Using YouTube for Your Club

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Watch cat videos! Learn how to use a product! Get World Champion speech tips!

Who hasn’t gone on YouTube for any of the above?

If you haven’t, you’re in rare company, because according to Algonquin College’s Social Media Hub, Canadians watch more YouTube videos than anyone else in the world.

In this blog, we will cover:

  • is YouTube right for your club.
  • video content,
  • YouTube video structure,
  • how to brand your YouTube channel,
  • what to consider for live streaming
  • and additional fun features.

YouTube is a social media platform owned by Google. It’s one of the largest online video sharing platforms out there.

Worldwide, 100 hours of video is uploaded every single minute.

Is YouTube right for your club?

It depends…If used well, YouTube can be a great platform for an audience to get to know your club.

Having a YouTube channel doesn’t mean a club member uploads a Pathways speech each week. To attract a non-toastmaster audience, become the go-to reference for them. Don’t give them a speech project video or a club meeting video – give them “how-to’s”. For example, post speaking tips directed towards sales professionals, or offer leadership strategies to new managers, such as how to give a better evaluation.

Hybrid meeting? Consider a behind the scenes view of the room set up. Showcase what really happens before the meeting start. Give people an idea of equipment positioning and the type of equipment used. Present your club’s best practises. People are curious; tap into their curiosity, then invite them to one of your meetings to see your members in action.

Give viewers a sneak peek of members practising their speeches before giving the final version at the club meeting. A polished presenter can seem intimidating to a non-toastmaster. If people loose sleep days before a work presentation, they won’t relate to the member that is very confident onscreen. Your non-toastmaster will feel they could never as good. But if you showcase members practicing speeches with gaffes and do-overs, your club becomes more approachable in the viewer’s mind. You strengthen the relationship with your viewer by making the interaction more genuine. Then invite them to your meeting to see the final version of the presentation.

How do you use YouTube for your club? It’s the content.

Understand your audience. What is the style of your membership? For example, if your club meets in a corporate location and attracts professionals as your guests, you may want your videos to be more specialized for your core attendees. If your club meets in an arts studio and attracts more creative guests, you can be a bit more innovative to showcase your club in different ways.

YouTube is a fantastic place to tell your story. Audiences relate to companies when they’re able to get to know its members. Apply the same principle to your club. Tell us what made you want to attend Toastmasters. Or talk about the struggles coming up with a contest speech. YouTube is a great platform to build a connection with your online community.

Here’s an interesting statistic from 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. How does that statistic apply to your club? Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Ultimately, its about professional development; that is our product.

Regardless of the content you post, double check how it looks on your mobile device: more than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices (source:

YouTube video structure.

When it comes to structure, keep these four in mind:

  • Hook
  • Channel Welcome
  • Content
  • Call to Action

Capturing all four creates great video.

The average video length on YouTube is 12 minutes (source: Like a 5 – 7-minute Toastmasters speech, you don’t want to pack too much information in a short amount of time. If a contest winning speech can get a message across in 5 – 7 minutes, you can too. Then play it by ear as you grow your subscribers and you see what really works with your audience.


This is the first part of your video. It’s what catches a viewer’s attention. It takes about 10 seconds for a viewer to decide whether they want to watch your video to the end – or not. So the first 10 seconds are key. If your video is closer to the seven-minute mark, keep your hook around 10 seconds. If it’s a longer video, you can extend your hook accordingly.

There are different ways to have a hook. Start off with a fun fact like, Richard Branson, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, and Julia Roberts have suffered from glossophobia (source: Toastmasters), then continue on with something that has to do with your fun fact. Or offer a problem posed as a question. Starting off with a problem lets people know that you’re going to be talking about this throughout the video.

Keep in mind the style of your audience and if your hook choice is appropriate for them and your club.

Channel Welcome.

This is where you provide a short introduction of your club and your channel – what your channel is about. It’s a great place to connect with your audience and build your online community. Be concise; the main reason that your viewers are on your channel is because they have a problem that you are going to solve for them. So just briefly, tell them a little bit about your club, and include a call to action.


Content is the heart of your video. Its why viewers will stay to watch. Structure your video well. Spark interest at the start – lead with the problem, then reward your viewer with the solution. Go into detail about the problem and how your club can resolve their issue. Show how the Toastmasters solution works through a story or an anecdote. Additional ideas include tutorials, behind the scenes (as already mentioned), and trends (i.e., tapping into seasonal toasting tips, award ceremony speeches, etc.).

Call to Action.

Here is where you tell viewers to subscribe, like, and share your content if they enjoyed your video. Your call to action is at the end of the video but it’s always nice to mention it in the beginning, just in case your viewer doesn’t have time to watch the entire video. If you have a longer video (you have grown your subscribers and determined that they will watch a longer video), you can remind them to comment or like your video at your mid-way point.

As you start to close, you can say, “subscribe to this channel”, or “comment, like, share, and support my channel” or similar. If your club has a newsletter, tell viewers how to sign up for it. Include the links in the description to all your social media platforms. If people like your videos, chances are, they will follow your other platforms too.

Don’t forget to tell viewers where they can get more information about your club, such as your club’s website.

Branding your Channel.

This is the creative part.

Here is a branding checklist.

  • Channel icon
  • Channel Banner
  • Channel Description
  • Channel Tailer
  • Playlist
  • Watermark

We’ll go through each one and give you an idea of the different aspects of your channel to keep in mind once you get started.

Channel Icon.

This a small, visual representation of your channel. It will appear in more places on YouTube than any other element of your channel. For example, when you leave a comment on a video, your Channel Icon shows up next to it. Your Channel Icon can be a logo, or photo of a section of your club banner. For brand consistency, use an icon that is the same icon on all of your club’s other social media platforms.

Channel Banner.

This appears as soon as you enter the homepage of any YouTube channel. Choose an image that represents what your club does, such as a photo of club meeting where members look engaged and supported, or a member presenting a workshop. Images are 2048 x 1152 pixels at max, 6 MB.

Channel Description.

This is a brief summary about your channel and what viewers can expect from your videos. Have keywords in the description that relate to what your club does. YouTube is owned by Google, so it’s a great platform to be searchable. Take advantage of this. Really consider your keywords so that you can be easily found online when people search you. Your YouTube videos will pop up on search engines because of the keywords in your description. include links to your social media channels and your website in the description because it’s an easy way for people find you.

Channel Trailer.

This is the first video that people see once they go to the homepage of your channel. You are giving viewers a preview of your channel so they can learn more and subscribe. It can be switched out with your newest video or it can be a milestone that your club has hit that will reside there for a few months.


Simply, its your collection of videos. Playlists are important for your channel because it categorizes the different types of content that you have.

If you have a huge jumble of videos, it becomes hard for your audience to see what you have, so ensure titles are very clear and will make sense to your non-toastmaster viewer.


The watermark is important because it allows you to brand yourself on your channel and video. Your watermark displays the name of your club. It can also be a logo. When clicked on, the watermark allows viewers to subscribe to a channel from within the video itself. If your club has other social media platforms, display your handle so it’s easy for the viewer to reach out to your club through those.
YouTube recommends that watermark be square, around 150 x 150, or 100 x 100 pixels.

Live streaming.

YouTube Live is an easy way to reach an audience in real time. Whether streaming an educational speech or hosting a workshop, you are engaging live with your online community. This is similar to what you would see on Instagram or Facebook, and there are factors to consider when creating a live stream video. Some of them include the equipment, your plan, promotion, engagement, location, goals, and content.

For creating any video, consider your equipment. You can use a webcam, a D-SLR camera, or a phone to really capture a good quality video. Positioning your camera or phone on a tripod ensures that the video view will be steady. A good external mic will eliminate background noise.

When it comes to lighting, ensure your space is well lit. Some use a ring light, which has dropped both in price and size, and can be easily clipped onto a cell phone or laptop. It’s very small and handy and gives you that light that you need for those videos.

Ring light caveat: if you wear glasses, ring lights are not your friend. Eyeglasses tend to reflect direct forward-facing light sources. Instead, grab a couple of lights, and position them angled above your head height but to the side. Other options include increasing the level of ambient light, using a large soft light, turning your wall into a broad light source, or tilting your glasses slightly.

When preparing your live videos, you want to:

  • plan,
  • promote,
  • and engage.

Let’s go through each one of these.


Think about why you want to go live as rather than just creating video. Going live can be helpful for your audience because they can ask questions in real time. And it’s a great way for you to engage with your community. For example, if you have followers on Facebook or Instagram and you want to convert them to subscribers, building anticipation that you’re going to be live can get them to move into your channel at that time and date.

However, live streaming can be daunting. It’s on the air. You need a lot of preparation for it. If you are just starting out, its better for your sanity to simply create your videos beforehand and then upload them to your channel. Once you become more comfortable with the media, explore the live feature.

Consider team roles. If you are able to have other people involved, have a camera person. That’s one less thing for you to worry about. Have chat moderator so that you can stay engaged with your audience while someone else is talking to them over chat.

Decide a good time to go live. Ask your followers on Instagram and Facebook or whatever social media channels you are using, what time they would find most appropriate for them. You can also check the YouTube analytics which is a great feature for YouTube creators.

Prepare your channel by having a good description, thumbnail image, and a call to action in your video description.

Prepare and practise your talking points beforehand. You want to have a conversation with your audience, not look like you are reading off a script.

Video checklist. Frame your shot so that aren’t any distractions for your viewers in your background. Ensure your lighting is on-point. Check your audio by doing a test run to confirm you can be heard.

Charge all your batteries. Verify your connection by running a speed test. Turn off all potential interruptions (cell phones and notifications on your desktop or laptop). If you have family members in the house, double check that they know not to interruption you. Have water handy.


When doing a live event, notify your viewers about a week in advance, and again, at least 48 hours before you go live. Send invitations by email or create a Facebook event or Instagram countdown. Post the information on social media sites and encourage your club members to do the same. Create a short teaser video to get your audience excited that you will be going live on YouTube. Do it old school too. Tell guests coming to your club meetings about your live event.


When you have a live stream video, there is always the chance that viewers may arrive late. For them to feel involved, it’s a good time to do a recap, such as: “we just discussed “x”, and now we’ll talk about “y”. This also lets the others catch up if they happened to miss something that you said. But its up to you to judge on the spot the best way to handle this. Base it on how much you’ve discussed and how many viewers are still arriving. This may be out of your control. However, you do want to start at the time you said you would start because you want to build loyalty among those already there.

You may see people’s names pop up as they come into your live stream. Give them shout-outs. They may not be regular names. If its their handle, that’s okay. You can say “welcome 1234catlover”. You are letting them know that you see them, which is a terrific way to build an online community.

The live chat feature is a fantastic engagement feature, so make sure you enable it and have people commenting and chatting with each other while you are live. If it gets too much for you, its okay to mention that you will get to the questions towards the end. And as with a regular video, always tell your viewers to like, comment and share your channel and your video.

Uploading a video.

Not sure how to upload a video? Its easy to be intimidated by something you’ve never done before. Start with watching one of the many beginner how-to videos on YouTube. Is a member hitting their YouTube channel? Reach out to them and ask them to show you their process.

Once you are in YouTube, sign into your YouTube studio. YouTube Studio is a home for creators where you can manage your channel and interact with your audience. To get to your Studio, click on the camera icon on the top right. From your studio, click on “Create” on the top right to upload videos; choose the file that you want to upload. Very quick to do.

Why use YouTube Live Stream over Facebook Live?

It depends on what your goal is.

YouTube has a longer lifespan than Facebook, making it a good platform if you want your video content to be around for a while. Also, its easier for viewers search on YouTube for one of your videos if your topic relates to their interest.

Facebook lets you share a message very quickly; its as simple as pressing a button to distribute your content.

YouTube has a very large viewing audience. It’s known as the largest online video platform, which is a great way to showcase your club to a larger audience and get a bigger reach.
Facebook has notifications that you can enable an hour, 20 minutes, or 10 minutes before you actually go live.

Additional YouTube features.

Community tab is another way to connect with your subscribers. It allows you to ask questions, have polls, pictures, and videos.

Channels is where you can showcase the other Toastmaster channels that your club follows, that your viewers might also be interested in.

About page is an at-a-glance place for your to-the-point description about your club and links to your social media channels.

If your club is considering a YouTube channel, YouTube is one of the largest online video sharing platforms out there, and a great place for your club to share content.

Implementing even a few of these simple strategies will help you get your club closer to a thriving YouTube presence!

Created by Nancy Movrin DTM Public Relations Manager 2021 – 2022