Welcome to Toastmasters Southern Africa http://www.toastmasters74.org Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:01:32 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Electing Leaders for the D74 District Council http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/315-electing-leaders-d74-district-council http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/315-electing-leaders-d74-district-council

Toastmasters, at least in District 74, is a democracy. We elect our leaders who meet the required qualifications (of past service and paying dues!) at District Council.

We need a third of all Club Presidents and Vice Presidents Education of clubs in good standing to be registered to vote for a quorum for business to be approved. As of today, that's 112 officers (or their proxies).

If you are a President or VPE and cannot attend on Saturday 14 May at Bytes Conference Centre from 14:30, please guarantee your club's say by assigning your proxy to a member who is going to attend. Please use http://toastmastersdistrict74.formstack.com/forms/d74_council_proxy to do this. This also contains links to further information about the District Council.

Please note:

  • It's free to attend
  • May just be after the International Speech Contest, so you can get the result almost first hand
  • If you're inspired to advance your leadership experience or your opinion of any of the nominees is not 100%, or your nomination was not endorsed by the DLC (District Leadership Committee), you may stand from the floor!
  • If you have something to say about the running of District, you will only have a chance if you are a member of Council or a proxy holder.

To quote the IEC of South Africa: "Your tomorrow is in your hands".

Shaun Goodbrand DTM

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:17:12 +0000
District Council Meeting Saturday 14 May 2016 – 2:30 pm for 2:45 pm http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/314-district-council-meeting http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/314-district-council-meeting

To the members of the District Council of District 74 (Presidents and VPE of all clubs)
To all members of the District Executive (Area Directors, Division Directors, Cabinet)
To Past District Governors in active service

You are requested to attend our next District Council meeting on Saturday 14 May 2016 at Bytes conference centre in Midrand, Gauteng to represent your club members. The meeting starts at 2:30 pm for 2:45 pm. For more details please see our conference website www.maycon.co.za.

If you are unable to attend please arrange for someone to attend on your behalf with your proxy. For more details in this regard please contact the District Credentials officer Shaun Goodbrand (shaun.goodbrand@gmail.com).

The final report of the District Leadership Committee will be received shortly and the names of approved candidates for elected positions will be distributed for your consideration.

Regards Paul Jensen
DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster)
District Director (serving Toastmasters in Southern Africa - District 74)
(Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Skype – anzac1940
Mobile Phone - +27 83 265 2180

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Sun, 17 Apr 2016 19:14:38 +0000
District expense claims http://www.toastmasters74.org/members/district/district-expense-claims http://www.toastmasters74.org/members/district/district-expense-claims

District process for management of claims to district for reimbursement from district members will be as follows:

(1) Email the details of your claim (including your claim forms and related slips etc) to claims@toastmasters74.org (this email address is read by the Finance Manager and the District Director) (Claimant)

a. Step 1 - You will receive an email acknowledging your claim including a claim number – this does not mean your claim has been approved or will be paid (Finance Manager) – our desired response time is no more than a week from submission of the claim

b. Step 2 - You will receive any queries on your claim with your claim reference number –– our desired response time is no more than a week from submission of the claim

c. Step 3 - You will receive feedback on whether your claim is authorised for payment or not (and a reason if it not authorised) with your claim reference number –– our desired response time is no more than a week from submission of the claim

(2) If you want query the status of your claim then use your claim number as reference in all correspondence (Claimant)

(3) Once authorised claims will be paid on the 7th and 21st of each month – for any exceptions contact the Finance Manager directly (Finance Manager)

The purpose of this updated process is to improve our service to you our member. The objective of this new process is to strive to achieve a service level where you should wait (1) an average of one week for feedback on your claim and (2) two weeks to get paid



Download the claim forms here.

webmaster@toastmasters74.org (Administrator) District Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:55:56 +0000
5 things that need to be in your speech http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/307-5-things-that-need-to-be-in-your-speech http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/307-5-things-that-need-to-be-in-your-speech

2015 06 10 03.18.36When I deliver a speech, I feel as though I am an actress on the stage of my life and I am sharing my vulnerability with my audience. I thus propose that we liken a speech to a play in which we are the actors. In order to succeed, every play needs its actors to deliver on certain criteria in order to hold the audience captive for the full duration of the play. We know that every speech must have an – opening, middle and conclusion. However, I would like to suggest criteria that could help your speech captivate your audience like a sold-out Broadway production.

1. A lightbulb moment

2. Developing the story

3. Involving the audience

4. Being honest

5. Concluding on a strong note

Involvement – are you passionate about what you are speaking about? Can you bring your audience into your speech? Can you make them inspired or involved?

Commitment – are you exposing yourself in your speech? Are you the pig (totally committed) or the chicken (just laying the egg) in this?

Delivering a speech is something important to you and your growth as well as your contribution to your club/audience.

When I start to make a speech, I have to think. Strangely, I do not write my speeches, they develop in my mind. They play like songs and music until they birth fully fledged. Then they soar out of me.

This is not the ideal. Many people write and rework their speeches over and over until they are certain of them. This is preferable, because then you have a record and can repeat that speech again and again.

As I recognise this as a weakness in myself, I have now started to record my speeches, so that I can capture them and write them down. This I am doing at “dress rehearsal” stage, the night before I actually present. Here I rigorously check my timing as well and check on vocal variety as well as body language.

This is where Toastmasters is teaching me to be more rigorous in my own presentations and improving my results. It is the move from being a singer who has learnt her notes and words, into being a speaker who is mastering her ability to present her own thoughts concisely and precisely.

It is a discipline well worth mastering. The value it delivers is immense.

So what are my five things in my speeches?

1. A lightbulb moment

2. Developing the story

3. Involving the audience

4. Being honest

5. Concluding on a strong note

Witten by Judith Taylor

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Sun, 28 Feb 2016 20:59:05 +0000
WHEN DEATH & LIFE COLLIDE http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/308-when-death-life-collide http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/308-when-death-life-collide

Sonja Smith and Zoya picWHEN DEATH & LIFE COLLIDE


I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – truth be told.

I was meeting an award-winning Businesswoman and Director of a funeral home after all.

Instead, Sonja Smith–Janse van Rensburg walked into Isabella’s Country Cuisine in Kyalami,
JHB, and was the epitome of relaxed and radiated warmth that made us “hit it off’ instantly.


Her story begins back in 1997 while watching a Carte Blanche insert on funeral homes. She says “my curiosity
was sparked immediately when I realised that no one goes to a funeral home by choice. This is what planted the seed that saw me quit my job as a bank manager and find work at Avbob in Durban as a funeral arranger.”

“I have a gift of comforting people and the more funerals I arranged, the more I realised that I wanted to do things differently in this space.” It was this desire that saw Sonja Smith start her own business – Sonja Smith Funeral Home.

Ten years after the establishment of her business, Sonja was awarded the Woman in Business Champion Award 2015 by the National Small Business Chamber of SA in November 2015.

The Business Excellence Forum Awards (BEFA’s) held in November 2015, saw Sonja Smith Funeral
Home walk away with the award for Most Innovative business.


We veer onto her involvement with Toastmasters and she says “Toastmasters has been invaluable on my journey, equipping me with leadership skills and the confidence to do live radio interviews and to take on the challenges that come with being a businesswoman in a male-dominated industry.”

She continues, “I want to be EXTRA in extraordinary as President of Centurion Toastmasters. This involves giving back to the community and our club is currently involved in four speechcrafts at local high schools.”

“Toastmasters is the space where I merge my desire to improve as a speaker with my call to lead and serve others. I can’t think of another organisation that offers both in the way Toastmasters does.”


In working so closely with death, ultimately Sonja has made the choice to live life in the best way she knows how. Her deep compassion for humanity and what can only be described as ‘her gift of healing’, will ensure that one day when her time on this earth is done, she will leave this world a better place than what she found it.

A simple reminder to each of us that when we marry our God-given talents with the commitment to make a difference in the world, we too can leave a lasting legacy.

What will your legacy BE?

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Mon, 15 Feb 2016 14:30:44 +0000
A Tribute to Toastmasters http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/306-a-tribute-to-toastmasters http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/306-a-tribute-to-toastmasters

Recently, I participated in an international Symposium on “The Nuclearisation of Africa” and I did a presentation. It was a highly learned audience – consisting of scientists, lawyers and activists. All right, it was not a TM International conference with thousands. There were cameras there and over 100 people in the audience. My first time in front of cameras at a major conference, in fact, the first time I was aware of being recorded. Somehow, this did not concern me.

I did my presentation, drawing on what I had heard during the previous two days, as well as my prepared material.

Afterwards, I was blown away by the feedback.

Then I took a step back to see what my being in Toastmasters had contributed to my success. These are my main realisations:

1. I have learnt to listen and absorb information

2. I have honed excellent presentation skills, including how to use effective slides

3. I realised that I am speaking to an English and French speaking audience, with translators assisting the latter in
understanding me, and I paced my speech to assist the translators

4. I used body language

5. I engaged amazing vocal variety

All of this comes from my past three and a half years of working the Toastmasters’ programmes. Oh, I missed out that I was also working behind the scenes to make sure everything flowed smoothly. This was pure TM leadership, drawn from working through the Competent Leader manual.

2015 10 East London 020


pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Wed, 02 Dec 2015 10:26:23 +0000
District 74 Evaluation Contest Introduction and Demontration Speaker Khetha Cele http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/304-district-74-evaluation-contest-introduction-and-demontration-speaker-khetha-cele http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/304-district-74-evaluation-contest-introduction-and-demontration-speaker-khetha-cele

In Toastmasters, feedback is called evaluation, and it is the heart of the Toastmasters educational program. The purpose of an evaluation is to support, help and encourage speakers to improve, develop and grow their speaking ability. The Demonstration Speaker for the 2015 Evaluation Contest was Khetha Cele. Enjoy. 

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:53:51 +0000
Verity Price 2015 District 74 Evaluation Champion http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/303-verity-price-2015-district-74-evaluation-champion http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/303-verity-price-2015-district-74-evaluation-champion

One of the ways Toastmasters develop this is through a program called evaluation. It develops 3 key skills. Listening, thinking and then speaking. Perhaps you might agree with me that those 3 skills, in that order, are much more effective than speaking first, listening to yourself and then thinking “Oh that was not a very smart thing to say.”

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Tue, 17 Nov 2015 00:36:13 +0000
2015 D74 International Prepared Speech Champion - Zoya Mabuto http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/302-2015-d74-international-prepared-speech-champion-zoya-mabuto http://www.toastmasters74.org/news/toastmasters-tales/302-2015-d74-international-prepared-speech-champion-zoya-mabuto

Zoya Mabuto 2015 winning speech for the D74 International Prepared Speech Champion. 

pro@toastmasters74.org (PRO) Toastmasters Tales Tue, 17 Nov 2015 00:23:24 +0000