Posts tagged: east midlands speakers

Jun 24 2010

Clubs Must Use Social Media

Professionally, I am very interested in how people and groups communicate. I’m mystified that there is so much sensible advice in the public arena about how to communicate information, that gets ignored.

As VPPR of my Toastmasters’ group, East Midlands Speakers Club, I need to know whether members think that they are getting too much or too little information and how they prefer to receive it.

I used the final project in my Advanced Manual on Technical Presentations, Enhancing a Technical Talk with the Internet, to carry out a small survey with the help of club members, of what are their communications’ preferences.

Since I am aware of the phenomenal increase in use of social networking, I also wanted to convey to my audience the urgency of the need to embrace social media. Many other toastmasters’ clubs use a variety of methods on the web to self-publicise and to promote toastmasters, blogs, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. Ours does not, yet. Although we do have a Facebook group.

It isn’t enough now, just to have a website. Have you noticed the Facebook Like buttons and the Tweetmeme on these pages?

I had a high response rate from my colleagues, for which I am extremely grateful. Thank you, all of you.

I’m also grateful for the free use of Surveymonkey to organise my survey, Slideshare for hosting the slideshow presentation, and 4shared.com for hosting the soundtrack.

The objectives of the project required that I email a link to the internet for club members to follow, make a presentation using PowerPoint or Keynote, backed up by a flipchart if necessary, and to follow up the presentation with a summary.

Here is that follow-up summary, conveyed in a slide presentation and accompanying, separate soundtrack. The first slides show the results of the survey. Successive slides present data showing the incredible rise in use of social media. Finally, the presentation includes links which readers can follow to toastmasters’ groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

I thoroughly recommend watching the YouTube video linked at the end of the presentation. Four minutes long, it shows eye-widening statistics on the shift in communications preferences. The video is based on Erik Qualman’s book, Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. Did you know that some universities have stopped issuing email addresses to students because these young people just won’t use email? Instead, they’re using ereaders, iPads and tablet computers. How many people are using their mobile phones to surf the net to stay in touch with friends?

Unless we stay abreast of this revolution, we may find that it will prove difficult, if not impossible, in the future to recruit new members.

You will need to click on both the slideshow and the soundtrack to start them off, and manually forward to the next slide. The soundtrack will prompt you to move on. You can pause the slideshow if you need to.

The links on the slides will take you to toastmasters’ groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. The link to YouTube will open Social Media Revolution 2.

This presentation concluded my bid for the Toastmasters’ Advanced Communicator Bronze award, which has contributed to East Midlands Speakers President’s Distinguished Club Award this year.

Dec 29 2008

Toastmasters International

I am now a member of Toastmasters International

I joined East Midlands Speakers’ Club last year to support two friends with whom I had worked in the 1980s. We chartered to Toastmasters International in June, celebrating by holding our first speech contest and  a charter dinner at the end of September.

East Midlands Speakers Club - Charter Dinner

East Midlands Speakers Club - Charter Dinner

Here are the members of East Midlands Speakers Club ‘dressing to impress’ at the dinner with the exception of me who was taking the picture.

Two of our members won our Area speech contest held on 5th October.  Judy Dyer won the humourous speech contest with her tale of Gregory, her green parrot, and Stuart Webb proved that he could speak extempore by winning the table topics contest.

They both went on to take part in the divisional (UK and Ireland) contest in York on 19th October.  Stuart came third in this national competition.

As for me, I have been participating in all the ‘leadership’ roles as required by the competent leadership award, and reached my Level 5 speech in the competent communicator programme last Monday October 20th.

The objective of the Level 5 speech is ‘Your Body Speaks.’ The evaluation concentrates on posture, gestures, body movement, facial expression and eye contact. I chose to speak about gothic bellydancing, which naturally gave me scope. Watch the YouTube video to see how I performed.

My camera had been set to video-email, which explains its tiny dimensions.

First published 25th October 2008.

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