Igniters Toastmasters

Another year of Igniting Spirits!

Igniters Toastmasters like many other clubs had a challenging year. We were able find solutions and energize the members to keep Igniting Spirits! We are proud of being a President’s Distinguished Club for the past 7 years in a row and a place where laughter, learning, and friendship flourished.

Mentoring is a cornerstone at our club to help members grow. Our President embraced using Zoom for our meetings. Having technical expertise and being on the District 42 Tech Team he was able to answer questions, mentor members, and share resources.

The Executive also had a strong Club Success Plan including all 7 officers trained twice and understanding their roles. We experienced membership growth with over 20 members per year. We had Mentoring Teams with mentors and mentees helping each other pursue Pathway goals. Our Newer members signed up for speeches and inspired others to go after their goals.

One member created an HPL Handbook for our meeting roles that involved all members in writing, editing, and mentoring. Three other members were Area Directors, who supported and mentored each other to showcase leadership opportunities.

Contests were an excellent opportunity to energize our members and to learn at all levels including District. Judges, officials, and newer members stepped up to compete. One of our new members won both the Division Humorous and International contest.

The District 42 Circle of Gold (peer Mentoring) provided our members to help with feedback and for club contestants to keep developing their skills. We recognized our members throughout the year for educational goals and at the annual year end party with our club awards. We are looking forward to another year of Igniting Spirits!

Submitted by: Igniters Toastmasters Club

Bedstone Olympics Toastmasters

Learning and growing together

Bedstone Olympics Toastmasters has survived and survived well. Our club achieved President’s Distinguised status yet again. I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of our members. I have to say the whole online experience was a challenge for me. The learning curve was steeper than Mt. Everest. Zoom is so different than meeting in person. How many times have I heard the phrases “You’re muted” and “Can you hear me?” Still, meeting online is better than not meeting at all and with the help of the Area and District teams as well as our executive members, we got the job done. I decided to take on the challenge of club president because no one else had their hand up and we needed a president. I took over from Maria Guterriez who was the quintessential club president. What an amazing leader. She went on to be Area Director. Again I cannot say enough about the amazing support and Toastmasters spirit that made the job fun and satisfying.

Our executive meetings were held each and every month in order to stay on top of the pandemic and online challenges. Online executive meetings are logistically easier than meeting in person. After things get back to normal, it might be easier to continue using Zoom.

Bedstone Olympics Toastmasters is a wonderful club and its hard-working members are an inspiration. At the end of the day, it’s about relationships. Learning and growing together made 2020-2021 a very successful year.

Submitted by: Bedstone Olympics Toastmasters Club

Spoken Word Toastmasters Club

President’s Distinguished Club (again! Yippee)

Support and encouragement to the new members while learning from involved and more experienced ones has been the secret of success for Spoken Word Toastmasters Club for so many years. Chartered in 2004 and although relatively new, our club has shown tremendous progress over time; we have been a President’s Distinguished Club for 7 years in a row. The past year has been especially challenging due to so many reasons! Maintaining a connection in a virtual online environment was probably the most difficult task where our executives had to stretch a bit further to bring this accolade home. In addition, our membership expanded far and wide, stretching from the UK to Ecuador to the US. We the executives are only as good as our members are. Hence, President’s Distinguished Club (again! Yippee) was the result of all of us coming together as a family and contributing our best, while achieving personal growth and goals.

The first step towards proper planning was of course having a good team. We had some very enthusiastic and new members joining our executive team who needed proper direction to ensure Toastmaster protocols were followed and the goals achieved. Our team constituted of the experience of seasoned members and the vigor of relatively new ones. We came together to form a Club Success Plan and then moved ahead. Each one of us contributed to making a smart plan for the 2020-21 Toastmaster Year. Our VP Education presented Moments of Truth to all our members to reflect and help us plan our year. Being on time and being organized with these initial tasks helped us bag our first accolade of the year – Club Fitness Award, and we were one of the two clubs from Area E06 to receive a Core Value Banner from D42.

Our new and energetic VP Public Relations came up with a brilliant idea of conducting member interviews every month. This resulted in every member being more confident and comfortable in sharing their stories, and we all got to know each other better both inside and outside their Toastmaster involvements. This initiative, supported by VP Education and VP Membership, initially earned PR Program of the Year award from Area, and finally Division E Program of the Year Award. It was also a recognition of our efforts towards maintaining our website, blog, social media (Facebook and Meetup groups) and brochures. The whole of our executive team appreciates and would like to recognize each member for welcoming and supporting our decisions. Our members also took part in contests and represented us in area and division level. Many of us contributed towards successful organizing of contests at club, area, division and district level. Our members also appreciated and were part of a Mentorship program which helped tremendously in their personal growth, resulting in the overall growth of the club.

One thing we did differently during our executive meetings this year was we had a different executive chair each meeting. We found it to be very useful especially for sharing and appreciating each other’s ideas as they came during these brainstorming sessions. We have a lot to learn from past years as we embark on our next journey! We had an induction ceremony where our amazing Toastmaster Christina Kruis participated and inspired our members to be better than we are today. Our new executive committee is even more committed and dynamic, and we are sure of bagging our eighth in a row next year.

Submitted by: Spoken Word Toastmasters

FCC Stubble Jumpers

Engagement is the Key to Success

The theme for FCC Stubble Jumpers Club for 2020-2021 was, “Engagement is the Key to Success” and we both lived it and experienced it.

We started the year strong with our Sept. 24 Open House where we had 7 new members join.  We also had 2 other new members start prior to that for a total of 9 new members by the end of September!  We made sure that all of our new members had a mentor so that they were fully supported while learning meeting roles and getting acquainted with Pathways. 

We made the DCP Goals a priority as these are that goals that lead to club growth, club health and member development.  In addition to this, we also focused on achieving as many of the Club Incentives as we could and by the end of September, we had achieved the Smedley Award, the DCP Go Getter Award, the Open House and Sunshine Club awards, the Club Fitness Award and the 7 out of 7 Club Officers Trained.  We were in very good shape for the rest of the year.

Our Club placed an emphasis on the Fall Contests with Sesan Oyedele (Table Topics) and Deborah Walker (Evaluation) making it all the way to the District 2021 contests! 

From December onwards we focused on the DCP Education goals and monitored where members were at with completing their levels.  We made sure to focus on those levels that members were close to completing to ensure that we reached those goals.  At this time, we also started initial discussions on succession planning for the next TM year.  Starting those conversations six months ahead of time ultimately set us up for success in ensuring we had a full Executive team of 7 for the 2021-2022 TM year.

When the new year (2021) began we ensured we had candidates selected for the “Of the Year” awards and we recognized them at the Club level.

Overall, the 2020-2021 TM year was a huge success for our Club, and it all came back to our theme for the year – engagement truly was the key to our success!

Submitted by: FCC Stubble Jumpers

Literally Speaking Toastmasters Calgary

The 2020-2021 Toastmaster Year

The foundation of Literally Speaking Toastmasters comes from connections. When in-person, members had an ease with one another that created a welcoming and supportive environment. We certainly miss that. However, the connections continued because the relationships have prevailed.

The breadth of experience at Literally Speaking enhances member support, growth, and goal achievement. The shared desire to become better speakers and leaders is achieved through meaningful feedback and evaluation, mentorship, and Circle of Gold meetings.

Regular communication from the club president about the Distinguished Club Program served to educate, inform, and encourage members. Effective leadership, by Executive members, was the beacon that members needed to stay tethered to the club. Meetings at Literally Speaking last only an hour but have an agenda to rival longer meetings, due to careful planning and organization. A smoothly facilitated noon-hour club drew several guests, some of whom are now members.

Several members improved their technical skills, thereby supporting others to grow. Members continued to explore creative ways to deliver speeches and presentations, which resulted in meeting variety. Whether creating captivating visuals, recording and playing video or using a shared screen with music to celebrate achievements—the members inspired one another to push the boundaries. Learning new skills meant completing projects, education awards, and goals achieved.

Literally Speaking is more than a club; it is a caring community that supports its members. The relationships that have been built, and the connections that have been established ensure our space – whether in person or virtual, is a welcoming place for all.

Submitted by: Literally Speaking Toastmasters Club

Ace of Clubs Toastmasters

Working well as a team

Like many clubs, Ace of Clubs Toastmasters struggled at the start of the pandemic. As a group mostly populated by members from one company in downtown Calgary, layoffs at that organization (and others) combined with the  move to Zoom meetings sparked a huge decrease in membership. We looked at this as a great opportunity to diversify our membership base and attract members from outside the downtown core. Over the course of the year, we went from 13 members, down to 7, and back up to 18, while having excellent engagement from old and new members alike.

There were two major factors in successfully navigating this challenging time. First was the exceptional contribution from our club coaches, A.G. and Princeton Lau. Their passion, energy, guidance, and coaching helped us see a better future vision, and implement the actions necessary to take us there. Without them, our club may not exist today, let alone be President’s Distinguished status.

The second factor in our transition was a February Career Event that was initiated and led by our amazing VP of PR Lin He. She coordinated a range of guest speakers including Calgary’s top recruiter. That meeting alone attracted 75 guests, and we had over 100 new people attend meetings in the month of February. Outside of the several members we attracted during “career month”, the success of the event raised the energy and engagement of our club. The event boosted hope and helped us see that we could not only survive the pandemic, but thrive as a club.

We still have a lot of work to do this year and are working well as a team. Among our goals of mentoring new club and executive members, we plan to end the year with 23 members and maintain our Toastmasters President’s Distinguished status.

Committed to Your Health and Happiness.

Submitted by: Ace of Clubs Toastmasters

Westhills Toastmasters Club

The 2020 - 2021 Toastmaster year

At the core of what Toastmasters represents is building relationships. That is no doubt the cornerstone to Westhill’s success. Without valuable strong relationships, we cannot gain new club members, we cannot encourage members to complete Pathway speeches, nor would we be able to thrive as a club during the pandemic. With 20 members strong, Westhills Toastmasters Club is the epitome of how a club can be impactful on a personal and professional level to its members, even during trying times.

Last year, Westhills attained President’s Distinguished status through three avenues: encouraging its members to take on roles during each meeting; having members be accountable for completing Pathway speeches; and having a concrete mentoring program. Spelling out these goals was and still is the measure of our drive and success as a club.

We demonstrated no shortage of creativity and support to thrive during the pandemic. For instance, we gained 10 new members last year; 3 of whom transitioned to club officer roles this year. Also, virtual meetings introduced a unique platform to our club. This connected us socially in a different vein, with new streams to continue to creatively find our voice.

In addition, Westhills’ cohesive leadership makes sure more than a minimum number of club officers are trained each Fall and Spring. Our club success plan is formulated at the beginning of the year and we are thankful that our members have devoted time and energy to the club outside of their busy professional lives and family.

In short, Westhills members demonstrate a commitment to the club that openly embraces and encourages new and upcoming club members to grow in a safe and supportive environment.

Submitted by: Westhills Toastmasters Club

Dynamically Speaking Toastmasters

The 2020 - 2021 Toastmaster year

There is a tradition of excellence at Dynamically Speaking Toastmasters.  We have been a President’s Distinguished Club for 17 of the last 18 years.  What made the 2020-21 Toastmaster year different is that we accomplished this goal during a global pandemic, and we did it with the help of Zoom.  Zoom opened up opportunities we never dreamed possible in the in-person environment.

What we are most proud of is that we started the year with a membership base of 28 and finished the year with a membership base of 40.  During the year we transformed from being a Lethbridge club, to being an Alberta-based club, with several members from around the globe. 

Currently we have members scattered across 13 communities in Alberta and six time zones around the world, in countries such as the USA, Mexico, Ecuador, France, and Australia.

Like most clubs, we initially stumbled going on to Zoom but we gradually improved and then began to see the fabulous possibilities of this platform. Gaining prowess on Zoom was a total team effort, as was our membership outreach.

Our goal in the current Toastmaster year is to build on our tradition.  We have two audacious goals which are driving our efforts. To start with, we want to be a President’s Distinguished club again, but this year, by Christmas, and we want to graduate 20 members from Level 1 of Pathways.

At Dynamically Speaking we believe we cannot rest on our laurels.

Submitted by: Dynamically Speaking Toastmasters Club

CanOrators Toastmasters Club

Our Pandemic Journey

CanOrators, just like every other Toastmaster, were affected in some way by the initial pandemic lockdowns whether it was job loss, isolation, home schooling responsibilities or concerns about aging parents. On top of this, many CanOrators felt that Toastmasters on Zoom would not cut it.

In the face of these challenges, I became the CanOrators Club President. Why? To provide a mechanism to connect socially despite all the anxiety and uncertainty we were all experiencing. I wanted to create an environment where we could “find our voices, so we could serve our world.” This is a variation on the tagline of the former Toastmasters International President, Dilip Abayasekara.

We could achieve this goal if we had two prepared speakers per meeting without burning out our members. It was a simple objective that each and every member could contribute to by a) learning something new (delivering a Pathways speech) b) reaching out and helping another Toastmaster (taking on a meeting role) and c) inviting a colleague to join. Every CanOrator grabbed an oar as 15 members completed at least one Pathways level, 12 guests became members (all domiciled in Calgary) and together we earned President’s Distinguished status.

Submitted by: CanOrators Toastmasters Club  

Calgary Pace Setters Toastmasters Club

President’s Distinguished Club

At the Calgary Pace Setters, we are blessed with an active membership and a team approach to all goals. The solid leadership of our Executive Team set clear goals, but it was the enthusiastic response of our members who continually rose to meet each challenge that truly made us successful.

Our first challenge was maintaining our culture of welcoming new members and encouraging everyone to be successful in this new online environment. While the VP Membership and VP Public Relations attracted new members, our well organized meetings and engaged members ensured that our club grew during this difficult time.

Our second challenge was to train all the new members. The New Member Boot Camp was hosted by the VP Education, and was taught by Pace Setters who had been with the club for less than one year. The results? All participants are still with the club, all have completed their Ice Breaker speech plus at least one more project. Three have completed their Level One, Two have completed their Level Two and two have completed their Level Three in Pathways. One of the biggest successes though, is that four of these new members are now on the Executive as VP Education, VP Public Relations, VP Membership and Treasurer.

Hosting Club Contests is a lot of work, but it’s worth it when we can cheer on our VP Public Relations Natasha Kutryk at the Division Finals for Evaluations.

The Calgary Pace Setters was asked by District Director Christina Kruis to give a seminar on Increasing Club Membership. This two hour program was packed full of inspiration and step-by-step instructions. It was very well received, and the club was asked to present it again at the Success Summit as one of the break-out educational sessions.

Our VP Education Alisen Dopf was asked to co-host the Success Summit along with our Area Director Irma Goosen, and fellow Pace Setter Carson Puetz as our Chat Master. This was an immense responsibility and honour for our club, especially because we could cheer on Past VP Public Relations Tzonka Bouklieva as she won the District VP PR of the Year award.

Finally, the last challenge was participating in the Executive Leadership Training. VP Education Alisen Dopf was asked to support Director Christina Kruis in her final Keynote speech on Mentorship. This challenge continues into the 2021/2022 year, as Christina and Alisen host a full seminar on how mentorship can help your club be successful.

Submitted by: Calgary Pace Setters Toastmasters Club

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