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.
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:
Host: Nik Lakhani, President, Online Presenters
Panel Moderator: David F. Carr
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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