Live Report 23rd August 2021, by Oghale Akpobome

The meeting started smack bang on at 6:30pm, perfect timing. Julian opened the door after an awesome time as a greeter, welcoming guests.

Everyone was present and eager, having pointed to their locations on the map. 

We love innovation, don’t we?

Julian opened the meeting with his usual zest and invited Colette, who stood in for Mr President, who we expect to be back with us soon. We missed Nik.

Krishn, the TMOD, set the theme of the Day “Your Why”.

‘Breakthrough’ was the word of the day, said Grammarian Colette.

Have you ever seen a timer with 3 physical bells and 3 background colours? Well, we saw one today in the person of the ever-vibrant Dec Cluskey DTM. I’ve never seen a timer so dramatic, one had to watch every move as you listened to a timing report. Simply amazing. 

First Speech was by Mehul Shah who, by the way, expected toast and tea at his first Toastmasters meeting. He gave depth as he spoke about his life and journey, giving the quote: You grow with value and value sticks with you.

Audrey gave her story of leadership, her High-Performance Leadership (HPL) asking the question:  

Are you a leader or follower? 

She learnt by doing – what a way to learn while working on her club website, leading and collaborating.

Oghale did a back pocket speech on loss, showing up, being there, despite how you feel and ‘breaking through’.

Antonia Harrison was the Table Topics Master, giving interesting questions that started with “Why?”.

When asked “why did the chicken cross the road?” Rinku asked rather jokingly “why did I get married?” and followed up with “why did I get called to evaluate?” Ha ha, this chicken question never gets answered, does it?

Rinku was evaluated by Julian – Nah, he did not answer the chicken question either.

Krishn approached the question “Why is the sky blue?” with “What colour do you expect it to be? Red or orange.” Bla bla bla… He went on to science, bla bla bla, environment, bla bla bla. Then he pivoted to say “Join Toastmasters & attend the convention” 😊. Well, how about that as an answer to the question “Why the sky is blue?”

Krishn was evaluated by Pamela, who said Krishn ended up doing a switcheroo on a switcheroo on a switcheroo. Pam went on to name Krishn the philosopher of the day. Very nice, Pamela.

Guest Giannis Kanlis – Why would you go with aliens who land on earth tomorrow and offer to go with them tomorrow? He would go in faith expecting something positive out of the adventure.

Giannis was evaluated by Mehul, who said every Table Topic is an opportunity to do a speech, and use a structure.

The fourth question – “Why is it that the people we love are so good at pushing our buttons?” was answered by guest Ami Kotecha. She opined that it has to do with the sense of victory and jubilance from a really close person. Let’s call it building memories in relationships, part of human nature.

Ami was evaluated by Ijjou Akentour who supported her relationship building idea.

TM Prince evaluated TM Mehul Shah praising language, clarity, confidence, proposing some body language and structure for a more powerful appearance.

TM Vincent spoke from Spain, celebrating her use of language, structure, transitions and use of technology. Then he challenged Audrey on body language, eye contact and smiling, urging her to work a little bit on the ending next time.

TM Rinku evaluating OG – “one breakthrough is all it will take to change the world”. Points to praise and points to ponder. Content stood out the most, narration. And she added credibility with calm and composure. Ponder – facial expression on sadness. Will prefer standing. Follow the rhetorical question with a pregnant pause.

Next Session was the Open Feedback moment managed by TM Pamela Benjamin. 

Feedback for Mehul:

Julian – keep the voice, very nice

Colette – no filler words

Krishn – Expand on one personal story when you have so much to share

Ijjou – recommended background with information about his speech

Pamela – add a little bit more story to the little boy as the anchor

Feedback for Audrey:

Mar – congrats on Prezi video

Colette – absolute excellent structure

Julian – good Prezi presentation, use more professional Prezi and practice stagecraft next time

Ijjou – share club urls in the presentation

Giannis – clear structure, however, share with us the leadership traits you used and how you incorporated these into your own journey. 

Feedback for OG:

Julian – she used powerful pregnant pauses

Krishn – she emotes, awesome

Pam – she was fishing and reeling us in slowly, pulling us deeper and deeper. Pausing with drama and transparency. It was a moving and intense experience.

The word of the day “breakthrough”, marched on to success, as it was mentioned 13 times. Colette, our grammarian quipped that ‘Nik’ could have been a word of the day given the number of times his name was called. She further suggested we follow @GrammarUpdates Twitter feed to help with tenses.

Mar Cano did the GE as an international news caster. What a joy to watch! 

Once again, another amazing session at Digital Communicators, who stayed back to chat at the end of the meeting!

‘Summer flowers’ bloom @DCommunicators

Fellow Toastmasters around the world! Do you want to know what happened in our ‘Summer flowers’ DCOM meeting? Read and share your thoughts below.

Our Toastmaster of the Day, Dec Cluskey, brought a fresh flowery theme of the meeting: Summer Flowers. He made every member taking a role blossom as a different type of summer flower: rose, poeny, buddlia… Look at the expressivity in his gestures and facial expression!

Audrey, one of the most recent members, challenged herself to use Toastmasters virtual backgrounds for the first time to manage time in her first meeting in the club. For a first timer, she showed the attitude in this club!

As the grammarian, our new VPE Colette, encouraged us to use the word of the day: STUPENDOUS. It was used by a few members, and even on social media. Check on Twitter and see @DCommunicators! What a STUPENDOUS job Colette did!

Then, it was time for prepared speeches. Our first speaker, Mahfuzur, told us how to “Plant your own flag” by doing something that is going to help others. Noteworthy, the first question he posed from a list of several ones:

Do you remember your digital journey?

That question can’t let us indifferent, particularly in this club. At Digital Communicators, everyone’s digital journey can flourish.

Our second speaker, Kavita, aimed to raise awareness on sustainability with her inherited speech “Let’s talk about sustainability“. In her call to action, she encouraged us to use the power we have as consumers in this world, and to work together to make this world a better one. She also showed her progress in her digital journey by using Prezi Video and including polls to engage her audience.

In the next section, Vincent guided a stupendous impromptu Table Topics showing some impactful images to ignite the impromptu speakers’ imagination! The three brave speakers were Pam, Philip and Mehul. They had the opportunity to get immediate feedback thanks to our shotgun evaluations, which were taken by Brian, Rinku and Nik.

As for speech evaluators, Heidi and Krishn set the bar high with their reports:
Heidi commended Mahfuzur’s speech for starting with powerful questions, and recommended him to use pauses mindfully.
Krishn congratulated Kavita for her bravery to use a new tech tool, and encouraged her to practise and test visuals to match her words.

To end the evaluation portion, our General Evaluator, Pilar, a recently joined member, recommended Heidi to deliver her evaluation standing up. Also, she shared an enlightening message for all of us:

Feedback is an amazing gift, the perfect way to improve.

Last but not least, the President, Nik Lakhani, thanked the former officers in service when the club chartered and welcomed the incoming team, who’ll be serving this next year. Congratulations to all for making this club thrive!

To end, what recommendations could I make for the club to keep improving?

  1. As a live reporter, shouldn’t have I mentioned every single member taking a role? Thank you to our greeter, Philip, who received us all with a big smile on his face. And thank you our producer, Julián, who opened the virtual doors for all of us to enjoy the meeting and who is in charge of the recordings , among some other little issues.
  2. Digital tech during the meeting: using virtual backgrounds is an easy way to get started, as Audrey showed. Try them! You don’t need a sophisticated green screen, but creativity to make it work smoothly!
  3. The open feedback role could have been brought live as, after postponing the business meeting, there was probably more time to share feedback to our speakers.

If you want to enjoy another stupendous meeting, join DCOM on 26th July!

#livereport #publicspeaking #writtencommunication #oralcommunication #blogging

Live report 12th July 2021

This is the latest news from Digital Communicators meeting today!

If you attended the meeting, you probably had the chance to blossom as a stupendous flower in our club garden. If you missed it, the videos of the meeting will be released soon. Will you miss them too?

Enjoy the video report, and feel free to make comments below. Actually, comments are really appreciated and welcomed, as the ‘Live reporter’ role has no formal evaluation, but just your feedback in the shape of comments here.

In the coming days you will be able to read a full and deep account of the meeting with food for thought for everyone to improve.

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Videos Club Meeting 14th June 2021

Another amazing and fully techy meeting!

What are you waiting for to watch the recordings….? You can’t miss them if you really want to learn what integrating digital technologies in online meetings look like.

Watch the videos and feel free to leave any comments:

Digital Communicators goes ‘As Pretty as a Picture’!

How many of you have ever felt ‘As pretty as a Picture’? Last Monday 10th May we had the honour to transport ourselves to the National Gallery in London guided by our DTM Toastmaster of Day. The meetings at Digital Communicators are a work of art because of the pulchritudinous members, fellow Toastmasters from other clubs and guests. Also, because of all the energy, experience and eagerness to keep facing new challenges and learning. 

When it comes to digital technology to communicate, I would like to focus on digital tools used to enhance different roles: virtual backgrounds, Prezi Video and OBS to enhance

1. Zoom virtual backgrounds, and Toastmaster of the Day

Firstly, what a creative way to use virtual backgrounds to co-create our particular Digital Communicators Gallery! Our TMoD Andrew proved that being creative can enhance digital communication by recreating virtual spaces with a simple click in the Zoom options. However, technology also can be manual, apart from digital. Who would like to take the challenge our TMoD posed by bringing to the table other types of technology, like a pen? 

Our Toastmaster of the day in the company of Aristotle.

2. Prezi Video, and Table Topics

Secondly, what a challenge for our Topics Master to use #Prezi video! Why not congratulate Pam for having the courage to use this digital tool to facilitate the Table Topics section! As a suggestion, what if after showing the whole picture, she would have shown herself and the picture by the side?

3. OBS, and speech evaluation

Thirdly, what a surprise when our latest member showed us how using #OBS can also enhance our digital communication even when delivering an evaluation! She indicated best practices and lessons to learn to go along with her speech evaluation. We could see she has a lot to offer to the club. Thank you, Antonia, for joining us.

Finally, what a great idea from our president to include open feedback with commendations and recommendations at the end of the session! Feedback is one of the quiddities of Toastmasters, and of our club as well indeed. Yet, if the open feedback is only for the prepared speeches, why not do that right after the speech evaluations are given? And what if we used a digital tool to capture as much feedback as possible? Using a tool like Padlet, Slido or Mentimeter could help us gather feedback from all the audience at the same time. Afterwards, the speakers could take those comments to analyse them more calmly and deeper. 

Once again our meeting excelled because of every single member who made it happen ‘As pretty as a picture’! Yes, and… Let’s also be mindful about those areas for growth. We are digital communicators, but not perfect yet. As our guest Panos said, ‘You don’t need to be perfect, but to care enough to be your best’. What a better place to be your best than at Digital Communicators?

If you want t enjoy the whole show and continue learning, have a look at both videos shared by our President Nik Lakhani in the previous post. There you will be able to check these and many other meaningful aspects in detail. What are you waiting for?

‘As Pretty as a Picture’ – 10th May Live Report

What a pulchritudinous audience today at Digital Communicators! In today’s brief account, I summarise the highlights of the meeting.

If you want to develop multiple skills, both oral and written communication, both impromptu and prepared speeches, social media engaging skills, and digital skills to support and reinforce your message accordingly, the live reporter is the ROLE!

In the coming days, you will also be able to learn more in a deeper analysis which I am going to share in a blog entry. Coming soon…