Anniversary Celebrations in February

Hub City (Nanaimo) 37th  

The Persuaders (Victoria) 2nd  

Salmon Arm (Salmon Arm) 38th

Penticton Speakers (Penticton) 13th  

Kelowna Flying Solo (Kelowna) 19th  

Canada Revenue Raconteurs (Victoria) 6th   

South Okanagan (Osoyoos) 21st

Revelstoke (Revelstoke)   34th


If your Club is celebrating a big event next month, we’d love to have you

send in a group photo and/or a short blurb!

Spread the Word! February is Banner Raid Month!


D 21  Toasties everywhere are moving out of their comfort zone, visiting other Toastmaster Clubs in mass and taking back a prize…a Toastmaster club banner.   


Why do a ‘Banner Raid,’ you ask?  Because it’s fun!  It builds spirit and a sense of camaraderie between clubs.  More than that, not all Toastmaster Clubs are alike and it does us all good to get out of our comfort zone, visit and share best practices. Visiting club members often learn great ideas that they can take back to their home clubs, which in turn promotes strong healthy clubs across the district.  


There are basic standard agreements, i.e., five raiders for the original raid and the additional chance of retrieving and stealing with ten raiders.  Some clubs pre-arrange raids, while others use an element of surprise (with discretion) to increase a spirit of “fun-ness” rather than pre-arranging raids and retrieval dates.   

Check the schedule of the clubs near by, grab a bunch of club members and go all out for a ‘Banner Raid’.  Consider a theme, a light-hearted  fun prank or go in costume.

(See pyjama-clad troop of Division F early morning raiders pictured here).  

The Buzz is Back…

…we’re all fired up and ready to go

Good day to all our Toastmaster members,

Creating plans and working with the team of Division Directors to run the mid-year Club Officer Training is an important step in our journey. The Trio wanted to add some value to our training so we decided to bring in an inspirational speaker – Ted Corcoran, Toastmasters Past International President. Ted is the mentor for Alan Warburton, Michael Bown and myself.

Here we are on January 23 and we have completed eleven events in four geographic areas.  Four Club Officer Training sessions, three public events and four “one on one events” for our Division and Area directors. In the last event they met with Ted and Trio to discuss “how they see things” and it was empowering for all of us. Building teams and relationships will enable us to ensure our belief that “Every Toastmaster deserves to be in a Distinguished club”.

The success of these events has shown in the attendance and in the enthusiasm we experienced each time. Kudos to all those who were part of the events, ensuring all the details were covered.

My thanks go to the Trio and to Ted for agreeing to do these events. Bringing the team to you, the members, has been a profound experience for all four of us. We look forward to being with you on the stage at the 2017 International Convention in Vancouver.

The buzz is back,

We are all fired up,

Ready to go!

John Sherber DTM

District 21 Program Quality Director, 2016-2017

Seize the Stage says Ted

Fellow District 21 Toastmasters,

Ted Corcoran’s inspirational visit to District 21 wrapped up in Nanaimo on Sunday, January 22nd. Amazingly, in the ten days that Ted was in D21 he completed more than a CC of speeches!! He delivered a total of eight keynote speeches at our four COTS (two speeches at each COT – 45 minutes each), and three speeches at Public Meetings (30 minutes each) for a total of eleven speeches!! His total speaking time was seven and a half hours!!  Now we know that Ted likes to talk but … this is going over the top!

The most important thing is that EVERY minute of Ted’s message had important meaning for each of us as District 21 members. Here are three key learnings from Ted:

  • Awareness. We need to be totally aware of where we are before we can start to set goals and move forward. As a District we know that our results last year were well below our expected standards and we have lots of work to do. If we work together as a total team of D21 members we can achieve our goal of … being on the stage at the Toastmasters International Convention at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre in August of this year… as a Distinguished District!! It is SO important that we do this on our home territory … in our province, in our country. We need to work TOGETHER to do whatever we can to reach our goal.
  • Focus on the DCP (Distinguished Club Program). The saying goes that “Every Toastmaster deserves to be in a Distinguished Club.” Why is this? Because a distinguished club will provide the rich, rewarding Toastmasters experience that we all deserve. This means that all D21 clubs need to know exactly what they need to do to achieve distinguished status before June 30, 2017 and … monitor progress carefully until it is achieved!
  • “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” There can be many distractions along the way that can set us off course. Often these distractions are insignificant and not worth the attention they receive. Ted emphasized that we must concentrate on the important items – those that will enhance the Toastmasters experience for everyone in our clubs. 

Thank you everyone, for your warm welcome and positive involvement at ALL of the events that Ted attended over the past 10 days. It has been a wonderful ride and there is no question that District 21 is on the move!!

Ted’s parting words will long be remembered…

The Buzz is back! We’re all fired up! We’re sooooooo ready to go!




Alan Warburton DTM

Director, District 21 2016-2017


Is presenting at a District Conference on your bucket list? 


We’re looking for high-calibre presenters to deliver 45-minute Educational Presentations.  

Submit your application (see below) to deliver a 45-minute Educational Presentation!  But first, scroll down to read information about the purpose of  the conference educational program, the educational proposal guidelines.



The purpose of the conference educational program is to support the mission of our District and Clubs.

    District Mission

    We build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.

   Club Mission

   We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication     and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Topics should cover the many aspects of communication and leadership (e.g., speaking, listening, evaluation, leadership).

Or presenters might focus on improving and strengthening clubs (Distinguished Club Program, membership growth, outstanding club performance, public relations, etc.).

Educational proposal guidelines:

  1. Only Toastmasters members in good standing of a club in good standing are eligible to submit conference educational proposals.
  2. Competitors in the International Speech and/or Evaluation Contests are not eligible to be a conference presenter.
  3. Presentations must fall into one of the following education tracks:  Communication, Leadership or  Successful Club.
  4. A maximum of one 45-minute proposal per applicant will be accepted for consideration.  Proposals from previous conferences are welcome.
  5. Proposals must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.  Audio/visual content or links (YouTube) are welcomed.
  6. A 100-word (or fewer) “presenters bio” and a recent headshot picture must be included for promotional purposes (conference website, email blasts, conference program, etc.).
  7. Presenters must prepare and provide their own visual aids and handouts and provide their own laptop.
  8. If your proposal is selected, a moderator will be provided to introduce your presentation and assist as needed.
  9. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM Tuesday February 28th.  Please submit your proposal as soon as possible to allow time for the Education Committee to give your proposal the attention it deserves.  Submit to  Chris Kozakowski, Education Chair at
  10. Proposal selection will be completed and applicants notified by March /11th, 2017.


 **Presenters will not be compensated financially and conference fees will not be waived.

**If no acknowledgement is received within 5 days of transmission it is your responsibility as the presenter to contact the Spring Conference Education Chair.


Educational Presentation Application

Education Tract:    ___Communication      ___Leadership     ___Successful Clubs

Proposal Title: _______________________

Name:    _______________________                 Phone:_______________________

Address:      _______________________

Email:   _______________________            Website:_______________________

Club name and number:_______________________

Toastmasters Designations:_______________________

Years in Toastmasters:_______________________

Speaking experience as a Toastmaster:_______________________

Other speaking experience:_______________________


Speakers Bio (100 words or less):_______________________

Session outline (include interactive activities):_______________________

Audio Visual or other needs:

                  Projector _____

                  Flipchart  _____

                  Other        _____

Margaret’s Corner

Want to get the buzz out?  Watch this section for articles written by Margaret Page Distinguished Toastmaster, International Director.








Four Key Questions You Need to Develop a Character-Driven Life

We’ve come a long way this year, and it’s time to look back and see how we’ve grown. Maybe you’ve become an even better communicator. Maybe you’ve learned valuable leadership lessons, or taken on roles that you didn’t realize you could handle.

We can think back and measure our tangible successes. But what about our character? Character is one of the greatest gifts we get from the Toastmasters program, and yet it’s also one of the most difficult to define. It’s something that comes with time and patience for ourselves and for others.  

I’ve learned that the most respected and admired members in our organization are guided by their own sense of integrity.   It shapes everything they do. How many of us can say the same? 

These people continually put themselves through a core values test before taking action. Their values are distilled into four key questions.

Am I acting with integrity? In other words, is this action something that I can be proud of? Would the mentors I trust and admire think this is a good idea? How about if no one were looking — would I do the same thing?

We have so many options when it comes to our behaviour. Checking in with ourselves before making decisions can help us make doing the right thing standard practice.

In the coming year, take this quote as inspiration:

“Real integrity is doing the right thing knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

Am I treating others with respect? There’s a reason variations of the Golden Rule are revered among so many cultures. It’s not only a basic tenant of human behaviour, it’s a difficult standard to follow. There are times when we are not acting as our best selves. It could be that we’re stressed, tired, frustrated. It could be that we haven’t yet mastered our communication or leadership skills.

Whatever the reason, though, the simple fact of the matter is that treating others disrespectfully says volumes about who you no matter how articulate your communication skills are. Disrespectful people may get things done at first, but eventually the corrosive power of disrespect eats away at any true authority.

Inspiration for the coming year:

“Never trade respect for attention.”

Will what I am about to do help or support my fellow members? This is a sign of good leadership: working and encouraging other people to be their best selves. You know the old saying “a rising tide floats all boats”? It’s true. Helping others shows that you understand that success isn’t something you achieve alone — it requires the support of many people along the way.

Teamwork is especially valued at Toastmasters. After all, this is a volunteer organization. Where would any of us be if our founder weren’t motivated by a drive to help other people? How would this international community have grown and prospered? The answer, of course, is that it wouldn’t — it took the daily commitment of thousands of members doing the right thing every day.

Inspiration for the coming year:

“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you.”

How can I improve? This question is perhaps the hardest to answer. How many of us can clearly see our own faults and have the self-compassion to change ourselves without judgment? Yet the greatest, most inspiring leaders are those who not only see what can change around them, they see what they can change inside themselves.

If you’re stuck in an unsuccessful pattern, take a minute to ask yourself: How am I contributing to the situation? If you had to alter the situation without changing the behaviour of other people, how would you do so?

Inspiration for the coming year:

“Become what you respect. Mirror what you admire.”

As we set course for the new year, take a little time to reflect not only on how you want to grow your communication and leadership abilities, but also how you can set a new standard for yourself. And remember: “Excellence is not being the best; it is doing your best.”             



Seven Secrets of Successful Segues

Serving as an event facilitator, coordinator or master of ceremonies is an honour, and doing it well is an art. The role requires an element of spontaneity, a measure of flexibility, a sense of flow and a bit of grace. But most importantly, it requires an understanding of what the role entails – and what it does not. There is a distinct difference between facilitation and presentation. A masterful facilitator shines the spotlight on the presenters, drawing the audience’s attention to the details that make each speaker noteworthy, then shifting the attention, or segueing, to the next speaker.  

Segues serve to “bookend” each presentation with a brief introduction and a concluding comment that flows easily into the next introduction. These links between speakers create cohesion and a sense of momentum for the entire event.

As the event facilitator, it is important to stay upbeat and positive, bringing a cheerful and eager spirit to the stage. At the same time, the role requires the ability to direct the spotlight, not hog it. Drawing attention to each speaker in turn, transitioning from one to the next, positions you as the strand between the pearls – but never a pearl.

It’s a big responsibility to facilitate an event, so here are some simple tips to help you stay centered and help everyone shine their brightest.

  1. First and foremost, remember this: The best way for a facilitator to look good is to make the speaker(s) look good.
  1. Ramp up the enthusiasm! Encourage the audience to give more applause or show more appreciation for each performance. Your enthusiasm evokes a stronger response from the audience, so be sure to clap, smile and mention something positive about each presenter.
  1. After each speaker leaves the stage, help him or her make a lasting impression by repeating a phrase, idea or highlight from the speech. When you do, you’re helping the audience retain key concepts and reap more value from the presentation.
  1. After a speech, refrain from supplementing it with additional information or attempting to soften what the speaker said. To do so would diminish the speaker’s credibility. You are not there to supplement the presentations or modify the audience’s perception. Let the speech stand for itself.
  1. Your personal evaluation of a speaker should never be shared with the audience. Your role is to present them, not judge them.
  1. If you have heard a joke or story before, don’t mention it.
  2. Humour is a great way to bridge from one speaker to the next, but it is essential to be tasteful and respectful. Teasing a speaker is unacceptable, unless he or she is a comedian.

And finally, a quick reminder: after the last speaker has left the stage, remember to give that speaker the same type of “bookend” comments that you gave every other speaker before you began your concluding remarks. This final segue maintains the feeling of consistency and flow that you’ve worked so hard to create – and when you can keep things flowing right up to the end, you’ll know you’ve mastered the secrets of successful segues.

Page’s Nine Nuggets for Networking

  1.    When you meet people at a networking event, shake hands, smile and look them in the eye. Greeting people warmly is always welcome.

  2.    Have professionally designed and printed business cards available to give on request. Better yet, make a point of asking others for their cards . . . that way, you can follow up and not wait for them to contact you.

  3.    Listen well when talking with others. Use your eyes, heart and brain as well as your ears to engage in a full conversation. Never look over the person’s shoulder to pick out someone “more important.”

  4.    Take opportunities to praise people for the contributions they make. Letting them take a bow makes you both feel good!

  5.    Make a point of regularly connecting with people on your key contact list, even when you aren’t requesting something from them. They will feel nurtured by your outreach.

  6.    Follow up your networking conversations within a day or two (that’s why you ask for the other’s card). Graciously follow through on any agreements you make—and do it as soon as practical.

  7.    If you’re in a conversation with people who are badmouthing others, do the reverse. Say positive things instead; “goodmouth” them as recommended by Susan Rhohan.

  8.    Acknowledge what others do and who they are by sending cards, emails or letters. Frequently congratulate those in your networking circle on their ideas and achievements.

  9.    Always ask people how you can help them accomplish their goals. Get specific details and follow through on what you promised. Doing that will build loyalty and trust every time!

Supersize these nuggets, then share them with others. Have fun networking!

What It Takes To Be a Champion

When I was a child and someone mentioned the word “champion,” I had visions of standing on the winner’s podium, wearing a medal and glowing with pride as the crowd erupted with applause. Now that I’m an adult, and more importantly, a Toastmaster, I know the word “champion” means so much more.

Champion is a rich and complex word. As a noun, it highlights the leader, the most skilled or adept person in a competition. And, as a verb, to champion means to get behind someone or something, to lift up and empower.

The truest champions embody this word in both ways. Not only do they prove themselves to be exceptionally skilled, they also prove themselves to be deeply humble as they celebrate and empower others.  

In 2010 Jamie MacDonald won the District 21 International Speech Contest—he was our district champion. And as the others who won in the International Speech Contest semifinals, Jamie poured his heart and soul into preparing for the World Champion­ship of Public Speaking. He crafted and delivered his speech with passion and enthusiasm, skill and charm, giving everything he had that day on the international stage.

But when the winner was announced, Jamie’s name was not called. His heart sank, his eyes fell, his spirits dropped. It could have been a low point … but in that moment, it became a turning point—a moment of transformation, brought to life by the people seated in the next row.

Quickly and quietly they rose to their feet. Jamie assumed the for­mer world champions were heading for the stage, eager to congratulate the winner and welcome him into their ranks. But he was wrong. Some­thing far more profound was at hand … something that spoke volumes about the people within our beloved — Toastmasters organization.

Much to his surprise, one by one these champion speakers filed out of their row and headed straight for those who had not won that day. With warmth and compassion, they reached out to acknowledge each one, shaking hands and offering words of encouragement. Look how far you came; you have so much to be proud of. What an excel­lent speech you gave! You are so talented; I hope to see you on this stage again next year. They wanted each competitor to know that even though they didn’t win that day, they could—and should—rise to speak again.

A true champion isn’t just a competitor, chasing the spotlight and the glory. Oh, no! The truest champion embodies the spirit of com­petition, recognizing the outstanding abilities and contributions of every single person who competes. True champions uphold a stan­dard of excellence that permeates all aspects of life and in the end just want to do their best. Deliver their message.

In Toastmasters, we like to say that there are winners and there are learners. But no matter how a competition concludes, anyone can be a champion, simply by striving to embody the truest definition of the word: to lift others up and help them move forward. To advance a cause that is larger than oneself.
To be a champion is to embody a wholehearted state of excel­lence—not only to excel and achieve, but to literally become your very best. Ultimately, this is larger than the circumstance at hand. It’s not just a momentary act of accomplishment; it’s a gracious state of being—and that is perhaps the most impressive achievement.

Simple Steps to Gain & Retain Members…

1. SIX Steps to Greeting Guests

  1. Warmly welcome guest(s) and introduce them to other members of your club. Seat guests next to a seasoned Toastmaster who will explain what is happening in the meeting.

  2. Ask guest(s) for their name(s) and use it. Addressing them correctly lets guest know you care.  It also helps everyone remember.

  3. Uncover or discover their needs, before giving an avalanche of information about Toastmasters.Guests will appreciate that their needs are being prioritized.

  4. Thank guest(s) for coming. Always appreciate the time guest(s) took to attend a meeting or event.

  5. Invite guests to join. Ask, but do not pressure.

  6. Welcome guests back.

2. THREE Questions to Ask Guests at the end of the Meeting

  1. Do you believe Toastmasters is a place where people can grow and hone their communication and leadership skills?

  2. Do you think you would benefit from the Toastmasters program?

  3. We would love to have you join our club. Are you Interested in becoming a member?

3. SIX Steps to Retaining Members

  1. Greet fellow members with a handshake or a hug if that’s your club culture.
  2. Know fellow members’ names and how to properly pronounce them.
  3. Give members evaluations that they will grow and learn from.
  4. Value members time – Don’t waste it! Have stellar meetings.
  5. Thank members for what they do.
  6. Call members if they are absent to find out why they are not attending.

4. Give outstanding Evaluations That Do FOUR Things:

  1. Build self-esteem.
  2. Show core strengths that remind the person of what they are good at.  Most people have ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) running around in their head and need a reminder of their strengths.
  3. Take the speaker one step further in their skills.
  4. Share how building skills connects to their personal goals.

Kelowna raves about Ted’s Talk

Dana Nease had been a Toastmaster for 10 days when she met Ted Corcoran, Past International President of Toastmasters, at club officer training for divisions K and L, where he was the keynote speaker.

Her new club, Kelowna AM, was organizing the event, and a week after joining, she volunteered to help. If she didn’t know if before, she learned one valuable life lesson from Ted: It is in giving that we receive.

While everyone else was taking officer training, Dana was receiving training from one of the best Toastmasters in the world. “Instead of resting and preparing for his closing speech, Ted chose to share his pearls of wisdom with me,” said Dana.

Dana had joined Toastmasters because she thought the new year was a perfect time to explore personal and professional growth. Ten days later, she heard what the Irish version of the perfect Toastmaster sounds like — and was inspired. “Ted was passionate, heartfelt and motivating as he told his story of what to expect from Toastmasters — from reviewing the organization’s core values to overcoming the challenges of club goals. He shared his expertise regarding cultivating new membership and how to strengthen leadership. I knew then that I had made the right decision to join.

Ted was equally impressed with Dana, and during his speech, acknowledged her as someone exemplifying Toastmasters’ core values.

While Ted was mentoring Dana about the additional benefits of Toastmasters program (a sense of camaraderie and belonging, goal-setting, networking, and building solid personal and professional relationships, etc.) a college student asked if she could have a cup of coffee.

“Of course, I replied,” said Dana. “I asked her if she was with Toastmasters. She wasn’t, but she asked me all about the program. Ted just watched. After five minutes, she was hooked and made a plan to join the Toastmasters Okanagan College Club the following Wednesday. In Ted’s wrap-up speech, he took the time to acknowledge me, a newbie. I can’t tell you how I will cherish that moment for a long time.”

Everyone loves Ted’s stories

It wasn’t just newbies impressed and inspired by the Irish raconteur, the vets and the DTMs also raved about his charm, his storytelling and his willingness to share his knowledge.

“His conversational style was one of the aspects I particularly loved about his presentations,” said Moya Webb, DTM, president of Okanagan College Toastmasters.

“He had taken the time to get to know a few people in the audience and with just the little joke here and there, it began to feel like a group of friends talking rather than a keynote speaker broadcasting to a large group. That was quite an achievement I thought, a true gift to be able to connect to a group as individuals. His phenomenal memory and ability to offer that specific piece of advice here and there that was pertinent to the situation, was also inspiring.”

Lorne Barker, ALB ACS, shared Dana’s and Moya’s enthusiasm for Ted the speaker and Ted the man. “I found the best part of Ted’s speaking was his easy-going manner and humour interjected throughout his talks. Personal stories also enhanced each speech that he gave,” said Lorne, president of Kelowna Toastmasters. “I learned we should never stop educating ourselves. We should always strive to do our best and we should always take every opportunity to give back to Toastmasters what it has given us.”

Sofia Simeonidis, CC, was so impressed with Ted, she was quoting him two weeks later at an executive meeting of the OC club, where she is Sergeant at Arms. Like everyone who heard Ted speak, Sofia got a few tips about speaking, listening, evaluating and leading, but like Dana, her biggest take always were life lessons.

“The magic of life happens when we step outside our comfort zone,” she said. “Ted became a president of his club on his first meeting, so when you dare to take chances in life you grow, new avenues open, you live.”

That has added meaning when you realize that English is a second language for Sofia and Toastmasters poses a much greater challenge for her. On her business card it says: “P.S. If something sounds Greek to you, it’s because I am A Greek.”

That’s something that would cause a chuckle in an Irishman like Ted — and something he would borrow for a future speech because he knows that the only real sin is seeing a good idea, or story, and not stealing it.

   ~ Ross Freake

Putting Our Best Foot (Feet) Forward during Toastmasters Month…

…you never know where the next step will lead.

February marks the kick-off of a series of exciting events and activities for Toastmasters Clubs across the province so the public can learn about the many benefits of joining a Toastmasters Club.  And…it’s the perfect opportunity to ramp up a sense of urgency around our goal “Building our membership together for success’.  Yes, we’re kicking it up a gear. Leaders around the District are inspiring club members, bringing in fresh ideas, and turning outward to look at opportunities and creative membership building ideas.  


 Club Coach Specialist Distinguished Toastmaster Joe Guenette says, “Membership is always at the forefront of clubs. We have too many clubs right now who are down in membership.  So please allow me to share with you a simple yet very successful plan for membership growth.

“Guest nights or Open houses are always nice; however the truth is they are unpredictable.  Sure you spend a lot of money on advertising and having some snacks for the break, but there is no guarantee. What we like to do is have a ” BRING A FRIEND NIGHT”.  No costly advertising, but certainly have a snack table available. Bring a friend is just that:  a personal friend, perhaps a relative or a co worker. These people have seen a change in you…your communication is better, your leadership is amazing.  They may not say it, but they see it.  Now it’s the member’s turn to offer the guests something, e.g., “Let me show you how I have changed.  Let me introduce you to the people who have worked with me in improving my communication and leadership skills.”  This helps the member to OWN the CLUB. Take responsibility and bring a friend. How will it look?

  • “You have ten members, bring a friend, you have ten guests…there’s now twenty people in your chairs.  They’re listening to (hopefully) three speakers, a new member, a member who has been there for a year or so and is available, and a DTM.
  • “Your evening will have evaluations as well and table topics if there is time. When I had my last session I invited our District Director and Current District Table Topics Champion Tania Ehman to speak as well as the three members.

“I had fifteen members when we did this– two months later, we had twenty-two members. It works and your new members are so excited that they are letting their friends know as well.”


More Membership Building Ideas from around D21…

“Provide a quality experience, then make sure members are reminded every meeting- ‘Improve the lives of others by inviting guests. It is our responsibility.” Cowichan Toastmasters President, Rob Chapman.

 “Make your club website presentable, have good documentation for guests and new members, etc.) and try multi-channel marketing.” Birdcage Toastmasters VP Ed, Chris Mutadi.

“Our top tip is to stand out and create a culture within your club. Standing out, like our website does, allows you to give a great first impression to anyone googling around the internet for an opportunity to join something like Toastmasters, and then carefully cultivating a strong culture within your club will attract and retain people who fit the culture you are trying to create and that is the best recipe for exponential growth. The culture at Island Excellence is one of warmth, vulnerability, fun and is personal growth oriented.” Island Excellence Toastmasters President Hersh Kalles

“Here are the things I did to increase the membership for my club:

* Get a coach: We started out with 11 members last summer.  We had one DTM, some seasoned Toastmasters, and some of us who have been with Toastmasters for a few years.  Lyn reached out to get a coach, and Sophie was our unofficial coach.  Sophie put us in touch with some experienced Toastmasters, who later joined our club.  Sophie was also instrumental in our Open House, which attracted a few new members to join.

* Have an Open House: Hosting an open house is a critical event to meet new people, expand members’ speaking skills in front of a new group of people, and share our success stories with others, and influence people to join this amazing adventure.  It’s imperative for the club officers to “spread the word” prior to the Open House.  Use all kinds of vehicles: word of mouth, family members, business partners, colleagues, coworkers, office posters, email, Facebook, Twtitter, Instagram, whatever you can think of, use it.  I know the feeling where people can say, “oh, we are fine with membership.  Membership is not our problem.”  But it is!  It’s everyone’s problem.  Put those feelings away.  Share the love.  Go out there and let the world know how wonderful it is to experience the Toastmasters transformation.

* Build your roster: You can’t attract a group of investors with a bag of change.  I kept that statement in mind when I was building our membership.  Sophie introduced me to a group of very experienced Toastmasters.  I connected with them and invited them to our club.  After a few meetings, some of them joined our club.  We now have two DTMs, two Area Directors, and two past Area Directors in our club.  When your roster is stacked and guests can’t wait to hear members speak, you just smile, soak in the high energy in the club, and enjoy the growth of the members.

* Focus on education: Running a quality meeting is one of the most important things to guarantee members’ and guests’ experience, and one can’t run a quality meeting without a world-class education-focused program.  All members should have a mentor.  Have mentors engage their mentees.  Write short, medium and long term goals down.  Make plans to achieve these goals.  Hold mentees accountable for their goals.  Celebrate their success when they reach their goals, even if it’s a really small one like participating in a 2-minute table topics speech.  Focus on building your members’ education and development.  The Law of Attraction will take care of the rest.

These four points have been my guiding principles as I work with my club officers throughout the year.  Obviously there are other smaller things such as always greet a guest, share application form with guests, share meeting recaps with guests after each meeting, reach out to guest to see if they have any questions, and invite them back again.  These are smaller tips, and most of us already do these.  I tend to be more personal with our guests.  If I see a guest that I think it’s a good fit with our club, I would go out for coffee with him/her after our meeting, preferably that week.

It sounds weird to say this, but I have to share it.  Growing our membership was never our priority.  Developing our members’ education and ensuring every meeting is a quality meeting were, are and always will be our priorities.  It’s almost like membership growth is a by-product of members’ education and improvement.  When guests see our members develop and grow, they want to be a part of it.”  Belmont Babblers President, Will Yang

Armstrong Toastmasters President Sheila Procter says,  “Have fun and create an atmosphere of joy to attract new members!”

Go BIG!   Great stuff is happening in Division K.

Kelowna AM  Toastmasters President, Ross Freake, is currently organizing a series of articles in Castanet to promote Toastmasters.  Check out the latest column for The Art of Speaking, on the value of Toastmasters.  







What about offering a gift certificate?  Here’s the pitch: If you’re looking for a Unique Gift for someone special, why not consider buying a Gift Certificate from our Toastmasters club…the recipient will enjoy UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP FULL POTENTIAL… PRICELESS.  

It’s a win-win situation.  Several years ago, someone (a past Toastmaster) was looking for a gift to give to her husband for his birthday.  He had always talked about needing help with public speaking, so she bought him a six-month membership.  He joined the club and became a strong team player who gained confidence and competed in a humour contest at the district level.  

Please note: Toastmasters International makes  CLEAR club funds MUST NOT be used to pay membership dues for someone. The only option is private sponsorship.

Do you have an interesting Toastmasters story?  (e.g., Someone in my club went from being terrified of speaking before an audience  to being transformed into a poised, confident, effective communicator who stood before a group of 500 people in five short weeks.)  Submit a news article  about the person as a jumping off point to discuss the benefits of Toastmasters. Send a press release (include photos whenever possible) to local media on all special events and on member’s accomplishments.  Check here for TI  templates for press releases.  submitted by VP Publicity, Evening Edition Toastmasters, Ros Hansen. 


Think about groups that may not yet be served by Toastmasters in the community: seniors, physically challenged, unemployed, non-English speaking communities, women in transition, local business or vocational schools, etc. Can you start a club for them?  Can you invite them to a club meeting? Provide a leadership seminar? Sponsor a Speechcraft?  


Enhance membership retention by ensuring that every member is a stakeholder in the success of the club. Put every member on a committee, and make sure that they have a specific job to do. There are many benefits to this besides membership retention, including an opportunity for leadership experience.


If you have a strong club, consider partnering up with a struggling club. Help out with speakers, evaluators, and just being an audience member.


Break down your annual goal for new members into a monthly goal. It will seem much easier to meet that way.

‘Best Toastmaster Year Ever’ Challenge

Professional Edge Toastmasters Christmas Breakfast Party

Many Pro Edge Toastmasters revellers took on a challenging wintery snowy morning, for a fun meeting and a great way to end the first half of the year.  While the rest of us were snug at home bright and early, Jamie, the Chair took on both the Chairman & Toast Crumbs “reporter” roles ((Toast Crumbs).  Jamie and the elves outdid themselves with this creative take on the traditional inspirational meeting review…. 

Hey there fellow Pro-Edgers…Here are your “Toast Crumbs” for December 14, 2016.

It was no “Silent Night” – although dark outside…We had 3 speakers speaking, 2 timers timing, and a partridge in a pear tree.


  • Angel Sheila was our first speaker, bearing gifts for us all, and she will be “travelling afar”… to Vegas to see the wearable technology!
  • Wiseman Noel shared a “Joy to the World” story of 2500 children rescued in a dark time in history.
  • Time traveller Angelika took us back to 1970 and Simon and Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair – Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme.  Yes, Deck the Halls on a Midnight Clear.
  • Rhona and Cheryl manned the Christmas lights that “blinked a bright red and green… as the speakers rushed by with their treasures…”


Good King Ron Wenceslas called us to order and provided feedback – he also provided lots of savory goodies.  Ken and Rita “joined the chorus” and lead a round of feedback for Noel and Angelika.  Renate, Gary and even Tiny Tim provided the introductions.

Ken, the Elf wearing Santa’s red hat said: “I enjoyed the opening remarks to get us thinking…. Where are we going?  I really enjoyed Noel’s speech on how one person can make such an unselfish decision which has such a dramatic outcome in the lives of children which lead to adults and families.”

“Dusting off the crumbs from my tie and sport jacket, this is what I remember,” said Elf Gary, (who apparently is father-in-law to a Tennessee hillbilly),

  • butter tarts and learning about bracelets that shock you into getting some exercise,
  • hot coffee and hearing about a hero in a hot pursuit for her life,
  • herb-flavoured omelettes and being enchanted by the magic of herbs to attract fairies, ward off evil spirits,
  • make dreams come true and deliver world peace.   

Yep… It filled up my belly and loaded my mind.  No better place to be on this morning, a mere 10 days from Christmas Eve”.  Now if I can just get the Nativity scene off the toilet seat… (you had to be there…)

Elf Rita added: “With Jamie, our chair’s opening remarks I have experienced a wonderfully emotional and encouraging meeting where we celebrated not only this Christmas season but each other’s growth.  A meeting worth getting up at 6:00 am”

Elf Noel said: “I feel healthier for having learned about the power of herbs, technology that can help and seeing fruits, vegetables and other guiltless items on a Christmas buffet spread.  I am happy that we have a club that can inspire so much joy at 7 a.m. when it is dark and freezing outside. The gingerbread man on Ron’s sweater will haunt my dreams.”

Sorry Noel, about those nightmares…

Now dash away dash away dash away all!

Chair-Elf Not On A Shelf   



As the year unfolds, we challenge YOU to ”Have the best Toastmaster year ever!”  


Do you have a fun, unique, attention-getting way to promote your club in your community or motivate other Toastmasters?  Send a short article or video clip to by the end of the month, and we will post it here.  

Last Month’s Contest Winner

It was a game of Scattergories: given the category of ‘Leadership’ and the initial letter “I” (i as in icicle) how many relevant words can you generate?

AND the winner is…   Drum roll please!

Entered by Sofia Simeonidis of OC Toastmasters club in Kelowna.  

And that’s a wrap for our 2016 monthly contests.  Do you enjoy contests?  Would you like to win a $10 Starbucks card?  

Do you enjoy a creative challenge?  We’d love to hear from you if you have fun ideas for future Bee Lucky contests.  We are particularly interested in contests that are Toastmaster-related and have clearly defined goals with minimal potential for judging bias, so we can easily determine winning entries.Our next contest is…. Come up with a contest!


Send entries to The deadline for entries is January 30 2017.

The winner will be announced in the February newsletter and will win a $10 Starbucks card.  


“In the event of a tie for any potential Winning Entry, we may award two winning entries, consider Relevance/Creativity/Originality as a tiebreaker, or ask a tie breaking Judge to apply the same Judging Criteria to determine the winner.