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

The Lambs to Lions Toastmasters Club Hold a Speech-a-thon!

Dear Enthusiastic Reader,

The Lambs to Lions Toastmasters Club meets every 1st and 3rd Saturday at the Mississauga Central Library from 11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. Founded on May 2011, the club offers a hands-on learning experience for new members through advanced evaluation techniques and leadership opportunities.

On December 2, 2017 our club hosted a special ‘Speech-a-thon’ style meeting with 5 scheduled speakers who presented on a wide variety of topics enriched with knowledge, courage, and humour. It was certainly my first speech-a-thon experience and I walked away feeling motivated and entertained with much food for thought. So let me give you a snapshot of what happened that mid Saturday morning in one of the meeting rooms at the Central Library.

Mike Filev, one of our newest members kicked off the speech-a-thon with his ice-breaker speech. This Bulgarian born-Canadian told us that it was his dream to improve his public speaking skills. With a speech title of ‘Breathing deeply, the main stream media and getting the things you want in life', Mike walked us through the tricks of the mainstream media and how it has conditioned us for failure. He also discussed ways in which we can overcome our fears and achieve our goals more effectively. What was the take away? Well... not to be shallow breathers - to practice deep and mindful breathing - 5 seconds in and 5 seconds out and to try our best to re-connect our breath with positive thoughts. He received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech, a practice we follow for all ice-breaker speeches to recognize the effort. It is also key to laying a solid foundation of encouragement for all newbies. Congrats Mike, well done!

Tiffany Chen, one of our long standing members as well as the Area Director for Area 85 in District 86 was next in line to deliver her speech on 'Social Anxiety'. She is currently working on achieving her ACS designation. She introduced the concept of social anxiety, the fears associated with interacting with others, being judged and the feeling of inadequacy etc. Tiffany also walked us through the symptoms such as a racing heart, sweaty palms and a dry throat and mouth. She spoke about the 'Flight, Fight and Freeze Theory' which we all can relate to. So what was the takeaway? To think positively, for e.g. 'I am unique vs I am weird' and to use the visualization technique more often to ease things. She concluded by reminding us that everything requires practice and by changing our attitude towards the way we deal with social anxiety, we too can overcome this. Well done, Tiffany!

Aanchal Kamra, the President of our club took on the audience with her speech 'Introduction to Graphology' - an analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting to study human behavior. Her speech starts her journey towards the ACG designation. She took us through a simple exercise that provided insight on how we can use graphology to understand the writer’s psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics, generally considered a pseudoscience. She also made us write down a sentence on a blank sheet of paper which brought us all to the edge of our seats followed by a nail biting reaction, when she started to explain our characteristics via our handwriting. What a fascinating subject. Aanchal, you never fail to spark our curiosity!

Michael McAra, another one of our long standing members delivered his speech on the 'Flint Water Crisis'. This was a 3-5 minute speech followed by a Q & A session. Michael wore the hat of the newly hired Reputation Management Consultant for the City of Flint and spoke to the media [the audience] and provided an update on the status of the water crisis. It was a tough job to defend the City, but Michael had done his research! He also sparked our interest in reading more about this crisis.

Peter Barrett, our final speaker delivered a humourous speech themed, 'I have an idea!', a speech towards the ACS designation. He encouraged us to pursue our creative aspirations and inspirations and how to make at least some of our ideas come to life. After all, from young to old and around the world, some of us bravely convert our ideas into action, which can result in an outcome that ranges between 'Yes! I did it and it is successful' to 'maybe we need to think through this a little more' - Sounds familiar?? Peter went onto sharing his childhood stories about the mischief he got into with his brother and had the entire room roaring with laughter. Jokes apart, the stories had a motivating factor embedded as object lessons. So next time we go 'Hey, I have an idea!' don't hesitate and don't be afraid to give it wings!

All 5 speeches were successfully delivered and evaluated by 2 senior members of our club, Jocelyne Vezina and Iona Rodricks as well as our 3 honoured guest evaluators, Jeanie Lai, Stephen Stachin and John Constant.

The structured evaluation is one of my absolute favourite sessions at each meeting. There is a lot to learn from the manner in which evaluations are presented to the speaker. The suggestions / recommendations can be adopted by anyone who is hoping to deliver a speech in future. A true learning experience indeed.

My journey with Toastmasters officially started in August 2017 and it has been an amazing ride filled with new found knowledge, motivation and enriching experiences. I enjoy and value the camaraderie and look forward to exploring the path ahead.

Dear patient reader, I now pose the question to you, "Have I given you enough reasons to come witness us in action on a Saturday for 1.5 hours and perhaps join the Lambs to Lions Toastmasters club?”

Interested? FANTASTIC!

Got questions? AS YOU SHOULD!

I welcome you to connect with me on

Respectfully submitted,
Ayesha Bhikha
VP Education, Lambs to Lions Toastmasters
Club Number 1633651, Area 85, Division D, District 86

Spring Conference Workshops - Sneak Peak!

Professional Development Workshops

Mallika Sothinathan DTM – Communicating Through Video
Friday Night

Mallika SothinathanBio
Mallika has over 7 years experience in production and direction for private and government Television Channels in India and Canada. The prominent stations are Zee TV, Doordarshan India and ETV. In Canada, Mallika worked with Rogers TV and Deepa Mehta films. Currently she is working on her own home production, New Horizon Media Arts, writing, directing and producing the Documentary film 'Crossing the River of Life'.

Mallika has a Masters in Mass Communication from Mass Communication Research Center majoring in direction for film and TV. She specializes in doing corporate films, infomercials, documentaries and news reporting having produced several radio documentaries for All India radio as well. Mallika is currently the Division C Director.

Video is a powerful medium of communication. It is the most effective way to communicate in today’s very visual world. Technology has made this easy and simple. A cell phone, a tripod and a lapel microphone can do wonders for a video presentation. This is also an effective tool to evaluate one’s own speech. With the International Speech Contest requiring video submissions at the Regional level, now is a great time to learn how to video tape your presentations like a pro.

Zlata CC and Mike Proudlock DTM – From Speaker to Author
Saturday AM

Zlata and Mike Proudlock3Bio
The Proudlock team is a dynamitic duo with a lifetime history of success. Zlata Proudlock has over 30 years’ experience in education as a teacher; she recently self-published her first book. Zlata has been a Toastmaster since 2015. Mike Proudlock, retired from his career with Peel Region, has been active in Toastmasters since 2003, serving in roles at all levels, including at the District level, most recently as Program Quality Director.

Want your message to reach thousands? – write a book. Self-Publishing your work can be very intimidating, but the rewards in the end are worth it. Give yourself he best chance at succeeding by attending this workshop. Here you will not only learn 'one way' to self-publish a book but, also, how to set attainable goals, the process of working with an online publisher, marketing your book, use of social media and more... By publishing your own book, you can empower hundreds, even thousands of readers with your inspirational message; achieve your goal of becoming an author; and publish on your own terms and on your own schedule. Who said you can't have it all?

Penny Tremblay ACG, CL – Give and Be Rich in Workplace Relationships - Tapping the Human Side of Business
Saturday AM

Penny TremblayBio
Founder of the Tremblay Leadership Center, offering training and keynotes, internationally, for 20+ years. Thousands have benefited through developing skills and confidence to be productive, play nice in the sandbox and climb the ladder of success. Penny’s Advanced Meditation certificate from Harvard, combined with years of conflict resolution facilitation in workplaces, bring stories, experiences and guidance for productive, peaceful and profitable business. Penny joined the Toastmasters Program in 2003.

Workplace and business culture rooted in human connection is more challenged than ever in this digital era. With millennials tipping the workplace population scale, relationship strategies to build productive, peaceful and profitable teams that are engaged with their corporate purpose are critical.

Penny’s message is backed by her best-selling book, Give and Be Rich, which invites us to look deeper into our own authentic inventory, and find more within to give. Suitable for all who work with people, this inspiring workshop helps the audience reach new potential, realizing that relationships are the most valuable asset for business. When we leverage the power of connection and relationships, we earn loyalty from our members, clients and work teams.


Club Excellence Workshops

Dennis Bartel DTM – Meaningful Meetings
Friday Night

Dennis Bartel

Dennis is a Graphic Designer and Software Developer who focuses on the User Experience where rules and procedures guide the process. He credits being “that rule and procedure guy” with his success in business and Toastmasters. Dennis has been a toastmaster for 10 years, serving as a President’s Distinguished Club President twice. He is a current President and Founder of a newly chartered club and has been a District Officer for 7 years. 

Been to a meeting where the Chairperson stumbled through; where there was no order, respect for rules, time, or members? This interactive workshop will give you tools to make meetings meaningful through knowing and using Parliamentary Procedures and dispelling the myth that rules mean less fun, less productivity and less confusion.

Unfortunately, clubs tend to shy away from following and using Parliamentary Procedure. This can cause ineffective meetings, misuse of power by the President or Chairperson and lack of respect to the member. Dennis will explore the responsibilities of the Chairperson/Presiding Officer and of the member. The members have an obligation to help and direct the Chairperson throughout the meeting. This workshop is about how to do this with respect, order and fun.

Carol Todd-Skuce DTM – Excellence is a Choice
Saturday AM

Carol Todd Skuce

Carol has had a successful career as an Educator and as a Real Estate Agent. Carol is a self-proclaimed Toastmasters 'Junkie' and refers to herself as a ‘Lifer’. She has served as Area Governor for 2 different Areas, District Marketing Ambassador, and is a past Division Governor. Carol is the Sponsor of a strong, supportive and creative club that has just celebrated their 5-year anniversary. This club has achieved President’s Distinguished every year since it’s inception. Learn how Carol and her team successfully built that club and overcame membership challenges in many other clubs.

Do you look forward to Toastmasters every week? Do you feel pumped after a meeting? A Toastmasters meeting should have friendship, laughter, ideas, helpful suggestions and a sense and purpose. Let’s share ideas to improve our clubs, our collective experiences and, with fresh eyes, explore what works.

Diane Gordon DTM – The Pathway to Excellence
Saturday AM

Diane GordonBio
Diane is successful Realtor of 38 years, owner of London Living and an Etiquette Consultant since 2011. It was while attending the Protocol School of Washington that she realized the need to improve her confidence and public speaking skills. Diane Gordon joined Toastmasters in 2012 and hasn't looked back. Diane has filled many leadership roles in Toastmasters, successfully, with passion, commitment and style.

This workshop will motivate and empower you in your life’s path to be your personal and professional best in all your opportunities inside and outside of Toastmasters. Through role-play, “incorrect way - better way - best way”, experience the difference as we all learn by doing. Be inspired to take your Club meetings, using professional practices, from ordinary to extraordinary in the pursuit of club, personal and professional excellence. Through the interactive workshop Diane will use practical examples and breakout sessions to reinforce a path to excellence in club meetings, careers and personal development. In the words of Diane, “Excellence is not an option; it is a way of life – a path. Elevate with Excellence.”


Leadership Workshops

Shawn Salokannel DTM – Eating the Elephant
Friday Night

Shawn Salkokannel

Shawn has worked in the insurance industry in a variety of leadership positions, from customer service to training and accounting. With a Bachelor of Commerce program from Concordia University in Montreal, he is bilingual. Shawn has been active in district roles as area, division director and most recently Conference Co-Chair. Shawn was Club Coach of the year in 2015 and won a Spirit Award in 2016. Shawn is a strong believer that, within every problem, there is a solution.

Can you eat an Elephant?  Have you wanted to take on a leadership challenge that seems too big to sink your teeth into? Don’t let that stop you.  Shawn recently took on the challenge of Conference Chair, a role that petrified him but through which he grew in ways he had not anticipated. Shawn is here to share his personal leadership journey with the conference (and work) and to inspire you to overcome your own fear and face your own elephant!

John Wang DTM – Mentor So You Both Win
Saturday AM

John WangBio
John is currently a lecturer at George Brown college, teaching a course on information security where he actively encourages students to seek mentorship. He has over a decade of mentoring experience with a variety of organizations, Public, For Profit and Not for Profit and has seen the value in both having a mentor and being a mentor in your life. John Wang has been with Toastmasters for a decade where he has served as both a member mentor and a club mentor successfully.

So, you are now a mentor. So what do you do next? Mentoring can provide a lifetime of rewarding experiences. Through a series of anecdotal stories, John will share both his successes and failures as a mentor. The stories will provide lessons on both what to do as well as, what not to do as a mentor. This interactive workshop will provide you with tips and secrets to build a relationship that is fruitful to your mentee and satisfying to you.

Bob Moore DTM – Getting to Yes
Saturday AM

Bob Moore2Bio
Bob is a thought leader within his industry. He has appeared on CTV, ABC, and City News. He is published in various security industry magazines and the Globe and Mail. Bob is also the Treasurer of CANASA, Canada’s security organization. He is currently the Country Manager with Axis Communications. Bob completed his DTM within 27 months.

Bob Moore credits his success in Leadership to understanding the role of influence. His early International business experience taught him the value of influence in developing cohesive teams. Today he will share the critical lessons learned in leadership that serve him today as Country Manager with Axis Communications.

The workshop will feature highlights of wisdom gained from an international business career. Complete with discoveries and lessons as Bob developed his teams goals and strategies, he will interject how these same approaches can work for you.


Speaking Skills Workshops

Jonathan Siegel DTM – Find the Funny!
Saturday AM

Jonathan SiegelBio
By profession a psychologist, Jonathan has been told that his mind is a dangerous neighborhood, that he shouldn’t go in there alone! A Distinguished Toastmaster, Jonathan has done some amateur acting, both inside and outside his home. Jonathan came in first place in the 2017 Fall District 86 Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how to uncover humour in any of your speeches? In this workshop you will learn the ten basic principles and four `attitudes’ for building your bit of comedy. Come to laugh and learn! You will pinpoint your premise and discover how to mine the underlying magic for finding the funny.

Gina Kennedy DTM – Lost in Translation
Saturday AM

Gina KennedyBio
Living vicariously through herself in this adventure of life, Gina is a mother of two amazing adults. A toastmaster, a friend and a person with a hearing loss – Gina is battery operated. As Secretary to the Board, Academic Council and Joint Senate Committee of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, her areas of expertise are in governance and policy administration where clear communication is essential in dealing with complex ideas and various skills. Gina’s past 8 Toastmasters years have been filled with amazing milestones in mentoring, leadership and speaking.

“Communication gone wrong – what was the message?”
The world is wired for miscommunication and it’s especially problematic when we cross cultures or use shorthand social media and e-mail to communicate. But this is not a new problem. Every time we meet someone and every time we talk or write, we must ensure we communicate positive intent to build trust and understanding. Through sharing anecdotes from the trenches, the group will discuss communication challenges and how to overcome them. Participants will get into the shoes and the mindset of the person opposite them.

John MacDonald DTM, PDG – Authenticity
Saturday AM

John Macdonald

John is the owner of Mac 1 Industries Ltd and IT Measures Ltd. The companies are involved in fire protection and business performance management including online training. Outside of work, John has been involved in the Canadian Fire Alarm Association as chapter president and National Education Chair. He has served in numerous District roles including D60 Governor during the reformation process in which D86 was formed. During that year, John led a double team of Lt. governors of marketing and a double team of Lt. governors of education and training, overseeing more than 300 clubs.

The next year John had the unique position of being the immediate past governor of both D86 and D60, each with their own completely different culture. John credits being authentic in your communication and leadership as making the difference in leading such an enormous team and succeeding in your professional life.

Authentic communicators are in high demand today. Their ability to project open-mindedness, understanding and confidence helps them create worthwhile ideas by being true to their principles and involving others. They are powerful listeners. Authentic communicators understand themselves and know that you have to be believed to be heard. Discover the joy in uncovering your own authentic voice and the difference it will make in both your Toastmasters and professional path. Speaking authentically is a trait of excellence.


Brampton Gavel Club Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary


On Saturday, December 2 the Brampton Gavel Club (Club No. 2888888) celebrated its fifth anniversary as an affiliate of Toastmasters International. The celebration was attended by approximately fifty club members (Gaveliers), parents, and a few special guests. A fun time was had everyone in attendance!

The meeting was filled with many festivities. For example, Brampton City Councillor for Wards 2 & 6, Doug Whillans and several members of the Fletcher’s Meadow Community Group were on hand to send their sincere congratulations for this remarkable accomplishment. Malcolm Jones, the founder of the Brampton Gavel Club, helped give an oral history of the club’s early beginnings and tremendous growth. The Gaveliers were later treated to a wonderful keynote speech by Neil Dunsmore who spoke to them about his three sons and encouraged everyone to live a life worth talking about. Following a fantastic potluck, the several Gavelier’s shared their hidden talents, which included: card magic, drawing / painting, and music (playing the drums and recorder, as well as caroling).

The Brampton Gavel Club was established on Saturday, September 8, 2012 and officially became an affiliate of Toastmaster International on November 30, 2012. As previously noted, it was founded by Malcolm Jones with the support of Brampton Speakeasy Toastmasters Club. Since its humble beginnings, the Gavel Club has provided youth – ages ten to seventeen – a safe and supportive environment to enhance their communication and leadership skills through the use of Toastmasters education material. In fact, the only significant difference between a Toastmasters club and the Brampton Gavel Club is the age of its members.

Today, the Brampton Gavel Club has become an integral part of the Fletcher’s Meadow community in Brampton. Indeed, I had the honour of receiving the Fletcher’s Meadow Community Group’s 2017 Community Spirit Award for my four plus years of service as a Counsellor of the Gavel Club. It has been an absolute blessing to have the opportunity to help youth develop and enhance their communication and leadership skills. Some parents cannot believe the difference the Gavel Club has made within the lives of their children. These Gaveliers are truly amazing and could certainly give many adult Toastmasters a run for their money in speech contests if they were allowed to compete.

The Brampton Gavel Club – which meets every Saturday morning from 10:15am to 12:15pm at Fortinos Supermarket (35 Worthington Ave., Brampton) – currently has thirty-eight active members who are always eager to complete speeches, as well as learn from special guest speakers. That being said, if you have a story or lesson you want to share please feel free to reach out to me via email (see below). Even better, if you want to have a more significant impact on youth than just doing a speech, lesson, or YLP, consider starting your own Gavel Club. There is currently a dire need for a third Gavel Club in Brampton, which is evident by the fact that there are over SIXTY young people waiting to join the Brampton Gavel Club (yes, that is not a typo)! Youth deserve the gift of Toastmasters, too! If you would like more information about Gavel Clubs please feel free to read Muktha Tumkur’s, ACG, ALB, blog post “What on Earth is a Gavel Club?” or visit

Ryan Belluz, OCT, ACB, ALB
Brampton Gavel Club

Beyond Going Beyond Geographical Boundaries

I don’t know how many Toastmasters would do the amount of commuting Michael McAra, DTM does from Toronto to his club in Mississauga. I’d guess more than a few, especially for the Toastmasters living outside major cities.

Another question is how far would you go?

Meena Gurung, a Toastmaster since November 1, 2017, lives in Chapleau. Meena first learned about Toastmasters in her native Nepal while working in the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Program. The long distance made it too far to travel to Kathmandu. Meena returned to university for graduate studies in forestry. Fortunately, she had highly marketable skills needed in Canada and moved to Canada in 2005 with her husband and two daughters. She found employment in Hornepayne in 2008.

Recently Meena was hired by the Ministry of Natural Resources in Chapleau, about three and a half hours south of Hornepayne and only a little over a two-hour drive to the nearest Toastmaster Club in Timmins.

Porcupine Toastmasters now has a new member, who made the 200 km trip from Chapleau to deliver her Ice Breaker speech. Meena told the members of Porcupine Toastmasters, the story of her journey to find a club. Meena grew up on a subsistence farm in Nepal. Most girls of her generation did not have the opportunity to attend school yet Meena was able to complete university, emigrate to Canada and begin a new path of learning as a Toastmaster. Where will Pathways take her?

Colleen Charland, DTM

Going Beyond Geographical Boundaries

Something interesting to note about Michael McAra, DTM…. Michael lives in downtown Toronto (District 60), but his Toastmaster home club is Lambs to Lions (District 86), a Club that he is a founding member of. He does not work in Mississauga either. He simply loves the Club and is very committed to it’s success. He commutes between his home and the Club meetings. He notes, “I have an express GO bus that gets me to the Mississauga Central Library, one hour door to door so it’s an easy commute, and as a Charter member, I am proud of my home club in Mississauga.” How many Toastmasters would do this amount of commuting for a Club?

He has also been very involved in providing support to Division leaders in District 86 by helping with our contests. Michael served as Chief Judge at the Area 82 and Division D contests. He recently delivered an Art of Effective Evaluations workshop within Division D. He is very open and willing to share his knowledge and support so that we delivered exceptional events. Kyla Werret, Division D Director notes, “He has always gone out of his way to help on many occasions. Mike always sets an exemplary leadership example. He has a lot to offer and offers his knowledge, time, and dedication to Toastmasters freely”.

In the past, Michael has been a member of two District 60 clubs and he still visits them from time to time. Aside from everything else on his plate, he is also supporting a club looking to charter in District 60. He retired early from the Bay Street “rat race”, but keeps himself busy taking a US Constitutional Law course. This may explain why he loves and excels at being a Chief Judge at Toastmasters contests! When he lives in Toronto and comes to Mississauga so regularly for his Toastmasters, he is truly a member who goes above and “beyond, geographical boundaries”.

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALB

The Simple Finesse of Very Effective Evaluations!

Mississauga Sales and Marketing TM

Muktha Tumkur, ACG, ALB delivered a workshop on the Art of Effective Evaluations on December 1. There was a terrific turnout of 25 Toastmasters all eager to elevate their speech evaluation skills many levels up. Many thanks have to be given to Mississauga Sales and Marketing Toastmasters Club # 4353901, for providing the venue at no charge.

Although this workshop is part of a series of prepared presentations, Muktha added life and depth to the material by adding her perspective, making it interesting. From the beginning she made it very clear that this workshop is for speakers and evaluators and how we as individuals as speakers have a lot of power to control the quality of our clubs.

Two test speakers were in attendance to deliver speeches from which the workshop activities were based. The evening included a lot of “hands on” exercises where we had the ability to complete evaluations in real time. There were “ah-ha” moments for many of us when we completed the survey on how effectively our own clubs handle evaluations.

The workshop stressed that the relationship between the speaker and the evaluator begins days before the speech is delivered, not just minutes before. When the speaker contacts their evaluator in advance, the speaker can identify if their evaluator is even attending the meeting. This gives time for course correction and improves the quality of the meetings.

The role of the evaluating the evaluators was also stressed and how this individual is key to further elevate any speech evaluations, but most importantly, to draw attention for needed improvement on any of the evaluations. At the end, Muktha challenged us as speakers and evaluators to use the tools from the evening’s workshop to help elevate the quality of our speech evaluations. We need to ensure that each speaker is left uplifted! After all, if we don’t leave speakers eager to present again, we have not done our jobs.

George How Pak Hing, P.Eng., ACS, ALS

A Canadian Christmas Miracle!

The Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club is already a leader since it is the first Chinese English Bilingual Toastmasters Club in Canada! Bilingual clubs are not new to Toastmasters. There are several other bilingual clubs in Canada and the US such as French and Spanish clubs. Tracy Zhang, ACG, ALB, is the innovative founding member of the Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club who had the foresight to see that there was a large demand for a Chinese English bilingual Club. The analytical and detail oriented Zhang works at SNC Lavalin Nuclear as a Senior Safety Analyst. Zhang noted, “It is a privilege to be able to express yourself and listen to others. This will make it much more effective to find the common ground and cooperate at work or at home. Seven years Toastmaster training has helped me tremendously in the area of communication and leadership. The new Miracle Chinese English Toastmaster club will help more people in the Chinese community have the opportunity to access the privilege.”
Zhang has been wonderfully supported with another club sponsor, Bin Ren,her club mentors, Xiaopin Jin and Tiffany Chen and her own mentor, Mark Hayes, DTM.
I had the benefit of being able to attend the first launch meeting for Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club a few weeks ago. I was so happy to have been there to see the amount of energy that the prospective members brought to the meeting. I was really pleased to see how these prospective new members were very eager to speak and delivered powerful speeches and Table Topics in both Chinese and English. Their eagerness to speak was as though there were years of pent up speeches inside all of these budding Toastmasters. I also noticed a lot of smiles and laughing throughout the night because everyone was having a good time in the supportive and comfortable environment. It made me think that there may be a lot of opportunities to form more bilingual clubs to meet demand. Bilingual clubs are another option for those people who have English as their second language or people who have English as first language to practice public speaking in the second language such as Chinese. If you too can foresee a need for a bilingual club we would be happy to share more information with you about the Miracle experience.
In the meantime, the Miracle Chinese English Toastmasters Club is almost at 20 members and the Miracle continues to grow. With the pending December holidays, we anticipate that the Club will charter in January, in time for the Chinese New Year, which begins February 16. This will mean that the Club will be born under the sign of the Rooster. The Chinese Zodiac notes that the Roosters “…are very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented. Roosters are very confident in themselves." Sounds like the quintessential Toastmasters to me! If you would like to be a part of incredible Canadian Toastmasters history, please join us and contact George How Pak Hing, Vice President, Membership at for more information.
Muktha Tumkur, ACS, ALB

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

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