Replay: the Future of Online Toastmasters Workshop

The video of our workshop on the Future of Online Toastmasters is included below, along with information about the participants and the results of a survey we conducted of attendees and early replay viewers.

Our Panel

Moderator: Marianne Grady has spent more than 20 years as an HR executive. Of late, she is providing coaching services related to Job Interviewing, Career Strategies and Presentations. Marianne is a long time Toastmaster and has held almost every board position at least once. She has been a member of Online Presenters since early 2020 and currently resides in the state of Delaware.

David F. Carr

David led Online Presenters to charter in 2017, served as its first president, and is currently VPE. He chaired the EVV CON virtual conference in 2022 and is the founder of the WordPress for Toastmasters project and Toastmost club website hosting service.

George Marshall

George Marshall was part of the original online club trial project that became Netizens and has been involved with many other online clubs, including as a charter member of Online Presenters. He recently wrapped up a year as District Director for District 57 in California.

Joseph Esler

Joseph is the founder of Tragicomedy Toastmasters, which was originally supposed to be a hybrid club — except that operating 100% online worked out so well. Part of District 31, the club chartered in 2021.

Larry Miller

Larry Miller was one of the founders of Netizens, the first official online Toastmasters club, and remains an active club leader.

Graham Cairns

Graham is a radio presenter, travel writer, speaker, trainer, voice-artist and consultant based in Brisbane, Australia. He was a charter member of Online Presenters.

Joni-Renee Laidlaw

In 2020, Joni-Renee Laidlaw of Jamaica stepped forward to help leaders in her District 81 become comfortable conducting online meetings due to COVID. She continues to work with “traditional” clubs that remain online because “they haven’t figured out what to do next.” She joined Online Presenters in June 2022.

Zoom Mastery Workshop Replay and More Resources

See below for the replay of the Zoom Mastery Workshop at Online Presenters, followed by some additional tutorial resources for those wanting to get proficient as Zoom hosts.

Additional Resources

Here are some topics that either we didn’t cover in our workshop or that you may want to learn more about.

First, on the excellent Tech for Toastmasters YouTube channel, Cajetan Barretto has a tutorial on controlling the different views available in Zoom, both for yourself and for the audience. He covers pinning, spotlighting, and how to make the audience follow the host’s view settings.

Cat Mulvihill also provides a number of useful Zoom tutorials, and you may want to browse her Run Zoom Meetings Like a Pro playlist.

A few topics of particular interest:

Breakout Rooms

Adding Music to Zoom Meetings

Using Zoom Polls

Zoom Meetings Versus Zoom Webinars

Replay: Authenticity in Storytelling with Fursey Gotuaco

Fursey Gotuaco shared his coaching on what makes a story fun, engaging, and meaningful.

Fursey competed on the international level in the 2020 World Championship of Public Speaking and was one of the best loved presenters at the VTM CON virtual conference in December. For this February 2021 workshop, attendees were invited to come prepared to tell a story of their own and learn how it could be made better.

Watch the replay here:

Workshop on Hybrid Online/Offline Toastmasters Meetings: Replay

As Toastmasters clubs driven online by COVID-19 resume in person meetings, many will be thinking about how to continue to invite online participation. There are many good reasons for operating in a hybrid format, but club leaders need to be aware of the pitfalls and the investment in equipment that may be necessary.

This video is from a July 25, 2020 workshop on running meetings with both online and offline attendance — the technical and leadership challenges of doing it right. Below, we’ve also shared some specific equipment recommendations related to improving the audio quality for these meetings, which is one of the tricky parts.

Presenters and panel participants included:

  • Lois Margolin
  • Graham Cairns
  • Birgit Starmanns
  • Michael Alexander
  • Moira O’Brien

Host: Nik Lakhani, President, Online Presenters

Panel Moderator: David F. Carr

General Recommendations

From a leadership standpoint, think about how you will include local and remote participants equally.

For technology setup, the most important thing is ensuring audio quality. Even if the video quality is wonderful, not being able to hear a speaker undermines the whole point of a Toastmasters meeting.

Sample hybrid room setup from Moira’s slides

For video, best practice is to have feeds from 2 different cameras in the room, one pointed toward the speaking area and the other toward the audience. The image above (which you can see better by downloading Moira’s slides) will give you an idea of how that works.

To make it all work, your club should have (or train) at least a couple of people who can cover the room setup and tech setup details for every meeting. Possibly “Zoom master” or “tech master” could be a rotating role, if you have a few people who can handle it.

Hardware Recommendations

Clubs may have to adjust this shopping list to what they can reasonably do within their budget. During the program, Graham Cairns suggested clubs might start out with whatever equipment individual members are willing to share and then phase in purchases of club-owned equivalents.

A couple of key purchases Moira O’Brien recommended are a compact wireless microphone and a webcam that can be mounded on a tripod. Here are Amazon links and prices for those items.

Rode Wireless Go Premium Pack with Lavalier Go and SC4 – $339 USD
https://www.amazon.com/Rode-Wireless-Premium-Pack-Lavalier/dp/B07Y2VV6YW/

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam $125.00 USD
https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Widescreen-Calling-Recording-Desktop/dp/B006JH8T3S/

Other equipment that is required may vary depending on your meeting space, for example whether there is a speaker system you can tap into. If not, purchasing a wired or wireless speaker might also be necessary. Some spaces may have adequate lighting, while for others you might need to bring in additional lighting.

Less expensive options than those cited here may work for you, including tech based on smart phone apps.

During the discussion later in the meeting, one of our guests Sunny Fridge mentioned a different microphone that worked for one of her clubs:

HeyMic!
$88 currently backordered from https://loveheymic.com/checkouts/checkouts/

If you have other recommendations, write to david@wp4toastmasters.com and we’ll consider adding them here.

Workshop Replay: Roger Courville on Boosting Engagement in an Online Presentation

Roger Courville, an expert on online presentations of all sorts, with an emphasis on online training and webinars, was our guest speaker for June 1, 2020.

Roger has been a friend of the club since its inception, having given an earlier workshop presentation on this topic when we were recruiting our charter members in 2017. He was one of the sources I consulted for my Forbes.com article that year on Improving Skills for Webinars, Online Meetings. Since then, he has also served as a celebrity guest judge for our webinar contests and helped in several other ways.

Some of the resources he shared:

About the Speaker

Roger Courville, CSP has been called “The Michael Jordan of Virtual Presentations.” He’s an award-winning speaker and author who brings evidence-based tactics to transforming boring webinars. His work includes working with organizations as diverse as Pfizer, FedEx, Australia Institute of Training and Development, American Management Association, US Bank and, of course, L-TEN. And he loves habaneros.

Workshop Replay: Gestures for Connection – a New Look with Achim Nowak

As a speaker, leader, communicator, how much do you know about your “gestural vocabulary?” Desire deepening your capacity to connect with an individual, audience, work team, or group in front of you? There are key things to know and discover about gesturing and your energetic presence — some of which may be new to you as a Toastmaster.

Guest speaker Achim Nowak gave this presentation at Online Presenters on Feb. 24, 2020. The full meeting replay (including Table Topics impromptu speaking practices) is at https://youtu.be/zkH_aZHLi4g but the version shared here includes Achim’s presentation and the Q&A discussion with members and guests.

Workshop abstract: As a speaker, leader, communicator, how much do you know about your “gestural vocabulary?” Desire deepening your capacity to connect with an individual, audience, work team, or group in front of you?

There are key things to know and discover about gesturing and your energetic presence — some of which may be new to you as a Toastmaster.

Achim Nowak has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, NPR, the Miami Herald, NBC, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and as a TedX presenter. He’s the author of Power Speaking-The Art of the Exceptional Public Speaker, Infectious-How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within, and The Moment-A Practical Guide to Creating a Mindful Life in a Distracted World.

Achim offers his presentation, executive coaching and mentoring services through BrilliantBest.expert.

Video for Speakers and Presenters: Replay from a Workshop on Creating, Editing and Sharing Video

This is a replay of the Online Presenters workshop on Creating, Editing and Sharing video from February 4, 2019. The version below has been slightly edited (the full meeting replay, including Table Topics impromptu speaking practice, is here).

Below are some additional notes from Workshop Presenter David F. Carr.

Continue reading “Video for Speakers and Presenters: Replay from a Workshop on Creating, Editing and Sharing Video”

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)

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