The Visit 27th May 2014!
This was my first ever visit to a Toastmasters club outside my own Area, let alone District. My wife Stephanie and I went together and had a good night out altogether. It was fun and really educational. hint: skip to bottom for photo galleries
The prospective club Toastmaster Malta is Malta’s only Toastmasters club within a small island nation of 400,000 inhabitants. They were founded four years ago and are slowly building-up towards full charter-ship. Although un-districted they work closely with District 59 and are the only club in their area and in their division. Thus, visiting Toastmasters offer a wonderful opportunity for interaction and mutual learning. If passing do go visit!
The venue is the wonderful new and prestigious Skyparks building just outside of Malta’s international airport at Luqa. It was very easy to find with efficient car parking. We found we needed to check in at reception to obtain elevator permission to access the 5th floor and the Microsoft Innovation Centre.
Twelve Toastmasters, one visiting Toastmaster, and five welcome guests attended. This night was originally planned as an informal practice session between 3-4 members but was scaled up very quickly to a special full meeting planned to take advantage of Daniel’s visit. We had four speeches. There was one educational advances leadership speech and three prepared speeches from the Competent Communicator manual.
- “Evaluate to Motivate” was delivered by Daniel. It was an educational speech take from the Successful Club series of leadership speeches and augmented with the techniques that are used often within District 71. (see separate blog post). Evaluated by Mark
- “Beware our brains” was a speech given by Sirinca on the dangers of biases if we make instinctive rather than analytical decisions. This talk was prepared for the second project of the Competent Communicator manual “Organise your speech”. Evaluated by Daniel
- “Backing the bankers” was a project 7 “Research your topic” talk given by Dominic and presented the argument that regulators and politicians did more to create the conditions of a financial crisis than the bankers. Evaluated by Kenneth
- “Steal like an artist” told us about ten practices that successful creative people adopt and that we can learn as we all need to be creative. It was Martina’s Competent Communicator project 2 “Organise your speech”. Evaluated by Daniel
In the table topics we had questions like “what is your message for the world?”, “the sudden noise from the garage?”, “is it better never to try than to fail?”, “is it ever better to take instinctive risks?”. Overall there were six table topic speakers chosen by random numbers . Special mention goes to the people conducting meeting roles: Norman (Toastmaster of the Evening), Mark (President and Evaluator), Marcus (Timekeeper), Roderick (Table Topics Master) Kenneth (Evaluator), Daniel (Evalautor) Martina (Sergeant at arms) and Johan (General Evaluator).
The awards went to Sarinca for best Speaker and Marcus for best Table Topics Speaker.
Overall the standards were high! Stephanie and Daniel wish Toastmaster Malta every good luck in reaching chartership and gaining the recognition and rewards they well deserve.
Ivan was a fellow guest at Toastmaster Malta, but he had also been a guest at Cranfield Speakers in February, whilst at Cranfield University. We may have a very high turnover of student members at Cranfield Speakers that can make the club and its meetings hard to manage, but we get a global alumni network! Few Toastmasters clubs can claim that! At the end of the meeting the Club President Mark and Toastmaster of the Evening entertained my wife and I to light bites and drinks in the classy and atmospheric Bistro afterwards before we dashed away to catch the boat back to the Island of Gozo with many great memories and new friends.
Toastmasters Malta currently meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 18:15 in the Microsoft Innovation Centre, Skyparks Business Centre Ltd, Malta International Airport, Luqa LQA 4000. A regular second monthly meeting is planned., LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3124622
Cranfield Speakers meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month at 18:00 in the Learning and Development Room (First Floor), Building 33 (Chapel Entrance), Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, MK16 9BT, United Kingdom. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Like us www.facebook.com/cranfieldtoastmasters
The poignancy of this visit
One of the very special reasons for wanting to bring my skills to Toastmaster Malta is that it completes a personal journey. Two years earlier Toastmasters had given me the skills to cope with the sudden public speaking demands following my father death in my parents adopted homeland of Malta. I lead my brother in reading over the coffin at the funeral in Sannat (Gozo). I then prepared a Eulogy as a club speech (project 3 Competent Communicator) see here . The Eulogy was presented at memorial reception in London and later on at a fundraising memorial garden party (co hosted by Rotary Gozo) at my parents home in Xewkija.
To be proactively involved in my fathers mourning gave me a very purposeful and positive sense of closure and resolution of grief. Last year a state of the art heart monitor was given to Gozo Hospital.
I learned a lot by the contrast in agendas between Malta and Cranfield. Here are some of my observations
- Where Cranfield Speakers have a Jokemaster in Malta the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) does the warm-up around the theme of the meeting. In this case perception and perspectives illustrated around a drawing that can be seen two ways by turning 90 degrees.
- In Malta the TME also introduced each speaker where in Cranfield the TME introduces the speaker’s evaluator who then introduces the speaker and, crucially, the speech goals.
- In Malta the speakers are encouraged to sent a synopsis of their talks to their evaluator a week in advance. In Cranfield the evaluators are encourage to contact their speakers in advance to understand the goals of both the speech and the speaker.
- In Cranfield we do all of the evaluations in a block after the break whereas in Malta evaluation occur in small block right after the speeches, such that two speeches then their two evaluations then the next two speeches.
- In Malta there is a short 5 minute break with a post meeting opportunity for some to meet up in the bistro afterwards whereas in Cranfield we have a 25 minute network break with coffee, tea and biscuits in the middle.
- In Cranfield we have a table topics session of four speakers early in the meeting where as in Malta it forms the second half of the meeting and can have 6 speakers with two evaluators one doing odd numbered speakers and another doing even.
- In Malta Table topics speakers are chosen from anyone in the room by random people picking out a number from 1 to n (n being the number in the room). In secretly each person has be allocated a number and is the lucky person is thus called up! In Cranfield we allow for volunteers or we choose people. but we cannot choose anyone with their arms folded.
- At Cranfield we present ribbons and returnable trophies for Best speaker, table-topic speaker, evaluator, and best use of humour on the outcome of ballots. We also convey a verbal smooth talker award at the discretion of the Ah/grunt-counter and a General Evaluators award for the best person in a meeting/leadership role. Toastmaster lapel pins are awarded to icebreaker speakers and guest get a welcome ribbon and a chance to tell the room what they felt about their experience of the meeting. By contrast in Malta they verbally recognize the best speaker, table-topics speaker and evaluator from the ballot.
Vive la différence as they say, but I for one noticed the increase in intensity, finding myself giving a 15 minute leadership speech, listening for seven minutes to a speech that I had to evaluate, then listening to my own evaluation for three minutes, and then a further three minutes giving my evaluation. In two hours fifteen minutes Malta got through one educational speech, three prepared speeches, and six table topic speeches plus all their evaluations. In Cranfield that would be two hours 40 minutes. I did miss the opportunity to mull over my evaluation reports during the longer network break at Cranfield.
Travelling Toastmaster Magazine
The Travelling Toastmaster is a section in the Toastmaster magazine devoted to photos of the magazine travelling to exotic locations. For fun we took a few in and around Gozo.
D59 blog: The “Toastmasters visitor” series*: destination Malta
Posted on 18. June 2014 by Ruxandra
Daniel Sandars visiting prospective club Toastmasters Malta Luqa, Malta, 27th
Daniel Sandars CC, a Toastmaster at Cranfield Speakers (http://cranfield.d71.org), and his wife Stephanie took a night out from their family holiday on the Island of Gozo in Malta to visit Toastmasters Malta (http://tmmalta.tmclub.eu). Daniel has a very emotional relation to Malta where he gave an eulogy speech for which Toastmasters helped him prepare. His visit might trigger Malta chartering its first club and potentially becoming one of the countries joining D59 in the future.
D59 Interactive Newsletter
District 71 Newsletter April – June
Cranfield Toastmasters on Holidays
Daniel Sandars, a Toastmaster at Cranfield Speakers and his wife Stephanie took a night out from their
family holiday on the Island of Gozo in Malta to visit Toastmasters Malta. http://tmmalta.tmclub.eu
Daniel delivered one of the Successful Club series of educational speeches “Evaluate to Motivate”
with methods and models drawn from the practices used at Cranfield Speakers.