Area and Division News April - 2016

April Fools Day - 2016

We all know to be weary that we’ll be tricked on this day. I was the victim of a prank at work as the day began. My staff knowing I had to leave at noon to prepare for the Division W contest planned the perfect prank. Down one manager, 3 supervisors called in sick, their staff started hounding me to get them their work, then IT came over and said a workstation was down and I needed to find desk. All this before 10 o’clock break. The supervisors and their staff, over 50 people were in on the joke, know I can get the job done, but wanted to see how I could handle myself under that much stress! The supervisors were in the building but only their teams knew. They all jumped into my pod and yelled surprised, we’re here! I looked at them and said you got me…as I walked through the building, everyone stood up and cheered and laughed at me saying I was such a good sport!

Then being the victim of a prank, I was asked to participate in another, that one completely backfired, hence why I don’t do joke master at Toastmaster club meetings!

I left at noon, proceeded to get the remaining items for the division contest. Arrived in Fergus, set everything up. The venue was beautiful. Everything was prepared. For those who know me, I’m all about being prepared and having order, so when things are out of order, I’m not at my best!

Well the April Fool’s gods kept themselves busy with me that day. We were ready to begin but our test speaker had not arrived, everyone looked at me to make a decision; I had to flip the contests. I apologized. The room was full. We had over 93 people at the contest last night. It was wonderful seeing Toastmasters their with their family, friends and new guests. I wanted to have everything go perfectly, but I’m learning to live under the premise that not everything can be 100% perfect.

Eric McGinnis said some wonderful remarks about the loss of Blake Kurisko, Area 66’s Director. Everyone seemed to enjoy the break and the food. The caliber of the contestants was impeccable!

Our contest chairs – Kelley McIntyre and Clarice Crocker did a great job. All my volunteers did amazing. Without their help, I could never have had such a successful event. Overall it was an amazing night!

Toastmasters are one big happy family, one I’m so happy to be a part of in Division W.


Our winners representing W at District 86 in Mississauga on April 22nd will be: Glenn Oxford for Evaluation and Chris OBrien for international.

So much is coming up in Division W: Thursday April 7th Cambridge is having its 43 anniversary open house, Friday April 8th Grand River Toastmasters is having its 30th anniversary, on April 15th Diversecity is having its 5th anniversary and on April 27th, Les Volubiles is having its Open House with Kitchener MPP Daiene Vernile.

I am honored to be this year’s Division W director for such a hard working group of people who love being Toastmasters

Shawn Salokannel – Division W Director

Area News February - 2016

Niagara Clubs Joint Open House Event

Toastmasters is all about self-improvement of your public speaking, communication, and leadership skills.
A great professional development option!
Niagara has 10 clubs throughout the region, meeting in:

St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold, and Grimsby
Which one is right for you?

Come out to this Open House to:

• Learn about the Toastmasters program
• Hear a high quality keynote speaker, Neil Dunsmore
• See a Toastmasters evaluation
• Try impromptu speaking in Table Topics
• Door prizes and more!
• Admission sponsored by Niagara Toastmasters Clubs

Date: Monday, February 29, 2016
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm
Venue: Niagara Regional Headquarters, Campbell West Entrance
Address: 1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Thorold
RSVP: Kristin or Call Kristin 289.776.9094 or Roger 905.984.1616

Unleash The Humour Inside You! Add Humour To Your Speeches & Presentations

For One Night Only – Neil Dunsmore will demonstrate simple techniques on how to be more naturally entertaining when you present!
Like Speaking - Using humour CAN be learned!!

Neil Dunsmore
Neil Dunsmore, Toastmasters District 86 Humorous Speech Contest winner. Correctional Officer & Hostage/Crisis Negotiator for 10 years in a Maximum Security Prison. Presenter of Anti-bullying Messages to Schools, Businesses & Groups Neil will demonstrate how to take real life events and craft them into Humorous presentations & speeches. This is not just educational but enlightening and just plain funny.

Division News - January 2016

Reflections on Past D86 Toastmaster Events by Margaret Waechter

Area & Division Speech Contests - (Oct. 2nd and Oct. 16th, 2015)

It was autumn and Toastmaster Clubs all around the district were busy, gathering their top-notch presenters to compete in their Area and Division speech contests. Despite the low attendance at Area 61 and Division W speech contests, the audience thoroughly enjoyed these presentations and the fellowship during intermission. It’s disappointing that fellow Toastmasters slough off supporting those speakers participating in contests. When I compete, I draw energy from the audience and in some cases, the size does matter! You’d be surprised the number of speech ideas and new delivery techniques that I “pick up” when attending other Toastmaster events!

Division Club Officer Training – Round 2 - (Jan. 15th, 2016)

A great refresher for your Club Officer role AND a strategic move to entice “wannabe Club Officers” to hear what’s involved by serving in this capacity. It supplements what the potential new club officer hears straight from “the horse’s mouth”. Division W team did a good job in promoting this training event. The 2 presentations were insightful and entertaining; however, I felt not enough time was allocated to the Officer training sessions…more time (than 30 minutes) needed to network with fellow officers on what is working for them, what’s not working for them and any “new ideas” that have been implemented for the good of their club.

D86 Business Mtg at Conference - (Nov. 14th, 2015)

A GREAT improvement over the Spring 2015 business meeting!!! The entire format was well orchestrated and professionally managed. Kudos to all who prepared for this session of the Fall Conference. I certainly won’t begrudge attending future business meetings, so long as they continue with this style/format.

D86 Fall Conference in Blue Mountain - (Nov. 13-15th, 2015)

I admire those Toastmasters who put so much blood, sweat and tears into organizing and executing an event as encompassing as our District Conferences. If you found yourself grumbling about anything – volunteer your services next time. It is at these conferences that Toastmasters have an opportunity to SPEAK, LEAD and GROW. Where else can you network with others in a friendly, energetic and safe environment? Exchange ideas and gather tips or ideas for future presentations? Possibly glean solutions from others who have shared your Toastmaster challenges both inside the club or personally. This is where it all comes together – sharing….listening……implementing.

Judges Training Workshop – Division W - Oct. 24th, 2015

How does a club cultivate judges for future contests? How does a Toastmaster become proficient when judging speech contests? Is enough encouragement given to club members to develop these judging skills? When a Judges Training Workshop is announced in your Division, I urge you to participate in this type of workshop. Perhaps you’ve already attended a training session – years ago; so once is enough? Each time that I’ve attended, I picked up another facet of judging that, for some reason, flew in one ear and out the other at a previous training! Remember – judges are anonymous (should be) to the contestants and all comments/results are confidential. So what’s stopping you from stepping forward to offer your judging experience and skills at the next speech conference? Anchor your learnings by

Margaret Waechter
Waterloo, ON

Congratulations to The Division Fall 2015 Contest Particpants

Division ContestsCongratulations to the particpants of the nine division humorous and table topics contests! Those of you who attended these events will agree that they were indeed fun-filled! Thank you to the organizers and all those who helped with these events.

Come to Blue Mountain and cheer on the winners of each division's contest at the fall conference November 13-15 as they compete for the district titles. Time is running out before midnight November 6 (the registration deadline).

 Division  Humorous Speech   Table Topics 
A  Rowan Faludi  Mario Keriakedes   
 Gary Ford  Dennis Bartel
 Mohammed Zackria     Yvonne Horvat
D  Joe Pacak  Richard Lewis
L  Mo Carter  Joe Vanderkooi
M  Gianni D'Ambrosio  Annette Lavigne
N  Stephen Korski  George McVittie
S  Louise Dufresne  Lance Mercer
W  Sharon Sweeney  Sean Brown

District 86 Program Quality Director Mike Proudlock said when asked about why competing in speech contests is good for Toastmasters "When I think about memorable events in my own Toastmasters journey, the vast majority of them happened outside my clubs: either at Conferences or Speech Contests. Competing in a speech contest is fun, challenging, nerve-wracking, but most of all – rewarding! You learn so much about yourself and make new friends along the way."

At my club meeting last night, a member remarked that the "competition" in speech contests isn't really "against" others – it's a competition "against" yourself! How good can you be? Are you improving? What can you learn from other speakers? We're all in Toastmasters to improve our leadership and communications skills – entering a speech contest helps us do just those things!"

If you unable to attend the conference you can still attend the individual speech contests and pay at the door. Check the Fall Conference website for times and registration information.>>>

Division News November - 2015

Hello Division W Members!

Our contests are done, the conference is just around the corner! What talent we have in Division W! Can’t wait to see how we do at the conference!

What’s happening in Division W this month?

  • Please join me in celebrating the newest club to division W – Les Toastmasters Volubiles chartered October 1st. Charter Party is December 16th!
  • November we increased our numbers by 51 members – to date 70 new members since July 1st! Wonderful news! Current membership count is 520. We started in July with 584 so we are getting close to our starting numbers! I want to encourage all clubs to set a goal of 1 new member a month! Consider speech crafts, many clubs are having success with this program!
  • Moments of truth – remember all clubs should have at a minimum 1 moments of truth session every year. Good time to check in and reflect how your club is doing!
  • Have you handed your club proxy’s to someone attending this year’s club conference? If you’re a VP of Ed or President, please make sure if you’re not attending to give your signed someone who can attend the business meeting at the conference – let your voice be heard!
  • The conference is one week away! Sign up and come out. Some members from Division W are hosting workshops!
  • Remember aim to be at +5 over your membership base on July 1st or be at 20 by year’s end – aim for distinguished!
  • January 30th – Officer training is scheduled in Mississauga. Division W’s date will be set shortly, a communication to follow. Make sure at a minimum 4 officers are trained so that you can wrap up your next DCP point!
  • All clubs have a minimum of one DCP point or higher on the board – congrats! Aim for 5.
  • We are looking for club coaches to help some of our clubs – if you have experience getting members in their door – speak with me and I’ll explain how the role works!

There is a new version of an advanced club coming to Division W.
Ryan Avery has created a new advanced club formula based on evaluating speeches and table topics using the contest judging forms. There will be education sessions and round robin evaluations. I am collecting names for now of all those that may be interested so please email me directly if you’re interested in exploring this new format… like any club, we need 20 members to charter a new club!

Have a great month! Let’s cheer for Division W at the conference!

Shawn Salokannel
B. Comm. OMDP, Adult Educ, ACS, ALS
Division W Director

Division News October - 2015

Hello Fellow Toastmasters…this month’s message - REFLECTION

I have delayed my October message until I have had a moment to visit our renewal numbers and completed attendance of as many area contests as I was able to get to.

Reminder Division W contest is around the corner:

Date: October 16 2015
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location: Cambridge School of Architecture
Cost: $10 at the door.

Hope to see you all there!

October Celebrations

  • Les Volubiles – Div W’s first French club has submitted its charter papers! Just waiting on the final step! Congratulations!
  • Waterloo Silver tongues celebrates 25 years with Toastmasters this month
  • Great job at the area contests I was able to attend – looking forward to Oct 16th

Division W Needs Help!

  • We have many new members in clubs that don’t have mentors as there are not enough seasoned TM’s in those clubs. I am in the process of putting together a list of members from other clubs who can serve as mentors to members in other clubs. Remember with technology you can IPHONE chat with someone, SKYPE, and a number of other means to help new members out in other clubs – Please let your area director or myself know if you can become a mentor to a new member of TM’s. Let’s not let them down!
  • Division W is in need of club coaches – please let myself or Paul Lynott  if you are able to help. Club Coach is hard work, but very rewarding and definitely helps you “stretch”.

Areas of Opportunity

  • Renewals took a big hit – in Division W we decreased by 193 members that’s a 30% drop.
  • 89 of those who did not renew were Toastmasters who signed up in the last year.
  • Number of clubs 12 or under has increased to 18 from 10 at the start of the year – that’s almost half our clubs 34+1 coming

Seeing these numbers I would like to encourage all the clubs to consider and reflect upon the following:

  • Have you completed a moments of truth? Don’t know what that is? Check TI there is downloadable material. Should be held at least once a year! Some clubs are having none at all.
  • Do you have a greeter at the door? Do you have a guest book? Does the VP of Mem Follow up with the names in the guest book? Do the guests get a guest kit? A name tag? An explanation of how TM’s works? If not make sure at every meeting there is someone there to talk a guest through this. A guest should never be left alone at break! Make them feel welcome.
  • Is your Facebook, website, easy speak up to date and current? I’m alarmed to see the number in division w that are not and encourage all of you to make this happen quickly.
  • Do you have CC’s and CL’s on hand when new members start? Once you vote in and sign a member up, they should leave with their CC and CL in hand. Remind them when theirs comes in to return them, get them started on the program right away.
  • Are you registering new members right away? I understand the concern around the Rate of exchange, however, not registering a new member prevents them from receiving the TM’s magazine and access to other TM information.
  • Are you holding the 3 annual membership drives? If not why not? Don’t know how? Reach out to your area director or another club. There are lots of sources available.  Are you holding at least one open house a year? There are people here to help.
  • If you’re membership numbers are low, have you considered holding a speech craft? A great way to get new members in to complete 3 of their first 10 speeches! Don’t know how? Reach out there are resources here to help you!
  • Are your meetings themed and planned out ahead? Have you tried the backwards meeting, take me out to the ballgame? Fishbowl, Christmas in july? These should be standard every year! There lots of fun!
  • Are you using the educational series available? Especially when your club has a lot of new members your primary focus should be on educating them how to prepare for a speech, how to prepare for a role. I’ve been very surprised by the number of clubs not having education sessions at least once a month, or that didn’t even know these books existed. Schedule 10 minutes/month or weekly for this important information. Download all the manuals for free off of TM’s international!
  • Are your executive team’s meeting monthly or bi monthly? I have heard some have not met at all or once or twice a year! The executive is critical to the vision and direction the club takes, so please make these meetings happen!

There are solutions to our club’s membership issues, but sometimes it requires a deep hard look at what we’re doing in our clubs currently and ask ourselves what needs to be changed then make that happen.
My challenge to all of the clubs in division w for the remainder of the year is to sign up 1 guest a month, that would take us from October to June, a total of 9 months. 9 months and 34 clubs means 306 potential new members. That would put us into the 700 club!
Your area directors and myself will be meeting to put together an action plan to help, but I want to reach out to all of you to get this vision started! 

With contests out of the way, let’s make this our focus for the upcoming months!

Shawn Salokannel

Division W Director

Division News June - 2015

Division M finishes strong this year and achieved Presidents Distinguished Division! By Leizyl Sobrinho - Division M Governor 2014-2015

Division M celebrated the remarkable year with numerous successes in a boat cruise at Georgian Bay during the Division M Council Meeting attended by Leizyl Sobrinho (Division M Governor) , Carolyn Hoxie (District Governor) and Area Governors: Robert Laurin, Steve Zolnierczyk, Al Steele and Jim Chapman.

As Division Governor. it is a great experience to lead this team to soar to greater heights to achieve greatness and success. Each one of you is part of it and contributed to the success! What a GREAT team! The experiences and memories are priceless that I will cherish in my lifetime.

As Vince Lombardi once said. "The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”


Area and Division News April - 2015


Just prior to the District 86 Spring Conference, let’s pause to celebrate the achievements of Division A’s members and clubs so far in 2014-15.
Our members have completed 123 manuals, about 3 per week overall. 9 members have earned their Triple Crown Pin, and have been or will be individually recognized for this level of activity. Many other members have been extremely active at some level and deserve our recognition.

17 clubs have achieved DCP recognition already:

  • President’s Distinguished: Thornhill, Woodbridge, Golden Gavel, Fluid Communicators & Leaders, and Destiny Toastmasters
  • Select Distinguished: Advanced Speakers on the Hill, Neilsen Insightful, Markham Sweet Talkers, Unionville, Hilltop, FrancoFun, Your Community Realty, and Richmond Hill Toastmasters
  • Distinguished: IBM, Markham Talk of the City, Markham and Momentum Toastmasters

6 of our clubs have increased membership over their June 30th membership base:

  • URS, Speakers of the Hill, Richmond Hill
  • FrancoFun
  • Fluid Communicators & Leaders
  • Nielsen Insightful

We are looking for even more improvement in this measure.

12 clubs sent 10 or more officers to the two training sessions, of which 7 clubs sent at least 12 officers. It is telling that the DCP points of these clubs currently average close to 8, compared to only 6 for the Division as a whole. Attendance at these sessions exceeded 100 people each time.
Our contests were well-run and provided great competition. Thank you to everyone who volunteered at all of our events.
We have chartered one new club, Feel Good Toastmasters, and are pursuing several other possibilities.

Division A has many talented members who have contributed in both formal and informal roles this year. I am very grateful to them all.

Gerry Fryer, DTM, Division A Governor

Gerry Fryer

Congratulations to Area 65, Division W International and Evaluation Contest Winners

Area65 Winners

From left to right: DTM Teresa Carolan, Area 65 Governor and Evaluation Contest Chair; DTM Keith Stoltz, International Contest Chair, and 2nd place winner for Evaluation Contest; CC Tammy Hunt, President, Saugeen Toastmasters and Winner of Evaluation Contest; Andrew Miller, Bluewater Toastmaster and Winner of International Contest; ACS Jafar Mirjalali, VP of Education, Mount Forest Motivators and 2nd place international; DTM Bud Brown, Division W Governor


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

join your colleagues on our social media channels:    District 86 Facebook   District 86 LinkedIn   District 86 YouTube   District 86 Twitter