Video Tips by Bud Brown

Talking Heads? I Don't Think So

BudBrown2With all of the virtual meetings going on in Toastmasters clubs these days, it occurs to me that we need to learn (and teach) another skill set.

We can benefit greatly from becoming more effective at developing a screen presence. Today, I am referring to two skill sets:

1. Facial expression and upper body language and
2. Screen eye contact

Take a look at the main players on the news channels for an example of what NOT to do. People do not call these people “talking heads” for nothing. Their facial expression is almost schooled in it’s lack of expression and their vocal variety is practically invariable.

As a contrast, observe the people in the small screens in the corner of the larger screen; the people doing a sign language interpretation of the main speaker. Their faces are filled with expression and their hands do more than just interpret. Even their use of hands is filled with expression! This is at least part of the model we can emulate.

What appears on the screen of your audience can and should draw their eye; capture their interest.

Is your presentation important? Let that show in your face! Is there humour? Let your face know it. Lips can curve upward or twitch with unspoken “almost” laughter. Dimples can appear and eyes can twinkle. Your head can tilt to express irony, quizzicality and even as you pause for effect. World Champion of Public Speaking, Darrin LaCroix, decries practicing in front of a mirror and when it comes to learning your speech, I agree. But all of the devices I just mentioned can be practiced in a mirror.

Movement of the head can also impart meaning: Nodding, shaking a head in the negative and tilting the head as mentioned before are all useful. The next speech that you give in a video conference, practice head and hand movement and emoting in a mirror ahead of time. learn how to impart the emotions; the attitude and the sensation of your message with your physical presentation. This is your first step.

Next, is eye contact. When you look directly at the camera lens, it is the same as looking directly at a member of your audience. Now consider what it is like when you have a physical audience. Toastmasters recommends that you pick people at disparate locations in the audience and hold their eye for a few seconds then move on. When I was competing in the International Speech Contest at The District level, they had to video our speeches in HD and in high quality audio to be sent to a regional committee who would decide who, from the Region would move on to the International Conference semi-finals. We were asked NOT  to look directly at the camera. Instead, we looked at audience members on either side of the camera and at a table of people directly
under the camera.

I recommend that when doing a speech for video, look to one side of the camera lens, look at the lens and look to the other side of the lens. Do this all as if you were looking at individuals in an actual audience. You can physically move your head as you change the “virtual” person you are engaging. This will simulate what your eye contact would be like if you were present in their room.

Finally we come to voice. Emotive power in your voice is key to getting your message to have more power. Let your feelings out! You wouldn’t even be giving this speech unless it meant something to you. So let people know what it means.

That is the sum total of my advice to you today.

  • Let your head and face be free to move and emote
  • Make eye contact as if you were present with your audience
  • Make your voice impart your message

The rest of your presentation should draw on the skills that you are already learning in the Toastmasters program:
Vocal variety | facial expression | speech structure | rhetoric: grammar and so on.

These skills are not just for your Toastmaster meetings. They are for meetings with your cohort at work, in group meetings with other groups than Toastmasters and even with your family and friends.

Toastmasters is valuable for connecting and becoming known as a leader and communicator. Video is just another medium for that reputation.

Good Speaking!
Bud Brown DTM ES4 VL4

My Journey As VP of Membership

What I learned at my Club Officer Training by Tuula Redditt DTM 

I wanted to create this blog post because I realized that I had aquired a lot of great information from my officer training on Feb 1st 2020 with our District Club Growth Director Clifford Graham DTM and I wanted to acknowledge those efforts. We often start to get tired of our roles in our 2nd phase of training because the year is winding down. Our Area directors are frantically paying visits to their clubs, running club, area and division contests right in the middle of cold and flu season and we all feel a little tired. 

This being said I want to give a big thank you to the District Trio who try their best to be present and to Present quality training sessions for our club officers. I remember years ago when we randomly selected volunteers and great leaders from our District to perform these training sessions and sometimes they were good and sometimes especially in the 2nd phase they lost a bit of lustre. 

I was fully energized after Clifford's session and became empowered to put an application to the Spring Conferenece Education Chair Nicole Holas to do a workshop at the conference ... for the first time! 

As VP of Membership we have a responsibility along with our Treasuer and Secretary to renew our club memberships for those clubs who renew every 6 months. Not only can we work together to make this task easier I realized the earlier you do this, the easier it is. So I challenge you all to hopefully have started talking about it Feb 1st but to also start collecting memebership dues NOW!
March 31st will come very quick along with the nice weather so PITTER PATTER! 

Once again thankyou to the District Trio for doing an awesome job! keep up the great work.

Tuula Redditt DTM, MSP, EH1
VP Membership. Speak To Inspire TM, Brampton

Officer TrainingFeb1st

Phil Coakley, Club Treasuer, Ngozi Ugoh VP/PR, Felicia Simpson, club Secretary, Tuula Redditt, VP Membership, Razina Patel, President and daughter

Algoma Toastmasters Club #2648 Holds Fall Open House

Open House AlgomaToastmasters

Algoma Toastmasters had a successful Open House utilizing their regular scheduled meeting time and location. Although only 2 guests attended, one has since joined the club and the other has attended 2 subsequent meetings with intentions to join! Given that conversation rate, Algoma Toastmasters is incredibly proud of the success of this event.

Wanting to give guests the complete Toastmasters meeting experience, a full agenda was planned with inclusion of all the typical meeting roles. The Word of the Day – ‘Actualize’ was chosen by the executive in advance, allowing the regular members to incorporate the theme into their roles easily and also providing a theme for the night. Table Topics were based around inspirational quotes one could use to ‘Actualize’ their potential! The planning process was led by V.P. of Education, Ryan Walker ACS, CLB, MS2 – who used this event to complete his High Performance Leadership project.

For speeches, 2 educational presentations were given from members of the executive, first an overview of the benefits of Toastmasters membership by President Matthew Lance, CC, CL, IP1. Next our V.P. of Education, Ryan Walker ACS, CLB, MS2 delivered a deep dive into the Pathways Program. Finally, we had an example of a typical speech given by one of our newest club members, Kelly Legault. All of the speeches and roles were trialed at the previous weeks’ meeting. This allowed our speakers to get valuable feedback from their fellow Toastmasters before the day of the event. We were quite happy with the extra preparation we took for this event, as it ensured smooth sailing and a professional presentation for our guests.

For more information on Algoma Toastmasters Club #2648, visit

by Maggie Gasparett

Is West Nipissing Ready For A Toastmasters Club?

West Nipissing, a municipality of amalgamated towns and villages with a population of 14,000 is very bilingual and is in the news. Check it out!

Colleen Charland, DTM PM4
North Bay & Area Toastmasters

Toastmasters Tribune

Speak to Inspire TM Pizza Picnic

SpeaktoInspirePizzaPicnic2019 900Wide

What a fantastic day we had at Chingacousy Park on Aug 21st at noon. This is our club's 3rd annual picnic in the park and this year we had a bonus gift certificate ($50 Pizza party gift certificate) from District 86 for recieving 5 new members in May and June. Congratulations everyone for your hard work. Not only was the weather amazing we had members from our area's clubs attend and many other visitors. Thank you everyone for the delicious food and speeches. Our club knows how to put on a celebration with so many education awards. 

  • Cal Lockhart was presented with his DTM pin and ACG award
  • Phil Coakley recieved his ACG pin
  • Gerry Phillips received his CC pin and presented his ice breaker speech called 'In The Beginning'
  • Tuula Redditt received her MS level4 certificate
  • Adebanjo Owoaje received his LD Level 1 certificate
  • Our club was also presented with our home od Area Director Ribbon by Firdaus Walele our Area Director

Keep up the great work and we have an amazing start to becoming distinguished again after a Presidents Distinguished Year.

Your Truly Tuula Redditt DTM, MS 4
STI Toastmasters VP Membership 2019-2020

Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters Celebrates

Special Event – Friday July 12, 2019


This past Friday I had the pleasure of attending a special event at Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters (I was invited by Roger Caesar :). The evening included the club officer induction ceremony, and keynote speaker, Joel Dawson Business Consultant, (bottom left), also former world champion semi-finalist (close friend of Rogers), who came all the way from Louisiana and gave a resounding speech that emotionally moved the audience.

Joel Dawson Business Consultant, brought a surprise with him. He presented Elham Paripour (bottom right) with her DTM Medal, the highest honour you can receive in Toastmasters. Thank you Joel for teaching us that when you raise the level of yourself, you raise the level of your life. Thank you for allowing us to share in Elham Paripour celebration. And thank you for living out the true meaning of being a friend!

What an amazing evening, there was incredible energy in the room, it was an honour to be amongst a group of Advanced Toastmasters who are truly Champions, and know how to have Fun!!

Susan Chhina, Div. B, Area 33 Director

OTM Oakville Toastmasters Open House & 2nd Charter Anniversary Celebration

OTM Oakville Toastmasters Open House
Own the Moment (OTM) Oakville Toastmasters held a very successful multi-purpose meeting event on June 20th, at St Simon’s Anglican Church (McKay Hall), 1450 Litchfield Road, Oakville, ON L6H 5P4. It was billed as End of Year (EOY) Open House & 2nd Charter Anniversary Celebration. Attendance included a total of 55 participants (19 Club Members, 27 Guests, and 9 children). 

The planning started more than a couple of months ago, under the watchful direction of President Sasha-Li Chinloy (Incoming Area 83 Director) & Team. Most Club Members were on deck, either during the planning, implementation and execution of our extravaganza event. This very much contributed to enhance the friendship and team spirit that permeate throughout our members, who are coming from diverse background and professional affiliation. It is expected that the incoming Club Executives will be conducting a Lessons Learned Exercise to further improve on an already successful event and experience.

The Meeting Agenda had all the aspects of a regular meeting, namely Prepared Speeches, Table Topics (where a trio of children participated), and Evaluation sections. In addition, there were recognition for new Members (10 since May 1st); recognition for Members who achieved Educational Awards, and recognition for Club Executives 2017-2018 for having a perfect 7 out of 7 training record during the summer and winter sessions.
The Speech Section included 3 Speakers, at different juncture of their Toastmasters Journey:
• Novice Toastmaster Jolanta Gromadzki: How I enriched My Life.
• Guest Speaker Annie Bai, DTM: The Winner is …
• Josephine Mballa, completing CC: How Can I Help You?
Games and Entertainment Chair Jenny Ngo kept all participants busy with two games, where even the children can participate! The first game is to guess the number of stars in a jar. The second game is to throw dart arrow to the bullseye. The winner is the one with the dart landing nearest the bullseye.
Food & Beverage Chairs Rosanne Garrido and Jolanta Gromadzki sustained us during the 2-hour plus event. Three items greatly enhanced the appeal and success of the Special Event:
• HLN Cogeco Video Presentation - Elora Taylor and Elvis Gregov
• Professional sound equipment - VP PR Peter Day
• Beautiful stage, with projection screen and lighting

The June 20th Special Event met multiple objectives:
• Open House Showcasing Typical Meeting to Potential Members
• Recognition of New Members
• Recognition of Members Successes
• Recognition of Past Club Executives
• Celebration of President’s Distinguished Status
• Transition Phase and Handover to Incoming Executives

The Incoming Club Executives have their work cut out for them. OTM Oakville Toastmasters have achieved President’s Distinguished Club status two years in a row, since chartering on April 11, 2017. They need to have a strategic plan that maps out the drive towards continued club excellence, service to the Club and its Members so that OTM continues to inspire and motivate Toastmasters in the community.
For further information on OTM, visit

OTM Oakville Toastmasters Open House & 2nd Charter Anniversary Celebration was a highly successful event. Kudos to Organising Committee, led by President Sasha-Li. The hard work started a couple of months ago payed off handsomely. OTM exceeded what we aimed for in terms of Key Success Factors (KSF).
The Blue Ribbon Guest List included amongst others Representatives from Ottawa - Nancy Buchan-Terrell, Constituency Assistant, representing John Oliver, Oakville MP; from Oakville - Dr. Natalia Lishchyna, Town of Oakville Ward 6 Councillor, representing herself as well as Town of Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, and Tom Adams, PEng, Councillor for Town of Oakville Ward 6, and Halton Region. It is worth noting that Dr. Lishchyna was at our Club Inaugural Launch Meeting on February 9, 2017, and she was with Nancy Buchan-Terrell at our Club Charter Party on June 22, 2017.

District Leaders attending included amongst others (a) Dennis Bartel, DTM, Past PRM, Samaa El-Sayed, ACS, ALB, Incoming PRM, (b) Mina Yoon, ACS, ALB, Division C Director; Linda Rossi, DTM, Incoming Division D Director; Hilgay Beckles, DTM, Incoming Division E Director; John Constant, DTM, Past Division L Governor, Brahm Memone, DTM, Past Division Governor, and (c) many Past, Present, and Incoming Area Directors (AD): George How Pak Hing, DTM, Past Area 35 AD; Karen Hilliard, ACB, ALB, Past Area A36 AD; John Wang, DTM, Past Area 43 AD; Annie Bai, DTM, Past Area 46 AD; Richard Lewis, DTM, Past Area 81 AD; Sasha-Li Chinloy, ACB, ALB, Incoming Area 83 AD; Albert Chang, DTM, Past Area 87 AD; Ping Ge, ACS, ALB, Area 88 AD; Katia Miropolskaia, ACS, ALB, Incoming Area 103 AD.

We acknowledge the tremendous support of our fellow Toastmasters from the many Clubs (Brampton Talks, Clarkson, Confidently Speaking, Great Minds Advanced, Miracle Chinese English Bilingual, Mississauga Sales & Marketing, Port Credit, 7120 Speakers Corner, Speakwell, Wood, etc.), and non-Toastmasters that came in huge numbers to our Special Event.

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters Founder & IPP
June 22, 2019

World Vision Speechcrafters

WorldVision Speechcrafters

Our 8 week speechcraft session ended Tuesday at World Vision with a celebration of food and fantastic speeches by Olusola Adeosun from Brampton Talks and Cal Lockhart from Speak to inspire Toastmasters. What an inspiring group of speechcrafters receiving their certificates by management. Congratulations! Thank you to all the Toastmasters who volunteered their time to help out from Speak to Inspire members Cal Lockhart, Firdaus Walele, Novlette Evans, Tuula Redditt and Tobista Michaels, Brampton Talks member Olusola Adeosun, Brampton Alpha member Pauline Bourne, One World member Martina De Ruyte and Tangri Toastmasters member Satish Prabhu. We couldn't have done it without your help. Well done everyone.

Our Speechcrafters who graduated were:
Ermira Simeqi, Esther Waweru, Jennifer Miller, Joanne Legin, Sandra Torres, Marcellin Danhoundo and Maya Thomas

Congratulations everyone for inspiring us all with your wonderful stories. The evaluations we received afterwards were extremely positive and World Vision is lucky to have you all working with such a warm group of people. Thank you for sharing your stories. Take advantage of furthering your skills now at One World Toastmasters Club. 

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