Online Presenters PRESS 6/30/21

JUNE-JULY 2021 ISSUE: Bridge to New Club Year

Newsletter logo

OP’s Fantastic Club Year

What’s OP have to feel great and celebrate about our 2020-21 club year? Plenty! If a 5-minute journey isn’t sufficient to savor everything here, come on back to this “bridge issue” of the Online Presenters Press. Revisit fun and accomplishments, links and resources to ready You for our next great club year.

About one year ago, President Nik Lakhani, DTM – on July 6, 2020 said:

“We’ll push members in a number of different ways. What will we do to make it (the club) better??”

Officers were inducted by Carol Prahinski, DTM, PID that same day… and we were off and running!

The Executive Board and OP “family” soared, creating new varieties of experiences and value for our members. What a range of events and projects. Nik, pairing with VPE Krishn Ramchurn, DTM spearheaded innovations to every area of Online Presenters’ endeavors and events.

  • Regular weekly meetings added special focus nites to nearly every month.
  • Breakouts became a part of Introduction time before 7:45 pm EDT meeting start . Small-group chat or speaker/evaluator mini-meetings proved fun and valuable.
  • 7 Speak-a-thons convened so members had plenty of chances to present (August 30, October 31, January 31, March 16, April 24 and May 31)
  • How many contests?? 4! TABLE TOPICS- Sept. 21: Roxanne Hosein 1st place. EVALUATION-October 19, Andriy Smolenko 1st place. VIDEO Speech – March 22: Jim Barber 1st place. WEBINAR Contest-April 26: Angela Heath 1st place, represented Online Presenters and earned 3rd place prize at VTMCON 2021.
  • OP members birthed VTMCON spurring global Toastmaster collaboration in amazing new ways — the un-conference for undistricted online and hybrid innovative clubs.

Executive Board 2020-21 Yearbook

Online Presenter’s leaders built teams and brought fun to all endeavors. Here’s a gallery of fun appreciations of the 2020-21 OP Board.

This Executive Team, with playful and purposeful engagement of membership, carried us forward to reach President’s Destinguished Club status for the 3rd consecutive year. Can’t you just hear member DTM Carol Prahinski, PID saying… “Woo hoo!” ??!?

More PDC ribbons will be arriving…

Having officers take LDI skill-building twice helped earning 10 points for the first time. Officers were oh-so-grateful to get attendance credits from District LDI’s that welcomed us.

As of June 30, we have 56 members from 12 countries, many more countries “of origin”, and 22+ DTMs!

Also exciting — we picked up 23 new members during the club year! Lots who made multiple guest visits decided “this is the advanced TM club for me.” Our newest members inducted in May and June — Hector Cabrera Farjat and Carolina Ramirez have already given speeches and taken on helpful functionary roles. That’s terrific momentum!

Achievements & Special Honors

Member’s Pathways Level Completions assigned to OP were part of achieving Presidents Distinguished Club Status. Perhaps some folks began a “free Pathway” gifted to members who renewed during a particular fall 2020 window.

Have you started working on a new Pathway recently??

Applause, applause for May and June Pathway level complettions by 3 OP members. Most of these were assigned for our club credit.

Natatia VanEllison achieved Effective Coaching 5, Motivational Strategies 4. She and April Elizee both finished Presentation Mastery 1. Tricia Smith chalked up Presentation Mastery, Level 4 Engaging Humor Level 1, and Visionary Communication Level 1 during May and June. Congratulations.

Toastmasters Carr & Grady Serve with Distinction

Online Presenter’s Charter President David Carr has so many Toastmaster service passions: keeping monies straight as longtime Treasurer for OP, getting TM clubs to have more beautiful, functional webites with creations … AND instructing globally on the nuances of running hybrid Toastmaster Club meetings.

As an expert and educational activist, David Carr, DTM was honored having his Hybrid Harmony feature article in Toastmasters Magazine April 2021 issue. Video livestreaming from a brick & mortar in-person meeting to include online participation is a learned art. Tips and commentary by OP DTMs Graham Cairnes (Queensland, Australia) and Birgit Starmanns (Mountainside, CA – USA) make this a great read. Congratulations, David.

  • Hybrid Workshop

A special thank you from your outgoing VP-PR goes to Marianne Grady, who joined OP in April, 2020. This club year she ramped up engagement on our Facebook Club Page, posting great screenshots after weekly meetings. Her creativity delivered us a 007-style promo club video shown at both VTM conferences since December, 2020.

Her inspiration and leadership isn’t limited to Online Presenters. Relocating to Delaware from New Jersey, she’s steered the Southern Delaware Toastmasters to new heights as their 2021-21 President. Princeton (NJ) Toastmasters also awarded her their Toastmaster of the Year Award. We are so lucky to have Marianne’s warmth and skills bless Online Presenters… and the global Toastmasters she served during VTM CON 2021.

OP Webinar Winner Angela Heath Challenges You

Write YOUR Book, Toastmasters! That’s what Angela Heath‘s been inviting us to consider since competing in, and winning our club mini-webinar contest in April, where Chris Guld and Andriy Smolenko were also prize awardees. Angela’s win propelled her to the June VTMCON webinar contest, where in 5 minutes, she got to engage, instruct and put forth a meaningful call-to-action in “Publish Your Message.”

Her April to June presentation evolved some, yet included these logical, simple steps:

  • Identify book chapters (create content outline)
  • Give (and test) your speech at your own Toastmaster club (and others!)
  • Schedule longer speeches in your local community
  • Transcribe your recorded speeches
  • Edit the content and publish digitaly and/or in print help other Toastmasters gain inspiration and knowledge from this way of sharing YOUR message.

So — will a book-writing/speaking journey be a part of your new TM club year? Consider a next step attending Angela’s July 13th Masterclass (find email in a gallery photo.)

June 2021 VTMCON Delivers Value

#VTMCON “Make YOUR Audience Remember You” was a second-time virtual conference hit, June 26-27th. Conference Co-chairs Krishn Ramchurn and Pamela Benjamin saw registrants and attendees swell with with heightened participation from sponsoring TM clubs, plus Toastmasters, speakers and entrepreneurs from around the globe.

As Talent Lead, Pamela Benjamin kicked things off finding amazing keynote presenters. Mark Brown, Fursey Gotuaco, Sean D’Souza, David Beckett, Patricia Fripp and Darren LaCroix did not disappoint!

VTMCON segment recordings will be uploaded to the event website soon. Check there and be alert for attendee email notices. Enjoy and plan to put some things into practice.

Breakout Time Grew Global Community

Half-hour Breakout workshops for global Toastmaster online connection gave VTM CON attendees a range of great experiences to enjoy – with keynote speakers, or 12 sponsoring Toastmaster clubs.

Twelve clubs joined the conference vision to explore “Make YOUR Audience Remember You.” Over 3-1/2 months, each created an engaging event to showcase interests and skills of members – to inspire attendees and attract club visitors.

A big challenge was to find the right activity within the confines of Breakout functionality — no spotlighting, no Zoom polling – and never really know how many attendees would be visiting. Elaine Nieberding became the Breakout Team Lead (cheerleader) and details cooradinator for the Zoom Master and Program Team.

Catch a sense of the fun in the gallery below.


Eight applications and tools were spotlighted on the Sunday Tech Tips Session of VTMCON, led by Marianne Grady and IPP Lois Marolin, DTM. If you didn’t catch the segment live – keep your eyes peeled for replays reloading to in coming future days … “there’s GOLD there to mine!”

Special presenters from OP included Jim Guld (OBS – Open Broadcaster Software) and David Carr (Toastmost webites for TM clubs). Roxanne Hosein wowed us with Power Point animations combined with Zoom background video Experts from other clubs showcased (post-it-note speech/project organization), (graphic creation), the Prezi presentation platform, Podcasting how-tos, and studio set-up.

Which Presenter TECH TIPS Resources do you want? Click here.

Committed OP participation = VTMCON success

Nearly every VTMCON Team had an Online Presenter “doing the work” for big-guns Co-Chairs Krishn Ramchurn and Pamela Benjamin. Donna Knight was the Webinar Contest Chair, supported by Ginette Francois at event chat time. No doubt at least one Contest Judge (anonymous) was from OP.

Lukas Calafell made the Version 2 VTM Program modern and striking with his team. David Carr led the VTM PR team (no surprise) with the VTMCON website creation, social media posts. He nudged all to like, share and comment for social reach. Andriy Smolenko created our VTM CON Facebook Group for more connection.

Marianne Grady as Liaison Team Lead kept communications flowing amongst all the participating clubs and Surya Vangala was our OP Liaison anchor. The Zoom Master Team landed Tricia Smith, Sarra Idehen, Nik Lakhani and Angela Heath as helpers.

Recording Team, led by Julian Cereceda of Digital Communicators was ably assisted by Krishn Ramchurn and David Carr – downloading hours and hours from the OP Zoom Cloud. Our local breakout (IMPROV Theater Games) was recorded by Carl Walsh, Nik Lakhani and Elaine Nieberding.

For future VTMCONs — there are little and big ways to participate to grow in ways you never imagined. Do join in.

IMPROV Theater Games at VTMCON, June 27

Toastmaster Carl Walsh‘s long history of hosting theater games with corporate teams and Toastmaster groups turned out to be a great discovery when Online Presenters was brainstorming to find a great, engaging activity to host at VTMCON. OP Breakout Team Lead and event host Louis Brown helped the brainstorming team come to agree — “This is IT!”

During May and June, we grasped the great opportunity people have to experience lessons of leadership when they play (or lead!) Improv Theater Games.

At VTMCON, Carl Walsh led volunteers and attendees through facial and body warmups, and guided us “don’t try to be funny”! Yes BUT plus Yes AND games involved lots of players trying to address a group mission. It was fun and… telling! Being the Expert in serial storytelling and the Actor’s Nightmare game brought great surprises!

A raft of Online Presenters got in the improv spotlight during trial, dry-run and “real-day” Theater Games sessions. Thanks to guys Rik Durling, Andriy Smolenko, Jim Barber, Andy Bern. Thanks to ladies Lois Margolin, April Elizee, Surya Vangala, Elaine Nieberding, Ginette Francois, Lieceng Zhu, Tricia Smith and Sarra Idehen for playfully “getting the improv feel”!

Perhaps the biggest challenge went to President Nik Lakhani, who rose to read Shakespeare, and Donna Knight, to come up with her own reasoned, spontaneous rhyme in the “Actors Nightmare” sprung upon her. “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” will never be forgotten. Oh what fun, to pretend one has a script!

Stay tuned for when the video replay of this VTMCON OP Breakout is posted for your enjoyment. Try out some IMPROV Theater Games with your own work teams and Toatmaster groups outside of Online Presenters.

And you just might enjoy the interview of Carl Walsh featured in the August 2012 issue of Toastmaster Magazine.

New OP Executive Team – Welcome!

Here they are, our newly elected slate of officers for the Online Presenters 2020-21 club year. You’ve seen each of them featured in amazing ways in this “bridge” issue of the Online Presenters Press.

Taking encouragement and inspiration from VTMCON to grow new skills and relationships in the weeks and months ahead, know your stepping up to serve will be a blessing to all. Have a question or want to serve in a particular arena? Reach out by email, or at an upcoming meeting or “after party.”

Louis M Brown, DTM
VP Education
Andrew Bern, DTM
VP Membership
Marianne Grady
VP PR, Charter Pres
David Carr, DTM
Donna Knight, DTM
Pamela Benjamin, DTM
Roxanne Hosein
Immed Past President
Nik Lakhani, DTM

Reflections on OP PR for 2020-21

We are a bold presence in the Online Toastmaster Club arena. It’s been a joy coming to know you – the robust, talented, joyful members of OP this past year. You’ve helped me deepen connection with so many more cultures, unique human expressions and grow my own confidence to lead, uniquely.

My next personal challenge is to grow my capacity to be consise and simpler in presentation, as I continue joying in canva creation and dabbling in WordPress from time to time. This and other newsletters – have they been too long? I must have been some librarian or archivist in a past life — I still retain “collection-itis.” I’ve been celebrating the richness of OP members with each screenshot I’ve taken, lists I’ve stored, etc.

Please return to this issue for the resources and joy of OP here. I look forward to connecting with you in the next OP club year – and perhaps offering speeches in some of the additional clubs you belong to. There’s a treasure trove of leadership insights from the past year of serving and innovating that I’m happy to extend your way.

Your OP Friend, Elaine Nieberding, DL5, VC1 mobile/text/WhatsApp 1+ 410-652-2880


Yoast SEO