Member News March - 2016

Joining Forces in Niagara to Promote Toastmasters

As I watched the snow blowing around at 6 pm my heart sank. Would anyone show? Thankfully by 7 pm, 37 people (17 guests and 20 Toastmasters) had braved the weather to find out from Neil Dunsmore how to “Unleash the Humour Inside You” at the 1st Annual Niagara Area Toastmasters Clubs Open House on February 29, 2016.

With ten clubs in the Niagara Area this event was encouraged by District 86 to promote the Toastmasters program in our wider community and to connect clubs with some potential new members for all of us.

Testimonials from various members were used to wrap up the evening. Your Toastmasters journey is personal to you, but elements of your story can inspire and connect with others thinking about their own next step. I challenge every Toastmaster to develop a 1-2 minute answer to “why I joined Toastmasters and why I stay” to use the next time a guest visits.

The question on the bottom of the guest sign-in slip said it all. “Seeing the article in the community paper” brought in all but one guest. You should still put effort into other avenues, but do everything you can to get your event into the community paper. I will suggest you give two ways for guests to contact someone for an RSVP. The paper transcribed my email address wrong, but thankfully my cell number was listed correctly.

Did you notice I said 1st Annual? There is already talk about next year. As eight of the ten clubs had at least one member in the room, the excitement generated and success of the event will be brought back to each club which will lead to stronger partnerships and participation for the 2nd Annual Niagara Area Open House in 2017!

Kristin O’Connor, ACB, ALB

VP Public Relations (2015-16)
Grimsby Toastmasters, Club 1415201 and Lakeshore In Depth Toastmasters, Club 9912
Division L

Standing Out at Accra Toastmasters in West Africa

by Dave Wheeler, from Honeymoon City Toastmasters in Niagara Falls

West Africa is a developing region of a developing continent and a part of that development, it seems, is a developing interest in Toastmasters. In Ghana, where I am visiting relatives, I found to my delight that Accra Toastmasters met every second Wednesday just a short ten minute walk from my relatives’ digs. I was welcomed there and enjoyed the meeting. I was the only one at the meeting who was not from West Africa so I thought it ironic that the theme for the meeting was 'Standing Out’.


Member News August - 2015

Participant's Adventure by Patricia James

By visiting various clubs and events, I realized that  I was able to help out by taking on roles or filling in when needed. I even had the opportunity to practise my humorous contest speech! My personal and professional skills were strengthened, and I learned new skills that I can use in any new Adventure that I take on. Practising Table Topics at another club gave me the confidence to compete in the Table Topics contest. This lead to the most rewarding experience from this Adventure and that was making it all the way to the Division level in the Table Topics contest. I learned that no matter what, I was still a winner for trying.

Leadership Adventure by Patricia James

Patricia-James smlMy leadership Adventure consisted of me stepping up and stepping out of my comfort zone and by trying new things. I took on speaking roles at 3 different clubs to build my confidence and becoming a workshop presenter for the Spring District 86 Conference 2015. It was a great experience and lots of fun. I grew as a leader and personally as an individual.

Member News June - 2015

Shelli Donofrio Ubriaco Gives great Tips on Body Language

Shelli explains the importance of body language when speaking to others. Check out her video on YouTube.

Shelli Donofrio Ubriaco Explains the Importance of Preparing and Practicing Before Making a Speech

Here is the second of our five Toastmasters segments, which will air all this week on Shaw Cable 10.  ENJOY!  Hard to believe this is FREE publicity.  David, from Shaw, is so eager to continue working with Superior Speakers over the summer and remainder of the year.  I am treating him to lunch in the coming weeks to thank him for his willingness to help, his flexibility and overall generosity.  I think I may even ask him to share hard core communicating on video tips with our members in the future. Chck us out on YouTube.

Member News May - 2015

Doreen Hillier Celebrates 20 Years as a Toastmaster

The Lincoln Road Toastmasters (Waterloo), held a special evening on May 20th to recognize Doreen Hillier DTM, PDG for her upcoming 20th anniversary of joining Toastmasters in October 1995.

Messages were made to Doreen detailing extensive contributions to Toastmasters were delivered by dignitaries:
• Past International President Alfred Herzing (2001-2012)
• District 86 Governor Carolyn Hoxie
• Division W Governor Bud Brown
• Area 63 Governor Mary Lynn McPherson
• Chairs Kelley McIntyre and Shawn Salokannel
• Club President Kami McClelland

Club President Kami McClelland’ Speech

We, Lincoln Road Toastmasters Club are honored to have Doreen as the Founder of our club as well as a Member, who is currently our Vice-President of Public Relations. As founder of our club Doreen has invested her time, energy and imparted her wealth of knowledge and experience to our club. Doreen's unwavering commitment to Toastmasters has shown us that it is possible to persevere and achieve our goals.
If, I were to ask aloud - "Who is Doreen Hillier?" Even the mountains and the meadows, hills and valleys would echo" She is a Toastmaster"(club members response). Doreen has touched many lives over the span of 20 years and will continue to do so. As we know, Toastmasters is about relationships, if I may borrow some words from Abraham Lincoln and give it a little twist - Toastmasters is of the people, by the people for the people. Yes, indeed we need people to function as Toastmasters. Doreen loves people and embraces people from all walks of life and that is what makes her a great Toastmaster.
On a personal note, I call Doreen a mobile bank of speeches. There have been times when we have been in need of a speaker for the meeting and Doreen would oblige and she would spew out a perfect speech! Needless to say I don’t like evaluating her speeches.
Doreen's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has been an integral part of her achievements. Her faith helped her to stay the course, to touch lives, to reach for bigger and better goals.
Knowing Doreen, she will continue to pursue higher and greater goals and we wish her the very best.

Kami McLelland
President Lincoln Road Toastmasters

Doreen Hillier

Alfred Herzing and Doreen Hillier
Left to right: Mary Lynn McPherson, Alfred Herzing, Kami McClelland, Doreen Hillier, Carolyn Hoxie & Bud Brown.

Congratulations to our Newly Distinguished Toastmasters at Port Credit Toastmasters Club


John Wang, Cathy Herschell, Mark Hayes, Bob Yewchuk.

Member News March - 2015

Brahm Memone Receives His DTM


Congratulations Brahm for acheiving your DTM!


ADVENTURE-Susan Griffiths Visits The Court of Blarney in Newmarket

On February 5th I had the pleasure of visiting another club within my area. Myself and the president of my club attended The Court of Blarney (club 5591) meeting in Newmarket. The visit was truly enlightening.

Our club is very new, having charted in October of 2014, and we are therefore all learning as we go.The members of the court of Blarney welcomed us with open arms and we picked up a lot of time saving and organization tips that have improved our meetings immensely. We left feeling very energized and motivated. Our club president went home that night and wrote her next speech, and I went home and made notes of all the things we learned. I was also very honored to be voted the best table topics speaker of the evening. It is one thing to be successful within your club, but when members of another, much more experienced club tell you are doing a good job, it is very empowering and motivating. The Best table topics ribbon is very proudly displayed on my desk at work along with my Charter certificate.

THANK YOU court of Blarney for having us visit, and your ongoing support of our new club. The comradery and support that I have discovered within Toastmasters is truly amazing.


Susan Griffiths

ADVENTURE-Susan Griffiths Member of Allied Global-Leaders in Speech

Contests are amazing!
Energy is high, enthusiasm is electric and everyone is routing for all contestants!

I had the opportunity this week to attend my first contest. This was the international speech contest and the evaluation contest for our area. While I did not compete, I was asked, and honored to be able to fill the role of timer for the contest. Getting out to contests allows you to meet other toastmasters from other clubs. It allows you to hear amazing speeches and evaluations.
I met many members from many levels of many clubs. Even though it was a “competition” the comradery and support for all members is still the most obvious theme in the room, not “who won”.
I want to congratulate all toastmaster members who have participated in contests this year. Even if you didn’t “win” your contest, you have still experienced a personal win by successfully competing. Our club is very excited about jumping into the competition circuit this fall and next spring (we just chartered in October).

What Story Are You Telling? by Brian Gomes

At a recent Toastmasters meeting, I was excited to learn that one of the speakers would be talking about Affiliate Marketing since Affiliate Marketing is what I do for a living.

The speaker started out a with a definition of Affiliate Marketing which is a type of performance-based marketing in which a company pays a commission to affiliates when they refer customers that lead to sales. He then talked about different industries engaging in affiliate marketing, the size of the industries, trends in the industries, and he provided lots of numbers. My excitement fizzled, the speech was drier than I expected and it almost had me rethinking my career choice.

After his speech, he fielded a question from the audience: “How did you become interested in Affiliate Marketing?” The speakers face lit up and he explained, “Well, I have a friend who was broke and unemployed. My friend was approached by a company that was struggling to sell windows and doors and they asked him to help them get sales. In his first month, he earned $300 but he stayed with it and was able to increase that to $2,000 a month after three months. Today, he earns over $100,000 a year and the company has made him a partner in the business. I’m learning everything I can from my friend and I’m going to start in Affiliate Marketing soon.” That’s the speech I wanted to hear!

In talking with the speaker after the Q&A Session, he saw how he could have done things differently. The speaker just needed to tell the story of his friend’s experience in Affiliate Marketing and how it inspired him while also adding details and explaining Affiliate Marketing. There was no need to manufacture a speech with research – he had an interesting, personal story to share which he was passionate about and that the audience could connect with.

By telling his story, the message of the speech would also be focused. His title and message could have gone from, “Affiliate Marketing” which is a broad topic to, “Why I Want to Become an Affiliate Marketer” which is a narrowly focused, interesting message.

The audience always wants to hear our story. Stories are engaging, they’re what actually happened to us during our life journeys, and they are the situations and events that allowed us to learn the messages we are delivering in our speech. Stories allow us to show rather than tell. Audiences are less receptive when they are told things, they want to be taken for a ride, a journey where they see and live what happened, and these stories also convey our message.

If you’re doing a speech about your father and telling us he’s the greatest man you know, you can give us a list of things you admire about your father, or you can instead tell us stories in which your father’s great qualities come to life. A full story is not always required and anecdotes will often do. Anecdotes are short stories or descriptive accounts that are interesting or amusing. Even an informational speech can and should include stories and anecdotes. Let’s say you are doing a doing a workshop on “Outstanding Customer Service” - you can tell us the value of going above and beyond in customer service and explain to us how we can accomplish this, but to truly sell this to us, include a story about the airline pilot who, after a severely delayed flight, stayed at the luggage carousel until every passenger got their bags.

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest is a great forum to see storytelling in action. Winners and finalists of the International Speech Contest always tell a story – you cannot get to these highest levels of speaking without telling a story. At the Toastmasters club level, you will often see speakers telling rather than showing through stories. Stories are not just for the storytelling manual, we need to tell stories to engage and interest our audience, to personally connect with our speech, and to deliver our message. With every speech, it’s important to ask ourselves, “What story am I telling?”

Toastmaster History in Colbourg

First Female Town Crier Appointed in Cobourg

Toastmasters is on the job as usually - it helped this Town Crier to nail her position. This is history in my small town of Cobourg.
This may be hard to read, but the gist of this in my opinion, emphasizes how Toastmasters allows one to tap into their own personality, creativity, self-assurance ... and change lives.

Cobourg Town Crier

What Toastmasters Has Done For Me


It was July 2007, my friend Doreen Feeney and I walked into a room full of strangers.

We were greeted by a friendly handshake and smile and a "Welcome To Toastmasters".  The first person I met was the greeter, the friendly handshake and smile welcoming me and putting me somewhat at ease. As each member stood up to explain their role I became nervous, thoughts of uncertainty filled my head," what am I doing here?"

I was asked to give my name and explain what bought me to Toastmasters. I tried to compose myself; I felt my mind racing to not sound like a blubbering idiot.  I answered the questions without any recollection.

By the end of the meeting I was impressed, but unsure if this was for me. My friend Doreen convinced me to give it another try; I did and stayed for 7 years. The knowledge and confidence and support that Toastmasters gave me and along with my mentor Peter Graham, who being a published Author , helped me to self publish my first book called "Heartstrings" a book of poetry. I then went on to publish two more books and started my own business "Just Case".

Toastmasters are people from all walks of life, and working towards the same goal gives the club a family atmosphere, everyone is there to help. I felt very safe making my mistakes in front of fellow Toastmasters while growing and learning.

Thank you Toastmasters!

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

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