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Keeping Your Promise DTM Pat Johnson International President 2010-2011

We promise to include others in our learning and hold them to a level that they are worthy of achieving. And I especially love the part of the promise where we commit to having fun while learning at each meeting!

I recited the Toastmasters Promise when I was inducted into the membership of the Swan Valley Toastmasters Club more than 27 years ago. And then I filed it away. On my visit to the District 81 spring conference in St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, I was amazed and inspired when the general membership stood en masse and recited this promise at the Opening Ceremony. I also felt self-conscious that I was unable to recite the promise along with them. Right then, I committed to revisiting – and memorizing – the promise when I arrived home. A few days later, with the Toastmasters Promise in front of me, I thought, “How can I best fulfill my Toastmasters promise?” And then it came to me: I could bring the Promise to the forefront of our great organization in this column space!

Toastmasters International is fortunate enough to have people knock on our doors searching for leadership, listening, thinking and speaking skills. Millions of people worldwide have found what they came looking for. I hope that is true for you as well. I believe we are able to meet these diverse needs because each of us fulfills our promise to ourselves and one another. My fervent hope is that each one of us identifies our fear and moves boldly into it. This is the very spot where true learning takes place. Make a commitment to your personal greatness by looking for new lessons to learn and supporting the learning of others.

As I reread and ponder each line of this promise, I realize that this pledge we take as we join our clubs leads us to become engaged students of the Toastmasters communication and leadership programs.

Greatness is keeping our promise to ourselves and to each other. I am confident that as we fulfill our promise, we will catch glimpses of the greatness in ourselves and others. That is the reward in our programs.

We promise to do our homework. We promise to encourage our fellow learners. We promise to play fair and to rise to the challenge when someone sees something great in us. We promise to engage in our experiential learning program.

Be bold and grow this year. Keep your Toastmasters Promise!

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Competitions 2013 By TM Dilshan Silva, CC, Treasurer Club Competitions of the year for Humorous Speeches and Evaluations was held on 10 th September 2013 bringing back fond memories of our charter year. There were many new faces taking on active roles in the competition and competing to make it to the next level while many participants from last year were seen taking a year out to experience the roles of competition chair, tally counters, test speakers and judges. The contest arena was full of enthusiasm and glamor due to the skills and talents of our toastmasters. At Club level, TM Padmal Vithanage was the conqueror for both, the Humorous Speech & Evaluation battles while TM Sineth Withanage was placed first runner-up followed by TM Rajeev De Silva, as the second runner-up of the Humorous Speech battle. TM Ishara Wickramathilake was the runner-up of the Evaluation battle. TM Sriyanthi Salgado the former Division governor judged the battle where TM Dilshan Silva kept the flow of enthusiasm by being the Contest Chair of the competition. TM Ishara and TM Sineth went on to secure their positions to compete in the Division Contest by placing runners up at the C3 Area Contest for Evaluations and Humourous Speeches. TM Ishara bagged the 2nd Runner Up title at the Division C Evaluations Contest. We look forward to the next round of competitions and encourage all toastmasters to take a chance and show their colours!

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Reverberation 2013 By TM Yasangi Randeni, CC/ALB, VP – Membership Reverberation 2013, was undoubtedly the highlight of the second quarter in the 2012/2013 toastmasters year. Held in Bangalore, India, on 23 rd and 24th November 2013, Reverberation saw many talented toastmasters come together at the Indian Institute of Science for the Semi Annual Conference of District 82. For those new members who are not aware, District 82 is the home of Toastmasters from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Winners of the Division contests from District 82 compete for the title of the District Champion at this platform. Humourous Speech and Evaluations contest winners from all divisions in District 82 competed over the course of 2 days while educational sessions were conducted on day two. TM Dhananjaya Hettiarachchi spoke to a packed audience on 'How to Beat a Champion' and the main points from his speech are detailed on page 6. The contestants of the Humourous Speech and Evaluations competitions were separated into two groups in the semi final round and, as a volunteer, I had the opportunity to assist the organisers as a Sergeant at Arms for one group. Volunteering in the organising committee, even for a small role, is something all toastmasters should try out since it gives a chance to work with toastmasters from different clubs and more importantly, offers privileged access to contest halls in packed competitions! As luck would have it, the group I worked with included contestants from Division C. Toastmasters from Sri Lanka competing in the other group included our very own mentor, TM Sandun Fernando of the Smedley Toastmasters Club and toastmasters Keishara Perera and Arfath Saleem who have joined Aitken Spence toastmasters as guest speakers. TM Sandun, TM Arfath and TM Michelle De Silva of HNB Toastmasters Club made it to the final rounds. Although contestants from Sri Lanka gave their best, toastmasters from India proved to be a tough challenge and took home the winning trophies for both Humourous Speech and Evaluations competitions. (Visit their facebook page or website to see images and videos from the event.) Whether to compete, to take on a role or simply to attend as a guest, the District Conference is an experience toastmasters should not miss. Registrations for the year end conference, Ovation 2014, in Goa (India) are now open... will you be part of the fun in Goa next year? 5

How to Beat a Champion Tips from TM Dhananjaya Hettiarachchi on how to be a Champion Speaker

Anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to TM Dhananjaya Hettiarachchi, or 'Dhana' to his friends in the fraternity, would know that he is an inspirational speaker. Speaking to the participants at an educational session in the Reverberation 2013 conference, Dhananjaya had these words of advice for anyone who aspires to be the next Toastmasters World Champion: you have to get through him first! And being Dhananjya, he went on to tell us how that can be done. Be sure to take notes because these words will definitely help you. 1. Want or Wish? How badly do you want to win? In order to be a champion speaker, you must want success as much as you need to breathe. If you're not suffocating with the need to win then you don't want it bad enough. Don't worry about someone who is technically more skilled or is more talented than you. Be worried about that toastmaster who wants to WIN more than you. 2. Take Risks: It's the currency of success... Do something that you have never done before. Try things others might not. Learn from that experience.

3. Struggle: Your struggle will define you. Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to lose to other toastmasters. Don't be afraid to get up and speak. Keep showing up for the competitions . Keep trying.

4. Be a better you. Understand what type of person you are. Don't be the same guy who comes with a different speech. Do something to change your perspective. That process of 'growing up' will make you a better speaker.

5. Have a purpose in life. Dreams are overrated! Don't just dream. Have a purpose that you can work towards. 6. Have Audacity-Be Crazy: Be willing to do audacious things. Break your fears and work towards your purpose. 7. Fail! Don't be afraid to fail. You should keep trying because every failure will teach you how to be better the next time.

8. A Chance: Surround yourself with people who will give you a chance when you're at a low point. Be in a place where your dream is shared by so many other dreamers. That will make you stronger in your journey.

9. Have someone in your life that you don't want to disappoint: They will be your inspiration to try harder and keep getting better till you achieve your goals. So there you have it. Dhananjaya has inspired many in his career as a toastmaster and he has shared his own recipe for success with us. The question is,

Are you audacious enough to try and beat a champion? Back to Index


Achieving Goals By TM Azam Bakeer Markar, CL, Immediate Past President, Area Governor (C3)

Aitken Spence Toastmasters is proud to be one of the few clubs in Toastmasters' History to receive the Prestigious Golden Gavel in its charter year. It achieved this status by completing all Goals in the relevant criteria. This has now become standard set for Aitken Spence Toastmasters. This tenure brings in a new challenge which is the Golden Gavel Plus. The present committee has taken on this challenge as well and is striving towards achieving it. This commitment towards achieving goals is a good example for our lives as well. An interesting article on the web taken from (, shows some simple rules on how to set achievable goals.

Five Rules to Set Yourself Up for Success 1. Set Goals that Motivate You When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. If you have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of you putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is key to achieving goals.

2. Set SMART Goals You have probably heard of "SMART goals" already. But do you always apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be: Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time Bound 7

3. Set Goals in Writing The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might." For example, "I will reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year," not "I would like to reduce my operating expenses by 10 percent this year." The first goal statement has power and you can "see" yourself reducing expenses, the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked.

4. Make an Action Plan This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.

5. Stick With It! Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high. Back to Index


Aitken Spence Toastmasters Newsletter IV  

4th publication of the Aitken Spence Toastmasters Club Newsletter. In this issue, we have revisited the words of DTM Pat Johnson on 'Keeping...

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