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Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

The Toast

Power Speakers of Manatee County Government News Mag

June 2010 New Officers Message from the Vice President of Public Relations Teenagers: How to win them over Making a Roast a Tip Top Toast May Rewind Leadership Essentials And much more...

Toastmasters District 47, Division F, Area 61 Club #1197988

Power Speakers of MCG 1


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June 2010 Issue

Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

Letter from the Vice President of Public Relations Hello everyone! Another Toastmasters’ season has passed and that means a round of new officers. Officers for June 2010 – September 2010 is: President- Stephanie Moreland Vice President of Membership: Rossina Leider Vice President of Education: Mary Moeller Secretary: Liz Jones Sergeant At Arms: Jerson Lopez Treasurer: Deborah Carey-Reed Vice President of Public Relations: Simone Peterson To attract more members to the club, Power Speakers of MCG will be having its meetings in the Manatee Room, located on the 4th floor in the Administration Building downtown every 3rd and 4th Friday from 11:30 – 12:30. So if you’re in the Administration Building please stop by and visit. Now more than ever is not the time to feel comfortable. You should always be ready and willing to learn and expand your horizons. Toastmasters is one way to keep your public speaking skills sharp or for less experienced speakers, it’s the perfect place to build up your skills. There are people who have been in the same situation as you that could help you become a better speaker and a better leader in the process. If you’re interested in coming to a meeting, feel free to contact me. I, as well as other members of the club, am more than willing to walk you through a club meeting and explain the format of Toastmasters. So don’t get comfortable. Give Toastmasters a try!

Simone Pet erson

“If it’s not fun, it’s not Toastmasters!”

Simone Peterson Vice President of Public Relations

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June 2010 Issue

Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

Member Profile Stacy Haag 1. How long have you worked for Manatee County Government? It will be 6 years this September. 2. Title and department? Environmental Planner, Natural Resources Dept. 3. How long have you been a member of Toastmasters? Just joined in March 2010 4. How did you find out about Toastmasters? My supervisor recommended it to me. But, I have also heard about it through other members and on the Inet. 5. Why did you join Toastmasters? My supervisor assigned it as a goal for me. The intention is to improve my public speaking skills. 6. What do you like about the Club? I enjoy hearing the stories told in other member’s speeches. It’s a good supportive forum to practice speaking in front of an audience. 7. What is your Toastmasters goal? To get past the nervousness I experience when speaking. 8. Any awards received or working on? I did receive a Best Table Topics Ribbon. I am working towards the CC and CL awards. 9. Why should employees join the Toastmasters? You are treated with respect and courtesy. It helps you conquer the fear of speaking and see yourself in a different light. 10. What tip would you give regarding public speaking? Relax and try to enjoy it. 11. What do you do in your leisure time? I enjoy travelling, scuba diving, camping, gardening, swimming. 12. Favorite type of music? I like a wide variety of music- Funk, Rock, R&B, World Music. Some of my favorites are Prince, Tracy Chapman, and Alanis Morrisette. 13. Random facts: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Rollins College. I’ve lived in Charleston SC, Austin TX, and Orlando FL.

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June 2010 Issue

Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

CC- Compentent Communicator

Power Speakers of MCG News Second round of Award Recipients! The 10 speech projects in the Competent Communicator (CC) manual will help develop speaking skills one step at a time. When you finish all of the projects, you are eligible for CC recognition. Congrats to our CC recipients: Elizabeth Jones, Public Safety Renee Isom, Public Safety Olga Wolanin, Utilities Deborah CareyReed, Financial Management Mike Hilleshiem, Public Works Simone Peterson, Neighborhood Services These recipients as well as many others will be formally presented with their awards at the June 22 Regular Board Meeting.

Member Corner Making a Roast a Tip Top Toast How to prepare a ribbing that’s appropriate. by gene perret, cc

What better way to honor “Good Old Charlie” for his outstanding dedication to your organization, profession or community than to invite all of his family and friends to a special banquet in his honor…and then insult him? That’s right – insult him. Tell all of those assembled that “Good Old Charlie” doesn’t have an enemy in the world…although a lot of his friends don’t like him. You express your admiration and appreciation for your guest of honor with a “roast.” The basic idea is to show respect for a colleague with a generous helping of friendly, harmless “disrespect.” The Friars Club, a group that is today composed mostly of comedians and other celebrities, first introduced the roast in the early 1900s to honor distinguished members of its organization, mostly those in the theatrical profession. Entertainer Dean Martin popularized the

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concept with his television show, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, which aired from 1973 to 1984. Like most good comedy, the roast appears spontaneous, as if it’s almost being delivered off the top of your head. However, it actually requires much research, preparation and planning to produce an effective evening of friendly, dignified, put-down humor. (For Toastmasters members, the Advanced Communication manual Special Occasion Speeches [Item 226N] provides information about how to present a roast. Once you decide to roast “Good Old Charlie” (or “Good Old Charlene,” for that matter), your first task is research. Begin gathering information about your guest of honor. Where did he go to school? What activities did he participate in back then? Does she have any hobbies? Any heroes? In short, assemble as much background data as you can. Even though you may know the person pretty well, there are good reasons for trying to learn even a bit more: • The information may provide material for writing gags about him, or even provide a unique subtext for those things that you do already know. • For a full evening’s presentation, you’ll need diversity. You’ll have to provide jokes on more than just those attributes that people already know about your guest of honor. • Humor is a big part of this event and surprise is a major element of humor. The more detailed facts you can uncover about your roastee, the more surprising the material will be to the honoree and to the audience. You can begin your research by meeting informally with a few close friends of “Good Old Charlie.” Brainstorm ideas that you might kid the roastee about. The friends may relate a few embarrassing or funny stories that could become part of your show. This is not a writing session, so nothing has to be finalized. At this point, you’re simply gathering information.


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Next, contact Charlie’s family. They’ll provide a different perspective than his friends and colleagues. How did he and his spouse meet? Do his children have any anecdotes about him? Do they have any interesting family photos or mementos that could possibly be used? Obviously, you won’t use all of the information you uncover, but it will add depth, variety and surprise to your final script.

Limit the Time

The next assignment is to plan the presentation. You’ll probably want a few speakers, presenters or performers to populate this event. It’s advisable, though, to limit each segment of the show to a reasonable amount of time. This helps to keep the evening fast-paced. Some of the presentations will be sparkling, others less so. Your audience can endure the less-impressive segments if they’re short. Once you decide on your cast of presenters, you can assign each one a different facet of Charlie’s life to focus on. Presenter “A” might talk about his childhood and early years. Presenter “B” could handle his college years. Presenter “C” might discuss his hobbies. And so on. Delegating different topics to various presenters gives the entire presentation a continuity, avoids monotony and sidesteps any conflict among the presenters.

Once you’ve decided on the presenters, assigned topics and selected the style for each segment, the roast must be written. Here you can do the writing yourself, assign a team or several teams of writers, or allow each presenter to fashion his or her own script. One person or committee, though, should approve and finalize each segment and position it in the program.

Make Jokes, but Don’t Offend

The most daunting challenge of pulling off a successful roast is to guarantee that the evening is not offensive. But how can you have insult humor without insulting? Following are three guidelines to help you accomplish this: 1. Kid about things that are obviously fabricated or generally not true. At one recent roast, an association was honoring a man who had organized parties for the group for several years. The emcee said, “He doesn’t do it for applause or for the thanks he might get. No, he does it simply for the few bucks he can manage to skim off the top.” At another farewell dinner for a different honoree, the speaker kidded the man about his “drinking.” He said, “The local tavern is going to light a perpetual flame in his honor: They’re going to set fire to his breath.” These jokes could not have been used if the basic premise might be believed. However, as gags that none in the audience would take seriously, they were usable.

2. Laugh at things that the guest of honor jokes about. A speaker at one party ribbed the honIt’s also wise to vary the style of each presenta- oree about his erratic golf. He said, “He never tion. For example, you might begin with a clever uses a golf cart when he plays. Where he hits monologue explaining why Charlie is deservthe ball, it’s cheaper to take public transportaing of this honor. Then if you have a presenter tion.” Because this person told jokes about his with musical ability, you could do a song parody own bad golf, it was acceptable for the presentabout the roastee. The next presenter might er to do so. have a slide show featuring some of those old photos the family thoughtfully provided, accom- 3. Poke fun at things that are of no real consepanied by appropriate, and amusing, commen- quence. One speaker kidded the guest of honor tary. Then a series of speakers might present about his former athletic prowess. “When he the honoree with several “gag” gifts. All of this, of was younger he was a powerful man with big course, depends on the talent and preferences muscles and a barrel chest. Of course, that’s all of the people you’ve selected as presenters. behind him now.” The different formats provide a variety that helps That’s just a generic type of gag that has no real keep the presentation interesting for the audience. relationship to the person or his accomplishments. It’s an insult gag, but a harmless one.

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June 2010 Issue

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June 2010 Issue

Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

Pandora Scooter is a native of Washington D.C., and currently lives and works in New Jersey, where she is a performance artist and teaching artist.

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In the final stages of the roast’s preparation, be sure to double-check the tastefulness of all of the humor in your presentation. If any gag seems suspect to you, try it out on a friend or family member of the honoree. And if they agree it’s inappropriate, it’s out. Drop it or replace it. Then be your own ultimate censor. If you’re in doubt, the gag is out. It’s better to lose a joke than a friend. Keep in mind that this is an event to honor a colleague. Keep it fun, keep it slightly irreverent, but keep it dignified. Someone once asked Will Rogers how he could kid so many prominent people of his time and yet remain friendly with all of them. Rogers said, “If there’s no malice in your heart, there can’t be any in your jokes.” So prepare, plan and pull off a fine roast. Have fun doing it and make sure “Good Old Charlie” has fun too.

Guest Corner Tough Crowd: How to Win Over Teenagers Ditch the jokes and self-accolades; ask them questions and be direct. by pandora scooter

“Teenagers?! How can you do it? That’s a scary audience.” I hear this all the time. I’ve been teaching, giving workshops and performing for high school students for the past 15 years. Over and over I hear from seasoned public speakers that they are turned off by the very notion of speaking to teenagers. Why?

But after 15 years of working with them, I’ve found that there are some basic tenets to winning over this crowd that are successful (nearly) every time:

Get Down to Business

It’s especially important with a young audience that you use an attention-getting opening that aptly challenges their expectations. Teenagers are used to adults assuming they care about whatever the topic is and that they’re there by choice. Remember, with a young crowd, they’re there because they were told to be there. So your job is to make it clear to them that despite this fact, they can still get something out of their time with you. Before I even introduce myself to the group, I dive into a quick exercise or poem, or I pose a quick question. For instance, when doing a poetry workshop for a large class of 13- and 14-year-olds, I start off as soon as they are in their seats: “Everyone cover your eyes! Now, no peeking. Everyone who has ever written a poem, raise your hand. Put your hands down. Thank you. Now you can open your eyes.” Then, I continue, “Looks like we have a lot of writers in this group! That’s exciting to me.” Now, the kids have no idea how many people from their group raised a hand, but they do know that a) we’re there to talk about poetry; b) I’m in charge, and c) they’re going to participate. All that without my having to do any explaining. The short way to remember this tip is: Do, don’t talk.

“Teenagers don’t care.” “They don’t listen.” “They’re unruly.”

Here’s a word of caution about starting off with jokes: Generally speaking, jokes don’t go over well with teenagers. Jokes make it obvious that you’re trying to win them over, and they instinctively put up resistance. And, if the joke bombs, you’ve just made your life a lot harder.

Well, it’s true that, on the whole, teenagers like to seem as though they don’t care and are not listening, and they do wind up behaving in an unruly way if there’s nothing to focus their attention.

Unless you have some really great name-dropping credits, keep your biographical information to a minimum. Teenagers don’t care that you won some academic fellowship or that you were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Don’t even mention that you’ve been on television or in the movies if the shows aren’t very mainstream, because the kids will just ask, “Which ones?” and then you’ll be stuck at a disadvantage. I usually keep my intro short and sweet: “I’m Pandora

Keep Your Intro Short


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Scooter. I’m a spoken-word artist. And I love working with kids.”

Be Direct and Honest

Standing in front of 50 inner-city high school students I’d just met, I was charged with the task of teaching them in 45 minutes how to write a play. This was hard enough. But a student in the front row had his head on his desk, which was distracting me. I walked over to him and knocked on the desk. He didn’t move. “Excuse me. Are you OK?” He didn’t move. I repeated the question. He raised his head slowly and looked at me quizzically. “Are you OK?” I asked again. “Yeah,” he responded. “Well, then would you keep your head up? You’re distracting me with your head down like that.” I think he was so baffled that an adult was taking him to task, kindly, directly and honestly, that he sat up for the rest of the workshop and even participated. Don’t avoid asking tough questions. If teenagers are talking while you’re talking, find out why. Ask them. I’ve stopped performances for high school students to ask the audience questions like, “What’s going on with you guys?” or “Why are you talking while I’m talking?” Usually, I have to cajole the students to answer, to prove to them that I’m really interested in their responses. Usually, I get some apologies and some excuses (Example: “We’re hungry” or “We’re tired”). Whatever the reason, the important point to make is that you’re paying attention to them, that you’re not going to ignore their behavior. This puts them on notice and, most of the time, keeps their attention on you. And don’t avoid answering tough questions, either. I was once asked if I was famous. My answer was, “Not yet.” The young girl who asked me responded, “You wanna be famous, Miss?” And I said, “Yes. I do.” There was silence in the

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face of my voicing my dream so bluntly. I asked the students, “Do you want to know why I want to be famous?” The kids responded positively. I answered, “Because I want to be able to make a lot of good things happen for a lot of people and I think I can do that if I’m famous.” I believe they respected my honesty and felt they could share in my dream.

Check out the official Toastmasters video.

“Remember, with a young crowd, they’re there because they were told to be there.” Another time I was asked by a girl in a workshop if I was a lesbian. I stopped for a moment and responded, “Have you ever asked a teacher you thought was straight if they were straight?” She shook her head. I followed with, “Then I don’t think I should answer your question. Because if it doesn’t matter to you if a teacher is straight, then it shouldn’t matter to you if a teacher is gay.” This started up a whole discussion in the class about whether or not it matters to them, which was truly illuminating and exciting – for me and for the students.

Show Respect and Gratitude

You have no idea how far a “Thank you for listening to me,” or a “You all are a great audience” goes with teenagers. I usually throw in a compliment or an expression of gratitude about a third of the way or half way through my workshop or presentation – long enough into it for them to know that I have something to base it on. It works wonders.

Eye Contact

Make sure to make eye contact with this audience. Avoid talking above their heads. Speak directly to individuals. Make references to individuals like, “This young lady in red, here, seems to really like this idea.” Or “You with the baseball cap in the last row – you don’t like that poem? Why not?” Again, you need to remember that, for the most part, this audience is so used to being ignored, especially when they’re in groups, that the act of paying attention to them, in itself, keeps them absorbed.

Make Yourself Accessible

Announce your e-mail address or phone number at the end of the presentation. Go on. Give it out. Less than five percent of the students will ever use it, but they’ll all remember that you trusted them enough to give it out. And that will go over a long way with them. They’ll carry what you said with them on a deeper level and remember it for a longer period

June 2010 Issue

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June 2010 Issue

Manatee County County Administrator’s Office

after your presentation is over. And the ones who do use your number are mostly the ones you want to speak with, anyway, so it’s a win-win situation. At the end of your presentation, invite the students to come up and speak with you, or stand at one of the exits and thank them for listening and being there. You’ll find that more students than you think are appreciative of your presentation and they’ll let you know it, too. Teenagers are our future CEOs, politicians, teachers, engineers, doctors, mothers and fathers. They deserve the wealth of knowledge that we, as the adults in their community, have for them. Reaching them is important. By being honest, direct, respectful, grateful, clear and attentive, you can make the difference in many young people’s lives. I encourage you to embrace this audience and share your powerful messages with them.

Toastmasters International Leadership Essentials Leadership is difficult to define. It’s an abstract concept that evokes as many different reactions as there are different kinds of people. Yet most of us know good leadership when we see it, and we can often tell when good leadership is missing by the way a team or organization struggles without it. At Toastmasters, our leadership training program identifies the following areas as essential to quality, effective leadership: • Mission. A clear mission helps the leader to focus the team so that they can ignore distractions and pay attention to what’s most important. • Values. When a leader demonstrates values that are in sync with the company’s mission and the team’s goals, everyone benefits. • Planning and goal-setting. With clear goals and effective planning, leaders make their expectations understood and team members know what to do at all times.

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• Delegating authority. The job of leadership is usually too big to handle alone. By sharing responsibilities with the team, a leader instills a sense of purpose and empowerment. • Team building. Establishing trust, playing to individual strengths, encouraging people to work together – all are important aspects of team building. • Giving feedback. Constructive, concise and timely feedback is essential to each team member’s success, and to the success of the team as a whole. • Coaching team members. A good leader must take on the role of trainer now and then, providing expert advice, encouragement and suggestions for improvement. • Motivating people. By providing a good example, learning each team member’s needs and giving rewards and incentives when appropriate, a leader can inspire people to achieve higher levels of performance. • Working for the team. Great leaders encourage participation, facilitate communication and provide an environment where team success is more likely to occur. • Resolving conflict. Conflict between team members is inevitable, and not always a bad thing. A leader’s job is to resolve the conflict in a just and reasonable way so that productivity and morale do not suffer.

Toastmasters District 47 News Sarasota Toastmasters Leadership Institute Training There is an exciting Officer Training opportunitycoming up soon. Plan to attend this TLI Toastmasters Leadership Institute — in June. June 26th - TLI – Sarasota. All officers are encouraged to come as well as members for a day of learning and fun.

Sarasota, TLI

Goal: 7 officers trained from every club. 7 x 19 (clubs) = 133 officers trained Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010 Time: 8:00 AM - Registration Place: Sarasota County Government 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd


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Sarasota, Florida, 34240 Host: Division - F / Area - 60 / Club # 479 - Toast Of The County Club

Questions? Suggestions? Comments?

Volunteers needed for all positions: Keynote Speaker - one (can be used for manual speech credit) Officer Trainers - seven ( 1 / officer position-can be for manual speech credit) Educational Sessions - four (can be used for manual speech) Toastmaster/MC - (1) Registration desk- (4-6) SAA (2) General volunteers (4)

We want to hear from you!

Contacts: Zeris, Stamatis (Steve) 2010-2011 Division F Gov, ; Longo, Carson 2010-2011 District Treasurer,

Forward your message to Simone Peterson.

Event Registration Online at www.toastmastersD47.org Price: $6 per person online; $10 at the door (by cash or check only) Online registration closes on June 24.

May Rewind May 21

Best Speaker- Jane Casey Best Evaluator- Rossina Leider

May 28

Best Speaker- Olga Wolanin Best Evaluator- Stephanie Moreland

Olga Wolanin

Stephanie Moreland

Rossina Leider Jane Casey

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June 2010 Issue

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The Toast June  

Power Speakers of Manatee County Government News Mag May Rewind And much more... New Officers Leadership Essentials Making a Roast a Tip Top...

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