District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference – May 20-22, 2016

I attended the 2016 District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference on May 20-22.

District 45 includes all of
Vermont, New Hampshire, & Maine in the USA, and all of
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Nova Scotia in Canada.

The weekend conference was entirely held at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center in Bar Harbor, Maine.

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The building for the Hospitality Suites was gorgeous.

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And the view from my balcony room was spectacular.

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During the Saturday Awards Luncheon, I received the 2016 Triple Crown (Repeat Achiever) award.

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It is always fun crossing the stage for this particular award. Here I am following after my mentor, Joe Grondin, on the stage. In front of the stage, other Triple Crown Repeaters (from left to right) are Past District Governors Wendy Harding, Heather, Perkins, and Candace Buell.

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While this was my sixth official Triple Crown, my collection of the new-last-year award, “Triple Crown Repeater” Coffee Cups, expanded. I now have two of these coffee cups!

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Here are all the Triple Crown Repeaters for this past year. To the right of me is Joe Grondin and Tom Dowd respectively. Outstanding company to be among.

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For me, personally and professionally, one of the best aspects of these District 45 Conferences is spending time with my mentor, Joe Grondin. Here he is with his beloved wife Gwen while we enjoyed the Awards Banquet Dinner. (Note the “1st Place” for his winning the speech contest.)

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Throughout the weekend, I was able to network with new friends as well as meet up with old friends. Pictured here is new awesome friend, Danielle Hardre, next to great old friends, Bob Bechtold and Jeff Hebert.

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The keynote speaker for this weekend was Toastmasters International’s Chief Operations Officer (COO), Sally Newell Cohen. She and I had already been connected via LinkedIN for over a year and a half beforehand. But it was wonderful meeting her in person. As she grew up in Massachusetts (as I did too), she picked up on the “Mass-accent” of my Maine speaking. I teased back how we both knew the Massachusetts term, “Wicked Pissa!”

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A District 45 Conference just isn’t complete without the fun of fantastic friends, Dan Bell and Malinda Regimbal. Of course, Malinda had to interrupt the series of nice pictures by starting to photobomb. She’s like that – lots of fun!

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Naturally, Malinda’s photobombing led to Dan Bell joining in on the game, while I had a great laugh. But Heather Perkins had the last laugh without us even knowing it! In these last 4 pics, she can be seen moving closer into the picture to photobomb these pics even more! Ah such fun! Haha

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Absolutely, this was an enjoyable, fun, and productive time at the District 45 Toastmasters Conference in Bar Harbor, Maine, on May 20-22, 2016.

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2016 off to a great start

The new year 2016 has been off to a great start.

I presented workshops at two different venues as well as an entertaining speech just for fun (and fun it was!)

I am also gearing up for competing in this year’s World Championship of Public Speaking (WCPS). My speech for this is now fully developed and is being rehearsed several times a day. (Both showers and car-drives are perfect free-time opportunities for verbal-rehearsals! LOL)

This process does so improve my skills for all the other speech work I , which is why I value and enjoy it so intensely!

Oh, and one more thing… I DO also enjoy that this has been an above-average warm and below-average snowfall winter this year in Maine!

Yup: I like how 2016 is turning out to be indeed.

Stay tuned – and Be well.

My Mentor, Joe Grondin, Wins 1st in SemiFinals 2015

Joe Grondin is an amazing speaker. He is the 5-time 1st Place Winner of District 45 Toastmasters International Speech Contest. (Joe is on the middle-right in the pic.)

I have been blessed to have him as my mentor for the past year. At the last District 45 Conference last May, I was honored to win 3rd Place after his 1st Place win in the International Speech Contest.

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, Joe Grondin won 1st Place in his SemiFinal contest at the international contests in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. That places him in the Top 10 of the World.

On Saturday, August 15, 2015, Joe will be competing against the other remaining winners of the 9 other SemiFinals contests, in tjhe World Championship of Public Speaking (WCPS).

It is truly an honor to be mentored by one who is truly “among the greats!”

Go Joe!

Joe Grondin wins 1st Place in SemiFinals for WCPS on Thursday 2015-08-14

See my pic of Joe Grondin wins 1st in SemiFinals for WCPS 2015 on Pinterest.


PIC courtesy of District 45 District Director Sandra Hachey who posted it on social media.

Speak for VALUE – not “For Free”

Part 2 of SERIES: “Speaking for Free” is a Dirty Word!

girl slaps guy

Image Credit: Slap Day 2015
 

Speak for VALUE – not “For Free”

This article is the second installment in a series, to educate & forewarn all event/meeting planners to never again make the mistake of using a specific phrase when asking professional public speakers to work.

 

    SEGMENT OUTLINE

  1. To Help Event Planners build Win-Win Relationships with Speakers
  2. Mr. TAKER, Mr. GIVER, and the Issue of VALUE
  3. Lesson applies to Event Planners & Speakers
  4. The “Promise” of the Illusion of “Exposure”
  5. VALUE for VALUE
  6. Because “Free” Equals Zero VALUE

 

1. To Help Event Planners build Win-Win Relationships with Speakers

 

In the business of public speaking, a term that used to be used with positive intent has become hijacked in the modern era of social media and the resulting mentality of “expecting something for nothing.” Due to this term’s overuse by some who only seek to exploit the Talent Industries, “Speaking for Free” is a dirty word to professional speakers now.

In the first installment of this series, I explained how the issue had “come to a head” whereby speakers were finally fed up, in the article titled, “Speakers Now Draw the Line in the Sand”. (Any readers who have not yet read that first installment might want to stop here and go read that first.)

With this second installment, it is my hope to provide and to explain the proper perspective that event planners must have when they seek professional public speakers. No doubt, not all event planners have hostile intentions. Most are sincerely positive who only seek genuinely productive relationships with speakers. Toward that end, I have written this article to be a tool to educate everyone so that even the genuinely positive event planners not make such mistakes – even innocently – too.

Any event planners reading this article will not need to feel defensive at all. There is no proverbial “slap” of event planners herein. Indeed, if you are an event planner who was given the link to this article from a speaker, it will help you both for you to perceive it as their act of kindness to educate you with the way to know how to more successfully work with them, so that you may build a positive working relationship.

Most assuredly, this article is written to provide a positive path to comfortably resolving all the issues so that a healthy and mutually-beneficial working relationship may ensue between event planners and speakers. All readers are encouraged, therefore, to read all the way through to the end of this article.

 

2. Mr. TAKER, Mr. GIVER, and the Issue of VALUE

 

The relationship between an event planner and a professional speaker may be most easily understood by considering the relationships of men and women.

When a man first meets a woman, it would be highly inappropriate for him to immediately ask her to go straight to a hotel and sleep with him (and all that that implies). Most people would agree that doing so would be presumptuous, rude, and even offensive. That is, of course, very different from a happily married man making the same offer to his wife on their 20th Year Wedding Anniversary. Most people would agree that the married man’s doing so is thoughtful, other-centered, and certainly loving. Why is the same offer from these two separate men very different?

As these two examples reveal the necessity of context and timing, it ultimately comes down to the issue of VALUE.

The man in the first example does not VALUE the woman. For the purposes of this analysis, he is Mr. TAKER. The married man in the second example completely VALUES his wife. Also for this analysis, he is Mr. GIVER.

Mr. TAKER is only making the offer to serve his own selfish motivations. He just wants to use her. She has NO VALUE to him beyond what he hopes to get out of her. Contrary to that, Mr. GIVER is making the offer to selflessly serve his wife’s motivations. He just wants to give her joy. She is of priceless VALUE to him.

 

3. Lesson applies to Event Planners & Speakers

 

This overall lesson of context and timing – and ultimately VALUE – also equally applies to event planners making “offers” to professional speakers. This especially applies when that which is being called an “offer” is actually a request of the speaker to “speak for free.”

When that “offer” to “speak for free” is made, how long and how committed is the relationship between the event planner and the speaker? If they have only just met, then there is no past history of the event planner proving that they are not a TAKER to the speaker. If they have positively worked together for years with consistent and mutual giving, then there should be a good past history of the event planner proving that they are a GIVER to the speaker.

That is the lens through which the speaker will view any would-be “offer” to “speak for free.” May every event planner ever keep that lens in mind.

If they have only just met, the event planner should approach the speaker in the same way of a man asking a woman he just met on a first date. If the man is the one asking for the date, he should never ask her to pay for it; likewise, the event planner should never ask the speaker to pay out of pocket to help the event planner.

To simplify matters, at least until they have built a positive relationship history together, the event planner must treat the situation as a bona fide business transaction. If the event planner does not do that, then any “offer” to “speak for free” is effectively insulting the speaker – yes, insulting, even if unwittingly.

An actual business transaction is an exchange of VALUE for VALUE. When an event planner does not provide and negotiate an equal exchange of VALUE for VALUE, then they are being no different than Mr. TAKER, thereby saying to the speaker that they do not VALUE the speaker at all.

 

4. The “Promise” of the Illusion of “Exposure”

 

Sometimes, an event planner will purport to “balance” that exchange by suggesting that “speaking for free” will bring the speaker the elusive illusion of so-called good “exposure.” This “promise” has been so over-exploited that it has become cliché, even becoming used by some who might genuinely and only have a positive intent. Unfortunately, the irrelevance of that illusion is that it mostly and practically never actually solidifies into a tangible VALUE that genuinely demonstrates a balanced exchange of VALUE for VALUE.

It is as substantially meaningless as Mr. TAKER “promising” to the woman he just met that she will “have a good time” if she goes to the hotel with him. As the woman is thereby not being VALUED, neither is the speaker being VALUED. Indeed, in the same way that a self-interested man might “promise” a woman he just met anything he thinks she wants to hear in order to lure her to willingly go straight to a hotel with him, the illusion of “exposure” is the likewise all-too-common “promise” made by event planners in trying to lure speakers to “speak for free.”

When confronted by an event planner’s “promise” of this illusion as the would-be incentive for the speaker to “speak for free,” the speaker must determine – that is, quantify – the actual VALUE in actual numeric terms. What is the outright VALUE of that illusion?

Oftentimes, the actual answer is a surprisingly low number or even just zero, 0. If anything, whatever that number actually is, it essentially is the same number that the event planner is inwardly thinking that they VALUE the speaker’s product.

No matter what that number is, the speaker then must next ask his or her own self, “Would I pay that number to actually purchase that service from the event planner?”

More importantly, that number must be compared to the VALUE that the speaker sets for the price of their product. For example, when the speaker VALUES their product at $5,000, how does that compare to the VALUE of that number for the so-called “exposure?” If the speaker would only pay $3,000 to purchase that so-called “exposure” from the event planner, then the event planner is effectively asking the speaker to pay the full VALUE of $5,000 for what is only the VALUE of $3,000 of so-called “exposure.”

By deliberately quantifying the numbers every time a “promise” of “exposure” is made (or even just hinted at), a speaker is able to see through the illusion – or to identify when the offer is indeed a true VALUE, after all.

Using this quantification process exposes how the “promise” of “exposure” is just an illusion in more cases than not. Very, very few opportunities actually provide the kind of true quantifiable exposure that equals the actual VALUE the speaker provides. If any such opportunity does in deed and in truth provide it, then the event planner can – and I would say, must – be able to self-confidently put a VALUE number on it and contractually obligate their own self that it will be of that VALUE to the speaker. If an event planner does not have that self-confidence to do so, then their timidity demonstrates to the speaker that even the event planner knows that the promise of “exposure” is indeed just an illusion.

When it comes to that “promise,” the speaker must see it for what it is, an illusion. Nothing more than a useless hope, it is neither real nor substantive. It does not really exist. It is just an illusion.

Accordingly, event planners who do not have sufficient cash budgets must find different ways to still exchange real VALUE for VALUE with a speaker. Forget the illusion and get real – that is always the best way to build any relationship.

 

5. VALUE for VALUE

 

Ultimately, the event planner should approach the speaker in the same way as a man asking a woman on a first date whom he just met. Even with a limited cash budget, there are creative ways to treat the exchange as a GIVING transaction of VALUE for VALUE. But the event planner should never be as a “Mr. TAKER” by self-interestedly asking the speaker to be “speaking for free.”

How may an event planner do this?

The previous segment briefly alluded to the answer already with one of many possibilities. Indeed, there are two easily-usable alternatives to “speaking for free” that a speaker might consider as workable – barter and donation.

Some professional speakers might be willing to do a barter of VALUE for VALUE instead of requiring a direct cash payment. In any application of such barter, the exchange must be a bona fide business transaction as an exchange of actually equal VALUE for VALUE. Using the $5,000 example, the event planner is effectively paying the $5,000 to the speaker for the speaker’s product and the speaker is effectively paying $5,000 for whatever services the event planner is overtly bound to provide to the speaker.

As well, using such barter-math, a speaker might alternatively choose to donate their VALUE. Examples of this might involve speaking at non-profits and charities. Event planners must be truly sure that the concept of donation is really applicable to their particular event or organization; if not, then suggesting the donation-alternative could back-fire as an insult to the speaker too.

In either of these ways, whether barter or donation, the speaker is definitely not “speaking for free;” they are speaking for VALUE and then using that VALUE to either buy something from the event planner (et al) or to donate something to the event planner (et al).

With these alternatives understood, for any event planner with a limited cash budget seeking the VALUE from a speaker, the event planner must first transform from being a non-paying “buyer” into becoming a seller of services to the speaker. Using the barter-math, the event planner must be creative and offer reciprocal services of sufficient, quantifiable VALUE. The event planner has to both pitch and sell their offered reciprocal services; and, the speaker has to determine if they would be willing to buy that VALUE as the compensation for the VALUE of the speaker’s work.

What this means is that, whenever an event planner begins a negotiation by wanting to ask the speaker to be “speaking for free,” what they now are really doing is putting the speaker into the driver’s seat of the transaction.

The over-arching point is about realizing, remembering, and recognizing that a speaker’s work has VALUE. Event planners who learn and apply this over-arching point will be well on their way to building positive, win-win relationships with speakers who will be happy to find ways to work together.

 

6. Because “Free” Equals Zero VALUE

 

Hence, as the title of this article series educates, ‘Speaking for Free’ is a Dirty Word.” It offensively declares that the speaker’s work supposedly has NO VALUE – God forbid. That term can be as insulting to a professional speaker as that of a man asking a woman he just met to go to a hotel with him right away. By compassionately understanding why a woman would be offended by a man making that kind of request for a first date, then it should be just as easy to compassionately understand why a speaker would be likewise offended by being asked the now-dirty word, to “speak for free.”

Although most people commonly understand the iconic and familiar image of a woman slapping a man for being that fresh and offensive, the point here must not be confused to falsely suggest that event planners should ever be slapped by speakers. (Indeed, even this article here is absolutely not written as any form of proverbial “slap” to event planners either.) Not at all. Rather, by herewith educating event planners to now understand the level of this offensiveness in comparison, event planners may more easily remember this image for their compassionate understanding and will now be able to correctly avoid ever making this unnecessary mistake again.

The lessons here for event planners are simple to understand and to apply.

  • Make offers to speakers that VALUE the speaker and their product.
  • Treat the beginning of the relationship as a man asking a woman on their first few dates.
  • Strive to develop a relationship as Mr. GIVER (from the above example).
  • Never be as Mr. TAKER.
  • Do not default to “promising” the illusion of “exposure” unless you can unquestionably prove that that quantifiable VALUE will occur and can self-confidently obligate yourself to it.
  • If creative alternatives are needed in order to compensate the speaker (such as barter), quantify an actual VALUE and live up to it.
  • Never again use the now-offensively dirty word.
  • Remember, from now on, “Speaking for Free” is a Dirty Word.

To never forget why this is all so important to remember, think of it in simple mathematical terms:

“Free equals zero, and zero means NO VALUE.”

Like a good man asking a woman on their first date, the correct approach for event planners is to always seek to give VALUE for VALUE. By being so VALUED, speakers will more flexibly find ways to give their VALUE back. As the win-win approach to build better relationships, may all now remember: speakers speak for VALUE – not “for free.”

 

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This is the second (2nd) installment in this series.

    SERIES: “Speaking for Free” is a Dirty Word!

  1. Speakers Now Draw the Line in the Sand
  2. Speak for VALUE – not “For Free”

Future installment(s) of this article-series will continue to educate and demonstrate why “Speaking for Free” is now a dirty word for Professional Public Speakers, will explore creative methods to obtain compensation though means other than direct financial payment, will address how to protect legacy issues for those who used to use the phrase in eras gone by, and will provide ways to use specific adjectives to describe situations which could legitimately not involve compensation (e.g., “Donation Speaking”). Be sure to check back for such installment(s).

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District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference – May 15-17, 2015

I attended the 2015 District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference on May 15-17. In addition to networking & learning throughout the weekend, I also went with three specific purposes for attending this particular conference:

  1. Competing in the 2015 District 45 International Speech Contest,
  2. Competing in the 2015 District 45 Table Topics Contest, and
  3. Receiving the 2015 Triple Crown (Repeat Achiever) award.

District 45 includes all of
Vermont, New Hampshire, & Maine in the USA, and all of
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Nova Scotia in Canada.

The weekend conference was entirely held at the Radisson Hotel on 700 Elm St. in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Radisson Hotel - Manchester NH - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17, 2015 - MarkHenkelSpeaker.com - 1000x750

Just prior to the start of the weekend, the District also organized a special 2-hour workshop, titled, “How to Give Killer Presentations,” from 3:00-5:00p on Friday, a few blocks away at the EverSource.

EverSource - Manchester NH - David Brooks (WCPS 1990) and Jock Elliot (WCPS 2011) - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15, 2015 - MarkHenkelSpeaker.com - 1000x750

This additional workshop was presented by two past World Champions of Public Speaking (WCPS): David Brooks (1990) and Jock Elliot (2011). This workshop was loaded with lots of great insight. When I saw this powerpoint slide from David Brooks, I got even more enthused; it affirmed my exact strategy for the speech I would be presenting in the International Speech Contest the next day.

David Brooks (WCPS 1990) teaches - EverSource - Manchester NH - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15, 2015 - MarkHenkelSpeaker.com - 1000x750

During the Saturday Awards Luncheon, I received the 2015 Triple Crown (Repeat Achiever) award (see video at link).

Triple Crown 2015 - Mark Henkel - 1000x772

The District 45 International Speech Contest began at 5:00pm. Out of 7 contestant, I was the third to speak. My speech was titled, “Good Enough for Greatness.” Afterward, when I went to swap off the microphone, fellow contestant and good friend (who is also a Past District Governor), Dan Bell, whispered to me that he thought my “gestures were impeccable.” Except for mine and one other contestant’s speech, the other speeches were more humorous and less serious-toned. Five of the contestants definitely brought their A-game, and the other two were very close behind.

Mark Henkel - International Speech - D45 2015-05-16 - 1

The results would not be announced until later that evening. Many, many people came up to me afterward, convinced that I was going to be the winner. Some were in tears as they shared how they were moved by the speech (especially those who had shared similar tragedy in their own lives). Others just wanted to hug me in gratitude for my sharing so personal a story. My mentor and fellow contestant (who is also a previous 4-time District winner), Joe Grondin, said that, after seeing my speech (for that first time), he knew I had “brought something to win.” The Contest Chair, Debby Hoffman Adair, who is a past president of a New England chapter of the National Speakers Association, said that she “just had to hug” me and that she thinks that I should be going on tour to bring this speech to school children.

Mark Henkel - Debby Hoffman Adair - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 500x750

Later that evening, after the Dinner Banquet, the Top 3 were announced. My mentor, Joe Grondin, won 1st place; my good friend, Dan Bell, had won 2nd place; and I had won 3rd place.

Mark Henkel (3rd) - Joe Grondin (1st) - Dan Bell (2nd) - Patricia MacNevin (District Governor) - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 1000x750

This was truly a competitive contest. For my very first run up to this level, I had achieved my goal for this year and was happy to earn 3rd Place in the 2015 District 45 International Speech Contest (see more details at link).

Toastmasters - District 45 - International Speech - 3rd Place - Mark Henkel - 2015-05-16 - Trophy - 1000x562 -2

The next morning, on Sunday at 9:00am, I competed in the 2015 District 45 Table Topics Contest (see video at link). Again, I was the third contestant to speak – which means that I was not able to see the first two contestants give their replies. While I did not place in the Top 3, my reply was fun and creative. This was a fun contest – and all the contestants gave super replies! The official Table Topic ™ question asked,
“What childhood toy did you want that you never received as a child?”

Mark Henkel - Table Topics - D45 2015-05-16 - 1

The entire weekend of the 2015 District 45 Spring Conference was truly a lot of fun. I was able to re-connect with many good friends – such as the ever-awesome and hilarious duo, Malinda Regimbal & Dan Bell.

Mark Henkel - Malinda Regimbal - Dan Bell - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 500x1122

I was also able connect again with good friend (and another Past District Governor), Carl Duivenvoorden.

Mark Henkel - Carl Duivenvoorden - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 500x667

Networking and making new friends with other Toastmasters is also another super value – such as meeting the super Helen Fu.

Mark Henkel - Helen Fu - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 1000x750

I so enjoy the fun we have. Steve Chen (who is a Region 9 Candidate seeking to be an International Director at Toastmasters International) is one of the good friends with whom I hung out at dinner. He took the pictures for me. With his great humor, it was to be expected that he would add a photo-bomb selfie!

Mark Henkel - Steve Chen photobomb selfie - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 1000x750

Truly, there are so many more friends & contacts who could not all be listed here. They all made this a fantastic conference for me!

Lastly and most importantly of all, it was fantastic and edifying to spend time in-person with my mentor and now 5-time District Winner, Joe Grondin. I so appreciate this man and his help for my improvement as a speaker.

Mark Henkel - Joe Grondin - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 1000x750

 


    To see more (including embedded VIDEOS), please see these additional posts:

  1. 3rd Place Trophy at District 45 INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest
  2. Competing in District 45 Table Topics Contest – May 17, 2015
  3. Receiving the 2015 Triple Crown Toastmasters Award (Repeat Achiever).

 


 


 


Competing in District 45 Table Topics Contest – May 17, 2015

Having earned/won my way up (past the lower levels), I was honored to compete in the District 45 Toastmasters Table Topics ™ Contest, conducted at the District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference, on May 15-17, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The embedded video here (above) shows the impromptu speech I gave in response to the following question:
“What childhood toy did you want that you never received as a child?”

This was a particularly difficult question for contestants (such as myself) who had not had that specific experience. Although I did not have a directly personal experience in my own life with which to more easily answer the Table Topics ™ question, I still gave a fun & creative answer.

Overall, the Table Topics ™ contest was truly fun, and the other contestants gave some fantastic replies!

Mark Henkel - Table Topics - D45 2015-05-16 - 1

Receiving the 2015 Triple Crown Toastmasters Award (Repeat Achiever)

I earned an award at the District 45 Toastmasters Spring Conference last weekend, on May 15-17, 2014, at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire: the “Triple Crown” award in the current 2014-2015 year.

This is another achievement that I have been able to consistently earn each year.

    To date, this is my track record:

  • 2014-2015 – Triple Crown: CC, CL, CL
  • 2013-2014 – Triple Crown: ALS, DTM, CL
  • 2012-2013 – Triple Crown: CC, CL, ALB
  • 2011-2012 – Triple Crowns: CC, ALB, ACS, CL, ACG, ALB
  • 2010-2011 – Triple Crown: CC, ACB, CL

Triple Crown 2015 - Mark Henkel - 1000x772

NOTE: A Triple Crown refers to achieving 3 Educational Awards in Toastmasters within one fiscal year. The letters are acronyms for
Competent- or Advanced-
-Communicator or -Leader
(Bronze/Silver/Gold)
Distinguished Toastmaster DTM = Advanced Communicator Gold + Advanced Leader Silver

Because this is not the first time that I have earned this award, I was also warded an extra bonus gift as a “Repeat Achiever:” this blue branded coffee cup.

Triple Crown Repeater Coffee Cup - 1000x562

3rd Place Trophy at District 45 INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest

Toastmasters - District 45 - International Speech - 3rd Place - Mark Henkel - 2015-05-16 - Trophy - 1000x562 -2

INTERNATIONAL SPEECH & TABLE TOPICS ™ Contests
District 45 Spring Conference 2015

May 15-17, 2015
Radisson Hotel
Manchester, New Hampshire, US

Radisson Hotel - Manchester NH - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17, 2015 - MarkHenkelSpeaker.com - 1000x750

Two speaking-contests were conducted by
District 45 of Toastmasters International.
The District comprises
all of Vermont, New Hampshire, & Maine in the US, and
all of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, & Nova Scotia in Canada.

 

INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest

Saturday, May 16, 2015
I won 3rd Place for my speech,
Good Enough for Greatness.

Mark Henkel - International Speech - D45 2015-05-16 - 1

This contest was an intensely-close race – with no less than 5 of us contestants really bringing our “A”-game, and the rest very close behind. Wow! Indeed, the Top 3 sequence could have gone in any order – and many people who came up to me afterward were thinking that I was the one who won (until the results were announced). All of the speeches were so well done.

Toastmasters - District 45 - International Speech - 3rd Place - Mark Henkel - 2015-05-16 - Certificate

The biggest – and most important! – “prize” for me was sum of the numerous people who came up afterward with tears, hugs, and gratitude for my sharing such a moving speech. That truly blessed me in a way that I shall not forget. I am the one who is grateful to have been able to have that effect for them.

For my first run up to the District level, I had achieved my goal for this year – i.e., to place at District. I am quite happy and honored to be in the same Top 3 with my two good friends who placed 1st and 2nd.

1st place: Joe Grondin (center-left) – 2nd place: Dan Bell (center-right).
Standing on the far right is District Governor, Patricia MacNevin.

Mark Henkel (3rd) - Joe Grondin (1st) - Dan Bell (2nd) - Patricia MacNevin (District Governor) - District 45 Spring Conference - May 15-17 2015 - 1000x750

 

TABLE TOPICS ™ (speech) Contest

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Although I competed and did quite well, I did not place in the District 45 Table Topics ™ contest.

Mark Henkel - Table Topics - D45 2015-05-16 - 1

The Table Topics ™ question presumed that every contestant shared a common childhood experience. Not directly having that personal experience in my own life, I still found a fun and creative way to answer it with an off-the-cuff mini-speech. The question asked,
What childhood toy did you want that you never received?

The Table Topics ™ contest was truly fun, and the other contestants gave some fantastic replies!

Overall, it was both an honor and an amazingly fun & educational experience to have been able to compete at this District-level in both the International Speech and the Table Topics ™ contests. Yes this was a blast of a fun time indeed!

 

Two 1st Place Trophies at Division Spring Contests

Two 1st Place Trophies - Division B - 2015-05-02 - Mark Henkel - 1000x750px

INTERNATIONAL SPEECH & TABLE TOPICS ™ Contests
Division B, District 45

May 2, 2015
Rockport Opera House
Rockport Maine, US

Venue - Div B Fall Contests 2014 - 300x225

Two speaking-contests were conducted by
Division B, of District 45, of Toastmasters International.
This Division comprises all of Maine and part of coastal southern New Hampshire.

 

INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest

I won 1st Place for my speech.
(Until I stop competing with this speech, I will not be publicly posting the title yet.)
2nd place: Steve Breault (left) – 3rd place: Mike Harris (right)

Mark Henkel - 1st Place - INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest - Division B District 45 - 2015-05-02 - 1000x562

 

TABLE TOPICS ™ (speech) Contest

I won 1st Place for the Table Topics ™ off-the-cuff speech I gave in response to the impromptu question: How do you build trust?
2nd place: Mary Hann (right) – 3rd place: Lesley Bechtold (left)

Mark Henkel - 1st Place - TABLE TOPICS Contest - Division B District 45 - 2015-05-02 - 1000x562

 

My specific goal has been all about the INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest, to at least get past the Division level. Having now achieved that goal, that moves me up to the next level: competing at the District 45 Spring Conference in two weeks, on May 15-17, 2015, in Manchester, New Hampshire.

That means that I now have the high honor to be competing on the same stage as my mentor, 4-time District 45 INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest winner, Joe Grondin. Whether I win or he wins this next contest, this is going to be so much fun!

Two 2nd Place Trophies at Division Fall Contests

2nd Place Trophies for both Div B Fall Contests 2014

HUMOROUS SPEECH & EVALUATION Contests
Division B, District 45

October 4, 2014
Rockport Opera House
Rockport Maine, US

Venue - Div B Fall Contests 2014 - 300x225

Two speaking-contests were conducted by
Division B, of District 45, of Toastmasters International.
This Division comprises all of Maine and part of coastal southern New Hampshire.

 

HUMOROUS SPEECH Contest

I won 2nd Place for my speech titled,
How Do You Spell That?

It was fun enlisting the audience to ask the title-question out loud throughout the speech.
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EVALUATION (speech) Contest

I won 2nd Place for the Evalution I had presented off-the-cuff for a target-speech (which all contestants observed and evaluated).

 

My own specific goals for these two contests were mostly centered as being preparation for the INTERNATIONAL SPEECH Contest coming in the Spring 2015. As I will not be able to attend the District 45 Fall Conference on October 24-26, 2014, in Prince Edward Island, Canada, I am perfectly fine with finishing with 2nd Place here.

Although I am certainly not complaining, I will admit that it is not easy to hold two trophies and two certificates at the same time!

DSC04042

This was fun!