District officers and Toastmasters from throughout District 47 are invited to submit articles for the blog on the district website. Division Directors and Area Directors are also being offered the opportunity to share items of local interest on separate division blogs (so far, only Division I is taking advantage).
The video below is a replay of a webinar in which I detailed what exactly a blog is (basically, just an easy way of posting timely information) and how to create posts using WordPress (the software that now powers the district website).
Things that would be appropriate to post to the district blog:
Leadership lessons learned in Toastmasters
Programs that one particular club created, or participates in, that other clubs can learn from. For example, at some point I will probably share a blog about how my home club, Club Awesome, uses video as both an educational and promotional tool. But to avoid being too much of a self promoter, I would like other clubs to share their great ideas first
Program information on upcoming events, such as TLIs. I would argue: Don’t wait until every detail of the schedule is nailed down. Think about answering the most important questions in all of marketing: “Why should I care?” and “What’s in it for me?” The sooner you share details about the great speakers, programs, and activities at your next event, the more likely you are to hit your registration and attendance targets
Additional resources shared as the follow up to a presentation at a TLI, such as the slides from the presentation and links to organizations mentioned in your presentation. Maybe a list of additional or related topics you didn’t get a chance to cover within a limited time
Outstanding or educational speech videos. As shown in the tutorial, you can easily add video that has been uploaded to YouTube to the body of a blog post or web page manged by WordPress. (Also works with video from Facebook and many other video sharing websites)
I don’t recommend posting the exact same content to a blog article that you would post to social media. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to use blogging as a way of expanding on your ideas and social media as a marketing tool for getting people to come to the blog. If you look at a Twitter feed, it largely consists of people sharing links to articles along with their own commentary. See also my article on the use of (and the mistakes I frequently see with) images as the content of blogs and social posts.
There are also topics that would be more appropriate to post on LinkedIn or some other personal, professional, or political website than on a Toastmasters website.
Articles will be reviewed for appropriateness and conformance to Toastmasters branding guidelines prior to publication. It’s possible we will decline to publish some articles, but if so I will coach you on other places you can share what you would like to share — and believe me when I say I would much rather say “yes” than “no” to your contributions.
If you would like to contribute articles to the District 47 blog, write to . Division Directors, Area Directors and other district leaders should have already received an email notification inviting them to set a password for the website.
Blogging for the district is one way you can work toward the “Create a Compelling Blog” Pathways project and teaches skills you can also use to promote a podcast or an online course or your own small business or your favorite cause.
The Toastmasters featured below were judged the best speakers from across South Florida and The Bahamas in the contest at the Toastmasters District 47 annual conference for 2019.
The winners were:
Colton Stollenmaier, 1st Place
Trevor Lockhart, 2nd Place
Annaya Holmes, 3rd Place
Each of the contestants had already won contests at increasing levels of competition — club, area, and division — before getting the district level.
The International Speech Contest tests the ability of Toastmasters to deliver a serious or inspirational message (although these speeches often contain an element of humor as well). The International Speech contest ultimately leads to the crowning of a World Champion of Public Speaking when competitors from across the world meet at the Toastmasters International Convention.
Among the most important skills we learn in Toastmasters are “thinking on your feet” skills, tested in the Table Topics impromptu speaking contest by having competitors led into the room one at a time to respond to the same prompt (without the opportunity to hear how others had answered it).
This video includes speeches from all the competitors in the Toastmasters District 47 contest for South Florida and The Bahamas, ending with the winners chosen by the judges:
Dorrette Keen, 1st Place Missy Monokian, 2nd Place Evelyn Flores, 3rd Place
Each of these competitors had aready won at the level of their club, area, and division contests.
For Toastmasters District 47 to achieve its goals, Division and Area Directors must help every club (and ultimately every club member) achieve their goals. KK has some thoughts about how to do it right.
Kristina Kihlberg is a Past District Governor of District 47 and a Past International Director of Toastmasters International.
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