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. 
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.

We walked together in a local park and raised twice the amount we had expected. 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.

Lisa Wilson Colleen Charland143

                                                           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!

Our Award Winning Year

Presidential Distinguished

Sault Ste. Marie’s oldest Toastmasters club, Algoma Toastmasters Club 2648, has a big announcement to make. This week we celebrated the end of our year and a big accomplishment, our new status as a Presidential Distinguished Club! As a club, we are incredibly proud of this accomplishment as it is the first time that we have achieved this status in our known history, at least 26 years. How did we manage to succeed this year?
The pandemic was a scary thing for our club. We had just secured a beautiful new meeting space in our Civic Centre, and soon after we moved in, we needed to stop meeting in person. With the quick thinking and adaptability of our Club President, Matthew Lance, we were able to quickly take our meetings online via Zoom. Although there have been challenges, we think that this move was an overall success for our club. Not only have we gotten guests to attend, but we have also been lucky enough to have had new members sign up while we’ve been completely virtual.
Our 2019-2020 VP of Education, Ryan Walker, is an expert in the Pathways system and has been instrumental in encouraging our members to start on their paths. Due to his efforts this year, we have had 4 members finish their level one and 3 members finish their level two. Our President, Matthew Lance, also deserves major kudos for his outreach to potential members and guests. We have been so successful with recruiting new members this year, 12 to date! Our club Treasurer, Rosanne Chan, also needs a shout-out for getting all of our membership renewals and dues in on time.
Another big reason for our success is that two of our long-standing members received their DTM’s this year, as they pushed to finish up their legacy programs to begin with Pathways. Kudos to George Mcvittie DTM, and Ryan Walker DTM, for reaching that amazing milestone! Not only are we proud to have two Distinguished Toastmasters in our club, but we are very grateful that they gave us the points we needed to push us over the edge and make Presidential Distinguished status.
On the evening of June 24th, during our regular scheduled meeting, we celebrated with a Presidential Distinguished theme, and encouraged our members to wear something fun. We had three special guests in attendance, Colleen and Phil from the North Bay and Area Toastmasters club in North Bay, and our current Area Director, Andrea Reibmayr. Their support was instrumental in our success, and we are so glad that they came to celebrate with us on this amazing occasion, and to share their kind words! We enjoyed a full meeting including 2 speeches, and ended off with “Post Toasties”, a chance for us to socialize and to toast to another award winning year ahead!

OTM Oakville TM Virtual Open House & 2019-20 Year End Celebration


Own the Moment (OTM) Oakville Toastmasters held a very successful multi-purpose meeting event on June 18th. It was a unique, global virtual meeting, delivered through the ZOOM platform. It was billed as a Virtual Open House & 2019-2020 Year End Celebration. Truly, it was a night to remember down the road. The Meeting theme was: A Celebration of Club & Members Excellence.

The planning started more than a couple of weeks ago, under the watchful direction of President Josephine Mballa. 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.


The Meeting Agenda had all the aspects of a regular meeting, namely one Prepared Speech (TM Sasha-Li Chinloy), Table Topics, and Evaluation for the speech, by Dr Farzana Chohan, DTM, Region 5 Advisor (from Missouri). Dr Natalia Lishchyna, Ward 6 Town of Oakville Councillor presented OTM with a congratulatory letter on behalf of Town of Oakville Council. TM Florina Hogiu made sure that all participants were able to think on their feet. Games Chair TM Elvis Gregov had all participants fully engaged in an online version of Jeopoardy.


The June 18th Special Event met multiple objectives:

  • Open House Showcasing Typical Meeting to Potential Members
  • Recognition of New Members (including TB Joining During Pandemic)
  • Recognition of Members Educational Successes
  • Recognition of Past Club Executives
  • Celebration of OTM President’s Distinguished Club Award
  • Celebration of OTM Gold Online Ovation Education Award
  • Transition Phase and Handover to Incoming Club Executives


  • Sasha-Li Chinloy, Area D83 Director
  • Katia Miropolskaia, Area E03 Director
  • Sasha-Li Chinloy, Organiser of Happy Oakville Interclub Summit for Toastmasters
  • George How, Chief Judge at District 60 Area G63, Judge at District 60 Online Division G
  • George How, District 86 Public Relations Team, Social Media Chair


The Incoming Club Executives have their work cut out for them. OTM Oakville Toastmasters have achieved President’s Distinguished Club status three 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 www.oakvilletoastmasters.com


OTM Oakville Toastmasters Virtual Global Open House & 2019-2020 Year End Celebration was a highly successful event. Kudos to Organising Committee, led by President Josephine Mballa. OTM exceeded what we aimed for in terms of Key Success Factors (KSF). The Blue Ribbon Guest List included Dr Natalia Lishchyna, Town of Oakville Ward 6 Councillor, and Tom Adams, PEng, Councillor for Town of Oakville Ward 6, and Councillor for Halton Region. It is worth noting that Dr Lishchyna was at the Club Inaugural Launch Meeting on February 9, 2017, and at our Club Charter Party on June 22, 2017.

District Leaders attending included amongst others (a) Angela Ho, DTM, District 60 Division G Director; remaining all from District 86, (b) Som Bhattacharjee, Former PRM (c) Albert Chang, DTM, Former Area Director (d) Renata Noronha, Former Area Director (e) Sasha-Li Chinloy, Area D83 Director (f) Katia Miroploskaia Area E03 Director (g) George How Pak Hing, DTM, Former Area Director.

We are grateful for the continued support of TM Lily Wang (MCEBT), TM Olga Lagounova (Horizon), TM Lin Tian, Former OTM Member, Sharon Kaur, Former Charter Member, Guests Philip & Carol Wong, and Guest Dr Anil Dev Chiniah (Mauritius).

We acknowledge the tremendous support of our fellow Toastmasters from the many Clubs (Great Minds Advanced, Horizon, Miracle Chinese English Bilingual, Port Credit), and non-Toastmasters that came in to our Special Event.

George How Pak Hing, PEng, DTM
OTM Oakville Toastmasters Founder
Submitted June 21, 2020


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

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