Category Archives: Leadership

Find Your Voice – Share Your Message

Life is a series of presentationsFind Your Voice

We get many messages to follow the rules and conform to the group message in our daily lives. At times, you may feel like you have something inside, a message, that needs to come out. Sometimes, after years of disuse…you must find yourself and find your voice again. Continue reading


How Yvonne Bryant became 2011-2012 Toastmaster of the Year by Connie Akins

Yvonne-Bryant-2011-2012-Toastmaster-of-the-Year-District-26This past November, the new District 26 Toastmaster of the Year for 2012-2013 was selected and it has given me a moment to reflect on my past year as the out-going Toastmaster of the Year.

My friend Alan Swartz likes to kid me a bit because he knows I didn’t have a strong grasp of the honor when I was selected. (My Toastmaster journey only started in February of 2010.) For me, it was a special honor to be selected for doing something I love to do…help other people while also growing organizations using my unique set of skills.

The District 26 Toastmaster of the Year is selected from ~3,000 members across Colorado, Wyoming, and Western Nebraska. The selection process starts at the club level, moves up to the Area, then Division, and finally the District level. The surprise announcement was even more so as I knew that I had not made it past one of those levels! The outgoing District Governor, then Mr. Norm Frickey, made the final selection.

The honor is bestowed upon a member for Exceptional Leadership and Devoted Service.

For those who would like to know a little of what lead to my nomination and selection, I have provided a pdf version of the article in the District Dialogue and a copy of the article by Connie Akins below.

District 26 Toastmaster of the Year

by Connie Akins, ACS, CL

It’s the District Conference Hall of Fame Luncheon, and it is almost time to announce the Toastmaster of the Year award.

Alan Swartz and his wife,Connie,are whispering up a storm at their table.

“Who do you think it will be this year, honey?” whispers Connie.

“Oh, it just has to be Yvonne!”

“Really? Yvonne Bryant? She is amazing!”

“She has done SO much for the F-1 Area. For instance she has:

  • Set up officer training conference calls to make sure all her club officers were getting trained.
  • She’s been working with all her clubs to help each one build membership and PR programs.
  • She also uses Drop Box to make available all kinds of templates for all her clubs to use.”

“Wow!” Connie only half whispers, “She did all that?”

“Much more than that! She also:

  • Made up a One-Sheet with all the clubs and their contact info to hand out to groups and individuals that might be looking for a club to join.
  • She made up an F-1 calendar based on the District calendar to help her clubs get connected into being a part of our whole District.
  • On top of all of that, Yvonne would get the names from Tom Hobbs of people who were interested in starting new clubs and call them and help them understand the process.
  • She’s always promoting, encouraging,training and assisting clubs and officers wherever she goes. And her clubs are really spread out! Sometimes she even has to stay overnight.”

“My gosh! She is more amazing than I realized!”

“Well, there’s even more,like helping her people connect their Toastmasters lives with the other groups they’re in, helping clubs develop their own club culture, showing officers how to set up their
websites and on and on.”

“Yvonne better win! I can’t imagine anyone who deserves it more. Plus she is the nicest, kindest person!” whispers Connie one last time.

“And now” says Norm Frickey, Immediate Past District Governor, “the Toastmaster of the Year award goes to…Yvonne Bryant!”

Yvonne Bryant, CEO Motus Design GroupOriginal article: How Yvonne Bryant became 2011-2012 Toastmaster of the Year

Yvonne Bryant is a nationally recognized leader and consultant who enjoys speaking and training Executives and Entrepreneurs. She is based in Colorado where she operates her Executive Coaching and Business consulting practice, Motus Design Group, llc.
Yvonne was recognized as the 2011-2012 District 26 Toastmaster of the Year for Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska.

Learn to Speak in Public in 4-8 weeks!

Short Public Speaking Courses

Toastmasters Clubs facilitate short courses in public speaking for adults that run either 4, 6 or 8 weeks. These are known as Speechcraft Programs.

Below you can see information about Speechcraft, how it can benefit you and what to expect at a course.

Speechcraft Program

What can Speechcraft do for you?

Speechcraft programs are short courses in public speaking that are offered by Toastmasters for people not wishing to make the full commitment to join a Club. In a Speechcraft program you will

  • Improve your communication skills so that you are more confident to talk in front of people.
  • Prepare a number of speeches in quick succession.
  • Find that your improved presentation skills will win you the respect and admiration of your colleagues.
  • Benefit because your participation in Speechcraft will increase your management potential.

How can Speechcraft meet your needs?

Speechcraft can help you because;

  • Speechcraft is a program designed for beginners in public speaking.
  • The hands-on program provides the “how-to” and the practical experience so critical to progress.
  • The Speechcraft program is cost effective as volunteers who are training to be better communicators provide the course.
  • An atmosphere of professional camaraderie makes each course a unique learning environment dedicated to personal improvement.
  • The program can be tailored to meet your personal objectives.

How does the Program work?

The Speechcraft program exposes each participant to a wide range of communication experiences.

  • Each participant receives a Toastmasters Speechcraft Handbook plus a range of other materials. These provide valuable reference material after the program is finished.
  • The initial prepared speeches are designed with the novice speaker in mind. You need no experience.
  • A variety of assigned short speeches help participants develop competency.
  • During each meeting a short impromptu speaking session is conducted to help participants learn to think on their feet.
  • After giving a prepared speech, each participant receives a constructive speech evaluation. This process recognises speakers for their strengths and provides valuable guidance on how future presentations may be improved.
  • Upon completion of the basic course you may continue your training at a Toastmasters Club.

When and Where is Speechcraft conducted?

A wide variety of Speechcraft programs are conducted by Toastmasters Clubs throughout Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska each year.

These are offered by Clubs within their local communities as a community service, and charges are usually very reasonable.

A Note for Employers

Speechcraft is high quality training at a price that every firm can afford. If staff lack confidence when speaking in public, that is a handicap. But if they are prepared to put the effort into the course work, you will probably want to help them.

First study the requirements of the course and satisfy yourself that this is an effective program. Then offer to pay the course fees of your staff. When you have seen the results of the course, your firm could develop a policy of encouraging staff members to take the Speechcraft course.

For more information, contact Summit Toastmasters at:

Thank you District 70 for help with the program description.

Sea Change

Sea ChangeAs another year passes, we look forward to the future whilst also reflecting on the days gone by.  To goals we accomplished and goals we didn’t. To what we should have done and what could have been.  It is time to step out of the shackles of the past and into a bigger and brighter future.It is time to dream and dream big for 2013.  Imagine 12 months from now. What will you have accomplished?For some, it is a change in career (that’s me!),  climbing your tenth fourteener, changing your lifestyle to feel happier and healthier and so on….

As Albert Einstein said – ‘Imagination is everything.  It is the preview to life’s coming attractions’.

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District 26 January-February 2013 Toastmaster Leadership Institutes

from Tom Hobbs, The Man in the Hat
District 26 Lt. Gov. Education and Training

Is your club worthy of Vibrant Meetings?

Toastmasters Leadership Institute

  1.  When club officers attend Officer Training (Toastmaster Leadership Institute – TLI) in the current Officer Term, the club is always vibrant and has a continuous flow of guests.
  2.  Club officer trainings fill requirements for the Distinguished Club Program (DCP) 

 All members are welcome to attend.

Guests are FREE too!

 Upcoming Toastmasters Leadership Institutes