Monthly Archives: September 2018

Message from the President

Welcome back Fellow First Oakville Toastmasters to the 2018-2019 season.
One of the most humbling experiences so far as Club President has been to see how many members are returning for another awesome season. The new executive team is grateful for our members and has been very busy learning and growing into our new roles.  In addition to meeting over the summer, we have been busy planning a very exciting year ahead.  As the President of this club I want to share with you a
little of what to expect for this upcoming year.

1. Club Culture
One of our most important goals is to preserve our club’s culture. We have an awesome club with a number of special traditions (Christmas Party, Charter Party, Summer Party) and friendships that have been built over the years. As we prepare to celebrate our club’s 62 years we will do our best to protect this and to ensure that we help create synergy at our meetings together with our membership and guests.

2. Education
This year we will continue what we do best as a club and that is to provide quality speaking and leadership opportunities in a fun and engaging way.  As Ralph C. Smedley, Founder of Toastmasters believes, “We learn best in moments of enjoyment.”
We have also organized a very special Gold Speaker Series featuring three very talented speakers in District 86 for our three open houses this Fall.  Our first Gold Speaker was
Hassan Wadi who shared his winning Humorous Speech and a workshop on “The Art of Storytelling- 10 keys to telling a great story.”

Our second Gold Speaker is Roger Caesar, DTM, three time Toastmasters District champion in public speaking and he represented District 86 at the World Championships of Public Speaking in Chicago, IL, on August 23, 2018.  He will be joining us on October 25, 2018.

Our third Gold Speaker is Gregory C.N Smith, DTM author of the book, “Life’s loudest secrets” and he will be presenting a workshop on how to write a winning speech. He will be joining us on November 22, 2018.  The Gold Speaker series is intended to provide our members with excellent workshops and to inspire our members to write their own winning speeches, whether they are considering entering the International Speech Contest, or completing their Competent Communicator designation, or maybe a persuasive sales pitch at work.

We are also very lucky to welcome back our good friend, Dennis Bartel, DTM who will be delivering a workshop on Parliamentary Procedure in order to help our members understand the proper procedure during the Business Session of our meetings. (October 4th , 2018).

3. Collaboration
We have all the ingredients lined up to cook up an amazing new Toastmaster year.  The executive looks forward to working collaboratively with all our members, to learn from all of you as we continue our  journey of becoming better leaders, better listeners, and better speakers.  As we begin this new year of growth, let’s support each other, let’s lift each other up.  Use your mentors; if you don’t have one – get one! Let’s be patient with one another, let’s be understanding, let’s be positive and inspiring.

While I have only been a member since 2016, my journey with the club has been rich and rewarding on both a personal and professional level.  While I have never had a fear of public speaking,  as someone who works in sales it has been tremendously important for me to learn how to sharpen my skills.  Toastmasters is not just for those who have a fear of public speaking.  It is also for professionals who want to learn how to deliver concise messages, learn how to inspire and motivate your audience/team.  While I recently completed my 10th speech earlier this year, I recognize that I have so much more to learn and I look forward to it.

It is an honour to serve as your FOTM Club President 2018-2019. I look forward to serving the club and to working collaboratively with our executive team, our members and our guests.
To another successful year of growth, friendship and leadership. Cheers to good times ahead.

Alonso Mendizabal
Club President 2018-2019


Be A Winner

First Oakville Toastmasters Club’s Humorous and Table Topics Contests are schedued for Thursday, September 27 at our meeting being held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1494 Wallace Road in Oakville, Ontario. (Guests are always welcome.)

If you’re a paid up member of First Oakville Toastmasters you are eligible to be a contestant!33282101026_c0e93c5024_k

For the Humorous Contest you need to present a speech that’s five to seven minutes in length, of essentially original material and it helps if it’s funny.

But being funny, is a funny thing. Some presentations that don’t sound funny can be hilarioius when delivered. Some speakers are funnier than others regardless of the content of their speech. Some speakers use props that help while others don’t.

My point is you can’t predict what will work until you try it.

Last year I won the club level Humorous Speech Contest with a speech about a near-fatal car-bus crash out on the QEW that almost killed Marion and myself (I ended up with a fractured spine and a week in hospital.) so there’s no telling what some people will find funny.

The Table Topics Contest, which requires zero preparation, has always been one of my favourites and back a few years ago I won the District Table Topics Contest which is as far as you can go in this event.

Everyone who is a member in good-standing (in other words paid up) in First Oakville who isn’t a judge, chair, timer or counter should be a contestant. The idea is not to win (although in Table Topics you’ve got as good a chance as the next person) but to compete so as to build your experience as a contest participant. Participation helps to less anxiety and fear of speaking and it’s fun to do.

If you’re interested in participating in either contest let either chair know right away. I’m chairing the Table Topics Contest and Marion is charing the Humorous Contest and we’ll both be at this week’s meeting.