March 2018

Tips for Telling an Effective Story

Award-winning columnist, author and national champion speaker Kindra Hall presented at the 2017 Toastmasters International Convention, where she outlined strategies for telling an effective story. Here are four storytelling tips from her presentation entitled “The Irresistible Power of Strategic Storytelling”:

1. Understand why storytelling works

It’s no secret that humans are attracted to stories—but why? “The storytelling process is co-creative,” Hall explained during her presentation, referring to how people subconsciously insert their own experiences and memories into stories they hear to fill in the details in their mind. There is also a measurable effect storytelling has on our bodies. When we experience a story, our brains release cortisol (which increases our ability to pay attention) and oxytocin (which boosts our ability to feel emotion and empathy). It’s as though our ability to engage with stories is programmed into us.

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2. Defining a story

But what exactly is a story? It’s important to know what a story is and what a story is not. A story is not simply well-organized information. “How many of you have ever felt the oxytocin flowing after looking at a [presentation] slide?” Hall quipped before going on to say that a story should be about a specific moment, where something meaningful happens. Stories should contain an emotional component along with information, and a story must always feature characters to care about, and something should be at stake for those characters.

3. Apply information to real-life situations

Strategic storytelling exists so we can communicate a message more effectively than simply relaying information. By wrapping your message inside a story with real-life scenarios your audience can relate to, it not only makes your story more memorable, but it also allows the audience to connect with you and the information you’re trying to communicate in a more meaningful way.

4. Don’t forget to tell your story

It might sound hard to believe, but one of the biggest storytelling mistakes people make is not telling their story at all. “We allude to the story,” Hall warned, “but we don’t actually tell it.” Don’t let this happen to you! Once you’ve figured out the story you want to tell, use the above tips and then share it with your audience. As Hall said, “it is not the magnitude of the stories you tell,” but rather “the decision to tell them, and to tell them well,” that matters.

Related Resources
kindrahall.com
Emotion Reigns

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Designed to help communicate the value of Pathways, these fliers should be a part of club-building efforts once Pathways is available in your district. The Where Will Pathways Take You flier focuses on everything Pathways offers individuals, while the Transform Your Talent flier helps human resources and talent development professionals understand how Pathways will benefit their company. Both are available in the Resource Library.

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats — Now in More Languages!

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats (Item 1167D) is available in nine languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. Share this valuable resource with members to help them better understand the unique responsibilities each club meeting role offers and the skills they can build.

Pathways Translations Update

Educational materials for Pathways will be available in German, Arabic and Portuguese when regions 1 and 11 roll out this month. This would not have been possible without the support of Volunteer Translation Reviewers. A new article in this month’s Toastmaster acknowledges and thanks the translations teams involved for their dedication.


Promote Your Club!

Save 10 percent on promotional giveaway items that are perfect for club guests, new members, district conference attendees and more. Use promo code 10PROMO. Offer valid from March 1–31, 2018. Not valid with any other offer.

Membership Retention: Is Your Bucket Leaking?

In the business world, a “leaky bucket” is a metaphor for losing customers — the business is the bucket, customers are the water and the holes in the bucket are inefficiencies in the business model. This metaphor applies to club membership as well. What is your club doing to plug membership leaks? In this month’s Toastmaster magazine, learn seven simple strategies to help keep members engaged and satisfied.

Pay Dues by April 1

Membership dues payments for the next renewal period are due on or before April 1. Please remember to log in to Club Central and submit your payments by the deadline. Email the Club and Member Support team if you have questions.

Avoid Losing Access to Club Central

Renewing club officers who have not submitted their membership dues payments on time will lose access to Club Central 30 days after their membership expires and may not receive further communications from World Headquarters. Ensure your officers have the ability to pay their dues and remain in good standing. If you have any questions, please review the Club Business FAQ or email the Club and Member Support team.

Grow Your Club

The Talk Up Toastmasters membership-building program is a chance for members to invite guests to special meetings where they can learn about the benefits of membership. Running from February 1 through March 31, the program also offers your club the chance to earn a special ribbon and qualify for 10 percent off your next club order when five new, dual or reinstated members join.

Share the Pathways Fliers!

Designed to help communicate the value of Pathways, these fliers should be a part of club-building efforts once Pathways is available in your district. The Where Will Pathways Take You flier focuses on everything Pathways offers individuals, while the Transform Your Talent flier helps human resources and talent development professionals understand how Pathways will benefit their company. Both are available in the Resource Library.

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats — Now in More Languages!

A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats (Item 1167D) is available in nine languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. Share this valuable resource with members to help them better understand the unique responsibilities each club meeting role offers and the skills they can build.

Pathways Translations Update

Educational materials for Pathways will be available in German, Arabic and Portuguese when regions 1 and 11 roll out this month. This would not have been possible without the support of Volunteer Translation Reviewers. A new article in this month’s Toastmaster acknowledges and thanks the translations teams involved for their dedication.

Promote Your Clubs!

Save 10 percent on promotional giveaway items that are perfect for club guests, new members, district conference attendees and more. Use promo code 10PROMO. Offer valid from March 1–31, 2018. Not valid with any other offer.

Stay on Track with Your DRP Goals

Ensure you reach your targeted District Recognition Program (DRP) milestones by focusing your attention and efforts where they’re most needed. View the Performance Reports Dashboard for the latest statistics on your overall district performance. DRP goals must be met on or before June 30, 2018.

Get Credit for Club Officer Training

Earn District Recognition Program credit after club officers attend second-round training by submitting your Club Officer Training Report through District Central on or before March 31, 2018. Report updates are due no later than May 31, 2018. Please check your report regularly to ensure it's accurate.

Have You Completed Your Area Director Visit Report?

Submit your Area Director Club Visit reports through District Central on or before May 31, 2018 to receive Distinguished Area Program credit. Remember that your support affects the future of clubs in your area and empowers officers and members alike to achieve their goals. If you’d like to reacquaint yourself with club visit tips, read Serving Clubs Through Visits: A Guide For Area Directors.

Keep Your Clubs in Good Standing

If any of your clubs are struggling with membership, the best thing to do is assign a club coach to help them grow. Clubs with 12 or less paid members are eligible for a club coach. Any club without at least eight paid members during the October 2017 renewal period already received an email informing them they are no longer in good standing. Ensure membership dues payments for the next renewal period are submitted by March 31, 2018 to prevent club suspension.

TLM (Insightly) Updates

Did you notice the TLM (Insightly) interface was updated? In addition to a new look, you can now view your leads in a kanban view as well as the traditional grid view. The kanban view displays your leads as moveable cards, which you can easily drag and drop from stage to stage.