This Week in ToastMasters | Mid-September (I don’t know)

Dim the lights, put on some smooth jazz and try not to trip over your inflated sense of self-worth. It’s…


I’m writing to you from the cozy confines of my living room. It’s a quarter to 1:00 in the morning, I’ve got a beer in my lap, and the television is showing some movie about an inter-dimensional, time-traveling duck. It’s pretty bad. I don’t recommend it. No, I don’t have a cigar like the picture shows. That’s because the first and last time I tried smoking a cigar, I spent the better part of the evening evacuating the contents of my stomach into the nearest toilet, much to my chagrin, the delight of my friends, and the joy of all those who logged into youtube to experience the fun.

Apparently a nicotine allergy is a real thing. Who knew?


Wait a minute. The duck is attempting to play the guitar and is flirting with Marty McFly’s mom, which is weird because the duck is less than half her size and looks kinda like Ralphie from “A Christmas Story.” I haven’t been this confused since I accidentally wandered into a Latin class in college and was asked to have a conversation – IN LATIN – in front of the class (Veni. Vici. Ego recalcitravit quidam asinus).

Is this real or should I stop drinking beer after midnight?


We had a really good meeting last week. I wish you could have been there. Unless you were there. In which case you know what I’m talking about and I don’t need to tell you how awesome it was.

Jason Tseng finished up his CC manual with a speech about the three F’s of Toastmasters. It was an excellent speech and we’re looking forward to experiencing some of Jason’s speeches as he starts his advanced manuals. Kalyan Ilipilla (It’s after 1am, I’ve been drinking, and that duck is really annoying. So please forgive me if I misspelled your name) gave his Ice Breaker Speech. He’s been to more countries than I can count, apparently, which is pretty high because I can count to almost 15! I finished us off with a speech about giving evaluations. It was mostly okay, but my favorite part was the end when I showed a picture of Reggie Watts and told everyone that my son thinks he looks like me.

We’re getting his eyes checked. Don’t worry

Joy Akunne returned to Toastmasters after taking some time off for foot surgery. It was nice to see you again, Joy. We’re glad you made it. We also had some guests this week. Welcome, John Rockwood and James Weaver. We’re glad you could make it, too. If you have any questions, let me know. I’ll do my best to confuse you even further.


Toastmasters has a lot of acronyms. We’re like IT people in that regard. We’ve got CC, ALB, ACG, HPL, DTM, HIJKLMNOP and more! There’s so much going on, the officers and I thought we might take a moment to explain what all these letters mean for you and how they can help you get better and whatever it is you do.

This week, we’ll take a look at the CC or Competent Communicator.

The Toastmasters Educational series is divided into two tracks: The communication track and the leadership track. The Competent Communicator is the very first series or educational award you can achieve in the communication track, and the goal is to cover the basics of public speaking. You learn how to organize and focus a speech, how to work on the mechanics of delivery through vocal variety and body language, how to use visual aids effectively, and how to use all these tools to inform, persuade and inspire your audience. That’s a lot for only ten speeches.

When you complete your CC, Toastmasters International sends you a fancy certificate and your first two advanced manuals for free. We’ll get into advanced manuals soon enough. If you’d like to read more about them right now, check them out here.

What if I get through my CC and I want to go back and do it all over again?

Good question. And the answer is: You can! Lots of people do their CC more than once. Our current District Governor, Larry Goldsmith, has been through the CC manual at least 5 times. The 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking, Lance Miller, does at least 1 CC every year. He’s got almost 20 CCs by now, I think (maybe).

The CC manual is the foundation for everything we do in Toastmasters. It’s a great place to get started and it’s a great place to go back and re-learn some of the things you might have forgotten over the years.


… I’m definitely not drinking anymore because now there’s a movie about a genetically altered Shark/Octopus. It’s called “Sharktopus.” I wonder, if we fed the duck from the previous movie to the Sharktopus in this movie, would both of them go away and leave me in peace? Probably not, but I can dream, can’t I?

  • See “Speak” TONIGHT at New Albany Church of the Nazarene.
  • Come support our club speech contest winners on September 29 at the Area 21 contest at New Albany Church of the Nazarene.
  • The Eastern Division Contest is October 20.
  • The Fall Conference is November 2-4 in Cincinnati.

Are you weird?

Do you like reading newsletters? If so … check out all the “This Week in Toastmasters” newsletters on our club blog at

Alright. That’s it. Go to the website, sign up for some stuff and, as always, have a good week. Try not to break anything.

This entry was posted in This Week and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.