OTM Oakville Toastmasters Virtual December 2020 Open House & Celebrations

Own the Moment (OTM) Oakville Toastmasters held a very successful, multi-purpose, and fun-filled meeting event on December 17th. It was a fitting ending to a challenging year, ever since OTM migrated seamlessly to the virtual format since March 2020. Truly, it was a night to remember down the road for the OTM history book. The Meeting theme was: RESILIENCE.

Oakville Toastmasters

The Meeting Agenda had all the aspects of a regular meeting plus more, namely Virtual Toast, Guest Speaker/Author Darline Noel (IPC Toastmasters), Table Topics, Trivia, Games, Awards, etc. OTM recognized the educational achievements of the members, including the DTMs earned by past Area Directors Sasha-Li Chinloy and Katia Miroplskaia.

 Tom Adams PEng, Halton Region Councillor, and Oakville Ward 6 Councillor was on hand to bring encouragement and greetings from the Town of Oakville. Many Toastmasters District 86 DEC Leaders (Division Governor / Division Director / Area Director) were in attendance: Brahm Memone DTM, Lou Mulligan DTM, Aurie Contosta DTM, Hilgay Beckles DTM, Albert Chang DTM, and Suzanne Rondeau ACG. The ongoing support of many Guests (Toastmasters as well as non-Toastmasters) that came from the surrounding communities is greatly appreciated.

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For more info on OTM: www.oakvilletoastmasters.com

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters Founder
Submitted December 23, 2020

Bluewater Toastmasters 1975

45 years ago, Bluewater Toastmasters chartered. It was one of the first clubs to accept women. Over the years, many Toastmasters have called Bluewater home. Our longest reigning member is ACG Marilyn Bell. Marilyn has been very instrumental in keeping Bluewater a driving force in our community.

We kicked off our 45th year with MPP (former Toastmaster) Bill Walker. Bill brought greetings from the province and some of his Toastmaster memories. The following week, Saugeen Shores mayor, Luke Charbonneau, brought greetings from the town and thanks for providing Saugeen Shores and communities with high quality education.

Mayor Boddy, Owen Sound, was on the call the following week. He too brought greetings and showed his interest to promote our club in the area.

We are celebrating throughout our 45th year on Zoom, however, we do look forward to a gala in-person gathering.

We have had several successful Speechcrafts in the past few years. The most recent was partnered with a second language learning centre in Owen Sound. We hope to partner with more groups in the new year.

Our club, like many others, is finding it difficult to grow during this pandemic time. We usually however have a full slate of speakers at each meeting. It is definitely a wonderful and rewarding experience to be part of a great organization and a Club with creative and interesting people.

Stop by…2nd, 3rd or 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm…https://bluewater.toastmastersclubs.org/

What does it take to present an online speechcraft program?

Hershaw Toastmasters just completed a six-week, in-meeting speechcraft on Zoom and it was AMAZING!  Ten participants completed the workshop and we saw growth and improved communication skills in each and every one of them.
 
Whether due to shyness, intimidation, or inexperience, many people are struggling in these times to communicate online.  Running a speechcraft within the club meetings was something that the club decided was the best way to help. 
 
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The club decided that it was of the utmost importance that Speechcrafters had quality experience.  To that end, these are the steps we decided to take:
  1. Build relationships – the club felt it was important for the Speechcrafters to feel like part of the club.  The Speechcrafters found out about the program through any of the online or print channels where it was promoted but all the channels pointed them to Eventbrite where they registered and paid their $15 materials fee.  Once they were registered, they received updates by email as well as calls from the VP Membership.  The VP Membership stayed in contact with the Speechcrafters from beginning to end – always there to answer questions and to provide support.
  2. Provide materials that support learning – packages of materials were prepared to help the Speechcrafters to feel at home in a Toastmasters meeting and to support their growth in the program.  The packages included the Speechcraft workbooks, descriptions, and instructions for the roles they would be asked to take on, evaluation forms for speeches they would be evaluating during the program, goal setting forms, advisor evaluation forms, a Toastmasters magazine, and a welcome letter from the President.
  3. Zoom orientation – the club felt that the program would be most effective if the Speechcrafters had an opportunity to become familiar with the Zoom meeting platform and the best practices the club uses to manage their meetings.  The Sergeant-at-Arms held an orientation on the weekend before the first Speechcraft meeting to make sure that all the Speechcrafters felt comfortable.
  4. Dedicated advisors – Teams were set up with one advisor and two Speechcrafters.  Throughout the program, the groups of three worked together.  The Speechcrafters evaluated one another and the advisors provided ongoing support and guidance.  The advisors used the lessons and forms in the Pathways mentoring program and gained credit for their mentoring of the Speechcrafters. 
  5. The education program – the Speechcraft program is a Toastmasters staple.  With the support of the workbook, Speechcrafters write and present speeches, evaluate their peers.
  6. Graduation ceremony – we felt it was important to celebrate all the successes that we held a graduation ceremony as part of the final meeting.  Each Speechcrafter was congratulated with an electronic certificate and had the opportunity to speak about their experience of the program.  The Speechcraft participant certificates were mailed to all the participants after the final meeting along with a letter of congratulations from the President.
  7. And repeat – Hershaw Toastmasters is doing it all again starting January 19, 2021!  The club has twelve more non-Toastmaster participants signed up.  Each will get the opportunity to practice and improve their communication skills with the Toastmasters Speechcraft program.
What’s the answer to the question, what does it take to do an online speechcraft?   A group of dedicated Toastmasters with the desire and commitment to help and support others in achieving their goal of improving their communication skills.
 
 
Sue Hopcroft, DTM
VPPR Hershaw Toastmasters, 2020-2021

Voting Challenges in Online Meetings?

How Escarpment Toastmasters Uses Google Forms

By Bryn Snow, C.C. DL 2

With the advent of online meetings, voting for Best Speaker, Best Table Topics, Best Evaluator or trying to offer comments on speeches has hit a snag.

Of course, we used to pass out the little strips of paper, carefully cut up, distributed pens and asked participants to offer their votes.

With online meetings during Covid 19, so many things have needed to change.

However, Escarpment Toastmasters has figured out an easy way to vote and send results to the Club Secretary or Sergeant at Arms.

Louis Li, a member of Milton Toastmasters, who helped as Club Mentor with Escarpment Toastmasters as they achieved Charter Status in March of this year, showed members how to use Google Forms to make voting easy.

Simply go to Google Forms https://www.google.com/forms/about/, select the Free Personal version, and create a Form.

Here is a screenshot from their home page:

Bryn Blog1

Create the Form and place a link to it in the Chat box during the meeting. Our Sergeant at Arms posts the link to the voting Form immediately following the speech or presentation. Then members are given a minute or two to fill out the Form. 

 Here is a sample Form I created. As you can see there are many options in creating Forms:

Bryn Blog2

 Bryn Blog3You then click on Send in the upper right-hand corner:

Which prompts you to fill out additional information – email addresses, etc. Or you can choose to create a pre-filled link which you can paste into the Chat box of your Zoom platform. Links are clicked on by members, and they can fill out the form, and hit Send and it will be sent to the Sergeant at Arms or Secretary who in turn forwards it to the Speaker.

Escarpment Toastmasters uses this every week. It is an effective way to vote and comment.

Bryn Snow is the President of Escarpment Toastmasters and a Milton,ON area writer and blogger.

Brant TM Celebrates 60 Years

Brant Toastmasters celebrates 6 decades of improving lives through public speaking 

BrantTM 60th

On Monday, October 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm we held a special 60th Anniversary meeting via Zoom. The online festivities included a very humourous guest speaker,  Neil Dunsmore DTM.    We also heard inspiring messages from special guests and dignitaries from around the world. To mark the occasion, we dressed up from the 1960s or chose our best hat & tie or whatever other festive attire we could dig out of our parent's closet. We welcomed many past members and guests to help us celebrate this impressive milestone.

We had a fantastic turnout and a night full of inspiration, laughter, and energy. Thanks to Joclyne Vezina for attending to represent District 86.

Congratulations Brant Toastmaster!!! 

Themed Meetings At Tangri Toastmasters Club

Themed Meetings Tangri TM Big

Halloween is not always scary if you meet with your Toastmasters and celebrate!!

Bijoy Desai our youngest Member and Sargent at Arms decided to stir up the meeting. He wanted to bring some enthusiasm and energy in the meeting in depressing times like Re-Lockdown and jolly well he was able to raise the spirits Literally!

Tangri Toastmasters meets online on Sundays from 4:55-6:20 pm. If you are interested in joining a fun group of Toastmasters who meet on the weekend, you can contact the club HERE.

Toastmasters International Mission

Thornhill TM

We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.

As V.P. Membership for Thornhill Toastmasters I am tasked with motivating current members and encouraging guests to join us.

I have been a member of Thornhill Toastmasters for three years. During this time, I have acquired motivational skills and watched my fellow members take on leadership roles at the district level.

Yet, the past few months of Covid19 have made me feel that these skills of motivation and leadership are greatly needed in our communities where so many are suffering. When I posed the idea to our executive committee of helping to raise awareness for Yellow Brick House, a York Region service for victims of domestic violence, the response was overwhelming. Here was a chance to help those in need and draw attention to our club at the same time.

"I Speak Out - Ask Me How" was printed on our T-shirts, a reflection of what we have learned as Toastmasters. We have learned to speak up for what is right. We have learned to speak for those who cannot. We have learned to be proud of our voices and to step up to lead when needed.

 As we walked people stopped us and asked questions about our purpose and our club. We are now stronger a group, as communicators and as leaders in our community.

I am proud to be a member of Thornhill Toastmasters!

How OPS North Bay Toastmasters is Surviving and Thriving

The 2019-2020 year was a very eventful one for OPS North Bay Toastmasters and we’re happy to say that we’re still here!

Many of our members achieved their personal Toastmasters goals ─ whether it was giving their first Ice Breaker speech in Pathways, finishing the final few speeches for their Competent Communicator award, or completing a variety of challenging projects to achieve Distinguished Toastmaster status. The club was excited to cheer these members on from the sidelines!

We had three members celebrate the birth of children, which sometimes necessitated pausing their Toastmasters involvement. A few others earned promotions in the OPS and stepped away to attend to their new duties. Several others moved on from Toastmasters to embark on new learning adventures.

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                                                           Lisa Wilson, DTM & Colleen Charland, DTM

As a result, our small club grew even smaller and we were perilously close to not reaching our club growth target. With the help of our District Director, Lisa Wilson, who was also one of our club coaches and the encouragement of our Area Director, Colleen Charland, we set to work on building our membership.

Our efforts really paid off! We expanded our membership criteria to include individuals working at all levels of government plus a percentage of non-government employees. Our online meetings were advertised across the OPS to appeal to colleagues from other cities who were interested in joining a corporate club. Finally, we reached out to former members and a number of them signed on as inactive to help boost our numbers.

All clubs experience membership challenges at one time or another. The push that each of our members made during the last few months of the Toastmasters year has reminded us that our small corporate club has a valuable place in the OPS. As we continue to draw new members and enrich our club further, we aim to be an inspiration for others!

And, if you’d like to join us online during the noon hour on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, email Anthony Akomah at Anthony.akomah@ontario.ca for an invite. We’d be overjoyed to welcome you!

Toastmasters International Values:  Integrity • Respect • Service • Excellence
Our Principles:   Lead By Example • Work / Play as a Team

The information on this website is for the sole use of Toastmasters' members, for Toastmasters business only. It is not to be used for solicitation and distribution of non-Toastmasters material or information. All rights reserved. Toastmasters International, the Toastmasters International logo and all other Toastmasters International trademarks and copyrights are the sole property of Toastmasters International and may be used only by permission.
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