Member News November - 2014

Trucking exec wins Toastmasters competition, Roger Caesar

Check out this great article on trucknews on our District 86 Roger Caesar, our District 86 2014 Humourous Speech Contest Winner!

Once again Roger Caesar is in the news again, Brampton ON this time

Check out Roger in the Brampton Guardian

Speak To Inspire Toastmasters Club members perform workshop for students at UOIT

Michelle Ingram (president of Speak to Inspire TM) and Tuula Redditt and Michelle's friend Lois(HR professional in Oshawa) entertained a group of students at the University of Ontario in Oshawa on November 12th with the spirit of District 86 Toastmasters. We were invited to do a workshop on 'Confidence' and how Toastmasters can help the students improve their confidence, communication and leadership skills to eventually achieve success in getting a job. Michelle had walked us through the process of how our brain works and how we can choose to succeed by eliminating fear. Through the Toastmaster program Michelle also spoke about the communication and leadership tracks and how success can be achieved as both processes are learned together at Toastmasters. Tuula and Lois put on a demonstration of a good and bad interview to identify the qualities of a successful job interview using skills learned at Toastmasters. After the workshop the students were passionate about forming a Toastmasters club in the university. We look forward to helping them achieve this goal. Thank you everyone who participated.

Visit 360 Networking Facebook page at UOIT for workshop details


An Everlasting Experience by Tony Bratschitsch, DTM

I wish to share a message with my fellow Toastmasters about an everlasting experience I had on Remembrance Day. I believe that this is important to share with others in District 86 that serves its members so well.

I am a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 in Dundas. On Remembrance Day, this past Tuesday, I dressed in my uniform  and walked almost 2 kilometers to the branch where I was to fall in with the Colour Party (flag bearers). Along the way, through a neighbourhood park, an elderly man stopped me to express his thanks for my service. I asked him for his first name and I said, "Thank you, Ozzie, for your kindness". I felt my spine straighten even more so. Further on, I came upon three municipal workers who paused to praise me. My chin went up higher. I thanked them for their service, as well. As such, this experience already had a remarkable effect upon me.

When the Remembrance Parade started at the fire hall, the Colour Party was the second unit behind the Dundas Pipe and Drum Band which lead a long column of military and service units. When we wheeled onto King Street, we all marched to a pace that was measured by the drum roll. Step by step, we approached the cenotaph with the streets tightly packed with thousands of people. At that point, a tremendous crescendo of cheers arose from the onlookers - something I never heard before. Then the Scottish pipers played their marching tune and the cheers escalated to an even higher volume. During those moments, I did not feel any burden, whatsoever, carrying the Ontario provincial flag.

The Colour Party took its place front and centre at the cenotaph with the names of the young men and women inscribed who sacrificed all during their service to Canada. After the venerable Remembrance ceremony was conducted, local community organizations were called upon to lay their wreaths. For the second consecutive year, Valley Town Toastmasters was announced. As fellow Toastmaster Kenrick Chin stepped up to the cenotaph, a large applause from the packed audience was heard. I do not think that I ever stood taller in my life.

I am very proud to be a Toastmaster as well as a member of the Legion. It is such a great honour to serve others.

Tony Bratschitsch, DTM, Immediate Past District Governor

Tony B Legion Colour Party

Member News October - 2014

The Joys of the Contest Season by Gerry Fryer

While remaining somewhat above the fray as the clubs and areas in my division held their contests this fall, I noticed several things which reinforced my belief in the Toastmasters program.

On the communications side,

  1. Members aged from 20 to 80 showed up as contestants. 
  2. There was one Table Topics contestant who was completely thrown by the topic. Nevertheless, her speech let us in on her struggles with it and her thought processes, and she won the hearts of a highly empathetic audience.
  3. Toastmasters from some clubs that were chartered in 2014 won at the area level and did well at the Division Contest.
  4. Unexpected things happened. Some inexperienced Toastmasters gave wonderful speeches and won prizes, while there were veteran members who just had bad days and were left to fight another day.
  5. The final winners of the Humorous and Table Topics contests had to be and were brilliant in order to emerge as representatives of Division A at the District 86 Fall Conference.

As for leadership, contests provide an opportunity for members to go beyond their comfort zones and do something they have not attempted before. With the material on the District’s website and assistance from other members, there is more support for these members than ever before.

The members who step up at contest time become the club officers, area governors and other district officers of tomorrow, because they prove something to themselves. Some examples:

  1. Toastmasters who are somehow transformed into calm and authoritative personalities when they are at the contest podium.
  2. Others who exercise their natural talents in finding resources, bringing people together and making decisions within a given timeframe.
  3. Those who gain confidence just by the discovery of their capabilities.

Contests are fun and sometimes mildly stressful. The payoffs, it seems to me, are the growth both in Toastmasters spirit and the capabilities of our members.

Farewell to a Great Speakeasy Toastmasters Member Malcolm Jones

Dear Toastmasters, dignitaries and former Toastmasters,

On Thursday, former Brampton Speakeasy Toastmasters President Malcolm Jones will be sharing his last Toastmasters meeting with our club. We invite all of you to attend the Thursday October 30th meeting to honour Malcolm Jones.

Malcolm will be moving to Tillsonburg shortly, a small town outside of London ON. A jolly, heart-warming Toastmaster, Malcolm is one of the founding members of Brampton Speakeasy. His personality is highly reflected in our club culture, which has, arguably, driven the success of this club.

Malcolm joined Toastmasters in 2009. He was the original VP of PR for Brampton Speakeasy, and was elected SAA soon after. As President, led the club to President's Distinguished before December of his term. His speeches were thought-provoking and endearing. His comments are witty, and he is absolutely hilarious. Malcolm successfully launched the Brampton Gavel Club, which has grown remarkably through his leadership. Many youth are completing the leadership programs and actively participating in the Gavel Club because of his mentoring and his fantastic management. Truly, if anything else, Malcolm is a polished manager. He is always on-time, on-point and dedicated to his role.

Last but not least, he always provided a helping hand. Malcolm frequently visited clubs and contests around District 86, either to fill a role or simply, say hi. Most recently, he was spotted in Milton supporting our contestants at the Division B contest. Malcolm is a mentor, he is a leader, and he embodies the values of a Toastmaster and a good friend. For anyone that has ever met Malcolm Jones, you know that his presence is memorable. He starts with a big hello, gives a sweeping hug or a solid handshake, and he makes you feel engaged, involved and welcomed into the family.

So, please come out and join us as we celebrate Malcolm Jones and his legacy with Toastmasters.

Time: 7:00 pm sharp
Location:  Brampton Speakeasy Toastmasters, the Upper Floor Community Room at Fortinos Brampton, 35 Worthington Ave, off of Bovaird and west of Chinguacousy
Contact: Radha Tailor 647 407 9877 or email me at

Warmest regards,
Radha Tailor

Mark McKenzie Rhb, DTM Shares his 90th Anniversary Experience

At the start of 2014 I had 2 simple related goals. One was to complete the requirements for DTM and the other was to break into the professional speakers' space/market. In May 2014 I was awarded my DTM by Toastmasters International. Today I spoke with about 300 grade 6 students at Sunny View Middle School in Brampton. This for me is both monumental and memorable as my accomplishments coincide with Toastmasters 90th Anniversary. So today like hundreds of thousands around the globe in more than 116 countries I say, "Here's to the vision of Ralph Smedley and the mission of Toastmasters."

Member News September - 2014

City Centre Toastmasters Club’s 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive

City Centre Toastmasters Club will be launching its 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food among Toastmasters clubs and members in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga. The Holiday Season Food Drive was initiated in 2013 by Mark McKenzie, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), for his High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.

The goal for City Centre Toastmasters Club for this year is to collect at least Fifteen 3.0 cubic feet (18 x 18 x 16) boxes of non-perishable food items to be delivered to the Salvation Army of Brampton on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Last year the club’s food drive initiative was successful in collecting over 2,000lbs of non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army of Brampton. The initiative was very well supported by members from clubs such as Speak to Inspire, Soar to Excellence, Leaders’ Corner, Leaders In Action, TD Creekside, Trillium, Lamb to Lions, Comfortably Speaking, Chosen Voices, Point of Tale, COMET and City Centre. We also received tremendous generous contributions from the business community specifically President’s Choice and Give and Go Food.

To accomplish our target for 2014 we are encouraging clubs in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga to engage the support of their members to contribute non-perishable food items to this worth cause. Members are also encouraged to get their families and work colleagues involve by inviting them to club meetings to make their donations of non-perishable food items. According to Mr. Gordon Randell, the director and volunteer coordinator of the Salvation Army of Brampton, the food items that are most needy are canned fish, pasta, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese dinners and coffee (instant and perk) as well as other non-perishable food items to help feed the hungry. The general public can also participate in the food drive by visiting City Centre Toastmasters Club on Tuesdays at noon at the Mississauga Central Library or contact Mark McKenzie at 647-406-4622 or by email Please note that while the project is being conducted to fulfill a requirement for credit in the Toastmasters programme, the project is not endorsed by Toastmasters International which one of the world leading provider of communication and leadership development programmes.

In addition to the goals outlined above, this year the project is being structured into three sub-projects in order to give three highly enthusiastic and motivated Toastmasters members an opportunity to successful execute their High Performance Leadership Project (HPL). The three sub-components of the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive are:

1. PR and Communication

2. Logistics, Collections and Inventory Management

3. Event Planning and Bookings

If you are a Toastmasters looking to put your PR and Communication skills to the test this is an opportunity for you to build a vision and a set of goals that are congruent to the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive objectives. If you have an interest in honing your logistics, collections and inventory management skills there is role for you too. If you are interesting in event planning there is also an ideal role for you too. This is a unique opportunity to set your own goals and lead your own team for a project outside of your club while making an immeasurable contribution to those in need our communities.

City Centre Toastmasters Club is very excited about the launching of the 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive. We see it as an opportunity for Toastmasters members in Clubs in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton to work in the community. It is an opportunity to demonstrate our communication and leadership skills for the benefit of the Salvation Army of Brampton. This will enable Toastmasters members to contribute to feeding the needy and be a transforming influence in their communities.

For more information, please contact City Centre Toastmasters Club or Mark McKenzie, DTM at 647-406-4622 or

Mark Mckenzie DTM

Food Drive

District 86 PRO Corner Call with Mark McKenzie, DTM

City Centre Toastmasters Club will be launching its 2nd Annual Holiday Season Food Drive among Toastmasters clubs and members in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga. The Holiday Season Food Drive was initiated in 2013 by Mark McKenzie, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), for his High Performance Leadership (HPL) project.

Check out Mark and Vitaliy on YouTube 

VP Public Relations by Cindy Stradling DTM

Cindy-Stradling DTMWhen I was considering becoming part of the executive of Northern Lights Advanced Toastmasters club, my immediate first thought was “I’m too busy.” I am sure most of my fellow Toastmasters have had the same thoughts.

In the past I have served as President, VP Education, VP Membership and Area Governor, but never VP Public Relations. Once I committed, I was excited. It’s funny how that happens, once you choose to move forward in a particular direction, your energy aligns and provides you with the fuel to move forward. Sitting on the sidelines one cannot experience the same growth as when they are involved. I know that if something doesn’t challenge you it can’t change you and I knew I would be challenged.

I met with our new President Louisa Steele so she could show me how our website worked. After I left our meeting I was really delighted that I had stepped up to the plate. I had lots of great ideas to use Social Media and to hold an Open House. Although I am somewhat technically challenged I was able to get the support I needed from District 86 Public Relations Officer Vitaliy Fursov and we now have presence on Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn to follow.

 I know from my own experience having the more in-depth evaluations have helped me tremendously grow as a speaker. I could see firsthand the difference our evaluations were making with the other members of our club too. Now I want other Toastmasters to have the same experience. We are all excited to hold our open house on November 20, 2014 so our fellow Toastmasters can see and experience the difference in our format and evaluations. We are a dinner club and it really is a great way to not only learn and practice, it is a way to connect on a more personal level.

I am always reminded of the saying by Wayne Gretzky “We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.” I am thrilled that I am took this shot and am very much looking forward to growing our club over the coming year.

Toastmasters Members Elect Ross Mackay to International Board


Congratulations to District 86 Toastmaster - Ross Mackay - for being elected to the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International.

See the press release at PRLog - Sep. 4, 2014

Member News - August 2014

London resident is semifinalist in the world’s largest speech contest!

Posted on PRLog - Aug. 14, 2014 - LONDON, Canada -- Rene Vander Pryt of London, Ontario outshined more than 650 local participants to win the District 86 level competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest April 5th, 2014 representing South-Western, Central and Northern Ontario.  Mr. Vander Pryt has qualified to advance to the semifinal round of the contest being held at the Toastmasters International Convention Thursday, August 21 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is vying for one of nine spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking final to be held Saturday, August 23 at the same venue.

Visit this PRLog post!

Congratulations Jude Heather - Distinguished Toastmaster Award Recipient!

Jude Heather

Congratulations to our D86 Distinguished Toastmaster Award Recipients!

Karim Premji, Dianne M. Yungblut, Carolyn Bray, Charmain Grace


Member News - July 2014

Mount Forest Motivators' Tall Tales Contest

July 29 in Mount Forest Motivators' contest winners
Winner: 1st Place Jafar Mirjalali
Winner: 2nd Place - Dorothy Reid


District 86 SAA and Area 13 Governor Mr. Al Steele achieves his DTM

Al-Steele DTMCongratulations to our own District 86 Sergeant at Arms and Area 13 Governor Mr. Al Steele on becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster! Job well done, Al!










John Ribeiro achieves his DTM

A newly promoted Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) John Ribeiro shares his story of achieving a pinnacle award in the Toastmasters educational program. Congratulations John!

Check out John's story on YouTube


The Travelling Toastmaster

BudBrownWhile on vacation in Nova Scotia, I was looking for an iconic background at which to get my picture taken holding my Toastmasters magazine. While touring the historic site of the fortress at Louisbourg I was looking for that backdrop scene when I walked into a barracks where three people, dressed in french uniforms of the period were sitting around a table (behind "the rope") as if waiting to go on duty. I told them that I am a Toastmaster and that we do this thing of getting our picture taken with the magazine around the world and that these pictures are on occasion published in that same magazine. "Would it be OK if I stepped over the rope and had my picture taken with all of you?" They said "of course!"

After several shots had been taken, the 'soldier' across the table from me asked "what is this Toastmasters" . . . . Of course, I said, "I'm glad you asked" and gave them my elevator speech about the best place in the world to learn both communication and leadership skills. If I hear about a Toastmasters club beginning in the town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia I want the credit for planting the seed.

Bud Brown - Area 61 Governor/Incoming Division W Governor


Excellence is not a Skill, it is an Attitude ................................................................................................. by Riya Chatterjee

Most of us are aware of the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking. To make this point clear, I share a small story with you.

Many years ago, two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.

The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here, - nobody wears shoes.”

The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”

This simple story explains to us how a single situation can be viewed in two different ways.

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word –“ Excellence”. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. Excellence should be MORE about fun, than about mediocrity. So friends, it is the approach or mindset that matters and the topic I present today is Excellence is not a Skill, it is an Attitude.

Excellence lives in the present. We must maximize what we are doing now. Do not live in the glory of the past, drop your ego, accept criticism to expand and stretch to take up challenges. Excellence is doing things outside the box. Learn from your mistakes, and move ahead. Isn’t that Attitude?

I also believe excellence is about being lucky. You all may ask me how? What is luck? Luck is about making things happen for yourself. It is a combination of preparation and recognition so you can be ready for the opportunity when it comes. My coming to Canada and joining Toastmasters and connecting with the right people, isn’t it being lucky? I now know that Toastmasters will lead me to my Vision of being a Leadership and Management Trainer.

So Excellence is not a skill, it is an Attitude. I leave you with a thought to ponder-
Raise your level high and challenge yourself and you will be filled with a bountiful future.

Riya ChatterjeeRiya Chatterjee, new member/ Tangri Toastmasters

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

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