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Plateau Toastmasters Club NEWSLETTER ISSUE#2, JANUARY 2020

  • Words from the President, Vyankoj Mulloo DL1
  • “When 'I' becomes 'we', even illness becomes wellness”, Sariff Mungralee, DTM
  • Write that speech..., Soomayyah Jaulim, MS1
  • How to enhance your speech?, Jyeshtha Ramduny
  • Mentoring..Inspiring..Empowering, Dosheela Ramlowat CC CL
  • Members' Corner - Meet our new members - Members’ achievements & progress
  • Club activities (Oct - Dec 2019)
  • Fun Corner

10 years in a row that our Club, the Plateau Toastmasters Club, has achieved the President's Distinguished Award ! And together, we achieved this objective in a record time of 3 months!

It is often said that success, as with most things, starts with the right attitude and at Plateau, we pride ourselves on the fact that we're a family ! These 2 factors combined, generate the right mix of motivation for our ever growing members to unlock their full potential.

What do we represent at the Plateau Toastmasters Club after 17 years since it was chartered ?

  • We are the Club with nearly 50% Women and 50% men.
  • We are the Club with 5 Distinguished Toastmasters.
  • We are the club whose members have founded gavel clubs, mentored them, guided and trained them and celebrated their victory as their own.
  • We are the Club that has spun out other toastmasters club in Mauritius.
  • We are the Club that has achieved the President Distinguished Award for the 10th time in a row.

While staying true to the commitment we all have given towards Toastmasters International core values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence, we will be here to support each other in our fortnightly meetings through the different roles, but equally as mentors, guides and leaders with no titles.

The development and success of individuals in the past have been a sterling example of why we choose to be here today. We push each other to do better, to improve in our communication and leadership. In the age of technology, it is of utmost importance that we keep up to date with the latest developments and continue to excel. Public Speaking and Leadership is still a highly sought after skill which will not be replaced by machines so soon. And we are in this together.

"Together, we are on a leadership journey"

Vyankoj Mulloo, DL1

Club President

“When 'I' becomes 'we', even illness becomes wellness”, IPP Sariff Mungralee, DTM

“When I becomes We, even illness becomes wellness”. This famous quote from Malcolm X has been an inspiring factor in my journey at Toastmasters. Since I joined this great family, I have had the privilege to learn from great leaders and seasoned toastmasters. Plateau Toastmasters Club has opened the doors for success to all who believed in togetherness. The ‘mutually supportive’ atmosphere that has always prevailed at Plateau has been a key factor in bringing the club where it is now.

Dear Members, we are now mid-way in the current mandate and it’s really great that, slowly but surely, we have been able to achieve our targeted milestones, culminating to the highest prestige of the club by achieving the President’s Distinguished Award for the 10th time in a row and within a span of 3 months.

I would like here, to congratulate President Vyankoj Mulloo and his team for the fantastic work done since the beginning of the mandate. We cannot but acclaim the dedication and hard work of all the office bearers throughout the year. True to say that, nothing would have been possible without the unconditional support and involvement of all our members, who, I believe are the real assets and pearls of the club.

Fellow Toastmasters, we have many things to be thankful for in 2019. We are thankful for what we have learnt and the wonderful friendships we have forged. Most importantly, we should be thankful for the fulfilling journeys we enjoyed together with Plateau. As a team, we stood together and as a team we should continue to stand together in our endeavours and challenges coming ahead.

As we flip the calendar to a new year, we should now aim higher. My wish for 2020 is that all of us discover our passion of public speaking, to go deeper and continue evolving and reach the next level. Let us all become an example for others, a role model and shining example for the next generations.

Together we will continue to scale up on the progress of Plateau. Together we will make Plateau shine. We are a vibrant family where everyone counts and everyone is important. At the end of the day, we want our members to be happy, celebrate successes and learn from our failures, as one family. We have much to emulate from this successful club.

May 2020 bring you and your loved ones bountiful rewards, good health and good cheers. Let’s now all work hard together for an even more successful year.

I would like to wish you again a wonderful year ahead and that you’ll enjoy all that 2020 has in store for you.

How to enhance your speech?, Jyeshtha Ramduny

I still vividly recall the day I delivered my speech for the internal contest in 2018. That experience is still engrained in my mind. I got a blank which left me in shambles. My heart was pounding very fast and I could hardly deliver my speech effectively. Indeed, self-doubt is a parasite which drives down the euphoria and spark of a speaker.

To deter such a circumstance from repeating itself, I have learnt some techniques that can rewire the brain, discipline our thoughts, brush up our communication skills and enhance our speech.

The S-C-Q-A acronym

In his bestselling book, The Pyramid Principle, Barbara Minto devised an acronym to come up with a striking introduction namely: S-C-Q-A.

For instance,

Humour

Secondly, the use of humour is recommended so as to command the audience and pique the interest of everyone. When I delivered my second speech on “The four bosom friends”, I crafted a cohesive narrative where I put myself into the shoes of the different characters to create an impact. A gamut of exaggerations in terms of body gestures were used. I varied the tone of the voice and drafted an original and funny story. Humour helps you build up your personal brand which can be a Unique Selling Point (USP).

Personal stories

Another winning formula to enhance your speech is to use personal stories because people are usually curious by nature and will be impatient to discover whatever you are saying about yourself. Our brain lights up when we hear stories and emotion trumps rationale in all decision-making. Besides, if you forget to say something on stage, you are the only one who knows that. The ball is in your hands. You can improvise and can even ask a question which leaves you with a couple of seconds to get on your feet again.

Hammering technique

The hammering technique also is very effective. Winston Churchill said "If you have an important point to make, do not try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then comeback and hit it again. Then hit it a third time - a tremendous whack." For instance, in one of the speeches delivered at the Toastmasters National Conference this year, one of the contestants rightly made the audience aware that leaders may bend but SHOULD NOT break. That central message was hammered home several times.

Figurative language

Finally, Dr Mardy Grothe who is an American psychologist argued that there are three superstars of figurative language namely: metaphors, similes and analogies. They do a lot of linguistic lifting especially when we are trying to explain a new and difficult concept or persuade the audience.

For example:

I hope that the above tips will help you to spruce up your speech and infuse your life with action. There is this famous adage by Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. The onus is on you to PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND PRACTICE so that you become competent enough to build self-confidence, to deepen your leadership pipeline and deliver that amazing speech.

Write that speech..., Soomayyah Jaulim, MS1

Writing a speech can prove to be an arduous thing. Many a times, the mere fact of finding the right topic can be daunting. And we are left, uninspired and forever procrastinating with regards to writing that speech. Nevertheless the one thing to do is to get started. But how? What if i provided you with some tips (which granted are deceptively simple) but can nevertheless help you take the first step and write your speech. Be bold, find your voice and WRITE THAT SPEECH.

Mentoring..Inspiring..Empowering, Dosheela Ramlowat CC CL

What do champions of public speaking have in common? Dananjaya Hettiarachchi — 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking once posted on his facebook page, “Having the right mentor to help you reach your peak is perhaps one of the most important dimensions of success! “. Other Toastmaster World Champions - David Brooks, Mark Brown, Darren LaCroix, and Sherrie Su - also mentioned that they owed their success to the mentors who coached them.

According to John C. Maxwell, “A mentor is someone who teaches, guides and lifts you up by virtue of his or her experience and insight.” Basically, whether you are a mentor or a mentee (aka protégé as defined in Pathways), the mentoring relationship can push your Toastmaster’s journey to new heights.

I can still recall my early days in Toastmasters which were marked by an acute lack of self- confidence as far as public speaking was concerned. I was assigned a mentor who indeed had a major contribution in making me learn the art of crafting effective speeches and hence developing my self-assurance whilst facing an unknown audience. However, at that point of time, my understanding of the mentoring process was relatively vague. I was not sagacious enough in considering my mentor as a Toastmaster buddy who would, with the touch of his magic wand, help me become a great speaker. I later realised that the mentoring relationship is actually more complex than what I actually thought.

After some time it was my turn to step into the role of mentor. I was already aware that mentors do not possess any magic wand but I believed that empathy, sincerity and readiness to share my experience and knowledge could actually inspire and empower my mentees to give their best as public speakers. Moreover, as a mentor I experienced the fact that we actually improve our own communication skills when enhancing another member’s skills. However my perception of the mentoring process was still only limited to public speaking when it actually encompasses more than that.

Mentoring also entails coaching members to assume leadership roles. And this might be one of the reasons why mentoring has been placed in the spotlight in Pathways. Each Pathways path now requires a mandatory Level 2 project “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring”.

Let us identify the key responsibilities of the mentor and the mentee in the mentoring process.

Mentor's Role

Mentee's Role

How to make the mentoring process effective and successful?

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”. Trust is the glue that binds the mentor and mentee and contributes in building a strong personal and professional relationship. John C. Maxwell in his book ‘Mentoring 101’ defines TRUST as follows:

Gossiping or withholding information on either the mentor’s or mentee’s side would definitely lead to the mentoring relationship falling apart.

How can the club contribute to the Mentoring Process?

The club has a key role in helping members achieve success through their Toastmaster’s journey by fostering a supportive and encouraging environment that can be achieved through a formal mentoring program.

I believe that there are no mistakes in life but only lessons learnt! Undoubtedly I learnt valuable lessons both in the roles of a mentee and mentor as well. I would invite members to step out of their comfort zone and offer their knowledge and expertise as mentors to other fellow members of the club.

There is a famous saying which goes “Never stop learning; for when we stop learning, we stop growing!” Therefore, whether you are a seasoned Toastmaster or you have recently joined the club, do not hesitate to reach out to other members to mentor, inspire and empower you through your leadership journey!

Meet our new members

Members' Achievements & Progress

Internal Contest

Internal Contest is part of a Toastmasters tradition which enables participants become better version of themselves as well as better public speakers. Each year, the Club holds 2 internal contests and the last one was held on 12 November 2019 with DTM Leena Lollbeeharry as the contest chair.

A synopsis of the event can be found here: http://plateautoastmasters.club/CSR-121119.html

End of Year Activities

This year, the Club decided to go for a team building event instead of the traditional mode of End of Year activities. The idea behind it was to bring together the members in an environment other than the Club sessions where we could glue our plateau family bond !

A short video of the event can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7RNcFshmoU&feature=emb_logo

Contributed by TM Azra Muslun and DTM Uma Nair

Take the tongue twister challenge

Tongue twisters are a great way to practice and improve pronunciation and fluency. Can you get them right the very first time? Let us try...

She sells seashells by the seashore of Seychelles. The shells she sells are surely seashells. So if she sells shells on the seashore, I'm sure she sells seashore shells.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Swan swam over the pond. Swim, swan, swim! Swan swam back again. Well swum, swan!

The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep is sick.

Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood. As a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood

A session at a Toastmaster's Club

Our reading time is going to be less than five minutes. In so less time and your life might be changed forever – a more confident speaker and strong leader. Are you ready – so quickly fasten your seatbelts, relax and enjoy.

This flight is around two hours and in command of our meeting is the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), who hosts and conducts the entire program through an agenda prepared well in advance. He is assisted by his crew members throughout- ‘speakers and role players’.

- Grammarian –promoting and commending good use of English language. Also comes up with and counts usage of the shared word of the day.

- Ah counter – counting any overused words or filler sounds which altogether does not add value to the speech.

- Timer – aiding members to speak in required time allotted using timing lights: green, yellow and red like the referee in football with his coloured cards and watch.

The prepared speech segment is the first part of the session where members deliver speeches based on projects requirements.

Next, the flight encounters some turbulences - the table topics segment – where the master or for some might be the monster, scans the room for his potential victims. Challenging, yet fun part, where members overcome all fears and passes through this turbulence for 1-2mins successfully.

The last segment is evaluation, where the assigned evaluator provides an oral and written evaluation, emphasizing positive aspects and possible areas for improvement to speakers.

While crew members are often applauded for a pleasant flight, similarly best speakers, table topics and evaluators are awarded ribbons for excellent performance in the session.

On behalf of the Crew, a warm thank you goes to all toastmasters who have over the years trusted the organisation. For those who recently joined the club, welcome on board for an exciting and fulfilling journey and those willing to join the club , grab your place for any session – no fees for guests up to 3 sessions..

Thank you for flying with Toastmasters and we hope to see you on the next flight soon.

Quiz Time - Let’s see how much you recall... –

  1. Toastmasters International has 4 core values. If Integrity, Respect, Service are 3 of them, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is the 4th one.
  2. Your very first speech at the club is called the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
  3. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is the title given to Members Earning Three Education Awards in in a single program year.
  4. The new eleventh Path in the Pathways educational program released in February 2019 is _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
  5. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is the International President for the 2019/2020 program year.
  6. The theme of the session of 17 Dec 2019 was _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
  7. Complete the quote shared by the TME for the 19th November 2019 session – International Men’s Day – ‘’A woman, without her man, is _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
  8. Toastmaster _ _ _ _ _ _ was the winner of the speech segment for the last internal contest.
  9. The Prop used by Toastmaster Milind for his first speech was the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
  10. The Panel of Judges for the last internal contest consisted of Toastmaster Dr. Vandita from _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Toastmasters Club.

Crossword

Across

  1. The name of the first Toastmasters newsletter is “The -----“ (5).
  2. Which Asian country hosted Toastmasters' first international convention held outside North America? (8).
  3. The highest educational qualification achieved in Toastmasters (3).
  4. Maximum time allotted for an Icebreaker speech (3).
  5. The number of members it takes to start a Toastmasters Club, known as charter strength (6).
  6. In which country was the first Toastmasters Club outside of North America founded? (7).
  7. Plateau Toastmasters Club was chartered in the year (number) (4).

Down

  1. Who determines the pace at which the member progresses? (6).
  2. In which year did the Toastmasters organization open membership to women? (number) (4).
  3. Name of the current International President of Toastmasters (2 words) (11).
  4. The first Toastmasters club was started in this city (2 words) (8).
  5. True or false: The Toastmasters Club in Santa Ana, California, was Ralph Smedley's third attempt at forming a self-sustaining Toastmasters club (4).

Next club contest - 2 March 2020

Speakathon - 31 March 2020

  1. Excellence
  2. Ice Breaker
  3. Triple Crown
  4. Engaging Humor
  5. Deepak Menon
  6. Santa Coming to Plateau
  7. Nothing
  8. Krishn
  9. Rubic Cube
  10. Financial
  • TM Dosheela Ramlowat (Team Leader)
  • TM Soommayyah Jaulim
  • TM Azra Muslun
  • TM Jyeshtha Ramduny
  • TM Vyankoj Mulloo