Welcome To Our New Blog

by Guy Dawson, DTM

These are some very exciting times to be a Toastmaster.

The development of this Blog is just another power of collaborative efforts in the achievement of a worthy goal. Communication in the digital age can be done through a variety of platforms and I am pleased to see our District embrace blogging as a method to share valuable information with our members.

Thank you, members of District 33 for your continued commitment to growth and greatness. You embody our core values which include Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence. It has been amazing to work with all of you this year and the best is yet to come.

We are Making the Impossible, Possible in 2018 and the journey becomes more interesting every day. Let’s share wonderful communication and leadership ideas on this blog and engage with one another. Each of us are fortunate to be a part of the most amazing organization on the planet!

Educational Awards Update

by Tim Mullins, DTM

The Honors Keep Piling Up!

I’m truly proud of the efforts our District 33 members are putting into their educational advancements this 2017-2018 Toastmasters year! As of this writing, District 33 members have submitted 588 educational awards — and the “hits” just keep on coming! Their outstanding achievements include:

  • 190 Competent Communicator (CC) awards and 116 Advanced Communicator (AC) awards
  • 116 Competent Leadership (CL) awards and 60 Advanced Leadership (AL) awards

In addition, 19 members have achieved their DTM honor this year. They are (listed in order of date received):

Kirkland Tibbels, Suesan Walker, Jody Mack, Laquita Dukes, Indar Singh, Julie Boyce, Deborah Allmon, Kristina Greer, Eleanor Smith, Susan Harmon, Wayne Sebera, Irene Salazar, Curtis Helt, Charmaine Guss, Lisa Marrone, Sondra Ahlen, Mary Beganyi, Malik Williams and Thomas Sims.

What an amazing group of dedicated Toastmasters and worthy of the distinction: Distinguished Toastmasters. We have 37 Triple Crown recipients (members who have been awarded 3 or more awards), led by:

  • DaWane Wanek            11 educational awards
  • Malik Williams              7 educational awards
  • Kelvin Bell                       6 educational awards

We also have 3 members with 5 educational awards each, 11 with 4 educational awards each and with 3 educational awards each.

Tim giving award to Kyle

District 33 launched Pathways on September 15, 2017;  in just under 6 short months, our members have submitted 71 Pathways awards, which include 48 Level 1’s, 16 Level 2’s, 5 Level 3’s, 1 Level 4 and 1 Level 5 — just over 12% of our total educational awards. Kudos to the incredible group of Toastmasters who make up District 33!

Keep up the fantastic work. I hope to see you at our Spring Conference in Bakersfield in May!


Ambassador Program Paying Early Dividends

by Tim Mullins, DTM

District 33’s Club Ambassador Program (CAP) was officially launched!

Started November 1, 2017, in just over 4 months we’ve had 82 Club Ambassador visits with reports submitted. My deepest appreciation for and congratulations to the 25 District 33 members who have taken the time to submit a CAP report after visiting a club other than their own.

Some of the comments/observations of our Ambassadors:

  • The club had a very descriptive agenda; there was a lot of humor, which made the meeting fun and it was run very professionally.
  • Made me feel important, welcomed and comfortable right away.
  • Teamwork was the key from beginning to end with this club.
  • I really love the casual, fun, interactive feel of the club.

Folks, I can’t help myself — I must give special recognition to those members who have already achieved Club Ambassador Silver, Red or Blue status. Yes, it’s true! We have our first Club Ambassador Silver (15+ visits) in Monty Shindler from Division F. Kudos to Monty for his mighty efforts. One member, David Boberg from Division J, has achieved Club Ambassador Red (8+ visits). Congrats, David! District 33 also has 7 members who have earned Club Ambassador Blue (3+ visits). They are DaWane Wanek, Joseph Skoda, Gewarren Owens, Karaleen Mork, Tan Pham, Chris Hempleman and Vanneca Phelps. Well done all!

If you want to find out more about this outstanding program, please click on the following link:



Should You Mentor?

mentorAsk Toastmasters who are dedicated to mentoring and they’ll tell you that the benefits
of guiding members are numerous. A mentor’s responsibilities typically include the following:

  • Welcome new members and explain the Toastmasters program
  • Recognize and nurture the skills a member already has
  • Inspire mentees to take on more challenging roles and goals
  • Help members avoid common mistakes and attain goals faster and more efficiently
  • Motivate mentees to complete the Ice Breaker and move on to manual speeches
  • Direct members as they navigate new terrain
  • Nurture members’ confidence in every area of life

Mentors who excel share certain qualities, including the ability to listen well, empathize and motivate. Jack Nichols, DTM, a 25-year veteran member, was mentored by longtime Toastmaster H. Al Richardson, DTM, PID, and now mentors others. “Great mentors actively listen to their mentees so that what is being said is fully understood,” says Nichols, who is a member of the Professional Speakers Club 9 in Anaheim, California. “They allow their mentees a chance to speak and then ask specific, clarifying questions that reveal the motivations and goals of their mentees.”

Effective mentors consider what it was like when they were new members. Many of the thoughts and feelings mentees experience are similar to the ones they had, and mentors who more easily see from a mentee’s perspective are better equipped to offer valid suggestions.

As chair of the mentoring committee, Walton often talks about the importance of growth and motivation. “When both of my mentees got to a certain level with their speeches, I began encouraging them to take on executive roles, and both had terms as president of the club,” says Walton. “It became very important to me to keep mentoring them through their term to pass on my experience as former club president.”

One of Walton’s mentees took some time off, but when the mentee resumed her membership Walton suggested she take an executive role to get back into the fold. “Sometimes pointing out members’ qualities boosts their confidence enough that they realize they can take on these roles,” Walton says.

To remain effective, mentors must also stay relevant, says Nichols. “As a mentor, it’s my responsibility to keep myself educated and up-to-date, so that I’m passing on current real-world information that will help my mentees in the here and now,” he says. “When you’re dealing with someone’s future and they’re relying on you, relevancy is really important.”

Enjoy the Journey Mentees undoubtedly benefit from the wisdom of more experienced members. But mentors also profit from the relationship.Become a mentor, and you, too, will have an excellent opportunity to reflect on yourself, your goals and what you want from the Toastmasters program.

JULIE BAWDEN-DAVIS is a freelance writer based in Southern California and a longtime contributor to the Toastmaster.

Welcome to Pathways

Embark on a journey of personal and professional development through Pathways, Toastmasters’ new education program! Pathways is designed to help you build the skills you need to communicate and lead. It is comprised of 10 paths that teach more than 300 unique competencies:


To make the most of Pathways, start by taking the Pathways Assessment online. It will help you choose a path that’s right for you. Next, explore Base Camp, where you’ll be able to access all of the materials for your learning experience, including your feedback, transcript and printable materials. Here you can track your progress, connect with members from your club and view badges and certificates you’ll earn along the way. Enjoy the flexibility of working online or in select print paths on dynamic projects that provide real-world, transferable skills.




Delivering Technical Briefings


A technical briefing is a speech that conveys technical information to a specific audience, usually in a workplace.

Technical briefings should be presented in a way that allows an audience to understand and apply critical information. Technical briefings can range from an engineer briefing a group of managers on a current project, to a retail supervisor explaining a new company policy to the store employees. Follow the steps below to ensure your technical briefings are as effective as they can be:

  • Know your audience. Avoid using too much industry jargon or material that is too technical for your colleagues to easily understand.
  • State the purpose of the technical briefing in one or two sentences and use this summary as the focal point for the entire presentation.
  • Arrange the material into an outline containing an introduction, main points and a conclusion.
  • Summarize the main points of the technical briefing during the conclusion.

A Mentoring Checklist


With the advice and guidance they offer, mentors can dramatically improve a fellow member’s Toastmasters experience. To be as effective as possible in this role, mentors are expected to:

1. Clarify expectations. Initially, and throughout a mentoring partnership, both parties must openly communicate their expectations for the relationship to be a success.

2. Be available. Your mentee should feel confident that you are available, within reason, to answer questions and provide support. To make your mentee feel supported, try to
take time for a quick chat, email or text whenever possible.

3. Check in often. Mentoring is a two-way street. For fear of being bothersome, a mentee may hesitate to reach out. If it’s been a while since you heard from your mentee, pick
up the phone to keep the communication open.

4. Encourage goal-setting. Chances are your mentee has goals, which is why your mentorship was requested in the first place. Keep the mentee on track by providing
challenges, and then shepherding the process to help the member achieve his or her goals.

5. Be patient. Mentoring is not a race to the finish line. Yes, there are goals to be reached and skills to be learned, but just because your mentee isn’t moving as quickly as you
would if given the same circumstances doesn’t mean your mentorship skills are lacking. It is important to recognize that every member is essentially a volunteer with different
goals, time constraints and values.

6. Be positive. Stay upbeat and encouraging. Your mentee will have ups and downs. Not every speech will go as planned and not every goal will be met the first time around.
It’s your job to point out the positive and keep your mentee motivated to keep trying.

7. Be kind. Take a page from the Toastmasters code of conduct and always be courteous. Your mentee may not always give the best speech, but you never want to make the person feel inadequate, so choose your words carefully. Always be honest, but diplomatic.

8. Don’t push. A mentee should never feel obligated to take your advice. Mentoring is not a dictatorship. It’s counterproductive to expect a person to always agree or feel comfortable with your suggestions.

— Julie Bawden-Davis