asking a question? The length of time it would take to verbally answer. Give your audience time to laugh at your humour; don’t move on too quickly.

3) After being introduced, don’t start talking as soon as the applause stops. Stop, scan and connect with your audience, then start.

4) Put the salutation as a bridge within your speech otherwise it detracts from your powerful opening.

5) Take “I” out of your story and replace with “you.” It draws the audience in more.

6) Instead of saying “I want to share,” just tell the story. Get on with it.

7) Speak to one but look at all.

8) Use dialogue not narration when telling your stories. You can say more with more impact and fewer words.

9) Use “You” focused questions. In Darren’s winning speech he used them 34 times.

10) Avoid: Too much blah, blah, blah. Get to the first story quickly.

He  said that Toastmasters is the best place to screw up because there is always someone there to pick you up and help you grow. Stage time, stage time is the best way to get better. Take advantage of all opportunities to have a role or speech. It’s only through repetition that we conquer our fears and improve. Darren, a world champion speaker says, “Even when we fall on our faces, take the next step. And when you fall, fall forward.”

Appeal to the audience through VAKS: Visual. Auditory. Kinetic. Smell.

“It doesn’t matter what you say. It matters what the audience sees.” Patricia Fripp.

He gave us so many great tips;  you may want to try one tip each time you speak until it becomes a habit. Have fun growing!


Posted by: write2dream | May 7, 2012

Club Bylaws with voting explanation at the bottom

Sunshine Speakers Toastmasters

Bylaws Aug.24, 2010

Section 10 amended Nov.3, 2010


1. Quorum – A quorum shall constitute a minimum of 4 executive members present.

2. A new club position of VP of Mentoring created with job description as follows:

*Knowing which members are currently available to mentor and who they are mentoring

*Mentoring the Mentors by keeping in contact with each one and assisting them where needed.

*Checking with new members or members that have requested a Mentor to be sure that they are getting adequate mentoring and if they need further help.

3. How much can be spent by an executive member without getting prior approval from the whole executive body?

*Miscellaneous club expenses up to $25 can be made with prior approval of the club president. *Miscellaneous club expenses beyond $25 must have a quorum of executive approval.

*Club operating expenses up to $50 can be made with prior approval of the club president.

*Club operating expenses beyond $50 must have a quorum of executive approval.

4. All fundraising expenditures will be as per TI guidelines and brought before the membership for approval.

5. Startup kit includes TI material and pin-backed badge. A magnetic badge is available at an additional cost paid by new member.

6. All officer training travel expenses are the responsibility of the individual officer with the exception of entrance fees which the club will cover.

7. All expenses incurred for competitions including travel and fees will be covered by the competitor.

8. Dues over 30 days late will cause that member to become inactive. Said member will no longer have the right to vote, compete in contests, nor be scheduled for speeches or roles. They are welcome to attend as a guest until TI and club dues are paid.

9. Club membership list and email list is for the use of Toastmaster business use only.

10. Voting:

* Insert: Interested applicants shall submit an application for approval by the club. All new members shall be declared elected to individual membership upon the favorable vote of the majority of the active members of the club membership present at a club meeting. Insert: Majority means the greater number of those present. Voting shall be done by secret vote on slips of paper after recommendations. Said applicant will be phoned by an executive member with the results. If approved the club will accept the dues, and welcome the new member at the next meeting. It will be handled according to Roberts Rules of Order and TI Standards. This includes Article 2 Section 2 of Toastmasters International constitution.

* All members must conduct themselves in a professional manner as per TI standards when in contact with Sunshine Speakers Toastmasters or other Toastmasters. Sunshine Speakers reserve the right to revoke membership at any time under these guidelines: Article 2, Section 7 Toastmasters International constitution.

Why do we vote members in?

For one thing, it is required by Toastmasters International. It is a protection for you and the club. Although it rarely happens, there have been instances in other areas where an individual was a threat to members or continued to disrupt meetings. By voting the person in, the club has a legal means to vote them back out. We don’t anticipate having to use it here in Powell River but the bylaw, like home insurance is there when needed.

Barb Rees/Past-president Sunshine Speakers

Posted by: jennifersalisbury | January 14, 2012

Sunshine Speakers’ Taste of Toastmasters

Thank you to all who made the Taste of Toastmasters a wonderful success!  We had an exciting night of fun speeches and welcomed two guests to join us!  We had quite the spread:

See some of our incredible speakers:

Sharon delivered:  “It’s Winter – What’s the worst that could happen?”

Lilia brought us her “Facing My Fear” speech:

Howard brought us back to boating with “Beach Comber”:

Jen inspired us with “The Magic Door”:

Join us at Toastmasters for more exciting events coming up!

Women Dining

Posted by: susanbiagi1 | December 20, 2011

Ten Reasons Not to Join Toastmasters

Ten Reasons Not to Join Toastmasters
1.    If you join Toastmasters, you’ll discover things about yourself that you never knew before… and may not want to know. For me, it was gripping my hands. I was a workshop facilitator for 20 years before I joined Toastmasters. And throughout all those years, I gripped my hands. Did anyone ever tell me that? Of course not! They were afraid of offending me. It wasn’t until I gave my first Toastmasters speech that someone mentioned it, in the kindest possible way. I now try to keep my hands by my sides. It works for me, and is less distracting for my students. But if you want to remain in blissful ignorance about your own annoying quirks and habits, stay far away from Toastmasters.
2.    You will be asked to step out of your comfort zone. At Toastmasters, we have an activity known as Table Topics, where people are called upon to give impromptu speeches. Of course, the ability to speak intelligently off the cuff does come in handy if you’re ever  stopped by a cop and have to do some fast talking about why you were driving 15 kilometres over the speed limit. But hey, maybe you prefer to wing it. (Unless you’ve learned to control your emotions and thoughts under pressure, your changes of successfully winging it are pretty low.) Still, go ahead and experiment. You don’t need Toastmasters.
3.    You may have to give up 20 or so lattes a year to afford the annual fee. I can’t argue with that decision. Especially if you really, really like your lattes. By the way, do you know that an average latte contains about 260 calories? Whatever. Keep your lattes. Of course, you won’t receive a great Toastmasters magazine free in the mail every month. You won’t get to enjoy the free coffee at the weekly Toastmasters meetings. And you won’t find friendship and personal growth. But hey, it’s your money.
4.    If you go to a Toastmasters meeting, you’ll be surrounded by people who are way, way better speakers than you are. This is bound to rub off. In a few years, you’ll be one of the veterans the newbies look up to. You’ll be the person who wins contests or the person who tells hilarious jokes. You don’t need that pressure.
5.    You’ll be encouraged to enter competitions. And what’s worse, you’re probably going to win. Powell River has this annoying little habit of winning first out of the gate. Our competitors hate to see us coming. The winners look healthy enough, but maybe they’re masking an inner trauma. Anyway, you’ll win, then Isabelle Southcott will put  your photo in Powell River Living and before you know it everyone in town will be coming up to you in Safeway, to congratulate you. Before you know it, you’ll be a living legend. A fate worse than death.
6.    You’ll never listen to another TV or radio broadcast in quite the same way again. You’ll start off noticing all the um’s and ah’s of people you formerly respected. You’ll wonder how your favourite actors got to be such big stars when they can barely complete a sentence in an interview. At the same time, you’ll start feeling a grudging admiration for people you don’t even like, just because they speak intelligently. Really, it’s far better that television-watching remain a mindless, passive activity.
7.    You’ll start annoying your friends with all the impressive words you’re using, words like tyro and otiose. When a friend starts searching for the perfect word to capture how she’s feeling, the one who provides it will—alas—be you. Think of the pressure ! People will start turning to you expectantly, waiting for pearls of wisdom to drop out of your mouth. When a friend has a problem with their kid, you’ll be quoting Harry Truman, who once said that “the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” Money troubles? You may be tempted to quote Dorothy Parker, who once said: “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” In such situations, it’s far better to say something mundane and dopey. You won’t stick out that way.
8.    You’ll find yourself being drawn into other people’s obscure hobbies and odd obsessions. I once sat through a speech on ancient music instruments. Ever since then I’ve been toying with the idea of joining the Society for Creative Anachronism, in the hope of getting some lute lessons. Thanks to Toastmaster Barb, I now know where Tuktyuktuk is. How useful is that? And then my husband got wind of it and wants to go there!
9.    It will destroy travel for you. Everyone else on the bus will be off to see the changing of the guard in London, but not you. Nope! You’ll be in a church basement somewhere surrounded by a bunch of Brits who are fascinated by your accent. You’ll start planning your itinerary based on the location of Toastmasters meetings. And unluckily for you, there’s hardly a country where you won’t find one. You also run the risk of meeting people from all over the world who’ll take to you like a long-lost brother or sister. You’ll probably be invited to dinner in a real Japanese or Brazilian home. Come to think of it, it’s far better to stay in a western hotel and eat pizza. You don’t want to run the risk of running into the locals.
10.    You’ll acquire a host of new friends, who’ll quickly become important people in your life. Thanks to Toastmasters, I now know dozens of people I can call late at night to ask for support when I’m thinking of trying something new. Far better that you spend your nights alone, just you and the tv and a plate of flaky pastries. Forget all about that group of new friends, ready and able to provide the warm supportive atmosphere we need to reach our goals.  Who wants to reach for the sky anyway?
So there you are: 10 good reasons not to join. If you’re smart, you’ll decide never to darken the door of a Toastmasters meeting. But if you do decide to join, tell them Susan sent you…
Posted by: susanbiagi1 | December 14, 2011

Sunshine Speakers Christmas Party!

Dogs in Christmas costumeHo ho ho!

We’re looking to forward to seeing you all our annual Christmas Party, scheduled for Monday, December 19, 6 p.m. at Neil’s house in Wildwood. (Call Susan at 604.483.4551 for directions.) Please bring a potluck food item to share. Spouses and significant others are invited!  

To participate in the auction, please bring a wrapped gift under $10, to “sell” to your fellow Toastmasters at the party and a bit of cash so you can buy an item.  While we won’t be doing any speeches, we’ll be coming up with reasons why someone should choose YOUR gift.

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