Your Vote Is Important

The District 86 Council Annual Business Meeting April 13, 2019 starting at 2pm

Hilton Meadowvale Mississauga
6750 Mississauga Road, Mississauga ON. L5N 2L3
Map and Directions | Hilton Meadowvale Mississauga

Click here to register for the conference>> Spring Conference: Saturday, April 13, 2019
There is no cost to attend the Annual Business Meeting only, however you are requested to pre-register by April 8th, to receive your voting ballots at the conference, register here>>> Annual Business Meeting April13, 2019

Pick up your ballots at the credentials desk before 1:00 pm, Saturday April 13. The credientials desk will be open Friday 2 pm - 6:45 pm, Saturday 7:00 am - 8:00 am, 9:00 am -10:00 am and 12 noon - 1:00 pm.

Why Vote?

  • Participate in decisions affecting the members of District 86, including your club.
  • Enable the District to carry on its business and vote for next years elected Directors.

Who Can Vote?

  • District Executive Committee members.
  • Your club has 2 votes: Club president and club vice president education of a club in good standing. (dues paid by March 30). These votes can be assigned by PROXY to any active member who registers to attend the Annual Business Meeting in person and vote.
  • One paid member may carry both votes for the club.
  • A paid member of a club who has been assigned a proxy. Once assigned the proxy holder cannot transfer the proxy to another member.
  • District Executive Committee members have one vote. This vote cannot be assigned via proxy.

Pre-Registration is Requested by April 8, 2019

  • Indicate your attendance at the meeting and pre-register for your ballot by April 8th.
  • Click here to register>>> Annual Business Meeting April13, 2019
  • Why? We need to achieve quorum and prepare your ballots in advance.

Important Documents to Read 

Voting Proxies

  • To assign a proxy, download this proxy form 
  • President and the VP education who cannot attend the meeting complete their forms and assign their proxies to an active member, who will check in at the Credentials Desk at least an hour before the Annual Business Meeting,

Pick Up Your Voting Ballot

  • If you are the president or vice president education, pick up your ballots at the credentials desk
  • If you are a representative from your club, please present the prepared proxy (printed) form, to receive your ballots.
  • Credentials desk closes promptly at 1:00pm Saturday April 13th.
  • Annual Business Meeting begins at 2:00pm Saturday April 13th.

For further information please see Toastmasters International information on credentials / voting / proxy

Cathy Herschell, DTM, IPDD
District 86 Credentials Chair

Your Club Meeting Is Your Product

In January Kristina, Jacklyn and I went to mid-year training. One of the workshops we attended was on branding. 

I really liked the analogy they used to make the point about how important branding is in today’s world.

Think about this. You are in a foreign country and it is lunch time. You are looking for a place to eat but you can’t read the signs on the building. What happens if you spot, in the distance, the “M” of McDonald?  What goes through your mind? Do you keep looking for a restaurant or do you head for the McDonald? How did you know it was a McDonald?

That’s the power of a brand. Anywhere you go in the world, you recognize the McDonald logo and you know you will have food that will be like home. Consistent quality.

What is your “M”? Your banner, your guest kit, your agenda? 

Your Banner: 
A few years ago, Toastmasters International change the colours of the banner to Blue and Burgundy. Your banner should reflect the new colours. If you still have the yellow one, I encourage you to buy the new one. By displaying the yellow banner, you are confusing your guests. That does not mean you need to get rid of the yellow one. No, it is part of the club’s history. But you should not display the yellow banner as the main banner. If you have ribbons, transfer them to the new banner. Those accomplishments deserve to be displayed. It’s part of your success and who you are as a club. Your banner is the first sign that your guests are at the right place. Like the “M” display it proudly for all to see.

Your Guest Kit:
What is in your guest kit? Is your material all from Toastmasters International? If not, is it on Toastmasters International stationary? Are you using the proper font? You can be creative in what you want your guests to take home with them. Just make sure you are using the right stationary. 

Your Agenda:
Does your agenda have the Toastmaster logo? What font are you using? Do you have the club mission on it? Does it list the officers of your club, when you meet, where you meet? Does it have your club name, number and the date of the meeting? If the agenda is the only piece of paper your guests take with them, you want to make sure it has all the information your guests nee to find you again.

You can find all kinds of branded material on Toastmasters International website under “Resources”. 

Your club meeting is your product. Imagine if McDonald had a different experience every time you walk in one of the restaurants. The quality of your meeting, starting with the way you brand your meeting, is what will bring your guests back. You can be creative, change your meeting format, have fun all within the brand’s guideline. 

Become as recognizable as the “M”.

Jocelyne Vezina, DTM

D86 Club Growth Director

Personal Branding @ Toastmasters

When I began my career in a multinational company decades ago, I was asked to attend a mandatory workshop for all employees focusing on the value of the company’s brand and the measures to safeguard it. Those conversations left a strong impression on me as a young manager. After all these years, the core message remains: it takes years if not decades to build a successful brand but it would only take one misuse to destroy it totally. I just googled and found out that my former employer’s brand* is now worth US$34.2 billion. No wonder!

Interestingly, as individuals, we ARE our own brand. Though we may not be able to attach a price tag to it, our personal and professional success depends much on our personal brand. Building and safeguarding it are by default essential life skills for us to master. What follows is a brief summary of personal brand* which I hope helps clarify the concept and prompt us to take necessary actions to insure its equity.

According to the experts, our personal brand is made up of at least 4 elements:

  • Competence: it refers to our knowledge, skills, and behaviors. It is the most obvious and basic quality of an individual and often referred to as the “ticket in the door”. Personally, I don’t believe we need to be an expert to be competent, especially in Toastmasters. However, it is important that we persist in and demonstrate our learning over time. After all, Toastmasters is about growing our competence in communication and leadership through active participation in the educational programs.
  • Image: it refers to how we present ourselves to others. It is primarily about our physical appearance, grooming and our demeanors in different situations, especially under stressful conditions. Our image is often being tested when we are “caught off guard”. Knowing our own hot bottons for stressors is important, as well as developing our capability to manage our emotions under stress. Serena William’s out-burst at the 2018 USA Tennis Open is an example of how a positive image could be tarnished in a matter of seconds.
  • Reputation: it refers to the opinions of others on us. At a glance, our reputation seems to be something beyond our immediate control. However, if we see reputation as a cause, rather than an effect, we would be much more proactive in managing our interactions with others. Being more empathic would be a good step in the right direction as we endeavor to see things from others’ perspectives. For those who are active in social media, perhaps be more discreet in our public posts and comments could be a case in point.
  • Visibility: it refers to the opportunities through which we could be seen. It may have to do with getting involved in larger scale projects and special assignments. Networking, volunteering, and speak-up are a few other ways to become more visible. In Toastmasters, it could mean visiting other clubs, performing different roles in meetings, taking up formal or informal roles at Club, Area, Division or District level, and of course submitting blogs to your District website once in awhile!

*General Electric Company

Philip Lai,

President(2018-2019 Term),

Port Credit Toastmasters Club

Club ‘Invasion’? Bring it On!

There were not 2, or 3, or 4... but 9 guests from Port Credit Toastmasters who literally ‘invaded’ our Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters meeting on January 11. WOW!!!!! With our club members’ habitual camaraderie and their amazing energy, that meeting was simply OUTSTANDING.

Following their visit and inspired by that initiative, we decided to pay back the 'invasion’, having 7 of our members join the Port Credit Toastmasters meeting on February 4th. The result? Another fantastic meeting with guests and members alike truly enjoying the experience! Have you ever considered doing a ‘club invasion’ of this sort? Well... we absolutely loved it AND recommend it!


The best part about visiting other clubs is being inspired by their best practices, to share these new ideas with your own club members. I was personally impressed by the way Port Credit Toastmasters has a “Guest Greeter” role in their agenda, to introduce each guest and give them the chance to speak or be introduced by a seasoned member.

In my corporate clubs, guests are usually introduced by the Toastmaster of the meeting, but depending on the experience of the person in the role, welcoming of guests and requesting their feedback at the end of the meeting are sometimes ‘hit and miss’ practices, rather than the formal process I saw performed so well by the “Guest Greeter” at Port Credit Toastmasters. A great meeting role to suggest and start applying in my other clubs!

They also have a “Book of the Week” practice, that allows their club members to borrow a book on Communication, Presentation Skills or Leadership for two weeks. What a neat idea and an additional way to entice guests to join the club, so they can also benefit from that unique opportunity!

Visiting other clubs is an awesome way to discover great ideas that can make the experience of guests and members a lot better in our own club(s). Make sure to plan a visit to another club if you have never done so -maybe even plan having an ‘invasion’ of your club members to another club, to change the routine up and give memorable and truly enjoyable meeting experiences to all involved, and share any awesome best practices you discover here in our blog! In the end, everyone leaves a winner thanks to the experience, and stronger inter-club connections are built.

At Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters we have enjoyed this couple of ‘invasions’ so much, that we plan to continue doing them throughout the year. Will your club be next???

Looking forward to our next club ‘invasion’!!!!!!

Amparo Cifuentes, DTM
VP Public Relations, Raising Champions Advanced Toastmasters 2018-2019

Sudbury Braves The Cold to Hold Area 3 International Speech and Evaluation Contest

Area 3 and Area 4 collaborated to hold back to back speech and evaluation contests at College Boreal in Sudbury on Sunday 27th January. Area 3 Contest 1 – 4pm and Area 4 from 4 – 5:20pm.

All clubs from Areas 3 and 4, were involved in the contest and 4 clubs had members competing in the Area 3 contest. Despite a -42C wind-chill there was a great turnout and fantastic speeches and evaluations.

Area 3 International Speech Contestants were Mickey Teed, Mary Ellen Shepley, Carla Gagne and Dan Vincent.

Area 3 Evaluation Contestants were Jennie Carroll, Shawna Kirkwood, Mette Kruger.

1st and 2nd placings proceed to the Division N Contest on Saturday 2nd March, 1-4pm at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Laurentian University, Sudbury.

Area3ContestArea 3 International Speech Contest 27Jan2019 at College Boreal, Sudbury ON
L to R: (Photo by Natalie Champagne)
John Cooney (Chair), Mickey Teed (1st), Mary Ellen Shepley (2nd), Carla Gagne (3rd) and Dan Vincent










Area 3 Speech Evaluation Contest 27Jan2019 at College Boreal, Sudbury ON
L to R: (Photo by Natalie Champagne)
John Cooney (Chair), Jennie Carroll (1st), Mette Kruger (3rd), Shawna Kirkwood (2nd), and Mickey Teed







Many thanks to our Chief Judge Christine Lewis, Area 4 Director Melanie Mayer, College Boreal for use of the wonderful Jean Watters Auditorium, to all of our judges, sergeants at arms, ballot counters and timers. Thank you to all our contestants for preparing high quality speeches for this contest.
We wish all of those moving on to Division N the best of luck!

John Cooney
Area 3 Director/Contest Chair

Enhancing Our Toastmasters Experience

People are attracted to Toastmasters because they see the opportunities to learn and grow in a friendly environment. At least, this was exactly why I was drawn to Toastmasters about two decades ago! Over the years, I have observed that, in order to retain, motivate, and excite our members, there are more that needs to be done by all members. We are engaged when we achieve our communication and leadership goals in a fun-loving and mutually supportive environment. While the club’s executives are tasked to foster an engaging club environment, it’s also our responsibility to help sustain a club culture that is fun and achievement oriented.

The good news is that Toastmasters does offer a time-proven structure that works. In other words, when we stick to the 'game plan', we will be on track to promote achievements (via prepared assignments and evaluations, etc.) and fun (table topics, quizes, humor, etc.) in our meetings. As such, we need full cooperation of our members, whose actions could be summarized as A.S.A.P. below:

A-ttend and fully present in meetings

S-ign up meeting roles in advance

A-ssist one another as necessary

P-repare speaking assignments

For most clubs, A.S.A.P. is exactly what they would need to succeed. On the other hand, for the more established clubs, there are actions beyond the basics that could be considered to further enhance the members’ experience given 'achievement' and “fun” have no real end point. There are always more challenging projects to be achieved as Toastmasters, and more “fun” in the meetings is always welcome!

In closing, I would like to encourage you, my fellow Toastmasters, to do the A.S.A.P. asap! At the same time, think of one additional specific action that you could take to help you achieve more and have more fun in your Toastmasters experience. After all, Toastmasters is not a spectator’s sports!

Philip Lai,

President, Port Credit Toastmasters Club (1474)

OPS North Bay Toastmasters Launches 2019 with Moments of Truth

January is a time for taking stock of things in our lives and for making New Year’s resolutions. So, OPS North Bay Toastmasters decided to kick off our first meeting of 2019 with a Moments of Truth event!

Led by our Club Coaches, Lisa Wilson and Joanna Liritzis, we took a closer look at where we want to improve as a club in the year ahead. And, with the benefit of brainstorming by a mix of new and older members, we have come up with some concrete ideas that we intend to put into action right away. We also had our first Pathways / Ice Breaker speech of the new year on the agenda, also titled Moments of Truth delivered by Melanie Alkins.

OPS North Bay Toastmasters is a relatively young club; it began six short years ago. We are indebted to the founding members, including current members Anthony Akomah, Pat Devereaux, Siobhan O’Leary and Arlene Phillips, for their vision and persistence. Our club is one of the few Ontario Public Service corporate clubs in the province.

As a smaller group, our members have taken on quite a bit of responsibility with executive and meeting roles. The energy and enthusiasm of the group and willingness of people to step up is infectious! This is a great base to build from as we grow our club in 2019.

OPSNorthBay TM

OPS North Bay Toastmasters at January 10, 2019 meeting. (missing are Club Coaches Lis Wilson and Joanna Liritzis)

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.

We’d love to have you visit us!
by Sandy Bell-Murray
2018 / 2019 President,
OPS North Bay Toastmasters

What is Your Intent When Conducting a Speechcraft Program?


You probably had it. Maybe there are some fellow Toastmasters that still experience the symptoms of this condition. It’s not contagious…just a nuisance. However, you took steps to address this condition and now look at you! 

Do you know what this condition is? It is called Glossophobia – the fear of public speaking.
To me, the word “public” alone is fearful – speaking in front of a crowd, a large gathering. One definition for the word ‘public’ is “done in open view”. When I hear the word “public”, I envision more than 50 faces before me.

As Toastmasters, we practice speaking to a small audience. We gain confidence in our ability to speak in front of an audience, whether it’s at work as part of a team; a community group; a church committee or at an association meeting.

The number of attendees at these gatherings range from maybe 5 to 10 to 20. A small audience. Speechcraft sessions and club meetings consist of a small audience.

What does this have to do with Speechcraft?

It’s all in the intent to ATTRACT non-Toastmasters to this program.

Generally speaking, Toastmasters International is an unknown entity. By telling the public to join Toastmasters to improve their public speaking skills probably won’t get them even interested in exploring what Toastmasters is all about, let alone sign up for a Speechcraft program or join a Toastmasters club.

Solution? – In your promotional fliers and announcements on social media, why not ask the public some questions about their “fear of public speaking”. Then position the benefits of Speechcraft as the answer to those questions. Your INTENT is to offer a solution to their fear by offering a workshop! For example –

  • Does the fear of speaking in front of a group evoke fear, make you sweat and get your heart pounding?
  • Do you find it difficult to find the words to express your ideas in a clear and concise manner?
  • Do you find it challenging to give effective feedback to fellow co-workers, friends and family?
  • Would you like to learn some techniques on how to make your presentations interesting, informative and interactive?

Here’s the solution: “Consider participating in a 6-8 week Speechcraft Program, where you will present short, effective speeches to a small group while improving your presentation skills with the help from an experienced Toastmaster advisor. All sessions are conducted in a friendly environment, no judgment is made and encouragement is abundant.”

The fear of speaking in front of an audience is all about the non-Toastmaster, not about joining a club to increase your membership strength – that’s a bonus. With the guidance from experienced Toastmasters, you can help them improve their speaking skills.

Sure, as a program host, you want these participants to join your Toastmasters Club...boost membership roster, add more variety to regular meetings, etc. Wait until the last session to make a pitch to join your club. Frequent mentioning of joining Toastmasters could disenchant the participant with the whole concept of Toastmasters and the benefits gained from Speechcraft.

If the program is conducted like an abridged Toastmaster meeting, the participant will feel more comfortable when they attend a regular club meeting…that’s a bonus!

Remember at the last Speechcraft session to INVITE all the participants to your club meeting and assure them they will receive a warm welcome and will be made to feel at home.

I believe as Toastmasters, we want to share our learning experiences; we want to encourage others to gain the benefits that you have gained; and, we want others to experience personal growth and development as they proceed through Pathways.

By marketing Speechcraft as a program to address “What’s in It for Me” (WIIFM) concerns, there is the potential to increase membership numbers, subtly. Continue to be mindful of who is attracted to Speechcraft and focus the benefits of Speechcraft as a solution to their “fears”.

Speechcraft plants the seeds to help grow the Toastmasters exposure to the community. With nurturing, mindfulness and persistence on the INTENT, your Toastmasters club will grow and who knows, maybe it will be responsible for the launching of a new club! That’s a bonus!

Margaret Waechter, ACG, ALB
Speechcraft Chair
District 86


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

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