Articles and Videos

Meeting: 2014-11-04

Firoozeh called meeting to order and introduced our Toastmaster, Craig on time. 

Craig welcomed members and guests. He also reminded that due to Remembrance day (November 11) and library closure, Message Masters wouldn’t have any meeting for the next week. The meeting continued with Erik who presented “remembrance” as Word of the Day. Then Craig smoothly moved to the evaluator of the first speech, Natasha.

Natasha introduced Jill and presented her speech objectives. After that Craig awarded Jill a trophy (a puppy) for her unconditional love to dogs. She received this award as part of her project number 4 on Advanced Communication manual in which she was to give an award to someone and she creatively awarded herself. Jill used projector as visual aid to tell an amazing story about her vacation in a peaceful island. The story was about homeless dogs. A charitable organization near the hotel finds homeless dogs, vaccinates them, and takes care of them. They also facilitate adoption and air travel of the dogs to their new homes. It was an engaging story and everybody admired her for...  adopting one of the dogs.

She received feedback around the use of visual aid. Craig suggested she look at the laptop, not the projection screen. She was also asked what this award meant to her.

The next speech was Sylvain’s first project. He had a very engaging Ice Breaker.  He used a Japanese fan as a prop and didn’t use any notes, which was fantastic. In five minutes and forty seconds he summarized his life at home, his work, and ended up with his decision to join Toastmasters.

The feedback he received was very encouraging. People liked his hand gestures and the good mix of his speech which gave the audience a clear image about him as Sylvain. Members cheered him on his first speech and Rana gave him an Ice Breaker ribbon.

Our General Evaluator, Percita, was happy to see everything was set up before the meeting. She also said that word of the day was appropriate and visual aids were very helpful.

At the end of the meeting, Coach Craig gave the opportunity for one of the guests, who would be a contestant in the District Evaluation Contest, to practice by evaluating Jill’s speech. Good time for more practice!

Craig asked the guests about their feedback and they evaluated Message Masters a friendly and welcoming club.


Jill announced that we would have a celebration for Message Masters's 20th anniversary in December. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE MASTERS!!



Meeting 2014-10-28

Pranav hit the gavel sharp at 12:00 and started the meeting wby introducing courageous Sylvain as Toastmaster. 

Sylvain welcomed the members and asked our Grammarian, Craig, to present Word of The Day. Craig presented  “reminisce”  which means  indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events and its noun form “reminiscence” means a story told about a past event remembered by the narrator. Craig presented this example; “Craig likes to reminisce about the early years of Message Masters, when we didn’t know what we were doing.”

Then Sylvain introduced Rana as Table Topics Master. Rana just returned from GTEC 2014, which is the largest annual event for the Canadian Government Technology. She talked about the atmosphere and presentation of private and public IT people in the event. She beautifully used this introduction to present a slide show and asked for volunteers to speak about the images. The images were pictures from movies like Titanic, Mrs.Doubtfire, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Rocky, Jurassic Park, and also a picture of an old man and woman. Natasha, Craig, Firoozeh, Sylvain, and Pranav spoke about the slides. They could all successfully accomplish off-the-cuff speech goal. 

We moved on to the next part of the meeting when Sylvain introduced Rachael as the speaker. Rachael’s speech title was “hustling for good health”. She had chosen health topic for her project number seven from Competent Communication manual which is “research your topic”. She started her speech with a creative idea. She played a rhythmic music that students in the 90s were used to do morning exercise. She asked us to do the exercise and it helped us to make a connection with her topic. She could easily engage the audience and gave us concrete reasons for the positive impacts of exercise on our health and longevity. She delivered a well-organized presentation with good use of music and movements. All the audience enjoyed her presentation. 

Erik as General Evaluator asked for Timer, Ah Counter and Grammarians’ reports. Craig as Grammarian gave a detailed report, which demonstrates his eloquence and attention to details. We all learned that for consistency in our communications, use "may" for permission and "might" for probability. Using "may" for probability creates an inconsistency that forces the listener or reader to think back to determine the intended meaning.


At the end of the meeting all members were encouraged to participate in the Toastmasters District 61 Fall Conference. It’s the social side of Toastmasters where you’ll meet Toastmasters from other clubs. You will also hear the best of the best of keynote speakers.



Meeting 2014-10-21

Lorraine stood behind the lectern as Sergeant at Arms at 12:00 and introduced Jill as our Toastmaster.
Jill was very well-prepared for the meeting. She had a surprise for the club. She made a delicious cake to celebrate 90th anniversary of Toastmasters Clubs. We sang happy birthday and Rana and Fedra blew the candles. She also prepared several questions as a quiz, which she asked during the meeting and surprisingly received correct answers to all the questions.

Erik was cheered for his new role in his Toastmaster experience as the Governor of Area 21. Janice announced “cohesion” as word of the day. Cohesion in form of noun means “the action or fact of forming a united whole” and in adjective form “cohesive” means characterized by or causing cohesion.

Then the meeting was followed up with two amazing speeches.

Jill called Pranav as the first speaker. Pranav presented his first speech; the Ice Breaker. His presentation title was “The World Citizen”. He could easily engage the audience and introduced himself very effectively. He didn’t use any notes and smoothly went through different stages of his life.  Members cheered him on his first speech and Jill gave him Ice Breaker Ribbon.  The only suggestion that he received in order to improve his speech was using humor.

Leonardo was the second speaker. He presented project number 8 from Competent Communication manual. The title of his speech was “The First Woman of My Life”. He took advantage of a laptop as visual aid to run a slideshow. He spoke about his mother and her passion of cooking, love of family and joy of life. He could successfully portray his mother during her one-month stay in Canada with Leo, his wife and two kids. His sense of humor, passion for subject, body language and on time pauses engaged the audience. He handed out several copies of an Italian Pasta recipe which disappeared in a twinkle of an eye.

He received some feedback from members about slideshow. They said that they couldn’t follow slideshow due to high speed and invisibility from distance. Rana announced that the club has a projector for presentations which will be provided upon members’ request before the meeting.

Our General Evaluator, Rachael, was happy to see all the members present in the meeting and admired their huge turnout. She praised Jill for handling a cheerful meeting and appointing Lorraine as Sergeant at Arms due to last second change in the agenda. She also evaluated Erik and Fedra’s feedback very positive.
Despite of busy schedule, meeting finished on time.

Jill announced that Erik has been chosen as the Area 21 Governor. Congratulations Erik!



Meeting 2014-10-14

Our Sergeant at Arms, Craig started the meeting on time and introduced our Toastmaster, Firoozeh.

Firoozeh talked about some changes to the agenda and replacing one of the speeches with Table Topics.  She assigned the role of Timer to the brave volunteer, Pranav.

We were fortunate to have two guests: Erin and Martine.  Erin was a former member of the club and she is very excited to return.  Welcome back Erin!  Martine is the wife of one of our members, Craig Senior.

It was fantastic that Jyothi took her first role as Ah Counter on her first day in the Message Masters club. Lorraine our Grammarian introduced “grandiloquence” as the Word of the Day. Grandilouquence means a lofty, extravagantly colourful, pompous, or bombastic style, manner, or quality especially in language.

As Table Topics Master, Rana, spoke about her nice experience in last Friday's Area 21 Evaluation contest. She won the contest, which was jointly held by Area 21 and Area 24. Congratulations Rana!!

Rana’s Table Topics theme was inspired by one of the Toastmasters in the Humorous contest. She asked about a previous experience with a pet, a time that we were asked to do something but we didn’t want to, and what we would do if we meet a celebrity or a famous person.

Our guests were very active, responding to the questions. Erin shared with us her nice experience in a student club in Los Angeles and meeting three celebrities, two of which were comedians. Martine also took us to her childhood and challenges for taking care of her duck and finally giving to a farmer. Sylvain also talked about the time that he accepted something that he wasn’t willing to.

The meeting continued with a fantastic presentation by Percita. She did her project number six from Competent Communicator manual. She talked about her family tree. She described genealogy as the second hobby in the United States and mentioned that curiosity is the most important reason for this interest. She used different tools and ways to collecting the information about her ancestors. She demonstrated the difficult, but possible process of finding her roots. She showed us her grandparents wedding photo which helped us to make much better connection with her speech. Her speech Evaluator, Craig, praised her effort and also organization of her speech and when he asked who is interested in family tree. Everybody raised his/her hand.  She received some feedback like choosing a title for her speech and also describing the handouts.

Our General Evaluator, Erik, reviewed the meeting and gave wonderful comments to participants. He asked Toastmaster to introduce a theme for the meeting like Thanksgiving or Senators Hockey games.
He evaluated Rana’s Table Topic very interesting and amusing.

The meeting was adjourned five minutes ahead of time.



Meeting 2014-10-07

Sylvain called the meeting to order on time and introduced Fedra as Toastmaster.

Janice took her first role as Timer in her first official day in Message Masters.

Craig chose “extemporaneous” as the Word of The Day and participants were successful in using this word.

Erik, our Table Topics Master, suggested Thanksgiving as the theme for our extemporaneous speech. He distributed question papers to Sylvain, Jill, Rana, Janice and Pranav. The questions were:

  • What’s the most important thing that you are thankful for?
  • What’s your favourite movie?
  • What’s your favourite game on TV?
  • What do you recommend as a substitute for Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

They were all successful in reaching the goal of speaking impromptu for about two minutes.  Janice, our new member, was Timer and bravely accepted to speak off the cuff.

Since we had still some time left, Fedra, continued impromptu speech with two more questions to finish the meeting on time.

The second part of our meeting was Firoozeh’s speech. She did her project number three from Competent Communication manual. Her title was: a Toastmaster wears many hats. She is determined to speak about Toastmasters clubs in one of the classes in LASI (Local Agencies Serving Immigrants) World Skills, in order to inform and also encourage the new immigrants to visit a Toastmasters club and then join it. She spoke about learning process in Toastmasters clubs, different roles that members can take in meetings and its benefits to new immigrants.

Rana, evaluated Firoozeh’s speech and admired her intention to be the ambassador of Toastmasters clubs. She also was not sure that her speech was informative or persuasive. Rana also suggested she link the benefit to each point to make it more powerful. Others feedback were, speaking about the benefits of Toastmaster to herself (Firoozeh) rather than immigrants to make it more effective.

Jill, our General Evaluator, shared her experience as Test Speaker at an area contest. She said that she spilled her coffee on her shirt, but since she had a dark shirt was relaxed and felt confident to deliver her speech. The dark colour absorbed the stain. She also mentioned that she learned from evaluators that she often smacks her lips and she hadn’t noticed that before. Now to control that, she pauses and then continues speaking. It was a good lesson for all of us. She also praised Fedra for her good use of time and asking impromptu questions.

Our Grammarian, Craig, gave a detailed report on grammar mistakes. He explained the difference between “may” and “might” when referring to “permission” and “likelihood”. It is unfortunate that "may" means both, whereas "might" means probability. He suggested that we consistently use "may" for permission and "might" for likelihood.

• Craig announced that Natasha could not compete in the Area level Humorous contest and asked for volunteers. The area level contest will be next Friday, 2014-10-10 at 18:30 for 19:00 at the Overbrook Community Centre. He will be the Chief Judge.
•  The division level contest will be 2014-10-16 at 17:30 for 18:00 at the Richelieu Community Centre. This time, Craig will be the Contest Chair for one of the contests.
•  Craig also announced that the “Speech Contest Judging” workshop is uploaded on YouTube:

Part 1: Teaching

Part 2: Humorous Speech Contest