Walking with Mark, TMC all over the world
Vol. 10 Saint John TMC-Active Listening Club
Dear Toastmasters in Japan,
This time, I would like to report on Saint John TMC in New Brunswick , Canada.
DTM Kokocki, ITP(International President ) 2015-2016 who visited our Spring Conference in Osaka this year kindly invited me to attend his home club!
The following is his message to us all.
“My home club is Saint John Toastmasters founded in 1954 by some leaders in the business community at the time.
You may be familiar with Moosehead Beer which is available in many countries – the gentleman who build it into a global company, Phillip Oland was a charter member of our club.
After Philip left his son Derek joined for many years when they met at the Union Club.
Derek ran Moosehead for many years.
These days we meet at a high school and have a diverse membership from this small city of 120,000 people.
For reference Saint John is in New Brunswick, a province of 750,000 people – fewer than the population of Hiroshima.
Our neighboring provinces are Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Our club meets Mondays from 6pm-8pm from September until end of June.
We start and end with the school year.
We have a talented, enthusiastic membership where the members develop their skills in a supportive, friendly environment.
I’ll be expecting your visit
Jim Kokocki, DTM
International President 2015-2016
Toastmasters International ”
When I got off the plane at a modest sized airport of Saint John, the air was so fresh and invigorating!
DTM Jim Kokocki kindly welcomed me at the airport in person.
On the way to the airport, I was impressed with beautiful sceneries of New Brunswick .
Saint John is a port city, so a variety of fresh sea food is available.
I enjoyed many kinds of clam chowder at several restaurants in Saint John, and put on two pounds in just a few days, thank goodness!
Saint John TMC usually meets at a local high school.
However, the meeting I attended was held at a big hall run by a Chinese community there.
It almost looked like a Division speech contest!
Speakers spoke on a big stage.
I delivered a speech, and also served as a speech evaluator.
We had five speakers. The venue was so big, and we used a microphone.
In such a setting, I felt extremely nervous.
However, DTM Kokocki presided over the meeting as TMOD so smoothly and tactfully.
He was magically conducting the meeting with smile, soothing voice and skilled manners all the way through.
When he introduced me to the big stage, my nervousness was gone.
Plus, the audience members were all “Active Listeners”!
They reacted to me animatedly, responded to me lively with smiles,
laughters, and sometimes with sympathetic facial expressions.
I felt so very encouraged, energized and empowered!
When I delivered an evaluation speech later on, I had exactly the same feeling of support from the audience.
I truly recognized the importance of “Active Listening” at that time,
Saint John toastmasters club is full of kind, considerate and energetic members who are willing to help and assist fellow members and guests.
Are you an active listener?
Are you listening to the speakers intently, in an encouraging manner?
Do you know how important it is for the speakers to feel supported by the audience?
Why don’t we all remember to do “Active Listening” at all times?!
Why don’t you visit Saint John and say hello to DTM Jim Kokocki and his heartwarming fellow toastmasters in person?
*This article has been submitted in Aug, 2016.
TM Jim Kokocki is now (Sep. 2016) Immediate Past International President.