Sheila Fraser (right) of Linlithgow Speakers wins the 2013 Area 30 Humorous Speech Contest
Welcome to one of the fastest-growing areas of Toastmasters in Britain! Rampant expansion of members in the central belt of Scotland means that Toastmasters' Area 30 has had to split into East and West, with Edinburgh retaining the Area 30 name. The Glasgow area is now Area 60.
Our Area 30 consists of the three central Edinburgh clubs:
1) Capital Communicators,
2) Waverley Communicators and
3) Haymarket Toastmasters,
Plus the two Ls:
4) Linlithgow and
6) Thistle Speakers, is central Scottish club for advanced speakers working on the advanced speech training manuals, although any TI member is a welcome guest. It meets monthly outside the summer months at alternating venues and charges a meeting fee rather than an annual subscription.
Livingston is our newest club, which we are building up to chartering with Toastmasters International (a club charters and becomes officially recognised by Toastmasters International (TI) when it gets to 20 members).
All our clubs use the proven TI meeting formula and the effective communications and leadership skills training manuals that are used so successfully by over 13,500 TI clubs world-wide to make Toastmasters International the world's largest public speaking training body.
TI was founded in the US and is now accepted as necessary to get on in America. Towns with equivalent populations to Edinburgh routinely have 50 clubs in their town and the greater Portland area in Oregon (again with a similar population) has 125 clubs! We have some way to go, but you can help us set up our newest club.
Who Do You Know in Livingston?
Livingston Speakers is our latest club project within Area 30 and we existing members' help to establish it. Please make a point of telling people you know in the Livingston area about Toastmasters and this club, and do come along to take part
For newer members, Livingston is a great opportunity to gain skills within a smaller club, and you'll be able to take on more of the meeting support roles to acclerate your progress and understanding of both communications and leadership skills. For existing Toastmasters, the Livingston Speakers club is a great opportunity to pick up a quick speech slot if you are motoring towards the end of a manual and want to get practice at addressing new faces.
Send your Livingston contacts to Pauline Dix, Livingston club president.
Livingston Speakers meet fortnightly at their new premises: a lovely spacious room at West Lothian College at 6.45 for a prompt 7.00pm. There is unrestricted free parking.
Keep Motoring Through the Manuals!
I know from personal experience that it’s easy to let several months go by without booking a speech slot. But you do lose momentum. The opportunity to build on the previous feedback from members and your evaluator evaporates. Then you make little progress. You start getting the same recommendations again and again, but nothing you do makes it any better. It’s easy to become discouraged. The remedy is simple: just step back on the bus. Get back in touch with your mentor (or get one in place) and book that speech slot! Dig out your past evaluations in your manual and have a word with your mentor on how to address anything that has been recommended. As soon as you pick up the pace and do a speech every 2 months or so, your performance in front of an audience will improve and you will start to make visible progress.
You'll also find that by taking on roles at the meetings, you develop a much better understanding of the different aspects of speech-craft. Your Competant Leadership manual has various projects exploring different aspects of the same leadership roles. By working through the leadership projects, you will also accelerate your progress. Make sure you get a written evaluation of your role in your manual every time you take on a role and before you know it, you will be well on the way to leadership qualifications in essential 'soft skills' such as analytic thinking, listening, mentoring and motivating: skills that would-be employers will find hard to ignore. You'll also get practice at managing projects such as contests or the club newsletter.
Plus you’ll be helping the club perform better for all the members. The more qualifications (both communications and leadership awards) we enable our members to achieve, the more rewards and recognition we get from TI to help make each club even better through the Distinguished Club Programme. This is how TI motivates the clubs to ensure that they deliver enough support to help members complete their education targets and improve as speakers and leaders. Everything is driven by helping members progress. Qualifications are your tangible proof of progress and the TI qualifications are seriously special: they are recognised in 116 countries.
Scottish TI Gets Independence!
We now have enough Scottish clubs to make Scotland a distinct division of its own. There’s no politics involved but there are practical advantages. For example, our Division Governor, Jim Davidson can speak to the press about communications and leadership skills Scotland-wide: the first time we’ve had someone form TI represent Scotland. Plus our successful speech contestants will no longer have to trail down to the Midlands to compete in the Division speech contest level after winning both the Club and the Area speech contests. Just Scottish contests, then UK, then the world!
Edinburgh Urged to Compete!
The competitive element of the two annual speech contests gets the adrenalin levels going as you push for new heights and compete against members from other clubs. It really pulls something extra out of a speaker that has got used to standard club meetings. And that's the point: to use the contests to make a step-change in your own communications skills. That's why everyone’s a winner at a TI speech contest, no matter who ends up holding the trophy.