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See It to Believe – From ToastMaster to Accredited Speaker Finalist

tamara s hamilton accredited speaker finalist

A year ago I attended my first Toastmasters International Convention and launched a dream to become an Accredited Speaker. I had read about the program over my nine-year membership. Every year I looked at the requirements and thought it was out of reach for me. At best, I could aspire to be a district officer and a DTM, very noble and service-filled aspirations. I could not see myself as an Accredited Speaker, the highest designation for a Toastmaster.

The only woman in the world

But everything changed when I saw Rochelle Rice present a brilliant four-minute speech at the National Speakers Association’s annual meeting in July 2016, just a month before the Toastmasters Convention. It was the introduction that grabbed my imagination. “And now, Rochelle Rice, the only woman in the world to hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) from NSA and the Accredited Speakers Program!.” The only woman in the world rang in my ears. Only?

But everything changed when I saw Rochelle Rice present a brilliant four-minute speech at the National Speakers Association’s annual meeting in July 2016, just a month before the Toastmasters Convention. It was the introduction that grabbed my imagination. “And now, Rochelle Rice, the only woman in the world to hold the CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) from NSA and the Accredited Speakers Program!.” The only woman in the world rang in my ears. Only?

Little did I know that they were no black women holding the Accredited Speaker designation — period. That realization came when I sat on the edge of my seat watching the smiling faces of all sixty-seven accredited speakers. I kept looking for me. I wasn’t there after three repetitions. I guess she did not submit a photo, I concluded. In that moment, I decided to become the only Black woman in the world to do both. (My third application to the CSP will be submitted on Jan.2018)

My Vision as an Accredited Speaker Is Clear

Rochelle and Sheryl Roush (author of The Heart of Toastmaster) were larger than life on the stage and on the jumbotrons. I was whisked away in a vision of being on that big stage. Afterward, I asked a stranger to take my picture in front of the Accredited Speaker logo on the big screen. In that moment, I could see me clearer. During the business meeting, I introduced myself to Sheryl Roush and told her of my vision of being an accredited speaker. “I will help you!” She beamed. My knees buckled.
Foaming at the Mouth

In my hotel room that night, I read the requirements with new eyes. I had a vision. My picture became my screen saver to empower my confidence. I now had to get paid engagements! I did what I knew how to do best. I asked for help and it came. I began collecting checks. Next, I hired a videographer, Andrew Rougier-Chapman (a Toastmaster), to get a professional video. Fairfax County Health Department paid me $100 to do a presentation on bullying and implicit bias. Last week, I had professional photos done. Now I am studying Rochelle and Sheryl’s wardrobe so I can be appropriately dressed for the biggest day of my life: August 26th!

I now dream of being in the crowd of accredited speakers when they join the stage at the end to welcome the inductee!

My call to action:

  1. Have a vision
  2. See it daily
  3. Ask for help
  4. Tell yourself the story you want to live!
  5. Keep a gratitude journal
  6. Speak the vision in 5-7 minutes as often as you can!

When we came back to our Toastmaster GUTS meeting. Bob Snyder did an evaluation of a speech. In his introduction, he said: “Tamara belongs on the big stage!” I kept his words in my heart.

3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics

3-d Global Coaching Summit Dimensions in Diversity

3D Global Coaching Summit: Dimensions of Diversity Dynamics May 15-16, 2017

Its Inaugural run will be during International Coaching Week: May 15-16, 2017.

The first day, Monday is from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. We reconvene for a group dinner at 5:30 pm and an experiential RaceLab session from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. RaceLab is required to participate. This is not to be missed!

Tuesday, May 16 runs from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, includes facilitation practice and closing luncheon.

The entire session is 12 contact hours. Coaches can receive ICF credits and human resource professionals can receive SHRM recertification credit.

This is a deep dive into the foundations of race theory, policies, practices, and conflict, and how it shows up in today’s workplace and institutions. Such a foundation will equip participants — especially coaches, HR professionals, therapists, counselors, organizers, educators, leaders, and consultants with a deep awareness of how to talk about race and differences. Participants will learn how to facilitate conversations in this sensitive area and recognize nuances readily grasped by people of color that may elude those from the dominant socio-cultural frames of reference.

  • This groundbreaking session is built upon adult learning theory, organization development, applied behavioral science, leadership coaching, inclusion challenges, and the dimensions of diversity dynamics.
  • In a safe and intensive learning environment, participants will engage in experiential RaceLab activities to expand points of view and to raise awareness of why coaches and human resource professionals sometimes stumble and fumble through conversations and interventions on race and implicit bias.
  • Practice sessions on coaching across lines of racial differences will be demonstrated.
  • Pre-work is required to maximize learning and application of frameworks.
  • Sessions will be in Reston in a location within a short walk of Embassy Suites. Monday night will be an extended day with a group dinner in the Reston Town Center.

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY

Monday, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Program from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. • Diversity Reception 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm • RaceLab at from 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Registration: Building the Community
  • Setting the Context–Race, Racism, Ethnicity, Immigration: Foundations of Difference
  • Talking about Race in Safe Space
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon Breakout sessions
  • Group dinner: Reston Town Center (Transportation included)
  • Experiential RaceLab session from 8:30 pm to 10:00  pm.  (RaceLab is required to participate. During this segment, participants will experience the impact of race and difference in an innovative game format followed by facilitated small group authentic conversations.)  This is not to be missed!

Tuesday, May 16  9:00 am to 2:00 pm

  • Registration
  • Breakout sessions
  • Closing luncheon

Registration for the Fall 2017, Winter/Spring 2018 sessions will be $2500 and 2.5 days.

The inaugural session is discounted at $995.00 and includes a wealth of take-away resources that can be used immediately.

Registration is capped at 30.

The event will be held at Embassy Suites, Herndon, Virginia
Quick and Easy Reservations for Attendees

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY!

Learning facilitators are:

Dr. Dennis Slaughter, Harvard Negotiation Program and MBTI Specialist, Milton, MA

Arthuretta Martin, M.S. CFCM, DTM, Trainer, Washington D.C. Metro Area

Guest presenters:

Guest presenters will be pioneers in the early entry of African Americans into corporate management which occurred in the mid-seventies and early eighties. They will share personal stories.

Tamara S. Hamilton, Leadership and Diversity Coach

(Facilitators subject to be expanded depending on enrollment)

RESERVE YOUR SPACE BEFORE APRIL 1, 2017!

Today’s Youth: Our Promise of a Future

That was the title of my 1970 high school graduation speech forty five years ago.  It was  just five years past the 1965 Watts Rebellion. I experienced the worst urban rebellion in our history when I was thirteen. It does not take much to recall the sights, sounds, and high energy in the air. Night skies turned blazing colors of oranges, reds, and yellows– the colors of hot anger billowing up into the dark.

As I watched  the burning of Baltimore, the imperative is the same: today’s youth is our best promise of a future. How will we step up as adults stepped up in 1965 and helped us to organize to improve our community?

Our youth need hope.  They need to dream with courage and faith.  All is not lost. All is not lost when caring adults step up to help, when agencies bring in jobs and activities.  The future of our youth has been compromised.  Yet, all is not lost.

In 1965, I wondered if all was lost after six days of burning and destruction in Watts.  James Baldwin wrote about The Fire Next Time. Are we there yet?

When the Education Community Gets it Right

Tonight I had the honor of speaking to the education community of the W.E.B. DuBois Charter Schools Consortium in Memphis, Tennessee. Headed by Director Ruby Payne, this is a cohort of parents, grandparents, school leaders, and community members with a single focus like a laser: prepare our children for the future.  This community gets it right. They have found the secret sauce to create a collaborative force to build a hedge around students who could have a different future if these adults had not steeped up to the plate.

I spoke about the Effective Use of Self: Focusing on the 4 Cs of Compassion.  Our students, no matter where they live and no matter the socio-economic make-up of the neighborhoods, are all at risk to an uncertain future.  These adults are building citizens–young people who know how live and thrive in a civil society.

They are doing it the old school way: not security guards at the entrance but grandparents. These grandparents, my good friend Lennell Terrell being one of them, meet the students at the door and ensure they are appropriately dressed in full uniforms.  Those out of compliance are soon in compliance after being sent home enough times.  Did parents get angry? Of course, they did. It was an inconvenience for Tyrone or Tonya to come back home for socks or a belt.  They have zero tolerance for sagging pants and skirts too short.

They have reached back into the wisdom of the community and given then significant roles to play because they get it: it takes a village to raise a child.

I look forward to more interaction with the people in Memphis. I am energized by positivity and the W.E.B. DuBois Charter School Consortium has got it going on! Now this should be Breaking News, CNN.

 

Association Training Academy (ATA)

Hearing the Call

A small voice speaks when we rest our minds and let our thoughts marinate. Like the body, the mind needs stillness and rest to refuel, to rejuvenate. While resting my mind on my 63rd birthday, an idea buried under three years of post-retirement activity, was born. I did not want to fall into the trap of mistaking a busy life for a life with deeper meaning. I had to sit a minute and let myself catch up to me. When that happens, a lot happens. This time is the nurturing of an idea that has lived in my heart a long time, just waiting for the time and the opportunity to “pay it forward.” The announcement below is the essence of an idea whose time has finally come.

Association Training Academy

Who We Are

The Association Training Academy (ATA) is a professional network of highly skilled organizational change agents, consultants, facilitators, coaches, and organization development practitioners. The network provides professional development, coaching, and training to associations, nonprofits, unions, school districts, and civic organizations that are grappling with tough issues related, but not limited, to:

  • Leadership and Personal Mastery
  • Executive, Presidential, and Management Onboarding
  • Staff Engagement and Morale
  • Executive and Managerial Transition
  • Retirement Coaching: What’s Next?
  • Strategic Planning for Organizers
  • Managing Time and Priorities
  • New Staff Development
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Communication Skills
  • Career Development
  • Agenda Driving
  • Project Management
  • Leadership and Well Being

ATA Network Associates hold extensive certifications in organization development, facilitation skills, leadership development, project management, management training, board development, and executive coaching.

ATA prides itself on having a team of professionals with academic preparation and experience on the front lines of working with associations and advocacy groups facing unprecedented challenges.

Our Purpose

  • To provide a high level of learning experiences for leaders, managers, and staff who work for associations and advocacy organizations, specifically unions.
  • To design and deliver board training to help associations meet their governance goals
  • To provide executive coaching based on desired goals and outcomes

Our Mission

To positively impact leadership and human systems in associations by helping people to master competencies in adaptive leadership, strategic communication, organizing, relationship management (team building), conflict resolution, and aligned thinking.

Our Core Values

  • To focus on excellence in consultation, design, execution, and assessment of experiential training engagements
  • To maintain open lines of communication to ensure association needs are fulfilled at the highest level of service and commitment
  • To understand the association’s current reality and desired future
  • To perform professional duties with respect for confidentiality
  • To design interventions customized for each unique environment
  • To be knowledgeable of best practices in association effectiveness and leadership development

My closing thought: never underestimate the power of the small voice.  We never know what treasures are locked inside of us until we pause to settle our minds and listen from within.