First Oakville Toastmasters & Area 87 Table Topics & Humorous Club Contest

Have you heard the news?

It was quite an auspicious evening for First Oakville Toastmasters at the Area 87 Table Topics & Humorous Speech contest.

We laughed, we laughed so hard we cried, and we certainly cheered!  It was a full-house at the contest and First Oakville Toastmasters had a cheering section there to support and represent our club.  Congratulations to our FOTM contestants.  Your bravery as speakers was incredibly inspiring.  Thank you for your dedication to Toastmasters and for being examples of growth.

Our Table Topics contestants Samantha Tam and Peter West competed amongst seven contestants and spoke about how wisdom is strength.  Samantha Tam won second place and Peter West won third place.  Congratulations!


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From left to right:  Peter West (Third Place), Samantha Tam (Second Place), Amory Alleko (First Place), Table Topics Contest Chair Cathy Ryan


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Table Topics Contestants:  Coral Courtney, Kelly-Lynne Spettigue, Samantha Tam, Sarah Pollard, Jane Wilson, Amory Alleko, Peter West and Contest Chair Cathy Ryan



Our Humorous Speech contestants Peter West and Cheryl Etherington filled the room with roars of laughter.  Cheryl Etherington won first place and Peter West won third place.  Congratulations!

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From left to right:  Humorous Contest Chair Kelly-Lynne Spettigue, Cheryl Etherington (First Place), Rich Panetta (Second Place) and Peter West (Third Place)


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Humorous Speech Contestants:  Erin Cleary, Cheryl Etherington, Victoria Oswell, Peter West, Amory Alleko, Sarah Pollard, Rich Panetta and Humorous Contest chair Kelly-Lynne Spettigue


Congratulations to Cheryl Etherington, Samantha Tam and Peter West.  Cheryl will advance and compete at the Divison D -Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest October 18th, 2017.


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From left to right:  Area 87 Director Lou Mulligan & Cheryl Etherington First Place Winner of the Humorous Speech Contest



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A big thank you to our Contest Chairs, Chief Judge, Judges, Counters, Timers & Sergeant-At-Arms, and last but not least to our FOTM cheer section:  Adrian Scott, Linda Rossi, Allan Osborne, Alonso Mendizabal, Robert Gillespie, Marion West, Luke Jin & Cheryl Etherington’s family.

First Oakville Toastmasters is ABSOLUTELY where leaders are made.  Guests are always welcomed to attend our meetings and to learn about how First Oakville Toastmasters can help you reach your public speaking goals.





Toastmasters Pathways Coming Soon

PathwaysPathways is coming to First Oakville Toastmasters!  This Thursday October 5th, 2017 we will have a very special Pathways Presentation.  Our Pathways Ambassador, Lindsay Kueh and Pathways Guide, Mikael Gatje will join us for an hour-long presentation.  This presentation is very important because Pathways will be launching in District 86 as of October 24th, 2017.  What this means for us as a club is that any new member who joins FOTM after October 24th will automatically start with the Pathways Program.

It is very important for us as members to understand the program, ask questions, and most importantly attend the information session.

We spoke with our Pathways Guide, Mikael Gatje and Pathways Ambassador Lindsay Kueh over the weekend and asked them some questions regarding Pathways.

 What is the difference between a Pathways Ambassador and Pathways Guide?

The Pathways Ambassador plays a major role in ensuring that Pathways launches successfully in our club.   We will present an overview of the Pathways Program and we will be encouraging your members to get excited about the change while supporting and motivating your club.    The Ambassadors consist of approximately 1, 500 volunteers.  There is one Ambassador for every 10 clubs within a district.

The Pathways Guide will work with First Oakville Toastmasters and the Executive Team, especially the VP Education.  As the First Oakville Toastmasters Pathways Guide, Mikael will be there to support the club during this very exciting transition.  The Pathways Guide is our club’s first point of contact for all Pathways questions and will help with training.

What are you most excited about with the new Pathways Program?

There is so much new technology available since the last review of Toastmasters Educational program which affects the way we are leading.  The new educational program pays homage to the current education system and those competences while at the same time embracing the new technologies and the advanced new ways of operating.

Our Pathways Ambassador likes that Pathways will bring evaluations and mentoring to the forefront.  It also emphasizes leadership more than the previous program.

 What is the most common asked question about Pathways?

The most common question is, “What will happen to the manuals I am currently working on?”  The answer is that we will have a two-year transition period to complete our current program if we wish to do so.

Will the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) designation still exist?

Yes, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) is the highest individual honour you can achieve in Pathways.  You can earn your DTM by:

  • Completing two paths
  • Serving as a Club Officer for 12 months
  • Serving as a Club Mentor or Coach
  • Serving as a Club Sponsor or conducting Speech craft or a Youth Leadership Program
  • Serving as a District Officer for one year
  • Completing a DTM project

For more information about achievements & awards click here.


When will members of First Oakville Toastmasters have an opportunity to try Pathways?

First Oakville Toastmaster members will have an opportunity to learn more on October 5th, 2017 and it will officially launch October 24th, 2017.

For more information please attend the Pathways Information Session at First Oakville Toastmasters October 5, 2017  1494 Wallace Rd, Oakville, On  

Additional Resources:  Pathways FAQ




First Oakville Toastmasters Membership Fees Renewal 2017-2018

It is that time of the year again. The clock is ticking.  Time for Toastmaster member renewals!


First Oakville Toastmasters and Toastmasters International are non-profit organizations.  Our Membership fees are based solely on recovering anticipated club expenses such as the costs of the meeting room rental, club supplies needed in order to run meetings, Toastmaster materials such as ribbons, marketing related expenses and Toastmasters International dues.

Every year in September the newly elected Treasurer drafts the budget for the new Toastmaster season with feedback from the executive team.  The Treasurer presents the budget to the executive team for feedback and approval.  Once the Executive Team has approved this budget, the Treasurer then presents the budget to the membership and we hold a vote.

Our Treasurer this year is Cheryl Etherington, (aka Super Nana Treasurer Extraordinaire).  Membership fees can be paid by cash, cheque (made payable to First Oakville Toastmasters), or email transfer.

If you joined after September 2016 the amount owing for 2017-2018 will be pro-rated.  Our Treasurer has prepared invoices with the amount owing for each member.  If you have any questions please contact Cheryl Etherington.  In order to remain an active member your membership fees must be paid in full by September 30th.


Get to know our First Oakville Toastmasters Treasurer:  Cheryl Etherington

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Why did you join Toastmasters?

It was something that I had thought about for a long time.  I wanted to get better at public speaking, learn how to improve my presentations, learn how to sound more interesting and learn how to properly conduct meetings.

What do you like most about our club?

I love the diversity of our club, long time members and new members, different professional and cultural back grounds, how our meetings have structure and involve a whole lot of people to make them happen.  The support and confidence that is provided is amazing.  Even if I have had a stressful day at work and feeling exhausted, the minute I walk in that door I feel energized.

Tell us how you have grown since joining First Oakville Toastmasters?

Over the summer I did some speaking at the World Santa Claus congress, and auctioned off a signed Jakob Anderson hockey Jersey.  I was complimented on my speaking abilities.  Just recently I conducted an hour presentation on Prevention of Senior Fraud; this is something I never would have done a year ago.  My ratings were all excellent or very good.  I felt comfortable and confident doing it, something I would not have even attempted before I joined toastmasters.

A big thank you to our Treasurer Cheryl Etherington and a reminder to keep calm and pay your Toastmaster dues! 



FOTM Table Topics & Humorous Speech Contests September 21st, 2017

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It was an evening of thought provoking and entertaining table topics.  The word of the evening chosen by our Chair Linda Rossi was, ‘engage’.  It was an amazing opportunity to learn from these brave and wonderful speakers.

Our participants were toastmasters of all levels and they showed their FOTM spirit by speaking about the word engage in very creative, inspiring and entertaining ways.

Samantha Tam, our FOTM Secretary was among 6 contestants.  She opened with a big yawn and asked that the audience ENGAGE her!  For those of us who know Samantha, we know that she really stepped outside of her comfort zone by not only competing in the contest but also by delivering such a powerful table topic.

Congratulations to Samantha Tam, First Oakville Toastmasters 1st Place Winner -Table Topics.



Our Humorous Speech contestants had us laughing from beginning to end.  If you are ever having a bad day, just attend a Humorous Speech contest and you will be laughing in no time.

Peter West was among 5 contestants and he delivered a very personal story about his recovery after surviving a near fatal car crash.  Peter West did what few of us could pull off, which is sharing such a powerful and personal story and yet finding the humorous side of it all.

Congratulations to Peter West, First Oakville Toastmasters 1st Place Winner -Humorous Speech Contest. 

We want to send a BIG THANK YOU to all our brave contestants who participated and helped make our contests a success!  Thank you to both our Chairs Linda Rossi and Alonso Mendizabal and to our Chief Judge John Smissen.  We are also very grateful for all our members who volunteered as timers, counters, judges, greeters and SAA.



Our first and second place winners will move on to compete in the Area 87 contest on October 4th, 2017 at Maple Grove United Church 346 Maple Grove Drive, Oakville, On.

Please join us in cheering our FOTM contestants:  Samantha Tam (First Place Table Topics), Peter West (First Humorous Speech Contest & Second Place Table Topics) & Cheryl Etherington (Second Place Humorous Speech Contest).   For more details please see the eventbrite link:

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FOTM is back (2017/18 season)

Ladies and Gentleman, First Oakville Toastmasters is back with a brand new 2017-2018 season!

Your Thursday nights are full of excitement again.  In our first meeting of the new season, an A+ rated meeting, we had a special visit from our Area Director, Lou Mulligan and Division Director Kyla Werrett.

It was quite the special evening as our VP Education, Allan Osborne recognized First Oakville Toastmasters for their education award accomplishments.


From left to right:  Mark Molder (Immediate Past President) earned the Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) designation, Luke Jin (VP Membership) & Rosa Rodriguez earned their Competent Communicator (CC) designations.  Congratulations!

Congratulations Linda Rossi – Distinguished Toastmaster



First Oakville Toastmasters surprised member Linda Rossi with a celebration to honour her achieving the highest education and leadership award, Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM).  VP Education Allan Osborne presented Linda Rossi with a DTM medal recognizing a big Toastmasters milestone – her Distinguished Toastmaster designation.

What is a Distinguished Toastmaster?

The Distinguished Toastmaster is the highest award Toastmasters bestows.  The DTM recognizes a high level of achievement in both the communication and leadership tracks in the Toastmasters education program.

Save  The Date:  Table Topics & Humorous Speech Contest September 21st, 2017


First Oakville Toastmasters will be hosting our first contest of the 2017-2018 season, Thursday September 21st, 2017 (7:30pm to 9:30pm).

Guests are always welcome!  Prepare to laugh and to be inspired by our Table Topics & Humorous Speech contestants.

The Humorous Speeches are 5-7 minutes long.  They must be original, clean humour, and not a monologue.

Table Topics are 1-2 minutes long.  They are impromptu speeches.  Each contestant for the Table Topics Contest will be presented with the same topic and speak extemporaneously about the topic.

Members in good standing (dues current) can participate in either (or both) contests.

Our winners for the Humorous and Table Topic Speech contest last year were Adrian Scott and Peter West.   If you want to learn about their experience and advice to future contestants click here!

Good luck to all participants!

Summer Party – Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday

First Oakville Toastmasters members and families gather together on a spectacular summer party to celebrate the end of an incredible season of learning, accomplishments and friendship.

FullSizeRender 2Too many reasons to celebrate and to be proud of, including our and our nation’s anniversaries.

Happy 150th Birthday CANADA



Thank you to all and special gratitude to toastmaster Cheryl Boxall-Etherington and husband for your kind hospitality! Enjoy your summer and see you all back on September 7th!

A year of achievements!

In our final meeting this season, A+ rated meeting, we had fabulous speakers, terrific evaluations and prestigious awards:
** Our Area Director Renata Noronha handed the area trophies and recognized First Oakville Toastmasters for winning all 4 District 86 – Area 36 contests this season. Congratulations Toastmasters Peter West​, Adrian Scott, John Boateng and Mark Molder​ (our president) for your achievements.




** Toastmaster Adrian Scott was named Toastmaster of the Year. Congratulations to Adrian for this well-deserved award for your multiple achievements throughout the Toastmaster season.



** Toastmaster Scott Richardson was awarded for Top Attendance. ThankYou for your permanent commitment.

** Five of our members, Zulma Garcia​ (our club VP of PR), Cheryl Boxall-Etherington​ (our incoming Treasure), Adrian Scott, Linda Rossi and Rosa Rodriguez​ (our Vp of Membership), received new designations on their Leadership and Communication tracks.

First Oakville Toastmasters celebrated our President’s Distinguished Club award, the highest designation a club can be awarded.


Congratulations to All Club members and to the outgoing executive committee Toastmasters Mark Molder, Rosa Rodriguez, Petra Dubec, Zulma Garcia, Luke Jin, Sameet Batavia, and Scott Richardson, for your hard work, experience, and dedication.

See you in September with a whole new executive and new goals to be reached!