Fall Conference 2016 Communication & Leadership Award Recipient

Elaine Barnes C&L Receipent

Congratulations to Elaine Barnes, Communication & Leadership Award Recipient

The Communication and Leadership Award is by the District to a non-Toastmaster in the community who is an outstanding communicator or leader - and who best exemplifies Toastmasters values.

The recipient for the 2016 Fall Conference is Elaine Barnes, Volunteer Services Organizer at Ontario Correctional Institute in Brampton.

Elaine will be honored by District 86 Toastmasters for her achievement in the field of communication and leadership. The event will be held at the Communication & Leadership (C&L) Luncheon on Saturday November 26, during the District 86 Fall Conference November 25 to 27 at the Marriott Gateway on the Niagara, In Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Barnes leads volunteers and incarcerated men to become better communicators, citizens, and leaders. Elaine is the Volunteer Services Organizer (VSO) for the Ontario correctional institute (OCI) which houses approximately 200 incarcerated men receiving rehabilitation treatment. Much of this rehabilitation treatment is delivered through volunteer run programs – Elaine leads and communicates with the 189 volunteers that run and support these numerous programs. These programs foster person growth, leadership, communication, and fellowship. Elaine has been VSO since Feb 2008. These volunteer programs including Toastmasters help inmates become better communicators and leaders before they reenter society.

"Through her on-­‐going, dedicated effort, Elaine is a shining example of communication and leadership in District 86 and she has touched and changed the lives of many incarcerated men and volunteers for the better. " says District 86 Public Relations Manager Dennis Bartel.

The Toastmasters program at OCI is the oldest running volunteers program, and has been in place for over 33 years. Elaine has been the biggest supporter of the program. OCI Toastmasters has seen tens of thousands of men go through the program, some of which later became members of Toastmasters club within the community. Every year at the volunteers dinner, Elaine has selected inmates that were members of OCI Toastmasters as Masters of Ceremonies and speakers. These men acknowledge that this was made possible by their time in Toastmasters.

Elaine is constantly receiving ongoing leadership, communication, and rehabilitation training. Elaine also conducts training and orientation for volunteer and resolves problems that may arise between the men, volunteers and staff. She also conducts training and orientation for  volunteers and resolves problems that may arise between the men, volunteers, and staff.



An Experiment in Learning From One Another

Area 31 Club Ambassador Program

Ambassador Visit

When I started my club visits in Area 31 in July, I heard again and again, “we want to work with the other clubs.” And, that’s just what we’re going to do!

In that spirit of getting to know one another and learn from each other, we had a brainstorming session at our first area council meeting and came up with the Area 31 Club Ambassador Program. Over the next few months, each of the area clubs will send one or two representatives to each of the other clubs. During their visits, each Ambassador will take on the role of speaker, evaluator or general evaluator. They’ll also make a report to the club they’re visiting as well as their home club of what was done a little differently, what they liked and what new ideas they’ll be taking back home with them. And, perhaps more importantly, they’ll have fun and make some new friends.

Gloria Whittaker (pictured), President of City of Brampton Toastmasters, was the first Area 31 Club Ambassador to visit Hershaw Toastmasters.

Want to try it yourselves? I’d be happy to share the details with you. Just email me at Area31Director@toastmasters86.org.

Sue Hopcroft
Area Director, Area 31

Energetics Toastmasters Club in Waterloo

Promoting our Club by Scarlett Sheng

The Energetics Toastmasters Club was founded by Tony Nelson and Greg Kay on May 1, 1994. The Energetics meets every Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in the Sun Life Building on 227 King Street South in Waterloo Ontario. As the club name indicates, you will feel energized immediately when you walk into the room.

Energetics has been a President’s Distinguished Club for 5 consecutive years. Six new members have joined the club in the past 3 months brining current active membership to 21. Energetics is proud to have a strong and structured Mentorship Program. When a new member joins, the Mentorship Coordinator will assign a mentor to answer any questions the new member may have and help him/her through the Toastmaster experience.

Last year was a hallmark year for Energetics. We had three Triple Crown Winners – Andrea D’Ambrosio, Cliff Graham and Chris Brown. Suzanne Dansereau became the first home grown DTM, and the club is expecting up to 6 more DTMs in the next 2 years.

Energetics is the home of Division W, Area Directors. Our Immediate Past President - Chris Brown and Sergeant at Arms - Clifford Graham are current Area 62 and Area 63 Directors. Doris Tuckett and Suzanne Dansereau were Area Directors in previous years.

Energetics is also very active in Area Contests and District Conferences. Energetics regularly hosts and helps organize the Area Contests, and has sent in contestants every year. Many Energetics members have presented at the District Conferences. For example, Carolyn Wilker facilitated the workshop “ASK for Directions: Mentoring” in Blue Mountain in Fall 2015. At this Fall Conference, Cliff Graham will be giving a presentation on adjusting leadership styles to different individuals’ behavioural styles.

Energetics is truly energetic! It’s not just a place to learn, but also a great place to have fun! Come and check us out soon!

Facebook: @EnergeticsToastmasters
Twitter: @Energetics_TM
Website: http://energetics.toastmastersclubs.org/

Scarlett Sheng
VP, Public Relations
Energetics Toastmasters Club

The Art of Speaking and Leadership

Brampton, ON, Oct. 2nd, 2016 - Hershaw Toastmasters Club

Hershaw Toastmasters

Hershaw Toastmasters Club is happy to announce that earlier today, the Club participated in the Culture Days@Brampton Library program. The event titled “The Art of Speaking and Leadership” took place at South Fletcher’s Library, Brampton, from 2pm-3pm. The event was organized like a mini club meeting, with one speech, evaluation, and a table topics session, to demonstrate how Hershaw Toastmasters can help improving public speaking and leadership skills. All guests participated in the table topics session and indicated afterward that they enjoyed the event very much. Thank you all members who came out and help to made it a successful event. Thank you the club for supporting the team. It is certainly a good opportunity to showcase Toastmasters and we hope to be able to participate again in the Culture Days@Brampton Library program in the future. 

Anh Dao, MBA

Toastmasters Month Recognition in Niagara Falls & Grimsby

The City of Niagara Falls and Town of Grimsby Recognize Toastmasters Month by Issuing Proclamations

12592207 acting mayor vince kerrio reading proclamation

The Mayor and Council of the Town of Grimsby have - for the first time - declared the week of Oct. 23 - 29/16 as "Grimsby Toastmasters Week".

"The Council Chambers have been rented for a grand Open House to be held on Thurs. Oct. 27/16."  - Lydia Schulenberg from Grimsby Toastmasters. Visit grimsbytoastmasters.org for more information.

At the City of Niagara Falls Council meeting on September 27 City Council proclaimed October Toastmasters Month. Niagara Falls is the host for the District 86 Toastmasters Fall Conference on Nov 25 to 27 at the Marriott Gateway on the Niagara. As well as the home of 2012 – 2014 Region 6 International Director, Lori Lococo.

Toastmasters clubs and members in District 86 Toastmasters, one of over 100 districts in the world, will celebrate the first Toastmasters Meeting Santa Ana, California, on October 22, 1924. Toastmasters have been producing community leaders in Southwestern, Central and Northern Ontario with long-lasting clubs Garden City in St. Catharines and Hamilton No. 1, which have been operating since 1952.   Further, clubs like First Oakville Toastmasters and Brampton Toastmasters, founded in 1957 will be celebrating 60 years in 2017.

"I was petrified and paralyzed when it was my turn to speak in meetings with just a few people who I worked with everyday." –recalls an 11 year Toastmaster and successful business owner. Brian is a member of four Toastmaster clubs and now speaks in front of hundreds in speech contests, presentations, and key note speeches. "Toastmasters has helped me confront a fear that was bigger than me and controlled me". Brian has started two Toastmaster programs at a jail in Florida and he helps others in the community shrink their fear of public speaking and develop their leadership skills to advance their lives.

Read more about this news event on PRLOG



Club Growth Tips and Information November 2016

Club Growth Director District 86 - Glynis D'souza DTM

Visit Club Growth Page

I am so excited to start my message with good news that FIVE new clubs chartered in our district in September!   Four of the clubs are corporate clubs while the fifth is a community club.   Be sure to read my sections below on:

New Clubs, Challenged Clubs, Club Coach Program, Membership Dues And Quality Club Meetings, Non Renewing Members, Guest Packets And Finally, Signing Up New Members.

I look forward to seeing you all in the coming weeks at your Division Contests and next month at Conference in Niagara Falls! 

New Clubs

The first club, Kenaidan La-Capitale Toastmasters, is a combination of a construction company and a financial services company located side by side that decided to join hands and start a club for their employees; they chartered with 25 members in Area 43 Division C Mississauga.  The second one, CRH Corporate Toastmasters, a building materials and construction company in Concord, had a club champion who was a toastmaster in Montreal and was passionate about the program, eager to bring it to his colleagues at work, and chartered with 41 new members in Area 21 Division A!  The third, BASF Toastmasters, a chemical manufacturing company in Mississauga, wanted to offer the program as a professional and personal development program for their employees, and chartered with 27 members in Area 46 Division C.  The fourth, Citi Orators, also offered the program as part of employees’ development and chartered with 24 members in Area 42, Division C.  The fifth club is the crowing jewel – An Advanced Community Club in Mississauga, called Great Minds Advanced Toastmasters Club, which calls for dual membership and a CC – we got 24 charter members, to Area 45 Division C.  What a great success story!  These added approximately 150 new memberships to the district, which will be tripled over the year due to their early start!  We have plenty of new club launches in October but are looking for your help with more leads so we can charter as many new clubs in the first half of the year!  We have prizes to give you for leads!

Challenged Clubs

Unfortunately clubs also fold during the year and we’ve had several of them who’ve already done so, with perhaps more during the year.  We want to help these clubs as much as we can and are working hard to come up with new and improved club rebuilding strategies.  A success story here would be the Midland Club in Division N which was on the brink of folding, but with some creative strategies, is now back on track and under an able coach.  The Articles in the most recent Toastmasters magazine couldn't come at a better time for challenged clubs. Check out "Last-Minute Scramble" (by James Sultan) and "A Roadmap for Club Growth" (by Jay Sunderland) in the October 2016 issue if you're looking for some good ideas to help your challenged clubs!

Club Coach Program 

Our Club Coach Chair Kristina Johnston is appealing to anyone who may have an ALB or above to come forward as a volunteer to coach a challenged club, which will not only be invaluable experience in your Toastmasters journey, but will also catapult you to achieving your ALS and onward to DTM, especially in view of the new Pathways program which will have different DTM requirements.  Please contact her at clubcoach@toastmasters86.org - incidentally she’s also looking for volunteers to help with Spring Conference 2017 since she’s the Conference Chair!  Kristina is a big proponent of stepping outside your comfort zone. She has done this extensively herself and loves to pass along encouragement to others whenever possible. Please nudge yourself to try something new or nudge a friend. If you know of someone who could benefit from a nudge but are a bit shy to approach them yourself-let her know! Clubs that are challenged need help and many people want their ALS or else simply want to help other clubs. As well, conferences need lots of volunteers-what is your area of strength or area that you want to grow? Let Kristina know!

Membership Dues And Quality Club Meetings

As for Membership Renewals, we are happy to state that we are Number 1 in the Region for membership payments, at 90.3%!! However, we have a long way to go.  We need at least 1500 more membership payments to achieve our goal of distinguished district.  I appeal to Club Treasurers to quickly submit member dues that arrived late. Don't let these funds sit in your club's bank account!!! Remember, the member comes first, and needs to be a member in good standing, especially since contest eligibility is at stake.  On the other hand did your club have members that did not renew? Renewals are directly related to Club Quality, in other words, "A quality club environment is the single most important factor in membership retention."  Club Officers and Members – please refer to pages 45 & 46 of the Club Leadership Handbook for running Quality Meetings. In this world of acronyms, remember the acronym for Quality Club Meetings – VTFM – Variety, Time, Fun and Manual Speeches.  Make sure your meetings have variety, they start on time and end on time, you put in the fun factor, and all speeches are manual speeches.  As Ralph Smedley our Founder said, “People learn in moments of enjoyment.”  I love Mike Storkey’s article in October issue – Show Up – For Yourself and Others. It’s truly the best way for you to help retain Quality Club Meetings! 

Non Renewing Members

Did they leave? Club Officers should continue to engage with absent and past members for renewal and reinstatement of members.  Please use the "Club Exit Survey" in this link

Guest Packet: Hand This Over to your Club Visitor

Does your club have an up to date guest package?  Very often I visit clubs and the guest enjoys the meeting but leaves empty handed!  How do you know they understood the program? Can we assume? No!  Provide them with a suggested Guest Package found below.  Make sure to customize it as per your own home club! VP Membership – are you listening?

Below are some items that you may want to consider

  • A welcome letter from the President  



  • Meeting Roles & Responsibilities (A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats)


Signing Up New Members

Club Presidents; please encourage ALL members of the executive to be aware and able to sign up new members who may arrive as guests at a meeting and wanting to join when the VP Membership or the treasurer is away.  So many times I am visiting a club and a guest appears who wants to join right away and the person who has the fee structure and knows how to sign them up is away and nobody else knows how to collect the fees and sign the new member up.

Here’s how:

For a tutorial on how to register members, go to http://mikeraffety.com/ClubCentral.pdf. It's a great reference to all Club Officers.  Please check out the two PDFs here, one on How to Register a Member and the other on Membership Start and End Dates, and remember:

- For Membership Contests (Smedley, Talk-Up & Beat the Clock), the membership begin date must be during the contest periods (i.e. Aug or Sep, Feb or Mar, May or Jun).

- For End dates, choose either the upcoming renewal or the one after.



Over 4 Million Toastmasters Served

District 86 Celebrates 92 Years of Developing Speakers and Leaders like Toastmaster member Brian G.

12591241 toastmasters meetings began in 1924SOUTHWESTERN, CENTRAL AND NORTHERN, Ontario - Oct. 5, 2016 - PRLog -- Toastmasters clubs and members in District 86 Toastmasters, one of over 100 districts in the world, will celebrate the first Toastmasters Meeting Santa Ana, California, on October 22, 1924. Toastmasters have been producing community leaders in Southwestern, Central and Northern Ontario with long-lasting clubs Garden City in St. Catharines and Hamilton No. 1, which have been operating since 1952. Further, clubs like First Oakville Toastmasters and Brampton Toastmasters, founded in 1957 will be celebrating 60 years in 2017.

"I was petrified and paralyzed when it was my turn to speak in meetings with just a few people who I worked with everyday." –recalls Brampton Resident Brian G., an 11 year Toastmaster and successful business owner. Brian is a member of four Toastmaster clubs and now speaks in front of hundreds in speech contests, presentations, and key note speeches. "Toastmasters has helped me confront a fear that was bigger than me and controlled me". Brian has started two Toastmaster programs at a jail in Florida and he helps others in the community shrink their fear of public speaking and develop their leadership skills to advance their lives.

The Toastmasters Story
In 1924, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley held the first official Toastmasters meeting in a basement of the YMCA, in Santa Ana, California. Smedley began working for the YMCA after he graduated college. Observing that many of its patrons needed public speaking training, he decided to help them with a training format that was similar to a social club. At this first meeting, members practiced speaking skills in a supportive, informal atmosphere. The seedling club blossomed and by the 1930s the organization charted its first international club in Vancouver, Canada. In 1973, Toastmasters met an important milestone by opening membership to women.

The Name Toastmasters
Why name it "Toastmasters"? - During the early 1900s, the word "toastmaster" referred to a person who proposed the toasts and introduced speakers at banquets. Ralph C. Smedley coined the first group "The Toastmasters Club" because he thought it suggested a pleasant, social atmosphere.

How Toastmasters Works
At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet once a week for approximately an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:

• Conducting meetings. Members learn how to plan and conduct meetings.
• Giving impromptu speeches. Members present one-to-two minute, impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
• Presenting prepared speeches. Members present speeches based on projects from manuals in Toastmasters' proven communication and/or leadership programs. Projects cover topics such as speaking, organization, vocal variety, language, gestures and persuasion.
• Offering constructive evaluation. Every prepared speaker is assigned an evaluator who identifies speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement.

Toastmasters and Leadership
Leadership cannot be learned in a day. It takes practice. In Toastmasters, members learn leadership skills by organizing and conducting meetings and by completing projects in the leadership manuals. Projects address skills such as listening, planning, motivation and team building and give members the opportunity to practice them. Just as Toastmasters members learn to speak by speaking, they learn leadership by leading.

Benefits of Toastmasters
Clearer communication; Improved leadership skills; Enhanced teamwork; Effective meetings; Increased productivity; Positive mentoring; Complements existing training programs; Cost effective.

About Toastmasters District 86
Toastmasters District 86 represents the heartland of Ontario comprising of 235 community and corporate clubs, with over 5,000 members, from Sault Ste Marie in the north to Welland in the south, from Sarnia in the west to Markham in the east - and all communities in between - except Toronto. To learn more about District 86 please visit: http://toastmasters86.org/

About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization's membership exceeds 345,000 in more than 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

Read this article on PRLOG

Dennis Bartel - Public Relations Manager
District 86 Toastmasters 2016 - 2017

Better Toastmaster Club Web Presence

Is Toastmasters a Best Kept Secret in Your Community?

In our community, the answer is “Yes”. Are there steps to changing this accidental Stealth (Invisible) Web Marketing Strategy? Let’s start off by doing a test.

Have you noticed how often new visitors to your club have said “I’ve never heard of Toastmasters.”

Someone who doesn’t know anything about the Toastmasters name might search on Google [my city name] communication and leadership training.

Sadly, Toastmasters will probably not show up at all let alone a Toastmasters club in your city. 

Did you know you have to rank on page 1 of Google search results? Less than 10% of people will look on page 2 or later—a fun fact from a Google search.

A knowledgeable colleague tells me if you are a member of a small noon hour club and you do a search for
[my city name] Toastmasters clubs, chances are it will not show up on the first page.

Instead Google will find the two largest clubs. If Google finds your club’s website, you may be in the minority. 

There are sound reasons for why I am focusing on websites vs. social media at this time. My name is David Bray and as a member of two clubs and currently the VP/PR, Bluewater TM 3835 in Owen Sound, ON. We take advantage of FreeToastHost, Thus, our website is http://bluewater.toastmastersclubs.org. 

Incidentally, if you just Google search public speaking, I get one reference to Toastmasters International on page 1 of search results. I get no reference to other Toastmasters clubs.

Tips for Getting Noticed from Google Searches

We first noticed our stealth (i.e. invisible) web presence issue, in 2014, with a Google search...

[my city name] public speaking. Google told us some local French speaking schools held contests. It still says contest for a lot of clubs. 

We/Bluewater solved this in summer 2014 when I added a custom web page for “public speaking”. This showed up immediately after paid listings.

However, Google has been busy refining their algorithms. With those changes, sometime last year we fell to page 2 (i.e. invisible), but sadly no one noticed.

Kijiji and yellow pages may show up with outdated information. My suggestion in this case is to make sure that your content is accurate. Test the links to your website (or blog or Facebook) actually work. Keep your content current. If it is now late summer, ensure your last notice is not an outdated “Sorry we will have to cancel our upcoming January meeting due to winter snow storms.”

For a search on Kijiji for [my city name] speaker training, Kijiji tells me I can purchase electronic speakers for my stereo. This suggests though that a well crafted Kijiji post might be useful.

Whether It’s a Google search for [my city name] leader training, personal development or clubs, odds are Toastmasters will not be found.

As noted in 2014, our club solved the stealth issue for “public speaking”. I am now working to solve it again—by getting us back on page 1. Plus, we have some new web pages on our site to start replacing stealth for other queries. I am working on learning “Search Engine Speak”—and to sort out any related apparent contradictions.

Toastmasters’ Stealth (Invisible) Web Presence is Pervasive

Clearly, some clubs have overcome the problem of “Toastmasters is a best kept secret”. In some cases, people can learn about Toastmasters because a club in England, Australia or the USA has the same city name—and a strong web presence.

“Good presentations are all about our audience.” I see a huge number of paid and unpaid listings online for speaking and leadership training. Clearly we have an audience out there looking for what Toastmasters has to offer. All too often that audience can’t find us—unless they already know the name Toastmasters.

Conclusion: we are a Best Kept Secret in far too many communities. I call it accidental Stealth (Invisible) Marketing.

About David Bray

My background is not marketing, nor is it websites. Thus I am trying to get up to speed on lots of content, including something I call “(Google) Search Engine Speak” known as SEO, Search Engine Optimization.

Have you ever asked the question “How do we get and keep our membership numbers above 20?” The general response was blank stares. Thus, I changed the question to “Toastmasters is a Best Kept Secret in Our Community. How do we change that?” the response this time, was “Launch a Facebook Campaign”. 

If so, why am I focusing on websites vs. Facebook? In short, I found a 2014 study which noted:

• 94% (that’s right 94%) of folks that buy items, first research them on the web.
• 77% do that research with Google search.

According to my math that is almost ¾ of people using Google search. Thus I ask, “How many folks have never heard of Toastmasters, but are looking for communication and leadership training?” I have no idea. But almost 3 out of 4 of them are looking for answers with Google search. If they live near a local Toastmaster club, we all want them to be able to find our website.

If you have some short cuts or tips for strong Toastmaster web presence, I hope you will share. If you would like to join me on a voyage of how to build and maintain a strong web presence please contact me at Dbray9@gmail.com

For the good of Toastmasters, David Bray

DavidBray jpg

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

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