Special Educational Program with guest speaker Jesse Scinto, MS, DTM

On November 4, 2019, Online Presenters will host a special educational program featuring guest speaker Jesse Scinto, MS, DTM Founder & CEO at Public Sphere LLC and lecturer in Columbia University’s graduate Strategic Communication program. He is the author of the recent Toastmasters Magazine article, The Camera Never Lies, on understanding how you come across on video.

Guests are welcome: register here!

Guest Speaker’s Biography:

Jesse Scinto, DTM, is a Fulbright U.S. Scholar and lecturer in Columbia University’s graduate Strategic Communication program, where he teaches public speaking and persuasion. He also provides speaker training and presentation consulting through his firm, PUBLIC SPHERE. Jesse has appeared on Bloomberg TV, and his work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is a member of Greenspeakers Club in New York City.


Jesse’s Toastmaster Articles

The Feeling Is Virtual

Mastering Body Language

What Is Plagiarism and How Can You Avoid It?

What to Do When Your Audience Takes Offense

Speaking Up in Tough Situations


Email: jesse@publicsphere.llc

Twitter: @jessescinto

How to Blog for Toastmasters (also, Where and Why) – Video Replay, Notes and Links

In this demonstration speech at Online Presenters, I encourage members of Online Presenters to take advantage of the fact that our website has a blog built into it — just waiting to help them with the Create a Compelling Blog project in Pathways.

I am David F. Carr, DTM, the original organizer, charter year President and current treasurer of Online Presenters. I’m also the founder of the WordPress for Toastmasters open source software project. As this year’s webmaster for District 47, I am also encouraging district leaders to blog about the district and all the great people and clubs within it. And I would love to see more of the clubs who have adopted WordPress taking full advantage of blogging as a way of celebrating the talent within their clubs.

David F. Carr, DTM, founder of the WordPress for Toastmasters project.

In the video, I show how to work as a contributor to a WordPress-powered blog run by your club or district. I also show a little about how to post blog articles on LinkedIn, which is a great outlet for sharing your professional interests outside of Toastmasters (and also a pretty good place to be talking up Toastmasters). I briefly discuss other options, such as the WordPress.com service where you can sign up for a free personal blog (and perhaps upgrade to a paid plan later if that makes sense for you).

Here are a few relevant blog posts about how to use blogs, websites and social media more effectively.

These two are for the webmaster wanting to know how to set up members as contributors, authors and administrators.

Also check out the Pathways blogging journey of Carole McCulloch, a friend of the club who was one of the club coaches for Online Presenters when we originally chartered. She explains more about the Create a Compelling Blog project and how to tackle it.

One More Blogging Tip

Blog Categories

One detail not covered in the blog is how to categorize blog posts. There is a Categories panel on the editor sidebar (under Document). Click the down arrow to reveal a list of checkboxes. Here is an example from the Online Presenters blog:

The categories you select will appear as links at the bottom of your post, and readers can click on to see other items that fall into the same category — for example, other posts containing Online Meeting Tips. Categories help make your blog better organized.

Members Only is a special category for posts that should only be displayed to logged in members. You might want to use that for meeting minutes, for example.

Notes for Webmasters

Home Page and Sidebar Widgets

The webmaster or other user with administrator rights can use the WordPress Customizer tool to add to customize the appearance of the website, including home page options, menus, and widgets that appear on the sidebar of the page.

  • Blog listing widgets:
    • Recent Posts — all the most recent posts
    • Categories — click to see all posts in the selected category
    • Club News – a Recent Posts listing that excludes “Members Only” posts.
    • Members Only – a listing of posts in the Members Only category.
  • Home Page Settings
    • Your latest posts – If you create a WordPress website outside of toastmost.org, this will be the default. Appropriate for websites that are primarily blogs or have active blogs.
    • A static page – I recommend club and business websites greet visitors with a welcome page and designate a separate page where blog listings will be displayed. Toastmost.org sites are preconfigured with this option, but you can change it if you prefer to have your blog out front.

Create Your Own WordPress Website / Blog

There are multiple ways of creating a WordPress website:

  • Create a free account at WordPress.com — good for personal blogs but does not support the WordPress for Toastmasters software for agenda management, etc.
  • Create an an account at Toastmost.org, which is part of the WordPress for Toastmasters project. Specifically for club blogs, with TI branding built into the site theme / templates and agenda management functions. Free for the first year, then $30 per year.
  • Create an independent website on any web hosting service that supports WordPress. Many affordable options exist. Allows you to use your own web domain and gives you more control, for example over what plugins to install. Preferred option for business websites. For club websites, you can install two plugins (RSVPMaker and RSVPMaker for Toastmasters) plus the Lectern theme to duplicate the functionality of a toastmost.org site. The Lectern theme can also be used on district websites.

P.S.

While I talk a lot about the club and agenda management features of WordPress and am proud of the software, the best reason to choose WordPress for Toastmasters is the underlying WordPress blogging and web publishing system. I am always disappointed when I see a club has set up a website using the software but isn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to post timely and interesting information.

If you have a WordPress website for your club but haven’t changed the home page or added to the blog in many months, you are missing out on 90% of the value of this option. Make sure you’re showing off what makes your club special!

Video: 9 Steps to Successfully Coaching a Toastmasters Club

Club Coaching can be incredibly rewarding or terribly frustrating.  It all depends on your attitude and the club officer attitudes.  If you have officer support, then you are on your way to successfully coaching a club to achieving Distinguished status or higher in the Distinguished Club Program.  

In this speech I mention some Toastmaster International resources you can use to successfully coach a club.  It would be helpful if before your initial meeting with the officers you download the “Club Coach Troubleshooting Guide” .   Consider having a meeting with the club officers and let them complete the short survey.  This puts everyone on the same page.

Be sure you understand the Distinguished Club program and review the “Club Coach FAQ“.  I especially like the detail of a club coach’s responsibilities.

Most importantly, have fun coaching your club and ask questions of other coaches.  Enjoy building a brand that brings distinction to your club.  

 

Toastmasters Webinar Contest on April 16

Online Presenters Toastmasters will hold a mini-webinar contest on April 16 at 7:30 pm EDT, and guests are welcome to register to attend.

This is not an official Toastmasters contest format (at least not yet) but rather an attempt to craft a contest specifically for the online medium. Scoring is based loosely on the International Speech Contest, but with additional points awarded for delivering a clear call to action and fielding audience questions submitted via chat — as in a professional webinar. We’ve also tweaked the scoring categories to accommodatie the different visual presentation in an online meeting.

Celebrity Judges

To add some “Dancing with the Stars” pizzaz, we have recruited 3 celebrity judges — professional speakers and webinar organizes who will be on hand to give our contestants feedback on their performances.

Roger Courville is an expert on online presentations who led one of our first workshop sessions

Sheryl Roush, a well known professional speaker (and coach to speakers) who also honored us with a workshop

Nick Cavalancia, Founder / Chief Techvangelist at Techvangelism, has delivered more than 1,000 webinars in his work as a technology marketer.

About Online Presenters

The Online Presenters club mission is to develop skills for better webinars and online events of all sorts. The club meets Mondays at 7:30 pm US Eastern time, with the first half hour reserved for informal meet-and-greet (plus technical troubleshooting) and the formal one-hour meeting starting at 8 pm. Guests are always welcome.

Image credit: Webinar by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

How the Contest Will Be Organized

Speech Format: Speakers will be allowed 6-8 minutes. It’s up to the speaker to decide how much of that time to respond to audience questions, but they will get points for audience engagement.

Everyone other than the speaker will be muted during the presentation, so questions will be submitted via the chat feature. If you are not competing, be sure to come ready to be a good audience with lively questions for our contestants.

A member will be appointed to monitor the chat feed, and speakers have the option of asking the chat monitor to assist by relaying questions to them. Contestants are responsible for letting the chat monitor know whether you want assistance and, if so, whether to interrupt with questions during their presentation or save them until the end.

Speeches for this contest should also include some sort of call to action, whether it’s a sales pitch or an appeal to take some sort of political or moral or personal development action.

Webinar Contest Scoring

Max score
Speech Development 15
Audience Engagement 15
Speech Value 15
Call to Action 15
Visual 15
Voice 10
Manner 5
Appropriateness/Correctness 10
Total Possible Score 100

Speech Development is the way the speaker puts ideas together so the audience can understand them. The speech is structured around a purpose, and this structure must include an opening, body and conclusion. A good speech immedi­ately engages the audience’s attention and then moves forward toward a significant conclusion. This development of the speech structure is supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures, delivered with such smoothness that they blend into the framework of the speech to present the audience with a unified whole.

Audience Engagement is a score for how well the speaker responded to questions submitted via the chat. This includes how well the speaker managed the time management challenge of delivering their core presentation and still allowing time for questions, as well as the quality of the responses.

Speech Value justifies the act of speaking. The speaker has a responsibility to say something meaningful and original to the audience. The listeners should feel the speaker has made a contribution to their thinking. The ideas should be important ones, although this does not preclude a humorous presentation of them.

Call to Action is a clear statement of what the presenter wants the audience to do following the presentation – buy a product, vote in an election, or change their life in some way. How clear was the desired outcome?

Visual Presentation includes all the elements conveyed through video, including body language and the use of slides or other content shared onscreen.

Voice is the sound that carries the message. It should be flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and should have a variety of rate and volume. A good voice can be clearly heard and the words easily understood.

Manner is the indirect revelation of the speaker’s real self as the speech is delivered. The speaker should speak with enthu­siasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience and confidence in their reactions.

Combined in our scoring are: Appropriateness of language refers to the choice of words that relate to the speech purpose and to the particular audi­ence hearing the speech. Language should promote clear understanding of thoughts and should fit the occasion precisely. Correctness of language ensures that attention will be directed toward what the speaker says, not how it is said. Proper use of grammar and correct pronunciation will show that the speaker is the master of the words being used.

Replay: How to start an online Toastmasters club (panel discussion)

This panel discussion, moderated by Carole McCulloch of the Online Alliance, was hosted by Online Presenters with participation of leaders from other clubs. See below for links to each of the relevant websites.

Moderator: Carole McCulloch of the Online Alliance.

Panelists:

Larry Miller (Netizens)
Paul Finkelstein (Competitive Communicators)
Magda Van Rooyen (Ablaze Online)
Lorraine Taylor (Firebirds Collective)
Dawn Nocera (Advanced Toastmasters Online)
David Carr (Online Presenters)

You can learn more about the Online Alliance, which promotes education and best practices for online clubs at https://www.facebook.com/groups/OnlineClubsAlliance/

The video Lorraine Taylor mentions on club leadership collaboration with Trello is here.

Replay: “How to Connect with ANY Audience,” with Sheryl Roush, DTM, Past District Governor, Accredited Speaker

In this video replay of an Online Presenters workshop, Sheryl Roush guides us through the process of connecting with any audience (online or off) by understanding the different communication styles of audience members.

Here is the worksheet Sheryl provided as part of the workshop: Handout – Sheryl Roush (PDF)

Replay: Workshop on Setting Up a Studio for Live Video

Jim Guld and Chris Guld of Geeks on Tour shared the basics of light, video, and sound you need to understand to do professional live video. They host a weekly YouTube Live show on technology for travelers as a service to attendees at their in-person seminars and members of their subscription website. They have recently added a second weekly show on Facebook Live.

Because they do these broadcasts on the road, from a traveling studio in their camper van, as well as from their home office, they offer a unique perspective on how to achieve a professional setup in any circumstance.

Sign up for our next educational workshop at op.toastmost.org/workshops/

Replay: What Toastmasters Should Know About Facebook Live

This is the replay of a Facebook Live broadcast with tips for speakers and Toastmasters leaders about how to use the Facebook platform. You may want to fast forward to about 3:40 when the program really begins (or look at how I try to stall for time in those first few minutes while I’m finishing the preparations I couldn’t get done until the broadcast started streaming).

To see it in context with all the comments, go to
https://www.facebook.com/ToastmastersOnlinePresenters/videos/1506183959488579/

Facebook Live: Screen Sharing and Scene Switching with OBS Studio

Facebook Live is a very powerful tool for democratizing access to online video broadcasting, but until recently I thought of it as something you could only do from your phone. I knew some professional broadcasters had put on more elaborate productions, but I didn’t realize those techniques were within easy reach thanks to free open source software.

I first used screen sharing used by a mere mortal in a Facebook Live session while attending one of John Haydon’s weekly broadcasts and studying his technique. (See Replay: Workshop on Facebook Live with John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies).

He pointed me to a Social Media Examiner tutorial on connecting the OBS Studio software to the Facebook Live service. That article does a great job of explaining all the detailed settings you need to get right for OBS and Facebook Live to work together. What I’m sharing below are the things I needed to figure out for myself as I considered how I would put these tools to work. In particular, the Social Media Examiner tutorial gives a passing mention to the ability to define different combinations of auto, video, and images as “scenes” in the OBS software and switch between them during the program.

That is what I explore in detail in this first video clip.

Going Live

To stream from OBS Studio to Facebook Live, you first obtain an API key code from Facebook and enter it into OBS.

Connecting Facebook Live to Streaming Software

Here is what that process looks like:

Important: If you will be looking at the audience view of your broadcast (as shown here) on another tab of your laptop, or on another device such as an iPad, be sure to mute the speakers (otherwise you’ll get a really horrible echo).

Another way of getting the link to your program is to schedule it in advance. Here’s how.

See also this tutorial document from Facebook.

Welcome to the Show

Finally, here is an example of the output that would result from the tutorial shown above.

 

Replay: Workshop on Facebook Live with John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

John Haydon’s online audience likes him

John Haydon visited Online Presenters to show how he and his clients have used Facebook Live successfully to engage with customers, prospects, supporters, and donors. Haydon is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and an authority on social media marketing strategies for nonprofits.

He does a weekly Hump Day Coffee Break broadcast every Wednesday at 11 am U.S. Eastern Time from his Facebook business page www.facebook.com/JohnHaydon.Marketing/

Ironically, given that most of his Hump Day shows are just him talking to the camera (his iPhone mounted on a tripod), you won’t see his face in this recording because he was unable to get his laptop webcam working with our online meetings software. I’ve also shared an example of one of his programs, where the topic was also Facebook Live, below.

Follow up items from the workshop:

Here is a great example of a typical Hump Day show, one in which Haydon is discussing Facebook Live ideas for nonprofits participating in the November 28 #GivingTuesday online event.

In addition to the selfie video style of presentation, I have also seen him do a Facebook Live show from his laptop, including screen sharing. That is possible to do with Facebook Live, although it requires additional software. He uses OBS Studio, a free open source product (see this how-to article). If you need to demo software, that can make sense. However, if you really want to make an emotional connection with your audience, talking directly to the camera may be best.

I’ve done some experiments of my own using OBS Studio and Facebook Live, in search of ways to blend the best of both modes by switching between screen sharing and face-on-camera modes. See my tutorial.

In our workshop, Haydon shared a number of other styles of Facebook Live use, including real estate walkthroughs and broadcasting feeding time for puppies from the animal shelter, that he has seen used effectively.

I believe this is a powerful tool for doing online presentations that Toastmasters ought to learn to use effectively.