Monthly Archives: January 2013

Area 52 Table Topics Trophy

Not to blow my own horn (I am the moderator for this blog so it is what it is) but here I am getting the Area 52 Table Topics Trophy from First Oakville’s VP of Education Heather

The contest was a few weeks back and I’m delighted to have possession of another piece of hardware.

Thanks to everyone at First Oakville for their tremendous support and encouragement.

Exceptional Workshops At First Oakville

Fellow Toastmasters:
Saturday, January 26 was an exceptional Workshop Day for not only First Oakville Toastmasters, but also members of Area 52.  Peter West presented a highly-informative and interactive workshop on Parliamentary Procedure.  It was a full house with approximately 30 Toastmasters in attendance.  Peter’s purpose was to take some of the fear out of the business session by explaining the role of Chairman during the business session and also being Parliamentarian.  Practical examples were demonstrated by the presentation of a motion, including amendments, points of order, raising a question of privilege, refer to committee.  This exercise was led by our own Glen Best serving as Chairman and Mark Molder as the Parliamentarian.  Peter was our ‘ghost’ walking about the room interjecting with direction along the way.  By virtue of the amount of participation, the audience was clearly involved and entrenched in this workshop.  To give you an idea of the acceptance of this workshop, the proposed motion was to have this workshop offered twice a year!
The second workshop was for our FOV members only with many of our newest members in attendance.  Sharon Jenkins and Marion West did a superb job of describing each of the roles during the meeting with ample opportunity to answer questions.  Look for increased confidence and ease in presentations by Harry, Paula, Celia, Eugenia, Allan, Glen and Renato.  Based on the reaction of the members at the close of the workshop, it was definitely worth their Saturday morning to attend.
Deep and gracious thanks to our presenters Peter, Sharon and Marion.  I also extend a thank you to our Vice President of Education, Heather Cunningham for taking the initiative to coordinate these sessions.  Most of all, thank you to all who attended.  It illustrates your commitment and  interest in self-development through the Toastmasters International programme.  This will assist you in reaching your personal goals while maintaining and even elevating the high standards of First Oakville Toastmasters.
Linda Rossi, CTM, CL
First Oakville Toastmasters #2245
Where Leaders Are Made

Parliamentary Process Workshop Online Help

On Saturday, January 26, Area 52 is holding a Parliamentary Procedures Workshop hosted by First Oakville Toastmasters which I will be conducting.

I will be adding links to helpful items I find online about Parliamentary processes here. For more information about Parliamentary Procedure please visit my personal blog The Toastmaster and go to the “pages” tab on the left column where you can find all my posts to do with Parliamentary Procedure or Robert’s Rules of Order.


The aim of our workshop is to explain why we use Parliamentary Procedures and especially Robert’s Rules of Order in our Toastmaster meetings.

This workshop will explain in plain-language, using no technical terms or fancy explanations how to make Parliamentary Procedures work at your club.

The primary objective of Parliamentary Procedures is to allow for groups to make decisions that affect them directly.

Dictatorshipstheocraciesdespotstotalitarian statescriminal states and single-party states have no need of a Parliament let alone a process. Even the British system of absolute monarchism, which benefited from advisory councils, still proclaimed the absolute right of the king up until the year 1215 which saw the signing of Magna Carta which limited the powers of the Crown.

Here from Toastmasters International are the Principles of Parliamentary Law:

  • The votes of all voting members are counted equally
  • Absent members and members holding minority opinions have rights.
  • All members have the right to free and fair debate
  • The majority has the right to decide
  • The purpose is to facilitate the transaction business

Parliamentary process isn’t to be overly complicated or filled with arcane tricks and procedures. It isn’t to be used like a weapon or to gain advantage over others. It is a tool to be used by groups to simplify and clarify the group decision-making process. It is to allow the majority to make decisions while allowing the minority voice to be heard and considered.

If you chair a Toastmaster meeting or are a member of a homeowner’s or church group or attend a school board or any other form of government or sit on a board of directors or you are an executive member of non-profit or charitable group you’ll love to have a working understanding of Parliamentary Process.

Here’s a small group of students from Lafayette High School (who really understand how to use Robert’s Rules of Order) doing a demonstration for a Rotary Club about how to use Parliamentary Procedures. Your club’s business meeting certainly will not be as polished and practiced as these young people demonstrate but even without knowing all the ins and outs of Robert’s Rules of Order you can maintain order and allow for orderly debate by following their example.

Here’s a video for what to do when you’re chairing a meeting.

Here’s a video from the same group on how to debate effectively in meetings.

Here’s how Robert’s Rules can be used to build teams.

Here’s the five big mistakes that happen when groups use Robert’s Rules of Order.

Here’s a video on the three most important motions.

Parliamentary Procedure and Club Role Workshops

Parliament Poster     Follow the link to see the poster.

Last week’s excellent Area 52 Judging Workshop was a sell-out success so we’re expecting a large turnout for the joint Parliamentary Procedure Workshop followed by the Workshop on Club Roles coming this Saturday.

The Parliamentary Process Workshop starts at 9 am and ends at 11 am to be followed by the Roles Workshop and both take place at the Quality Inn on Bronte Road in Oakville, Ontario. While the Roles Workshop is closed to members of First Oakville Toastmasters, the Parliamentary Procedures Workshop is open to all Area 52 Toastmasters.

The Parliamentary Procedures Workshop will be a plain-English, non-technical hands-on workshop all about how to participate in your club’s business sessions. But best of all, the workshop will be of immense benefit to anyone who attends or participates in annual general or business meetings of their company, school board or non-profit agency. All these groups make decisions using Robert’s Rules of Order and the Parliamentary Procedures Workshop provides a wonderful and easy-to-understand introduction to the group decision-making process.

If you’re planning on attending, please drop me an email at so we can have your chair waiting.

Judging Workshop Sells Out

Fellow Toastmasters:
This past Saturday, January 12, First Oakville Toastmasters and Area 52 hosted our first Judging Workshop at the Quality Hotel.  Of the 28 participants, 10 were from First Oakville.  Each and every club was represented: First Oakville, Glen Abbey, Trafalgar, Horizons (being chartered on January 22) and Mighty Oaks.
 We reviewed and discussed the Judges Guide and Ballot and different approaches when assigning points.  Then our own Sharon Jenkins delivered a speech for us to practice our judging skills.  Peter West videotaped her speech so that we were able to view it again after we discussed our results.  One of the very best aspects of this workshop was the amount of participation and interaction between all attendees.  It was an exciting opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions, as we so like to do as Toastmasters.
Just as important was the feedback given to me and co-presenter Bradd Morgan after the event.  There were some valuable suggestions ~ such as having more target speakers at the workshop to closely simulate a contest scenario and also providing more examples of how to approach assigning point value on the Judges Guide and Ballot.  Incorporating these ideas will make our next Judging Workshop even stronger!
Special thanks to Peter West, Sharon Jenkins, Heather Cunningham and Adrian Scott for their support.
Looking forward to our next workshop day, January 26!
Best regards,
Linda Rossi
First Oakville Toastmasters #2245