Tag Archives: Meetings

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!


“Like watching a basketball game in the dark”

Submitted by Toastmaster Hal Shaw

Toastmaster Hal Shaw

Mentor: A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

A few years ago, I recall a freshman at 1st Oakville commenting that after a few meetings, it was a bit like watching a basketball game in the dark…he knew there was a lot going on, but he wasn’t sure what much of it was all about!
As new members regularly join 1st Oakville, more of the seasoned members are being called upon to act as mentors to these “fresh, vibrant, green shoots” of toastmastering. Here are a few of my observations that I hope will help 1st Oakville maintain and improve upon the high standards set by our predecessors and mentors.
As “wise and trusted counselors”, mentors need to take an active interest in their mentee’s progress, more than asking “how’s it goin’ ” when we occasionally show up at a meeting. At the outset, try to establish how you think you can help, and more importantly what the new “grasshopper” would like help with. Weekly phone calls discussing upcoming roles, what happened at last week’s meeting or recounting experiences and anecdotes that give the new member a better sense of what we’re all about, all come under the job description.

Corrective action, in almost all cases, will become necessary at some point. We all make mistakes (otherwise, we never learn) and it is the job of the mentor to identify these in a tactful manner and to offer constructive suggestions for improvement. Overlooking deficiencies to “spare one’s feelings” shackles individual personal growth and weakens the fabric of the club. A few obvious examples include lack of preparation for the assigned role, last minute email pleas for substitutes, or spotty attendance. Along with the privilege of calling yourself a Toastmaster, there is a set of responsibilities beyond giving a few speeches.
In most cases, the recipient of your advice will appreciate the guidance. In some cases, we should be prepared for the prospect of the “I’m not sure this is for me” conversation or as I like to call it, “Darwin does Toastmasters too”
As mentors, it is our task to ensure new members understand what they can expect out of 1st Oakville and what their obligations are as well. So, they don’t feel like they’re just watching a basketball game in the dark.

“Remember, free advice is usually worth twice what you pay for it! ”


The Proroguing of our new business session‏

I am sorry to say that I missed the meeting of First Oakville Toastmasters held Thursday March 4th/2010.  We shall join our members in a discussion already in progress, started by Toastmaster Peter West in his blog. I would invite any further discussion to take place in the comments following this post. Toastmaster Michelle Gillies

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles:

This blog entry is in response to Peter’s recent blog and my short response.

First Oakville Toastmasters is becoming a victim of its own success. We are approaching 50 members again. We had 3 guests last night and if they join up then we will be at 50 members, again. A few Q&A may be in order

1) What is the purpose of Toastmasters? To provide an adult night school process where people can learn public speaking, presentation skills, and leadership skills in a supportive and friendly hands on environment.

2) How involved is the Toastmaster Education process? 4 levels on the communication side; CC, ACB, ACS, ACG and 3 levels on the leadership side; CL, ALB, ALS.

3) Are there any special conditions for these certificates? The ACG requires mentoring someone to the first 3 speeches. All the other requirements are for speeches and presentations. The ALS is different as you must be a sponsor, mentor, or coach for a new club. This may be why we do not have anyone with an ALS designation in the club.

With a membership count of 50 it becomes impossible to service everyone with 5 speeches a year. This means that it will take over 2 years to complete 1 level. With only speaking every couple of months it becomes very difficult to develop proficiency. Having 4 speakers a night is proving to be logistically troublesome given that most people do not want a 2 ½ hour meeting. Next year will have at least 4 new CCs in the club. So that means more people giving longer presentations. An important but unappreciated fact is that the meetings are held in the largest room in the Quality Hotel and it will only hold 35 in a U table configuration. I don’t think that everyone would want round tables of 8 on a steady basis, at least not until we offer coupons for chiropractic work on the neck.

So here are the tough questions. Who is happy about the current level of service? Should 1OV start to consider a split? Who would be willing to venture forth? Who would stick with the current club.

Dialogue would be appreciated. Please speak up and let everyone know what you think.

Donald Knowles

First Oakville Toastmasters

V.P. Education

Submitted by Toastmaster Val Clements:

My fellow toastmasters,

This is the great thing about toastmasters.  The open forum.  I have read Toastmaster West’s blog and I welcome his opinions.
It would be great to satisfy everyone’s desires.  To be honest I was thinking more of letting Michael achieve his project rather than Peter’s propensity for new business.
As I said, I’ve read the toastmaster’s blog.  Would I do anything differently……….no.

Best regards

Submitted by Toastmaster Matt Wagner:

To First Oakville Toastmasters,

This is better than Reality Television.

This is why I go to Toastmasters and not stay home on Thursday nights to watch television.  No cable fees and far more entertaining.

A message to the newer members.

Before you wonder what is going on here, I just want to say that the combined numbers of years, as Toastmasters for Val and Peter, is well near 35 years of experience.

It is best to just watch them circling.

Surprisingly, this is what makes this club what it is – people expressing themselves well and with passion.

Where do you learn to swim better?  In shallow water or deep water?

To Iryna – Happy Woman’s Day.

Oh,What A Night…February 4,2010

submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Toastmaster Donald Knowles

Well, what a night last night (February 4) . The VP. Membership was away on business and a guest needed some help. Many thanks to Ann McNicholl for looking after Shannon. I was running around helping Iryna pay some bills and Ann graciously took over. Then Mme. Ford signs up, then Kim signs up, and then Tyler signs up. Three new members, but these ones are different. One is a past member and 2 are rookies, but they were at the evaluation and judging workshop the night before. Talk about keeners. I just might loose my spot as the resident “A” type.

I haven’t cracked the books today, but I think the latest round of members has kicked us over 50, again.

Advance Notice. With 3 new members hungry for roles I will be redoing the schedule this weekend (February 6 and 7).

We are starting to wind through the second half of the year. If you are not working on your CL manual the question is why not? A lot of what you do in the club at a meeting can be counted towards your CL designation. It is not just TM “stuff”. The projects help you learn leadership and facilitation skills. In the current environment of leaner and meaner knowing more skills is not a bad thing. I embraced the CL process because I am older and more expensive than others in the work force. Anything that helps me upgrade my skills to stay ahead of the layoff curve can only be a good thing. Some things are not new, but there Is nothing wrong with a refresher from time to time. Something to think about.

Enjoy the weekend and see you all back at the shop next Thursday.

Anyone want to take over the Chair for the Evaluation contest? I have only run 3 but am willing to share my limited understanding. Something to consider.

Yours in Toastmasters.