Lincoln Road Toastmasters - 2016 has been a great year!

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Welcome to 2017! The new year is such an exciting time - it always feels like the perfect time to renew commitments to ourselves and others, to take on new challenges to meet our goals for the year and to reflect on what worked and didn’t work in the past 365 days.

At Lincoln Road Toastmasters, we’ve had a great year. Our club changed locations in June, which was a bit of an undertaking. But we are now nicely settled into our new home at 170 Erb Street West in Waterloo, ON, and very happy with our location. We meet on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm and would love for you to visit if you are in town.

Through the fall season, we had a number of our members away from the club for extended periods of time for work projects. Our club president, Kelley McIntyre, who was working over several months in New Brunswick, joined our meeting every week via skype! This was a challenging undertaking for us, leading to much experimentation with the available technology. Plus this was quite a commitment for her, as the time difference meant she was up later than us every Tuesday night.

The technology was a bit iffy at times but by the end of her time away, we had it all worked out and it was an interesting project for our group. We are now ready to go if we ever have members that need to be away for extended time periods but want to keep on attending our weekly meetings.

That said, we are very glad Kelley and the other members are all back on Waterloo soil (for now) and are able to attend meetings in person. It is definitely more enjoyable for them to attend in person.

To start out the new year on a high note, our club is hosting a Speechcraft program from January 24 - February 28th. We hope to bring a taste of Toastmasters to some new members in our community and potentially entice them to join us for the rest of the year, once they have completed their first 3 speeches in the program.

If someone you know is looking for a Speechcraft program in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, be sure to send them our way. Here is the link to sign up!

We are looking forward to a great year at Lincoln Road Toastmasters and we wish the same for you and your club in 2017!

Julie Tauro

What's Happening This Fall at Saugeen Toastmasters!

Saugeen Toastmasters is Celebrating its 10th Anniversary This Fall 

To mark this celebration, thanks to our VP of Public Relations and Area 65 Director, Tammy Hunt, the Town of Hanover, the Municipality of Brockton and the Municipality of West Grey have proclaimed the month of October Toastmasters Month.

The Hanover Post, a weekly community newspaper, contacted Tammy for an interview for an article outlining our role in the community for the past 10 years.

We also wrote a letter to the editor of the Walkerton Times, another weekly edition, thanking the Municipality of Brockton for their recognition. The headline for the letter proclaimed Toastmasters Month.

The articles sparked interest in our club and we have had a number of guests and inquiries.

Saugeen Toastmasters has achieved much in 10 years. We have held several Speechcraft workshops and Youth Leadership Programs. We have hosted Officer Training and Area Contests.

Over the past 10 years we have had 5 Area Governors from our club and we have had members volunteer at the Division and District levels.

In fact our community club has 4 members who achieved the highest award in Toastmasters. Diane O’Brien, Dianna Snowden, Gemma Mendez Smith and Gregory C.N. Smith have all been awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster designation.

Thank you to Mount Forest Motivators for sponsoring our club 10 years ago. Marge and Caroline, remember when the first meetings were held in the home of our Charter President, Diane O’Brien? We were crowded around a dining room table but that didn’t deter us from running effective meetings.

Much has changed since that first crucial year, members and meeting places, but we always have fun and we always encourage each other.

Hanover Toastmasters monthTrudy Baran
President and Charter Member
Saugeen Toastmasters

The Little Club That Could

Kincardine’s ‘To the Point’: The Little Club That Could

Many clubs have been there: Struggling to get new people in the door, teetering on the cusp of being a club in good standing, members having to wear several hats in order to fill meeting roles. The ‘To the Point’ club in Kincardine is no exception. We recently experienced turnover in senior members and the club was left with some inexperienced but eager rookies keeping the club on its feet.

While we should all be striving to get as many people out to meetings as possible, I couldn’t help but observe that one of the charms of our club is that it is small, but mighty. Almost every member fills a role on executive team, and this year, each member attended training to improve the club. One of the benefits of having a small group is that people receive a lot of individual attention and there is usually a lot of time for feedback and discussion. If we all do one thing spectacularly, it’s ensuring that new comers feel that Toastmasters is a safe environment to grow speaking and leadership skills.

Take Ron for example, his journey began three years ago. Ron was a sales representative, and during work meetings, he would often sit back and hope to not have to share or speak to the team. He began to realize he could be a better team member if he improved on his public speaking skills and decided to give the ‘To the Point’ Club a try. What Ron remembers most about his Icebreaker speech was realizing during the evaluation portion that Toastmasters was a place that offered a genuine and non-threatening place to grow together. Ron has since proven himself as an accomplished public speaker, competing in area and district contests and recently received his Advanced Communicator Bronze title.

Ron’s is just one story in a club that has been around for over 25 years! Membership has been up and down over the years, but one thing remains the same: The people are what make the club great – and we could use a few more of them! There’s something quaint and personable about our small yet determined club. Come out to a meeting and see what we mean.

To the Point TM

Energetics Toastmasters Club in Waterloo

Promoting our Club by Scarlett Sheng

The Energetics Toastmasters Club was founded by Tony Nelson and Greg Kay on May 1, 1994. The Energetics meets every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in the Sun Life Building on 227 King Street South in Waterloo Ontario. As the club name indicates, you will feel energized immediately when you walk into the room.

Energetics has been a President’s Distinguished Club for 5 consecutive years. Six new members have joined the club in the past 3 months brining current active membership to 21. Energetics is proud to have a strong and structured Mentorship Program. When a new member joins, the Mentorship Coordinator will assign a mentor to answer any questions the new member may have and help him/her through the Toastmaster experience.

Last year was a hallmark year for Energetics. We had three Triple Crown Winners – Andrea D’Ambrosio, Cliff Graham and Chris Brown. Suzanne Dansereau became the first home grown DTM, and the club is expecting up to 6 more DTMs in the next 2 years.

Energetics is the home of Division W, Area Directors. Our Immediate Past President - Chris Brown and Sergeant at Arms - Clifford Graham are current Area 62 and Area 63 Directors. Doris Tuckett and Suzanne Dansereau were Area Directors in previous years.

Energetics is also very active in Area Contests and District Conferences. Energetics regularly hosts and helps organize the Area Contests, and has sent in contestants every year. Many Energetics members have presented at the District Conferences. For example, Carolyn Wilker facilitated the workshop “ASK for Directions: Mentoring” in Blue Mountain in Fall 2015. At this Fall Conference, Cliff Graham will be giving a presentation on adjusting leadership styles to different individuals’ behavioural styles.

Energetics is truly energetic! It’s not just a place to learn, but also a great place to have fun! Come and check us out soon!

Facebook: @EnergeticsToastmasters
Twitter: @Energetics_TM
Website: http://energetics.toastmastersclubs.org/

Scarlett Sheng
VP, Public Relations
Energetics Toastmasters Club

The Art of Speaking and Leadership

Brampton, ON, Oct. 2nd, 2016 - Hershaw Toastmasters Club

Hershaw Toastmasters

Hershaw Toastmasters Club is happy to announce that earlier today, the Club participated in the Culture Days@Brampton Library program. The event titled “The Art of Speaking and Leadership” took place at South Fletcher’s Library, Brampton, from 2pm-3pm. The event was organized like a mini club meeting, with one speech, evaluation, and a table topics session, to demonstrate how Hershaw Toastmasters can help improving public speaking and leadership skills. All guests participated in the table topics session and indicated afterward that they enjoyed the event very much. Thank you all members who came out and help to made it a successful event. Thank you the club for supporting the team. It is certainly a good opportunity to showcase Toastmasters and we hope to be able to participate again in the Culture Days@Brampton Library program in the future. 

Anh Dao, MBA

Better Toastmaster Club Web Presence

Is Toastmasters a Best Kept Secret in Your Community?

In our community, the answer is “Yes”. Are there steps to changing this accidental Stealth (Invisible) Web Marketing Strategy? Let’s start off by doing a test.

Have you noticed how often new visitors to your club have said “I’ve never heard of Toastmasters.”

Someone who doesn’t know anything about the Toastmasters name might search on Google [my city name] communication and leadership training.

Sadly, Toastmasters will probably not show up at all let alone a Toastmasters club in your city. 

Did you know you have to rank on page 1 of Google search results? Less than 10% of people will look on page 2 or later—a fun fact from a Google search.

A knowledgeable colleague tells me if you are a member of a small noon hour club and you do a search for
[my city name] Toastmasters clubs, chances are it will not show up on the first page.

Instead Google will find the two largest clubs. If Google finds your club’s website, you may be in the minority. 

There are sound reasons for why I am focusing on websites vs. social media at this time. My name is David Bray and as a member of two clubs and currently the VP/PR, Bluewater TM 3835 in Owen Sound, ON. We take advantage of FreeToastHost, Thus, our website is http://bluewater.toastmastersclubs.org. 

Incidentally, if you just Google search public speaking, I get one reference to Toastmasters International on page 1 of search results. I get no reference to other Toastmasters clubs.

Tips for Getting Noticed from Google Searches

We first noticed our stealth (i.e. invisible) web presence issue, in 2014, with a Google search...

[my city name] public speaking. Google told us some local French speaking schools held contests. It still says contest for a lot of clubs. 

We/Bluewater solved this in summer 2014 when I added a custom web page for “public speaking”. This showed up immediately after paid listings.

However, Google has been busy refining their algorithms. With those changes, sometime last year we fell to page 2 (i.e. invisible), but sadly no one noticed.

Kijiji and yellow pages may show up with outdated information. My suggestion in this case is to make sure that your content is accurate. Test the links to your website (or blog or Facebook) actually work. Keep your content current. If it is now late summer, ensure your last notice is not an outdated “Sorry we will have to cancel our upcoming January meeting due to winter snow storms.”

For a search on Kijiji for [my city name] speaker training, Kijiji tells me I can purchase electronic speakers for my stereo. This suggests though that a well crafted Kijiji post might be useful.

Whether It’s a Google search for [my city name] leader training, personal development or clubs, odds are Toastmasters will not be found.

As noted in 2014, our club solved the stealth issue for “public speaking”. I am now working to solve it again—by getting us back on page 1. Plus, we have some new web pages on our site to start replacing stealth for other queries. I am working on learning “Search Engine Speak”—and to sort out any related apparent contradictions.

Toastmasters’ Stealth (Invisible) Web Presence is Pervasive

Clearly, some clubs have overcome the problem of “Toastmasters is a best kept secret”. In some cases, people can learn about Toastmasters because a club in England, Australia or the USA has the same city name—and a strong web presence.

“Good presentations are all about our audience.” I see a huge number of paid and unpaid listings online for speaking and leadership training. Clearly we have an audience out there looking for what Toastmasters has to offer. All too often that audience can’t find us—unless they already know the name Toastmasters.

Conclusion: we are a Best Kept Secret in far too many communities. I call it accidental Stealth (Invisible) Marketing.


About David Bray

My background is not marketing, nor is it websites. Thus I am trying to get up to speed on lots of content, including something I call “(Google) Search Engine Speak” known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

Have you ever asked the question “How do we get and keep our membership numbers above 20?” The general response was blank stares. Thus, I changed the question to “Toastmasters is a Best Kept Secret in Our Community. How do we change that?” the response this time, was “Launch a Facebook Campaign”. 

If so, why am I focusing on websites vs. Facebook? In short, I found a 2014 study which noted:

• 94% (that’s right 94%) of folks that buy items, first research them on the web.
• 77% do that research with Google search.

According to my math that is almost ¾ of people using Google search. Thus I ask, “How many folks have never heard of Toastmasters, but are looking for communication and leadership training?” I have no idea. But almost 3 out of 4 of them are looking for answers with Google search. If they live near a local Toastmaster club, we all want them to be able to find our website.

If you have some short cuts or tips for strong Toastmaster web presence, I hope you will share. If you would like to join me on a voyage of how to build and maintain a strong web presence please contact me at Dbray9@gmail.com

For the good of Toastmasters, David Bray

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Club News August - 2016

The Newmarket Toastmasters (TNT) Celebrate Distinguished Club Status for the First Time!

TheNewmarketToastmasters2

TNT is Dynamite! After striving to attain this goal since chartering four years ago – this year, we did it! TNT recently held a Distinguished Celebration on Thursday, August 4th, 2016. We were thrilled to have current and past Division M supporters celebrating with us! Division M Director – Dragana Vulpic-Bork, ACS, ALB, Area 14 Director – Tammy Hall, CC, ALB, Immediate Past Division M Director – Al Steele, DTM and Past Division M Governor – Leizyl Sobrinho, ACS ALS. 

Thank you to our members! This outstanding accomplishment would not have been possible without your enthusiasm, dedication and desire to participate.
Thank you to our supporters! We truly appreciate the guidance and support from our Club Mentors, Area 14 and Division M Directors, D86, and our neighbouring Clubs.

Tania Ferus, CC, ALB
President / VP Education
The Newmarket Toastmasters (TNT)

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

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