Articles and Videos

Meeting: 2010-11-30 "What else?"

At this meeting, we had the opportunity to welcome a joining member and launch her towards achieving her goals as a Toastmaster.   Welcome Marie.  We look forward to hearing from and learning more about you in the meetings to come.

Marc Q. was our Toastmaster and walked us through the agenda and meeting roles.   

We had one prepared speech and it was delivered by me!  It was called “There is an I in Team”.  It was designed to inform members and guests that each initiative, project, award, or other accomplishment – whether it be work related or in our personal lives – is not accomplished independently of others.   Many great business leaders, actors / actresses, athletes etc. appear to be successful because of their own talents, but if it wasn’t for their supportive teams, families, coaches etc – they would not succeed.   We examined this premise through understanding the team dynamics involved in the world of sport, and more specifically NASCAR and the world of cycling.

In place of a second speaker, we were engaged in a Table Topic session which rivaled a traditional interview format.  Craig S. started us off by engaging our perspective on the WikiLeak situation.  Subsequent speakers were encouraged to comment on transparency and ethics and their related impact on business, the government and our personal lives.   Great session Craig!

Our general evaluator, Jen A. provided an excellent recap of the session and commented on the club’s “dynamic and spontaneous nature” which creates a fulfilling and meaningful environment for each member to learn. 

Our meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.

Report by Kathy B.


Meeting: 2010-11-23 "Not again!"

Yes again. Every year, the Club presents its budget and the members vote on it. This year, Craig Senior, the club President presented it as speech project #3 Get to the Point from the Competent Communicator manual.  A budget CAN be presented and approved in under 7 minutes, if the timer waits a little while to press the start button. The list of items was fairly basic, a reduction since purchasing some items last year. Craig pointed out that we have 22 months in reserve, sufficient to add some high value training.

In the second speech, Mark Geres introduced us to the idea of bullying in the workplace. He detailed common definitions and described bullying tactics as overt and covert. Overt is obvious, such as yelling and taunting. Covert bullying, silent bullying is probably more common and more dangerous (deliberate exclusion, isolation or alienation normal work interaction), such as:

  • intentionally excluding the employee from meetings
  • unreasonably high work demands
  • allocating only menial tasks
  • unreasonably ignoring the employee
  • undermining the employee
  • withholding information

Mark suggested ways to handle it:

  • raise the matter with a manager
  • seek advice from Human Resources
  • lodge a formal complaint

We welcomed two guests, Jack and Michael. We hope you found value in the training session

The target date for the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) training is Saturday, 2011-01-08.

Members were encouraged to start preparing for the International Speech and Table Topics contests next spring.

- Craig Senior, Meeting Reporter


Meeting: 2010-11-16 "None Specified"

The meeting of November 16, 2010 was quite a hit!   We had four guests attend and contributed throughout the session.   Club members had the opportunity to listen to two speeches; one delivered by Marc Q and the second was presented by Rana D.
Our Toastmaster, Don C. ensured that everyone was comfortable with their appointed roles, and that our guests were well informed of our agenda, our roles and processes.  Don also took the opportunity to explain distinguishing features of the Message Masters Club to our guests.
The theme of this meeting was “None Specified”.  Don humorously provided some insight on what that meant to him.  The word of the day was redolant, which means having a pleasant odour or fragrant.  In a sentence, redolant would be used in the following manner:   My grandmother’s house always seem to be redolant with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
Marc Q, opened the speeches with Project #5 – Your Body Speaks.  Marc enlightened us on his interesting cycling experiences; describing each story with various actions and gestures that expressed his message with more passion and enthusiasm.  Marc’s speech was evaluated by Jen A.
Rana D, followed with her Ice Breaker Speech – Project #1.   Rana provide us with an insight into her childhood, her professional life, her travels and her beliefs.     Her speech was well prepared and delivered with a sense of calmness and confidence.   Rana’s speech was evaluated by Indra F.
Our General Evaluator was Craig S., and he politely commented on our intended meeting time – 12 noon!!  Danita O. provided a Grammarian Report, Angela R. presented the Time Keepers Report, and Chris M. shared the results of the AH/UM Counter Report.
Our meeting was closed by our Toastmaster, Don C. at 1 pm.
Report by Kathy B.


Meeting: 2010-11-02

At this meeting, club members heard an ice breaker speech and had fun participating in table topics.  Marc Q, our Toastmaster ensured all transitions went smoothly, including quickly welcoming a latecomer, confirming she was still prepared to fulfill her role, all without disrupting or losing the tempo of events.  Chris M was our timekeeper, Craig S our grammarian and Danita O served as our general evaluator.  We had one guest who is a Toastmaster's member but was looking for a new club due to a move.  The word of the day was "blank" and a few club members enjoyed pointing out some people's minds went "blank" on occasion and when someone received a "blank" stare.  The rest enjoyed drawing attention to the use of the word of the day by banging on the table.

The ice breaker speech was given by Kathy B, in only her second week at the club.  We learned she's the type of person who likes to "jump right into things" and likes to solve people problems (and gets to do so as a HR professional with her own firm).   Kathy got feedback on her speech from the general evaluator as well as short feedback from the other club members.  She was also taped so she could see her speech as well as having a record of the feedback.

The table topics were a fantasy come true for some civil servant club members:  Each person was annointed a Minister on the spot and had to speak for 1-2 minutes about what they would do as the Minister in their portfolio over the next 5 years.

At the end, Danita as general evaluator, evaluated the Toastmaster, the evaluation feedback given for the icebreaker,  the table topics portion of the meeting and highlighted positive communication exhibited by some members.

The meeting concluded on time at 1 pm.

Report by Rana D


Meeting: 2010-10-26 "Frost Has Arrived"

You'd never know it by the warm smiles that greeted members as they arrived.
Our Toastmaster, Chris McCarthy, was efficient and pleasant as he led the meeting in an organized manner. There were two notices presented: a reminder that the conference is coming soon, so get your ticket if you don't already have one; and, a reminder to submit your ideas for the new debate format that is in the works.

Marc Quesnel was our speaker for the day, with his presentation entitled APPS. His goal was to organize his speech and he did that and more. He chose to inspire each of us to present a speech before Christmas using his creative APPS strategy. Using stories and examples, he suggested that we become aware of our Audience, show our Passion, remember to Practice, and tell Stories (APPS) that your audience can relate to. Marc provided us with organization, inspiration and a clear path to follow! He was evaluated by Indra Fernando, who led the round table evaluation.

Our Table Topics was presented by Craig Senior. As always, it was a new experience. Craig presented himself as upper management and we were to introduce ourselves and take advantage of the situation by giving a quick pitch to the boss. All the participants did reasonably well, and it seemed to be a very practical experience that could be used in the real world. I thought about it after the meeting and clarified the description of my position and role. The very next day, I attended a working group. As the newest member of the group I was asked to explain my role and my expectations from the group. I was prepared! Thanks for the exercise Craig :-)

Don Christie rounded out the meeting with his General Evaluation. As well as providing comments and suggestions for the meeting, he led a discussion concerning preparation for the meeting. He encouraged the courtesy of RSVPs to the meetings, as much as possible, and stressed the importance of proper introductions. His praise for the meeting was friendly and warm and he left us all with a smile as he commented on Table Topics as something he both feared and enjoyed. I think we may all agree on that one!

In spite of the theme, there was no frost at this meeting!
See you next time,

Meeting Reporter October 26, 2010