Issue 14, Volume 1

A word from President Dan

I am looking forward to this Wednesday meeting. We will have fantastic speeches, an awesome Table Topics and an all around great time.

Our Tall Tales contest is fast approaching. The date of the contest is Dec 11th. Have you picked a tale to tell? So far we have 5 contestants, and have room for more.

I am sure you all have a far fetched story inside of you somewhere… here is a reminder of what you need to know about the contest.

Basic Rules of the Tall Tales Speech Contest

Timing is 3-5 minutes, plus or minus 30 seconds.

Must be an original story with original content. Best to use something that happened to you so you’re not suspected of copying an existing story.

ANY members (who are not district officers) in good standing can participate. The “International Speech” contest held every winter has eligibility requirements, but not the Tall Tales competition. So, every member is eligible to participate.

There is no topic limitation. You can choose any topic you want your tale to be about. It just has to be original.

Humor and props may be used and are even suggested to illustrate the story.

Do NOT prepare a written introduction as only your name and speech title will be announced when you are introduced.

Tips to Win a Tall Tales Contest

  • Have a small 10-20 second introduction to your story so that people know where you’re going with it.
  • Plan a story plot that stays on track that people can follow.
  • Create a build-up in your story to a climactic point.
  • Use exaggeration that will naturally bring humor.
  • Have pauses to give people time to laugh and breathe.
  • Paint a picture in our minds of a story with vivid details.
  • Describe details to the point where the audience has a picture in their minds of what’s happening
  • Include surprise twists in your story to throw the audience off guard and so that things happen that are unexpected.
  • Summarize your story with a final point as you would any speech.
  • Leave your audience laughing.


Meeting Etiquette

  1. Be on time. If you are going to be late, let the Toastmaster know so adjustments can be made.
  2. If you are unable to attend a meeting be sure to let the meeting scheduler know, so that they can adjust the agenda.
  3. Put your mobile device on Airplane mode and put it in your purse or pocket. If it is critical that you receive a call or message; “Put your device on vibrate, and leave the room if you have to take the call or return a text.” It is impossible to be on the device and be aware of what is happening at the moment. It also sends out a negative message.
  4. Be prepared when you do have a role. Check the website for a reminder of the role duties.
  5. Attend meetings…even when you don’t have a function, we often need replacements for last minute cancellations. A good reminder is that table topics is a lot of fun and those without roles get to participate in table topics.
  6. Never eat during meetings except for at break time. In general, this is protocol for most meetings, not just for Toastmaster meetings. The smell of food can be unpleasant for others. We have a meeting break, so you can always go to the small meeting room to eat, if you are unable to get a bite before the meeting.
  7. Always stand when you are speaking for any reason.
  8. Pay attention to the agenda so that you are ready perform your function when called upon.
  9. No offensive topics/language should ever be used. Avoid politics, religion, and sexual topics.
  10. Do not carry on side conversations during meeting, this is disruptive and disconnects you and the party you are speaking to from what is going on at the time.
  11. Do not use meetings to sell your products/services. Members get to know you and will contact you if they want to buy something from you.
  12. Always show courtesy and respect to all members.
  13. When you are giving up the lectern, wait for the presider to arrive at the lectern and shake hands, then return to your seat.
  14. We always applaud for every member who stands to speak for any reason and again when they finish.
  15. It is appropriate to clap until a person gets to the lectern and then after they speak and then again until they return to their seat.
  16. When speaking, project your voice so that people at the back of the room can hear you.

Unwritten Rules For Speakers:

  • Don’t say, “Thank you,” at the end of your speech.
  • Shake hands with the Toastmaster before and after your speech.
  • Never apologize for making a mistake.
  • Hands should be at your sides when not gesturing.
  • Make meaningful eye contact.
  • When giving a written speech, slide pages to the side. Don’t flip them over.
  • It’s important to follow the times suggested in manuals.
  • Confirm your assignment with the meeting Toastmaster prior to the meeting.
  • Provide an introduction for the Toastmaster to read. If your club culture does not have your evaluator read your project’s objectives (found on the blue box on the first page of each project in every manual) your introduction should include them. It should always include the title of your speech, and the last two words of it should be your name.