Articles and Videos

Meeting 2015-09-01

Today, we returned to our location in the basement of library. It is so sweet to be at home and visit some fellow Toastmasters who couldn't join us in Place de Ville. Our Toastmaster was Firoozeh today. She had set all the items that had bought from Toastmasters Website on the table. They were all incentives for Message Masters to work towards their certificates. We owe this opportunity to our VP PR, Coach Craig Senior. Our Website won best Website award of District 61. The award was 100 dollars shopping from Toastmasters International's Website.

We had another good news last week, MMs has got distinguished club award because of its hardworking members and inspiring past president, Jill Abramczyk. Firoozeh asked members to cheer on themselves. Hurrah

Our VP Ed, Karina had prepared the agenda, she had chosen ‘New promising chapter’ as theme of the day. In line with the theme, Erik, our Grammarian presented ‘promise’ as word of the day.

We had a different agenda today. In September, we have a busy schedule. We will hold our fall contest on 15th, showcase our club in Natasha’s office on 23rd and vote for dues and collect them before end of September.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to all discussions around September activities. The 2nd part of the agenda was Table Topics by Amadomo and the last part was General Evaluation by Vipul.

Firoozeh invited Natasha to the lectern to talk about the dues and take the vote. Executive committee had decided to increase both the membership dues and also one-time fee; $120 for membership and $35 for one-time fee. All the participants voted to increase the dues. For the next part, we had Karina, our VP Ed, who talked about upcoming contest. She discussed about the importance of contest and encouraged the members to participate in the humorous speech and evaluation contest on September 15th. Natasha and Firoozeh have volunteered respectively for evaluation and humorous speech contests. She also mentioned that the contests are a good motivator for TMs; they come out of their comfort zone, prepare and practice their speech based on a deadline, work harder, get more feedback and grow more. The last discussion was allotted to Natasha and showcasing MMs in Natasha's office. Since we couldn't use our location for September 22nd, Natasha suggested that we can have a show case in her office. She talked about her office and distributed a memo that she had already prepared. Members gave some feedbacks and Natasha asked them to provide further feedback by Friday. We decided to discuss further on next Tuesday after the meeting.

The discussion took a long time, so that we had just 10 minutes left. Firoozeh invited Amadomo to the lectern. Amadomo used the new Table Topics Cards that Rana had brought as a souvenir from Toastmasters International Convention in Los Vegas. Two members answered the questions and then Firoozeh closed the meeting. Today, we did not cover all the items on the agenda, but we talked about important issues that we did not have a chance to discuss with members earlier. Firoozeh closed the meeting at 1 pm, without completing evaluation part, but with discussing important issues with members. Was that a good decision?



Meeting 2015-08-25

We had our last summer meeting today. Since next week, we will return to our location in the basement of the main library. We had a full agenda today. Our Sergeant at Arms, Karina, introduced our Toastmaster, Firoozeh. She welcomed everyone and mentioned that she had the opportunity to practice her leadership skills as Toastmaster four times in two months. She said that she broke her record for being the Toastmaster!!!

Then she thanked Club Interaction for accommodating Message Masters during the summer and considered their joint meetings very successful.

We had two speeches on the agenda. The first one by Crystal that Peter provided feedback and the second one was by Raynald and Rana provided feedback. Both speeches were in French. They are both learning French and it was their first speech in French. They both did an amazing job. Crystal presented speech number four from Competent Communication manual and Raynald presented his speech number one from Advanced Communicator Bronze. His manual is Story Telling. He narrated a very cute story in French. It was about an octopus that always makes problems, but finally converts to a hero at the end of the story.

For evaluation part, Tim called upon his team and Erik as timer said that all the speakers were in their time range. Tim said that he’s happy that clubs are learning something new from each other.

At the end of the meeting, Firoozeh made a toast to both clubs. She emphasized the importance of joint meetings as an opportunity to present in front of people who we had not met before. She also said that we fulfilled district 61 slogan; “Embrace the Change”. Both clubs have made some changes either in their procedures or their agendas. She mentioned that this will not end and we will continue our cooperation for upcoming contests and also our next summer joint meetings. Everybody raised their glass and made a toast to CLUB INTERACTION and MESSAGE MASTERS.

The joint meeting was adjourned to next summer :-)


Meeting 2015-08-04

Today we had our fifth joint meeting with club Interaction with theme of “Dog Days of Summer”. We followed Club Interaction's agenda which is a little bit different from Message Masters. France was Sgt at Arms and opened the meeting with a very nice statement in both English and French, “We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.” Then she introduced the Toastmaster, Crystal.

Crystal welcomed the guest. The guest was a young man who visited Club Interaction because he wanted to improve his French. Then she called upon our grammarian, Elodie, to present the word of the day. Elodie presented “Inspiration” as word of the day. Inspiration is “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

The first part of the meeting is a lot of fun and consists of three parts, English joke, French joke and toast. Percita cracked two English jokes, both her gestures and jokes were funny and everybody laughed. Tim said two funny French jokes. He spoke slowly to make it possible for all to understand. Finally Firoozeh presented a toast to all the outside workers who have to work during hot and sultry days of summer.

The next part of the meeting was a speech. Amadomo presented speech number three from the Competent Communication manual. His speech title was “Daily Life in Mali”. He tried to compare life in Mali and Canada. The way that people get up in the morning and also mothers serve food and water to their families. He also mentioned how life can be stressful and busy in Mali. Amadomo noted that Malians are very hospitable, friendly and welcoming. They love to have guests and they always leave their own work to help their friends and families. He also talked about Timbuktu and other historical points in Mali and invited the members to visit Mali.

The next part of the meeting was Table Topics. Angela took care of this part. She was a past member of Message Masters club. Based on day's theme, she had chosen statements from a book. Based on those statements, she asked a question and then pointed to the audience for an answer. She asked about the beverage that Rana prefers in hot weather, the activity that Elodie likes to do in the hot weather and many other questions.

The last part of the meeting was allotted to evaluation and quiz. First, Najwa evaluated Amadomo's speech. She admired his energy and the idea of projector, however she wanted to hear more convincing reasons for visiting Mali. Then Elodie presented her report and mentioned Angela and Percita as the most polished speakers. Etienne presented the Timer’s Report and thenTim posed several questions as Quiz Master. His questions were from speeches and Table Topics and the members proved their wonderful listening skills with giving correct answer to all of the questions. At the end, Peter provided feedback on the meeting. As benefit of our joint meetings, he mentioned that speaking in front of 14 people is much better than speaking in front of 7. Peter suggested Najwa to follow a structure for providing feedback to the speakers.

At the end of the meeting, Peter reminded both clubs to get ready for September contests. Cystal adjourned the meeting with making fun of the “puppy days” of summer rather than dog days.



Meeting 2015-07-28

Today we had our fourth joint meeting with Club Interaction. During the summer time, Message Masters (MMs) and Club Interaction have joint meetings hosted by Club Interaction. Because the two clubs have different cultures and Interaction is a bilingual club, we have different agendas and procedures. The good thing is that both clubs are flexible and they are receptive to change. Both clubs have already starting doing some changes inspired by the other club. For example, Karina changed a little bit the format of our agenda,  inspired by Club Interaction. Before the meeting Tim and Karina, the two VP of Eds exchange a lot of emails to coordinate filling the roles and they do a very good job. They are the connection channel between the two clubs.

Today Message Masters chaired the meeting and our agenda was followed. Firoozeh was Toastmaster and we had a speech agenda; the first one by Crystal and the second one by Erik. Etienne, president of IC was the general evaluator.

Amadomo opened the meeting and introduced Firoozeh as the Toastmaster. He did a very good job as it was his first time being Sergeant at Arms. Firoozeh welcomed the guests and members. We had two guests, one of them was a CRA staff and the other one was, Angela, a previous member of Message Masters. Angela bravely took the role of Ah counter in the meeting. Najwa our Grammarian introduced "pompous" as word of the day. Pompous means grandiose, boastful and its antonyms are words like simple, humble and kind.

Crystal delivered the first speech, "Cute Factor," project number three from Competent Communication manual.  She explained how her mother was reluctant to have a dog and when she finally agreed to buy a puppy was very strict in educating her. She explained that she was not successful due to cute factor. She suggested the audience to consider the cute factor before buying a pet, because they may end up to sleeping in your bed despite of strict rules.

Tim evaluated Crystal's speech and admired the organization of her speech, use of good words and the topic that she had chosen. He said that she could fulfill the criteria to persuade the audience regarding the cute factor. He also liked her body language and vocal variety.

Erik was the next speaker. He did project number six from Competent Leadership manual, because he is working towards his ACG. He spoke about Bob Hope and his biography. He took us to more than eighty years ago when he started his carrier and talked about his history and quoted a lot of funny and entertaining statements by him.

Peter evaluated Erik's speech and admired his sense of humor and explained the structure of his speech.
The last part of the meeting was handled by Etienne. He liked video recording and liked the idea of posting the recordings on YouTube. He also suggested MMs to have a theme for the meeting. Etienne asked members to make word of the day more visible by using big fonts. He also recommended to include last names on the agenda. President of IC suggested use overhead for presentations.

Meeting was adjourned with comments from guests. Angela, the previous MMs member, handed over a binder to Firoozeh which belonged to Message Masters.





Meeting 2015-06-16

Vipul started the meeting at 12:05, because we were waiting for the suitcase. In our training, most of us try to shed our baggage, but “the suitcase” contains all our meeting supplies! His opening to the session was so reviving. He called the members “fabulous” and it brought a lot of joy to the club. He spoke about an “Aha moment” he recently experienced. This feeling of happiness was the result of incremental growing towards his goal. Incremental growth in Toastmasters makes us feel good and happy. With this introduction she introduced Firoozeh as the Toastmaster.

Firoozeh started the meeting by comparing rain with Toastmasters. We are experiencing rainy days with different levels of precipitations, leading to growth for plants. The Toastmasters journey is the same. Sometimes we can work hard and sometimes we don’t have enough time to practice in the club. In general we all grow in proportion to the effort that we invest. For the benefit of new members, she briefly talked about the 2 manuals that they will soon receive and the way that they should complete different projects and keep records.

She continued the meeting by reviewing the roles and asked the role takers to briefly explain their roles. Erik, our Grammarian, introduced “meticulous” as word of the day and encouraged members to use the word.  Meticulous means, “Showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.”

Then she invited Natasha to the lectern as Karina’s speech evaluator. Natasha introduced Karina and read the objectives of her project. Karina was doing her speech number one, the Ice Breaker.

Karina’s speech title was “A Venezuelan in Canada.” Right away, she drew our attention to her speech with the question, “Do you think that people who speak Spanish are Spanish?” Then she spoke about her country and her architect family and her adorable dog and she gave us a better image by showing us some photos. Then Karina talked about her education and job back home and moved smoothly to the reason she decided to come to Canada. She explained how she feels safe in Ottawa and enjoys being able to commute alone at night in the city.

Natasha gave Karina an Ice Breaker ribbon and congratulated her for such a nice ice breaker. She highlighted her talent of public speaking and encouraged her to build on it. She admired the flow of the speech and considered her speech informative. Congrats Karina for this nice, energetic start!!!

Percita began the Table Topics session by emphasizing the importance of practicing impromptu speaking. Table Topics helps us to think quickly on our feet when we’re put on the spot and answer the questions. She used the suitcase cards, but she asked every question with an interesting explanation to make the audience ready to think and answer. The questions were about breaking habits, minding the friendship, choosing a charity, and visiting our favorite country. Our guest participated in Table Ttopics and all the answers were within the range of 1-2 minutes.

Jyothi was the last person today who came to the lectern with her evaluation. She gave some feedback on opening the meeting and emphasized the importance of powerful opening of the meeting and also encouraging the next speaker with a round of applause.  She admired Natasha’s feedback and recommendations to Karina regarding closing of her evaluation. She also admired Elodie in her role of timer and giving timely notices about the time. Wendy gave a detailed report on the way people were using Ahs, Ams, and crutch words. Jyothi was amazed at how meticulous she is.

After Jyothi’s evaluation, we had time for round table feedback on Karina’s speech. She received a lot of good feedback that can help her to improve her interview skills.

At the end, Percita encouraged members to participate in our summer joint meetings with Club Interaction and considered it as a valuable opportunity to exchange our experience with another club.

The meeting was adjourned sharp at 1 pm.