Online Presenters PRESS 01/27/21

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President, Nik Lakhani, DTM ~ Charter President (2017) David Carr, DTM

January, 2021 Issue

Table of Contents


–Calendar: January – June Events

–Can Poetry Inspire Your Speaking?

–Celebrate VTMCON 2020
(Leaders, Contest Winners, Galleries)

–VTMCON Workshop Gold
(Revisit, handy links)

–VTMCON 2021: June 26-27

–Member Honors and Achievements
(Leaders Rise & Shine, Pathways Awards)

–Membership Momentum

–Help Other Clubs

–V (Valuable You) Wordcloud

–Connect & Collaborate

Welcome (going bi-monthly)

What will now be the bi-monthly club newsletter is finally before you. Covid 19 woes and global political dramas have had so many reeling. Thank goodness we’ve had our Toastmaster clubs like Online Presenters to gather in for learning, levity, and growing in leadership.

Welcome to Online Presenters (007 style)

Anytime you need a lift… watch this peppy video created by Marianne Grady — our intro to global attendees of the December 5th VTMCON event.

May this issue help you recall the fun of our club, our collaborations, and inspire you to new clarity for your Toastmaster and leadership actions in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Elaine Nieberding, Online Presenters Press Editor and club VP-PR

Calendar: JAN – JUNE Events

Paper or digital calendar for you? Get yours out and add these in!

Sat. JAN 30 is our first Speechathon in 2021, 11:30 am Eastern. Sign in to signup and share your skills as an Evaluator, since a few more are needed…

Mon. FEB 15th – is another Speakathon. Look for more speaking slots to be inserted for signups, soon.

Mon. FEB 22nd, 7:15 pm EST – a PANEL Discussion on Club Coaching … wow! Part of our weekly meeting.

Sat. FEB 27th, 10 am ESTWORKSHOP on Authentic Storytelling led by VTMCON presenter Fursey Gotuaco. Eventbrite Registration will be coming for your sign-ups soon. Bring a 1-2 minute personal story that you’d like to come to life.

Mon. MARCH 8th, 7:15 pm EST – Day at the Improv – exercises to stretch your creative communication (at our weekly meeting.)

Mon. MARCH 15th, 7:15 pm EST – Speakathon – more speaking and evaluator slots to hone your skills during this meeting.

Mon. MARCH 22th, 7:15 pm EST – Club Video Speech Contest

Mon. APRIL 5th, 7:15 pm EST – Open House with Online Presenters Toastmasters. Have guests join the fun.

Mon. APRIL 26th, 7:15 pm – Webinar Contest (hone those virtual presentation skills!!)

Mon. MAY 17th, 7:15 – Vocal Variety specialty session at our weekly meeting.

Sat. & Sun. JUNE 26-27VTM CON 2021 – the Virtual Toastmasters Conference goes to 2 days, involving many more TM clubs. Sign up for the email-notice list and send your Toastmaster friends over to too.

Can Poetry Inspire Your Speaking?

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, the US Youth Poet Laureate of 2017,
delivers a poem for Joseph R. Biden’s inauguration

Since her televised Inaugural Poem “A Hill to Climb” on January 20th, Amanda Gorman has taken the world by storm with her creative, powerful presence.

Could this be fresh inspiration to uplevel your speechcraft with poetic alliteration, and rhyme; experiment with pausing, tempo changes in phrasing, and more?

There is always light,

if only we’re brave enought to see it,

if only we’ve brave enought to be it.”

Amanda Gorson, from “The Hill We Climb.”

(Explore Amanda Gorson; glean insights for your speechcraft)

Celebrate VTM CON 2020

Whether you were an attendee, team leader or volunteer, co-chair, advisor or club member helping with PR, contestant too… thank you for being part of the inaugural Virtual Toastmasters Conference held December 5, 2020!

Special thanks to David Carr, OP Charter President, web platform creator and event PR chair. The whole thing could not have been born without his ongoing tech wizardry and caring.

Leaders make all the Difference!

It started with Vision. One of DTMs Nik Lakhani and Krishn Ramchurn, and OP Immediate Past President Lois Margolin DTM’s wise and grounding counsel. An event was created, with major execution happening in the 6 weeks just prior to its “birth” on December 5, 2020 – in collaboration with 5 other clubs. Pretty wild, growing the teams, having hundreds of live attendees. and enjoying videos, music and dancing, interviews and more in the “break time.” Wow… just wow.

Congratulations VTMCON 2020 Contest Winners!

Recall the fun in the galleries below.

Workshop GOLD to Use!


VTMCON 2021: June 26-27

Get ready for a second VTMCON (use #vtmcon as you help us promote in the coming months.)

This June, 2-day event will involve more online Toastmaster clubs. The theme “Make YOUR Audience Remember You” will continue, and teams and leadership roles are being reconfigured.

  • Event Co-Chairs: Pamela Benjamin, DTM & Krishn Ramchurn, DTM
  • PR Chair: David Carr, DTM
  • Event Advisors: Nik Lakhani, DTM & Lois Margolin, DTM
  • Stay tuned for the emerging full leadership for teams Talent, Breakout, Program, Recording, Zoom, Contests and more.

HELP ESPECIALLY SOUGHT – identifying GREAT lead workshop presenters for our next VTMCON – with amazing presentation and engagement skills aimed at helping you uplevel! Contact Pamela Benjamin, event co-chair at

Honors & Achievements

Leaders Continue to Rise and Shine

  • Our Sarra Idehen, Online Presenters member since April, 2020 was recognized as Division Director of the Year for 2019-2020, District 15, Division D Kudos, Sarra!
  • Lois Margolin – DTM, Immediate Past President of Online Presenters and Co-chair for VTMCON 2020 revels in receiving the Club President award for her superlative service to us, 2019-2020.

PATHWAYS – Great Momentum into 2021

We are thrilled to have OP President Nik Lakhani at our helm and congratulate him on receiving the Distinguished Toasmaster designation this past December. Busy serving in many Toastmaster arenas since 2016, he’s currently Mentor for Dovercome Toastmasters Club (Hybrid, District 91); and Mentor for Shilling Speakers Toastmasters Club (Hybrid, District 91).  With others he’s just launched Digital Communicators Toastmasters, and will be an one of the special advisors for VTMCON 2021.

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE for Pathways Level Completion Achievements!

  • Elizanne Warren-Russell – Leadership Development, Level 1
  • Krishn Ramchurn – Presentation Mastery, Level 2
  • Tricia Smith – Presention Mastery, Levels 1 & 2

Membership Momentum

What’s the Smedley Award?? It’s what up to 20 clubs worldwide can earn if they enroll 5 new members in August-September. Online Presenters achieved that — and was just awarded the blue ribbon in December, 2020.

4 MORE NEW to OP in December 2020 and into the New Year. We’re proud to welcome into our ranks these seasoned Toastmasters and professional presenters:

  • Natatia Vanellison, DTM from Savannah, Georgia USA joined in December. Catch her energetic presence.
  • Sony Vasandani hails from AUSTRALIA, making her the second Online Presenter member from “down under.” Sony, do you speak “strine” like Graham Cairnes??
  • Calvin Dorsey, DTM achieved his Distinguished Toastmaster rank in June, 2020 and joined OP in January. He’s from Lewisville, Texas, USA.
  • Surya Vangala, DTM new member in 2021 – connected with OP via close fellowship with Marianne Grady, both of Princeton Toastmasters.

Help other Clubs!

Visiting other clubs is a great way to build relationships and grow skills. Can you help Bell Noontime Toastmasters?

Are you an experienced toastmaster who is passionate about helping new Toastmasters grow?  Are you a seasoned speaker interested to visit a club different from your own?  Bell Noontime Toastmasters Club is looking for outside club contest judges to help out in their club contest on Wednesday Feb 3, 2021, 12-1pm EST (US east coast time).  Please reach out to Sara Gao, DTM, VPE of Bell Noontime for more details ( Thank you! 

V = Valuable = You

Created with Try POLL-GENERATED Wordclouds

Recalling 2020 and starting anew in 2021 – catch these V-Words and associations and then make your plans for OP participation and collaboration to create great value in the days ahead.

  • VIRTUAL, VIDEO meetings were VALIDATED!
  • The covid VIRUS spurred online connection amongst Toastmasters in a way we could not have imagined.
  • Online Presenters members extended goodwill education through VOLUNTEERISM to help Districts and Clubs from near and far learn the mechanics of meeting online.
  • A VISION to create a global conference was realized!
  • The Inaugural VTM CON 2020 brought together new collaborations amongst online TM clubs/clubmembers and world-class presenters to serve Toastmasters and public speaking enthusiasts froall across the globe.
  • We keep discovering how VAST our skills are.
  • Guest VISITS to Online Presenters soared in 2020, and many found their way to apply and join. We VALUE every Online Presenters Toastmaster.
  • VERITABLY, we belong together. VIVA Online Presenters!

Connect & Collaborate

Nik Lakhani – DTM
VP Education
Krishn Ramchurn, DTM
VP Membership
Louis Brown, DTM
VP Public Relations
Elaine Nieberding, DL5, VC1
Emily Thompson, DTM
Treasurer & Charter President
David Carr, DTM
Andriy Smolenko, CC
Immediate Past President
Lois Margolin, DTM

We’re here to create win-win relationships. Reach your Online Presenters officers to make collaboration come alive.

Hot tip — see/print out ALL the Online Presenters email contacts from our website Members TAB. Log in first of course – then configure alphabetical by last name, or by date of joining/most recent first. Who might you enjoy partnering with for some value-creating activity?

Please send me feedback or things you’d enjoy contributing to the next issue – due out mid-March, 2021. Thanks!

Your Editor & VP-PR, Elaine Nieberding: