Division E Humorous and Evaluation Contest

THANK YOU TO ALL TOASTMASTERS AND GUESTS, that came out to attend a most delightful Division E  Contest held at Saint Marks Church in Los Olivos on October 11th 2014.

I understand from my Contest Chair “Lady” Marjorie Hamon ACG, CL that we were able to feed seventy two (72) persons which was the amount we had in attendance. I am going to give an over view of what I perceived from the time I arrived at the venue (Saint Marks Church) about 3:30 PM.

Larry Bishop was already there along with Marjorie Hamon and a few other volunteers, as time went by the ranks were starting to swell, the room was taking on a different Aura. Harvest Gold Table Cloths, colorful Veggies (Peppers, Squash and Onions) and Mini Pumpkins, Vibrant Apples along with sprigs of bright colored Fall Leaves fresh from member’s yards to decorate the tables.

Next we have the Gift Basket Raffle Table which took on it’s own appeal to the “Masses” very well presented and enjoyed by all. The Food had arrived, the volunteers who were in charge of that went right to work ensuring everything was in order.

By this time the room was humming with activity as the audience waited to hear the guest speaker “Michelle Burton”, who was (visiting from Australia) to deliver her Motivational Speech for the Evaluation Contestants, to take notes in readiness for each of them to deliver their evaluation. The audience was treated to the Humorous  Contest and demonstrated wonderful support for all the contestants who were eager to deliver their speeches.           THE ENERGY IN THE ROOM WAS REMARKABLE.

Dinner is served!
Chicken Roulade, Feta Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, Salad and Dessert. Oh My!

Jamuna Ramnath DTM. LT Governor Marketing was able to join us for the festivities (Jamuna traveled from Simi Valley) to be with us.

The time has come to make the awards, Contest Winners, Raffle Basket Winners and Announcements.


We all rose to the oppotunity once again.                           Julie Boyce ACS, CL.
Division E Governor.




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Who needed the Division E Contest? We did.

You heard from Cynthia Holm on the opportunities and leadership possibilities of the fall contest season and from Nathan Ohren who had a cleaver way of stating who needs those contests.  Now that the Division contest on October 12 is over, we have proof that they were both right.  But don’t take my word for it.  Here’s what Kathy Choate, our District 33 Governor, had to say.  “I thoroughly enjoyed being at Division E’s contests yesterday.  The speeches were most competitive.  You should be proud of what you produced.  Congratulations to all the leaders!”  So … if you missed this contest, you missed a real opportunity to see teamwork in action.

blog photoThe contest was a success.  Why?  It all started when Grace Rachow pulled an initial team together just to get the ball rolling and then she kept tract of all the responses and kept sending emails to keep everyone informed as the whole process skyrocketed into a flurry of activities culminating on the 12th.  There were way too many volunteers to list but one that was outstanding was the food.  Yes, don’t we love good food?  Cynthia Holm took that ball and turned it into a huge tasty event.  The experienced toastmasters kept working behind the scenes and brought in the “newbies” along the way making sure they became trained.  Then on that big day – actually morning – when everyone arrived, the trainees took over the show and we all had fun in the process.  If you don’t believe me, look at the photos on the Division E site.  Yes that contest was a success not only due to all the stiff competition making sure we have fantastic competitors for the District contest but also because we now have several more toastmasters experienced at hosting a contest.

Sherry Campbell
Toastmaster since 1978

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Who Needs Contests, Anyway?

Photo Credit: Ruth Benny

Photo Credit: Ruth Benny

My colleague and dear friend Cynthia Holm has already posted quite a serious, informative and factual article about the upcoming Humor and Evaluation contests.  However, my post is meant to persuade you with reasons not to enter or participate in these contests.

You read correctly.  This is a warning: Participating in the Toastmasters contests is the most dangerous way to accelerate your learning, and to obtain the benefits that Toastmasters offers on an even larger scale!

You might be thinking, as many Toastmasters often do, “these contests are not for me.”  And you’re right!  I mean, what’s wrong with staying safe and cozy, within regions of our comfort zones?  Let’s face it: After about three or four Toastmasters meetings, we’re finally starting to get comfortable making speeches in front of the same group!  Why mix things up and start speaking to a whole new and (gulp!) larger group of strangers all over again?  Daily life is scary enough without having to practice for it.

Regarding the Humorous contest:  I find it hilarious that Toastmasters assumes everyone has a funny story to share!  Certainly I have my own funny bone.  And naturally, as a human being, I can giggle like anyone else.  But if I wanted to find an excuse to choose one of those goofy moments and practice telling it to an audience, I would first go join a public speaking club of some sort!

And whatever you do, stay away from the Evaluation contest!  This one seems like the most useless of them all.  First off, none of the participants can possibly practice in advance to make a competitive advantage over the others, since they all evaluate the exact same speech.  Secondly, who ever heard of a competition designed to judge you on how well you listen and give feedback?  I suppose if you wanted to excel professionally, or be a manager in some company, you might want to learn to inspire employees while giving the annual performance review.  But how many people are in Toastmasters that aim to advance in their careers!?

Don’t get me wrong.  I thank Toastmasters for the opportunity.  It seems like there’s always more ways to take my speaking to the next level.  But there’s something very comfortable about working through the manuals at my own pace.  I don’t enter a beauty contest to become more beautiful.  How can entering a speaking contest make me a better speaker?

Nathan Ohren
Area E6 Governor

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My Passion.

I have a “passion”. Whats yours?

Toastmasters of course!

When you joined your club, was there a Mentor to guide you along on your journey

with Toastmasters?

In my estimation Mentors take full honors in how they help to make “Leaders” out of us. They encourage, they motivate and they give of their time Kudos to all participating Mentors.

Best always.

Julie Boyce ACS, CL.  (Mentoring Coordinator for Speakeasy T.M. Club  9797)

Area E1 Governor.

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Fall Contest Season

Fall contest season—a little something for everyone!

Autumn is my favorite season.  The tourists head home, the kids go back to school, and the weather is just the way I like it.   But the reason I really love the fall is it is time for the annual Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests!

Unlike the International Speech contest where club members must complete 6 book speeches to be eligible to participate, the Humorous Speech contests is open to even the newest of club members.   What a wonderful opportunity!   Not only can a club member get a taste for competition in a friendly environment, but they can complete a manual speech and have the rare opportunity to compare side by side how different individuals approach the same speech assignment.

The Evaluation Contests is also open to the newest members of the club and offers them the opportunity to develop and hone one of the best skills in Toastmasters—Evaluation!  Additionally, one lucky club member must provide the “target” speech for the evaluation contest.  This is an amazing opportunity for a club member can get 3-5 verbal evaluations of the same speech.   Was my message sent? How was it received?  Where can I improve?

But there are so many other things to learn and do.  Can anyone say Leadership Manual?   Any contest season is a perfect time to complete some of your goals towards leadership.  Be the contest chair, organize a raffle, promote the event, participate as a timer and of course contests always need judges—is chief judge in your future?   Are you on the fast track to leadership?  I recommend taking on any of these roles outside of your club.   Act as the Area contest Chairman, try your hand as a Division Contest Judge or the District Contest Raffle Coordinator.  Each level offers new fun and different challenges and with that learning opportunities.

The Humorous and Evaluation Contest learning opportunities near you include:

Club Level Contests taking place now through mid September.

Area Level Contests

  •     Sept 21, 2013        Area E1, E2, E5 Details TBD
  •     Sept 28, 2013        Area E3, E4, E6 Details TBD

Division E Contest

  •    Oct 12, 2013             Div E  Details TBD

District 33 Conference and Contests

  •  November 8-9 (Bakersfield CA)

Join me in celebrating the Fall Contest season.  Get you there and sign up for your club competition.  Take on a leadership role.  There is no better way to work towards your own personal goals and have a great time doing it.

Engaging Excellence!

Cynthia Holm

Area E-4 Governor

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District 33, Division E — Engaging Excellence!

Greetings, Toastmasters of Dist. 33, Div.E (in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties)!

As your Division E Governor for the Toastmaster Year of July 1st, 2013 – June 30th, 2014, I’d like to welcome you to a year of stretching and personal growth, all with supportive Toastmasters who are stretching and growing along with you. I am energized when I am part of a group striving toward a common, worthwhile goal–so I invite each of you to join me in making Toastmasters work for all of us and our guests as well.

Seek out your club officers for the help you need; be specific, patient and persistent in making your requests. Club officers, if you don’t have the answers, seek out your Area Governor (listed with your club on this website) and ask them. They are here to help clubs thrive, and they have many resources you may not know about.

The best way for your club to thrive is to work towards being a Distinguished Club by using the guidelines of the Distinguished Club Program. If you follow these guidelines, your club will be the best it can be–and isn’t that worth striving for?

There is excellence in each of us, and I am excited to be

Engaging Excellence with you!


Sandra Eacret

Division E Governor


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Welcome to Division E 2013-2014

Just this last weekend, Division E Tulipswas fortunate enough to host the District 33 meeting where the overall theme was first inaugurated. District 33’s theme this year is “Embracing Excellence”. It seems very ironic, because the Central Coast’s flowers and agriculture are regularly described as some of the best you can get anywhere in the world.

“Excellence” is a term that, to me, means rejecting mediocrity, and replacing it with strength and professionalism. I have said many times that Toastmasters is a laboratory for leadership and communication skills which are later tested in the crucible of “real life”.

Regardless of your profession, your position, or your station in life, the Toastmasters experience is an opportunity to hone your excellence. I have had the honor and pleasure to meet all the officers here in Division E, and I can tell you without equivocation that they are each devoted to the task of facilitating your success.

bigstock-communication-6973635I recently completed my club visits in Area E-5, and I told them that my goal this year is not to talk at them, but instead, to listen. By doing that, I will learn better what it will take for each of them to become successful. That metric will be different for each and every club; however, I am confident that by listening to what they have to say, and translating that into actionable items, they will be in the best position to succeed.

You can do the same in your own clubs, and just remember that the officers in Division E are all here to help facilitate that success. So on behalf of Division E Governor Sandra Eacret and the area leaders, welcome to Division E 2013-2014.

How can we help you Embrace Excellence?

Patrick Hardy, ACG, ALB, AS
65th Accredited Speaker
Area E-5 Governor

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