October Declared Toastmasters Month in Sudbury


Special Thank you to Timmins Mayor Steve Black, North Bay Mayor Al McDonald, and Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger for helping Division N promote Toastmasters, and proclaiming October “Toastmasters Month” in your respective cities.

Mayor Brian Bigger proclaimed October as Toastmasters month in Sudbury.

Educational Webinars by Albert Chang

District 86 will be holding its first of several educational webinars beginning on Sep 27th.

To view the list of topics, please visit the webinar page http://www.toastmasters86.org/programs/program-quality/webinar  

Our first topic will be getting to know the Distinguished Club Program or commonly known as the DCP. The session will begin at 8pm, with a Q&A afterwards. 

If you are not able to attend, there's no need to worry as all webinars will be available for viewing on the webinar page afterwards. 

To join please use the following link: https://join.me/toastmasters86PQD
or you can dial in by phone 647 977 2648 & enter the conference ID 800 443 639 #

A Tool to Use for Building Membership

Do you have this tool in your club’s membership tool kit? Have you used it lately? This tool can….

  • engage those club members who seem to be “stuck” in advancing through their program; perhaps seem a bit lethargic
  • serve as a refresher on the basic principles of communication
  • energize a Toastmasters club by harnessing its wealth of knowledge and leadership skills so it can share with the community
  • enhance meeting attendance and interest among all members
  • if used at least once a year, safeguard your membership levels
  • raise dwindling club funds
  • be the basis to launching a new club

Since the spring of 2018, there have been a number of Toastmasters clubs in District 86 that have applied this tool with great SUCCESS and FUN. Pushing ourselves beyond our comfort boundaries can be uncomfortable and nerve-racking! These clubs faced the obstacles, found the solutions and conducted a successful workshop.

Have you guessed what this tool is? Ahaa! Speechcraft. A program that requires planning & promotion, team collaboration, experienced Toastmaster volunteers and a unified intention from the hosting Toastmaster club. The results can be amazing!

So far this year, the following clubs (that I’m aware of) have hosted a Speechcraft program: Progressive Toastmasters, Waterloo; Brampton Talks, Brampton, London City Hall Toastmasters, London and Cambridge Toastmasters, Cambridge.

Why did these clubs host a Speechcraft Program? There were numerous reasons why the Speechcraft program was conducted; but the common objective was to grow their membership and build public relations in their community. This program also allowed for speaking opportunities for the Toastmasters and raising funds for the club.

What were some of the challenges faced? All these clubs faced this same challenge – getting the member volunteers to support the Speechcraft program. Also, creating an effective publicity campaign to attract non-Toastmasters participants and finding a suitable venue were other common challenges. Once the membership realized that a team effort was needed to make this program a success, these obstacles was defeated.

What are some helpful suggestions to assist other Clubs in holding a successful Speechcraft program? As soon as the Club approves hosting the Speechcraft event, determine dates, time, location AND ORDER the curriculum...aim for 10 participants. Conduct publicity 2 months prior to the start of the program. Have the first 3 Speechcraft speeches follow Level 1 Pathways criteria and keep the same educational presentations. Outline each week’s program agenda prior to the start of the program -- taking note of needed volunteers to be recruited. Get testimonials and photos from all participants and post on your club’s webpage and submit a blog for the District 86 website – why not blow your own horn!

Although the task of co-ordinating a Speechcraft Program seems daunting and exhausting, it can be a wonderful learning experience! Seeing the planning and hard work coming together; the other Toastmasters sharing their knowledge and skills with others and seeing the “glow” from the Participants on graduation night is energizing! They have found their voice, their confidence and their communication skills. All this and having FUN, too!

Let’s share the experience of Toastmasters while building membership – host a Speechcraft Program!!

Margaret Waechter, ACG, ALB
Speechcraft Chair

Timmins 2017/2018 Year

How do you take a club from 4 members to 14 and President’s Distinguished in one year?

It takes will, determination, diversity, enthusiasm and a LOT of team work. The Porcupine Toastmaster’s club did just that in 2017/2018.

The 2016/2017 President took on the role because there was no one else, he had no interest in the role but worked with the area director and found 2 new members who had been with clubs in the past and got them back into Toastmasters. In the summer of 2017 we had 4 members, but we met all summer anyway.

With 4 members we set out to recruit. Having Open houses, attending the “Welcome to Timmins” night a trade show type event for all the service clubs in the Timmins area. We showed up ready to go at every meeting whether there were 2 or all 4 of us in attendance (driving through potholes or winter storms to get there at times). We used the meetings to practice and plan for upcoming events to increase club membership. Determined to get us back on the area and division map one of our members even braved the 4 to 5 hour drive to compete in speech competitions.

In our original 4 members we were already diverse in career, management experience, country or origin, and religious beliefs. We continued that diversity while recruiting new members. We made sure that everyone who attended felt welcome and since we were such a small group we used each of their strengths right away. We had one member take over the electronics so that we could have members attend the meeting via skype. At times we had up to 4 members attending via skype. Now we had diversity in home town as well.

Even with only 4 people at meetings we found a way to keep it interesting. Some nights were all business and planning other nights were all table topics. We did our best to fill the roles but often there were not enough of us to do it, so we doubled up. The new member who helped with technology to bring people into meetings also took on the role of Facebook guru. Even our Area Director brought the enthusiasm. Joining our club for 6 months attended meetings in person and via skype (she lives 4 hours away).

Team Work
No matter what we did everyone took part. Each task was made easier by splitting the work. Each new member was brought into the mix right away, offering to help in whatever way possible. We ended the year with our election for the 2018/2019 season, one member moved to the Area Director’s role and we had multiple people signing up for each positon on the executive. We even had to have a vote for one position.

87th Annual Toastmasters Convention

The 87th annual Toastmasters Convention was a great experience. I recommend that every Toastmaster attend one International Convention in their life time.

Hosting a conference of this size requires lot of planning and commitment. The Convention was attended by over 2,000 delegates from all over the world. There were 500 helping hands. I was very lucky to be part of the Helping Hands Team, which included over 10 people from District 86. I was also lucky to cover the events in the convention. I promoted the various events via Facebook posts in the group page. This year, more than 30 people attended the convention. We all wore our red and white on the inaugural day. We proudly supported our country and the District. The national anthem of the US was followed by the Srilankan anthem. The flag procession was an epic scene. It was indeed an awesome and beautiful sight.

Kristina Johnston, our District 86 Director, was recognized in the “Excellence in Program Quality for 2017-2018”. Outgoing International President Balaraj Arunasalam presented this award. There were 105 recipients this year. This was presented at the Hall of Fame Awards. Jocelyne Vezina Club Growth Director presented the new International President, Lark Doley with New Club charter papers.

Roger Caesar did our District 86 proud as one of 106 semifinalists around the world. Roger has represented our District for the third time. Dennis Bartel, Cindy Tate and the team back here organized great viewing event, partnering with the Brampton Library for Roger’s speech. Roger's family joined the party. There were over 60 people who saw this via live streaming. This was a District PRM initiative.

With a speech titled, 'Still Standing' Ramona J. Smith, a high school teacher from Houston, Texas, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, August 25th. For the first time in the Contest's history, female competitors swept the top three positions. Smith is only the fifth woman to capture the World Champion of Public Speaking title since the contest began in 1938. The second place was taken by Zifang Su D88, China and Third Place, Anita Fain Taylor D47, USA.
The finalists were:
Ramona J. Smith, D56
Zifang Su, D88
Anita Fain Taylor, D47
Wiwiek Najihah Binte Hairudin, D80
J. A. Gamache, D61
Kenny Ray Morgan, D6
Eric Feinendegen, D30
Al Frederick Lacorte, DF
Kwong Yue Yang, D89
Kevin Matthew Johnson, D37

Some of the other features in the Convention were:

  1. An amazing presentation by Keith Ferrazzi, 2018 Golden Gavel Recipient. Ferrazzi's extensive influence in encouraging individuals and organizations to build trusting, mutually beneficial relationships. As chairman and founder of ‘Ferrazzi Greenlight’, a research institute focusing on behavioral science and its effects on business, Ferrazzi works to determine how companies can eliminate behaviors that hinder progress and instead adopt those that foster growth. His research on relationships, along with decades of experience as an entrepreneur and chief marketing officer for multinational corporations, helped him develop his influential leadership techniques for “Leading Without Authority”. Ferrazzi says connection is the driving force behind all success both personal and professional.
  2. The other Convention presenters were: Pat Johnson, Steve Gilland, Sarah Khan, Johnny Campbell, Michelle Tillis-Lederman, Lars Sudman, Mohammed Murad and Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez.
  3. There was the 'Smedley Step Challenge' to promote the Smedley Foundation.
  4. There were networking lunches.
  5. The marketplace, and the candidates' corner was awesome:
    • We learned so much about leadership by just attending the candidates’ corner. 
    • We met the various Regional Advisors, International Presidents and our very own Canadian Second Vice President, Margaret Page. 
    • We have a new International Director now, thank you Vera Johnson for an awesome job! 
    • Carol Prahinski is the new International Director Region 6 who has joined the Board of Directors. 
    • Melissa McGavick joined Jeff Sobel as Region 6 Advisor.
  6. The hotel and the river tour were great, it was an awesome experience.

The next Toastmasters Convention is at headquarters, Denver, Colorado. Thereafter it will be in Paris so, hopefully after reading this, that you will plan your next convention.

Mallika Sothinathan  DTM
District 86, PRM


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

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