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【Beaming Smile】

2017.9.20

We had a two days’ workshop in Karuizawa for young employees of a client.

This is an action learning program to use their bodies outdoors.
Not to use their heads but to feel through the activity.
Fortunately, the weather was perfect. Clear sky and warm climate was suitable for outdoors activity.

The session started in a little slow mood because of a few acquaintance.
Though a facilitator tried to ask for comments, only specific members replied it and most of the members kept silent.

Two teams among three were good moving.
Team leaders drew member’s opinion well and summarized it.
But one team went wrong.
Team leader leaded the meeting based on her own idea and a limited member’s opinion.
At the very end of time limit in the morning of Day 2 the team finally decided her today’s goal, “Be cheerful,happy and energetic!”
And stepped forward.

Members of the team became more energetic than previous day because of getting used to doing this activity or effect of the goal setting. Finally all the team were doing their best with beaming smile.

They moved their own bodies, talked to each other and collaborated in this activity.
I think carefree beaming smile really suit these young people.

【Speech Structure】

2017.9.13

We had a workshop in our Toastmasters Club in August preparing for Tall Tale speech contest this fall.
The facilitator was Naoki who got 1st prize for three times in Japan Nationwide speech contest and got third prize in international semifinal speech contest.

His speech structure is outstanding and he taught us the essence simply as follows.

1) Hook: Why shouldn’t I listen to the story?
2) Set-up: When and where does the story take place?
3) The hero: Who is the main character and what do they want?
4) Obstacle: What is the problem or opportunity they ran into?
5) Resolution: What did they do about it?
6) Yikes!: How did it turn out in the end?
7) Lesson: What did you learn from it?
8) Message: What do you think I should do?

After the workshop I made my speech structure based on N san’s guide and showed it.
Then I could speak smoothly seizing the point than before.

Thank you Naoki for kindly providing us your speech structure.
I will try it several times and improve my speech skill.


【Bar master T san】

2017.9.6

There is a Bar which one of my friends regularly visits near Shinjuku.

This bar has many regular customers and seems to be comfortable. I would like to go there from before and had a chance late in July. I could understand the reason after my visit.

The interior is quite simple but it has warm atmosphere like a friend’s house.
Master T san frankly talked to me though I visited there for the first time. He is a friendly,polite and good communicator.

The bar is flexible for a regular customer’s special order like half size of pasta.The food has large quantity,the taste is pretty good and the price is reasonable.

The capacity is small and it may be suitable for home bar.
When I talked to my friend concerning golf, a customer next to me began to join our conversation. This was the first time to meet him but I found he is one of business partners with my surfing-mates. Our talk livened up for an accidental meeting.

We talked with other regular customers.
Owing to Mater T san’s character, good people gather in this bar.

A customer spoiling the mood visits there once in a while.
T san refuses to come for such a customer to keep their pleasant atmosphere.

I realized the popular bar has the reason.
I think I would be a regular customer of this bar if I would live close to my house or office.

【Proposer Return】

2017.8.30

O san,an original Proposer of this session returned to his former organization this July as a general manager after six years.

He proposed and planned this session as a planning manager then he was transferred to the other group after a year. I saw him after five years but he hasn’t changed at all. He looks rather younger than before because of a diet.
And he told me,
“The situation of our organization has been changed but we have to work on this issue recently.”

He reminded me of discussing organization’s problem deeply at that time because he was an energetic and innovative businessman.
I told him about Toastmasters and he replied positively,
“Some of our engineers are excellent in technical matter but aren’t good at communicating clearly and making a presentation. So Toastmasters may be a good place to train communication skill.”

I was surprised at his attitude to listen to my talk and his spirit of inquiry for a new thing.
I don’t know whether he is really interested in Toastmasters but all ears so I wanted to talk more. I think his listening attitude must motivate his subordinate and colleague.

His subordinate said O san is a good listener and his organization has a good atmosphere.
I look forward to working with him from now again.

【Irish】

2017.8.23

Irish, L san joined our Toastmasters Club in this June.

He is a young,tall and handsome guy with well-shaped figure.
I talked about US Open Golf Tournament at the restaurant after the meeting, then he joined that conversation.
“I also watch US Open Golf. I am looking forward to Hideki Matsuyama’s success!”

I told,
“Hi L san, You like golf,don’t you? If you are available,why don’t you participate in Toastmasters Golf Association(TGA) Competition in late July?”
He replied,
“Why not? My father likes golf very much so I have played golf with my brother and sister since my childhood.”

Then we played golf in the same party at TGA Competition.
He told he was not confident hitting a driver because he rarely played golf after coming to Japan. And he chose a four iron for his tee shot.
His ball hit by his beautiful swing passed describing a parabola and fell down on the center of fairway.
“Gooooood Shooooot!!! WOW! You hit amazing ball.You look an outstanding player,don’t you?”

He had a wonderful second and third shot and got a birdie for the first hole.
He had a miss shot once in a while but recovered it with his controlled shot.
And he got a lot of pars with his high accurate putting.
After all he won the competition for 78 and also got the best gross score.

In the awarding ceremony he told his parent’s home was located just behind the golf course and he had played golf mostly every day.
And he scored 67 for his best.

What an amazing golfer joined our TGA!
I am glad to play golf together with such a nice and exciting guy!

【Club Officer Training】

2017.8.16

We planned and operated Toastmasters Club Officer Training(COT) in the end of July.
COT is held by Division Directors with Area Directors twice a year for club officers.
I was in charge of an English session “Leading the Club to Success” and facilitated it.

Toastmasters International provides us such kind of training tool as Presentation Slides and documents. However original content is for two hours’ session and our time allowance is only forty minutes. I felt cramming the knowledge into hour head for a short time when I attended COT before. So I customized it focusing on the points for improving the audience satisfaction.

In addition, I facilitated my session interactively reducing one way instruction and increasing case studies,group discussions and presentations for reducing the feeling of distance between the audience and me. Then I completed it on time covering main topics.

After my session an Area Director facilitated the previous session told,
“I was lucky that you facilitated after me. If I saw your awesome session first,I might feel really nervous to facilitate my session.”

At the party I got some positive comments,
“AK,you gave a fantastic performance! I was tremendously impressed by your interactive session!”
“AK,What an awesome session you had!”

I’m glad to hear such comments and realized that was valuable.
I enjoyed my facilitation after a long time and cool beer at the party with Division/Area Directors.

【Niemon Island】

2017.8.8

I joined Niemon Island BBQ party held by my surfing-mates during three-day weekend in July. Niemon Island is one of sightseeing spots in Kamogawa,Chiba. The island is located just one hundred meter’s distance from Futomi harbor and we can go there for five minutes by ferryboat.

The port is just a hundred meter from the nearest parking lot. After forty attendants gathered,we carried food & drinks,tarps,tables and chairs together to the port. Arriving at the island we carried our BBQ items with rear cars for party traveler and entered the center of the island.

There was a lawn field which is the suitable place for BBQ and putting up a tent.
First we made a relaxed place setting up two tarps and lining up tables and chairs. One of the members played summer & pop music. Then some members began to roast meat and vegetables.
We could throw away separated refuse and it was very convenient.

The island consists of solid rocks and the water was cleaner than expected so it was suitable for Snorkeling. I rented snorkeling set from my friend and enjoyed the sea.

We completely enjoyed Niemon Island BBQ party from 8AM to 5PM.
I’ll attend it next year preparing for marine shoes for walking on the rocks.

【EK’s Second House】

2017.8.2

He calls himself “EK(Erotic King)”,who is one of Toastmasters-mates and likes dirty jokes very much.

I joined BBQ party held at EK’s Second House during three-day weekend in July.
His house is located at the seaside of Hokota city in Ibaraki.
I was surprised to find his house is just in front of surfing point and we can enjoy the gorgeous ocean view.

I told EK,
“What a fantastic location your house is! This is for a real surfer,isn’t it?”

EK replied,
“Oh Yeah! I started to have a lesson of surfing and sometimes surf in this sea.”

He seems to be around sixties but has enough challenging spirits to start surfing.
He showed me his board collection,three long boards and a fun board at the basement.

In addition, he has a courtyard which is suitable for BBQ and a second floor balcony where we can relax and have a pleasant talk drinking beer with comfortable sea breeze.
In the evening the waves looked better so I surfed in front of his house and got fun wave.

I’d like to visit EK’s Second House again for surfing with my surfing-mates in the near future.

【Passionate Leader】

2017.7.26

I had a meeting with a President E san of B Toastmasters Club who belongs to my Area.
I heard the rumor that B Club had many foreign members and high speech level.But they seldom sent contestants for Area Contest and I didn’t know their current status.
Before the meeting I approached her if she can host Area 45 contest and to discuss it when I visit her club.

Then I got an email from her,
“I regret to say our regular meeting tomorrow would be canceled for a little attendants. However I am interested in hosting Area 45 contest this fall. And I am anxious about doing it for I have no experience to host it.Therefore I’d like to have a live meeting with you and let me know what to do.”

She told me,
“Half year ago the former president suddenly went back to US for his business reason and other officers left our club then our club was nearly about to collapse. I was appointed to a president and held other two posts. We have managed to reorganize our club since this spring and settled down recently. We installed new officers and made a good start. I don’t have an experience to host Area contest but I think it may be a good chance for us to deepen the bonds between officers.”

I felt E san’s passion to save her club and to motivate officers’ mind as a leader.And I thought she has a strong will moving officers with her leadership.

This time I explained her simply what to do concerning hosting Area contest. And I clarified several interrogation points.

After all other officers opposed her in their officers meeting so she gave up hosting Area Contest this fall. But she obtained other officers’ approval to host Area Contest next spring. Therefore I will support her to involve in experiencing Area contest light roles.

【Area Director】

2017.7.19

Toastmasters fiscal year 2017-2018 has just started since Jul.1st,2017 and I was appointed to Area 45 Director. Each club has an activity in Toastmasters and 4-5 clubs belong to 1 Area and 4-7 Areas to 1 Division. And District(Japan District) consists of 8 Divisions.

District officer’s kick off meeting and training was held on Jun.25th and more than 60 officers and supporters gathered there. Division D Director leaded the Division meeting including my area concerning Club Officer Training(COT#1) and Division/Area Contest in this fall.

The role and responsibility of Area Director is to understand and support club needs conducting club visits twice a year. Club visits are strongly recommended in the earliest timing because no effective action can be taken before understanding the current situation of each club. Therefore I began to make a contact with each club president from next Monday and made a visit plan during July.

Division D contest should be hosted by my Area45, so I began to negotiate hosting Division contest with the president of Tokyo Toastmasters club which I belong to. I was invited to the home party of new & previous officers on Jul.1st by chance so I discussed Division contest there and could get agreement. In addition, I supported a club of my area which had a trouble with submitting new officer’s list to Toastmasters International collaborating with Division D Director and District Officer. As a result I could get the president’s trust before visiting her club.

Per COT#1,I made an announcement to take a role of an instructor for 1 English workshop and began to contribute to Division D.

To be sure the role of Area Director takes me time,however it is a new experience for me and a good chance to develop my leadership.
So I’d like to enjoy this role throughout the year.