Seeking Pathways Guides

Hello District 21 members,

  • Are you at least a Competent Communicator?
  • Are you an experienced presenter?
  • Are you excited about the impending arrival of the Pathways Learning Experience?

Would you like to be a Pathways Guide?

  • Can you commit to a 6-month appointment?
  • Could you visit up to 10 clubs to present the new program and follow up with virtual communications?
  • Could you be available to answer questions from assigned clubs and members or refer the questions to World HQ staff and then respond back to the clubs?
  • Would you like to use the Pathways Guide appointment as credit towards achieving your DTM?

Note:  this is a one time opportunity and is equal to

serving for 12 months as a District Officer.

If all of the above looks intriguing to you, please email me at to request an application form or refer to the Pathways section of the TI website.

Applications should be sent to me by March 31.

P.S. Learn more at “The Possibilities of Pathways



David Hobson – District 21 Chief Ambassador, Pathways Learning Experience

Who will win the D21 Spring Speech Contests?

Meet the contestants!

Evaluation Contest (April 22/1:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

Division A              Suzanne Viau
Division B              Karen Burgess
Division C              Katie Healey
Division E              Barb Westlake
Division F              Angelika Bendrich
Division G             Ray Hill
Division K              Wade Paterson
Division L              Heidi Thompson

International Contest (April 23/9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Division A              Tania Ehman
Division B              Kerice Richards
Division C              Karina Sheardown.
Division E              Rome Gallardo
Division F              Jamie MacDonald
Division G             Roy Campbell
Division K              Reen Rose
Division L              Yasir Khan

Best wishes to all of you!

Every springtime, enterprising Toastmasters take the leap to reach further with their speaking skills, as the annual International Speech Contest launches in Toastmaster districts around the globe.

For the past two months, thousands of contests at club, area and division levels have tested the creativity and mettle of motivated speakers, as well as the organizers who make these events a success. District 21 also mounts a second competition, the Evaluation Speech Contest.

Everyone is a winner during speech contest season, as speakers raise the bar on themselves and audiences are impressed by their range and creativity. But in every contest, there is only one “first place.”

On April 22 and 23, the first place winners (and in some instances, the second place winner) of both contests, from eight divisions, come together to compete again at the District Spring Conference in Surrey B.C.  Guided by conference co-chairs Annie and Jennie Peng, along with host Veronica Armstrong, the weekend is jam-packed with meetings and educational sessions—but the contests are truly a highlight. This year’s District International Speech and Evaluation Contest Chair is Moya Webb. Our Chief Judge is Marion Gushue-Geiger.

On Saturday April 22, at 1:00 pm, eight division-level finalists in the Evaluation Contest listen first to a special “test speech” and then present their evaluations, resulting in a first place trophy winner.

On Sunday April 23, at 9:30 am, eight contestants in the International Speech Contest vie for the honor to represent District 21 in the semi-final rounds at the 2017 Toastmasters International Convention, to be held in Vancouver this August.

(Late sign-up: online or at registration desk on contest day)


Contest Season wraps up for Div E

~ submitted by Yuhan Chen (originally posted March 9, 2017)

Barb Westlake, Ambassadors Tsawassen

Rome Gallardo, Richmond Toastmasters

April 12, 2017 saw the culmination of District 21’s Division E Spring contests. Shawn Gold (International Speech contest) and Yuhan Chen (Evaluation contest) were co-chairs for the event, held at Richmond Nature Park.

We had around 60 people attending, including D21 Director, Alan Warburton; D21 Program Quality Director, John Sherber; Past D96 Governor, Gene Vickers; and D96 Division B Director, Mark Zuberbuhler.

The contest started at 7:00 pm sharp and finished at around 9:50 pm, because we had 8 contestants in the International Speech contest and 7 contestants for the Evaluation contest!

There was humor, sadness, joy and excitement from all the stories shared by our fabulous International Speech competitors. There was impactful, creative and mind-blowing feedback provided by our highly observant Evaluation contestants.

Congratulations to all our winners! Rome Gallardo from Richmond Toastmasters won the International Speech contest and Barb Westlake from Ambassadors Tsawwassen won the Evaluation contest.

Div E Evaluation Contest winners (L-R): Katherine Praski, Rome Gallardo & Barb Westlake, with John Sherber (D21 PQD)

Div E International Speech Contest winners: (L-R) Jas Bhopal, Barb Westlake & Rome Gallardo with Alan Warburton (D21 District Director)

Looking back on an exciting eight weeks of club and area contests…

Dear D21 members and guests,

Division E cordially invites you to our club, area and division contests for the International and Evaluation Speech Contests throughout March and April. There will be many memorable speeches and impactful evaluations.

Division E includes 18 clubs (13 community clubs and 5 corporate clubs) in Richmond and south Delta (Ladner and Tsawwassen), spread over four Areas: 40, 41, 42 and 43.  We offer local toastmasters one advanced club, Spotlight Speakers, and one specialty club, First Mandarin.

In our division, there are 14 contests in total! Please check your calendars and consider visiting our Div.E contests.

All our club, area and division contests are FREE OF CHARGE and open to the general public. So bring your friends and families!

In Division E, there was one club contest every day from March 6 to March 10!

  • Leading Edge: first club contest in two plus years! (Friday, March 10, 7:30pm to 9:15pm)
  • Sage: the only community club contest hosted during lunch hour (March 9)
  • Comp-Talk: the winners of this club usually finish very strong in Area and Division level (March 8)
  • Richmond Toastmasters: the strongest club in Division E with 30+ members, and 6 contestants for each contest! (March 7)
  • Global Speaker: offers speakers from wide diversity of background (March 6)


Tsawwassen Ambassadors Club Contest – Tuesday, March 14 
   1st: Barb Westlake
   2nd: Katherine Praski
   1st: Katherine Praski 
   2nd: Barb Westlake 

Deltones Club Contest –  Thursday, February 16
   1st: Richard Nash
   2nd: Lorna Boyle  
   1st: Lorna Boyle
   2nd: Ellen Liboriussen

Sage Richmond Toastmasters Club Contest –  Thursday, March 9
   1st: Wing Kwong  
   2nd: Assinta Fung 
   1st: Ana Lay
   2nd: Ian De Leon

AREA E40 Contest – Wednesday, March 29

   1st: Assinta Fung (Sage Richmond)
   2nd: Barb Westlake (Tsawwassen Ambassadors)
   1st: Katherine Praski (Tsawwassen Ambassadors)
   2nd: Barb Westlake (Tsawwassen Ambassadors)


Comp-Talk Toastmasters Club Contest – Wednesday, March 8
   1st: May Soo Tveita  
   2nd: Jim Horne
   1st: Allan Heinrichs
   2nd: May Soo Tveita

AREA E41 Winners – Thursday, March 16

   1st place, May Soo Tveita (Comp-Talk)
   2nd place, Jim Horne (Comp-Talk)
   1st place, Allen Heinrichs (Comp-Talk)
   2nd place, May Soo Tveita (Comp-Talk)


Global Speakers Toastmasters Club Contest – Monday, March 6
   1st: Adolfo Ibarguen 

Leading Edge Toastmasters Club Contest – Friday, March 10
International & Evaluation
   1st: Ernie Hamm

Richmond Toastmasters – Tuesday, March 7
   1st: Rome Gallardo
   1st: Carolina Abramovich 

AREA E42 Contest – Wednesday, March 22

   1st: Rome Gallardo (Richmond Toastmasters)
   2nd: Jas Bhopal (Richmond Friendly)
   1st place, Jas Bhopal (Richmond Friendly)
   2nd place, Rome Gallardo (Richmond Toastmasters)


Spotlight Speakers (Advanced) Toastmasters Club Contest – Friday, March 17
   1st: Jasmine Hunter
   1st: Alain Cardez

Rich-Del Toastmasters Club Contest – Thursday, March 2
International & Evaluation
   1st: Shawn Gold

Macdonald Dettwiler & Associate (MDA) Contest – Wednesday, Feb 22
   1st: Patsy O’Conell
   1st: Edward Huang

AREA E43 Contest – Tuesday, March 21

   1st: David Lee (Rich-Del)
   2nd: Patsy O’Conell (MDA)
   1st: William Mok (Rich-Del)
   2nd: Alain Cardez (Spotlight)

Division E Contest
Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at
Richmond Nature Park, 11851 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6X 1B4

Our Evaluation Contest winners will advance to the final round at the District 21 Spring Conference in Surrey, April 21 to 23.

See you there!

Nobody ever said it would be easy!

Submitted by Ted Corcoran DTM, International President 2003-2004

Dear District 21 Leaders and Members,

Achieving Distinguished District status is never easy. If it were, then most districts would be successful every year, when, in fact, less than half of them are.

To remind you, a Toastmasters district is not a thing, an object, or a place, but an administrative unit consisting of every one of you.

It’s easy to work out, therefore, that when your district achieves Distinguished status, all of you can feel part of the success. When it’s not, well, you can just as easily work out what that means.

If District 21 is Distinguished by June 30th next, every one of you present at the Toastmasters Hall of Fame event, in your amazing Conference Centre downtown, can stand proudly on the stage and accept the cheers and congratulations of every Toastmaster present. That is the tribute and recognition given to you and your district for serving your fellow members so well.

I can well remember, many years ago, when as a Trio member of my district, District 71, sitting in the body of the great hall and watching members of district after district celebrating their success on stage. Our district didn’t get on the stage back then, in 1992, but sitting there, feeling downhearted and excluded from the celebrations, I was determined we would do our best to be celebrating the following year. And we were! But it took a huge team effort to do so.

Now it’s your turn to replicate this effort. And here’s why.

There are three primary goals which districts are required to achieve to be Distinguished. These are the number of paid clubs, number of member payments, and number of distinguished clubs.

Looking at the current statistics, your district seems to be on target to achieve the payments and distinguished club goal. However,  there is a worryingly big gap between the number of paid clubs and the goal. It’s not exaggerating the problem to say that your district needs at least 10 new clubs chartered between now and June 30th.

Are you ready, able, and excited to start getting this done?

It will take total commitment, persistence, and personal sacrifice to build this number of new clubs in such a short time window. The good news is that a number are already meeting, or have demo meetings planned. But, as the old proverb goes, “never count your chickens before they’re hatched”.

It may come as a surprise to many of you to learn that one of my personal heroes for many years now  has been your own much loved Terry Fox (I have  even visited his monument in Victoria). His “Marathon of Hope” was an inspiration to me and many others, not just in Canada, but around the world.

All I’m asking, is that you take inspiration from Terry’s story and set out on your own “Distinguished District” journey which, hopefully will end on the stage before the eyes of the world’s Toastmasters next August. Ten new clubs can and will be chartered. I believe that – I ask that you believe it too.

Keep the buzz buzzing. Stay all fired up and when you’re ready, get going!

See you all on the stage in August!

“Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”. Theodore Roosevelt

Two days to go!

With just TWO DAYS TO GO until the deadline, ELEVEN District 21 clubs have already qualified for the “Talk up Toastmasters” award:

  • Niteshifters   (Div. A)
  • Rise and Shine   (Div. B)
  • Island Excellence  (Div. C)
  • White Rock Club   (Div. F)
  • Spontaneous Speakers (Div. F)
  • Surrey Club   (Div. F)
  • Taxmasters (Div. F)
  • Chilliwack TM   (Div. G)
  • Kelowna Club  (Div. K)
  • Kelowna AM   (Div. K)
  • UBCO (Div K)

Each of these clubs will receive a beautiful ribbon for their club banner from Toastmasters International PLUS10% discount on their next order to TI.

ALSO, each club will be entered into a special District 21 draw at our Spring Conference, where FIVE winners will each receive $150 U.S. in coupons to be used at the TI store.

There is still time to win!

How do you win the “Talk up Toastmasters” award? Your club needs to gain FIVE NEW MEMBERS between February 1st and March 31st – it is that simple.

So many are so close!

We have MANY clubs who have gained THREE or FOUR new members – they are so close and…there’s just TWO days to go!

Good luck everyone!



Alan Warburton, District 21 Director, 2016-1017

Rootin’ Tootin’ Open House

March 8, 2017

Submitted by Beverley Steeves, VP Education

Professional Edge Toastcrumbs 

The morning was ambushed  by  twelve rootin tootin six shooters, a number of Calamity Jane’s and Jesse James’s.  Amongst the unsavoury gang,  there were clearly cattle rustlers, bank robbers, drinkers, gamblers and saddle bums.  The mob came from the either Tombstone or Early Edition Toastmasters.  Their goal was to retrieve their banner, which they accomplished peacefully, with no gunshots fired.  Being the bandits they are, they galloped off with our banner.   READ MORE

SAA Ken started off the meeting with his usual enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.  All  eighteen guests were introduced.   With fun & humour he turned the meeting over to the Chairman, President Noel.

Noel provided a warm welcome to all the guests and members.  He clearly outlined the agenda and made changes where needed.  In his calm composed manner,  the meeting unfolded in a structured and organized manner.

Introducer, John provided a thorough and inviting introduction to our first speaker.   He set the audience up with anticipation and prepared the stage for Rhona & her second speech in her CC manual.

In  Rhona’s  speech, Sticky Tags and Labels, she started off by painting  a picture of a lovely little child sleeping, with his arms to his side and his little bottom sticking up in typical fashion.  Except, his name was Alan Kurdi,  and he was the little Syrian refugee boy washed up on the shore.  Rhona spoke from her heart of labels & tags we  assign to people.  She reminded us to think of people as fellow human beings and forgo classifying, or categorizing people.  Her confidence and sincerity allows her audience to connect with her.  She set out to challenge us and that was accomplished.  

Rita provided a thoughtful & insightful evaluation.  ‘Wow,’  Rita’s first words, ‘can you believe this was Rhona’s 2nd speech…and without notes’.  She emphasized the very effective use of the pause that Rhona had  mastered and said she had been moved by the speech.   A suggestion for improvement to Rhona  was to raise her voice.  The group evaluation was given.

Introducer Gary used his typical warm sense of humour  with his introduction to Karen.  Gary’s introduction of Karen was very complete and provided a sense of her accomplishments.  He as well, set the stage for Karen.

Karen started off her speech Head Forward by taking off her shoes, walking into water and easing onto a paddle board.   You could see her bliss  & feel she was reliving her time of boarding.  The calmness of the sea was clearly felt with her descriptive words and the motion she created with her demonstrating  paddling.  A vivid comparison was laid out with the difficulties one has in life, with meeting  waves head on when the water gets rough.  How the ‘board of life’ can get us  washed back & forth, and danger can prevail, if not met head on.   She shared a gleeful time when in a boat with her family.  The sparkle and smile on  Karen’s face was engaging.  Karen’s relaxed manner is always enjoyable to see & feel.

Duncan presented an energetic evaluation in which he provided a demonstration on how to help  improve an aspect of  Karen’s speech.   He thought  the analogies Karen used throughout her speech made for a  powerful statement.   Duncan mentioned Karen’s ease and comfortableness.  A group evaluation was given.

We all moseyed into the saloon for 10 minutes for some grub;  baked goodies, fruit tray  & firewater….Starbucks coffee.

The meeting was called back to order by SAA Ken and skillfully passed over to Chairman Noel.  Noel provided a clear guide on the format for the 2nd half of the meeting with Jamie & Alan, both being on the world stage.

Jamie shared a video of his winning speech,The Power of Spit, as delivered at the 2010 Semi Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking.  How fortunate for us to be transported  there. The speech packed the essence of human emotions into 5-7 minute speech. It was humorous, tender, light hearted, and serious.  A  story of love, kindness, sadness, and passion.  Not a sound could be heard throughout the room.  After the speech, Jamie shared his speech’s development, how it came to be, the important factors to have in your speech &  other tips.

With his speech from the 2009 District 21 Humorous Speech Final, Recalculating, Alan had us laughing right out of the gate.   Although not actually knowing Margaret and Ian, we GOT to know them through their drive to Safeway.   With his use of accents & his body language, he touched our funny bone throughout.  His sense of humour, glint in his eye, and expressions, helped him became a comedian telling a story.  Before and after the speech Alan shared his view on what makes a speech humorous, the impact of accents & other tips.

A wonderful meeting was adjourned by the Chairman with a closing by the SAA.

Anniversary Celebrations in April

Victoria Beaver Toastmasters Club #790 (Victoria) – 62nd

Saanich Peninsula (Sidney) – 38th

TRU (Kamloops) – 38th

Norvic (Victoria) – 34th            

Richmond (Richmond) – 32nd                     

Global Speakers (Richmond) – 23rd

Chamber Sunrisers (Nanaimo) – 20th

Master Motivators (Victoria) – 17th

Good News (Surrey) – 17th

North Delta Power Talkers (Delta) – 18th

Campbell River (Campbell River) – 12th

Sooke Harbour (Sooke) – 7th

Fraser Heights Cornerstone (Surrey) – 7th

Thompson Valley Advanced (Kamloops) – 6th

Finding Vino (Surrey) – 3rd    

Boeing Canada-AeroInfo (Richmond) – 2nd

Talking Heads (Victoria) – 1st

Downtown Express (Kelowna) – 1st

If your Club is celebrating a big event next month, we’d love to  highlight your club with a group photo and/or a short blurb!

When The Door Is Closed, Look For A Window

Submitted by Letty Louie, Area 52 Director

The Kwantlen Toastmasters meet every Wednesday from 5:30-7:00 pm, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Surrey campus. On March 1, 2017 the KPU Surrey campus was closed in preparation for the upcoming KPU Surrey Open House, making the Kwantlen Toastmasters’ usual meeting room unavailable.

As a result, the Kwantlen Toastmasters took advantage of this opportunity and visited the White Rock Evening Edition Toastmasters.

Ten Kwantlen Toastmasters surprised the Evening Edition Toastmasters during their Evaluation contest and walked away with their club banners. It was a fun and exciting night full of educational speeches, winners and surprises.


District 21 Program Quality Director John Sherber made a surprise appearance during the raid as well. This banner raid opened a window for future joint club events.

On March 22 2017, nine Evening Edition Toastmasters stormed the Kwantlen Toastmasters’ Open House at the KPU library to reclaim their club banners in style. Kwantlen and Evening Edition Toastmasters will organize more activities in future.

With its educational and entertaining values, every club should do a banner raid!

When the door is closed, remember to look for a window.



Be the Best You Can Be

Fellow Toastmaster,

Contest season is in full swing. Are you a contestant? How about a judge? A big part of contest season is bringing people together. It is always a pleasure for me to meet Toastmasters from other clubs. We are all here for our own reasons  but we are all working the same program. This is where we can find the common ground to open up conversations and get to know all those people who are new to us. 

Contests bring out our best speakers. Everyone wants to improve and to see if that elusive path of moving on will be in their future.

The International speech contest in August will be the place where Toastmasters from all over the world will send their best to compete at the International convention. Last year over 150 countries were represented. It made me proud to be part of an organization that is so diverse and world wide.

Best wishes to all the contestants.

“Be the best you can be”, and challenge yourself.

It is the “journey not the destination”.

All the best,

John Sherber DTM

District 21 Program Quality Director, 2016-2017  

Speech Evaluation

Article based on interview by Val Adolph


Noel Bentley DTM, is known in his two clubs, White Rock Toastmasters and Professional Edge as a consummate speech evaluator. Here he shares some of his thoughts on that valuable Toastmaster skill – Speech Evaluation.


Every single Toastmaster is more than capable of evaluating a speech. No-one should say, or be allowed to say “I’m not good enough to evaluate yet”. Even if you are not experienced give yourself permission to evaluate someone’s speech. Look at it this way – they are asking for your help to improve. Do you really want to turn down a request for help? They are waiting for you to do just that – to help them. Even the newest Toastmaster can find something good in a speech and something that might be improved.



Decide how you will structure your evaluation BEFORE you stand up to present it. The speaker and the audience want to hear your feedback, not watch you assemble your points while standing at the lectern.

Structure is such an important part of an evaluation. You shouldn’t be trying to figure out how to put your thoughts together as you’re standing up to present them.

Find a structure you can work with – there are lots of them, find one you can work with comfortably. Make yourself a template from it to use each time you evaluate. Many people like the sandwich method (a good point, a suggestion for improvement, and what you liked best.) Others adapt this to a 3-2-1 method (three good things, two ideas for improvement, one great point). There are many more structures to choose from and most have enthusiastic advocates. Try different ways to see which works best for you. The only right way is the way that helps you give the strongest and most supportive evaluation.


Get familiar with the different types of evaluation – how an Ice Breaker evaluation differs from, say, an evaluation of a speech being prepared for a contest. Different speakers have different levels of needs for encouragement and for being spurred on to greater efforts. It’s not helpful to simply guess what the needs are, it’s important to talk with the speaker ahead of time and to ask them.

A ‘before talk’ is very helpful to discover precisely what a speaker needs or is looking for. An ‘after talk’ to give greater depth and a more personal understanding of your evaluation helps too. It’s not only about having listened well, it’s about communication.

The evaluation is based on the needs of the speaker; the evaluator tries to deliver whatever is needed at the time. Sometimes you need to add in a challenge. For instance, if a speaker makes the same mistake each time they speak it’s good to give them a challenge to address that issue.

Higher levels of analysis are needed when you are evaluating a speech that is being prepared for a contest, so you may be providing more suggestions for improvement than usual. Still, it’s important to remember that encouragement is part of the package too.

Evaluation is all about listening. If the speaker indicates that you have nailed the evaluation, then they know you were listening very deeply. It shows that you have taken an interest in the speaker and you care about his progress.

The more you evaluate the more you see its many facets. A strong evaluator:

  •       builds the speaker’s self-esteem as well as motivating and counselling the speaker.
  •       uses concrete examples to illustrates  the points made
  •      makes it clear by using phrases like “it seemed to me…” that this is just one person’s opinion.

Every Toastmaster has a suggestion for improvement for even the best speech, World Champions included. We all have unique insights and perceptions. Offered constructively these can help another Toastmaster along their path.

What’s the Deal with the Membership Requirement?

Do you know how many members your club has? Do you know how many members your club needs in order to qualify for the distinguished club program (DCP)? Now that we are finishing up with renewals let’s focus on what we need to be a distinguished club. 

The DCP is a measurement of the health of a club. Experienced Toastmasters refer their friends to distinguished clubs, these clubs mentor their members, have strong fellowship and complete educational awards. Many clubs make it a part of their culture to be distinguished each year and become known for that level of service.

So what’s the deal with the membership requirement? Interestingly Toastmasters International recommends 20 members in a club to keep meetings at a high level of quality year round, they recognize clubs lose around 40% membership each year which means 8 new members are required in a year to keep a club of 20 at 20. This explains the 4+4 concept in the DCP.

For your club to qualify for distinguished club recognition it requires at least 5 DCP points (7 for select, 9 for presidents) with 20 members OR a net gain of 5 members. This number is from your base on July 1, 2016. So if your club had 15 or more members on July 1, 2016 you require 20 members, anything less than 15 only requires that number +5 on June 30, 2017.

To see your club’s base, current membership and DCP points take a look here:

District 21, I firmly believe we can do this.  Let’s continue building our club membership for success.  Call me if you need anything.








Michael Bown DTM

District 21 Club Growth Director,  2016-2017