Category Archives: Toastmasters International

A celebration for Narmada Guruswamy, DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster)

Congratulations to Narmada Guruswamy, from Aberdeen Toastmasters, who has achieved her DTM award (Distinguished Toastmaster). A celebration dinner was held in Aberdeen on Friday 23rd November and was attended by Toastmasters and guests from Aberdeen and beyond.

NarmadaDTM 2 A celebration for Narmada Guruswamy, DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster)

Narmada being presented with her DTM award by Angela Aberdein, President of Aberdeen TM

This being a Toastmaster celebration, we were not going to miss a speaking opportunity! We heard from members who delivered their own tribute or who read tributes from past Presidents and Area/Division Governors; we heard a message from Joe Gibbs, Past D71 District Governor, who awarded Narmada the prestigious Area Governor of The Year award in 2009/10:  “you demonstrate a willingness to listen and analyse before acting, also diplomacy and a readiness  to understand the concerns of other; through your leadership roles you continue to lead by example and contribute much to Toastmasters and to D71”.  Narmada gave an inspiring acceptance speech chartering her journey in Toastmasters with reference to Alice in Wonderland!

DTM is awarded to members who have achieved both the Advanced Communication Gold and Advanced Leader Silver awards, comprising service and leadership at the club and area (or higher) levels and the delivery of at least 40 speeches. Narmada has been instrumental in the development of Area 43 and led Division E to achieve Presidents Distinguished Division in 2011/1

Congratulations to Narmada for her well-deserved DTM

Waverley Communicators – Latest News

P1020419 Waverley Communicators   Latest News

Waverley Communicators Meet at New Venue – Old St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh

For the latest blog posts from Waverley Communicators go to and read:

 1. Waverley Communicators Has Moved!  See photographs of the club’s new venue and find out the first night went.

2. Letter to Toastmasters – Find out which Waverley member has a letter in this month’s Toastmaster magazine and what she said.

3. Area 30 Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest - photographs and results from the contest.

4. Video: Increase Your Confidence By Changing Your Body Language

5. What Does Your Voice Say About You? – advice from a voice coach

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM, Vice President Public Relations, Waverley Communicators 

Crank Up the Chutzpa!

confidence2 246x300 Crank Up the Chutzpa!

By Darren Hardy

In the last post we discussed the unconquerable power of confidence. Let me now pass along a couple ideas from two known experts on the topic.

First is Sam Horn, who wrote the book Concrete Confidence. She suggested, if you are looking to act more confident and be more confident, to “learn to speak confidently.”

I believe that is true. Your ability to speak clearly, persuasively and confidently does wonders to the totality of your confidence in general.

It doesn’t matter whether your business requires you to speak in front of groups or not; being able speak confidently and persuasively is a critical element to your greater success.

And like any skill you want to develop, you need to study it, practice it and do it a lot.

So here are my suggestions:

1. Go buy three books on becoming a better communicator, one-on-one and in front of groups.
2. Join Toastmasters or some other networking or Mastermind group that will require you to present your ideas in front of a group (meaning practice).
3. I challenge you to offer your speaking, training or lectures for free at high schools, universities, local service groups or other places (more practice).

Almost every hall of fame speaker I know started off scared to death to speak in front of small groups, but you’d never know it. Why? Because they did exactly the kind of thing I just outlined to you.

Don’t allow yourself to settle for mediocrity in this area. Stretch, grow and improve in your ability to speak confidently. It will do wonders to the confidence of your entire person.

Next, Debbie Ford, who is best known for Shadow Process, and her latest book, Courage: Overcoming Fear & Igniting Self-Confidence.


Sheila Fraser – Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award

DTM2wb Sheila Fraser   Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award

Congratulations to Sheila Fraser who recently received her Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) award, one of the Toastmasters International’s highest accolade, Sheila completed her 40th speech and achieved her DTM status during June 2012.

You can find out more information on Toastmasters DTM award by visiting the Toastmasters International site below


Toastmasters D71 has achieved Distinguished District Status

Toastmasters D71 has achieved Distinguished District Status

Dear District 71 Members and Leaders

Thank you for your understanding, patience and support throughout the TI year of 2011 – 2012.  It has been and extraordinary year of challenge and change; pain and progress.  It is a testament to your commitment, your generosity-of-spirit and willingness-to-serve-others, that you are not alone on speaking terms with the District Leadership Team [DLT] members, but that we have formed a bond of respect and friendship with each other.  On behalf of the DLT members, I wish to thank you most sincerely for that.

As team members, you did not get distracted by Re-Branding, Re-Formation or Re-Alignments.  While all three of the afore-mentioned processes were really important, and while we engaged with them and completed the tasks required, we did not lose track of our core responsibility, namely, to provide a quality service to all of our members.  As with all team efforts, it is the team that sticks to the agreed game-plan, remains focused on the objectives and remains respectful to each other, that overcomes all obstacles.

So, how did we do as a District, in terms of our core Communication and Leadership commitments?  I am delighted to share with you today, the news that, despite all of the distractions: RE-Session, RE-Branding, RE-Formation and RE-Alignments, that challenged us throughout the year 2011 – 2012, we have achieved the status of Distinguished District.  We will not know for some time where that positions our District in the world rankings.

Have you, as Members and Leaders, made a significant contribution towards the future development of Toastmasters in theUKandIreland?  I would argue that you have made a very significant difference.  As members of the various leadership Teams:  Club, Area, Division and District  teams, [and I specifically want to include the Reformation Analysis Team (RAC) and the Division Re-Alignment Teams].  Yes, you have made an enormous contribution, as you have laid down new foundations, the blue-print and the structures for new Areas, new Divisions and a new District.  You have left a legacy of service and positive leadership that will inspire others to take on leadership roles into the future

These changes have rationalised our overcrowded Areas, Divisions and our District.  New leadership opportunities have now been provided for out members.  The number of clubs per Area can now be reduced to 4, with the exception being 5 in the case of towns and cities.  More members can now afford the cost / time to take on such responsibilities.

I cannot conclude without acknowledging the enormous contribution that the members of the District Leadership Team have made to all aspects of the management of District 71, particularly at a time of transition:-

Freddie Daniells, Luanne Kent, Hilary Briggs, Teresa Dukes, Martin Cowley [Treasurer] and Caroline O’Connor [Secretary] have attended more meetings, conference calls, answered more phone calls and text messages, given advice or shared experiences, than any top executive in a medium to large company, over the past year,

I have every confidence in commending the 2012 – 2013 District Team to our D71 members

District Governor:                    Freddie Daniells

Lt Governor Ed & Training      Luanne Kent

Lt Governor Marketing            Hilary Briggs

District PR Officer                  Ronnie Gillanders

Secretary                                Jean Gamester

Treasurer                                Jenny Crossley

Signed:-  Jim Hegarty [Immediate Past District Governor]


2014 Toastmasters International Convention

Dear Toastmasters,

I have exciting – and historical – news to share with you. For the first time in Toastmasters’ history, we will host our International Convention outside North America. After an extensive selection process, Kuala Lumpur, in the country of Malaysia, will be the site for the 2014 convention.

The selection of this Southeast Asian city reflects the global nature of our organization, as well as its evolving membership. More than 30 percent of all Toastmasters now live outside North America, with the greatest area of membership growth in Southeast Asia.

Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful city and we’re excited to host our convention there. I’m confident you will enjoy yourself and benefit greatly from the 2014 event.

Kuala Lumpur is high on the list of international travel destinations. It is a thriving metropolis, with dazzling high-rises and a rich cultural scene. The city is a prime international convention site for many reasons. It is centrally located to a broad membership population, which is expected to boost convention attendance higher than it’s ever been.

Like Toastmasters International itself, Kuala Lumpur celebrates diversity. KL (as the city is commonly known) is a melting pot of races and religions that spans Malay Muslims, Chinese Buddhists, Hindu Indians and other groups. Although the principal language is Malay, most Malaysians speak English as well.

KL, the capital city of Malaysia, is safe and clean, and its people are notably friendly. Millions of people from throughout the world visit every year. In 2011, KL staged nearly 80 international association meetings.

The expense of staging the convention outside North America will be largely offset by a number of factors. Food, lodging and travel are relatively inexpensive in KL. The Malaysian government has also provided our organization with generous financial incentives. In addition, the expected record-breaking attendance and a large volunteer force will help defray costs.

The convention meeting place offers excellent access. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and the surrounding hotels, parks and buildings are designed as a vibrant “city within a city,” with walking access to scores of shops and restaurants. Kuala Lumpur boasts many top-rated eating spots and an array of scenic sites to visit.

We invite you to be part of our 2014 International Convention in Kuala Lumpur – a groundbreaking event. For more detailed information, visit


Daniel Rex

Executive Director

Sheila Fraser – Our New Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) in Scotland

Congratulations to Sheila Fraser, who recently achieved the highest accolade in Toastmasters which is the Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) Award. Achieving the DTM award is not easy as a member will have to give at least 40 speeches and serves various roles within the Toastmasters International Organisation. So far, there are six DTM awards being given to members in Scotland. Please find below a short journey that Sheila would like to share after achieving her DTM award as an encouragement to other members and gratitude to those who had supported her along the way.

SheilaDTM2 225x300 Sheila Fraser – Our New Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) in Scotland

Sheila Fraser, DTM

Many thanks for all the kind words that you sent me before, during and after my DTM speech on Wednesday evening. I was particularly impressed at the gathering of people who came for 8 different clubs in Scotland to hear my ‘Stop firing the bullets’ speech.

I have spent the morning completing all the paperwork and scanning documents for Toastmasters International, so all the records are in place for Linlithgow to get the DCP before the end of June.

The highlights for this journey

When asked to be take on the role as Toastmaster for the first time at Capital Communicators – saying ‘I am not really a Toastmasters person’ – I was wrong, I am a Toastmaster person and carried out the role 14 times in one year when Linlithgow Speakers was starting up. I now enjoy the role.

Being President the second time around at Linlithgow Speakers ‘I got it the Toastmasters thing’ How good the organisational structure is and all the collecting the wee numbers and procedures are there to help the clubs not hold them back. At this point the Toastmaster anoraks became friends.

Being Area 30 Governor last year advanced my knowledge of the Toastmasters Structure and also increased the number of friends I now have in UK and Ireland. Being isolated from the world at airports, in conferences and on Scottish islands with fellow Toastmasters is a fabulous way to create friendships.

And finally having the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream and be a ballerina on the back of a horse – see

Thanks again for being, mentors, evaluators, room mates and friends.

Aberdeen Toastmaster gets a write up in worldwide pest control magazine.

Aberdeen Toastmaster, Peter Stewart , gets a write up in worldwide pest control magazine.

PIC 3 JPG2 Aberdeen Toastmaster gets a write up in worldwide pest control magazine.

Rat catching Toastmaster - Peter Stewart

A novel means of promotion

Well-known to many in the industry as a chirpy chappie, Peter Stewart of Aberkil, based in Aberdeen, has put two of his loves in life – pest control and entertaining – together for the mutual benefit of both. As an award winning member of Toastmasters International, as well as a near look-alike for X-Factor judge Louis Walsh, Peter is more than accomplished at standing on his own hind legs and giving a highly entertaining talk – often followed-up by a further skill – singing.

Peter has put these skills together and now bases his talk on all the amusing incidents that have occurred to him in his pest control ‘day’ job – from Rat Catcher to Rat Pack is the title of his set. Although, tongue-in cheek,his routine does get over the more serious message concerning the benefits of pest control, and is followed up by a medley of Frank Sinatra numbers. This must work – as Peter declares his pest control business has never been busier.

See the public speaking  article here

Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.

Great Result for Capital Communicators, public speaking club, in Aberdeen.

Our club champions have gone on from our Club to ‘clean up’ at the Area Championships and represent us at the Toastmasters International Division Championship in Aberdeen.

The standard was very high in both competitions and Melanie did brilliantly to win the International Speech Competition.  She will be going on to the District final in Wexford on 12/13 May.

IMG 4862 300x238 Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.

Melanie Sherwood

Eoin also came 2nd in the Evaluation Competition.

IMG 4847 300x272 Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.

Eoin McDunphy

It was a close run contest and the judges did mention having to call on the Tiebreaking Judge on two occasions.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating them both and thanking them for representing us so well.


Some more photos from the event. Thanks to all the club members who traveled to support our Champions.

IMG 4868 300x116 Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.IMG 4867 300x138 Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.IMG 4866 300x166 Great Result for Capital Communicators in Aberdeen.