Area 55 (Niagara Falls and Welland) Evaluation and International Speech Contests

Area 55 Eval Speech Contest

On Wednesday March 7, 2018, Honeymoon City Toastmasters Club opened its arms to warmly host the Area’s Contests in Niagara Falls. Rose City Toastmasters Club’s President, Greg Lewis, DTM, walked off with the hardware for both contests, and advances to the March 22 Division L Contests!

Our second place winners were Lou Anne Reddon, ACB, ALB from the Honeymoon City Club for the Evaluation Contest, and Joanne Gray, ACS, ALB from the Rose City Club for the International Contest.

Thank you to the huge community of volunteers who made the Contests such a success!

Eve McDonald, ACG, ALB

Area 55 Director

(dis)Abilities in Toastmasters

“Whether I am in my wheelchair, dealing with my light sensitivity or my sound sensitivity, I am treated as an equal.” This is one of the key phrases in my entry for the International Speech Competition this year.

For people dealing with disabilities, some disabilities are easy enough to overcome than others, like having meetings held in an accessible facility. Other things like overcoming exhaustion, illness, sensitivities you can’t control, and having the need for an interpreter can seem too large a gulf to bridge.

From personal experience, what I’d like to tell everyone is, “Go For It!!!”

I live with a severe chronic illness that at one point kept me 98% bed bound, but thankfully is now down to about 75%. Since regaining a little strength, I started looking for opportunities to improve myself and was guided towards Toastmasters, where I have been able to “Find My Voice.”

I was worried that my wheelchair would be a barrier, that I constantly must be wearing a hat and sunglasses would be a barrier, that I am scent sensitive would be a barrier, and that I am sound sensitive would be a barrier, but my fears were unfounded!

I am a grateful member of Cambridge Toastmasters #2728, where people have welcomed me in from Day 1. The facility we use is wheelchair friendly, people have learned to track my head movement rather than my eye movement for the purpose of evaluations, our club has gone scent free, and traditional applause has been substituted for the form of applause used by the deaf community. These small changes have reduced pain and suffering I would otherwise have to just chosen to “endure”. I wasn’t expecting people to change tradition for me, but this open willingness has touched me deeply and created a sense of inclusivity.

Many people living with disabilities are part of a marginalized population and having disabilities can lead to isolation, feelings of inadequacy, and depression, but it doesn't have to be that way!
One of my personal goals at Toastmasters in the years to come will be to help encourage and be a bridge between those with (dis)Abilities and the clubs in our District. I am hoping that I can help others dealing with (dis)Abilities “Find their voice” too and become a positive instrument of change in our world.

My loving challenge to other clubs is to think outside the box and find new ways to think about how to be inviting to members who may fear acceptance because of being “different” or “limited”.

Ms CJ Janzen
Member of Cambridge Toastmaster
Club #2728

Soar To Excellence Toastmasters Club Contests


It was a successful, fun, and exciting meeting where contestants competed in the International and Evaluation Speech Club Contest held at St. Hillary's Church, 2055 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, ON, L5A 2E6 on Saturday, February 17, 2018.

Rob Belsby competed in the Evaluation Club Contest and Yasseen Tasabehji competed in the International Speech Club Contest, and both achieved first place. Sally Wong competed both in Evaluation Club Contest and International Speech Club Contest achieved second place. The winners will move on to the Area Contest at the Area 46 contest held at Streetsville Vic Johnston Community Centre on March 6, 2018 at 6:30 PM. The winners for Area 46 contest will compete at Division C Contest in South Common Community Centre Room - Arbour Green Room 2233 South Millway, Mississauga, ON, L5L 3H7 on March 20, 2018.

We invite you to join in the fun, networking and cheer on both contestants from Soar To Excellence Toastmasters Club.

If you are looking to reach your highest potential, join Soar To Excellence Toastmasters Club, to experience the art of public speaking, communication and power point presentation.

For more information, please visit Soar To Excellence Toastmasters website at or email us

Soar To Excellence Toastmaster Team
St. Hillary’s Church
2055 Hurontario Street,
Mississauga, ON, L5A 2E6

By: Alvin Abawan
Edited: Rob Belsby

Silent Auction Gift Basket Challenge

Seeking Member, Corporate and Club Donations For Our Silent Auction

To help defer costs and have some fun I’ve put out a challenge to all Toastmasters in the District to form Division teams fill their baskets, boxes, or containers with items and creativity to be auctioned off at the District Conference Division Challenge. 

Corporate sponsors will have Recognition at the Conference.

We are accepting silent auction items of almost any description, not limited to the following items…but we hope to spark ideas and your generosity:
Silent Auction Sample2

  • Gift cards (movie, dinner..)
  • Spa package (massage, pedicure..)
  • Travel voucher (hotel, train… )
  • Food bundles (coffee, sweets..)
  • Unique experience (events, theatre..)
  • Art & Home Decor (own creation or re-gifted..)
  • Re-gifted items (new items..)
  • Services (car wash, hair cut..)
  • Speech training (workshop, training..)

Division Challenge

Game plan: One to two items from each club, put like items together you may have more than one container, baskets, etc.
Division directors please have your baskets ready by the March DEC meeting  

  • Individual donations will be recognized at the Conference for their donations
  • To make a donation please coordinate with your Area or Division Director. Suggest presenting your club donation at your Area and Division contests
  • For Corporate donations please contact me, or fellow Toastmaster who shared this opportunity with you

Please include contact information:
With name and email, Division and Director or Individuals name contact & Division.
For Corporate, business name and contact information.
We would like to recognize our contributors for their generosity.

How Does A Silent Auction Work?

  • Tables at the Spring Conference will have tables with items in two groups.
  • Print your name and bid on the list in front of item being auctioned off. (A minimum bid and/or suggested cost of item with description will be displayed)
  • One group will be auctioned off before the business meeting on Saturday. (This gives members to purchase items who are attending Option1 of the conference)
  • The 2nd group of items will be auctioned off at the end of the conference on Sunday.
  • Register your name and contact at the Silent Auction desk (for committee to contact you if your bid won)
  • Pick up and payment of highest bidder can be made before you leave the conference before the business meeting or following conference on Sunday

Eva Britton
Silent Auction Chair
District 86 Spring Conference

Speech or Presentation? Knowing the Difference

Speak to Inspire TM

Knowing when to make a speech and when to make a presentation may be more important than you think.

You may have seen a Toastmaster speak passionately about issues of importance only to dampen the impact of his or her speech by putting up Power Point slides full of technical data. The effect was to dilute the passion and conviction in the speech. When this happens, how do you evaluate the speech? Do you view the Power Point as part of the speech?

When do you speak and when do you present? First, it helps to know the difference.

A presentation typically employs visual aids to convey data.
A speech relies on words alone to create feeling and imagery in the minds of the listeners.

How do you choose? Determine what’s best for each occasion, each audience, based on their needs, their concerns and expectations.

A presentation is generally the best vehicle for showing specific, detailed information. Ideally, clear uncomplicated visual data detail to prove or support the presenter’s points.
A speech is more appropriate for striking larger themes and conveying emotion, with a greater dependence on language to convey ideas ‘visually’.

Philip Coakley ALB, ACS - Speak to Inspire Toastmasters
Adapted ‘The Total Communicator’

Rose City Toastmasters 20th Anniversary


On Thursday February 8, Rose City Toastmasters celebrated their 20th Anniversary. Established in 1997, Rose City Toastmasters has proudly served the city of Welland and South Niagara. Current and past members celebrated with some of the founding members Dianne Yungblut, David Smith and Charmaine Grace. President Greg Lewis DTM led the meeting with aplomb culminating in a General Evaluation by Area Director, Eve MacDonald. Rose City is looking forward to another 20 years of promoting growth in communication and leadership in Niagara.

Charlie Kennedy ACG, ALB
Rose City Toastmasters

How OPS North Bay Toastmasters Celebrated 5 Year Anniversary

Let me tell you a little about the OPS North Bay Toastmasters Club and why we’re so excited to have recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary!

OPSNorthBay TM2OPS North Bay Toastmasters is a corporate club for employees of the Ontario Public Service. Back in 2011, Bonnie Murphy spearheaded bringing a Toastmasters Club to North Bay for her government colleagues and faced a steep learning curve as the first President. She found a mentor club and willing coach in Cementation Canada’s corporate club and our OPS club chartered in October 2012.

Bonnie Murphy – Founding President (on left) and 
Pat Devereaux – Current President (on right)

We just celebrated our 5th year anniversary on October 12, 2017 with an open house and lunch ‘n learn event, both of which were very well-attended.

At the lunch ‘n learn we were very honoured to have as our guest speaker, Roy Slack, the President of Cementation Canada! The event also provided guests with an overview of Toastmasters, demonstrated a typical Toastmasters meeting by explaining key meeting roles, reviewed the Toastmaster Education Program and included an informal question and answer period. Later that day our open house, complete with displays of Toastmaster information and our club’s history and a celebratory cake, was attended by more than 20 interested colleagues!

OPSNorthBay TM

The following current members were club founders: Anthony Akomah, Melissa Delfino, Pat Devereaux, Alain Lemay, Bonnie Murphy, Siobhan O’Leary, and Arlene Phillips.

If you live in the North Bay area, or are just passing through, we meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday, noon to 1 pm, Library Boardroom, 2nd floor, 447 McKeown Ave. Even though we’re a corporate club we love hosting visitors from other clubs! 

by Sandy Bell-Murray

The 2017 Toastmaster’s Award Winning Celebration


A ceremony to honour Jocelyne Vezina, the 2017 toastmaster’s winner was held at Mississauga Central Library on December 18th. The celebration was hosted on behalf of two sister clubs: Comfortably Speaking Toastmasters (CST) Club and Lambs to Lions (L to L) Club. Being awarded the Toastmaster of the year award is the highest honour in the district. It signifies that the Toastmaster dedicated their service to the district and toastmaster’s community to assist others in achieving their goals in communications and leadership. Jocelyne certainly fits this description. Not only is she a member of 3 Toastmaster clubs in Mississauga, but she has mentored a long list of new clubs to their success, each coming with a 6 month to a year commitment. She is currently a club coach for a French speaking club in Mississauga, helping this club to gain it's strength and success. On top of this, Joecelyne is our Pathways Ambassador helping the district to successfully educate, train guides and ambassadors and launch the new Pathways program through the district. Joecelyne has really touched and impacted many Toastmaster Members lives.

Kyla Werrett, DTM, member of CST and 2017-2018 Division D Director, opened the party for Jocelyne. She mentioned that it was an honour to nominate Jocelyne for this award and that she enlisted in the help of 5 other toastmaster members within the community in this nomination. She added that in addition to the nomination, there is a point system and the opportunity to ask people to write a letter about this individual. “The letters that came back for Jocelyne, were unbelievable”. Letters came from clubs that Jocelyne mentored, Pathway's Guides she led and others that Jocelyne's contributions impacted.

Kyla’s speech was followed by Aanchal Kamra, L to L President, Iona Rodricks, DTM, L to L SAA and Paul Dubal, CST President indicating Jocelyne as a dedicated member of both clubs. Then Paul asked Jocelyne to say a few words for both club members.

Jocelyne mentioned “I didn’t do these for the award, I think I’m getting more out of it.” At the end, she showed her gratitude for both clubs by saying “you two clubs, Lambs to Lions that I was the first president and the founding member and comfortably speaking that was the first club I have ever joined, have a very special place in my heart and I am so glad that you are still here.”
The ceremony was proceeded with Paul giving Jocelyne a card on behalf of the two clubs followed by a group photo and potluck.

Hamedeh Razavi
CST, VP Public Relations

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