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!

Digital Communicators Marketing

Social Media

LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

Please follow Digital Communicators on their Social Media Platforms. If you are new to Social Media, you can create an account and follow us on one or all of our different platforms.

  1. Digital Communicators’ YouTube Account
  2. Digital Communicators’ Facebook Page
  3. Digital Communicators’ Twitter Page
  4. Digital Communicators’ Linked In Page
  5. Digital Communicators’ Instagram Page

Please leave a comment on the posts that we post here. Digital Communiators’ Marketing Team would really like to see comments and likes.

We are looking for additional team members to post and help build our Social Media pages. Please contact VP PR Pamela Benjamin at to be a member of our team.

We welcome and encourage our members and to like our posts, comment, and share the posts on their social media pages.

Shooting the Gun

09, August 2021 Digital Communicator members and guests took on the theme of celebrating the Olympic spirit. What makes an athlete successful? I have no doubt that what is paramount for all athletics is routine.  This is the habitual rising in the morning, exercising, diet, adequate relaxation and sleep.  All of this is carried out in a timely fashion, supported by coaches, peers, mentors and family.  This is the formula for accomplishment in sports.

Evaluations are a huge part of how Toastmasters improve their public speaking abilities. Part of the Table Topics session of Digital Communicator Club meetings is the ‘Shotgun Evaluation’ section. Unique to this club the idea is that the Table Topics Master calls on a club member to give an impromptu evaluation for each off-the-cuff speech. How can we become champions at Shotgun Evaluations? The answer I believe lies in habitual structure and delivery in the same way that Olympians commit themselves to routine.

What I propose is consistency. If you are carrying out a Shotgun Evaluation don’t try to evaluate as you would a full speech! Be aware that the person who takes on a Table Topic is ultimately competing with themself! By this I mean that they are striving to be the very best that they can be! When carrying out a shotgun evaluation be mindful of this and reinforce the speaker by commendations.

Here are my Top Tips:

  1. Pick one aspect of the impromptu speech to evaluate: Structure, Delivery or Language
  2. Greet the Club (Thank the Topics Master, Toastmasters & possible Guests)
  3. Structure your evaluation by:

Commendation, Commendation, Recommendation, Commendation.

  1. Thank Table Topic Master & your Audience
  2. Write a one line note of your evaluation

As a Shotgun Evaluator at Digital Communicators, you are akin to working amongst a team.  A team that is striving for success. Be the player that bolsters the speaker’s confidence.  If your Shotgun Evaluation honed in on delivery, make a note of it and watch for the speaker’s impromptu improvement next time round!  Who knows if your one recommendation may well be the one single thing that resonates with a speaker?  As we strive for excellence in our game let’s get a standard going.

Colette Ainscough 11, August 2021

Live Reporter Role

Have you been asked to be the live reporter at Digital Communicators? Does it seem impossible? Here are the steps to make it fun and educational for you.

  1. Post on Digital Communicators’ Social Media pages before the meeting day. We have Social Media pages on 1) Facebook, 2) Twitter, and 3) Linked In.
    • Before you post, you need to create a picture and get the details of the meeting from the agenda page here on Digital Communicators’ webpage.
    • Once you have the meeting date and major role players you can post on the three Social Media sites.
    • You will need the log in and passwords for those accounts.
  2. Download the Agenda before the meeting. Some people like to copy and past the agenda into a Google Doc to have the inforamtion in front of them before and during the meeting. You can create hashtags with the speakers names or speech topic or title.
  3. Arrive at the meeting at 6 PM London time promptly and begin taking screen pictures and commenting on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. (You may need to send the pictures to the PR Committee Facebook representative at the meeting to be able to post.)
  4. During the meeting post to these accounts with nice pictures of your fellow Digital Communicator friends and put a few words about their role or speech that they have given.
  5. We are using these hashtags to help people find us:
    • #DComlive
    • #DComTMS
    • #Toastmasters
  6. When the meeting is over, please create a two minute Live Reporter video and upload it Digital Communicator’s YouTube account.
  7. Create a post on Digital Communicator’s website (here) about the meeting. What did you like? What can we improve on?
  8. Give a strong call to action at the end of your filmed Reporter Role video.
    • “Please visit us”
    • “Improve your Digital Skills and Speaking Skills with Digital Toastmasters!”
  9. Have Fun!
  10. Digital Communicators Social Media Accounts & Hashtags

‘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.

Summer Days. Report 28th of June 2021

Dear Digital Communicators.

This is the Live Report of our event SUMMER DAYS of the 28th June.

Our President Nik thanked the current board that contributed to the birth of our club, Digital Communicators, and welcomed the new one. He also congratulated our participation in the VTM Convention.
Our TMOD Mahfuzur inspired us to enjoy every minute of the summer.

We welcomed a new member Brian, our 32nd member, who was our Timer and shared with us his speaking and digital skills.
We had prepared speeches that brought a lot of value to our event.

The first prepared speech was given by Colette with the title “The VPE.” She shared with us an inspiring message: “The VPE role is not about me, it’s about serving you.”

The second prepared speech was given by Vincent with the title “The Salt of Every Soup”. His is a leadership story. His speech inspires us to trust and embrace diversity.

The third speech was given by Dec, titled “The Ages of Man and Woman”. He shares with us his story and his successful career with wonderful images. The message is: How the meaning of success changes depending on our age.

The table topics master Andrew led the improvised speeches and shotgun evaluation segments.
We had wonderful improvised speeches: “Summer dancing” by Mar, “What is your summer song?” by Nik, “A guide to your cellar” by Vincent, and “Your happiest summer“ by our guest Lijjou.
In Digital Communicators evaluation is very important.
Our evaluator Azra emphasized the power of questions to connect with the audience.
Julian reminded us how emotions help us to connect.
Our guest Heidi pointed out how images help us to share our stories and how our words add to the embroidery.
Nick congratulated us for the use of the word of the day: equable.
Mar guided the Open Feedback session for additional commendations and recommendations for the prepared speeches.
Pamela closed the evening with the evaluation of the evaluators and a wonderful summary of the event. 
One objective of the video analysis is to dig deeper into the evaluation of the evening, those elements that went unnoticed. In other words, to discover those elements that we are doing well – our best practices, and those elements that still have some room for improvement – our lessons to learn.
Let’s do a sandwich evaluation. Let’s start with the Best Practices.
Kudos to our TMOD for sharing visuals during his presentation. He guided us during the whole event.

The Lesson-to-Learn is to go even further. There are a couple of recommendations here:

1: If we want to share visuals with our audience, we have to practice beforehand. How can we do this? Open a session in Zoom and record yourself.

2: Instead of sharing your whole screen, share only the visuals. Remember, you may have some confidential information on your screen that you don’t wish to share.

3: Once you master the screen sharing, go a step further. Show your visuals on your window.

4: Do not share your screen while others are speaking. This was the case for example in our last event. At minute 35:14 of the video “2021-06-28 – Club Meeting – Speaker View” the TMOD shares his screen while the Live Reporter is still speaking.

Kudos to our Open Feedback TM for introducing the idea that evaluations can also be delivered with the help of Menti in three ways: the website, direct link, and scan the QR code. Brilliant idea!

One additional Lesson-to-Learn is for the TMOD to follow the agenda. The Live Reporter and the Open Feedback go before the prepared speeches and there is a reason for this. Additionally, the TMOD cannot decide to shorten the sessions. In other words, the Open Feedback requires at least 1 minute, and not 30 seconds, and it goes before the prepared speeches because the audience needs to know how to provide their evaluations. This resulted in the fact that the prepared speeches did not get sufficient evaluations.

Last but not least, the best way for the TMOD to manage time is to follow the agenda and adjust the time with the Table Topics session. Example: In our event, the Table Topics session started at 07:06 and ended at 07:26. This time of frame allows us to tell the Table Topics Master that he has time for 6 rounds and one Table Topic (2’ Table Topic + 1’ Shotgun Evaluation = 3’ x round => 20’ / 3’ => 6 rounds + 1 Table Topic). If we start the Table Topic session later than expected, we will have to recalculate the minutes available and inform about the rounds to the Table Topics master. In this way, we avoid asking about the available time to the Timer all the time.

All in all, a very well-guided session, inspiring prepared speeches, creative improvised speeches, and a lot of pioneering ideas in testing new digital tools.

What I did learn by taking this role is that the deeper we go into a subject the more subtleties for improvement we find. We know that one of the TM core values is EXCELLENCE, but on our way to excellence, we have to find a compromise between perfectionism and priorities. Otherwise, we will never achieve another important TM core value = SERVICE.

In Digital Communicators we have fun while we learn new things!


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:

Live Report from June 14, 2021 Meeting

We had a terrific meeting as we started off with a business meeting. Here we voted in our new 2021-2021 club officers! They are as followed:

President: Nik Lakhani

Vice President Education: Colette Ainscough

Vice President Membership: Pam Rowley

Vice President Public Relations: Pamela Benjamin

Vice President Technology: Mar Cano

Secretary: Dec Cluskey

Treasurer: Julian Cereceda

Congratulations to our newly elected executive team.

After our business meeting wrapped up, our lovely Toastmaster of the Day Kavita immediately took control of the meeting and dove right into it. She flawlessly transitioned from one segment of the meeting to the next effortlessly. Bravo Kavita!

We had two prepared speeches, speaker 1 was Kenneth and speaker 2 was Julian. Kenneth bedazzled us with his beautiful words of “we need to understand how our customers communicate” and “we must build a bridge between you and your audience so that the emotions can flow”. Kenneth’s main message was that we need to understand OUR own communication style, while he repeated is mantra – Customer is Queen!

Julian took our breath away as he WOW’d us with his visual aids throughout his speech. He kept us entertained by switching them which left us with the thought of “what technology is he using for his presentation”. I highly encourage you to review our meeting recording to see what I’m talking about.

Our Table Topics portion of the meeting was phenomenal! Our table topics master was Antonia who also set the bar very high with her usage of technology she incorporated into the session. We had five table topic speakers as well as five table topic shotgun evaluators. Well done Antonia!

Lastly, our speech evaluators were suburb! Both were seasoned Toastmasters who delivered their evaluations with purposeful and gracious tips and suggestions. Their evaluations were top notch and great examples for not only the speakers themselves, but everyone else as well!