Tag Archives: Toastmasters


We have moved.

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!



Summer Break–New Executive Committee

Hello out there,

FOTM is on summer break, but the executive committee is busy behind the scenes to pass along their roles to prepare the incoming executive to make 2014-2015 season the best yet!

Stay tuned!

Eleanor Hayward, Outgoing VP PR & Brampston Gushway, Incoming VP PR

beach drink

Christmas With First Oakville Toastmasters

Here is a view of the Christmas Party from a far from disinterested observer who was fortunate enough to be volunteered to play the part of John “I got Rhythm” Pope, key board artist and second banana extraordinaire to Dophra Doolittle, the host for the evening’s extravaganza.

The organizing committee did a fabulous job of organizing the evening and having the room dressed in extravagant fashion. Having an early start so we could socialize as only Toastmasters can was a great idea.

Having the chat show theme for the party was inspired. Dophra Doolittle maintained control of the evening in her inimitable style with the assistance and sometimes despite the efforts of her second banana and her guests.

After a delicious and traditional turkey dinner we were treated to readings from a variety of Christmas themed writings and original thoughts and actions from Rudolph of the flashing red nose (who knew?), Mr. “I like Pierogis and prorogation” Harper, a very out of shape Santa, and a very animated and reformed Mr. Scrooge. The latter was maniacal in leading us in some risqué games. It is not every Christmas party that features mostly men donning ladies underwear on their heads! Look at the photos taken by our amazing photographer Peter West at his site Peter West Photo, in the gallery 2010 Xmas First Oakville Toastmasters and see who obviously had experience at this activity!

Mercifully the group singing this year was left until we had imbibed sufficient Christmas cheer so that we all sounded awesome, at least to me.
Truly a party to remember.


Submitted by Linda Rossi, CTM

Toastmaster Linda Rossi

Last weekend I attended the District 86 Fall Conference in Niagara Falls, ON. I would like to share the highlights of the weekend, which began on Friday night with a mix and mingle reception followed by live entertainment.

The official opening ceremonies were bright and early Saturday morning with the Parade of Banners. I proudly ushered our First Oakville #2245 banner to the front of the room along with my fellow bearers and the banners were displayed for the rest of Conference up high against the walls for all to enjoy.

The opening keynote speaker was Peter James, DTM and the name of his presentation was entitled “Heart of Gold”. Peter began by having the audience clapping in unison to get everyone in an upbeat, enthusiastic mood. His speaking style was full of verve and commitment and his message was three-fold: recognize the value that you possess, then increase your value through more education and life experience, and finally, that you absolutely MUST share your knowledge and experience with others. I walked away reflecting how to apply each of those items in not only my Toastmasters career, but in my personal life outside of Toastmasters (the truth is that they blend into one sometimes, don’t they?).

The bulk of Saturday is devoted to workshops. There are 12 offered in total and here are summaries of the three I attended:

Workshop Session #1 – I Don’t Have Time! by Greg Lewis, ACB, CL

Yes, another time management workshop and to be honest with you, not my choice. I found myself in the front row because I was assigned to introduce the speaker (as an Activator). Greg’s presentation, however, was superb! His approach was to first prioritize the different parts of our life that require time; family, job, Toastmasters, errands, etc. Then build your agenda allocating your time accordingly. If family is #1, then block in the time commitments for family first, and continue down the list. Have a list of items that are not time sensitive so that you can fit them in whenever time allows. Some tips for managing: always block in time for the estimated duration of the appointment or task, not just the time of initiation, designate particular times of the day for reading emails, making outgoing calls, and only receive incoming calls if it is during a time that you have agreed to. This eliminates constantly being interrupted when trying to complete a project or task. Finally, he emphasized the importance of taking the time out each week to review and adjust the schedule as necessary. This workshop was definitely worth my time!

Workshop Session #2 – Brand”I”fication: Ready or not, you’re a Brand … by Molly McCoubrey, CC

This workshop was full of information about branding ~ from the history of branding to current popular branding. The workshop leader definitely knew her subject matter well since she is a marketing professional with Loblaws. Many of her examples, of course, revolved around the President’s Choice brand to illustrate the how branding has been used to expand customer base. Molly then turned to our ‘personal’ branding. This involves letting others know what is unique about us personally. It is the uniqueness that sets us apart from others and gives us the edge over competitors. The benefits are that if we represent ourselves well, other people and/or like-minded projects will come to the fore automatically. Interesting workshop, lots of reading recommendations on personal branding. If anyone would like a copy of the bibliography, I would be happy to forward it to you.

Workshop Session #3 – Create Winning Seminars by Jacques Brunet, ATMG, AL

Jacques Brunet has an excellent reputation at District 86 because of his extensive knowledge and his effective presentation style. He offered many different tips about creating winning seminars including; how to select a great title (always a great idea to start with a number, such as, Top 3 Ways to ….), best day of the week to do a seminar (always best to avoid a Monday or Friday), the best time for a Q&A period (just before your close so as to not distract from your final pitch), plus much, much, more. Even though I do not see myself needing this in the foreseeable future, I found it quite interesting. If you would like more information about Jacques or are interested in purchasing his educational material, please let me know.

The Communication & Leadership Award Recipient was Betty-Lou Souter. Betty Lou is the Chief Executive Officer, Community Care, St. Catharines & Thorold, and is responsible for the overall management of the agency which provides emergency food and clothing, medical and dental assistance and shelter to the less advantaged in the communities of St. Catharines & Thorold. In her most gracious acceptance speech, Betty-Lou inspired everyone present to find a way to make the community where you live a better place for all. Her selflessness was admirable, and once again I walked away wondering what I could do to help those around me.

It goes without saying that both the Humourous and Table Topics contests were highly anticipated and did not disappoint. It is amazing to see first hand the amount of talent we have in District 86.

The conference ended on Sunday with Keynote Speaker Jamey French, DTM, presenting Fly from Fear to Faith. Jamey told a very personal and inspirational story of a very traumatic time that he and his wife Molly endured ten years ago. It was the power of positive thinking, analytical and listening skills, plus the many other skills learned at Toastmasters that actually made the difference in dealing with their tragedy. I would be happy to share the details with you if interested. A perfect way to end the Toastmasters conference.

Next week, in Part 2, I will explain the many benefits you can gain by not only attending a Toastmasters conference, but also participating. There are countless ways to volunteer at the conference ~ from working the registration desk, to introducing the speakers, giving the invocation at one of the many meals, to serve as a judge or counter for the contest … more to come!

Finally, the next conference is at the Delta Meadowvale in Mississauga in April. Remember, you do not have to come to the whole conference. In fact, you can attend a contest alone, or just attend the Communication & Leadership Luncheon, etc.

I hope this has represented the conference in a way that makes it look worthwhile and appealing. I certainly feel attending the conference is for the good of all Toastmasters!

Another Great Night!

Yes, it was another great night at First Oakville Toastmasters. Our Chair for the evening was able to capture the atmosphere of the evening in his blog today. Please click on Toastmaster Blog and enjoy!

Toastmaster Peter West

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles…

Photo by Peter West

Well, that was quite a night! Starting off with the Mayor, Town Crier, Area Governor, Trafalgar Club President, and members from Trafalgar, Mighty Oaks, and First Oakville crammed into the Quality Hotel Lobby. The proclamation ceremony declaring October Toastmaster Month in Oakville was Pat Lore’s idea and she carried the whole thing off. Then there was the Cogeco FYI interview, also set up by Pat Lore. And then the last at bat for Pat was the notification of the Service Club signs going up on the community boards. Pat is going 3 for 3 and it’s only the first night! And I know she has more stuff up her sleeve.

We had a special presentation to Past President John Smissen in appreciation of his work last year. Gerry Bram received his pin for his ACB, Matt Wagner for his ACG. Then the Area Governor Doug Carr relieved the past executive of their charge and then inducted the current club executive. The executive received TM pins which hopefully will start a new tradition of passing the pins every year.

The current president gave a little thematic speech outlining the wish for every member to pursue Toastmaster Education objectives through the Distinguished Club Program and to Soar to New Heights. And then we broke for a short respite and came back for our usual second half featuring 3 speeches.

OK, OK, some of us were a little rusty from the summer. It’s amazing how quickly the well oiled process can become rusty. The agenda had a few holes in it, but everyone reminded the Chair when things were going off the rails a bit. Gerry Bramm was once again doing Yeoman duty as a Stand Up which added fantastic levity to the evening. All the extra activities and a full regular meeting, and we were only 20 minutes over. Not a bad a start to the year. I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves and that the first meeting will be the harbinger of many more great evenings at First Oakville Toastmasters to come.

Donald Knowles

For more photos of this extraordinary evening please visit Peter West Photo


October is Toastmasters Month and Don Knowles from First Oakville Toastmasters came by the FYI studio to talk with Joe Ferroni about Toastmasters basics and events taking place throughout the month. TVCOGECO – truly local television on Cogeco Cable.
Please follow the link to watch Donald’s interview.


Toastmasters Talk of the Town

Submitted by:
Patricia Lore, Vice-President Public Relations, First Oakville Toastmasters, Club #2245

Come One, Come All!

Mayor Rob Burton has very graciously agreed to proclaim October, 2010 as Toastmaster Month for the Town of Oakville.

As a kick-off to the Toastmaster Fall season we have invited Mayor Burton to read the Proclamation at  The Quality Inn (754 Bronte Road-Bronte Road and QEW) on Thursday September 9, 2010 at 7:00pm.  On hand will be Oakville’s Town Crier Chris Pederson-Brown to announce the Mayor. As well, Executive from Toastmaster Clubs in Oakville will attend.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization, which has been teaching valuable communication and leadership skills to people around the globe for over 85 years. There are currently over 250,000 members in 12,500 clubs in 106 countries.

In Oakville, Toastmasters clubs have been an active member of the community for over fifty years. Its members take pride in their contributions to the development of skills beneficial to the people of Oakville.