It was a Wednesday when WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, so I decided that it was best for my family if we self isolated and stayed home. The next day was our Toastmasters club’s meeting. I skipped this one, and I felt so bad because I rarely miss any meetings.
From that point on, things changed so fast. It was announced that schools were to close for the next three weeks, people started to panic shop, and we were introduced to our new friend “Social Distancing”. With everything happening, and the rapid change of events, our club decided instantly that we would stop physical meetings and switch to virtual ones.
Some were confident that virtual meetings would work, and some were skeptical. I was on team confident. Team Confident was proved right! We did not miss a single meeting, thanks to Toastmaster Valero, who took the initiative to set up our first virtual meeting. And what a huge success it was, right from the first meeting, things ran smoothly, with zero hiccups and zero mistakes. Since then we have been conducting successful virtual meetings every week, with well prepared, highly spirited, and ready for fun attendees.
Our new friend “Social Distancing” has deprived us of many things, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it revealed how strong our club is. Members of our club log in every Thursday not only to improve our public speaking skills but to seek comfort in those familiar, loving and supportive faces, as we know we have grown into a big supportive family – which has never failed to uplift its members professionally as it always does. But these on-line meetings turned out to be very essential for each one of us spiritually, as it revealed how much we are emotionally supporting each other in this unprecedented time.
Every Thursday I log-in to see the regular club members, and the long-time absent ones, who are warmly welcomed back, but my favorites are the future members, who join mommy or daddy and add to the spontaneity of those meetings.
All emotions aside, the truth is I love our virtual meetings, because I get to have my cake and eat it too! I see all my club members, improve my public speaking skills, and have a little laugh without ever leaving my couch.
First Oakville Toastmaster